“How many have made the gospel a form of show business in the hope of ‘reaching’ people who would not attend fervent preaching?”

by Greg Linscott

I’ve had the opportunity of late to be reviewing back issues of the Faith Pulpit. A quote from Dr. Robert Delnay in this December 1987 article entitled “The Evangelical Drift” held my attention long enough that I thought you might also find it compelling:

A Relaxed Ethic.

As fundamentalists we might as well admit that our ethics have sometimes exceeded our practice; we had our share of proud men and greedy men, of liars and lechers. But the record also bears out that we protested and grieved over these types (see Murdock, Portrait of Obedience ). However, with the coming of new evangelicalism, Woodbridge spoke against the new ethic he saw, a pragmatic ethic in which the end sanctified the means, so that the hope of making contacts for the gospel justified links with the World Council.

Do we not see a similar ethical shift among fundamentalists? –For instance, a refusal to protest the above trends for fear of offending friends who embrace those trends? I have known men who professed a strong ethical position, but whose stated position did not seem to impede their ruthless campus politics. How many have made the gospel a form of show business in the hope of “reaching” people who would not attend fervent preaching?

How do you document a trend? Yet I believe that observation will verify that we fundamentalists are not where we were a generation ago, and that the drift has been down and away. For our ineffective evangelism, we trust that we do not blame others. But as we admit the pit from which we were dug and look to the Lord who redeemed us, we do well to re-examine the situation. Is it too late to turn from what we disliked in evangelicalism? Can we now so give ourselves in devotion to God that we will pour contempt on all our pride? Can we so yearn after heaven that we will the more yearn after lost men?

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