As the age approaches its inevitable doom the evangelical finds himself increasingly involved in a downward spiral of false remedies and dubious experiments. These arise inevitably from the haziness with which we evangelicals view our own history. We fail to see how much of our evangelicalism has lost touch with its own roots in the great Reformation.
The Reformation came about through the recovery and the radical restatement of the Bible teaching on God, man, grace, redemption and faith: our evangelical world today, however, no longer speaks quite the same language as the Reformers or their great successors in the following two centuries.
A growing emphasis on the sovereignty of Man has developed in our preaching, with a consequent obscuring of the idea of a sovereign and all-wise Creator, and (the very latest phase) there is a subtle swing towards a critical view of Holy Scripture; Evangelicalism is at last becoming infected by the very thing it has fought against for several generations - the modifying of the doctrine of a fully inspired Bible. The rot is detected in our evangelical press, in its tolerant reviews of dangerous and subversive books, and the increasing tendency to tamper with the ecumenical heresy. We are living, in it, in the days of EVANGELICAL REVISIONISM, and even some of our Bible Colleges have contracted the contagion.
The Man-centered evangelism, which is now the vogue, exalts the salvation of the sinner to a place of primacy in the scale of values in such a manner as to cloud over the glory of God, in His divine prerogatives and authority, and His all-wise unchangeable and unchallengeable purposes. These recede into the wings, while the stage is increasingly dominated by an evangelism that has little use for solid exposition. In the Race for Results, everything else is jettisoned.
All methods are bent to the one great end of accumulating decisions. Hence there is a rising tide of new, and ever more daring techniques - the dazzling lights, the spotlight on personality, the “delayed entrance” as the great man comes on last of all, the high-powered, streamlined organization geared up behind the facade at enormous expense. Then there is the last and latest development, the dawning of the age of “Pop-evangelism”, of “Beat-session” decisionism, and the avalanche of erotic religious lyrics setting out the Most Holy in sensual language scarcely distinguishable from the suggestive lines of the latest L.P. set to music which is steadily growing wilder and more savage, in deliberate imitation of the rhythms which are cosseting whole generations of young people to the confines of hell.
[Editor’s note: remember this is before CD’s, an L.P. is a Long Playing phonograph record]
The situation is getting out of hand, and it is time for someone to call a halt, and for evangelicals everywhere to stop, think, and consider.
Not unexpectedly there has been induced by these conditions, an appetite for the sensational and the pseudo-supernatural. The recrudescence of so-called “Charismatic” gifts is not the least of the alarming portents.
With the decline in the sense of the divine, a cult of revivalism has become endemic, even amongst the more staid of evangelicals. In a word, EVANGELICISM IS SICK.
In the search for a solution, let us begin by discarding false remedies.
1. EVANGELICAL CAMPAIGNISM IS NO REMEDY.
Since the end of the last war [Editor’s note: WWII] this form of evangelical enterprise has been developed enormously and has earned the support of very many excellent men who sincerely expect that by this means the evangelical problem will best be met.
There has, however, been time enough during the last 20 years and particularly during the last ten years, [remember the reference is about 1969] to determine the value of this method. No one can honestly say that it has even begun to touch our real problems. Whatever good may incidentally have been done, the great glacier of spiritual death continues to slither down the slope of the English-speaking world, with gathering momentum. Even in United States, the tide of church attendance, so high ten years ago, has begun to recede rapidly, despite the sweeping (numerical) successes of campaigns, some of which are claimed to have had a million or more conversions. These efforts are offering only barriers of sand to the modernistic, rationalistic, and agnostic tides.
It is to be feared that so far from arresting the process of doubt and intellectual revisionism now gnawing at the vitals of the evangelical body itself, campaignism is having a diversionary tendency by creating a false hope and turning attention away from the real remedy.
Celluloid evangelism has also come to stay. The talkie film, with its dramatic plot, its “stars”, its heroes and heroines, and its thrilling situations, has made its appearance. We now have the era of the Conversion-thriller, the power-packed drama of cine-camera salvation, calculated to throw into the shade all the one-track methods which the Holy Spirit has been pleased to use during the last two-thousand years of the church’s history.
[Editor’s note: What would Mr. Alexander think of Mel Gibson’s, The Passion of the Christ?]
2. THE CHARISMATIC REVIVAL IS NO REMEDY.
The idea is spreading that gifts of tongues, miracle healings and even hints of raising the dead, are going to transform the scene end give us the answer.
This movement, however sincerely based, is really the consequence of the decline of Reformation doctrine, and the rise of superficial Bible teaching. It should be clearly observed that the supernatural manifestations of New Testament times were the Holy Spirit’s endorsement of the apostolic testimony to the Resurrection of Christ. They demonstrated the passing of the Old Covenant and the inauguration of the New. Charismatic gifts were transmitted only through direct apostolic agency. There is nothing in Holy Scripture to suggest that these gifts were to be transmitted, and nothing in history to show that they were in fact transmitted to the successors of the apostles. There can be no resuscitation of apostolic gifts from apostolic hands. There are no apostles; therefore there are no supernatural gifts.
The appetite for the recovery and exercise of these gifts today, is, to put it at its mildest, unhealthy. It may well prove a snare and an obstruction to real progress. The world was never conquered, and never will be, by the miraculous. The miracles performed by the Saviour led to His rejection and crucifixion. The miraculous element that pervaded the apostolic days did not conquer the world. It was part of the establishment of the Kingdom of God; the conquering power lay in the spoken word of truth. ‘It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”. The enthusiasm of good people, who look for the transformation of the evangelical scene by recourse to supernatural gifts, is a pathetic clutching at straws. The result will be bitter disillusionment - if not something worse.
3. REVIVALISM IS NO REMEMDY.
All our lifetime the accent has been on a great Revival. A flurry here and there sends many earnest people hurrying to see or to spread the excitement. The all-night prayer meeting re-appears, in the belief that this is the grand specific for revival. The centenary of some 19th century movement is duly and enthusiastically observed, as though the Holy Spirit has a special regard for the calendar. All in vain: There is no revival.
Unfortunately what most people have in mind in this much overworked word “revival” is a period of evangelical excitement and success on the grand scale, comparable with the great evangelical experiences of the “Revival century” - that period of exactly one hundred years which extended, curiously enough, from the termination of the Napoleonic wars at Waterloo in 18l5, to the expiry of the old world in the mud and blood of Flanders in 1914. The spontaneous evangelical awakenings, which were common in that long century of world peace, were the last flowering of the Reformation, Puritan, and Methodist periods when the evangelical cause was still living on the unexpended capital of the 16th and 17th centuries. After that the bank broke. The mistake most of us evangelicals have been making is in thinking that there can be a revival of a like order today, regardless of the fact that the comparative soundness of the churches upon which the “revival century” fed, now no longer exists. Christendom at large has moved over to unbelief on the one hand, and papal superstition on the other, and the evangelical voice has become dumb between the two extremes. The conditions no longer exist for revival after the expected pattern, hence all the well-meant and earnest strivings of good people for a recurrence of the experience, have ended disappointingly in shoal water. There has been no depth to float the ship - mighty preaching founded upon faithfulness to the inspired Word, and wedded to an exegetical knowledge adequate to the presentation of divine truth, no longer exists on a sufficient scale.
4. THE REMEDY LIES IN THE FORGOTTEN FACTOR.
The forgotten factor is the treasure of deep evangelical truth bequeathed at the Reformation, but now more or less overlaid by an evangelicalism given more and more to an emphasis on man rather than upon God. No one strove for revival or planned it in the 16th century. The Reformation was prepared by God over at least two earlier centuries. That was preceded by the awakening of the human mind at the time of the Italian Renaissance. Science, art, and re1igion prepared themselves to throw off the shackles of a thousand years of darkness. The Reformation itse1f came, not as the work of one man or any group of men, but as the consummation of God’s purpose through generations of movement in the human mind. The invention of printing shortly before the birth of Luther was a factor of incalculable importance in the divine plan for the emancipation of the soul of man.
Now, the very fires which fed the reformation, have devoured its child. Infidel philosophy, art, and science, have flourished -with the emancipation of man, and have at last succeeded in well-nigh overthrowing organized Christianity, by polluting the streams from which the church’s intellectual and spiritual life proceed. The Holy Scriptures have been discredited An infidel scientific theory has banished God from Creation. The way is opened up for the last Satanic assault upon the soul of man. Only the evangelical holds the key to the present disaster. But the one weapon he seems incapable of drawing from the scabbard, or, having drawn it, being skilled to wield the same, is the very weapon without which he cannot win - the weapon of the Word of God.
It was by this Word alone that in the days of Luther kings were overthrown, history changed, and the world filled with light. But with the Reformers the Word was something more than a message about conversion, slickly presented and garnished with entertaining story and humor. To a man, the reformers were scholars. They labored year by year, sometimes with the assassin at the door, to understand the Word and grapple with its mysteries. They brought up from the deepest depths, water from the well of Bethlehem. They saw God in His word as the sovereign Creator who in awful majesty and unsearchable wisdom laid the foundations of His redemptive work in the eternal counsels of His Godhead to be worked out in time according to the incomprehensible pattern of His own foreknowledge and foreordination. “God foreknows because He predestinates” thundered Luther when destroying the sophistries of Erasmus, the greatest scholar of the age. “The doctrine God’s predestination is so necessary to the church of God that without the same faith can neither be truly taught nor surely established”, declared John Knox the greatest figure in Scottish history.
As God is sovereign, so is His grace, these men declared. Their evangelical exhortations, just as free and far more sea: thing and effective than anything heard nowadays in the evangelical pulpit, took a somber hue. Men knew themse1ves to be but men, under this sort of preaching. Conversion was a solemn and awful thing, not to be lightly and easily professed. Sinners found themselves in the hand of an angry God and fled for refuge to Christ. The Holy Spirit was His own Counselor and the wind of grace blew where He listed. Sanctification became the outcome of earnest and patient discipline under the hand of God, not a sudden hound over the altar of consecration; bye-passing the problem of sin within.
In a word, God used, as He always has used, mighty preaching based on adequate knowledge of His Word, and commensurate skill in the presentation of the fullness of Divine Truth.
Where do those conditions obtain today? How may they be discovered? Have those ancient skills gone forever, or is there a means for their restoration? What must an earnest young man do about entering on such a ministry as this? Is there sufficient help for him, and where is it to be found? Is there hope in the present situation; has God a special message for today?
These are the questions, which are fundament to the present situation.
All talk of revival is irrelevant unless these issues are faced and given the priority. The situation is far more serious than most of suppose - and already it is later than most of us think.
We are witnessing the collapse of Christianity as a force in our country [England]. The atheistic spirit of science, philosophy, education, and art is doing its work, and is being adopted shamelessly and openly by theologians in our leading denominations. The evangelical testimony also is being undermined by years of decline of the Reformed doctrines, yet nothing can ultimately stand against error except the clear and full Biblical knowledge, which was reestablished in the world by the reformers and their immediate successors.
In this connection it is impossible to ignore the adverse effect, which the recent phenomenal outburst of what is known as the Tongues Movement may exert upon the study and restatement of that Reformed testimony without which evangelicalism cannot be saved. We freely acknowledge the Christian standing of many friends in the “Pentecostal” movement, and it grieves us to have to say or write anything, which may grieve them, but our duty is clear in the light of the damage, which is being done, and the greater evils likely to follow unless someone utters a warning voice. We beg the support of all men of like mind who are concerned for the cause of God and truth. Likewise we earnestly plead with our “Pentecostal” friends to reconsider their position in the light of what is contained herein.
TONGUES – HEALINGS – EXORCISMS
TWELVE PROPOSITIONS ON THE PENTECOSTAL QUESTION
1. It is a grave error to suppose that New Testament signs and wonders, in the shape of Tongues, Healings, and Exorcisms are intended for the church today.
The Pentecostal baptism of Acts 2 was the visible and audible inauguration of the New Covenant. The outward signs were necessary t express in evidential form the removal of the Old Covenant and the establishment of the New under the authority of the apostles. The mighty signs and wonders, extending even to the raising of the dead, showed the nature and power of the new dispensation.
The transmission of the Pentecostal gifts to those who were not resent at the first outpouring or who were converted subsequently was entirely an apostolic prerogative. Pentecostalists in their books and speeches never refer to the fact that only by the apostles in person were the gifts ever transmitted to others. See Acts 8:14-18, Acts 10:1-45 (while Peter was ministering the Word), Acts 19:6. There is no recorded instance of a non-apostle exercising this right. Even the case of Ananias in Acts 9 carefully avoids any statement that Paul received the manifestation at this man’s hands. His sight was restored but it is not said that he there and then received the Pentecostal manifestation. On the contrary he tells us in Galatians that his apostleship - the greatest of all the gifts of the Spirit - was not of men, neither by man, hut (directly) by Christ Himself.
In Hebrews 2:3-4 we are told that the signs, wonders, and divers gifts of the Holy Spirit were God’s attestation of the testimony of those who had heard” the Lord Jesus (i.e., in the flesh); or in other words, who were direct witnesses of His life, death and resurrection, If this was the purpose of the outward signs - to attest the authenticity of the apostolic witness - then the signs could not outlive those who had seen our Lord in the flesh and who were competent witnesses of the events which inaugurated the Everlasting Covenant. All history proves that the signs did not in fact outlive the generation of living witnesses, and all attempts to recover them since have ended in disappointment, and sometimes even in charlatanry and moral dilemma.
Those who today (sometimes earnest believers) lay hands on others that they might receive these apostolic gifts are in grievous error. They had better ascertain first whether they be themselves apostles, and those who submit to their ministrations should likewise have a care, for these gifts are “the signs of an apostle” (2 Cor 12:12).
2. There is no Baptism of the Spirit subsequent to a true Evangelical Conversion.
The rule is laid down by Christ himself in John 7: 37-39 where He clearly teaches that the only condition for receiving the New Testament baptism of the Spirit is a saving faith in Himself - (“This spake He of the Spirit which they that believe on Him should receive”). Peter on the same day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38) lays down that the only condition for receiving the Spirit is repentance and confession of the name of Christ in baptism - that is, the evangelical act of faith for the remission of sins. We should be indebted to any friend who can point out for us any scripture which tells us we receive the Spirit on any other condition.
Paul teaches in Romans 8:9, that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His. Beware, reader, of the error of some that the Spirit of Christ means something other than the Holy Spirit, no one taught of the Holy Spirit would ever dare to utter such a blasphemy as this.
3. It is a great mistake therefore to suppose there is a time lag between Regeneration and the Gift or Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
True exegesis distinguishes between the sign and the thing signified. The thing signified by the Pentecostal signs was the inauguration of the New Covenant of Grace in the heart of the sinner. This is regeneration (see Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-28; John 16:13-15).
The sign, that is the outward gifts of the spirit, followed the thing signified, sometimes immediately, and sometimes, for special purposes, at some distance of time, as in the case of the Samaritan believers of Acts 8 who had to await the coming of the apost1es. (Note: Even the agency of a New Testament deacon was not enough - how then do their modern imitators hope to confer upon others the Pentecostal gift?) As the gifts faded out of the Church’s life through the gradual dying out of the living witnesses to the resurrection the full significance of the New Covenant of Grace was left unimpaired. The signs receded, but the thing signified remained. Therefore since the apostolic era we have had the inward baptism of regeneration without the signs, which are now irrelevant.
4. Those who teach that the Pentecostal outpouring depended on the obedience of the apostles in “tarrying” for ten days in the upper room and that Christians today must do the same, have a dangerous misconception of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
This teaching implies that the entire climax of God’s eternal plan of redemption depended upon the obedience of man, rather than upon the obedience of Christ. The infinite merit of Christ, His atoning death and His glorious Resurrection and Ascension to God’s right hand were, and could be, the only possible conditions of the Pentecostal outpouring. No significant event of Christ s work ever did or could depend upon human volition, interference or failure. Our redemption does not depend upon fortuitous, casual, or fallible processes, but Christ’s Nativity, Atoning Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and Outpouring of the Divine Spirit were entirely, exclusively and absolutely divine, sovereign, and unthwartable by any power, human or spiritual else, where were our redemption?
It argues much for the low state of Biblical knowledge amongst us, and especially amongst those who make the loudest claim to be filled and baptized with the Spirit, that this blunder of a humanistic interpretation of Pentecost is so rife. The very word “Pentecost’ should have been warning enough. The word means “The Feast of the Fifty Days”. God’s calendar was unalterably fixed from the beginning. It was determined in the promise of the Old Testament types that on the fiftieth day after the resurrection the gifts which Christ by His merits alone ‘received for men” (Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8-12) should be outpoured. The “tarrying” of the disciples at Jerusalem for ten days was no more a condition of that outpouring, than the entire redemption of man was dependent upon the consent of the Virgin to the nativity of Christ. The only purpose of “tarrying” was to complete the time “When the day of Pentecost was fully come”.
Those earnest people, who now ‘tarry’ in the hope of some specia1 enduement of the Holy Spirit, are 2,000 years too late. They may imagine they receive some spiritual power but they mistake mental states for spiritual experiences - a common failing in these days when the Word of God is subordinated so often to “experience.”
5. The prophecy of Joel 2:28-32, quoted by Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost was fulfilled in the setting up o f the New Covenant and has no further fulfillment either now or in the future except in the inward fruits of sanctification common to all believers.
Peter indicates the time of fulfillment in the words “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel...” (Acts 2:16). In other words, he quotes Joel as proof of the divine nature of what was then taking place in the Church. The idea entertained by many who have made no proper study of God’s method of prophecy, that Peter meant there was a partial fulfillment in his own day and another, much more powerful and complete at the end of the age, play right into the hands of the Judaizers, and put a grave question mark over Peter’s inspiration.
An adequate study of prophecy would soon teach that the figures used in this prophecy - signs in heaven and earth, the darkening of sun and moon, blood, fire and vapor of smoke, have nothing to do with the end of the world, but with the end of the Old Covenant and of its earthly administration in the Jewish State. The same figures are frequently used in the Old Testament to denote the removal or overthrow of kingdoms, powers, and ordinances (see Isaiah 13 for example, where the same figures are used for the overthrow of Babylon). Peter’s quotation was a warning to the Jewish people of his own day that the time of the removal of their order had come; their kingdom and State were about to go down in blood, and their sun was about to set - as took place in A.D. 70 when nation and Temple were destroyed by the Romans.
6. They who begin with tongues will find they cannot stop there but must go on to incorporate the entire program of Signs and Wonders, including the Raising of the Dead.
The concluding verses of Mark 16 are frequently quoted as proof that charismatic gifts are the expected norm for the entire Christian age. If this be so the entire program outlined in these verses must be reckoned with. All Christians (not merely the platform practitioners) must practice exorcism and consider themselves to be immune to deadly serpents and poisons. Healing powers are to be exercised by all. If this be so it cannot be denied that the Holy Spirit has managed very well without these signs for nearly 2,000 years. Nor can the omission be accounted for by the unfaithfulness or ignorance of Christian men. God has been pleased to use His servants in far more potent and vital ministries than any which appear to be in exercise today, despite flamboyant claims by some Pentecosta1ists.
Mark 16 seems to be regarded by many Pentecostalists as decisive of their position. They fail to see that it is only another indication given in advance, of the imminent setting up of the New Kingdom or Covenant of Grace, and as such falls under the interpretation given in the Acts, and outlined above, that the signs were apostolic and could not be transmitted to later generations because there were no apostles to transmit them. The dilemma of the Pentecostalists is very great in his interpretation of this passage. He must recognize that for 2,000 years these signs have NOT followed those who believe, and as Christ annexes to this promise no condition except that of saving faith, the Pentecostalists must either commit the blasphemy of declaring that Christ’s word of promise has utterly failed, or he must accept the interpretation that the signs were apostolic and inaugural.
7. The claim made by many that they converse with God in an ‘unknown” tongue - by which they mean a tongue not known on earth, but presumably in Heaven, is false and is founded on a complete misunderstanding of 1Corinthians 14.
The word “unknown” in this chapter is in italics in the Authorized Version (it is dropped in the Revised Version), and does not occur in The Greek original. It was supplied by the translators to indicate that the tongue used was unknown to the hearer and therefore required interpretation. The idea that people may converse with God in prayer and praise in a language not belonging to this world at all is quite fanciful, and represents an elementary mistake of reading which it is difficult to imagine anyone claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit, would make.
8. The modern experience of “Speaking in Tongues” enjoyed by so many earnest people is not what they suppose and is to be explained on entirely natural grounds.
The emission of unintelligible sounds from the voice box as a sign of the supernatural has been practiced for thousands of years by pagan devotees. The sounds are the product of a condition of hysteria well known in the medical world. Any excitement or emotion, spiritual or otherwise, can cause the same stuttering sounds to be produced in the larynx. Dr. French Oliver, in his searching book, “Healings: Human and Divine” writes from the abundance of his experience in many lands:
“The source of these inarticulate noises, which are identical in all nations, and have been so in Pagan lands for the past 3,000 years, where only devil worship and whirling demoniacs have engaged in the sex orgies of the licentious Phallic cults: is in the Ganglionic or Vegetative nerve center, located near the pit of the stomach, and so definitely connected with the entire visceral nervous system these psycho-physical phenomena can be explained strictly on the basis of known scientific and scriptural facts. The “ecstatic feelings”, “electric shocks”, “warm baths”, “angelic singing”, and other psycho-physical experiences producing pseudo-miracles in the realm of the emotions, are partly chemical and partly nervous, partly muscular and partly mental; but are in no wise produced by the Holy Spirit”.
Again: “The cerebro-spinal nerve center, when we are awake may, under emotional excitation, or excessive glandular stimulation, drop its control as a belt slips from a wheel in a factory; and when the cerebro-spinal control is relinquished, the ganglionic or vegetative nerve center which controls the subconscious mind, takes control … the loss of control of one’s faculties by the cerebro-spinal nerve center is tremendously dangerous, nervously, mentally and physically. A person will do things under the ganglionic subconscious control which he would not think of doing when normally conscious …”
The psychological and spiritual damage, which may be caused by surrendering the will to those emotional-hysterical experiences scarcely, needs enlargement here.
9. Even sincere Pentecostalists people admit the dangers and delusions, which await those who give themselves to these experiences.
The editor of “A Voice of Faith” which freely circulates in Britain amongst Pentecostalists writes in his issue for Spring 1965, “Much which purports to he the operation of a gift of the Spirit is in fact merely a routine copy of something which may or may not have been originally born of the Holy Spirit ... The outcome of this situation is absolutely appalling … it is possible sincerely to simulate the reality of speaking in tongues. One has only to listen carefully to much that goes for this spiritual exercise to hear; week after week, the same repetitive phrases time and time again. Somewhere along the line (such a person) has either remembered the utterance or it has gone into his subconscious, or something - I don’t know what. So it continues in the realm of the mind, no doubt with a little flutter in the emotion at the same time to give the carnal impression of being in the Spirit, coupled not infrequently with a pleasurable feeling of pride”.
An American Pentecostalist is much more brutal, and writes in his journal (“The Witness”), “Among those who call themselves Christians there are none so wickedly sensual as those who cavort, dance, scream, and give themselves over to familiar spirits. By the use of syncopated music, the clapping of hands and the stomping of feet whole congregations of people work up an atmosphere that is akin to the enchantments of the snake-handlers of India. - In many of these spirit shindigs people have jerked until the bones in their necks and backs have been heard to snap in their sockets. Shivering and screaming under the power, all manner of dancing, jumping end cavorting is indulged in. So violent are some of these antics that permanent injury is often sustained ... people have been heard to hiss like snakes and bark like dogs.
Numbers of Pentecostal people have finished their course in an insane asylum. These warnings from writers favorable to Pentecostalism are highly significant.
10. Healing “miracles” claimed today lack the four essential characteristics of New Testament miracles.
These characteristics are:
(1) All who came were healed; (2) All kinds of diseases were healed; (3) They were healed completely; (4) They were healed permanently.
It is undisputed that in present day ‘healing” campaigns and practices, only a very small minority of cases even claim to receive benefit, and these are usually accounted for on psychological, emotional, or functional grounds. It is noteworthy that Rome makes the same claims at Lourdes, and can show a similar array of discarded crutches and spinal jackets, but there is this difference - Rome makes no official claim until a panel of doctors has investigated the case. The kind of healing which is claimed in Pentecostal circles is of the same category as that claimed by Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, and other anti-Christian sects. Sincere Pentecostalists try to argue that “healing is in atonement” on the ground of a false exegesis of Matthew 8:17 - which is to be understood of Christ’s compassionate identification with our infirmities. That “healing” is not in the atonement is cleat from Romans 8, which tells us that the redemption of the body is not affected till the resurrection (verse 23). If “healing” were in the atonement all our ailments would disappear forever the moment we believed for the forgiveness of sins. Death also would be excluded by the atonement but no Pentecostalists has dared to claim that it is a sin of unbelief for Christians to die The body remains mortal and infirm till death, and then awaits the resurrection when at last the creature itself shall he delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:21).
11. The modern practice of Exorcisms has features, which are a gross libel on Christian sanity.
Exorcisms are getting more grotesque every year, The American exorcist, Branham, whose example is followed by most of the present exorcists, claimed to have received a visit from the angel Gabriel who conferred on him the gift of diagnosis - of which the New Testament knows nothing. The change in the color of his hand as he placed it over a ‘possessed” person, showing him what kind of “demon” he was dealing with. When cast out, these demons would often be seen flying through doorway or window. Every human ailment, apparently, has its own particular demon - and cancer demons seem to he particularly prolific,
Modern Pentecostal exorcism goes far beyond anything ever heard of in the New Testament. The discovery that demons give off an offensive smell, and can actually be seen as they take their departure, is not Christianity but paganism.
12. Bewildered Evangelicals who compromise with this movement are playing a dangerous game which at the very least will set back that spiritual awakening for which they wistfully hope and pray.
There can no longer be any compromise with this delusive thing, which threatens to engulf the evangelical cause just at a time when the healthiest tokens of this century have begun to appear amongst us. The charismatic revival may well be part of Satan’s counter attack on the purifying tendencies that have been proceeding in evange1ica doctrine and practice. There is no substitute, in the end, for a return to the doctrines and standards of the Reformation, it is the departure from these standards, and the consequent lack of Sound, biblical teaching, that has exposed evangelicalism to the present evils. Men will continue to be led away, and clutch at the straws offered to them by the plausibilities and fantasies of Pentecosta1ism so long as they remain ignorant of, or impervious to, the fundamental Reformation teachings on God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Redemption, and Holiness.
One of the saddest features of Pentecostalism is its irreverence in the use of the name of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He is almost always addressed as “Jesus” without His title of Lord. “Wonderful Jesus”, the cry so often heard in Pentecostal assemblies, is no substitute for “Christ” and “the Lord”, so beloved of the apostle Paul. The irreverent and emotional use of the Lord’s human name, particularly in “honky-tonk” choruses and rhythms, is a frightful commentary on the state of religion in these latter days.
ADDENDUM: We repeat our statement that “evangelicalism is sick”. Pentecostalism is one of the symptoms of this sickness, and our appeal is to all men who have the true welfare of Christ’s cause at heart, to stand fearlessly with us against this great deviation from truth.