April 5, 2012

The Pastor’s PEN

Dr. Rick Arrowood
ON MY SOAP BOX – Of late, I have been very concerned as to the shift among those who are tolerating “dangerous patterns” in their ministries and associations when it comes to ecclesiastical separation and music. I am somewhat taken aback by those who have replaced their predecessors only to give up ground on these doctrines that make fundamentalism so distinct. It is obvious that post-modernism ushered in neo-evangelicalism in the 40’s and 50’s, and separation (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1) was necessary as ecumenical evangelism swelled under leaders like Evangelist Billy Graham.

In the 50’s and 60’s, good men were forced to separate from lifelong friends due to corporate compromise. More separation came as good men either left or led their churches out of the Northern and Southern Baptist Conventions because of heretical doctrine and worldliness. Then the new neo-evangelicalism repackaged itself under the guise of seeker friendly, as Promise Keepers failed to keep their promise and Evangelicals and Catholics came together under the banner of “leave your doctrine at the door and let’s love each other.” The effects of contemporary music gripped the hearts of those who were tired of biblical standards and ecclesiastical separation, and universities such as Cedarville, Liberty, and Tennessee Temple have now yoked up with the Southern Baptist Convention. How sad!

It looks like we are going to witness another round of this capitulation. It is, and will continue to be, obvious that some schools and churches accept the new attempt by some intellectual leaders to re-write our history, re-defining who we are, so that they can proudly wear their newest name tag - “conservative evangelical”! Perhaps this shift is motivated by the charismatic dangers of the T4G doctrine and the impact it has had on some of our younger fundamentalist. Or perhaps, it is fear; fear that if we do not change, we may lose needed “nickels and noses” and jeopardize our existence? I really do not know the answer. I do not know the hearts of these men. But this one thing I do know and am thankful for -- in 1977 as a young believer getting ready to leave for Bible College, I listened to Dr. Les Ollila preach all week (on the need of separation) at the Youth Fitness Conference at the Wilds. The last night of the meeting I went forward, and on my knees, with Doc O by my side, I asked the Lord, as the tears flowed, to help me to live a separated life, both personally and ecclesiastically. It was a right decision then, and it is right now! Nearly 34 years have passed and the battle has not changed when it comes to separation. By God’s grace, my desire is to stay the course and lead our church in the historical fundamental positions it was founded upon. In a day of shift and compromise, my heart’s desire is to “hold the fort” until Jesus comes!

Originally Published- November 16, 2010

Related Reading
The Pastor’s PEN is a companion article to Dr. Arrowood’s Answering Questions About the Changes We Are Seeing in Fundamentalism

Together for the Gospel (T4G): “A Final Sad Spectacle

Dr. Les Ollila, Our Children Not Only What We Teach Them, But by What We Tolerate

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