History Repeats

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A century and a half ago, a few brethren who were determined to have what pleased them in religion were willing to sacrifice respect for both the statement and the silence of Scripture in order to have their idols (primarily musical instruments and unauthorized evangelistic organizations). By the beginning of the last century that element had captured most of the congregations and schools then existing. Those “loving liberals” forced out brethren who were determined to observe the limits imposed by the law of Christ. In very many cases, the Truth-loving remnant (15% of the once united brotherhood) were driven from the congregations (and buildings) they had helped build. These had to begin all over again by meeting in homes and rented or borrowed facilities.

The Lord designed His church with no human head or board over it. Therefore, universal, simultaneous apostasy and division did not (and cannot) occur in the church of Christ. Thus the digression-driven division gradually occurred over the last half of the nineteenth century, church by church. The 1906 US census recognized the church-wide division. Those who drove this wedge of division were initially “progressive” brethren, but within a generation they had morphed into two distinct denominations (the Independent Christian Church and the Disciples of Christ). Brethren today who refer to these sects as “brethren” err greatly. These denominations are not digressive or apostate “brethren”; they long ago became “plants” that God did not “plant,” and we ought to “let them alone” (Mat. 15:13–14).

A century after the foregoing digression was beginning (i.e. the 1960s), the cancer of liberalism again began eating at the vitals of the Lord’s body. Only those abysmally ignorant or blindly unrealistic will deny it. Liberals (many of them disgustingly elitist, impudent, and irreverent) have come out of their “closets” in droves in recent decades. Their aim has been/is so to blend the Lord’s church with the denominations as to make them and us indistinguishable. They have brazenly announced their intent to stay among us and adulterate as many as possible with their heresies. They have been effective in large part because of the prevalent Biblical illiteracy in most congregations.

Apostates have for some time controlled almost all of the universities and graduate schools begun by brethren. Those that have not completely departed from their founding charters have made major compromises and can only be expected to go further. They have been the major fountainhead in the latter digression. Hundreds of churches have been captured (all of the larger ones in metropolitan areas). Leopards will more likely become spotless than that apostate schools or churches will repent. As in apostolic times, so now: “Evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13). Cowardly and/or doctrinally weak elderships in these churches have forfeited their oversight, forcing faithful brethren either to compromise or to abandon such congregations.

In yet many other cases, the “yeast” of liberalism has gradually, but surely, had its leavening effect. Schools of preaching began springing up a few decades ago because of obvious digression in the colleges. Now the preacher training schools have trended in the same direction. Compromises with error and its proponents are rife. Brethren, who a decade ago were stalwart in maintaining Scriptural fellowship boundaries demanded by Ephesians 5:11, 2 John 10–11, and like passages, are now drawing their “circles” ever larger.

“Formal” division such as that of 1906 has not yet come from this Satanic rape of the bride of Christ, but it already exists in fact. The Lord’s church will be better off when this deviation has run its full course and the division/apostasy is so complete that any deniers will appear dense or dishonest. Those who stand for the Truth are decidedly in the vast minority again, but it has been thus all the way back at least to Noah. It will be a relief to be fully detached from the detractors and the turmoil they have caused for so long. In the meantime, our duty is clear:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord (1 Cor. 15:58).                                                                                                                                                  

[Note: This article appeared in The Lighthouse, weekly bulletin of Northpoint Church of Christ, Denton, TX, April 12, 2015.]

Attribution: Printed from TheScripturecache.com, Dub McClish, owner and administrator.





Author: Dub McClish

13 thoughts on “History Repeats

      1. Dear Paul,

        Thanks you for your kind and generous comment and for your good wishes concerning our work. Yes, the things I described are indeed sad. And as you well know, I hardly “touched the hem of the garment” in describing the challenges the Lord’s faithful people face presently. I’m thankful for stalwart elders such as you. May your “tribe” increase! Godspeed.

        Yours in the Cause,


    1. Dear John,

      Thank you for writing. The Scripture Cache is not a “group,” but simply a Website that anyone can visit free of charge at any time one chooses to do so. I hope you will visit often and read widely from the articles and MSS you will find here.

      Yours in the Cause,

      Dub McClish

  1. The timing of this articles about apostasy within the churches, came at an adequate time.
    Last evening a brother whom we had not seen in about 20+ years telephoned. It was good hear this good brother is continuing to t each and preach sound doctrine “in the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3) This brother spoke of the churches closing down throughout Great Britain and about many brethren now worshipping in their homes, because congregations are teaching erroneous doctrines, accepting changes and calling upon denominationalism to make changes and decisions on Gods word. Providentially God is working to help us recognise these things and to be aware of such changes. Significantly, a brother who had once been a stalwart in the church has departed from “the faith,” only to get himself involved in the religious body that is referred to as the apostate church. 1 Tim 4:1-4. Sad news

    1. Dear Angela,

      I’m thankful for your response to my article, although the information it contains is heartbreaking to all who love the Lord, His Word, and His church. There are also many cases of brethren meeting in their homes in the US because the local congregations have departed from the faith. I thank God for faithful souls such as you and Joe. We must be faithful regardless of what others choose to do. I continue to pray for Joe’s health, and Godspeed to you both.

      Yours in the Cause,

      Dub McClish

  2. So spot on. I have seen this coming as far back as the late 1980s and people who want “Progress” will stop at nothing to harm Christ’s church. The one thing I keep hearing is that the church is supposed to be “cultural” and change with the times. Thank you for setting that idea straight sir!

    1. Dear Laura,

      I appreciate your response to my article, although its content brings nothing but sadness to the hearts of those who love the Lord and His Word. In my article, “First or Twenty-first?” which I posted a couple of weeks ago, I called attention to the very idea you mentioned in your note—”we must change with the times.” Godspeed as you determine to remain faithful to the Lord’s pattern for His church in all ways!

      Yours in the Cause,

      Dub McClish

    2. Dear Laura,

      Please forgive my tardy response to your very nice comment. I somehow had overlooked it until just this moment. It is always good to be reminded, as your note does, that there are still other dedicated souls who grieve over what has happened and is happening in/to the beautiful bride of Christ. The number of congregations determined to hold fast to the ancient landmarks seems to shrink almost daily. Let us hold fast!

      Yours in the Cause,

      Dub McClish

  3. As a servant student of the Scriptures a steadfast brother in Christ for churches of Christ, we MUST stand firm, defending the truth with love and sincerely realize and understand that it DOES MATTER what one believes and practices in the eyes of God! In Christ, David MENDIOLA, North Mission Church of Christ, Tx.

    1. Dear David,

      I agree fully with your observations. Thank you for reading the article and for your note in response. I encourage you to be a frequent visitor to The Scripture Cache.

      Yours in the Cause,

      Dub McClish

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