In the first two posts of this series we looked at how God’s wisdom is so much greater than the wisdom of man and how His servants are empowered by His Holy Spirit for service. In this post I would like to look at the characteristics of those who follow the wisdom of man rather than the revelation of God. During the earthly ministry of Jesus, the attitudes of those who love the praise of man and follow the traditions of men were clearly revealed in the confrontations between Jesus Christ and these religious elites. The origin of this contention wasn’t solely from the heart of unregenerate sinners, but ultimately from the enemy of our souls. First we see that these men enamored with the wisdom of man put tradition ahead of God’s commandments, as if their wisdom is so much greater than the wisdom of God.
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, (2) Why do Thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (4) For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death. (5) But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou might be profited by me; (6) And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. (7) Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, (8) This people draws nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. (9) But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:1-9
Men and women promoting unregenerate scholarship reason they know better than Almighty God and so put their doctrine and practice ahead of the truth of God’s glorious Word. We see this occurring in so many different arenas of study, from origins to textual criticism, this esteem of man’s wisdom and scholarship has infected the church with much false teaching and damnable heresy, leading to perfidious apostasy. It is astounding that men greatly esteemed in the church have put their confidence in human scholarship rather than the Holy Word of God. This deadly esteem led godly men to give way to Satan’s lies with the result that these lies have infected the church and led to many turning from the truth and weakening the witness of the church in this world. It is this esteem of man’s wisdom that keeps many from unreservedly exhibiting confidence in God’s Holy Word. This lack of confidence has crippled the church’s witness to the world and destroyed the preserving power of God’s truth.
I receive not honor from men. (42) But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. (43) I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (44) How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only? (45) Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. (46) For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. (47) But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words? John 5:41-47
And so we see the digression that led to the acceptance of textual criticism, it first started with unbelief in God’s Word, specifically the writings of Moses. Genesis gives the record of the Creation of the world and every living creature, yet godly men collapsed before the supposed scholarship of their day and accepted the lies that Satan sent from the pit of hell. These men were more concerned for their own honor with these esteemed scholars, than the honor that comes from the Only Living God. The names of the men who caved before evolution will shock many of you, they shocked me. These men who helped to pave the way for the advent of textual criticism into the mainstream of the church did so by giving way to Darwinian evolution, men like Pink, Spurgeon, Hodges, Warfield, Schofield, Machen, Schafer, and Barnhouse. It is indeed sad to recount these names of godly men who didn’t stand faithful and true to the revelation of God’s Holy Word given in the Book of Genesis. Our stand upon the testimony of the Holy Scriptures is indeed a work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds. We must always place our confidence in God’s Word and never be beguiled by the supposed scholarship of fallen men.
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou might be justified in thy sayings, and might overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:4
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. (43) Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word. (44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (45) And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not. (46) Which of you convinces Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me? (47) He that is of God hears God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. John 8:42-47
Loving Jesus Christ means we love His Word and believe it. Jesus Christ makes it very clear that belief in Him, loving Him, means that we can hear His Word. If we do not love Him then we will not hear His Word. This is the case with the textual critics, who put their scholarship above the Holy Word of God. The do not love the Lord Jesus Christ and so reject His Holy Word. They are of their father the devil and they do the works of the devil. Their work is apostate because they are unregenerate, never having repented of their sin and putting their faith in Jesus Christ. It is a tragedy of epic proportions that men of considerable influence within the Christian church not only accepted the textual criticism of Westcott and Hort, but promoted it. Men like B. B. Warfield and A. T. Robinson were culpable for the spread of this false teaching within the visible church because they esteemed the scholarship. They gave way to these false teachers rather than standing faithful to the Word of God. Their legacy is a church that is in disarray, following myriads of false teachers because their confidence in the Word of God has been undermined by “Christian” scholarship that asserts the Scriptures to be the infallible, inspired, inerrant Word of God in the original manuscripts, and oh, by the way, we do not have extant the original manuscripts. They are in effect saying we do not have God’s Word available to the church today, some even go so far as to say that we may never know for sure the Word of God. They gainsay what God has clearly declared in His Holy Word.
He is the LORD our God: His judgments are in all the earth. (8) He hath remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations. (9) Which covenant He made with Abraham, and His oath unto Isaac; (10) And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Psalm 105:7-10
Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (90) Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abides. Psalm 119:89-90
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endures forever. Psalm 119:160
Beloved, our responsibility is to Christ Jesus and Him alone. If we know and love Him, then we will know, love and obey His Holy Word. This proves our love for Him. My great concern is what sort of testimony did the so-called great men of the modern church leave regarding their estimation of God’s Word. Sadly, they were caught in the snare and trap of scholarolatry. May we listen to our God, esteem Him and believe His Holy Word. Amen!
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. (24) He that loves Me not keeps not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me. (25) These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. (26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:23-26
Lord Jesus Christ, we love You and desire to obey You by believing what You have taught us in Your Holy Word the Bible. Thank You for giving us Your glorious Word and preserving it for us for Your praise and glory and the strengthening of our faith. Amen!
These supporting links give the references regarding the men within the church who caved to the false teachings of evolution and textual criticism.
As pointed out to me by my sister Maria, the article which reveals that leading 19th and 20th century evangelicals believed in evolution, does not have citations, below are articles with give citation for their beliefs. My apologies for not checking into the documentation for the men that were listed by Dr. Elliott. It appears he was wrong about Chafer. I purposefully linked to articles that are either original (Pink) or that support the doctrine of Creation set forth in Genesis.
This link documents what Spurgeon, Hodge, Scofield and Chalmers believed about the record in Genesis and its relevance to long geological epochs.
Next is the link to document Pink’s view of Creation, note well the opening paragraph.
This following article documents fundamentalists who believed in theistic evolution including B. B. Warfield
Link illustrating Mechan’s belief in an old earth:
Donald Grey Barnhouse championed the age gap theory of Chalmers as can be seen in his book The Invisible War.
I could not find any documentation that links Lewis Sperry Chafer with any belief in evolution. It appears that he determinedly denounced it! Here are links to good articles about the various compromises evangelical leaders have embraced and their insufficiency in regards to reconciling the biblical account of Creation with evolution. It cannot be done.