Cled E. Wallace
Sects are about as numerous as were gods in Athens when Paul strolled its streets. Some of them are cold and formal hangovers from enthusiastic movements of the past, the forms remaining, the power all gone. Modernism has played havoc with many of the creeds and the effects resemble sleeping sickness. There is evidence that rationalism has been more benefited by this operation than has the cause of true religion. The masses have become confused or stupefied and are not ready
subjects for the pure gospel as it is revealed in the New Testament. It is hard to get them to listen and harder to get them to heed. Even so, the cause of truth moves forward. The gospel
is winning its victories here and there.
A modern reaction to modernism is stranger than modernism itself. Fanatical groups have sprung up everywhere and one can only wonder at the names they bear and the emotional excesses they practice. They are not to be reasoned with, even from the scriptures, for they have a feeling somewhere down in the general neighborhood of where they digest their food that gives them all the assurance they want. Some of them have not a doubt that they can reproduce the miracles and gifts of the Spirit we read about in the New Testament. The absence of objective testimony to support their claims does not seem to embarrass them for they are intoxicated on subjective experience.
They claim to devoutly believe the Bible, but why they need one, or want one, if their claims are conceded, I do not know.
Some of these modern claimants to miraculous powers are somewhat waspy. I had a long letter from one following a sermon I preached on the mission and work of the Holy Spirit. He wrote a very good hand, quoted and misapplied scriptures fluently. He was obviously not in a sweet humor as he called
me a deceiver, a blasphemer, a falsifier and a dog and cited sundry scripture quotations with the obvious intent to prove his personal charges. I inferred that he could speak in tongues but noticed that he misspelled the word “evangilist.” Possibly the modern gifts of the Spirit should include spelling as well as interpretation, or else the recipients should confine themselves to vocal activities. Then their rhetoric would betray them. The modern subjects on whom the Spirit is said to be prodigal in the bestowment of his gifts should arouse suspicion—and they do when they either write or talk.