Thursday, May 05, 2005

"Enlisting in a Warfare"

May is graduation month, and all over the country young men and women will hear commencement addresses that will send them on their way out into the world. In his column today, World Magazine Editor Marvin Olasky shares the words of J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), who was . . . the commencement speaker at Virginia's Hampden-Sydney College on June 9, 1929. I encourage you to click the link and read it. Even 76 years later, I believe it still sums up what all of us, graduates or full-fledged adults, face as Christians in the world today.

Olasky reports that Machen, who was soon to be run off by theological liberals at Princeton Theological Seminary and would then be led to start Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, began his speech by saying, "It is a serious step, in these days, even from the worldly point of view, to become a Christian. . . . The man who today enters upon the Christian life is enlisting in a warfare against the whole current of the age."


At Thursday, May 05, 2005 5:29:00 PM, Anonymous Alexander Samuels said...

Machen was afraid (in 1929) that the church would compromise with the trends of the world rather than maintaining itself on the solid ground of the Scriptures. Afterall, it is easier to get new members if you accomodate your beliefs and worship style to whatever happens to be popular in the secular world today. Machen knew people. People want to be popular. It has become increasingly difficult for the Christian to make a stand for Christ and still be popular - even among fellow Christians. J. Gresham Machen would not be surprised by the level of compromise he would find in most of the churches today. He would, however, offer that same ray of hope he offered those graduates on June 9, 1929: "Read the Gospels. Read the Gospels . . ."


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