THE DANGERS OF VIDEO
MUST WE COMPROMISE TO EVANGELIZE
By: Daniel Mena
The chilly breeze of compromise can be felt in this the “Time of the shaking”, Heb. 12:27. when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, but that which cannot will stand. The sly voice of the devil says to the church, “You can win a lot more souls to God if you will just use my TELEVISION to do it”. It has the same tune as the offer he made to Jesus when he said, “All these things will I give to you if you will bow down and worship me”.
Satan, like the Greek army has been trying to invade the Jesus Name Pentecostal Movement (City Of Troy), with TELEVISION for years. Thanks be to God, there has been fearless, firm, stalwart, consecrated men of
God who locked the gates, filled their quivers, grabbed their sword and stood on the walls giving their blood sweat and tears to keep out the enemy. Now the enemy is trying another trick. The big GIFT HORSE
of BIG TIME – MASS EVANGELISM has been pulled to our gates from the Osborn, A.A. Allen, Oral Roberts era, and has been proclaimed to be the answer to all our problems, I am not against winning souls but hidden inside this BIG GIFT HORSE is an enemy called TELEVISION, the enemy we have been fighting against for years, the enemy Satan has been trying to destroy us with for years. Are we not tall enough spiritually; are we not sensitive enough to the Holy Ghost to discern this? Are we so naive as to not realize once we open the gate to this enemy, we will never get him out? The time to keep him out is now!!!
It would be totally impossible for a pastor to take up offerings to support a T.V. program, appear on T.V. himself but then command the people not to watch their own church’s program. Moreover, should anyone perchance ever attend his church, who saw it advertised on T.V., they would never agree to destroying the media that brought them to the church in the first place. How in consistent could we possibly be? Can’t you see, you could be on the horns of a dilemma. If Satan can’t get in the front door he will try the back door. We have said NO! to the Devil once and for all. We will not start the avalanche.
The Apostolic Message must have Apostolic Methods. Go ye into all the world. Since when can T.V. cast out devils, lay hands on the sick, discern spirits, Jesus said, sweet water and bitter cannot come out of the same well neither can NUDES and the NEW BIRTH come over the same screen.
The Apostle Paul shook every city he went to and he didn’t have to go on T.V. to do it either. It is time to quit looking for smoother, easier, fool proof, modern methods and get back to the prayer closet, back to travail, sweat, tears, strong crying and believe God for Apostolic Power, Signs, Wonders, Miracles, Healings. Brethren, these are our methods, these are God’s methods.
If we as a movement conquer this enemy of T.V., it will be because each generation of Apostolics produced fearless crusaders who battled against it in every church, every city, state, province, and country of the world. God help us when there arises another generation who knows not the Lord, or when popular opinion brands these crusaders as fanatics from the lunatic fringe and eliminates them from our ranks.
Stand up tall and look at all those who have gone this road and you will see they all ended up in the same junk yard of apostasy.
(The above article appeared in an issue of Gospel Tidings.)
THE CHURCH IN NEED OF EYE SURGERY
By: Elder Bill Yandris
IN REVELATION JESUS SPOKE of the condition of the last seven churches of Asia. Sardis was lifeless; “Thou art dead.” Philadelphia had kept His Word, had not denied His name and was found loyal. She had no “eye problem!” For Laodicea, there was no word of commendation. The condition of this church was
nauseating. It had a disease that was in need of eye surgery. “Anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see” (Rev. 3:18). The lubrication will remove the infection for surgery.
The eye of the church was at one time healthy and single. “The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matt. 6:22, 23), If the eye must be healthy, Jesus said, it must be single.
The presence of disease in a defective eye was found in the church of Laodicea. The first symptom of a diseased eye is action according to human judgment, sight, and reason. For example, you say, “I don’t see anything wrong in…” It’s true; you don’t see! Only a healthy inner eye of the soul can see spiritual truths.
Sin is the cataract that darkens the “eye.” To the law and testimony, if they speak not according to his word it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). There is a danger of closing our eyes to the light. We have an inner organ of perception and illumination, but if it is injured, places appear. When we injure the eye of our moral understanding, these dark places appear in the eye and cause impairment of spiritual eyesight. As long as the eye is undiseased and uninjured, we walk in light, but if the lig t is impaired, we walk in darkness. And we see nothing wrong because at this point, the, spiritual inner eye of the soul will give to the body a faulty vision of things.
We are divided on the issue of television in our ranks today. At one time Psalm 101:3 was seen and read with a single eye: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” The eye was healthy and undiseased (maybe because the movies had not yet made their appearance on the T.V.). There are laymen and ministers both who do not have a television, per se, but own a video substitute. A diseased eye will lead a body into darkness, where it ought not to be. “Anoint thine eyes with eye salve that thou mayest see” (Rev. 3:18). Their eyes of moral understanding have been injured. The eye of the soul is affected by the condition of the heart. Our affection limit and determine our directions. Men fail to see what they do not want to see and are able to see what they want to see because their hearts love it.
This writer states that in 35 years of serving the Lord, there has never been a desire to watch television or allow it to lure and attract the flesh. But we will confess that if one willfully gives into television, the flesh would love it because it associates with the carnal man.
Many people see nothing wrong with viewing selected programs because of so called “knob control.” This may lead to double vision, such as being in the church and in the world at the same time. At this point the eye becomes dim; the candle of the soul will soon be put out. The brightness of His glory will be unseen. The Supreme Light will be unable to give light to your soul because darkness will put it out in time. Television, in time, will put your eyes out. “We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at the noonday as in the night. We are in desolate places as dead men” (Isa. 59:10). That’s the, result of a diseased organ of sight. Has the, church lost its eye because disease? Is the church in need of eye surgery?
The question arises: why is it that some Holy Ghost-filled people condemn only some aspects of television, while others condemn it totally. Many don’t own a television–but watch it elsewhere! Why do not all the Holy Ghost-filled people see the danger of television, religious movies, and video? Why are we so divided on this issue? Is there more than one Bible Interpretation? If we all ourselves the United Pentecostal Church, what are we united on? Is the television issue Unimportant? What does the Bible really say about the eye and the lust of the eye? Plenty!
Many of the UPC brethren and ministers were convicted and convinced at one time that all movies in any form were wrong. I John 2:15-17 was the word that gave the conviction, (the lust of the eyes and the pride of life). What happened to that conviction? It is gone– but why? “Woe unto them that are wise in their own sight” (Isa. 5:21). Why was television wrong then–but right now? What makes it right? Where did the change come and what caused it?
Video tapes and video games (a TV substitute) are America’s newest addiction. Video is a terrifying new weapon: first it controls your mind, then it destroys your eyes and body. Since the devil couldn’t at first succeed in getting television into the ranks over the years, he is working on a substitute. His plan is to take the same box, dress it up with religious garb, “sanctify” it with a religious screen and call it video. The devil knows that the eye will get weak if eye salve is not applied. The Lord put the church in the world, but it appears the devil is trying to put the world in the church. The video cameras are now up front in some of our own home services and conventions. We do not frown on this substitute because the eye has become weak and in need of an examination.
The denominal world is aware that the United Pentecostal ministers and brethren took a stand against any form of movie from the beginning. But now, oh weak brother and minister, listen to the reply of the lost
world: “Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us?” The reply of the religious world to the brother and minister who view selected religious movies on a video cassette is, “We do too–we control the knob too.”
The TV box and the video box are kin. They both have the same appearance–evil. The initial symptom of a diseased eye is acting according to sight and reason: “I don’t see anything wrong with selected religious tapes and movies.” It’s true–you don’t see. Cataracts have darkened the diseased eye. There is a special eye salve found in I Thessalonians 5:22: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Apply it daily, especially at night. If the directions are not followed carefully, there is a danger that the church will lose its eyesight, so says the chief surgeon in Galatians 2:18: “For if I build the thing which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor,”
The contention with many, usually runs along these lines: “I don’t have a TV, and the movies and entertainment on it is unbecoming for a Christian to watch, but are religious movies wrong?” At this point,
they will slip into their home a substitute–the video monitor with selected cassettes of their church services. If they’re bored with that they can purchase tapes of religious TV programs such as the PTL Club, or the 700 Club. After they have been enticed so far, they will be bound up and afflicted like Samson!
Samson had an eye disease but it was too late for eye surgery. He was overtaken and had his eyes put out (Judges 16:20, 21). Watch out, brother and minister, when you put your head on Delilah’s lap and look
into her eyes. You will forget the time. October will roll along and you will be busy viewing the world series (on cassette, or cable) or the Dallas Cowboys vs the Los Angeles Raiders.
There is another eye disease that is very contagious and is spreading fast among the churches like ringworm–religious movies, or the so- called modern tool of evangelism.
Religious movies like “Rapture!” will certainly draw the crowds on a Sunday night, it will be appealing to the eye and stirring to the emotions. The people would rather see the movie than hear the preaching of the coming of the Lord by an anointed preacher, it’s true that they will be affected emotionally by the movie, but remember, the conviction and drawing power that comes only through preaching is still God’s only method today. There may come a day when movies will out-do preaching. The minister may not have to preach and study the Word any longer because the crowd will come to see the movie that has taken the
place of preaching. People generally love movies in any form, thanks to the influence of television.
Church, it’s time for an eye examination before the cataracts of sin lead to a need for eye surgery. “Examine
yourselves to see whether you be in the faith.” “Anoint thine eyes with eye salve that thou mayest see.”
(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)
HOLLYWOOD’S TROJAN HORSE
By: William B. Chalfant
HOLLYWOOD SPIRITS HAVE BEEN successful in promoting a worldwide movie and television industry. This multi-billion dollar hydra is American in origin.
The sprawling tentacles of this spiritual octopus of Hollywood reach into every aspect of modern life. Not only do the moguls and minions of this vast industry exercise cultural and political influence, but they now overshadow the religious world of the Canaanites around us. Indeed, they have come to the foot of Mount Zion itself.
During the “born again” craze of the 1970’s when it became fashionable for celebrities to profess a new found experience in “Christianity”, it became inevitable that pseudo– religious movies and television would become a lucrative business.
Religious movies may well be the most dangerous; thing to invade Apostolic sanctuaries since the “Latter Rain” fizzled out. Hear me out and then decide for yourself.
The initial onslaught of the Hollywood spirits began in the early 1970’s when certain stars attempted to push television as a magic way to reach the lost. They were following the methodology of the denominational world. The catch was that we had to partake of the poison fountain of T.V. In order to use it. And now along come television’s blood cousin.
Many fine individuals in their innocency and desire for Endtime revival have embraced Hollywood’s Trojan Horse-dropped in our laps by the church world.
The Trojan horse, you may recall, was a “gift” left at the gates of besieged Troy by the ancient Greeks, who had supposedly given up and gone. The Trojans grabbed the huge wooden horse, and wheeled it into the city that night. In the morning, to their dismay, soldiers hidden in the horse had opened the, gates, and in poured the Greeks. Troy fell.
The late John Rice made a stand against all movies back in 1938. In What is Wrong With The Movies. The old Baptist wrote, “If Clark Gable were to play the part of the apostle Paul, Christians should not go to see him. If he lived in your town and taught a Sunday school class, living the way he does, you surely would not want your son to attend the class. The personal influence of moving–picture stars is usually deadly.”
Old Dr. Rice might as well have spoken to the walls. It was the
Baptist Billy Graham organization in the 1970’s which produced the
religious movies which were to gain wide acceptance in the church
Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place was a super hit crossing denominational barriers, and glorifying the ecumenical spirit. As did Assembly of God’s The Cross and The Switchblade, starring Hollywood’s Pat Boone.
With the resurgence of church world interest in prophecy, Baptist Hal Lindsy’s The Late, Great Planet Earth hit the silver screen, with a host of doomsday movies, A Thief In The Night, Image of the Beast, The
Prodigal Planet, Years of The Beast, etc.
The church world found a drawing card to replace dead, dull, boring preaching: religious movies!
Rice wrote, “Even an animated cartoon like Snow White…will do great harm. Those who attend the so-called good pictures will later attend others, just as ‘moderate’ drinkers make drunkards”.
The Hollywood religious movie has sure given birth to Satan’s greatest deception in its national movies. Films such as Quo Vadis, The King of Kings, The Robe, The Ten Commandments, etc., were worldly productions, portraying Christ as a limp-wristed, long-haired effeminate with a spaced-out look, contrary to Scripture. Church world films are also full of such unscriptualness and deceit.
These movies should not be used as meat for little lambs or even sinners. The are made by sinners and acted out by sinners. Our fathers preached that we should not see such movies at the local theater. Why
are they now being shown in our sanctuaries?
It is a shame that in some areas, the unlettered, rawboned brother, who calls a spade a spade-not welcome in some pulpits-is shunted aside to make way for Pat Boone and other charismatics to preach their sweet
poison on the silver screen. The ones that Pay saves shall make fine Apostolic charismatics.
This flirtation with movies is grieving the sweet spirit of God, and mocking our Pentecostal fathers who preached against movies. We are warned against setting any wicked thing before our eyes Psalms 101:3,
and told to avoid all appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22). False doctrine and worldliness displayed as Christianity is wicked. The spirits of these films will go into our dear lambs.
Would Peter watch A Distant Thunder? Would Paul sit through the mockery of those without the Holy Ghost going up in the catching up of the saints? Those who worship the unholy Trinity minister unto those
who know the True God? Shall the blind lead those who now see? Let the blind lead the blind. Leave them alone, Jesus said. Why show their movies in the house of God?
There is a vast difference between films and still slides. Slides are not associated with Hollywood and T.V. Motion pictures can hypnotize and overcome viewers, as those who saw The Exorcist testified. Movies
and T.V. can incorporate subliminal projection, which can place thoughts in the mind of the viewer without his even knowing it.
Where will religious movies take us? Back to the theater they came from. New converts will see no wrong in going to the theater to see what they see in God’s house: They will not give up their T.V. when they can see the same “Christian” films on CBS that the dear pastor shows in church.
(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)
DEAR BRO. BERNARD
By Rev. Greg Riggen
Dear Bro. Bernard:
I am writing in regard to your recent article, “Video Technology and Biblical Holiness,” which appeared in the April-June issue of the Forward magazine. I always enjoyed your articles and books, and have considered you one of the foremost writers in our fellowship. Your recent article, however, caused great concern.
I want you to know that the things I am about to say are not an attack upon your person. Rather, they are a sincere appeal for you to reconsider some of the things you wrote. I found some of your article to be misleading and even, at times, self-contradictory. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to bring these things to your attention.
To begin with, you repeatedly referred to video technology as “morally neutral,” and said that to argue that “a universal ban of a neutral thing is necessary to prevent offense, then (one) thereby admits that the entire church is spiritually weak and immature.” Tell me, is the technology of television sinful? Of course not! If, then, T.V. is technologically neutral, have we made such an admission by “universally banning” television?
As with television, the question concerning video obviously has nothing to do with technology. It is, as you so aptly stated, “how things are used or what they represent.” If your statistics are correct and twenty-five to fifty percent “of all video cassettes sold or rented in the U.S. today are X-rated,” just what does video
represent? I wonder what the percentage would be if R-rated films were included? Surely it would not be stretching it to say at least seventy-five percent. If, then, one-half to two-thirds of the use of a device represents immorality, is it not safe to say there is much more harm than good? Is it not safe to say that “video is “intimately associated with evil in our society”, and should, therefore, be “shunned”? Is it “clear to all” that we do not use it in an evil manner? When someone enters the home of Pentecostal who owns a
VCR, do they know it is being used in a “harmless” way? If video is not “associated with evil in our society,” how is it that Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary defines “video” as: “of or pertaining to television”?
You went on to say that “in order to avoid temptation to watch player so it cannot receive television channels.” I think you would have to agree that the question on any holiness standard is not what the “user” can do, but what he will do! Furthermore, I have yet to understand how so many of our ministers can use a television to view video films when our manual plainly states, “No minister having television in his or her home (not “watching television,” but having one shall be permitted to hold license or credentials with the United Pentecostal Church.” The manual nowhere makes an exception for owning a television to view video films. While the “Video Resolution” permits the use of video players which are able to receive television channels, it does not say that this applies to ministers, thus negating the aforementioned rule. It
must be legally supposed that the latter resolution refers to use by constituents, and not ministers.
In dealing with Romans 14, your views were not always the best interpretation of the original context. To begin with, Romans 14:1 obviously does not mean we are not to “bring division” over issues as vitally important as this one. The same apostle who wrote Romans 14:1 also wrote Galatians 2:11, in which
he said, “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” No, we should not “let our different opinions..bring about dissension (and) strife,” but there was an obvious division between Peter and Paul as Martin Luther once stated, “Peace, if possible, but the truth at
While on the subject of division, let my point out that you seem to overlook the fact that any division caused between right and wrong is not caused by those who are right, I but rather by those who are wrong! It is the one who departs from the right who brings about the strife and division, not the one who stands
Your definition of the Greek word “pookoppa” or “offense,” is accurate. However, you fail to mention the fact that video has indeed “offended” or “caused to stumble” many brethren to date. I could not begin to count the number of ministers and laymen who have testified to the fact that the introduction of video
into their home ultimately resulted in the viewing of R-or X-rated films! As a matter of fact, one of our ministers has stated that he found statistics showing that ninety percent of everyone (Pentecostals
included) who purchase videos will watch at least one X-rated film within one year! If that is not “offensive,” what is it? Also, many pastors have now said that the introduction of video into their
churches was the worst mistake they have ever made. They said that once video was accepted, the people made it a natural consequence to turn to television. Their one “television-free” churches are now full
of its deadly poison. The reason: VIDEO.
In your closing comments, you stated that “even a total ban on video will not solve the problem in the hearts of people.” First, you have admitted that there is, indeed, a problem. Second, if a total ban would not solve the problem, how is it supposed that a partial ban, such as we now have, will do any good solving it?
On the use of-the word “liberal,” allow me to point out that it is only considered “derogatory” by those who embrace its philosophy. Funk & Wagnalls defines a liberal as “one having liberal opinions or convictions.” When used as an adjective, it simply means, “not literal or strict.” Perhaps it is not “productive” to use such labels, but one cannot truthfully say it is not accurate.
Your article was entitled “Video Technology and Biblical Holiness.” While the subject of video technology was thoroughly discussed, I do not feel that “Biblical Holiness,” as it relates to the subject at hand, was adequately addressed. I hope that the explanations herein set forth show you that “video” and “holiness” are worlds apart.
Again let me say that this letter has in no way been an attack upon your person, or any one else’s. I just did not feel that those of us who preach “abstention” should be so misrepresented. I pray that it was not intentional.
Thank you for your time. I sincerely pray that God will grant you manifold blessings as you continue your fruitful ministry for Him. May God richly bless you and yours.
Your Servant in Christ, Rev. Greg Riggen
(The above letter appeared in the September-November 1896 issue of The Apostolic Contender.)
DON’T BE ASHAMED TO FIGHT FOR RIGHT
“But thou, O man of God… Follow after righteousness, godliness,…fight the good fight of faith…whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession among many witnesses” (I Timothy 6:11,12).
The United Pentecostal Church prints a number of official publications. The “Forward”, one of these publications is directed to the ministers of the organizations. Among its founding principles was that it is to be a forum for our ministerial body to freely discuss points of differences on issues of the day.
Perhaps the greatest issue ever to get inside the doors of U.P.C. preachers’ homes and be given an o.k. by our manual is Video-TV. This is an issue where the strong voices of powerful men of holiness who stand in opposition to this abomination have not been heard. Their message has not reached the pages of the “Forward” or any other of our publications.
It has not been the policy of this paper to fight or strive in a personal manner against those who disagree with our views, but we cannot continue to ignore the need to call our reader’s attention to the one-sided view we have been receiving on the issue of Video.
Video-Tv is but a part of the liberal influence that is now creeping in among us. The shame is, if the cry of strong voices cannot be heard and strong leaders do not act to curtail charismatic liberal modernism, it will swallow up this organization. Modernism is the plague that has destroyed every strong religious organization before us and even now is eroding our basic foundational structure. Men who turn away from truth to embrace charismatic practices are the moderists who destroy the strength of this organization. Here is the true description of the work of a liberal charismatic modernist:
“If Modernism was a separate movement in itself, built its own churches. Launched its own institutions, projected its own denominations, then we could look at it as just another of the many sects that appear on the surface of history. But Modernism itself builds nothing; it is a parasite that grows on institutions already built. The physician tells us that a given virus can multiply and cause disease only when it is within cells. This is a picture of historical Modernism. It grows on the work, the heritage, the sacrifice of the orthodox. The humble disciples of Christ makes the converts, evangelize the fields, build the churches, launch institutions, erect the denominations– –then Modernism destroys the life from within.”
In the fight against modernism, it is hard to understand why godly men will bow at the altars of public and official opinion instead of standing for what they claim to believe. It has become very apparent, as our organization has expanded in sudden growth, that many have grown silent who do not conform or approve liberal, ungodly, methods. Peer pressure and official opinion has brought a fear to express their strong views. But hear this: “If I profess with the loudest voice and cleanest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however bodily I may be professing Christ — were the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be ready on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point” Luther.
There are times a soldier of Jesus Christ has no choice nor right to avoid the dread conflict and still call himself a soldier of the cross. The thick of the battle is our charge. Every God-called preacher is required by Almighty God to sound the alarm against false brethren, false doctrines, and the satanic abominations of the world that would penetrate the church in the guise of new methods of Evangelism.
Video-TV is not neutral. It is marked by the world as satan’s top-tool of pornography. If it is allowed to come into the home of a saint of God or a preacher, it will mark them as a pornography – watching hypocrite even if the set is never turned on. When sinner will plainly acknowledge Video-TV as a pornography machine, it is absurd for some of our men to call this abomination a blessed tool of God to
evangelize the world. It is high time to stand up and be counted as one who cannot be bought out with smooth talk.
In 1955 men stood on the General Conference floor and told of the great advances we could make by using TV as a means to reach the lost. They said Satan’s Boob Tube could be sanctified But “Thank God!” we did not fall for Satan’s Trojan horse. At that conference the Apostle Paul’s words were heeded when he wrote” “All things are lawful but all things are not expedient, ” (This word expedient means suitable to use for the
end in view.) We put TV out because it was an unclean tool, not suitable for the use of the church. Also, because it would have contaminated our homes and destroyed our families while we were trying to use it in an attempt to save the world. It was and still is not suitable for the home of a saint of God because it is an abomination to the world. Video is no different, it is a TV in disguise. Are we going to accept this obvious trojan horse or are we going to put it out the backdoor for the very same reasons that made TV unsuitable for our homes.
Where will you stand when the roll is called? Will it be in the compromise-row of uncertainty or on the battle line? All the arguments in the world (“Why not ban cars, more sensual evil is commit ted in them”) will not make Video-TV acceptable to the Holy God of heaven and therefore to the U.P.C.
The late Clyde J. Haney was one of the strong voices who openly opposed TV in a strong manner in 1955. He aptly describes the sly way Satan gets liberals and modernists to try to throw godly robes of righteousness around his sin-soaked tools to make them acceptable to the unwary. This Bible-tried warrior, who did not get his moral’s out of books but on the battlefield, though dead yet speaks a message to you. I hope you will prayerfully read and heed what this strong, holiness man of God has proclaimed for this
generation in his message on this page entitled “A Cry For Leadership.”
(The above article appeared in the September-November 1986 issue of The Apostolic Contender.)
A CRY FOR STRONG LEADERSHIP
By: The Late Clyde J. Haney
It is always when leadership stands silently by, that the cause of God and the church hangs in the balance. If ever the United Pentecostal Church should cry for leadership that will break the silence of a compromising age and stand for the cause, it is in this momentous hour.
It is estimated that out of the rank and file of humanity only two or three percent are leaders; the rest follow. What will be their destiny? The church does not need segregation strategists on the sin question who specialize in telling how far one can participate in the questionable before he actually sins. These so-called strategists have been the downfall of all holiness movements.
The day came when they decided not to be total abstainers. Leadership let down its hair. They decided the dance wasn’t evil in itself. It was the certain types that were evil. Some were permissible. Thus, today, the dance floor is patronized by many who once looked on such as evil. The deck of cards, so despised by some holiness movements one day was introduced to them as not being evil in themselves. It was the way they were used. Thus Bridge and Solitaire walked into their churches and introduced themselves as a new found friend of the membership. The whiskey bottle so hated by old-time holiness orders, one day was polished up and introduced to men as desirable, if used for a social glass and not to excess. The theater totally abstained from by these same groups-by the same method became no longer evil in itself-all because of weak leadership. It was the kind of pictures they chose to see. On and on the world made its inroad into their ranks.
We quickly respond with a “Thank God, that’s not our church movement.” BUT WAIT! Is not the same technique being used today? Do we not hear men say, “It’s not the instrument that evil. It is the way you twist the dial and the way you segregate the channels.” So in many a Pentecostal home that frowned on the
theater comes the once rejected movies, despite the fact that state textbooks tell us, “Television has endowed children with a worldliness that gives us pause.” Its effect on the cultivated man is just as serious for he is made to submit to programs he doesn’t care for. It is estimated over ninety percent of all commercials are sponsored by the cigarette companies and alcoholic beverage companies, which leaves less than ten percent of all commercials possibly fit to see. Of course the devil never has believed in paying tithes.
When the spirit of God finally leaves these homes, churches, and the children those minds are corrupted, and their souls are finally lost in hell, it will be the watchman who didn’t cry and warn that will have hands dripping with their blood.
In Ezek. 33:6-9 we read, “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand..” Ezekiel was told that God had made him
a watchman unto the people to warn them of their sins and if the man died in his sins unwarned, his blood would be required of him as the watchman.
No true minister can afford to be silent on any issue that allows sin and the world to filter into the lives and homes of God’s true people. Thank God, no minister in the UPC needs to feel he is radical or bringing division if he takes his stand against immodest dress and television. He would not only be standing for Bible standards, but would also be supporting the by-laws and “Articles of Faith” of our organization. Indeed it is those who fail to warn who should have a feeling of condemnation weighing heavily upon their
Oh, man of God, “Is there not a cause?” Cannot we see and hear the Goliath of our day defying the church of God, saying, “Send me a man?” Will the leadership of our day hide in the shadows of neutrality self-complacency and try the technique of being sin segregationist? Will we keep silent in this momentous hour or will we stand beside the heroes like David and Paul?
Paul cried, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Then again, he said, “Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God grant that our ministry of the United Pentecostal Church shall never be guilty of calling the unclean, clean, and the unholy, holy; but may we ever be pronounced in our convictions.
(The above article appeared in the September-November 1986 issue of
The Apostolic Contender.)
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
The devil got real tired one day
Of folks that could resist
The temptation of a T.V. set.
He said, “I’LL win them yet.”
And made a little box with buttons you control.
He said, “Don’t label it a T.V. set.
Just call it video.”
Now you don’t have to wait on T.V. like other folks do.
You can instantly see just what you want on your brand new video.
The sad thing is the bag of tapes he has offered in the choice,
Were all taped off the ol’ boob tube,
Both the pictures and the voice.
Now many of God’s people fell for this real quick,
And became the devil’s prize.
By the time they found out they were fooled,
They liked his big surprise.
Now God’s call for holy living
No longer found them counting
All the sins on ol’ video,
Like on T.V. just kept on mounting.
Satan said, “l tricked them good
With my video from the start,
Another spirit has jumped on them
And they now have a filthy heart.
If I can’t get them one way
I’LL turn and get them two,
You see, I’m a pretty sly ol’ guy,
Now its Hollywood and you.
I never showed you where you’d go
This was my prize invention.
In Hell just watch the video,
That was my only intention.”
(The above poem was adapted from an issue of the America’s Apostolic Newspaper.)
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