Fear of Simple Belief
In a talk at the late Keswick Convention, Dr. A. T. Pierson called attention in the following words to a most alarming state of things in the Christian church, and its cause:—
“There is no more awful apathy, than that which exists with regard to doubt. I was born in 1837, and I have seen grow up a most amazing and colossal fabric of infidelity in the Church of God, and it almost seems as though the people are apathetic and lethargic with regard to it. Christ outlined the whole history of modern criticism when He said, ‘If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; but if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My sayings?’ They began by assaulting the authenticity of the writings of Moses; they then assaulted the words of the Prophets; and they then assaulted those of Jesus Christ. Now they are not persuaded that He rose from the dead. You have the whole history of all this opposition unveiled in the warnings of Jesus Christ. In my youth a man would not have been tolerated in the Church as a layman who held doctrines now taught by professors in theological seminaries. Apathy about doubt is one of the most awful signs of decadence in the Church of God.”
A premium has in these last days been set upon doubt, and most people seem to fear nothing so much as simple belief. This is the working of the so-called Higher Criticism, which, however “high” it may begin, invariably tends downward.