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    Whenever there is a change of pastors, in one of the Lord's churches, there arise many temptations to confront both shepherd and flock. With the increased rate of "turn-overs" during the past few months, I believe a word of caution is in order. Alertness to the temptation of the devil should cause one to be on guard against it.
    It is easy for God's people to get attached to a personable pastor -- AS A MAN. If he is suddenly moved to another field they are crushed -- feeling themselves to have suffered an irreparable loss. If the move is due to "friction", with a part of the church, it is easy for those who were "loyal" to become hardened by resentfulness -- thus, complicating the healing process, which the Lord always undertakes in behalf of His body. How much better it would be if, at such a time, EVERY MEMBER would recognize the utter wretchedness of the body when its members cease to function as a whole. Far too often, however, there arises a carnal rivalry to see which "party" can succeed in securing a new shepherd who will recognize their "righteous CAUSE" and, with staff in hand,

"wallop" those other folks back into line.
    May God have mercy on any man whom the Holy Spirit sets in such a situation! He will need wisdom exceeding that of Solomon. He cannot afford to forget Whose servant he is; nor whose flock he tends. And he must remember that it is his responsibility to love and tend the WHOLE flock -- a task that is sometimes complicated by a devilish "suspicion" that he may favor "the other side".
    Any man of God who foolishly attempts to solidify his own position in a new pastorate by "debunking" the previous pastor invites disaster. On the other hand, one who imagines that he can "soothe by flattery" of the former shepherd might just as reasonably try making love to a tornado. Christ alone can heal the wounds of division; the sooner the hearts and minds of ALL are turned toward Him the better it will be for all concerned.
    On the other hand, the man of God who resigns and leaves a pastorate must NOT abandon his sense of responsibility. If it be God's will for him to leave a pastorate, then that is exactly what he ought to do. But he OUGHT to do it RESPONSIBLY. If his ministry, on the one hand,

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

is clearly "finished" (so that he feels he can no longer pastor the church), then he must never permit the members of that church to regard him as their "leader" hindering their acceptance of, and submission to, the leadership of him whom the Holy Spirit has placed over them. But this is not the only temptation confronting a former pastor.
    The man of God who resigns a pastorate and immediately begins to castigate and condemn the flock, over which the Holy Spirit once made him overseer, certainly does not, thereby, speak well of his own ministry among that people! How infinitely MUCH BETTER (even if one feels himself mistreated) it would be to leave judgment and vengeance to Him "whose right it is"!
    May divine grace, mercy and peace be with those whose responsibility it is to lead God's sheep. And may every flock prosper as it accepts and follows God's "order". -- E.G.


    During the past few months several inquiries have been made concerning the possibility of my supplying Study Materials for the use of various church groups. Several churches, and Sunday Schools, have previously made use of my "Outline Studies in the Covenants", "The Holy spirit's Ministry in the Church", and "Israel, the Church, and Christ's Return". To each inquirer I have sadly replied that there is nothing more available.
    It is NOT that there are no more lessons PREPARED. The fact is that I have several SERIES of lessons prepared and ready for printing. Literally THOUSANDS OF HOURS have gone into their study and preparation. However, there is a limit to what one individual is ABLE to do -- as much as he would like to meet all the needs of his brethren, I do not have the equipment necessary for preparing the copy (type) needed to produce such material in an acceptable form -- else it would already be available. Nor do I have the finances available to hire the work done.
    Never have I asked my brethren for ANYTHING, for myself. NOR WILL I. But, should some able brother (or a number of brethren) think it worthwhile to provide a means of type composition; then I would do all within my power to use it for the glory of God -- providing "true to the Scriptures" materials for teaching aids, to the best of my ability.
-- Eugene L. Garner

(by Michael T. Rogers)

    A basic statement of The Gap Theory (there may be minor variations in each individual's espousal thereof) is as follows:
    Between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is an enormous "skip" in the Biblical record, lasting as long as 5 or 6 billion years or possibly even much longer. During these eons of time, the earth or creation was "originally perfect". The climate was superior, the earth extremely fertile, vegetation massive, abundant and infinitely variegated. animal life was on the average much larger and species more numerous. A race of gigantic pre-Adamite men inhabited the earth, and the whole material creation was subject to the archangel, Lucifer.
    Then one day Lucifer rebelled against God -- perhaps in part because he heard that God was going to create Adam and put him in charge of the earth. Lucifer was judged and cast from heaven to earth where his impact and subsequent destructiveness plunged the earth into a global cataclysm, causing it to "become" without form and void while engulfing it in water and darkness.
    God then, after an unknown period, reconstructed the earth in six days, (Genesis l:2b-31).
    Like all error, a gap theory of some form has been put forward off and on for centuries. However, The Gap Theory in its present form was first popularized by the Scotsman, Dr. Thomas Chalmers, of Edinburgh University, in 1814. It was further elaborated by George H. Pember

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in 1876, in his book Earth's Earliest Ages, then enormously advertised in the footnotes of the Scofield Reference Bible beginning in 1917.
    Why this compulsion to insert a blank, spanning as much as 99.9 per cent of the earth's entire history, into a passage purporting to describe the earth's origin and history? Dr. Chalmers did so in an attempt to incorporate Georges Cuvier's concepts of geologic ages and catastrophismn into a Biblical framework.
    It is a sad phenomenon, this readiness of "theologians" to meet atheistic theorists and philosophers halfway with an accommodating hypothesis or gap (or nolo contend ere) on the grounds that "the Bible is a spiritual book, not a textbook of Science".
    Surely it is obvious that such attempts are in fact the first steps of compromise which lead consistently to the next, "The first chapters of Genesis are simply beautiful, metaphorical allegory or poem"; and the next, "theistic evolution"; and finally, "God is the product of man's mystical tendencies".
    Beware of selling the Bible short by riddling it with gaps. The Bible remains fresh, contemporary, powerful and complete -- while the highway of scientism is a strewn graveyard of once-popular "facts".
  EDITOR'S NOTE: While Bro. Roger's statement may not exactly state the particular variation of The Gap Theory held by some, it raises some important questions. I await the next article.

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    Writing under a cute, but cowardly, pseudonym the editor of a Baptist paper published in Washington, Illinois recently opened PHASE II of a pseudo - Christian, hyper - Calvinistic promotion of Reformation Theology among Missionary Baptists in Illinois.
    In this most recent affrontery to the Word of God, and the faith of our fathers, it is proposed that: "God does not LOVE every single, solitary, person in the world". If the writer is, indeed, "just wonderin'"; if he is REALLY searching for an answer to his spiritual and intellectual perplexities, there MAY BE some hope. But the editor's careless publication of his doubts has already sown seeds of misgivings, confusion, and heresy that will be scattered abroad to hinder the march of truth until the very consummation of the age, when he will have to face it in judgment, (2 Cor. 5:10).
    Someone has said "any fool can ask more questions than 13 wise men can ever answer to his satisfaction". But the Washington editor is no "intellectual" fool. A seminary graduate, professor, and president, he has taught many young men various "principles" of Biblical Interpretation that are blatantly violated in the above mentioned article. When one selects isolated texts, and interprets them "privately" (2 Pet. 1:21), in an effort to destroy the concept of divine love (expressed in Jn. 3:16) that has been held by the plurality

of our Christian fathers for 1900 years, it is not unreasonable that others question his integrity.
    Such "streaking for attention" as lays a barrage of "why's" concerning the "motivation of God" (in doing, or saying, what He has) may overwhelm the unsuspecting, the unlearned, or those who assume the scribe to be incapable of evil. But it poses no serious problem, or perplexity, for one who is not attempting to lay a foundation from which to proclaim a "LIMITED ATONEMENT"! (Watch for that next -- in the Washington editor's PHASE III.)
    Lest I be charged, as usual, with "resorting to a personal attack" (which I AM NOT), or attempting to "influence the churches of the Illinois Baptist State Association" (which I MOST ASSUREDLY AM!), let me summarize and answer the perplexities of "J.W.W.". He wonders: If God LOVES EVERYBODY, how is it that He is said to "hate" the workers of iniquity, false witnesses, sowers of discord, etc.? How is it that some are an "abomination" to Him? and that others are objects of His wrath, destruction or laughter?
    Now, personally, I detest this attempt of men to put the Most High God through can Inquisition by proxy -- to pull Him down on the human level. I reject the system of theology that requires God to REACT emotionally -- holding such self- contradictory characteristics as are so often found in men. And Biblical writers NEVER DO THIS! It is when men attempt to "humanize" God that their perplexities multiply.
    Does the Doctor/editor, indeed, know HIMSELF to be an object of Di-

vine LOVE? Can it be that he was "immaculately conceived"? and so marvelously preserved from sin as to DESERVE this love? Did I forget TOTAL HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY? No, it just seemed to me that someone else might have forgotten.
Now, really, all of us know that the Doctor himself was "shapen in iniquity" and conceived in sin. Does not this make him a SINNER, by nature? A WICKED sinner'? (A righteous sinner? or a neutral sinner?) If a "wicked sinner", was not salvation FAR FROM HIM? Was God Angry with him? Did this make it impossible for HIM to be saved? Was he saved without being the object of God's LOVE? If God bestowed His love on HIM, while withholding it from PART OF THE WICKED (and surely he will find a Scripture which sets forth the "principle" upon which he bases his hope), did this make God a "respecter of persons"? Or is he being presumptuous to CLAIM God's love? The philosophy advocated by J.W.W. becomes so self-contradictory as to be absurd -- unworthy the consideration of sane men.)
    But more questions arise: Is adultery serious enough to be called "iniquity"? What about murder? Did God love DAVID? And Saul of Tarsus? Before their sin? During their sin? Before their repentance? When DID He cease loving either of them? And what about the covenant nation as the object of His undying love? He despised their feasts. Their sacrifices were abominable to Him. In His wrath He cut them off from the covenant fellowship; but WHERE is the passage that even HINTS at the cessation of His

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LOVE? (We might even get a lengthy article explaining all that.)
    Well, what about the isolated passages that are arrayed against the common understanding of John 3:16, and a multitude of other passages which indicate the universality of Divine Love? An instructor in Biblical Hermeneutics (which the Doctor has been) normally explains in detail the many 'figures" of speech that are used in the Bible. (A person is sometimes said to be the "son" of whatever he practices. Or, a city is sometimes used for its inhabitants.) So, God is pictured as "hating" the wicked. One who interprets his figures by the general tenor of the Word readily understands that it is the "wickedness" itself, or the attitude of wickedness (NOT the person, who is made in the image of God) that is in view.
    When it is written: "Jacob have I LOVED, and Esau have I HATED", a person with one iota of spiritual discernment may see FROM THE CONTEXT that it has NO reference to God's merciful offer of saving grace; rather it refers to His sovereign right to SELECT one as an instrument of service (for the fulfilling of His covenant purpose) while REJECTING the other.
    God HATES sin -- of thought, attitude or deed. Yet, He LOVES THE SINNER! It was through DIVINE LOVE, commended toward us sinners (and enemies), that Jesus suffered and died on Calvary, (Rom 6:8, 10).
    That the LOVE of God, as set forth in John 3:16, is UNIVERSAL in its broad outreach IS EVIDENT: (1)

in that Jesus "tasted death for EVERY MAN; (2) in that He commanded His church to preach the good news "to EVERY CREATURE; and (3) in that Paul declared it to be God's desire that "ALL MEN" should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth".
    NOTE~ This editor has gone to great lengths to show himself a friend, and brother, to the Washington Editor since the arrival of the latter in Illinois. We have enjoyed some good times of fellowship together; and I hope that it can be possible for us to do so in the future. However, I reserve the right to challenge, in public or in print, any more of this silly Reformation Theology that he may attempt to "sell" to the brethren and churches that I love so dearly in this area. -- Eugene L. Garner

    To the careful student of the Scriptures it is evident that God loves His own children in a way He does NOT love the whole of creation. A "special" love reaches out to those who walk in the sphere of covenant fellowship; hence the admonition of Jude to "Keep yourselves in the love of God", (Jude 21). And Jesus Himself spoke of "abiding" in the Father's love through keeping His commandments, (John l5:10). This does NOT, however, disprove the universality of Divine Love -- only the limitation of a particular KIND of that love.
    Divine love is many-faceted. The loving provision of God for the salvation of sinners is broad enough to cover ALL MEN. The Son of God tasted death "for EVERY man" and gave Himself a "ransom FOR ALL", (Heb. 2:9; I Tim. 2:6). God's deep concern for the salvation of sinners is stated both positively and negatively in the Scriptures. He desires that all men should be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth, (1 Tim. 2:4); nor is He willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).
    Motivated only by Love, God gave His own Dear son to die for undeserving, ungodly, unlovely, unholy, wicked sinners -- and enemies. Such amazing, unmerited love reaches even to you and me!
    Love so amazing, so divine; demands my soul -- my life -- my ALL! Surely we ought to love, worship, serve and praise Him who has manifested such condescending LOVE. EG