Already we have made a rather lengthy appraisal of five articles on the Campus Crusade for Christ in TSB, Vol. 45, pp. 68, 89, 132, 152, 189. But since there are so many other similar organizations, some brief attention may be given them. They are not any more based on the primitive and reformed faith of the church of all ages than the one referred to above, but must be put down as based on the semi-Pelagian and Arminian philosophies. For example, this goes for theYouth-for-Christ movement. Billy Graham (see TSB, Vol. 42, pp. 196, 268, 319, 358, 416, 438, 451, 461 and Vol. 43, pp. 10, 66) was YFC’s first full-time evangelist. The movement boasts of ushering “in a brand-new kind of evangelism.” Its literature and brochures do not clearly define this “evangelism,” merely stating that the evangelists “were ridiculed and criticized” because “some churches felt the men were ‘going too far’ in attempts to attract” crowds. Today, YFC suggests, we smile at those boisterous methods, including the zany ties, loud suits, bizarre programs, novel antics of rally leaders, and the employment of “the extravagant, the clownish, the corny, even the ridiculous.” Much of this flamboyance is gone now, we are informed. Yet programs today run such things as take-offs on TV comedians. Then what is meant by “in-depth evangelism” is anybody’s guess. There is frequent reference to “the Gospel” or “a Gospel” or to being “solidly Bible-based.”
However, the doctrine of “the eternal security of the believer,” which we would call the preservation and the perseverance of the saints, YFC regards (1) as a disputed issue, (2) and a satanic tactic to side-track Christians, because (3) it recognizes opposite (Arminian). views on the subject, (4) adopting the policy not to explain this doctrine, (5) putting “winning souls” and “delight in a wonderful Lord” above this truth, further (6) reasoning that a born again man “has great spiritual security,” “whatever his position on the matter of ‘eternal security.'” In answer to a request to explain this subject and furnish advice on it, YFC youth counselor editor replied, “Satan delights in side-tracking Christians on disputed issues about the Bible. While many folk solidly behind YFC take one view on this subject, others take the opposite view. God honors most those who busy themselves on the one big issue—winning men to Christ and leading them into a life of victory over sin and growth in the knowledge of a wonderful Lord. As you study your Bible, you will find for yourself your own position on this as well as other disputed passages. But don’t make them issues. It takes a lifetime to invest oneself in the cardinal issues of the Word. Whatever his position on the matter of eternal security, the man who is genuinely born again, whose heart and life are fully yielded to the Lord, who walks openly and honestly before him every day of his life, is a man who has great spiritual security.” (YFC Mag., April 1951, p. 63). What a piece of blasphemy under the garb of ultra-piety! Think of one fully yielded to the Lord who may nevertheless believe the falling away of the saints! Think of such a one being honest before God every day of his life! But then, too, what is there in the Bible that is not disputed? What fundamental of the faith is not made by today’s ecclesiastical Babylon a mere side issue? Further, how utterly unfair, and unkind, it is to imply that insisting on this truth (where is there any Good News without it?) is of the devil, i.e., a satanic side-tracking of souls! Then to prate of leading young people to “a life of victory over sin!” What kind of victory is it which has no final perseverance of saints? or does not know whether there is such a thing? What kind of victory is it that possibly may turn into defeat? What is victory without security?
But that doctrine is a “side issue.” God is, rather, honoring those busying themselves with the one big issue of soul-winning. This means that He more honors self-styled soul-winners who deny His great work of infallibly leading the elect to glory! Easily men fall into humanism and modernism’s principle that life’s greatest work is for the advancement of mankind. God honors most the seeking of the greatest good of the greatest number, regardless of Scripture truth. It is also rationalistic subjectivism which makes room for opposite, contradictory views, and which ignores the determining of what is the objective teaching and position of Holy Writ. Then to attribute the inconsistency of such contradictory views to the Holy Spirit will certainly serve to confuse the young mind, to say nothing of the more mature, when it is claimed, We are “standing fast on the facts of the Bible.”
Young Life is another teen-age beamed organization. It is not a church, nor does it substitute for church, but is non-sectarian and interdenominational, “standing in the main-stream of historic Protestantism,” whatever that may mean. “Doctrinal matters that should be properly left to the various churches are avoided.” The movement is international in scope, being found, at least, in Germany, France, Switzerland and Brazil. It seems to be primarily a Christian social welfare, Bible club and summer camp organization. Its goal is to bring the Christian faith to young people, to reach people with the truth about Jesus Christ, to introduce them to the Gospel. “It believes that every young person has the God-appointed right to. . . decide . . . whether or not to acknowledge. . . Jesus Christ . . .” Arminians never do explain how God gives men theright not to acknowledge Christ. You see how their free-willism heads them into antinomianism.
This organization has a Bible institute patterned on the seminary scheme, and requires staff members to be seminary graduates. Activities are carried on in the ghetto, holding teaching academies to educate dropouts in secular subjects, with a view to leading them to Christ and a respectable place in society. It carries on Christian and social work among probationers. It maintains apartments in the slums for homeless young people, in order to cure them of dope, to get them back into school or into a “meaningful job.” It maintains recreation centers providing remedial education, training in skills and arranging “job fairs” where employers may meet prospective employees. As with all these “crusade”-type movements, the brochures, magazines, catalogs, study booklets, teaching manuals, leadership courses and doctrinal statements reveal content, biblical position and methodology as very superficial.
Then there is the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, which is “not a club where students rush to escape the pressures of the world to be secure, safe and entertained. It is a vigorous society which sees the campus as a mission field. Every Christian student is a missionary on campus.” IVCF is part of a world-wide movement, the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, and is active in evangelism and missions through the Student Foreign Mission Fellowship. There is a Christian nurses fellowship. Summer camps are maintained, which emphasize training for evangelism and Bible study. On campus, students and faculty I-Vers meet regularly for prayer and Bible study. The announced goal is to learn “to think biblically,” and, “How to communicate the gospel to the secular mind.” The aim is “to establish groups of Christian students in colleges, universities and schools of nursing whose purpose is to witness to the Lord Jesus Christ as God incarnate, and to seek to lead others to a personal faith in Him as Lord and Savior; to deepen and strengthen spiritual life by Bible study, prayer and Christian fellowship; to help students discover their place in world-wide evangelization and missions.” IVCF publishes a magazine, His, and an array of paperbacks dealing with such subjects as witnessing, Bible study, prayer, intellectual problems and sex. The movement is said to be pastors’ and parents’ solution to the problem of keeping in touch with their young people who have gone away to college. The I-V missionary conventions feature an interdenominational, international, interracial, non-sectarian and open communion, with the sacrament administered not by or at a church, but by some 224 I-V chapter officers, and to a convention of nearly 10,000, consisting of many denominations and all races. The thank offering taken at such a communion may consist of gifts and pledges in the amount of $93,000.00 for “student work overseas.” The I-V basis of faith expresses belief in the inspiration of Scripture, the deity of Christ, His substitutional death, bodily resurrection, the need for regeneration and the return of the Lord. Common grace is held. Along with this is the very noticeable contention that God loves all men, and that Christ died for all men. The evangelism mentioned is the usual modem “invitational” type. The underlying philosophy of this and the other movements herein mentioned is that of free-willism. What we have said about such movements as these in the Standard Bearer articles referred to above applies as much to those we have just now examined. In closing, we can do no better than to quote Henry Atherton, who in 1929 said, “All systems of Theology are reduced to two outstanding principles, called Calvinistism andArminianism. Arminianism is man’s religion, which can be accomplished by man. Man is the main power: with man it begins, and with man it shall perish. Calvinism is the Divine revelation. It requires the Lord for everything, acknowledging the sovereignty of God; and all its purposes and power must come from God. God elects, God redeems, God ingathers, God keeps, provides, sustains and operates according to His own purpose and wisdom, and all redound to God’s grace and glory.”