You visit me from out of town. Engaging my attention has been a matter of curious interest. To have you share it with me, I request that we go to a place, the identity of which you shall discover when we arrive. We take a fifteen minute drive on a bitterly cold wintry evening, and pull up in front of what you immediately see to be a modern public high school complex. We approach the auditorium building, enter, and from the cloak room grope our way down an aisle of the darkened amphitheatre to our seats. A spot-lighted circle on the stage reveals a rather typical hairy, guitar-playing creature, beside which there slinks a mini-skirted female singer, her (for want of a better term) sex-laden voice filling the room. Sitting together in silence we take in the presentation of a modern folk-song. That’s what I’m thinking it to be, at least, although to myself I wonder how it can be contemporaneous and be a folk-song. That which has been developed out of the tradition and background of a race surely is not of modernity. But we continue to listen. At the moment there is a rendition of “California Dreamin,” by the Mamas and the Papas. Now I lean toward you with the whispered query, “Know what (function) this is?” “Quite obviously,” you answer, “a high school Hootenanny!”¹ “Wrong!” I answer, amused. “This is Youth For Christ!” Not without surprise and some degree of shock, you react with, “Youth for who?” For with what is going on here, it is apparent that youth are present, and it is easy to see that they are for Peter, Paul and Mary’s song, “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane,” or for Simon and Garfunkel’s “Dangling Conversation,” a generation-gap song. But it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to see youth for Christ. What Christ? we naturally ask ourselves. We are getting quite tired of the leftist, Hippy “Christ” of the false ecumenical movement, a “Christ” with no anointing whatsoever. But what else is on the evening’s maniacal musical menu, besides some off-color humor? There is a song entitled, “Something.” It is about “love.” But in modern “coffeehouse” jargon, that means “sex,” which them is the hippy’s gospel. The song is by the Beatles. I remember that Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ press agent, said of them, “It’s incredible, absolutely incredible. Here are four boys from Liverpool. They’re rude, they’re profane, they’re vulgar, and they’ve taken over the world. It’s as if they’d founded a new religion. They’re completely anti-Christ. I mean, I’m anti-Christ, as well, but they’re so anti-Christ they shock me, which isn’t an easy thing.”² To go on, “April Come, She Will!” is a song of evanescent, evaporated “luv” in frustrative strains. Perhaps the most remarkable spot on the program was a sing-along number where the audience with the performers sang the hymn, “Amazing Grace,” to the tune, “House of the Rising Sun,” by The Animals! These animals, themselves an insult to the animal kingdom, being much lower, tell us that this house, which everyone can guess what sort it is, “Has been the ruin of many a poor boy! And God! I know I’m one! Mother, tell your child not to do what I have done.” Such a song provides the tune by which to sing “Amazing Grace.” Amazing what?, you ask. Rarely have we run across more amazing depravity.
The YFC program, generally, is not a “documentary”; it is a “musical.” Teen-agers out in the world are not thinkers; they are in fact very anti-intellectual. It is difficult to get them to think, teach them to think, or even to give them something to think about. In order to win the battle for the teen-mind, music and song are employed. It is relatively easy to inject an idea into the mind, to “brain-wash,” if it is sung into the mind. That, too, is how Arminianism is spread in some of the Christian schools—it is sung with Arminian songs into the mind. This is also the method used by the Red Chinese indoctrinating their youth troops. Study classes among them require mass singing. Catchy tunes carry the Communist theme, and so Communism is sung into the minds and hearts of the trainees (proletariat slaves), and of prisoners, as well. It is well known that song has power, whether patriotic, religious or folk-song. It grips the mind and the emotions and determines actions more than logical thought does. You can easily check on the fact that youth are quite familiar with the songs already mentioned. That in itself ought to cause you no little concern. “It is surprising how much of the meaning of a song is absorbed by a child while singing it. The message of some contemporary ‘folk’ songs carries greater weight in song than in plain language. These songs make a deeper and more lasting impression than twenty lectures on the same subject.”³
YFC has no theology, no Christ and no Bible. It has no Christ, for the “Christ” it occasionally mentions, in trite, shallow, vapid vocabulary, is not the Christ of Scripture, not the Christ who said to the sheep, “I lay down My life for the sheep,” nor the Christ who said to the goats, “Ye believe not because ye are not of My sheep.” Like the idol-gods of the heathen, their “Christ” is helpless and useless. The Christ of the Bible shall save His people from their sins; He shall see His seed; He shall see the travail of His soul and be satisfied (not disappointed or frustrated over them); the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. This Christ is never heard of at YFC extravaganzas. It has no theology, as though the Bible, the Word of God, contains no doctrine of God, as though the Bible is not, in both Testaments, honeycombed with trinitarianism; as though there is no Creation or purpose to Creation; as though there is no providence and eternal counsel of God according to which He works all things and foreordains whatsoever comes to pass. We say it has no Bible. Quoting an isolated text from the Bible once in a great while, or throwing in a religious phrase along with their coffeehouse jargon, does not give them a Bible. The way the Bible is used, if at all, the Sears, Roebuck catalog would do just as well. Take words out of a book here and there and you can make it say anything you like. A cannibal in the jungle may wear a Bible around his neck like a Talisman. Still, he has no Bible. Its “no creed, but Christ” (what Christ?) philosophy, which is the philosophy of modernist-liberalism, leaves it, not only with no creed, but with no Bible. For the Bible has something to say. It does not say what Jehovah’s Witnesses, so called, say. It does not say what modernists and liberals say. It does not say what Arminians say. For a brief resume of what it does say, consult the Reformed Confessions and Liturgies.
YFC has no gospel, for gospel is good news to dead sinners, the good news of resurrection life in Christ. But YFC does not believe man is so bad a sinner as to be dead in trespasses and sins. He is not “wholly gone from original righteousness,” but only “very far gone.” He is not dead, spiritually, but rather like the man in the parable of the good Samaritan who fell among thieves, only “half dead.” YFC sees no difference in man and his will as created, as fallen, as redeemed and as glorified. Man was created with a free will, which was posse peccare, able to sin. By the fall, he, and his now no longer free will, became non posse non peccare, not able not to sin, that is, he could do nothing but sin. According to YFC philosophy, man is still able not to sin, if he chooses. By nature dead and darkness, he can still believe as dead and in the dark, in order to come out into the light. He can still repent in death and darkness; he can still enter the kingdom while in death and darkness. The proclamation of the “gospel” then becomes a begging of man’s “free will” to turn and choose in God’s favor. Strictly, this Arminianism kills off all need for prayer to God for the salvation of men. For God can do nothing about it until the person “accepts Christ.” If he will not do that, there is nothing God can do. Prayer, then, is a waste: better not to beg God to save men, but to beg men to save themselves. Far different is the gospel: “Ye will not come unto Me that ye may have life . . . Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power.”
The similar organization, Campus Crusade, according to the January 1, 1970 issue of the Christian Beacon, has adopted the jargon of the university anarchists and revolutionists. It is a fact that politically, socially (socialistically), economically, and religiously, the world is being swept into the barricade and corporation form of communism. Campus Crusade therefore believes it must move the church to the barricade, it must have “Christian revolutionists with a workable strategy,” and defines a Christian revolutionist as “one who is unwilling to accept the status quo and who is committed to the need for a social, moral and spiritual awakening.” This is the terminology of the National Council of Churches. Crusade singers have taken to the rock’n’roll and folk-rock and the jargon of the New Left. Soon it will be most difficult to tell it from the run-of-the-mill ecumenistic and hippy revolution. Exploited, corrupted, compromised and brain-washed by leftist propaganda, the ridiculous Arminianism of campus Crusade is fast being bludgeoned beyond recognition.
¹ People’s Songs, now Sing Out, Inc., a leftist publishing company, sponsored Hootenannies on a large scale. The Hootenanny Song Book contains songs by Pete Seeger, identified as a member of the Communist Party. In this book the Virgin birth of Christ is mocked in “The Cherry Tree Carol.” (Rhythm, Riots and Revolution, by David A. Noebel, Christian Crusade Publications, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1966, $1.00, pp. 122, 156-157, 297).
² ibid., p. 95.
³ ibid., p. 35.