The Most Dangerous Deviation

A while ago, much was made about the OBF resolution, The Unguarded Use of New Evangelical Authors Before our Congregations. One of the main rubs seemed to be the idea that “the most dangerous deviation is the one closest to our own position.” Where did that idea come from? I found the answer this morning while reading Axioms of Separation by Pastor John Ashbrook.
The story of 1 Kings 13 would be very simple if it had only two men in it — the nameless prophet and Jeroboam, the apostate. However, that is not the picture. There is another man somewhere in between. That is also the picture of our own day. On the one hand, we have declared fundamentalism. On the other hand, we have declared liberalism and unbelief. But, tragedy of tragedies, we have a mighty camp somewhere in between. That is what new evangelicalism is. These are brethren who have decided to ignore, and thus disobey, the clear commands of the Word of God about separation. They would have us ignore those commands, too. The story of the nameless prophet is repeated. … The most dangerous deviation is the one closest to your own position. …

As I observe fundamentalism at this hour, I see fundamental associations becoming more new evangelical. Every fundamentalist gathering I attend has less protest and forthrightness than the one before. I see fundamentalists more tolerant of new evangelicalism’s great speakers. The fundamentalists’ desire for souls and consequent growth have opened the door to new evangelical methods. Success, instead of Scripture, has become the measure of man’s work. The music fundamentalists sing has more new evangelical notes. Fundamentalists have adopted the silent stand and allowed vocal new evangelicalism to sweep the day (Axioms 26-28).

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