Gordon H. Clark comments on the following verse:
“And because of this we give thanks to God without ceasing, that having received the Word of hearing from us, you welcomed it as of God, not as a word of men, but as it is, truly the Word of God, which also works in you, the ones believing” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
“The remainder of the verse does not need explanation as much as application. Paul insists that his preaching, and how much more his writing, is in truth the word of God. This is what nearly all the large Protestant denominations deny. The two exceptions that come to mind are the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod and, if not unanimously at least substantially, the Southern Baptists. Many smaller denominations still hold to their Christian faith. But to put things in their historical perspective, 1300 ministers of the northern Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1924 signed and circulated The Auburn Affirmation, which ought to have been called The Auburn Negation. The document stated that none of the signers believe the Bible to be inerrant. They agreed with Karl Barth’s declaration that the apostles even in their official apostolic letters have made false statements. The Auburn Affirmation then added that the Virgin Birth, the miracles, the Atonement, and the Resurrection are not essential to Christianity. In 1967 the Northern Church altered the ordination vows so that the ordinands would no longer need to commit perjury in order to be ordained, and also so that there remained no doctrine to which a minister had to subscribe. Since that date it has become evident that some of them do not even believe in the Deity of Christ. Note too that the General Assembly in 1983 defeated a motion to declare that Christ rose bodily from the tomb.
One cannot escape the conclusion that the so-called ‘main line’ denominations are apostate…The inerrancy of Scripture is foundational to Christianity. If Paul’s assertion that his gospel came from God is false, we have no means of knowing how often he and the other biblical writers have deceived us. By what criterion could we determine that John 3:16 or Genesis 1:1 was true? Was it Bultmann who somewhere admitted, ‘We cannot know a single thing Christ ever did or said’? In his Vie de Jesus, Renan pictured him as a teacher of innocuous moral platitudes. But aside from the impossibility of knowing whether the Bible reports the platitudes correctly, Renan gives us no reason for supposing the advice is good” (Gordon H. Clark, First and Second Thessalonians, pp. 33-35).
To those tolerant Calvinists who fear “ecclesiastical rootlessness,” how do you like those “PCUSA roots” as articulated by Clark? Though the PCUSA denies about as many Biblical doctrines as “the average cult” the tolerant Calvinist heretics can “take comfort” that the PCUSA has more of a “historical pedigree” than “the average cult.”
True Christians make their judgments concerning things like “church history” & “the visible church” based on whether or not people within these assemblies actually believe the gospel (essential gospel doctrine). In stark contrast to Christians, typical tolerant Calvinist heretics make their judgments based on the zeal, morality, popularity, and reputation of certain “‘Christian’ leaders and theologians” whether or not they believed the gospel (contrary to how Paul made his judgments in Romans 10:1-4).
Clearly all of these denials of fundamental doctrines revealed the PCUSA to be a part of the Great Whore who defiles the earth with her abominations. True Christians necessarily come out of her (2 Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4). True Christians know the voice of the true Shepherd and will NEVER follow a false one (see John 10:4-5). Gresham Machen was a false Christian who withdrew from one Synagogue of Satan (PCUSA) to form his own Synagogue of Satan (OPC), whose so-called “defenses of the faith” were learned and scholarly pretexts to commit spiritual fornication with God-haters and to show his utter contempt for the TRUTH (cf. John 14:6):
“What then is our conclusion? Is belief in the virgin birth necessary to every man if he is to be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? The question is wrongly put when it is put in that way. Who can tell exactly how much knowledge of the facts about Christ is necessary if a man is to have saving faith? None but God can tell. Some knowledge is certainly required, but how much is required we cannot say. ‘Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief’ said a man in the Gospel who was saved. Though today there are many men of little faith, many who are troubled by the voices that are heard on all sides…What right have we to say that full knowledge and full conviction are necessary before a man can put his trust in the crucified and risen Lord? What right have we to say that no man can be saved before he has come to a full conviction regarding the stupendous miracle narrated in the first chapters of Mathew and Luke?…One thing at least is clear: even if the belief in the virgin birth is not necessary to every Christian, it is necessary to Christianity. And it is necessary to the corporate witness of the Church….Let it never be forgotten that the virgin birth is an integral part of the New Testament witness about Christ, and that that witness is strongest when it is taken as it stands” (J. Gresham Machen, The Virgin Birth of Christ, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1930, pp. 395-396).
“It must be admitted that there are many Christians who do not accept the doctrine of plenary inspiration. That doctrine is denied not only by liberal opponents of Christianity, but also by many true Christian men. There are many Christian men in the modern Church who find in the origin of Christianity no mere product of evolution but a real entrance of the creative power of God, who depend for their salvation, not at all upon their own efforts to lead the Christ life, but upon the atoning blood of Christ–there are many men in the modern Church who thus accept the central message of the Bible and yet believe that the message has come to us merely on the authority of trustworthy witnesses unaided in their literary work by any supernatural guidance of the Spirit of God. There are many who believe that the Bible is right at the central point, in its account of the redeeming work of Christ, and yet believe that it contains many errors. Such men are not really liberals, but Christians; because they have accepted as true the message upon which Christianity depends. A great gulf separates them from those who reject the supernatural act of God with which Christianity stands or falls” (Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, p. 75).
“The greatest menace to the Christian Church today comes not from the enemies outside, but from the enemies within; it comes from the presence within the Church of a type of faith and practice that is anti-Christian to the core. We are not dealing here with delicate personal questions; we are not presuming to say whether such and such an individual man is a Christian or not. God only can decide such questions; no man can say with assurance whether the attitude of certain individual ‘liberals’ toward Christ is saving faith or not. But one thing is perfectly plain–whether or no liberals are Christians, it is at any rate perfectly clear that liberalism is not Christianity” (Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, pp. 159-160).
“The greatest menace to the Christian Church today comes not from the enemies outside, but from the enemies within; it comes from the presence within the Church of a type of faith and practice that is anti-Christian to the core. We are not dealing here with delicate personal questions; we are not presuming to say whether [Bultmann, Barth, or Renan] is a Christian or not. God only can decide such questions; no man can say with assurance whether the attitude of [Bultmann, Barth, or Renan] toward Christ is saving faith or not. But one thing is perfectly plain — whether or no [Bultmann, Barth, & Renan] are Christians, it is at any rate perfectly clear that [BultmannISM, BarthISM, or RenanISM] is not Christianity.”
Machen’s fornicating foolishness can be applied “across the board,” including those whom Paul and John judged as unregenerate in Galatians 1:8-9 and 1 John 4:1-3. Please note how the aforementioned apostles do NOT make the idiotic, Satanic, and antichristian distinctions and separations that Gresham Machen does.