Isaiah’s scorn of idolatry

“He burns half of it in the fire; he eats flesh on half of it; he roasts roast, and is satisfied. Then he warms himself and says, Ah, I am warm; I have seen the fire. And he makes a god of the rest, his carved image; he bows to it and worships, and prays to it, and says, Deliver me, for you are my god” (Isaiah 44:16-17).

Machen, speaking on the above text, states the following:

“The prophet denounces idolatry not out of a mere love of denunciation, but because idolatry does despite to a positive thing that fires the prophet’s soul. The prophet’s scorn for what is false is a generous thing because it springs from a profound love of what is true. Idolatry is denounced because of devotion to the living God. The great underlying question of this chapter is the question whether we shall worship a god of our own making or the God by whom we have been made. The question is very much alive today. We have not idolatry in the narrower sense, but of the making of gods there is no end” (J. Gresham Machen, God Transcendent, p. 24).

We scorn the false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner’s efforts (whether said to be “spiritually-enabled” or not) because of our love of the true gospel of salvation conditioned solely on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Machen and like-minded Calvinists worship a partially-sovereign god of their own making, instead of the absolutely sovereign God by whom they have been made.

“As I was walking through the streets of one of our large cities a year so ago I saw, not an altar with this inscription, ‘To An Unknown God,’ but a church with a huge sign in front of it to the effect: ‘Not A Member? Come on in and help make this a better community.’ That is modern religion with a vengeance. It was an appeal not to sinners to seek salvation at the hands of God, but to persons, whose purposes are already all that they should be, to use religion as a mere means to accomplish their humanitarian ends. Many preachers and laymen today are busily engaged in calling the righteous to repentance. And it is just as futile an effort now as it was when our Lord first recited it in the days of His flesh” (J. Gresham Machen, God Transcendent, pp. 24-25).

Those familiar with Machen’s delusional renderings of damnable heresy in Christianity & Liberalism and The Virgin Birth of Christ know he would NOT say that any of these preachers or laymen are lost, or that these “churches” are in fact Synagogues of Satan. The two aforementioned works of Machen are alleged to be “polemical defenses” of the Christian faith. But in both of these supposed “defenses” Machen sells the virgin birth of Christ, the deity of Christ, and the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures down the Adiaphoran River. In the diabolical religion of Machen no essential gospel doctrine is safe — ALL doctrines constituting the core of the gospel are up for grabs.

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