Religious Perils



From a letter written by the Rev. E. K. Alden, D.D.,

Home Secretary of the American Board of Foreign Missions.

Boston, March 21, 1887 (but sounds like 2004)

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"One of the religious perils of the hour is the failure of many good men to discern the peril. There is sometimes a drift toward error which is gradual and almost imperceptible, and yet may be so steady and strong that the trend of a man's influence is toward error, although he is continuously advocating the truth. There are times when what a man omits to say is more effective in the wrong direction than are an his words in the right direction. If a person is known to hold a serious error, even though he may seldom or never directly advocate it, that fact that he is known to hold the error will possibly neutralize all his fervid utterances of the truth. This is particularly the case when the error is a popular current error, which needs to be steadily resisted by all good men.

"Indeed, there are times when the exclusive advocacy of certain important truths has the effect of error. And the reason is, that the truths are advocated in the interests of error. ... So at the present time some of the most precious gospel truths are preached in the interest of some of the most pernicious errors. In other words, the unseasonable or disproportionate presentation of certain truths makes for error.

"To be more specific, the popular trend just now in certain localities, not a thousand miles from Boston, is toward the unscriptural and dangerous dogma that all men will be finally saved....."

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