Monday, April 18, 2011

R.A. Torrey Against False Christs

R.A. (Reuben Archer) Torrey (1856-1928) was the second dean of Biola University. Below are selections from some of his writings, which condemn false christs.
But this morning we are to study a marked characteristic of our Lord that is of a very different sort, His Manliness. In most of the paintings of our Lord the face is not only to a marked degree womanly, it is positively effeminate and weak. The same is true of the pictures of Christ Jesus drawn in words in many pulpits. It is not a true picture of The Real Christ. I cannot endure the paintings of the face of Christ, they make me indignant. They dishonor my Lord. [emphasis mine]

Just what I mean by "Manliness" will be clear as we come to consider how the Manliness of The Real Christ (not the Christ Whom artists paint from their own fancy, but the Christ Who actually lived on this earth and Whose perfect portrait God Himself has drawn in the Bible) was manifested.
R.A. Torrey, The Real Christ
So then if we accept the teaching of Jesus Christ, we must accept the entire Old Testament and the entire New Testament. It is either Christ and the whole Bible, or no Bible and no Christ. There are some in these days who say that they believe in Christ, but not in the Christ of the New Testament. But there is no Christ but the Christ of the New Testament. Any other Christ than the Christ of the New Testament is a pure figment of the imagination. Any other Christ than the Christ of the New Testament is an idol made by man's own fancy, and whoever worships him is an idolater.

R.A. Torrey, The Bible and its Christ

There are many today who stumble at things they find in the Bible. They say that these things cannot be God's Word, and so they give up the Bible and, ultimately, they give up Jesus Christ; for anyone who gives up the Bible is bound to give up Jesus Christ sooner or later. They may use His name still, and speak in a very complimentary way about Him, and they may call themselves "Christians" and even pose as preachers, but they have really given up Him; they have given up the only Real Christ there is—the Christ of the Bible. Any other Christ than the Christ of the Bible is a fictitious Christ, a pure figment of the imagination, a false Christ, an Anti-Christ. They give up, first, His Virgin Birth, then they give up His literal Resurrection from the Dead, then they give up His Atoning Death, then they have no Christ left, only a shadow, an empty dream. The Real Christ has gone. They have no Real Christ, Christ Jesus, and they are "without Christ . . . having no hope, and without God in the world." (Eph. 2:12.) They are doomed and ultimately damned.

Now, this is no new thing. It is not at all peculiar to our day, as many seem to fancy. It is not peculiar to the twentieth century, nor to the nineteenth century. In our text we see the same thing in the first century. We see that when the Lord Jesus Himself was here on earth, those who had been "His disciples," those who had followed Him, those who had come to Him and professed to be "learners" in His school, stumbled, even at what He Himself said, and shook their heads and said, "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" and then we read, "From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him." If men who professed to be disciples of Christ and saw Him with their own eyes and "beheld His miracles," and who on the immediately preceding day had been of the five thousand who saw the five small loaves and two small fishes multiplying in His hands, stumbled at something He said, just because, with their dull, puny brains they could not take it in and, therefore, stupidly and wickedly threw it overboard, because, as Jesus Himself said to them, they had not faith (vs. 64) and, therefore, had not sense enough to just trust the Son of God, when they could not see, is it any wonder if men today are so foolish as to throw the words of Jesus Christ overboard because they cannot fully take them in, and throw the Bible overboard because there are in it what appear to them, "hard sayings"?

—R.A. Torrey, Is the Bible the inerrant word of God

There is no Christ but the Christ of the Scriptures; any other Christ is a mere figment of the individual imagination.

—R.A. Torrey, Will Christ come again?