William A. Williams:
46. CAMOUFLAGE OF TERMS
During the late world war, objects were concealed and the enemy deceived, by “camouflage.” Many undertake to deceive or to hide their meaning by a camouflage of terms. These terms are chosen to conceal or deceive. Terms that suggest advance, improvement, learning, science, etc., are used to describe unworthy theories, beliefs and movements. It is an unfair trick to win and often meets with undeserved success.
Evolution in the sense of growth and development, is true of a part of animal and plant life, and in this sense is undisputed. Some speak of the growth of a child and of all progress, as evolution. In the sense at issue, it means the development of all the 3,000,000 species of animals and plants, from one or a few primordial germs, without design or intelligence, or the aid of a Creator. A distinguished surgeon declares that evolution from the monkey is mere non-sense but that life is a constant evolution,–two senses in the same sentence. Such confusion of meaning brings science into disrepute. The meaning is shifted to suit.
Science means knowledge. We are glibly told that science teaches the evolution of man when it teaches nothing of the kind. A mere theory is not science until proven. A man does not become a scientist by advocating an unproven theory, but by making some notable contribution to knowledge. These self-appointed scientists recklessly declare that the “consensus” of science favors evolution. We oppose evolution not because it is science, but because it is not science. There is no conflict between Christianity and real science, but a fight to the death with “science falsely so called.”
Religion is often taken to mean deism, or infidelity as well as Christianity. They show us “where evolution and religion meet,” provided deism or infidelity is religion, but not, if Christianity is religion,–an inexcusable confusion of terms.
Law is sometimes spoken of as if it had intelligence and power. Sometimes as a subordinate deity, or agent of God, or an indefinite principle. Darwin says:–“Plants and animals have all been produced by laws (?) acting around us.” That is impossible, since “laws” can produce nothing. He evidently gives to laws the credit that belongs to God.
Nature, in like manner, is often used as a substitute for God, to avoid the mention of His name.
Modernism is a fine sounding word, suggestive of learning and culture and the last word in science, but doubts or denies many of the essential doctrines of the Christian religion. It is infidelity pure and simple and of the most dangerous kind, camouflaged under this attractive name. Who can deny the statement that the only thing modern about modernism is its hypocrisy? It is ancient infidelity pretending to be a Christian view. Bearing the Christian flag, it attacks Christianity. Modernists are evidently ashamed of a name which fitly describes their views, and seek another. Infidels have tried to win under their own name. They have failed. Will they succeed under the camouflaged name of modernism? Camouflaged under an attractive name, modernists doubt or deny the real inspiration of the Bible, the Virgin birth of Jesus, his deity, his miracles, his bodily resurrection, the resurrection of the dead, and his personal second coming to judge the quick and the dead. Some modernists reject a part of these great truths, and some reject all.
Liberal is another term stolen by infidels ashamed of their own name. They are no more liberal in a good sense than others.
A Rationalist is not entitled to the term, because he is often more innocent of reasoning than his opponents. Reason is not opposed to revelation. We believe in an inspired revelation, because it is reasonable to do so. Rationalism is another camouflage for infidelity. We can have some respect for an honest professed skeptic, but how can we respect a man who insists on adding hypocrisy to his infidelity, that, by so doing, he may make greater havoc of the church? Modernists give such a diluted interpretation to inspiration, to the statements of Scripture, and the Apostles’ Creed, and the creeds of the churches, that all may mean little or nothing, and the floodgates of infidelity and atheism are opened wide.
It has been truly said, “If the Bible is not really inspired, it is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind; for, from lid to lid, it claims to be the word of God.” Likewise, if Moses was not inspired, he was the greatest liar of history.
Every variety of infidel and species of atheist will rejoice, if evolution be accepted,-whether modernists, liberals, rationalists, or simple unbelievers on their way to the bottomless pit. If evolution wins, Christianity loses and the church fails.
We hope that scientists will consign to innocuous desuetude their camouflaged sesquipedalian vocabularies, and tell us what they mean in short words, so we all may know what they say.