Dr. Rolland McCune Message #4 on Fundamentalism – Period of Consolidation, 1930-1950

Robert T. Ketcham, 1889-1978

I mentioned in my last post how influential the biography of Robert T. Ketcham was in my life. Dr. McCune valued and believed in the importance of personal biographies. As he will relate in this chapel message from 1996, biographies not only relay historical facts, but they enable us to learn about the persons and the character of the times in which they lived.

Here Dr. McCune tells of the growth of various fundamental associations and institutions such as the OPC, BPC, GARBC, Grace Theological Seminary, the ACCC and ICCC, NAE, and CBA.

He noted,

I wish we could say that organizations would stay true to the founders. They just don’t. They really don’t….Dr. Robert Delnay asked what was the difference between the newly formed New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches which was fresh and separatistic and the GARBC, which was showing signs of problems. Dr. Delnay said, “A matter of time.”

Then at the 19:05 mark Dr. McCune made a comment I will never forget. As he said it the chapel room became immediately quiet—we couldn’t believe he said this, but he knew from history and human nature how things tend:

I don’t know, I’m not a prophet, but someday this seminary will go down the tubes. I’ll just stand here and say it. God forbid and I hope it doesn’t come for a couple of centuries, but it will. It has always been that way. Eventually attrition sets in and the vision of the founders begins to deteriorate.

Dr. McCune noted the primary reason for the decay of sound institutions at 21:30–

Modernists and liberals never had the horses, never had the strength, to take over a school or a denomination or anything like that. They never would have done it alone. They always had to have and received the help of the peacemakers and of the pietists and those who joined in the cause because they didn’t want to raise a fuss and all that sort of thing. If God’s people would have just stuck to principle rather than emotion, things would have been a lot different. But you know the story, it never happens that way. We have to blame ourselves in some of these controversies, because the forces of darkness in and of themselves would very seldom ever carry the day, but they had help from the forces of light.

He closed the chapel with this summary and closing prayer (36:55)–

This will give you some idea where we are, where we plug in…and why we are where we are. I didn’t go into why we [Inter-City Baptist Church] left the GARBC; that could be a profitable chapel. But we do plug into this. We believe we are standing where our forebearers stood and we don’t want to move from that; that’s why we’re here, and that’s why we’re having this very series

Our Father we pray that thou wilt guide our minds as we rehearse some of these things of history. May we not repeat the mistakes of history, may we truly learn the lessons and may we go forward. May we not regress, and may we not compromise; may we not hold hands with those who compromise. May we not attempt to lend our influence in any aid and comfort to that which would tend to compromise. May we always have our colors strong and our flag high. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Period of Consolidation, 1930-1950