After one hundred years of almost uninterrupted persecution of evangelicals living in France, the French people, being left spiritually destitute, embraced the Rationalism of Voltaire, Rousseau, D'Alembert, and Diderot. French Rationalism wormed its way into colonial America in the guise of Deism which taught that God wound up creation like a great clock, then left it alone being no longer interested what men do upon the earth. Unitarianism was the natural result of Deism. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin both espoused this philosophy. Mr. Franklin was quite well known to be a womanizer, and it was reported he became a member of a Satanist group while in France. Mr. Jefferson restricted his Bible to the “Sermon on the Mount” and wrote, "I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian." He was the first to propose that education ought to be divorced from religious instruction.
     When Liberalism invades the Church, historically one of two things happen: God will either intervene by setting revival fires, which He did in England and in the American colonies, or He will intervene by giving men over to lawlessness which He did in France. The Reign of Terror was the direct result of Liberalism. Hundreds of years before, Solomon wrote, "For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: for a servant when he reigneth . . .." (Proverbs 30:21,22a). This is clearly demonstrated by the French Revolution. Now the direct result of lawlessness is the rise of tyranny, and in this case, the tyrant was Napoleon.
     Germany was no different. For seventy years Germany attacked the Inspiration and authority of the Bible in the guise of a pseudo-scholarship known as "Higher Criticism." It was the Higher Critics who invented the "Documentary Hypothesis" or the "J E D P Theory" of the authorship of the Pentateuch which refused to recognize Moses as its writer even though our Blessed Lord declared he was. Ferrar Fenton described Higher Criticism as being either "wild delusion" or "deliberate swindle." It is our conviction it is the latter.
     Next came the effort by Bultmann and others to "de-mythologize" the Bible. The supernatural element in the miracles was denied and the common creed became, "There is an explanation for everything." God was delivering up the German state as He had the French state one hundred forty years before, but with one exception: France had sought only to annihilate the people of God; Germany had impugned the integrity of the Bible. In the midst of the rationalism of Higher Criticism and of men like Bultmann, Naziism was spawned, and the "Reign of Terror" that was produced in Germany was of a much greater magnitude than that which France experienced. Although God once again showed mercy to England and to America, both paid dearly in the ensuing World War for the inroads Liberalism had made in their churches and seminaries.
     Liberalism made a fresh come back in both England and in the United States by reorganizing as different parties under the umbrella of "Christianity." In America, there was no longer to be found only stark liberalism and staunch orthodoxy, but two new parties appeared: the "Neo-Orthodox" and the "Neo-Evangelical." Whereas Liberalism flatly denied such verities as the virgin birth and attempted to explain away all the miracles of God's Word, Neo-Orthodoxy, or the "New Orthodoxy" professes to believe in Biblical Christianity, yet denies the faith by reinterpreting basic doctrines. For instance: Neo-Orthodoxy while professing to believe in the virgin birth, redefines the word "virgin" to mean a "young woman." This is nothing short of blatant infidelity.
     The "Neo-Evangelical", or "New Evangelical", may be a true believer. He may know what it is to be "born again" and to have been actually converted, but he maintains the Neo-Orthodox and possibly even the Liberal can be a “believer” whose difference is nothing more than a difference of opinion. If this is true, then there is no such thing as unbelief, and an infidel becomes only a figment of the imagination. This naive childishness of the Neo-Evangelicals was known in 19th century England as "Latitudinarianism" because of its wide acceptance into fellowship of anti-Trinitarians, Socinians, Sabellianists, and others. In fact, the Broad Church Party in England, among whom was Samuel Taylor Coleridge, actually called for the abolition of all church creeds.
     If the German Rationalism was to "modernize" theology, it was necessary to challenge the integrity of the Bible to a mortal conflict. Its strategy involved the subverting of seminaries and the introduction of new "translation" of the Sacred volume. He is a wise man indeed who has learned the staggering importance of being acquainted with the writers of the books he reads, and who is well acquainted with the reputation of the various publishing companies. The same may be said of those who would study the Book of God: they should know the reliability of the men who sat upon the board of translators. Were the men judicious of the honor of God? When the New English Bible appeared in 1961, the Trinitarian Bible Society of London appraised it by saying, "The Translator's Preface to the Authorized Version of 1611 (the King James translation) reverently acknowledges the Divine Inspiration and Authority of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God, a gift from Heaven. One seeks in vain for any such testimony in the new version. The Preface and the long statement issued by the sponsors at the time of publication are silent on the subject ..." It is called a "version so utterly alien to the faith of our fathers and unacceptable to those who still cherish some respect for the old paths."
     For example, the prophecy of Isaiah chapter seven and verse fourteen. Ahaz, King of Judah was in great straits, for Pekah, King of Israel had killed one hundred and twenty thousand people in one day of battle with Judah, and in addition, had led away captive two hundred thousand men, women and children. Besides all this, Rezin, king of Syria, had captured the fortified city of Elath. Ahaz was fearful Pekah and Rezin, who were confederates, would combine their forces, march against Jerusalem and annihilate the family of David. Isaiah the prophet was sent by God to assure the king of the continuance of both the royal seed and the city of Jerusalem. As proof that what he said was true, Isaiah requests the king to ask a sign: "Ask it either in the depth or in the height above." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord." (verses 11,12). The truth is he did not believe this was the Word of God. "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign," snapped Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name 'Immanuel.'" (verse 14, King James Version)
     In 1952, the National Council of Churches presented its copyrighted and authorized version of the Bible familiarly known as the Revised Standard Version. In translating Isaiah 7:14, it reads, "Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign, behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son and shall call His name 'Immanuel.'" It admits the prophecy is intended to be a "sign" to the king, but it is the height of the ridiculous to imagine how the commonplace occurrence of a birth by a young woman can be a "sign." It happens everyday.
     The Jerusalem Bible, which accepts the "Documentary Hypothesis", and which is a Roman Catholic translation, renders the word "virgin" as "maiden" and adds the comment that the Hebrew "almah" means "either a young girl or a young, recently-married woman." Even the Billy Graham Crusade edition of the Living Bible translates the Hebrew word "almah" as "virgin" but adds the note, "The controversial Hebrew word used here sometimes means 'virgin' and sometimes 'young woman.'" It further adds the comment that the reference is made to Isaiah's young wife and to her newborn son. To substantiate the claim it uses Isaiah 8:1-4 as a proof text. We would question the right of such a comment since Isaiah's wife was no longer a "virgin" and since Isaiah's son was named "Mahershalalhashbaz" which is a far cry from "Immanuel."
     The answer to liberalism lies in a faith that the Bible says what it means, and it means what it says. The Hebrew text reads, "ha-almah" --"the virgin." There never was one before her to bear a child in this manner, and there never shall be another after her. The word "almah" is derived from the verb "alam" which means "to lie hid, or concealed." Therefore "almah" means "to lie hidden from the eyes of man until lawful marriage." To king Ahaz, the prophecy meant Jerusalem and the house of David would be preserved until "The virgin" would bear a son and call His name "Immanuel" --"The Strong God with us." Here is the refutation of every argument a Jew can offer for refusing to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as his Messiah: either the prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled or the house of David is still standing upon the earth --however, there is not a Jew now living who can show himself to be a descendant of David. The Messiah has come. The virgin has conceived some seven hundred years after the prophecy was given. Here is the "Root out of a dry ground."