Do the Old Paths Need Rebranding?
by: Allen Domelle
An article published in the New York Times this past Saturday about the changes going on at Fox News. Rupert Murdoch, who is now 86 years of age, is slowly giving control of the news organization over to his two sons, both who are in their 40’s. The article indicated that there is a power struggle going on between the dad, who built this media magnate, and his sons who are inheriting the power.
The article says that the boys “are now forcibly exerting themselves.” Their mentality of how to run the company is much different from their father’s. This article claims that “his sons seem determined to rid the company of its roguish, old-guard internal culture and tilt operations toward the digital future. They are working to make the family empire their own, not the one the elder Murdoch created to suit his sensibilities.”
Rupert Murdoch built the Fox News name by not being concerned with being politically correct. Rupert Murdoch was known for calling climate change, “alarmist nonsense.” He built the name by not being afraid to report stories that went against the mainstream media or the liberal grain, and by doing so, has built the most watched cable news network in our day.
His sons, on the other hand, feel that the old guard has to go. They seem determined to throw out how their father built the empire, and try rebuilding the name by “creating a warmer and fuzzier workplace.” These middle-aged boys, who are riding on the coattails of their daddy, think their dad is out-dated, even though they fail to see that they are still the “most powerful media” conglomerate. These young men think that pushing the abominable transgender and sodomite movement, as well as the half-witted climate change foolishness, which is nothing more than the left-wing agenda to push God completely out of society, is the way the news organization should rebuild its name. The writers of this article question, “Can you truly change the culture without losing what made it so successful?” My answer to this question is, NO!
This article is in no way a defense of Rupert Murdoch, but it is a valuable lesson of what we are fighting in the old paths, independent Baptist movement. There seems to be a young generation of preachers who think that they know more than the Word of God which says to “…come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 6:17) These young preachers love to criticize the older generation of preachers and how they built their churches. These young critics say that you can’t build churches the same way in our day.
These younger preachers remind me of Rehoboam who “forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him…” (1 Kings 12:8) Many of these younger preachers who are trumpeting social acceptance and a fuzzy Christianity are just like Belshazzar who knew how his father turned his life around, but their pride causes them to think they can do it better. Sadly, the writing is on the wall of these modern-day Balaam’s who criticize old paths preaching, soul winning, bus ministry, big days, and have embraced the silly Calvinist doctrine to excuse their lazy, worldly lifestyle.
Yes, this younger generation thinks they know better than the Word of God. Many of these young critics grew up in an old paths Baptist church where they heard from God’s Word on how they are to live a holy lifestyle in dress, walk, and in their personal lives. As they criticize the old paths, they are sipping their wine or beer, playing rock music in the church, and creating a worldly atmosphere that will one day cause their grandchildren never to want anything to do with Christianity; mark my word on that one.
Let me make a few statements of warning to those who read this article.
1. There is nothing wrong with the old paths.
Jeremiah 6:16 is still true when it says, “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls…” The old paths of holy living still produces a holy people. The old paths of going to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night still exhorts people today as Hebrews 10:25 teaches. Too many people are blaming the old paths for men who have fallen in sin when they should be blaming sin for causing the men to fall out of the old paths. The old paths have never caused one person to go into sin; rather, they have kept people from sin. It was only when men left the old paths in their heart that it was eventually revealed when they fell. The old paths are still right; don’t blame them for men falling in sin.
2. We don’t walk the old paths to build large churches, but we walk them to please the LORD.
Our purpose of walking the old paths is because “Thus saith the LORD…” If you think the old paths will build a church, you are wrong. Yes, I said that! The old paths don’t build church attendance, God does that; rather, the old paths build strong Christians. Jesus made this clear when He said in Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The old paths simply make our lives cleaner so that God can use us to build His church. Always remember that we don’t walk the old paths so that we can build a large church, but we walk them so we can please the LORD through obedience.
3. Just because you feel good about yourself doesn’t mean that God feels good about you.
Feeding the flesh will feel good for awhile, but the ways of the flesh always lead to death. Romans 8:13 reminds us, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” My friend, your lifestyle may be more appetizing to the world with this fuzzy Christianity going on today, but that doesn’t make you right with the LORD. James 4:4 reminds us, “…whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
4. Nobody is saying that the previous generation was perfect, but God still used them.
The most amazing thing that I am constantly reminded of is how God uses sinful men to accomplish great works. The weakness of man only proves the strength of God. Does not God say in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “…for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Friend, God used many men who had weaknesses, but that only shows the strength of our God.
Don’t fall for the trap that you are God’s gift to this world. It is an honor to be used of God. There is nothing in any person that should cause us to think that we are better than our predecessors. Just because someone in the past may have had a weakness doesn’t mean that the old paths are bad. The old paths were not paved by the men of the past, but they were paved by God. We should walk the old paths because they are the paths given to us to walk in by God.
5. The methods of the old paths still work today if we will work those methods.
Let me encourage you not to fall for the trap of trying to remake the old paths. If you remake the old paths, you are leaving the old paths. Soul winning still works today as they have worked for many centuries. Old paths pointed preaching is still the preaching that changes lives, and stirs the Christian to do more for the LORD. Holy living still produces pure young people and adults as it has done for centuries. Scriptural music that doesn’t have any taste of the world still pleases the LORD and keeps the Christian in tune with God like it has done for centuries.
You may think you have the answers to “rebrand” old paths Christianity, but in doing so, you will destroy future generations to come. Brethren, let’s be careful about trying to correct what the previous generation have done and let’s keep walking the old paths found in God’s Word. The old paths have worked for centuries for those who walked in them, and they will still work today. The old paths still help to find rest for your soul if you will walk in them. Don’t be like the generation who said about the old paths, “We will not walk therein.” Let’s not rebrand the old paths, let’s embrace them and walk in them.