God Calls a Man
by Clarence Laman
"He being dead yet speaketh" - Hebrews 11:4
I count it an honor and a privilege to write the foreword to this posthumous message of the Rev. Clarence Laman a man of deep and profound spiritual convictions, who served his day and generation well. He delighted in exalting the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ and held every true servant of God in high esteem.
Several years before his death, Mr. Laman and I talked of the advisability of producing a brochure, setting forth in a simple and concise way not only the history, principles, and policies of the Bible Presbyterian Church and the Twentieth Century Reformation movement, but also more especially to express appreciation for the ministry and untiring efforts of Dr. Carl McIntire. This is a tribute to the man whom God has so signally used in these perilous, days to "contend earnestly for the Faith once delivered unto the saints." It is a tribute to a true Christian crusader, lifting his voice in behalf of the preservation of our liberties, guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America but now seriously threatened by many sinister influences and false and compromising brethren.
During the closing days of his earthly pilgrimage, our dear brother Laman felt a divine urge to accomplish this task. In spite of his weakened condition and his great suffering, God enabled His faithful servant to finish the work. Here in brief compass the Rev. Clarence Laman has set forth what God has wrought through a man dedicated to His will and determined to carry on for the glory of God, regardless of the criticism of men and the fury of Satan.
May Divine blessing accompany these pages and cause every reader to have a greater concern for, and a deeper consecration to, the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ.
REV. CHARLES E. RICHTER, ModeratorIntroduction
23rd Annual Synod, Collingswood, N. J.
GOD CALLS A MAN
On July 31, 1956, my husband was called to his Heavenly Home, receiving that wonderful exaltation, "Enter thou into the joy of the Lord." Almost to the last Clarence was conscious of his leaving us. During his last week on earth, as he would awaken from his night of rest, he would say, "Evidently my mansion isn't ready for me because the Lord hasn't called me." The night before his home-going we repeated together the Twenty-third Psalm. Afterward he asked me to read some of his favorite Scripture verses: I Peter 1-2 and 11 Timothy 1.
Little did Mr. Laman realize he would enjoy during his life time the wonderful experience of working so closely with a man chosen of God to do an appointed work. Christians who really KNOW Dr. Carl McIntire appreciate his stature as a man of God and as a loyal American. Those who allow truth to enter their minds are blessed as they listen to his expounding the Scriptures and presenting facts pertaining to world conditions. With this idea in mind and because of the division which has entered our beloved Bible Presbyterian Church, my husband said, "I must write a book, a book about 'God Calls a Man'." That man is Carl McIntire.
I recall the last conversation Clarence had with Dr. McIntire. It was on a Sunday night after the service. Dr. McIntire was leaving for the Latin American Alliance the following morning. Weak as Clarence was, he wanted to give encouragement to Carl and reaffirm what he had previously said, "I want to live so I can help you in this struggle. Carl, the Lord will vindicate you yet."
To prove the author well qualified to write on this subject, much could be related of his deep spiritual life and unswerving faithfulness "to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ." However, we shall let the book speak for itself. It was Mr. Laman's earnest prayer that this book would be used of the Lord to reconcile the brethren who have left the original position of the Bible Presbyterian Church and its affiliations.
Faithfully in Him,CHAPTER I
MRS. CLARENCE LAMAN
GOD CALLS A MAN
People who believe the Bible to be the Word of God know that modernism, which is just another word for unbelief, is destroying the faith of multitudes of people throughout what is called Christendom. Most of the seminaries and church colleges have been captured by the modernist leaders of the day. The theory of evolution has replaced the records of Genesis. The social gospel has taken the place of the gospel of God's grace and salvation through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary's cross. Reason has replaced revelation. And now, if one be alert, he will hear doctrines of communism and the principles of the Russian Soviet government passed unto the people as the teachings of Christianity and the Kingdom of God. All this has come in like a flood, the work of Satan to destroy the true Christian faith. A verse of Scripture, Isaiah 59:19, declares, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." The flood is here and the Almighty God has lifted up a standard. As God has done in other times when the truth seemed about to be overwhelmed, He raised up a man, a leader to raise the standard, and a people who would stand against the flood.
Now, in answer to the call of my Lord, I assume the task of telling the story of God's man. That man is Dr. Carl McIntire. The story, however, cannot be complete without telling about a congregation, about the development of a denomination, and about a movement described by the leaders of the large denominations which make up the National Council of Churches and the World Council as a "splinter" movement.
Persons acquainted with Dr. McIntire know him to be a man of unusual ability and activity. I have often wondered how it is possible for one individual to accomplish so many things. The only answer is that God has endowed him with gifts and prepared him for the great task he has to perform.
A person familiar with the Scriptures knows that God has always called individuals when the time required such. He called Noah to build the ark when he was about to send a flood upon the earth because of men's wickedness. He called Abraham when he would make known His will that through Abraham a nation would be born. Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and Gideon are further examples of God's calling a man when the enemy had come in as a flood. The prophets are also examples of this same principle in the Old Testament.
Then in the New Testament we begin with John the Baptist, who was called to baptize our Lord. Later the disciples and Paul were called to establish the church. In the Middle Ages, when the Gospel was being eclipsed by Rome, it was a Luther, a Calvin, and a Knox whom God raised up. When England was in a bog of formalism, God called the Wesleys to restore the Gospel to the people. So, in the present time, the Lord has called and sent forth men to take leadership in raising his standard against the flood of the enemy.
So, again, I say, "Carl McIntire is that man."
To relate the story of Dr. Carl McIntire, it will be necessary to tell you something of all the organizations of which he is an integral part. In most of these he was either the founder, or he played a large part in their being formed. They include the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions; the Bible Presbyterian Church ; the Christian Beacon; Faith Theological Seminary; the Harvey Cedars Bible Presbyterian Conference; the American Council of Christian Churches; the International Council of Christian Churches and regional conferences; Shelton College; Highland College; the Bible Presbyterian Home, Inc.; the Friends of Israel Testimony (Bible Presbyterian) ; the 20th Century Reformation Radio Hour, a daily half hour program; and the Independent Board for Presbyterian Home Missions.
First and foremost, he is the pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood, New Jersey, a congregation of more than 1,600 members. We shall want to devote an entire chapter to tell about this unusual people who have constantly been his help and inspiration. During his ministry, since 1933, the remainder of this list of organizations has come into being.
Why have all these institutions arisen? Has it been to please a man? No. There was a cause. This cause is a chapter in the age-old struggle of light against darkness, God's Word against the philosophies of men, truth against error. This struggle has gone on since the Garden of Eden. Through the centuries, God has called His men to take up the banner and lead His faithful in the battle.
God made no mistake when He laid the mantle of leadership on Carl McIntire. Here is a man endowed with the gifts of leadership, a man whose purpose it is to stand true to the "faith once delivered unto the saints." He knows no compromise. Nothing will deter him. It matters not what the cost will be. Like an Elijah or a Daniel or a John the Baptist or a Paul he stands in defense of the Gospel, the blood-stained message of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross for or sinners. Men may call him a fanatic, but if they do, they must declare that these others and many more are in the same category. If his critics will be honest, they must admit that Dr. McIntire is a gentle fighter. You have never heard him speak a cruel word or call another person a vile name. Others continually call him evil names, but he never retaliates by either a spoken or a written word. He exposes men's departure from the Word of God and reveals their unbelief, but he never resorts to "mud slinging."
In getting back to the "cause" for establishing the Bible Presbyterian denomination and the institutions named, we must begin somewhere. The period of the twenties marks a turning point in the church. During that decade, men in the churches began to express their departure from the doctrines of the Christian faith. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick published his book, "The Modern Interpretation of the Bible." This was the pattern of modernism followed and taught by leaders in all denominations that would be counted liberals.
In the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the conservatives had repeatedly declared their loyalty to the Bible and the Westminster standards. But in 1924, a document was written, known as the Auburn Affirmation, and signed by 1,290 Presbyterian ministers of that church. This so called Affirmation was really a denial of the doctrines of the church. It made an open attack upon the five points of doctrine which the Presbyterian church of the U.S.A. had repeatedly reiterated; namely:
Thus it relegated to the realm of theory these five cardinal doctrines of the faith. And what it amounts to is a denial of these great truths.
It is surely a deceptive use of words when "facts and doctrines" are at the same time called "theories." The writer was a pastor in Auburn, New York, for fifteen years and pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church for nine years. Many young men came before Cayuga Presbytery for licensure and ordination, graduates of Auburn Theological Seminary, men who had sat under the teachings of the authors of the "Affirmation." These young men invariably denied the doctrines of the faith, yet they would be approved by the majority of the Presbyters. The author was obnoxious to most of the members of the Presbytery because of his opposition to passing these young men. Because of his loyalty to the Bible and to his Lord, he was finally suspended and deposed by the Presbytery.
The author also attended classes in that seminary. It would take another book to relate the experiences, but his faith was not shaken. How wonderful to believe in the verities of the faith; to have a Bible, which is God's Word; and to have a Christ who saves from all sin by His suffering and death on the cross! I am glad I am saved, justified, and on my way to Heaven because a Saviour died and arose again for me.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. should have disciplined the signers of the Auburn Affirmation, but it did not. These men had won their first battle. The second was to work quietly within the church and take over the control of the agencies of the church. In 1929, they succeeded in having a signer of the Auburn Affirmation placed on the Board of Princeton Theological Seminary.
Princeton had long been a citadel of faith and a stronghold of conservative scholarship in the church. The camel's nose was inside another tent. As a result of this, a new seminary, the Westminster Theological Seminary was started in Philadelphia, under the leadership of the Christian scholar and author, Dr. J. Gresham Machen. He, with several other professors from Princeton and students, made this the early break, by Bible believers, from the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
I should say that it was during the twenties that similar modernistic progress developed in most of the Protestant denominations. During this decade, the Federal Council of Churches also buried its roots, although it began in 1908. The struggle was on and believers all over the world were stirred.
Carl McIntire was a student for the ministry at Princeton in 1929. He stood with Dr. Machen in the latter's protest and enrolled at Westminster when that seminary began. He was graduated in 1931 and became pastor of the Chelsea Presbyterian Church in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Here he served for two years and four months, after which the Collingswood Presbyterian Church extended him a call to become its pastor.
The next step in the development of this separatist movement came when Dr. J. Gresham Machen brought forth evidence of the support of modernistic missionaries and mission work by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. In China and other mission schools, Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick's book, "The Modern Interpretation of the Bible," and others of its kind were used. In the Christian Literature Society of China, Lenin and the Lord Jesus Christ were described as figures of similar grandeur. Presbyterian money was being used to help support such literature. A number of conservative Presbyterian magazines were exposing these facts to the people, and, consequently, all over the country, Bible-believing Presbyterians were aroused. Many refused to give of their money to sup-port this modernism.
An overture, supported by a 110-page document, written by Dr. Machen, was presented to the General Assembly of 1933. The document was called "Modernism and the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A." Instead of taking the necessary steps to "clean house," the Board of Foreign Missions evaded the issue. About the same time, a book called the "Laymen's Appraisal Commission Report" was published. This report was, as the title indicates, the result of a study of foreign missions by an interdenominational committee which was thoroughly modernistic.
This report should have been severely condemned but, instead, the whole matter was more or less glossed over by the Board of Foreign Missions and thereby the report was given indirect approval. So the only course open for those who refused to support modernism was to form a new foreign mission board which would have the confidence of conservative Presbyterians.
Under the leadership of Dr. Machen a group of some 24 persons organized the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. The Rev. Carl McIntire became a member of the Board.
Money came in and young people volunteered to serve under this Board. Immediately, the ire and opposition of the old Board was aroused against the new Board, and those who in any way had anything to do with the new Board were censored and threatened in their Presbyteries. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, in 1934, set forth a mandate commanding the new Board to cease its activities and support the existing boards of the church. As far as the members of the new Board were concerned, the question was "Shall we obey the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A., or shall we obey the command of the Lord Jesus Christ, 'Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel"'; in other words, "Shall we obey the commands of men or the commands of God?"
During the next two years, the battle raged throughout the Presbyterian churches.
Ministers were brought to trial because of their connection with the Independent Board. One after another was deposed or unfrocked which meant that his ordination was taken from him and he could no longer do the work of a minister in the Presbyterian Church. Nine of these men appealed their cases first to the Synods and then to the General Assembly, which is the highest court of the church.
This notable Assembly was held in the city of Syracuse, New York, from May 28 to June 3, 1936. The Judicial Commission of that Assembly meeting, on June 1, as a "Court of Jesus Christ" upheld the decisions of the synods and declared these men deposed. They were Dr. J. Gresham Machen, the Rev. H. McAllister Griffith, the Rev. Merril T. McPherson, the Rev. Charles J. Woodbridge, the Rev. Edwin H. Rian, the Rev. Paul Wooley, and the Rev. Carl McIntire, all of whom were members of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions.
The Rev. A. F. Perkins of Merrill, Wisconsin, was suspended because he had established an undenominational summer camp for young people; and the Rev. J. J. De Waard, because he refused to recommend to his congregation in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, the support of the Boards of the denomination.
This act of the Presbyterian Church was one of the most flagrant, un-christian, and wicked deeds of the church. Not unbelievers, but men who were faithful to the teachings of the Word of God and the doctrines of the church, were cast out while a sort of blanket approval was given to modernism. It was a further indication of how the liberals and unbelievers had gotten control of the denomination and its agencies.
After this Assembly, literally scores of ministers and some entire congregations renounced their membership in, and jurisdiction of, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Groups of the Bible believers separated themselves from the church. More men were thrown out of the ministry. Missionaries resigned, protesting the action of the church.
Now a new situation arose. What would these groups of believers do? Many new churches were formed. Many of these grew into independent churches. However, a notable meeting, attended by about 300 people, was held in Philadelphia, June 11, 1936, in the New Century Building. A new church was organized and named the "Presbyterian Church of America." After a statement, declaring the ecclesiastical position of the new organization, had been read and discussed, 38 ministers and 21 elders rose to their feet and became the original members of the new Presbyterian denomination.
Dr. J. Gresham Machen was chosen the moderator of this new body, and the Rev. Paul Wooley was elected temporary clerk.
A new denomination was formed but many problems were to* arise in the days ahead. Men may be of one mind in opposition to modernism, but there can be diversity of thinking about matters of Christian faith and action. Unless there is unity in purpose, there can be no laboring together.
First, there was the phenomenal growth in adherence to the Presbyterian Church of America. From coast to coast ministers were renouncing the jurisdiction of the old denomination or were being ousted from it, or both. They were making application for membership in the new denomination. Likewise, missionaries in the old church protested the actions of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and applied for support under the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. Congregations sprang up everywhere and came into the new church.
In November of 1936, a second General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America was called. There were 103 ministers now on the rolls and a goodly number of congregations. Dr. J. Oliver Buswell, Jr. was elected the moderator of this second assembly. He had been President of Wheaton College and had been suspended from the ministry by the Chicago Presbytery because of his membership in the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions.
Late in December, Dr. Machen was on a tour visiting new churches in North Dakota, where he contracted pneumonia. On January 1, 1937, at the age of 55, in a hospital in Bismarck, he answered the Lord's summons to enter into his rest.
A FAITHFUL PASTOR
Dr. Carl McIntire is a very busy man, and a person wonders. where he can find time for any pastoral work, but, regardless of all this, he still has time for visiting his people, especially in times of trial and sorrow. In the years when I served as assistant pastor, I know that he made hundreds of calls in the homes of his people.
Perhaps a few illustrations may serve to describe this activity.
The first is an account related to me by an elderly widow. She told me of the days when her husband was ill and of how she ministered to his needs, night and day, for some time before the Lord took him to his eternal reward. One night her pastor called, and noting that she needed rest, Pastor McIntire told the weary woman to take her rest and he would be her husband's nurse. And so he was. He stayed and ministered to the needs of this sick man.
Another family found themselves in distress at two o'clock in the morning. Whom should they call but their pastor? Did he say, "I'll drop in tomorrow?" No. As soon as he could dress and get there, Pastor McIntire was in that home to give aid and comfort. Such accounts were repeated to me again and again.
Recently, he was invited into the home of a couple, not members of the church. The husband and wife were in trouble and were on the verge of a separation. He was asked to come in as an arbiter. He patiently heard the troubles of this couple until a reasonable solution was reached, even though it was 2:30 in the morning. Before he left, he had led the wife to an acceptance of Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour.
Some one has said that it is not necessary to defend a man before his friends, and that it is useless to defend a man before his enemies, However, I take this task upon myself in hopes that I may tell the story of this man to some who may have been unduly influenced against him but whose minds are open to the truth. I trust that I may set forth in simple words the motives of this man and something of the background of his work. What is the secret of his strength and what kind of man is this? He is called a trouble maker, a divider in the Christian Church. He is thought of as being cruel and harsh with anyone who does not see eye to eye with him. He is called a "Pope" and a dictator. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The writer has known Dr. Carl McIntire for twenty years. In 1944, 1 became his assistant in the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood. The years I spent close to his side as a pastor in the great Collingswood congregation were among the happiest and most fruitful in my ministry. It was especially during this relationship that I learned the strength of this man. I listened to his sermons and marveled at his plain yet profound expositions of the Scriptures. I was blessed by his prayers, and many a time we knelt together before God in seeking God's will in the many problems which arose in a congregation of approximately 800 families. I do not know of a more intimate way to get to know a man than on one's knees before God.
Another experience of a little different nature will also give our readers an insight into this man's concern for his people. This also took place while I was assistant pastor. Two high school girls, sisters, had been given an assignment, with the entire class, to read a book of short stories, so called modern literature. In one part of the book there is considerable profanity and the dialogue is anything but uplifting. The girls showed their mother this assigned reading. They also brought the book to me. The mother's advice, and mine also, was to request the teacher to give a different assignment. The teacher refused to see anything wrong in that kind of reading for the English course, but she said that she would give these girls another assignment which would require considerably more time. The extra would be "a penalty" for objecting to the original assignment. Pastor McIntire felt that the time had come to object to such a form of injustice. At the time appointed by the Board of Education, the two girls, their mother, a third student who was a witness, her mother, the pastor, and the writer presented themselves with a written complaint properly signed and notarized. We were received not too graciously. The president of the Board could not hide his feelings and tried to confuse Dr. McIntire, intimating that the girls could have been mistaken. The Board would give no visible satisfaction that the book in question was objectionable reading nor that there was anything wrong in requiring a larger reading assignment as a penalty.
May I add one further personal experience? Mrs. Laman and I consider Dr. McIntire as our pastor. The last two years the Lord has seen fit to permit me to have considerable ill health. A year ago I became very ill with an internal hemorrhage. The doctor was called and some fast moves had to be made. I wa's rushed to the hospital by ambulance and blood transfusions were given to save my life, humanly speaking. Since the doctor thought I would not come through the experience, Mrs. Laman called our pastor friend. The Bible Presbyterian Home in Delanco is a distance of fourteen miles from Collingswood. How Dr. McIntire arrived at my side so soon, I do not know. Then the hospital did not have the type of blood necessary for me. This would have to be secured from the Red Cross blood bank station in the city of Philadelphia. Dr. McIntire offered to go after the blood. This was another thirty mile drive, which he made in a short time. The transfusions were administered and our Heavenly Father renewed my strength. However, He was pleased to use our friend not only as our comforter but also as the one to perform these acts of real help.
These few examples will drive home the sincerity and work of such a pastor. His heart is with his people, in both their sorrows and their joys.
Surely a man with such tender concern and care for his own beloved flock does stretch his protective, loving, forgiving arms around his dear ones in Christ, no matter what their lot may be.
AN UNUSUAL CONGREGATION
The Bible Presbyterian Church denomination as well as the several agencies which have come into existence never would have been formed had it not been for the congregation now known as the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood. This is the congregation of which Dr. Carl McIntire is pastor.
At the turn of the century this church began as the Presbyterian Church of Collingswood. The church grew rapidly and was blessed by having several faithful Bible-teaching pastors. One can see the hand of God in the preparing of a strong congregation as well as a strong leader when the time would be right. Dr. Harold S. Laird became the pastor in December 1927. He was also one who stood firmly against the encroachments of modernism and not only preached the Gospel but also warned his people of the development of the departures from the Gospel in the denomination. The eldership and the missionary society were an informed and consecrated people. When Dr. Laird resigned from the Collingswood Church to become pastor of the First and Central Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, Delaware, they were determined to find a successor who would be no less able a preacher of the Word but also one who would stand in the defense of the Gospel. Although Carl McIntire was a young man, he had the qualities which this people sought.
An elder told me this story one day. A stranger said to this elder, "What would you do if Mr. McIntire left your church?" The answer of the elder was "We would get a man who stood for or and preached the same Gospel he preaches." In other words, this elder said we are not followers of any man but followers of the Christ of the Bible. This congregation would not give its financial support to modernistic missionaries nor to a board which sent such men and women to the mission fields.
Therefore, when the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. deposed their faithful pastor, this congregation of 1,200, almost to a man, stood with their pastor. The Presbytery, after the 1936 General Assembly, attempted to put a man in the pulpit officially to declare the church without a pastor. However, the men in the church prohibited any member of the New Jersey Presbytery from entering the pulpit of the church, allowing no man but their own pastor on the platform.
Now, a new battle began for the possession of the church property, a beautiful stone structure, valued then at $250,000. The denomination, with a handful of dissident members who did not stand with the great majority, claimed the physical property. A drawn out lawsuit ensued which finally ended in March 1938 when the Honorable F. B. Davis, judge of the civil court in Camden, Chancery Court, awarded the property to the Presbyterian U.S.A. denomination. On Sunday, March 27, 1938, Dr. McIntire and the congregation worshipped for the last time in the building they had constructed on the corner of Fern and Maple Avenues and had largely paid for. They marched out of it at the close of the evening service, singing the Gospel hymn, "Saviour, like a shepherd lead us." As 1,200 worshippers filed out, they were followed by their pastor. This Godly congregation did not follow their pastor, but they led him out. They left all behind: hymn books, offering plates and bank accounts, communion set, newly installed memorial chimes, everything. Only God knew where next this band of faithful people would meet to worship Him. They forsook all in order to be true to the commands of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The verses of Scripture in 11 Corinthians 5 were real to them. They could have no part with unbelief, and they it came out" or were thrust out. But God is always faithful to His promises and in that same section of the Word of God II Corinthians 6:18 declares, "And (1) will be a Father unto you and ye shall be my sons and daughters." I believe the angels in Heaven sang with that congregation that night and rejoiced. Jesus, who never fails, did not fail in this case.
In the weeks, months, and years which have followed, the Great Shepherd has led and blessed this people and used this congregation for His Glory. Again and again, this people has shown its faith and loyalty, and today there are believers in every part of the world who have been blessed by them.
God has used His faithful servant, Dr. McIntire, so that he is known and blessed by believers of many tongues and nations in all parts of the world. This has been accomplished, in part, through the sending forth of the eight page weekly, the Christian Beacon, and also by the forming of the International Council of Christian Churches. Where Dr. McIntire is known, the congregation, which has stood faithfully behind him, is also known. Their love and giving and loyalty to Christ are recognized.
And now, may I fill in a few of the details of the events that followed the exodus from the stone church?
God does not fail His people. By the following Sunday, a huge tent stood on the vacant lots on the corner of Haddon Avenue and Cuthbert Boulevard, a main intersection in Collingswood several blocks from the vacated church building. Here the congregation gathered to worship with freedom, no longer bound to the modernism of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. That Sunday, paper plates and paper cups were used to serve communion. It was still quite cool in April, and the people suffered a bit from the cold. Yet there were warmth and unity within.
The land on this corner was bought, a plot of ground which would take care of future needs in a building program. Soon a wooden tabernacle began to take shape, with auditorium space for a congregation of at least 1,500 people, as well as rooms for the Sunday School and church activities. In June, the tent was left behind and the more permanent tabernacle was occupied.
The congregation grew so rapidly that in a few years the membership numbered more than 1,600. A building fund began to grow, and the people looked forward toward better and more permanent equipment to carry on the work of the Lord. In 1952, a fireproof building was erected mainly for the accommodation of a growing Sunday School. This beautiful building now stands on the very spot where first the tent stood. Now in 1956, plans are completed for a church edifice which will face Haddon Avenue, next to the Sunday School building.
These buildings are of Colonial architecture, bearing a resemblance to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Constitution of the United States of America was signed, where our early Congress first met. This architecture was chosen because there is a definite relationship between the freedom our American forebears demanded and the principles of freedom of worship which still belong to us. People who believe the Bible to be the Word of God normally are also good citizens of our great country. A Gospel-preaching church and a faithful American democracy are our heritage, and we wish both to be preserved for our children until Jesus comes.
There is much which should be said about the members of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood. First of all, they are Bible-knowing and Bible-believing people. From the pulpit, they are instructed in Bible truth. The church schools are Bible-centered. These include the Sunday School, the week day released time school, and the Summer Bible School. The latter runs for a period of four weeks, with a regular graded course from which the young people are graduated when the work is complete. The evangelistic emphasis is never lost sight of, and the purpose in every service and class is to have people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as personal Saviour and Lord. Here is a people who love the Lord their God. I have served other congregations and known other churches, but I know of no other church where real Christianity is better practiced than in this one. However, in many of our smaller Bible Presbyterian churches, the same spirit prevails. There is a real love for God and for His people. As an assistant pastor, I enjoyed this aspect of their faith, and I know whereof I speak. So, there is a real love for their pastor, Dr. Carl McIntire. I do not say that here is perfection by any means, for there are always exceptions, but Christian love is strongly expressed.
One of the ways by which people express their faith and love is revealed by their giving. A large percent of the people are tithers. The annual everymember canvass is a spiritual experience in this church. The month of February is stewardship month, and stewardship is the theme both from the pulpit on Sundays and in the midweek services. A budget is drawn up and presented to the congregation. The giving is on a fifty-fifty basis. Fifty percent of the budget is for local use and fifty percent is for outside use or strictly benevolent causes. The last several years the budget has called for more than $100,000 and each year it has been over subscribed. In addition to this regular giving there is a building fund and the monies which come in through the Sunday School, the Missionary Society, the Young Peoples' groups. Many missionaries are supported, many of whom are the children of the church. It is no wonder God has blessed this people. This is not a congregation of wealthy people, but mainly hard-working, God-fearing folks. They are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and do hard work. When, in 1941, the property which became the Harvey Cedars Bible Presbyterian Conference was obtained, they, with the help of other nearby Bible Presbyterian Churches, did that very thing in cleaning up the old hotel which needed a lot of renovating before it could be used. The Widener property in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, the home of Faith Theological Seminary since 1953, is another example. How the people responded with mops, scrub brushes, and paint brushes! Only a people motivated by the love of Christ would do as this people has done again and again. This is a congregation which Dr. Carl McIntire has served now for 23 years. They have been a blessing one to the other all these years.
HIS WIDE SPREAD MINISTRY
In these days of strife, unbelief, and socialistic attitudes, men are alerted by the Holy Spirit. Some are called to witness while others are called to continue to establish organizations to carry on their original policies.
In a previous chapter I have covered the reasons for the establishing of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. I shall restate that a great many loyal Presbyterians lost faith in the official board of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. These Christians could not in good conscience support with their tithes any organization which they regarded as disloyal to the Word of God. They were more eager than ever, in view of the growing apostasy throughout the world, to further the cause of truly Biblical Foreign Missions to the uttermost ends of the earth.
Many instances could be related at this time. However I want to present the part Dr. Carl McIntire had in carrying out this notable work which God has raised up.
At one of the meetings of the Independent Board, Dr. J. Gresham Machen proposed the name of the Rev. Carl McIntire, who was the pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Collingswood, New Jersey. Evidently Dr. Machen saw in Carl McIntire many qualities of leadership. He had been one of Dr. Machen's pupils in Princeton Theological Seminary. He recognized that Carl would be of great assistance not only in worth while suggestions but also in carrying out plans which were adopted. His youth, energy, ability, loyalty to His Saviour, and his uncompromising stand for the gospel were the attributes needed. At this time of writing, Dr. Machen's vision has been proved correct. Then during the three year period of Presbyterian Procedure we also saw the stalwart qualities of this man whom God has chosen. He placed the Word of God above the ecclesiastical power of the General Assembly. He could not obey the mandate. He chose to obey God rather than man.
God has raised up this talented man to stand in the breach in these end times of awful apostasy.
The part he has played in the formation or development, or both, of the separate organizations which now constitute a world-wide 20th Century Reformation movement proves him to be the greatest Christian statesman of the present time. He provides the leadership for those of the faithful remnant who, without compromise, will stand true to historic Christianity.
How I wish my strength would permit me to elaborate on each of the Independent organizations which have been raised up and used during the years since the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions was organized! Dr. McIntire's part in the formation of each has been outstanding.
The Christian Beacon, an eight page weekly religious newspaper, began the work of informing a sleeping public concerning what is happening in the world today. The first edition was printed in February 1936. The messages on its pages are timely and informative. It stresses an evangelistic note and, in my opinion, is America's number 1 missionary.
Dr. McIntire, because of his great concern for the unity of the church and its membership, spearheaded the organization of the American Council of Christian Churches. His book, "The Twentieth Century Reformation," chapter 18, "The Militant Church in Action," helps to give the reader an understanding of the months of careful planning and gives the specific reasons why the group of ministers who took a militant stand against apostasy needed a united testimony. Dr. Carl McIntire was elected the first president of the Council. Through the years, the American Council has continued to raise the standard against apostasy.
To spread abroad the Word of God and to unite the testimony to Jesus Christ were reasons to raise the standard in the world. Other peoples from other nations had had their struggles just as we have had. They needed help. Dr. McIntire, with the help of others, took the lead. On October 18, 1947, a call went forth to all Bible believing churches in the world to attend a meeting in Amsterdam, Holland, to be held August 12-19, 1948, in the English Reformed Church. Here was born the International Council of Christian Churches. My beloved coworker and brother in the Lord was honored by being elected its first president. I have talked with men from different parts of the world and, without exception, they have told me how they love and honor this man of God.
A further step in the 20th Century movement was the beginning of the 20th Century Reformation broadcast, sponsored by the Christian Beacon. The first message went over the air on March 7, 1955, from station WVCH Chester, Pennsylvania. This is another work of faith on the part of the editor of the Christian Beacon. It reveals Dr. McIntire's great desire to give to the public the facts and documented material about the conditions we are facing in our country today. This is a distinctive broadcast of historic Christian faith for the preservation of our religious freedom and our liberties.
In the last year alone this broadcast has increased from 1 to 19 stations with the prospect of increasing to 30 stations in the near future. This continuing advance surely shows that the marvelous blessings of God are upon it.
It is my earnest prayer that this death-bed message may help all of us. Let us thank God, who has given us this man of wisdom as our leader and world missionary. May we have the wisdom to accept this leadership and remain in the center of God's Divine Will!
"Where there is no vision, the people perish" Proverbs 29:19
A letter to my Bible Presbyterian Brethren
The Book of Numbers has a message for us Bible Presbyterians at the present time, especially beginning with the 11th chapter and several chapters from there on, and I ask my brethren to read this portion of God's Word. The 11th chapter reveals to us the children of Israel murmuring against physical conditions and complaining against their divinelyappointed leader Moses. Let me point out a few of the highlights among the events which took place. Remember that the Israelites were called God's children and that He had delivered them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, He had taken them across the Red Sea, and He promised to lead them into a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of plenty. They were experiencing some difficult times and hardships along the way, and the enemy challenged them each step of the way, but the Almighty Jehovah proved Himself capable of caring for their every need.
In chapter 12 we have the account of Moses' marrying an Ethiopian woman and immediately Aaron and Miriam, the brother and sister of Moses, found fault with their younger brother because they did not like their new sister-in-law. They went to Moses and said, "Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not also spoken by us?" And the Bible says, "and the Lord heard it." Here we have the marvelous statement of the meekness of Moses spoken by the Lord. Then God calls the three to appear before Him before the tabernacle, and what does God say? See verse 6, "Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream." V.7, "My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house." V.8, "With him will I speak mouth to mouth ... not in dark speeches ... wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" I need not remind you of Miriam's leprosy as a judgment against both Aaron and Miriam. But Moses prayed for his afflicted sister and God delivered her.
In chapter 14 is the sad account of Kadesh Barnea. The children of Israel were on the border of the Land of Promise but again there was the murmuring and complaining. In V.4 we read, "And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." The account follows -Moses prays, God is justly displeased and pronounces His judgment, "Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness."
Again, turn to the 16th chapter and read there the rebellion of Korah and his 250 followers who aspired to the office of priesthood. v.3, "And they gathered themselves against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy ... wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?" You know what followed. God called them to appear before the tabernacle and declared whom He had chosen. God's judgment was severe as the earthquake came and swallowed them all. The Almighty God vindicated His servant Moses, whom He had chosen and prepared and empowered. God is no different today from any other age.
Let me tell you of two personal experiences. I could tell you more. In 1937 1 was dismissed from the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. I had an elder of whom I was especially fond, and I considered him a good friend for several years. He was one of the noble elders who was a delegate to the 1934 General Assembly held in Cleveland, Ohio. When the vote was taken demanding that the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions be dissolved and the members of said Board resign under threat, this elder stood to his feet in opposition to the mandate. But by 1937 his mind had been poisoned against me, and at the Presbytery meeting when I was dismissed, he was especially bitter against me. On the floor of Presbytery I asked him why he was so bitter, recalling our friendship, but he had no answer. What happened? That elder dropped dead the following day.
While in the ministry in that area I had a Baptist pastor friend in a church nearby. He was a real believer, and we had considerable fellowship together. One evening he was conducting a business meeting in his church. The regular matters had come up and the minister was about to close the meeting and casually asked if there was anything else to be discussed. A certain deacon who did not particularly like his pastor rose to his feet and made a motion that the congregation ask the pastor to resign. The words were no more than out of his mouth till that deacon was a corpse between the benches where he had stood.
In our Bible Presbyterian denomination there has been too much murmuring and complaining, mainly by some of our leaders. One thing has led to another until the condition is shameful, and what a spectacle we present before the world. Most of this can be resolved to a "hate McIntire campaign." Most of the details of the situation which have grown out of an effort directed against Dr. McIntire are merely hooks to hang excuses on. It really has surprised me that God has not laid His hand of judgment upon some who have been so persistent in justifying themselves and making false accusations against Dr. McIntire.
Men, do you -not realize that Carl McIntire is our God-appointed leader? Who is there among our brethren like him? There is not one of us who has the ability to carry on a work as he carries on. It is mainly because of him that we have a Bible Presbyterian denomination. It is mainly because of him that we have a Faith Theological Seminary, where already hundreds of college men have been trained as faithful prophets of God. It is because of this vision, God given and blessed, that we have an American Council of Christian Churches and an International Council of Christian Churches, which it has pleased God to use and to make a blessing to innumerable Bible-believers around the world. I do not need to mention the other organizations and institutions of which he is a part. Why is he on these Boards? Because he is a big enough man and capable enough to have a part in their organization and in their administration. The God who gave Moses his ability and meekness is the same God who has given these gifts to Carl McIntire. And let me tell you, these months and years in which you have been murmuring against him he has been on his knees praying for you. Many of you he has personally befriended and some of you have gotten your livelihood because of his labors and from the congregation of which he is pastor. Now you show your appreciation for his kindness by slandering him.
Some of you do not like the Christian Beacon. You say it is too sharp or something like that. Listen, brother, what do you do with the 23d chapter of Matthew or the 8th of John or many similar passages spoken by our blessed Lord and Saviour? Do you still have a whole Bible? What you read in the Christian Beacon is very mild alongside of some statements of our Lord. It is because of the Beacon that I am a Bible Presbyterian today and more of you will witness the same. What is the matter? Have you gone soft? Then you have lost your testimony. God uses and honors the Christian Beacon, and He is not ashamed of it.
Recently a group of between forty and fifty members of the Collingswood Bible Presbyterian Church has gone out and formed what is advertised as the Covenant Bible Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield. If these dissenters had gone to the session or pastor of the Collingswood Bible Presbyterian Church and stated that they were unhappy where they were and wanted to start a new church, the pastor and Presbytery would have been glad to help them get started, but they did not do it that way. The dissenters did their best to cause a bigger split in the Collingswood Bible Presbyterian Church. Then they called the Rev. T. Cross, of National Missions, to come and organize them. The moderator of the New Jersey Presbytery was ignored, as was any other member of the Presbytery who realized that this was a dissenter group from the Collingswood Bible Presbyterian Church. The next thing, we saw advertisements in the Camden paper stating that Dr. J. Oliver Buswell, Jr., was their pastor. Dr. Buswell is a member of the Philadelphia Presbytery and to our knowledge has never either received an official call from any church or been dismissed from that Presbytery. I have always had high regard for Dr. Buswell, but such actions are hardly consistent with the Dr. Buswell I have long known. Mr. Cross and Dr. Buswell should both be severely censored for their actions in relation to this supposed new Bible Presbyterian Church. Surely the Head of the Church, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is not honored by such carryings on.
Why the people should leave the Collingswood Bible Presbyterian Church as these folks have done is a strange thing. To leave a church which God has blessed and used and upon which He has again put His hand of approval is another strange thing. The fellowship and the teachings and the advantages for young people in this church are superb, and, no matter what is said about the preaching, one can find none better. Pastor McIntire has and is faithfully preaching the whole counsel of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. The only reason I can think of why people who call themselves Bible Presbyterians should want to leave is that they were like the Israelites who complained against God's heaven-sent manna and were hungering for the fleshpots of Egypt. We love these people, and I have never heard Dr. McIntire or the session say one word of reproach against them. It is our prayer that they will see their folly and return. This one thing I am sure of, a righteous and a just God cannot bless an organization like that.
I am not saying that Dr. McIntire is perfect. Neither was Moses. But the accusations made against Dr. McIntire will not stand before the counsels of God any more than the complaints against Moses. He is a righteous man, zealous for the cause of Christ. There is nothing self-seeking about him. I have known him for more than twenty years and have been close to him a number of years as his assistant. I have never known a man who tries to serve God, honor His Son, defend His Word, and expose His enemies with half the zeal that Carl McIntire does.
The last two years I have been confined to a hospital bed most of the time, suffering considerable pain while a dread disease gnaws away at my vitals. I hear and read about what is going on among our brethren in the church fellowship which I love. I pray and weep, wishing I could do something. The Lord speaks to me, and I feel He has urged me to write this letter and pray much more.
It appears to me there are two avenues open to us Bible Presbyterians. We can either humble ourselves before God and seek His face and acknowledge our sins, accept the leadership of our Godgiven leader, Carl McIntire, uphold him in the great work God has laid upon his heart through the A.C.C.C. and the I.C.C.C. and share in the fruits of these labors, or we can rebel as did the Israelites on the borders of the Land of Promise, turn back until our bones perish in the wilderness. I feel that we stand at the entrance of experiencing great victories if we will be done with murmuring and honor our God and also His faithful servant.
REV. CLARENCE LAMANAn Open Letter to the First Bible Presbyterian Church of St. Louis
531 Delaware Avenue
Delanco, N. J.
March 22, 1956
The Bible Presbyterian Church of St. Louis has made public a resolution that is very remarkable. It is shocking. It should be called a "Revolution" rather than a resolution because it is a revolt and the instigator of a revolution.
The St. Louis Church has a listed membership of about 200. The vote on this resolution was 65 in favor and 3 against, or less than 1/3 of the membership.
As for the resolution, I wonder where a local church in our denomination got the authority to assume the role of dictator or pope by telling individuals in other churches what to do, or to dictate to boards and agencies outside the control of our denomination. This is what the St. Louis Church has done. It has come to a pretty pass when a church with 200 members (68 voting) can tell 50 or more leaders in the Church what they should do. Here is evidence of a "root of bitterness" that has sprung up with its defiling effects.
We have heard of a certain "gathering of power" in a recent publication. But, pray tell, who is seeking to gather this power? Who is more determined than the St. Louis church to have this power by wresting it from those who are said to have it? Strenuous objection is made to certain men on the Boards. Are there men in the St. Louis church who aspire for these positions and who feel they could do better than those who now lead them? Is there a thirst for power here? Let it be a thirst to serve the Lord Jesus where He wills and He will satisfy that thirst, even with the most menial task.
The resolution decries any thought of schism. The St. Louis church would evade that responsibility. But mere words are not enough. No doubt about it, this is a schismatic resolution! It's a determination on the part of a local church to split the whole Church. The thought (and hope) that Dr. Carl McIntire would split the Church if he did not get his way at the 19th Synod meeting has been observed. At a recent meeting which I attended, Dr. McIntire was asked this very question. When he replied that he would not leave the Church there was the most evident appearance of disappointment. Obviously, there was the hope that he would leave the Church and thus the Church would be resolved of the issues confronting it. And now, that the position of Dr. McIntire is publicly known on this matter, this resolution is passed with the evident design to precipitate a crisis and force the issue. It is either Dr. McIntire goes, or the St. Louis Church goes! Here is a resolution that is fostering schism and aims to foment discord among the churches.
I feel the time has come for the people of our Church who have known Dr. McIntire to let it be known how they stand toward him and his leadership. I have known Carl McIntire for or 20 years. He is the same today in his position and testimony as he was then. When I took my congregation out of the old Church and started the Bible Presbyterian Church of Star Cross, Carl McIntire was asked to help us get organized. That he did, and what a wonderful time of blessing and fellowship it was! How he stood with us in the snow outside the locked doors of the old church and sang the carols and later, assembled in another place, he spoke to us of the blessing that comes when you take a stand for God and His Word . . . the way he inspired us and encouraged us, we will never forget. Carl McIntire is still the same fearless and tireless servant of Jesus Christ. In spite of all the unkind and untrue things that have been said about him, his love for the brethren has not abated. Strange how one can profess to be a child of God and not love him! Why, if all really realized what a tremendous responsibility he is carrying, they would rally to his support by lifting their voices to God in prayer for him. Incidently, I heard that a student at Faith Seminary prayed that God would remove Dr. McIntire from his place of leadership even if it had to be by death! No child of God could offer a prayer like that! But that was the prayer of Caiaphas when he declared, "It is expedient for us that one man should die . . ." (John 11:50), and Jesus went to the cross for him and died for him as well as for the rest of the Jews. Yet Jesus loved them and prayed that God would forgive them because they did not know what they were doing.
I know of no man who has befriended more people in our Church than Carl McIntire. He has helped countless of the brethren who were in distress and needed help. And what did he get in return? He asked for nothing and expected nothing. But he has received something: he has been reproached and assailed by the very ones he has helped. When I read or hear the invectives that have been hurled against this man who leads a holy life before God, I wonder how he withstands it. But to know Carl McIntire is to know the God whom he loves and serves. And it is his God who sustains him. Greater faith have I not seen than this. If it were not for Carl McIntire there would not have been a Bible Presbyterian denomination; and if Dr. McIntire should leave the denomination today, the name of the Church might continue, but its testimony would have largely vanished. His very person, his zeal, his enthusiasm, his love for Christ and for the sinner are the very symbols and embodiments of our testimony.
Carl McIntire is a servant of God in whom God must take great delight. I believe God hears the prayers of this man and answers them with such favorable tokens of his grace because Carl McIntire is what he is. Just recently, God has given him a "token for good" in the Every Member Canvass in his church in which the members of his church pledged over $120,000.00 for the testimony of the Gospel through channels of which Dr. McIntire has a part. This is to say nothing of the thousands of dollars which Dr. McIntire is instrumental in raising for Faith Seminary, Shelton College, The Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, etc. Just think of how God honored this man so recently when he sent out a letter asking for $8,000.00 to finance a missionary trip to Australia. What did God do? He gave him another "token for good" by opening people's hearts to contribute more than twice that amount. Remove Dr. McIntire from his place of leadership and you will see a disintegrating of the 20th Century Reformation, and the cause of Christ will suffer great loss around the world. If, for some "unreasonable" reason you do not like his leadership, try to forget yourselves and yield to the power of the Holy Spirit and support this man whom God has used to do so much for or the glory of Christ.
It is said concerning this resolution that, "After a very lengthy but orderly and God-pleasing discussion . . ." How far-fetched and ridiculous this sounds! I can not for one moment believe God was pleased with this discussion. How can God be pleased by any discussion that despises the leadership of men whom God Himself has raised up and placed in positions of leadership? If there were something morally wrong with these leaders, or if they had failed in their responsibility, there would be reason for criticism. But the record stands as a testimony to their leadership and all has been for the glory of Jesus Christ. When we honor those whom God has honored, God in turn will honor us. There is nothing in the resolution to indicate it was pleasing to God, or that it was ever conceived in the mind of God. It does not appear to be the result of prayer or that it was born of the grace of God. Rather it is shot through with envy and bitterness. It sounds like the cry of a spoiled child who, because he could not have his way, picked up his doll and went home; or of the lad who, because he was not permitted to pitch on the team, refused used to play at all. There is no place in our Church for childishness and peevishness. We are children of God, ever growing up in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.
The St. Louis Church has charted its future course of action. If, at the end of the 19th Synod certain leaders do not relinquish control and get out, the St. Louis Church will get out. The resolution makes that very clear. But why wait until then? Why not withdraw NOW. You can go alone and be independent, or you can start a new denomination. So, why wait? Do you figure it will be more profitable for you to wait till after Synod meets? Will that give you a greater opportunity to spread tares among the wheat and bring greater disruption to the Church? Or, is there some other motive, like preferring charges against certain brethren in the denomination because they refuse to resign and bring them to trial for insubordination and force them out of the Church so that you can take over, lock, stock and barrel?
You have already invited other churches "of like mind" to join in leaving with you. Certainly, if other churches are "of like mind" they would not need any invitation. When I left the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. it was not because someone invited me to. Only God did it. When God proved to me that the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. had gone completely modern by its electing a moderator who was an unbeliever that was enough. And when any church is convinced BY GOD that there is, in the church, error that cannot be corrected, or that there is something also that would be just cause to withdraw, there would be no hesitation to do so. But our church has not gone modern; its differences are merely over personalities and talents and leadership. This is not a cause for division or separation, but rather a cause for self-examination and earnest prayer. The trouble is, as I see it, there is too much of both the "old man" and the "young man" in our camp. The "old man" is the fleshly appetites, the carnal self; the "young man" is the spirit that strives for mastery and leadership. God's way to leadership is through humility and patience. Believe that the position you now have is the place God wants you to be now; when He has prepared another place for you, He will at the same time have prepared you for it.
It is my hope and prayer that all the congregations of our denomination humble themselves before God and rededicate themselves to the first principles of our Church. Christ commands us to be occupied until He comes again. As Christians, as brethren in Christ, let us be occupied by loving one another ... in honor preferring one another, none thinking of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God 'hath dealt to every man the measure of faith; be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation; continue instant in prayer ... be of the same mind one toward another . . . be not wise in your own conceits ... be not overcome of evil, but overcome the evil with good. (Romans 12).
JOHN W. FULTON
24 Brentwood Ave.
Pitman, N. J.
March 14, 1956