Building the Superchurch versus Preserving the Old Faith
by Carl McIntire
Preserving the Old Faith
By Carl McIntire, D.D., Litt.D., F.R.G.S.
Pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church, Collingswood, NJ and President of the International Council of Christian Churches
The Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (Northern), the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (Southern), and the United Presbyterian Church have before them a plan for their organic union. The three are to become one. The Northern church has 2,482,248 members; the Southern, 718,791 members; and the United, 217,644. Actually, on the basis of figures, the large church will absorb the smaller.
The most fundamental issues of the historic Christian faith and the very substance of the Reformed Faith itself are involved. Every Christian should study and learn the issues. The whole Christian world is watching the decision. All must be weighed against the background of what has happened in the last 25 years and what is planned for the next 25 years. When you are going to marry, it is proper to consider the prospective groom's past and his plans for the future.
Here are basic reasons why those who love our Lord and believe His Word should oppose and help defeat the union plan.
I. "THE COMING GREAT CHURCH"
The proposed union is only a part of a larger planned union for all churches, which has been repeatedly outlined in recent years by such men as Dr. E. Stanley Jones, Methodist missionary, and Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, president for the Western Hemisphere of the World Council of Churches.
Jones has been touring the world taking polls for a united world church. Oxnam, writing the Episcopal address for the Methodist General Conference held in Boston, April 28, 1948, drew the blueprint. Signed by every Methodist bishop, it emphasized that all must return to be "a part of the Church Universal. First steps toward union must be taken by the Protestant communions. The Protestant churches must continue the present brotherly and inspiring co-operation with the Eastern Orthodox churches until such time as Protestantism is itself united. They may then consider union with Eastern Orthodoxy, which it is prayerfully hoped may be consummated. When the full union of Protestantism and of Eastern Orthodoxy is accomplished and the Christians of the world belong to but two great churches [the other being the Roman Catholic], the leadership of that day may be Christian enough and creative enough to kneel before a common altar, beg forgiveness of the Christ for disunity, and, sharing in the bread and wine of Holy Communion, rise in His spirit to form the Holy Catholic Church to which all Christians may belong."
This plan is shared by all the high level leaders of the Ecumenical Movement who speak of "the coming great church." The leaders of this Ecumenical Movement include numerous Presbyterians. Dr. Samuel McCrea Cavert, general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., which has done more than any other one group throughout the world to promote the ecumenical dream, is a Northern Presbyterian. Three of the vice-presidents are Presbyterians. Hermann N. Morse, one of these, and moderator of the Northern Assembly in 1952, said in his keynote sermon opening the 165th Assembly (May 28, 1953), "We pray for the emergence of the coming great church and rejoice in the signs of its appearing."
The Roman Catholic Church has been recognized by the Federal Council of Churches, now the National Council of Churches, as a "sister Christian Communion." The man who drafted the document in which this statement was made was none other than Dr. John A. Mackay, the president of Princeton Theological Seminary of the Northern Church. Shall we help build one world church? Shall we go back to Rome?
II. COMMUNIST CLERGY
The Committee on Un-American Activities of the United States Government has rendered an invaluable service to our land. In 1949 it published a document entitled, 100 Things You Should Know About Communism and Religion.
Question 89 of this pamphlet reads: "What is the People's Institute of Applied Religion?" Answer: "One of the most vicious Communist organizations ever set up in this country. Declared subversive by the Attorney General."
Its director is listed as the Rev. Claude C. Williams; its research director,. Cedric Belfrage. Williams is a minister in good and regular standing of the Presbytery of Detroit of the Northern Presbyterian Church and has been all these years. Congressman Donald L. Jackson of California, of the Committee on Un-American Activities, referred specifically, on the floor of the House of Representatives on March 17, 1953, to a Presbyterian minister and quoted him as follows: "Denominationally I am a Presbyterian, religiously a Unitarian, and politically I'm a Communist. I'm not preaching to make people good or anything of the sort. I'm in the Church because I can reach people easier that way and get them organized for Communism." This was Claude C. Williams. The statement was made on May 17, 1946, in the First Baptist Church of Denver, Colo.
The Daily News of Los Angeles, Saturday, April 27, 1946, carried this story: "Claude Williams, for a minister of the Presbyterian Church, yesterday cut loose with a few startling statements, not the least of which was that you don't have to believe that Christ was the Son of God."
"He qualified that one, though, by adding that you should at least look upon Him as a good social worker and an excellent organizer for democracy. . . .
"Williams contended that the closest approach to true religion in the world today is pure communism-materialistic aspects of the ideology notwithstanding."
Cedric Belfrage has written a 295-page biography of Williams entitled, A Faith to Free the People (1946). The book is thoroughgoing communist propaganda.
Belfrage quotes Williams as declaring: "If I believe in Jesus of Nazareth, I cannot believe in our present capitalist economy, which places property above humanity, enslaves to material cares the divine soul of man, and rewards unchristian conduct" (p. 127).
Belfrage, on three occasions, before Congressional committees has refused to tell, under oath, whether he was a communist or had engaged in communist espionage. The Government recognized that he entered the country in -1937 and has arrested him for deportation.
III. PRESBYTERY OF DETROIT
The Presbytery of Detroit has 81 churches and 130 ministers.
Belfrage, in A Faith to Free the People, writes in his chapter, "The Storm Breaks," page 267: "In the Detroit Presbytery, the activities of Claude Williams since December had accelerated the dissipation of the fog of empty words and the decisive taking of sides. Claude had been hired as the Presbytery's minister to Labor, but knowing that Labor was far ahead of the Church he had become, in addition and even more positively, Labor's minister to the Presbytery.
"If the Church preached brotherhood, and if the most flagrant violation of brotherhood in Detroit was the discrimination against Negroes, then in Claude's view the Church had the duty to practice brotherhood on its own ground by ending discrimination in the churches. None of the Churches had ever had the intestinal fortitude to face up to this duty. 'Millions of dollars,' Claude said to Dr. Hudnut, 'have been spent on the churches in Detroityet we are not only not nearer to brotherhood, we are actually further away.' As Dr. Channing H. Tobias [now United States representative in the United Nations], the national Negro leader, had summed it up on a recent visit to Detroit: 'I heard the pastor of Detroit's most liberal church preach on "The Irreducible Minimum of ChristianityBrotherhood." But that pastor who preached brotherhood could not apply it. If six Negroes were to apply for membership in his church, they could be assimilated. If fifty Negroes joined, it would break the whole church to pieces.'
"After a search lasting several weeks for a church in which a regular interracial program could be conducted, the Institute finally found one. The pastor of the Covenant Presbyterian Church accepted the idea with enthusiasm, and services were held there on several successive Sundays under the name 'Congregation of His People.' The Negroes who came to these services where white and colored people worshiped together had never seen anything like it; they could hardly believe their eyes. On Easter Sunday Claude preached to a congregation of sixty, divided about equally between whites and Negroes, with a sprinkling of Jews."
IV. THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
Williams' sermon is then quoted. He said: "We cannot preach the Fatherhood of God unless we believe in the Brotherhood of Man. We cannot believe in the brotherhood of man unless we accept the implications of such brotherhood" (p. 268).
He further said: "The early church spoke to and for the multitudes, and in the name of the God of Hosts. The present-day church speaks to and for a select few. The organized church has abandoned the dynamic message of the Bible. For its positive message of struggle, the church has substituted the liberal traditions and muddled middle-of-the-road philosophies of the middle class."
Then we are told (pp. 270, 271): "Claude made a report on his work to Presbytery shortly before the convening of the General Assembly in May. He had just published in The Protestant magazine [declared a communist publication by the California Committee on Un-American Activities, Report, 1948], under the title Hell-brewers of Detroit, an article listing by name all the formenters of discord in the city and indicating what lay ahead if the Church and Labor did not take the offensive against them.
"The six months for which he had been hired were almost up, and a decision had to be reached as to his reemployment. Most of the Presbytery members seemed favorably disposed toward him, but some were antagonistic, fearing that forthright methods would get the Church in bad odor in the community. In the discussion, Claude immediately took the offensive.
"'I know what the developments are likely to be in Detroit,' he said, 'and if I am to continue this work my position must be clarified now, before the shooting starts. I know that when the first race riot or labor disturbance happens, and I identify myself with the people, the cry "Communist!" is going to go up. There are forces at work to bring about race riots and labor disturbances, and these things are going to happen. But I have come to the point where I refuse to be fired any more as a "Communist."'"
"Assured that he need have no fears on this score, Claude enthusiastically accepted the Presbytery's offer to continue as their industrial chaplain. It was agreed that, since the work was assuming such wide proportions, the preacher should move his family from Evansville and set up in Detroit the national headquarters from which all Institute activities should be directed."
The book reports the terrible race riot which shocked the nation, and the last chapter, entitled, "The Churches' Opportunity," opens: "The dust of the race riot had hardly settled when Joyce [Williams' wife] arrived from Evansville, where she had been carrying on as executive secretary of the Institute." Williams was denounced as a Red and Belfrage continues: "So exactly had Claude called the cards in advance on what would happen-first the race riot, then the cries of 'Red!' -that he had made it difficult for his antagonists in the Church to take any action against their embarrassingly outspoken industrial chaplain. To those who asked for his answer to, the charges that he was a Communist or fellow-traveler, he said: 'Just say I am a fellow-traveler with the man who went to the Cross.'
"His own committee in the Presbytery stood by him to a man. Dr. Hudnut told him that he always felt humble in Claude's presence, thinking of the time when heHudnut-had been asked why he did not preach more on the Blood, and he had replied: 'Because. I never shed any.' Nevertheless the committee agreed with Claude that, in order to keep the record straight and clear, he should be put on a forthcoming Presbytery program to speak, Claude was on the carpet as far as those Presbytery members who were not conversant with his work were concerned, and it was his way to take the offensive" (p. 285).
Then we are told: "Claude . . . had created a sensation at the Presbytery meeting. The time allotted had been cut to twenty-five minutes, but in that period he had given the most magnificent and unanswerable statement of his position. . . . The Presbytery members had broken into applause and risen to their feet as the preacher stepped down from the platform. One of the members had thereupon moved that the statement should be printed at Presbytery expense and circulated; and Claude had even been asked to include in the written statement all the things he had not had time to say.
"When the preacher arrived home a few minutes later, Frances and Winifred Chappell ran to him and seized him by the arms, laughing and shouting. Winifred was still laughing uncontrollably, standing over in the corner with her hand over her mouth, when he finished telling what had happened.
"'Well, what's so funny as all that, Winnie?' asked Claude.
"'I was just thinking,' Winifred gasped, 'you used the same sermon to get the Presbyterian preachers into the kingdom that you used to get the sharecroppers into the union. And it worked.'"
V. STATED CLERK
Congressman Harold H. Velde, chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, when under attack for suggesting the investigation of communists in the clergy, said, in the House of Representatives, March 19: "1 would like to state here that to have denied that there were communists in the field of religion would have been a lie on my part and misleading to the American public."
Dr. Eugene C. Blake, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Northern Church, writing in Presbyterian Life, official organ of the Northern Church, May 16, 1953, on the subject, "'Concerning the Loyalty of Presbyterians," denounces the proposed investigation of communists among the clergy. The charge that communism has infiltrated the old line Protestant churches, he says, "is without foundation and all Protestants would do well to resist and to resent it for what it is, namely pure propaganda designed to alienate Protestant people from their ministers."
When. Williams was exposed on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, why did not the stated clerk of the 'General Assembly immediately announce that he would institute a thorough investigation?
The resolution of the National Council of Churches censuring the Committee on Un-American Activities for its threat to freedom because of its methods of investigating was written by Dr. Paul C. Payne, general secretary of the Board of Christian Education, and a vice president of the NCC. The defending of the communists, the covering up of the communists, and the attacking of the Committee which in the national interest seeks to bring to the attention of the people of the country the perils of communism within our midst becomes now a real concern to those in both the United Presbyterian and the Southern Presbyterian Churches.
VI. THE MODERATOR
Dr. John A. Mackay was named moderator of the 165th General Assembly of the Northern Church. His first statement as reported by Mr. George Dugan in the New York Times, May 30, represents him as denouncing a "new cult" and a "new form of idolatry." "There is emerging," Dr. Mackay said, "a pattern of inquiry which is new in our American heritage. Investigation is becoming inquisition."
This was a direct reference to the Committee on UnAmerican Activities, the Internal Security Committee of the United States Senate, and men in responsible Government positions who have been ferreting out the communists in high places who have betrayed our nation. The realization that communist infiltration is a serious menace has prompted these measures.
Dr. Mackay declared that the "new form of idolatry" regards "passionate and unreflective opposition to the communist demon as the one and only expression of Americanism and even of Christianity." He said that this "new cult of negation" teaches its adherents that "the one absolute for which they should live at the present time is to fight communism, to discover and indict communists, and to label as suspect all who do not follow the cultist party line." Anti-communism, he asserted, is just as dangerous as communism and sometimes even more so.
There is no word of commendation to any of the investigating committees. The entire slant of the new moderator's attack is to shield and protect the communists and discredit those who would expose them. No effort was made by Mackay or the Assembly to bring their own communist minister, Claude Williams, to account.
Dr. Mackay theologically is neo-orthodox. He does not accept the verbal inspiration or the inerrancy of the Scriptures.
He has been active in the communist-front movement. He was a member of the Committee of American Friends of Spanish Democracy which was cited as a communist front by the Un-American Activities Committee. The Committee said:
"In 1937-38, the Communist Party threw itself wholeheartedly into the campaign for the support -of the Spanish Loyalist cause, recruiting men and organizing multifarious so-called relief organizations ... such as . . . American Friends of Spanish Democracy" (Special Committee on Un-American Activities, Report, March 29, 1944, p. 82).
He has been further cited as one of the editorial advisers of The Protestant, a magazine declared subversive and "a communist publication" by the California Committee on Un-American Activities (Report, 1948, pp. 93, 225, and 320).
He is also identified as a signer of an appeal in behalf of Russian War Relief, a communist-front organization. In this enterprise he was associated with a number of notorious communists and communist-front fellow travelers.
I have heard Dr. Mackay speak. He is able. He knows the conservative terminology, and with it he is able to deceive many people. His consistent championing of positions taken by the Party line,. however, cannot be denied.
VII. THE SOCIAL CREED
One recent exposure made by the Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee Has been the revelation that Harry F. Ward, for many years professor of Christian Ethics in Union Theological Seminary, has been a member of the Communist Party. Louis Budenz, a selfconfessed communist, former editor of the Daily Worker, testified under oath that he knew Ward to be a communist, worked with him in the communist Politburo. Ward is the father of the church's Social Creed. Bishop Oxnam, in defending himself against the record of the Committee on Un-American Activities, actually recognizes that Ward wrote this Social Creed.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., in 1932, in a lengthy social pronouncement, actually incorporated phrase after phrase and statement after statement of this subversive Social Creed-written by a communist!
The pronouncement of the General Assembly states: "In view of these obligations, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. does now declare and stand for the following ideals and objectives:
"1. Practical application of acknowledged Christian principles to the acquisition and use of wealth; subordination of profit to the creative and co-operative spirit; observances of such social plans and control as are involved in the economic process which operates for the common good."
In an introductory statement, entitled, "The Duty of the Church," the Northern Assembly said: "We cannot be complacent members of any society that is less than Christian . . . . . To all who are Christian such a society is known as the Kingdom of God-a kingdom based on the Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and the infinite value of every human soul."
But the kingdom of God, according to the Bible, is a spiritual, eternal kingdom. Christ said: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.... that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXV, Section II, identifies the kingdom of God with the church, not a social order. The false kingdom idea adopted by the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., is actually the Communist Party line as it has been operating in church circles.
This Creed has found its way into the literature of the Northern Church. Thus the church is twisted to become an agency for the promotion of something which Christ never preached. Actually, it is Marxism.
Social Progress is an attractive, two-toned colored booklet appearing monthly, "Published by the Department of Social Education and Action of the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A." Benevolence monies produce this document. The May, 1953, issue has an editorial entitled, "The Issue of Communism," stating: "As Dr. Paul Wright has suggested, we ought to recognize that the dreams and goals of the Russian revolution are, in fact, distortions and aberrations of valid Christian hopes and doctrines. In its promise of a new world, the Russian version of Communism presents a set of ideals which have their easily recognizable counterparts in familiar Christian teachings. The deep difference is that the Russian revolution is completely godless in its philosophy and relates man to the State in such a way as to deny the Christian teaching of the essential worth and dignity of human personality." There is absolutely no counterpart in familiar Christian teachings of any communist promise of a new world. Of course, if the "Christian teachings" are the "brotherhood of man" and the "kingdom of God society"-which Christ did not teach, then there is a familiar counterpart with the atheism extracted. This is the Party line.
Such facts as these must be considered in the question of union. They are, of course, unanswerable, and those in the North who are leading the fight for the union are doing their best to direct attention away from such evidence.
VIII. COMMUNIST FRONTIERS
Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publications, and Appendix, Revised, May 14, 1951, "prepared and released by the Committee on UnAmerican Activities of the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.," is a 166-page document actually naming the communist-front organizations. It can be had free from your Congressman. There have been more communist fronters among the clergy than perhaps any other group. Mr. J. B. Matthews, for years Chief Investigator of the Committee on UnAmerican Activities, has just published an article, "Communism and the Colleges," American Mercury, May, 1953, and says: "The Communist-front apparatus came into existence as the result of the Trojan Horse policy enunciated by Georgi Dimitrov, then head of the Communist International, at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International, which was convened in Moscow in August, 1935.
"The first important Communist-front organization in the United States was the American League for Peace and Democracy, organized at Pittsburgh in November, 1937, and headed by Professor Harry F. Ward of Union Theological Seminary." Other clergymen who are identified in this particular study, which lists more than 100 educators, are: Georgia Harkness, Pacific School of Religion; Walter M. Horton, Oberlin; John A. Mackay, Princeton Theological Seminary; Halford E. Luccock, Yale; Benjamin E. Mays, Morehouse, Atlanta, Ga. The article, by the way, is the finest that has yet appeared and should be read by every American. It may be procured for 35 cents from American Mercury, 11 E. 36th St., New York 16, N. Y.
These communist fronters have ways of working themselves into key places. Crossroads, an official Sunday school publication of the Northern Presbyterian Church, January-March, 1953, features three prominent communist fronters in this one edition. There are Georgia Harkness and Carey McWilliams. McWilliams, identified as "associate editor of The Nation, has lectured extensively on minority group problems and civil liberties. He is the author of many books and articles dealing with these problems, including Brothers Under the Skin (1943), Prejudice (1944), A Mask for Privilege (1948), and most recent, Witch Hunt (1950)." The third is Nels F. S. Ferre, of Vanderbilt University School of Religion, Nashville, Tenn. He has written that Jesus Christ could have been the son of Mary, fathered by a soldier in a German soldiers' camp near by her home town, and that this German parentage of our Lord Jesus might account for the current idea, in some quarters, that Jesus was a blond rather than a brunet. In his book, Christianity and Society, 1950, he wrote: "If Marxism should conquer the whole world, this might be merely the prelude in economic arrangement to the blossoming forth within it of the deeply sowed seeds of Christian faith and expectations. Marxism may be God's means to Christian fulfillment in history." Surely he is a fine leader to popularize throughout the church!
IX. NEW CURRICULUM
The Northern Church has adopted a new Sunday school curriculum. It has been pushed through Presbyteries, and its modern, varicolored printings, makes an attractive eye appeal with the slogan that it is "theologically sound, Bible centered, evangelical, mission minded." A ruling elder, W. W. Slocum, of the First Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood, N. J., has written the following concerning the new curriculum:
"The titles of several curriculum books and much of the presentation of Christ within their covers are slurs against Christ and His, divinity. The King Nobody Wanted omits the annunciation of the virgin birth of Christ. It further presents the Devil as inside Jesus at the time of His temptation in the wilderness. . . . Christ is presented as man, not God, not deity. The author presents Christ as confused in thought and purpose. An example of the blasphemy of this author and this book against the Holy Trinity is found in his manufacture of thoughts for Christ Himself to think: 'There is no doubt that I am the Messiah. How should I begin?' The Son of God, prepared from the foundation of the world for His mission of salvation and the revelation of God Himself to all believers, is presented throughout this prepared textbook for the Christian education of our young people as a hesitant, confused man of failure."
Lest someone accuse me of taking things out of context, I quote in full the poem on the frontispiece of Counsel, April-June, 1949, by Dorothy L. Sayers, entitled, "I Will Draw All Men Unto Me."
"Go, bitter Christ, grim Christ! haul if Thou wilt
Thy bloody Cross to Thine own bleak Calvary!
When did I bid Thee suffer for my guilt
To bind intolerable claims on me?
I loathe Thy sacrifice; I am sick of Thee.
They say Thou reignest from the Cross. Thou dost,
And like a tyrant. Thou dost rule by tears, Thou womanish Son of woman. Cease to thrust
Thy sordid tale of sorrows in my ears,
Jarring the music of my few, short years.
I am battered and broken and weary and out of heart,
I will not listen to talk of heroic things,
But be content to play some simple part,
Freed from preposterous, wild imaginings.
Men were not made to walk as priests and kings.
Thou liest, Christ, Thou liest, take it hence,
That mirror of strange glories, I am 1;
What wouldst Thou make of me? 0 cruel pretence,
Drive me not mad so with the mockery
Of that most lovely, unattainable lie!
0 King, 0 Captain, wasted, wan with scourging,
Strong beyond speech and wonderful with woe,
Whither relentless, wilt Thou still be urging
Thy maimed and halt that have not strength to go?
Peace, peace, I follow. Why must we love Thee so?
This is the modernist Christ offered as the one to follow. We know why we love Him. "We love him because he first loved us," and gave Himself to be the "propitiation for our sins."
X. THE NEW BIBLE
No issue has shaken the Protestant churches of the United States as has the new Bible-the Revised Standard Version-copyrighted and "authorized" by the National Council of Churches. Eight of the 32 translators have communist-front records. They have produced a Bible that is so full of conflicts, contradictions, and errors that it is difficult for a reasonable person to believe that it could be inspired of God. The Messianic passages, those dealing particularly with the deity of Christ, have been tampered with, toned down, modified, or changed. The great Isaiah 7: 14 passage, predicting 750 years before, the birth of Christ of the virgin, has been changed to read "a young woman," while the New Testament quotation (and it is placed in quotation marks) uses the word "virgin." Confusion, contradiction, doubt are introduced. The Bethlehem passage, Micah 5:2, which declares in the King James Version that Christ's "goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting," now reads, "whose origin is from of old, from ancient days."
The Northern Church, right across the country, has taken the new Bible into its pulpits. It uses it in its Sunday school literature, and, in the lower brackets for the youth, it uses it exclusively. In the Southern Church particularly there are hundreds of churches today that have refused to use it. Dr. Allan A. MacRae, professor of Old Testament in Faith Theological Seminary, Elkins Park, Pa., has declared it "unfit to be called a 'holy' Bible.
In the name of peace and by the superficial arguments of co-operation and brotherly love the effort is being made to consummate this union without people's realizing the basic issues at stake.
The Rev. Dr. Laurence F. Kinney, of Memphis, Tenn., the fraternal delegate to the Northern Assembly, meeting in Minneapolis, May 30, said, "We believe the tide is turning toward a reunion. We of the South have been trying to adjust ourselves to the new findings on the Bible."
XI. FOREIGN MISSIONS
Nowhere in the whole missionary program has the communist element been more apparent than in the Far East.
Samuel Hugh Moffett, graduate of Princeton Seminary and Yale Divinity School, a missionary under the Board of Foreign Missions, Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., taught theology and church history in Nanking Theological Seminary. "The Christian and Social Reform" is an article in December, 1950, His, in which it is shown that he accepts the communist line. He confuses Christian charity with communism. I quote the full paragraph:
"Not so in a Christian order, said Tertullian. 'The only limit to Christian charity,' he said in those early days, 'is the need of the people.' Its only limit the need of the people! That has a familiar ring to it these days. It is the model for this famous sentence from the Communist Manifesto of 1848: 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.' Marxism borrowed a basic social principle of the Early Church: Christian charity. And if to the poor and oppressed people of the world it sounds like a new gospel, let us as Christians hide our heads in shame that we have surrendered to others who honor not the name of Christ, a part of the good news that is the gospel of Christ."
In communism the state takes from each according to his ability and the state gives to each according to his need. It is totalitarian, materialistic, and atheistic in principle. Christian charity, on the other side, is free, voluntary, and based on the individual's love for his neighbor. The two have no connection of any kind! This missionary, however, has become a featured speaker at conferences sponsored by the World Council of Churches and the International Missionary Council.
In 1935, 1 wrote a booklet on modernism in the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. I cited the particular case of Andrew T. Roy, missionary, Nanking Theological Seminary. I quoted from his pacifist article, "The Church and War," in the Nanking Seminary Review, January, 1934:
"The cross is not a sacrifice offered to God.". . ."The only point that causes great difference of opinion is the second, Why was it necessary that Christ should die if God was freely offering forgiveness. The theologians of fifty years ago would probably have said (and here I quote from a generally accepted statement of 1872) 'to satisfy Divine justice for the sin of man by the substituted penal sufferings of the Son of God."' . . . "The older theory took this particular turn because of the idea that perfect justice must punish sin." And again the writer says that Christ suffered "to the utmost that the evil one may turn and be reconciled."
This evidence of unbelief, in direct conflict with the specific provisions of the Westminster Confession of Faith, was never answered. The only reply given was that Roy was a fine Christian, came from a good home and a large church.
When I picked up the April, 1953, Social Progress, I saw a featured article entitled, "The Conscientious Objector," by Andrew T. Roy. Turning to it, I read, "Andrew T. Roy, Secretary, Department of Missionary Personnel, Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions." Dr. John A. Mackay, following the Bangkok Conference of the International Missionary Council in 1949, returned to New York, and, in the presence of other members of the Board of Foreign Missions, made an open public appeal that the United States recognize Communist China, and that Communist China be given the place of Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Chinese Government on the United Nations Security Council. Mackay has since given up the presidency of the Board, but he is the president of the International Missionary Council, the missionary arm of the World Council of Churches, and now moderator of the General Assembly of the Northern Church.
When I was in the Philippines in 1949, 1 was given a mimeographed document entitled, "Report of the Minister's Institute in Theology," Tacloban, Leyte, October 25-27, 1949. Here I saw the way in which modernism, or liberalism, as it is sometimes called, was working on the mission field. The Conference, called presumably to discuss the "main points of evangelical Christian theology," turned out to be an argument between the missionaries, three of them, and the national church leaders who believed the Bible to be the Word of God. The three missionaries, neo-orthodox in their views, were Hal B. Lloyd, Albert J. Sanders, and James McKinley. Lloyd and Sanders had gone out under the Board in 1927.
We quote the report: "Mr. Sanders asked Mr. Pia [a national church pastor] what he meant by saying that Christ is our substitute. Mr. Pia answered that Christ did something for us that we could not do for ourselves. Mr. Ortiga [another national] added that Christ took the punishment which should have been placed upon us. Someone said that Christ paid a debt which we owe. Mr. Sanders said that is a classical view of the atonement but we should not insist upon the literalism of it too much." But this happens to be the teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith!
In the discussion of the Bible we read: "Today among Christians there are three principal theories regarding the Bible and each of these stems from the historical views I have sought to explain. The first is now generally known as the Fundamentalist View, which holds to the verbal inspiration of the text and the infallibility of the contents of the Bible. The second is sometimes called the Modernist View, which has its roots in the Rationalism of the 18th century.... The third view is advocated by that group of theologians who are commonly called Neo-orthodox. . . . Those in this school contend that the Bible is primarily the revelation of God and not an infallible setting forth of history, science, and doctrine. . . . The Bible is the vessel, and a very precious and necessary vessel it is, but Christ Himself is the treasure. . . . Strictly speaking, they hold that the Bible is not the word of God but that it conveys the Word of God."
There are not three principal theories among Christians regarding the Bible. The position of the Westminster Confession of Faith is that the Bible is the Word of God because God says it is. At this Philippines Conference the speaker proceeded to give most of his space to attacking what was clearly defined as the "Fundamentalist View," and the nationals, thank God, defended the integrity of the Bible. Here money was being spent to pay the salaries of missionaries not to get men to believe in the Bible but to try to persuade men, who had previously been taught to believe that the Bible is the Word of God, that is could not be fully trusted. This is not the purpose of missions.
XII. THE AUBURN AFFIRMATION
An issue for many years, and one certainly at stake in the present union, is the Auburn Affirmation. Dr. Harrison Ray Anderson, moderator of the Northern Assembly, 1951, has written a booklet attempting to explain that the Auburn Affirmation is good orthodox doctrine. This Affirmation, released from Auburn, N. Y., in 1924, was signed by 1293 Northern Presbyterian ministers.
The Affirmation says: "Some of us regard the particular theories contained in the deliverance of the General Assembly of 1923 as satisfactory explanations of these facts and doctrines. But we are united in believing that these are not the only theories allowed by the Scriptures and our standards as explanations of these facts and doctrines of our religion, and that all who hold to these facts and doctrines, whatever theories they may employ to explain them, are worthy of all confidence and fellowship."
Dr. Anderson, in trying to explain this, does not give in his pamphlet the deliverance of 1923. Had he done so, it would have been clear that the Auburn Affirmation did attack these fundamentals of the faith. The deliverance declared:
"1. It is an essential doctrine of the Word of God and our standards that the Holy Spirit did so inspire, guide and move the writers of Holy Scripture as to keep them from error.
"2. It is an essential doctrine of the Word of God and our standards that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary.
"3. It is an essential doctrine of the Word of God and our standards that Christ offered up Himself a sacrifice to satisfy Divine justice and to reconcile us to God.
"4. It is an essential doctrine of the Word of God and of our standards concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, that, on the third day He rose again from the dead with the same body with which He suffered, with which also He ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of His Father, making intercession.
"5. It is an essential doctrine of the Word of God as the supreme standard of our faith that our Lord Jesus showed His power and love by working mighty miracles. This working was not contrary to nature, but superior to it."
The birth of Christ of the Virgin Mary was not a "theory." It is a fact. It either happened or it did not. The same is true of the bodily resurrection of Christ. The Assembly, in its declaration, had simply summarized five essential doctrines, clearly taught in the Bible and in the Westminster Confession of Faith. The Affirmation denies outright the doctrine of the inerrancy of the Scriptures. The Affirmation says, "The doctrine of inerrancy, intended to enhance the authority of- the Scriptures, in fact impairs their supreme -authority for faith and life, and weakens the testimony of the church to the power of God unto salvation through Jesus Christ." The inspiration which it believes in is not the inspiration the Bible teaches, nor that which is set, forth in the Westminster standards. The Confession of Faith, Chapter 1, Section IV, states: "The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God, (who is truth itself,) the author thereof ; and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God."
Auburn Affirmation signers have found their places in all the various agencies, boards, and responsible committees of the denomination through the years. Now we warn people against going into a church where its teachings have been honored, even in the election of two of its signers as moderators of the General Assembly Henry Sloane Coffin and Jesse Hays Baird.
There are four major seminaries serving the,,, Northern Church-Chicago, Princeton, Union, and San Anselmo.
Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen is president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. When he was ordained to the ministry, he refused to affirm his faith in the virgin birth of Christ. He has become a chairman of the Study Department of the World Council of Churches. "Theological Education for an Ecumenical Church" is the title of an article by Van Dusen in the Christian Century of April 30, 1952, which calls for the development of an ecumenical theology which would "present always the universal Christian faith, never the teaching of a particular communion." He declares, "What is required is that theological education in its every respect be recast within the enveloping reality of world Christianity." "Every one of our theological colleges," he says, ". . . should regard itself, with new seriousness, as a training school for leadership not for a particular communion but of the one universal church of Christ." Again, "Many look forward to the day when Christians will acknowledge membership simply in 'the Church of Christ.' "
Van Dusen reports that Princeton Seminary has created a required study entitled, "Ecumenics." There was a great fight over Princeton, 1924-1929, when it was reorganized to make it conform to the inclusive trend in the church, and two signers of the heretical Auburn Affirmation were placed on its Board of Directors. Now its professor of Old Testament teaches that there are three Isaiahs, and no longer is verbal or plenary inspiration of the Scriptures defended.
Dr. Jesse Hays Baird, president of San Anselmo, near San Francisco, is also a signer of the Auburn Affirmation and was made moderator of the General Assembly in 1948.
The May 23, 1953, issue of the Saturday Evening Post features an article on Chicago Theological Seminary, formerly named McCormick. We read: "It is a matter of great pride to Dr. Robert Worth Frank, the liberal president of the seminary, that McCormick represents no single, rigid school of thought. The viewpoints of the individual faculty members range from the pessimism of the extreme Calvinist to the optimism of those who see the church as a leader in social reform. The students are exposed to all points of view; they are expected to make up their own minds. A blond senior from Alabama told us, 'Many of us come here to seminary hoping to have our convictions confirmed. We find instead that they may be shaken up and changed. I think this is a good thing.'"
XIV. THE INCLUSIVE CHURCH
The Presbyterian Outlook, modernist organ in the Southern Church, is pressing the union there.
Walter L. Lingle, former moderator of the Southern Church, is quoted in the May 18 issue as saying of the Northern and Southern Churches, "Their doctrinal standards are essentially the same even in details. In both branches there are conservative -and liberals in their interpretation of the standards." These sentences are in conflict. What difference does it make if they are essentially the same in detail, if divergent interpretations of them are allowed? The very purpose of taking ordination vows is that the church may be united in maintaining its standards. When different interpretations of these standards-conservative and liberalare allowed within the same body, you do not have one church but two, three, or four different churches in one organization. The conservatives, with their interpretation, have one belief. The liberals, with their interpretation, have other beliefs.
Presbyterian Outlook, June 1, carries an article, "The Objections Are Not Valid," and declares, "Differences in theological emphases have always existed in all branches of the Presbyterian Church. Such differences as exist today are in details and not in essentials." But the differences are in essentials. Every effort is being made to persuade Presbyterians that the faith is being maintained and that only minor differences are involved, and that the plan of union will simply give a united, stronger Presbyterian Church in the country. The very fact that this approach is being made indicates that the leaders in the union recognize that there is still a sound Bible-believing constituency down in the grass roots, and, second, that the leaders are afraid that, if the people become aware of what actually is the situation in the Northern Church in particular, an" in the leadership which favors union, the whole thing will run afoul. Jesus Christ did not build His church upon varying viewpoints. The differences within the Presbyterian circles, where the union is now attempted to be consummated, strike at the very nature of the Christian church and the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He? To this question there comes forth a confusion of voices, particularly from the Northern Presbyterian Assembly.
The "Form of Government" of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. lists certain preliminary principles and declares:
"That truth is in order to goodness; and the great touchstone of truth, its tendency to promote holiness; according to our Saviour's rule, 'by their fruits ye shall know them,' and that no opinion can be either more pernicious or more absurd, than that which brings truth and falsehood upon a level and represents it as of no consequence what a man's opinions are. On the contrary, we are persuaded that there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty. Otherwise it would be of no consequence either to discover truth, or to embrace it."
What is modernism? The word is generally contrasted with "fundamentalism." A modernist is an individual who rejects one or any number of the fundamental truths of the Christian religion. Dr. George A. Buttrick, for example, is a modernist. He is pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, and has been a president of the Federal Council of Churches, now the National Council. His book, The Christian Fact and Modern Doubt, attacks one basic Christian truth after another. He writes: "Literal infallibility of Scripture is a fortress impossible to defend: there is treason in the camp. Probably few people who claim to 'believe every word of the Bible' really mean it. That avowal held to its last logic would risk a trip to the insane asylum" (p. 162).
His denial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is astounding. He says: "The future is hidden. We must be faithful to our ignorance. Our deep instinct, our conscience, our love, our sense of God, all point to a future life. Jesus apparently conquered death: no man need covet an assignment to prove that He is dead. His disciples turned our world upside down in conviction of His deathlessness; and we ourselves strangely and compellingly sense His presence. These are the grounds of hope.
"But we do not know-except by an invincible surmise. Why pretend we do? Some of us, being so constituted that we are happy on our 'wild lone,' do not wish to know. We suspect that life might be desperately prosaic, if we knew" (p. 284).
Paul said, "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."
The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXX, "Of Church Censures," says:
"III. Church censures are necessary . . . for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump; for vindicating the honor of Christ, and the holy profession of the gospel; and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the Church, if they should suffer his covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders."
The only place that discipline has been used in the Northern Church since the turn of the century has been against those who fought for the faith against "notorious and obstinate offenders." Instead of discipline being used to remove the leaven, it has been used to preserve the leaven so that it may "infect the whole lump," as it is doing.
Modernism came into the Board of Foreign Missions. It was carefully documented by the late Dr. J. Gresham Machen, scholar and defender of the faith, author of such unexcelled works as, The Virgin Birth of Christ, The Origin of Paul's Religion, and What is Faith? Instead of correcting the modernism, the General Assembly of 1933 declared that the Board with its modernism was worthy of "full confidence."
Machen and others then formed an Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (now located at 246 W. Walnut Lane, Philadelphia 44, Pa.), outside of the denomination and its control, to which Presbyterians and others could send money for the support of missionaries who did not teach modernism or help support modernism.
The General Assembly of 1934 issued a "mandate" directing members of the Independent Board to resign immediately and to support the officially approved Board of the denomination. The writer of this pamphlet was a member of that Board. He was 27 years of age. He refused to resign, and, with Dr. Machen and others, appealed to the Scriptures which said, "We ought to obey God rather than men." We further appealed to the Confession of Faith, Chapter XX, Section II: "God alone is lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to His Word, or beside it, in matters of faith and worship. So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commandments out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy the liberty of conscience, and reason also."
We were placed on trial, a number of charges were filed against us, all of which were based on our refusal to obey the General Assembly. For our "sin" we were forbidden to take the Holy Communion and "suspended" from the ministry. This led to separation.
The church which I had served in Collingswood, N. J., for three years renounced the denomination's jurisdiction, and called itself the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood. For two years we fought in the court to retain the title to the property which our congregation had built. All was taken from us. We went out into a tent. We started from nothing to build a Bible Presbyterian church. I have always been a Presbyterian, a child of the manse, born in a Presbyterian manse in Ypsilanti, Mich. On both sides my family have been Presbyterians from Scotland. I believe in salvation by grace through faith. Because I opposed modernism in the church and sought to help a mission agency which would preach the true Gospel, I was forbidden to take Holy Communion. This history now rises to plague the Northern Church all over the world.
I have been denounced as a "deposed preacher," but, whenever this is charged, the reason is never given. I am proud of my scars for Him. The Western section of the World Presbyterian Alliance recently publicly censured me as being "disruptive." The "disruption" is exactly what is contained in this very pamphlet. I have sought through the years to point out the departures from the historic Christian faith and to obey the Biblical injunction to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the saints." It has to be done!
Instead of using discipline to try the members of the Independent Board, why has the General Assembly not ordered the Detroit Presbytery to place on trial Claude C. Williams, the communist? His heretical biography has been in circulation since 1946. The ecclesiastical trials of 1934-36 made the Presbyterian Church safe for modernism.
The Bible Presbyterian Church has been born. Many independent churches have been formed. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church came into existence. Surely there must be some reason for all these breaks and separations out of the Northern Presbyterian Church in the last 16 years. And with such breaks, how can the leaders of the Northern Church talk so blandly about Presbyterian reunion?
In the last few months, in Colorado, three Bible Presbyterian churches have been formed by groups withdrawing from the Northern Church. In Grand junction, the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Dr. C. A. Burkholder, led his people out and they now have a new property. In Colorado Springs a group has recently come out of the Westminster Presbyterian Church and under the leadership of the Rev. William B. Leonard, just stepping out of the chaplaincy, a lot has been bought, the company is meeting in a hall, and the church is going forward. In Denver, Colo., following the meeting of the National Council of Churches there, a group met and organized the First Bible Presbyterian Church of Denver. And leaders from four different Presbyterian churches are already participating in the new testimony.
It is all a part of the great separation movement, or the Twentieth Century Reformation movement, as it is called. Out of the Methodist Church are coming the Evangelical Methodists, the Southern Methodists, and Bible Protestants. Out of the Northern Baptist Convention have come more than 600 independent General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, plus several thousand other independent Baptists. The struggle is all over preserving the faith. There are men who believe the Bible, believe that its message is true, and that without it there is death, and darkness, and hell.
Surely I am in a very unique and peculiar position to bear testimony in this hour to those Bible believing Christians who still remain in these other churches concerning the nature, the purpose, and the future of the proposed union.
XVII. EPISCOPAL UNION
It should not be forgotten that the Northern Assembly voted to unite with the Episcopalians. They worked out a form of government which was basically Episcopalian. But Episcopalians in 1946 were not ready for a wedding-not just yet. The Presbyterians now hope to present a somewhat enlarged bride to the Episcopalians a little later.
In the proposed plan of union, the constitution, in the case of union with another church, requires only a two thirds majority vote of the denomination. At present, in the Southern Church, a threefourths majority of the presbyteries is required for amending the constitution, which is equal to voting to unite with another church on a new constitutional basis. When one considers the fact that the com bined membership of the two smaller churches is actually less than one-third of the membership of the united church itself, we are faced with the reality that the planners sufficiently protected themselves so that minorities from these smaller groups could not block reunion or union with Episcopalians, Methodists, or any other group that the more liberal leadership of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. desires and to which it most assuredly looks forward. These future possible hindrances have been carefully removed at this juncture in the plan.
XVIII. CHURCH PROPERTY
The Presbyterian Outlook's dissertation on "The Objections Are Not Valid" presented by ministers of the three churches declares: "No church or individual is forced to enter the plan. . . . The plan provides that congregations in the U.S. and U.P. Churches by certain definite procedure may vote and remain out of the united church and retain their property." But the plan does not allow a single Northern Church to vote not to enter the union.
Asked about this, the stated clerk, Dr. Blake, April 15, 1953, wrote: "The Presbyterian Church in the United States has, during the years, become much more Congregational in some of its attitudes than has the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. So far as I know, no congregation of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America has been allowed to withdraw from our denomination and take its property without some adequate compensation to the denomination. On the other hand, this has happened, as I understand it, in both the other churches. In view of our experience during the 30s, when we did not allow the schismatic Churches following Dr. Machen's leadership to take their property with them, it seems to the representatives of our Church that it would be entirely unfair to reverse a long standing policy which is basically Presbyterian, namely, that decisions such as this are made by the legally elected representatives of all the Churches and not by congregation by congregation.
"The Supplementary Covenant and Agreement should be thought of, therefore, as something that is allowed in-the Plan of Union at the specific request of two denominations, that it is a matter of grace and not of right. It should be noted that this provision applies for one year only and will not apply in the United Church at any future time."
So all Northern churches are forced to go in or lose their properties. Others are free to go in, but they can never get out.
"The uniting churches are Biblically sound." So says Section 4, of "The Objections Are Not Valid." "Charges have been made that one church is apostate." The reference to apostasy runs through the whole defense propaganda, as though it were some absurd or extreme charge.
Apostasy means "a falling away." When the General Assembly of the Northern Church in 1936, through its judicial Commission, sitting in the name and upon the authority of Jesus Christ, suspended ministers from the preaching of the Gospel because they would not obey the word of the General Assembly, that church officially judicially placed its word above the Word of Christ-and fell away in that act.
We have said that the Northern Church is "officially apostate." There are other evidences, of course of apostasy. One is the acceptance of the inclusive church and the toleration of false gospels; another is the elevation to high places of leader ship of men who are openly blatant in their unbelief concerning the Bible and essentials of the Christian faith; another is the failure of the church to exercise discipline. The Book of Discipline has become a dead letter. The General Council more or less runs things from the Witherspoon Building in Philadelphia, and the stated clerk has come to be called "the chief executive officer."
XX. THE STRUGGLE
The Northern Assembly has unanimously approved of the plan of union. Efforts to defeat the union, with a view to preserving a true Presbyterian Church, must be made both in the Southern and the United Churches. Every member of these churches should be apprised of what is at stake.
Historic Presbyterianism in its main stream on the North American continent is directed into alien waters.
Competition is being decried. There' is nothing wrong with competition. It is a stimulus that compels action and develops initiative. One-fourth of the presbyteries of the Southern denomination can defeat this union. And yet, three-fourths of the presbyteries could vote for the union and a majority of the actual membership of the Southern Churches could be against it.
Before local churches take refuge in the comfort that they individually can retain their property, they should join in a vigorous effort throughout all the South to try to save the Southern Church itself. There should also come out of the struggle some way whereby those who desire to unite with the Northern Church-we are thinking of the liberal element in the Southern Church-should be permitted to do so, and leave in the South a continuing church which will be true to its Confession and united in its understanding and interpretation of the Reformed Faith. If the South joins the union, a continuing remnant should carry on a true church, obedient to the Great Commission of our Lord.
Time is of the essence. Every Presbyterian, in fact every Christian in America, should be concerned about these issues and help in every way he possibly can. These questions cut across all denominational lines, and the issue of the true Gospel and the Bible which is God's Holy Word is paramount in all the ecclesiastical struggle of this hour. The proponents of union delight to call those who believe the infallible Bible "ultrafundamentalists."
The issue is the preservation of the faith. Every effort will be made to obscure this. Those who raise these questions and present evidence of modernism will be called troublemakers, heresy hunters, disturbers of the peace, malicious, full of prejudice. This has always been the method of the enemy when dealing with the issues of the Gospel itself.
It takes time for people to talk, to write, and to inform others, to gather information and to spread literature, to hold meetings and to crystallize opinion-and the time is exceedingly short. The stronger and more active the opposition, the larger the vote will be against union, the larger will be the continuing group in behalf of a true Presbyterian testimony, and the greater will be the impact of the issue throughout not only this country but the world, where there are those who believe that a church must be true to its creed, must lift high the banner of the cross, and give glory and honor to the name of Jesus Christ who alone is the church's Head.