Full Text for The Reunion of Christendom, part 4 (Text)

Concordia Theological Monthly Vol. XIV SEPTEMBER, 1943 No.9 The Reuni.on .of Christendom (Continued) A third slogan of the unionistic propaganda is: "Unite or be submerged!" (C. S. Macfarland, Trends of Christian Thinking, p. 146.) The union of the churches is the supreme need of the Church, "the essential and basic need." (Loc. cit., p. 136.) The unionists are honestly convinced, and they want to convince us that unless the churches unite to present an unbroken front to the forces of evil, the Church will go down in defeat. J. D. Rockefeller, Jr., declared that "only a united Christian world can stem the rising tide of materialism, of selfishness, of shaken traditions, of crumbling moral standards, and point the way out," and therefore recom­mended that the eleven Protestant churches of Tarrytown, N. Y., give up their individual existences and form a community church. (See Christianity Today, April, 1939.) The theologians agree with the layman. The Christian Century, May 13, 1942, says: "The anti-Fascist nations ... have found it necessary to co-operate to save the world from dictatorship. Cannot the churches, including the Southern Baptists, do the same to save the world from a flood of irreligion? And must they not?" And we heard Bishop McCon­nell's statement: "There is a steady drift in the direction of the unification of the Church. . . . The largest demand of our times is that of the common need to mass our forces for the assault upon evil." (Footnote 22.) "There has been talk of this merger for years. But it came to little until the churches saw they must close ranks swiftly to combat the poison of Fascism and dictatorship." (See page 319, above.) The Church cannot grow, they say, unless the churches unite. The outsiders are scandalized at the divisions and refuse to come in. In his sermon at the 1937 World Conference on Faith and Order, Archbishop Temple declared: "I know that our divisions at this 602 The Reunion of Christendom point are the greatest of all scandals in the face of the world." (See Christendom, 1939. Spring, p. 239.) Reporting on the Madras World Missionary Conference of 1938, Dr. Ihmels wrote: "Den Heiden wird diese Zerrissenheit der Christenheit oft zum Aergernis. Der Aufruf von Bischof Azariah von Dornekal: 'Sichtbare, wirk­liche, umfassende Kirchenunion muss unser Ziel sein. Macht den hoechst anstoessigen und aergerlichen Folgen unserer zertrennten Kirche ein Ender Fuehrt uns auf den Weg zur Union!' hat einen starken Eindruck gemacht." (Allg, Ev.-Luth. Kirchenzeitung, 1939, p. 104 f.) The heathen turn away from the Church, and so does the Church's own youth. The report of the Lausanne World Con­ference states that "Miss Margaret Slattery, who comes in contact with 3,500 girls a year, said that if the Church does not unite, it will lose the young people more than ever." (See THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY, 1928, p. 41.) And at the Lutheran World Convention of 1935 Dr. E. E. Ryden declared: "Modern young people have very little patience with hairsplitting theological questions, but are intensely practical in their views of religion. And certainly we must admit that the religious situation in the world today lends considerable weight to the attitude of youth. With a world on fire and with governments themselves leading the assault of atheism and unbelief against the Church of Christ, we may v:~!l ask ourselves if the time has not come when, without sacrificing any of our own convictions, we must cease discussing our differ­ences, and rather seek to discover on how much we can agree." (Lutherischer Weltkonvent, Paris, p.142.) The churches must unite unless they want to scandalize the world and alienate their own people! Unless the churches unite, the Church cannot accomplish its mission. Peter Ainslie and the Christian Unity League declare: "Only a united Church can evangelize the world and promote Christ's spirit throughout the range of human relationships." (See Lutheran Church Herald, March 6, 1928.) E. S. Jones: "The Christian Church is not now a fit instrument for the coming of the Kingdom. It is too divided. One of the next steps is the uniting of the Christian forces of the world into a Christian Internationale." (Christ's Alternative to Communism, p. 287.) And in the closing paragraphs of Christian Unity in Practice and Prophecy (p. 326) C. S. Macfarland states: "May it not be that the awaited revival of religion will come through the power of a united Christian Church, proclaiming its universal message to mankind?" Unless the churches unite, the Church cannot accomplish its mission, cannot end war nor right the social wrongs. The purpose of the union fostered by the Federal Council is, according to its constitution, "to promote the application of the law of Christ to The Reunion of Christendom 603 every relation of human life," "to cast out," in the words of Macfarland, "the demons of social wrong, of prejudice of race, of ignorance, and of brutal war." (Op. cit., p. 103.) "Andrew Car­negie," :IVracfarland reports, "often insisted. that the Clu'istian Churches could dispose of war if they were only united," and the Church Peace Union founded by him received, naturally, the sup­port of the Federal Council. (Op. cit., p. 106.) Setting forth the aims of the Federal Council, Macfarland points out that the state­ment "A Christian Church that cannot unite itself can never unite a warring world in brotherhood" does not refer only to the war of bayonet and cannon, but to war and conflict in all social relations; the Social Creed of the Federal Council declares that "the Churches must stand for equal rights and complete justice for all men in all stations of life ... for the abolition of child labor . . . for the gradual and reasonable reduction of the hours of labor ... for the most equitable division of the products of industry that can ulti­mately be devised ... for the abatement of poverty." (Op. cit., p. 294 ft.) ~.o\nd these are not isolated and occasional voices; with one united voice the unionists are incessantly and insistently shout­ing the slogan. £he ullion of the churches is the one c'we for all social ills. Peter Ainslie and the Christian Unity League: "The flagrant Sh1.S against brotherhood, which threaten to disrupt the national and international, industrial, and social life of our day, contribute a challenge to all communions of Christendom to come together in an organic unity for the weal of mankind." The Lu­theran, Aug. 19, 1942: "The idea gained wide support that a united Christendom could sponsor effectively the displacement of war by negotiations and at the same time give support to forms of social bettennent, the great need of which we clearly see." Secre­tary of Commerce D. Roper, too, "suggested a program for churches, stating they should co-operate with law enforcement agencies; train the musical talent of young people; provide recrea~ tional facilities; forget their differences and get together to estab­lish national headquarters where leaders can be trained. The churches which refuse to join in such a combination are 'causing men and women to despair.''' (See GLobe-Democrat, Feb. 8, 1940.) The warning "Unite or be submerged" is addressed by the unionistic propaganda not only to the Church as a whole, but also to each individual church body. The Lutheran Church, for instance, is warned that unless she unites her forces, she will go under or at least fail in her glorious mission. The Lutheran Companion said on Nov. 17, 1923: "There can be no guarantee for the survival of Lutheranism anywhere in the struggle for its life that seems to be coming, unless Lutherans of all camps cease to call each other names and meet as brothers. . .. Is it to be wondered at that there 604 The Reunion of Christendom is a tendency on the part of Lutherans to go over to the Catholic Church even in America, because they are tired of these claims and counterclaims of different Lutheran bodies? . . . How long will the laymen of the Church put up goodnaturedly '.'lith this kL'lu of procedure at a time when the Church needs to unite and marshal all her forces?" Dr. E. E. Ryden: "Then came the outbreak of the Second World War. It was in this atmosphere, with all the pressing problems this new emergency brought to the Lutheran Church, that the American Lutheran Conference met for its tenth anni­versary convention in Minneapolis, soon a year ago. Was this the time to call Lutherans together to discuss theological differences? Hardly! . . . It was in the presence of this grave emergency and in the consciousness that powerful forces are at work in our day to undermine and destroy the work of the Church of Christ that the Conference issued a solemn call to the Lutherans of America to close their ranks and to put aside, for the time being at least, all their misunderstandings and differences, in order that they might be obedient to what was recognized as a clear call from God." (See Journal of Theology at the A L. Cont., Nov., 1941, p. 922.) That means that if the Lutheran bodies do not unite despite their doctrinal disunity, the forces of evil cannot be suc­cessfully combated and the Lutheran Church would be found derelict in her duty. In the same strain another prominent leader of the Lutheran Church declared: "I am glad to see our Lutheran bodies stop waving the red flag of doctrinal bullfights about matters which try to explain God's miraculous plan of salvation. Today, when the Church is faced with a growing force of atheism as well as agnosticism, totalitarianism and meager spirituality, the Lu­theran Church, which has something to offer to help to solve the world's problems, needs to l.mite its forces to meet the issues of the present hour." (Quoted from The Lutheran News Bulletin, 1938.) That is also the meaning of the statement: "There is no time for dallying unnecessarily. If there are 'no atheists in fox­holes' these days, neither can there be synods in a powder mill." (See Lutheran Standard, Nov. 21, 1942.) That is to say, in perilous times like the present the Lutheran synods must forget their differences; if they do not, a terrible catastrophe will result. It will be noticed that in times of great distress, such as the present world war, the cry "Unite or be submerged" is raised the more insistently. Dr. J. W. Behnken calls attention to this fact in our Luthemner, 1942, p. 419: "In Kriegszeiten findet das Unions­bestreben so leicht fruchtbaren Boden. Unionsversuche, das heisst, Versuche, Kirchengemeinschaften zusammenzubringen, hat es ja schon immer gegeben; abel' in Kl'iegszeiten wird immer wieder betont, dass die Lage es erfordert, dass Kirchengemeinschaften The Reunion of Christendom 605 zusammen arbeiten. Diese Gefahren machen sich jetzt bemerkbar. Mit aller Gewalt will man die verschiedenen Denominationen zu­sammenbringen. Auch in lutherischen Kreisen werden soIche vcrsuchc gemacht.1; l\fo '"synods in a powder mill"! "In t}le face or this war," asks a Lutheran leader, as quoted by The Lutheran, "what excuse is there for conditions such as exist in the American Lutheran bodies today?" (See Northwestern Lutheran, Nov. 1, 1942.) In times like the present, when men are oppressed by suffering and woe and their hearts distressed by spiritual per­plexities, all other matters, doctrinal questions and the like, lose their importance; the help and comfort men need can be given only by a united Church; hurt by the hatreds engendered by war, they crave the solace of the Christian brotherhood. Speaking for the World Council of Churches, the Archbishop of York called upon all Christians "at a time of war and enmity" to pray for and work for a united Church, united "despite all earthly occasions of division or separation." (See The Laymen's Magazine of the Living Church, May, 1940.) Unless the churches forget their differences and unite, the Church cannot meet the present or any other world crisis. The mobilization call "Unite or be submerged!" is, naturally, addressed to all churches. The more bodies join the United Churches, the more will be accomplished against the forces or evil. The Protestant bodies must unite, Lutherans and Reformed. Dr. Ihmels closes his discussion of "Die Not der Kirchentrennung," quoted above, with the statement: "Fuer uns bedeutet clas zu­naechst, class wir mit allen Kirchen, die durch das Evangelium der Reformation gepraegt sind, zu kirchlicher Einheit kommen muessen." The Savannah Resolutions (U. L. C. A.) declare: "The forces of evil in the social order are not only deeply entrenched, but highly organized. . .. Hostility to Cr,rist and His Gospel has created organizations for anti-Christian and antireligious propa­ganda. . .. These things should warn us that this is a time when Christian men and Christian groups should draw together, if only for the resistance of evils which, if unchecked and unopposed, will involve our whole social fabric in destruction." Professor R. T. Stamm writes: "By isolating ourselves from other churches and co-operative religious movements, we should not only be hiding our light under a bushel, but should be giving aid and comfort to the forces of evil which are only too happy to see us self­divided that they may conquer," and he lists this as one of si "false dilemmas": "Either the preservation of the Lutheran Confessions by insisting on the Individual Gospel and isolating ourselves from -other churches or the loss of these by joining with other denomi­nations to establish the Kingdom of God on earth" (Lutheran 606 The Reunion of Christendom Church QuarieTly, April, 1940, pp.125, 130.) "At the Lutheran World Convention at Paris, M. Appia, Inspecteur Ecclesiastique of Paris, well known as a Modernist and a typical union man, ad­vocated as a remedy for the religious crisis of our time a 'Luther­anism which may at last cast away all the shackles of an old­fashioned confessionalism and fabricate a closer union '.'lith the Reformed bodies.''' (CONC. THEOL. MTHLY., 1936, p.17. Lutheran Witness, 1935, p.17.) And the fact that this or that Reformed body stands for Modernism would not matter to this Lutheran Modernist. His ideal is the Federal Council, which in forming the Protestant division of the United Churches applies a very broad definition of "Protestant," and admits the most liberal "Protestant" into its ranks. Many unionists feel that the host of the united Protestant churches is not strong enough to vanquish the forces of evil. They are calling for re-enforcements. They are asking the Roman Catholic Church to join. The Methodist bishop Ivan Lee Holt declares: "First, the Protestant churches must unite. Then this great Protestant Church will meet with the Greek Catholic Church and unit,-: __ .J '--+':-~L'c :--;at body will meet with L' __ ,,------Catholic Church and 'work out a plan for a World Christian Church." (See CONC. THEOL. MTHLY., 1939, p.630.) Archbishop Temple feels the same way.38) So does W. A. Brown. "What the Church needs more than anything else at the present time is to unite the members of these separate fellowships in a single a11-embracing fellowship. . .. But Protestants are only a part of the Christian family. What of the Church of Rome? . .. It will be found that there is a wide area in which even under present con­ditions Protestants and Catholics can speak and act together .... Such an inclusive society, the fellowship of men of good will in every land and age, is our hope for the world." (A Creed fOT Free Men, pp.254-257.) And there are Lutherans who feel the same way. They agree with the AUg. Ev.-Luth. Kirchenzeitung, which, speaking of the necessity of Protestantism and Catholicism pre-38) "After trying hard to unite all Protestants, he now advocates a plan which will take in even Roman Catholicism. In order t.lJ.at the poor, weary, blood-covered world as soon as the war is ended might be put in a better shape, a committee for the inauguration of improve­ments is proposed in which the large Protestant bodies, the Roman Catholic, and the Greek Orthodox churches are to be represented. But not only are all these bodies to co-operate in this broad endeavor. The Pope or a substitute whom he may appoint is to be the chairman of the joint committee. . . . The Pope might announce that he would very gladly assume the chairmanship and would do so with the under­standing that his appointment to that position meant tllat he was recognized as the head of all Christendom." (CONC. THEOL. MTHLY., 1942, p. 950.) The Reunion of Christendom 607 senting a common front against Bolshevism and the like, declared: "Wir verkuendigen es heute laut, dass wir bereit sind, mit allen zusammenzugehen, die guten Willens sind, wenn es gilt, eine ge­:meinsame Front gegen zerstoerende lVIaechte zu bilden. (See Els. Lutheraner, October, 1930.) Lutherans and Reformed are agreed that "all communions of Christendom" (see above) must forget their differences and march as one army against the forces of evil. And the Pope feels the same way, in his own way. There are some unionists who are even calling upon the Jewish and other communions to join the Holy Alliance. "Viewing the present catastrophic results of godlessness in the world and facing the fact that our country is at war, we, the undersigned h.dividuals of the Protestant, Catholic, and Jevvish faith, realize the necessity for stressing those spiritual truths which we hold in common." This Declaration, issued by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, was signed by Bishop Manning, Dr. Luther A. Weigle, president of the Federal Council, Dr. Daniel A. Poling, and other Protestant leaders, and by a number of Catholic theologians and Jewish rabbis. One of the spiritual truths held in common by these "'_!~1...: is: "V': '::~ieve in one God, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe." (See The Living Church, March 4, 1942.) And hav­ing thus found the "least common denominator," the one great "fundamental," unionists are everywhere gathering together ad­herents of different religions, not merely in civic, but also in re­ligious gatherings, for the purpose of mustering a host strong ~mough to vanquish the forces of evil.39) 39) A few more items to show that the consistent unionists want to form a union of all churches and of all religions in the interest of the Kingdom, in the belief that no real, vital difference separates them. "There can be no difference between Protestant, Jew, or Catholic in the stand they take," said the reporter of the Grand Rapids Herald; and this layman's opinion has the authority of great theologians back of it. Bishop Manning of New York: "We are beginning to believe that the fulfillment of our Lord's prayer for His Church is not irnpossible. Tl:.o.L.--ty years ago a reunion which should include both .Protestants and Roman Catholics was regarded as chimerical. Today to many scholars and leaders this is no longer a thing ii1.credible. It is Professor Harnack \ynO writes: "If one objects that at this time no one can imagine how, and under what forms, Catholicism and Protestantism can ever draw near one another, it is to be remembered that three hundred years ago no one could have conceived how Lutheranism and Calvinism could have been fused together. And yet we have today the Evangelical Union, and thousamls know themselves as Evangelical Christians without any suspicion of that opposition whicn once bade Lutherans and Calvinists contend more bitterly than Lutherans and Catholics!" (The Reunion of Christendom, p. 227.) W. E. Orchard: "In this vision of the Reunited Church there would continue those denomi­national differences ... yet no longer existing in division, but co-ordinated so as to senre the vast variety of human nature. . . . The Papacy would remain, more than ever needed, but with wider views of man's needs; guiding and directing a vast organization . . . issuing from time to 608 The Reunion of Christendom time authoritative declarations as to the explication and implications of the faith." (Ibid., p. 236 f.) There are Lutherans, too, who are courting Rome. See footnote 15 (P. Althaus). R. Gelke will not go so far as Orchard; he does not want the Pope as the primate of the reunited Church, but he "\vants the Lutherans, the Reformed, ~'1d t..~c C;:ttholics united in "One holy universal Christian German Church." Kj,rchIiche Zeitschrift, March, 1942, p. 189 f., presents Jelke's views and aims thus: "Diese deutsche Kirche solI nicht bloss das protestantische Vielkirchen­tum ueberwinden, sondern auch die Katholiken einschliessen, wofern sie nul' in den Ersatz des uebernationalen Primats des Papstes durch ein deutsches Primat als Leiter diesel' Zukunftskirche willigen. Das wird dann 'Eine heilige allgemeine christliche deutsche Kirche' sein. Je1ke's Schlussformulierung 1autet: 'Wir wollen eine Kirche, die aIle Mitglieder unseres deutschen Volks umfasst, die die Offenbarung Gott8s in Christo voll und ganz als goettliche Gnadendarbietung verstehen und in diesel' den Grund ihrer Heilsgewissheit sehen. Diese Kirche sollte bereit sein, spezifisch katholischen Froemmigkeitsuebungen, soweit sie. und in solchen Formen, in denen sie das Evangelium von del' freien Gnade Gottes in Christo nicht trueben, Raum zu lassen ... .''' (Comment by Kirchliche Zeitschrift: "Jelke kennt offenbar Rom nicht. . .. Das Tridentinum ist heute noch bindend fuel' die katholische Kirche.")­Asking, next, the Jewish Commlmions to join the Holy Alliance, the extreme unionists (the syncretists) are at pains to inform them that they need not give up their religion. "The Unitarian John Haynes Holmes says: '1 think there is something arrogant, even impudent, in undertaking to convert Jews to Christianity, as though they had no religion of their own.' This is the opinion held not only by the Uni­tarians, but also by many nonevangelical groups who go under the name of Christians," (Watchnwn-Exarniner, Jan. 8, 1942). These Chris­tians find themselves in spiritual fellowship with the Jews. They have found the "least common denominator." The Christian Cent~try, April 17, 1940, reports what Dr. H. E. Fosdick said in his talk on "Protestant Emphases": "It is a great tragedy that religion, which should unite us, so often divides us. The deepest convictions of religion are inherent in the three faiths -Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish. Two of these are monotheism -belief hL one God -and the sacredness of the per­sonality. , , . We welcome as an extension of that spirit this interfaith conference, for we do have here a deep sense of unity with our Jewish and Roman Catholic brethren." That is about what the old rationalist W. A. Teller thought. He said: "Because of their faith in God, virtue, and immortality the Jews ought to be regarded as genuine Christians." Finding themselves in spiritual fellowship, these Christians and Jews are glad to practice church and pulpit fellowship. They are doing it all over the country. (And thel'e are Lutherans who participate.) "Some peculiar things are being done," says The Watchman-Examiner, Oct. 30, 1941, "in the name of tolerance and good will directed toward interfaith amity. An illustration is furnished from Hebron, Conn., where Protestant ministers joined Jewish rabbis in the 'dedication' of a new synagog. More than $1,000 was contributed to the building fund of this Jewish synagog by 'people of all faiths.''' "In a public demonstra­tion of their common faith in God and love of mankind, nearly 2,000 Protestants, Catholics, and Jews joined in the second annual interfaith service held in Hartford, COll..'1. Persons of all faiths heard ... Rabbi Morris S;il",'rml"n speak of 'Man as Restored by Religion.''' (VVatchman­Examiner, Jan. 18, 1940.) And Chaplain A. T. Noland declared in The Christian Advocate: "Every chaplain must be able to read the Ten Com­mandments to a Jew, say the Lord's Prayer with a Protestant, and read a 'Hail Mary' to a Catholic. If this will not develop a true sense of brotherhood, nothing will." (See CONe. THEOL. MTHLY., 1942, p. 469; 1939, p. 631.) To develop a true sense of brotherhood is also the purpose of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the National Seminar on Mutual Understanding, and similar demonstrations, and back of that The Reunion of Christendom 609 is the sense of the need of a common front as expressed by Stanley High in The Saturday Evening Post, June 1, 1940, p. 27: "Stirred by the ill winds of intolerance, persecution, and unbelief, Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in the United States have begun to make common cause agai.l1st their common enemies. Good \viH ho.s broken out fu"'1l0ng them on an unprecedented scale. A united moral front is in the making. Such an alliance is the first of its kind. If what already has come to pass in hundreds of American communities is a portent, it may prove to be one of the most remarkable forces that ever ganged up on the devil." (By the way, the Protestants seem to be playing a sorry role at these Interfaith Conferences. We read in The Lutheran Standard, April 23, 1932: "Pastor L. Morentz was sent as a representative of the Lutheran in response to an invitation from the secretary of the Con­ference. He went, saw, and was disappointed. He found the Jewish group marked by 'quality,' the Catholics by 'firmness,' and the Protes­tants by 'utter passiveness.' . . . On one occasion, reports Pastor Morentz, 'I jumped up and pointed out that every Protestant affiliated with a confessional church has a positive Christian message; and that un­fortunately such Protestants are not represented at this National Con­ference.' " That judgment is confirmed by a report of "The St. Louis Seminar" in The Church at Work of June 5, 1930, organ of the Metro­politan Church Federation of St. Louis: "I came away from the Seminar with certain definite impressions. First: Individualism in Protestantism has gone so far that there seems to be little consensus of conviction. Second: Bo1;h Jey/S and, Catholics were, repr.::,se:t;te~ by clearer ~~n~s and sharper mtelhgence than were any or our rroTesmnt groups. Lnlra: The true spirit of liberalness in religious judgments was much more evident in the Protestant than in either of the two other groups.")­Would this Lutheran-Protestant-Catholic-Jewish army welcome also the Moslem and the Hindu into its ranks? Well, they'll worship to­gether. "In New York on New Year's Day, 1942, a great mass prayer meeting was held in the Union Church. Allah, Jehovah, Brahma, Buddha, Tao, and the Father were called upon as God by the followers of the various religions of the world at a special 'all-faith' prayer service:' And "they had a lovely time the other day," reports The Lutheran, "making a spiritual goulash in Grace Episcopal Church of New York City. Eleven faiths, mentioned alphabetically -Buddhist, Christian, Con­fucian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Mohammedan, Shinto, Sikh, Tao, and Zoroastrian-found an occasion to unite in prayer .... The prayers were directed toward 'the Ruler of the Universe,''' that concept serving as the "least common denominator." (See Lutheran Witness, 1939, p. 287; Lutheran Standard, Aug., 1939.) Mrs. Harper Sibley was present when a Hindu sacrament was held. She hesitated at first to partake of it, but tI'le Mohammedan woman who stood next to her said: "I believe we should share in these religious experiences" and so, "when the priest came down and offered to us their sacred food -to Hindu, to orthodox, to outcaste, to Mohammedan, and to Christian -"they all communed together. The Living Church, which reports and censures this, draws a parallel between her act and the inter communion, occasionally practiced by members of the Episcopal Church and members of other Protestant Churches. (See CONe. THEOL. MTHLY., 1933, p. 697.) And now comes Dr. S. M. Zwemer, and writes an article entitled: "In Defense of Allah." In it he takes exception to the statement: "The clash between Chris­ti"nibT ,..nd Mohammedanism is irreconcilable because the God v,ho reveals Himself through the one Mediator, Himself man, Christ .Jesus, can by no stretch of the imagination be identified with the God whom Mohammed reveals. If we are ready to say with Paul that there is one God and that the one Mediator between God and man is Christ Jesus, then we must be ready also to say that the God whom Mohammed proclaimed was no God, but an idol, a false god." Dr. Zwemer declares that this statement, italicized by him, is "an astonishing conclusion." "The prophet (Mohammed) did not proclaim a new deity, but fought 39 610 The ReWlion of Christendom These various denominations and religions cannot, of course, be brought together on the basis of one faith, of the unity of doctrine; but the unionists do not consider that necessary or even desirable. See the preceding articles. All that is necessary is agreement in "the fundamentals." Bishop F. T. Woods wants the Christians "united in one organism, holding a common faith, ,united in the fundamentals, but allowing, and gladly allowing, very wide divergencies in secondary matters, but presenting an unbroken front to the paganism of our day." (The Reunion of Christendom, p.l08.) The Christian Century, Oct. 15, 1941: "The times call for a new spirit, a holy spirit, capable of transcending the trivial dif­ferences and the vested interests which keep our denominations alive and separate. With such a spirit abroad in the Church, Christians could not resist its call to enter into a unity of fellow­ship and organization and action on the basis of the fundamentals, the very simple elementals, of that faith which is the priceless heritage of us all." The differences do not count in the present emergency. Dr. Tingfang Lew said at Lausanne: "So long as we look at the differences that separate us, we can never reach agree­ment; but if 'joe look up"n H-'e needs of the entire world and look up to God, behold! our difficulties dwindle into insignificance." (See Theological Monthly, 1928, p.41.) The differences between Lutheranism and Calvinism are no longer fundamental, and even the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism no longer carry any weight. AUg. Ev.-Luth. Kirchenzeitung, Feb. 21, 1930: "Der eigentliche Gegner der evangelischen Kirche ist heute das Freidenkertum, das die Fundamente des sittlichen Leben''! zu er­schuettern droht. Da muessten beide christliche Konfessionen, Protestantismus und Katholizismus, in Kampfgemeinschaft treten und den konfessionellen Hader zurueckstellen." The unionists of all shades are convinced that all the unity God wants is unity in "fundamentals" -whatever "fundamentals" may be made to mean -and that in these trying times indulgence must be granted from oh;erving all that He has commanded.40) Tne more so as the dif-Arabian pagan idolatry, and called the Arabs back to the worship of the one Jiving God." The article appeared in The Presbyterian, June 25, 1942. -Der Lutheraner, Sept. 20, 1847, reprinted Dr. Gollenperger's satire: "Statuten einer neuen religioesen Gesellschaft in Deutschland, genannt Gustav-Adolph-Verein" (a unionistic brotherhood), one stanza of which reads: "Del' Pesheraeh, der Hottentott, der Perser mit dem Doppelgott, der Jude, Heide, Tuerke ist gebornes Mitglied wie der Christ." Read all four stanzas. 40) There are other Lutherans besides the editor of the Allg. Ev.­Luth. Kirchenzeitung who believe that for a Christian reunion agree­ment only in the "essentials" is needed. The Resolutions Concerning Christian Unity, adopted by the All India Lutheran Conference, published in The Lutheran, May 8, 1930, declare: "(2) We realize that a union The Reunion of Christendom 611 ferences are either the result of different interpretations, so that the distinctive doctrines of the Reformed churches have equal rights with the contrary teaching of the Lutheran Church,41) or do not ccnstlLute a real difference, the only dL.fference being that "of emphasis and expression." (See above, p. 471.) 42) The reunion of Christendom planned by the unionists is, definitely, not based on unity of doctrine. W. A. Brown leaves no doubt as to that. "There is another large section of American Christians . . . whose members feel their oneness with their fellow Christians of other names, and they desire some organization through which this unity may find appropriate expression. They desire it because it will enable them to present a united front to the world. What form that unity shall take they are not greatly concerned to determine, except that it shalL leave ample room for the differences of ex­perience and conviction represented by the existing denomina­tions." (The Reunion of C., p.238.) And that is the army which sets out to vanquish the forces of evil. When K S. Jones proposed the formation of such a union, "he brought great audiences to the edge of their seats applauding. . . . The laymen will rise l.'!'-the fn"<;es ')f the Church wiJl feel their united strength, the Church will go out with a new sense of such as Christ prayed for cannot be brought about by compromising the truth, but must be based on obedience to the Word of God, without which unity in the essentials of the Christian religion is impossible. We feel that these essentials are clearly presented in Luther's Small Catechism." That warning against "compromising the truth" is a fine Lutheran utterance. If only that other phrase "unity in the essentials" could have been omitted!-As to'the Lutheran Union, Dr. H. W. Snyder of the U. L. C. A. declared at the Washington Debate: "Some of our theologians accuse the Synodi(,n 1 Conference of lending its weight to the verbal inspiration theory .... Shall we quarrel over an adiaphoron while a sin-sick needy world is hungering for the Bread of Life?" (See CONe. THEOL. MTHLY., 1938, p. 358.) According to this, agreement on Verbal Inspiration is not required for the reunion of the Lutherans and the reunion of Christendom. 41) O. W. Heick, in The L1ttheran Church Quarterly, 1942, p. 107 ft.: "The Lutheran Church differs from the Reformed Church in its inter­pretation of doctrine; in the opinion of the Missouri theologians, the Reformed interpretation departs from the Word of God, and any kind of fellowship whatever with false doctrine, they maintain, is forbidden by God and detrimental to the Church. . . . When those theologians speak of false doctrine they, of course, assume that their own interpreta­tion of the Bible is absolutely free from error. . . . If, then, by Baptism all Christians a united in one body, shall other doctrinal differences be allowed to treat that unity as non-existent'!" 42) Working toward the reunion of Christendom, they use the formula: difference of interpretation and of emphasis; working towards the reunion of all religionists, they speak of "the truths we hold in common," our "common faith in God and love of mankind." (See above.) "Common experiences and convictions" (W. A. Brown, A Creed, etc" p. 164 f.). .612 The Reunion of Christendom mISSIOn when we form some such organization." (The Christian Century, May 1, 1940.) But this army of the United Churches is foredoomed to defeat. It cannot vanquish the forces of evil. It cannot keep the Church from being submerged. There are three reasons why the unionistic strategy can bring only disaster upon the Church. In the first place, the unionistic army deliberately casts away the only weapon which insures victory. That wonderful weapon is the Word of God. Wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, the Church is able to withstand in the evil day. (Eph.6:11-17.) Built upon the Word (Eph.2:20) and operat­ing with the Word, the Church is endued with divine power, and her faitMul ministers "go from strength to strength," Ps. 84: 7. Divine power is needed to bring men to faith, and by preaching "their word," the word of the Apostles, this great thing is accom­plished (John 17: 20) . Whence comes the divine power that keeps the Church firm in the faith, steeled against the seductions of pagan philosophies and unbiblical theologies, willing to bear the shame and reproach that faithJ'ul adherence to God's Word entails? "I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up," Acts 20: 32. Evil conditions in the world and within the visible Church confront us, but as long as the Church clings to the Word, she will win the victory -"By the Word the world has been conquered, by the Word the Church has been kept, and by the Word she will be revived." (Luther, 15:2506.) The Word supplies the strength of the Church. The Church, therefore, "possesses the greatest measure of strength, when she retains and wields the Word of God to the full! That is se1£­evident, and all Clu'istians will agree to it if they bear in mind that Christ has not only commanded them to keep the whole Word, but also attached a gracious promise to it: 'Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And, 10, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.'" (F. Pieper, Proc. Oreg. and Wash. Dist., 1924, p. 35.) The unionistic High Command, however, issues different orders. The Church is ordered, in order to vanquish the powers of evil, to suppress or to yield portions of the \71[ ord. In order to 'win the Catholics, the Scripture teaching on justification must be declared indifferent; to gain the Reformed, the true teaching on the Sacraments must be suppressed; to get the Lutherans into one camp, the doctrine of verbal inspiration must be side-stepped. And so the union movement can have no other effect than the weakening of the Church. The suppression or yielding of portions of God's Word, absolutely required for the mustering of the unionistic host, robs the Church of that much of her strength, The General Orders declare: "Unite or be The Reunion of Christendom 613 submerged!" What actually happens, however, is: Unite and be submerged! The Christian Century and E. S. Jones speak of "the laymen rising up," of "the forces of the Church feeling their united strength," etc. These laymen ought to know better. Their theo­logical leaders ought not to instill such foolish notions into them. The unionistic laymen and pastors ought to know that they are pursuing a suicidal policy. In order to vanquish their enemy, they are throwing down their weapons! In the essay on unionism which we have just quoted Dr. Pieper tells them: "It is certainly a foolish idea to think that it will promote the welfare of the Church if we abate, not indeed the whole Christian doctrine, but some parts of it. Christ surely is interested in the welfare and growth of the Church -He purchased the Church with His own blood and would have all nations enter in. Now, if discounting His Word were the best method for the conquest of the world, He certainly would not have given this charge to the Church: 'Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you'; His orders, on the contrary, would have been sometl>..ing like this: 'Find out how much of my doctrine wll h .. accef'+oble to men: 43) -Let us repeat it: we delude ourselves if we think that unionism, that is, church fellowship with false doctrine, tolerance of false doc­trine, meets with God's approval and benefits the Church. The Church possesses the greatest measure of strength when she retains and wields the VI! ord of God to the full." The Presbyterian, Oct. 26, 1939, fully agrees with this: "How stupid when men reason on this fashion: 'In union there is strength. Strength is what we want. Therefore, by all the gods of nature, let us get together!' Procedure in that field of argument robs our Chris­tianity of its missionary spirit, takes away its evangelical program, and but for the preventive grace of God establishes a church of tbe world, a body of mere humanists over which our Lord has 43) "The Apostles and Prophets, too, would have given the Chris­tians and the preachers instructions of an altogether different sort. The Apostle Paul would not admonish the Christians: 'Avoid them,' avoid those who depart from the doctrine of the Apostle and thereby cause divisions and offenses, but he would admonish them in this wise: 'Bleibet mit denen, die von der apostolischen Lehre abweichen, unio­niert, sonst wuerdet ihr, die ihr an del' Lehre der Apostel bestaendig bleibt, an del' Zertrennung und dem Aergernis schuld werden.' And in the Epistle to Titus Paul would not describe the true pastor as one who holds fast the faithful word and stops the mouths of the gain­sayers. Rather he would have instructed Titus in this wise: 'Be sure to appoint only such ministers in Crete as can hold their tongue in the presence of gainsayers.' The Prophet Jeremiah would not have said: 'What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord'; 'Why mix straw with wheat?' (23: 28), but he would have said: 'Straw and wheat must be mixed, saith the Lord.''' (P.35.) 614 The Reunion of Christendom neither will nor power to preside." All Christian laymen should agree with this. They should arise in might and should call their pastors who represent the suppression of parts of God's Word as a good fhing to order and tell them that such a pIau U{ <';dHlpaign leads to disaster, that a union by compromise saps the strength of the Church. Unite and be submerged! The Church cannot survive if indifferentism should prevail. Do not tell us that the loss of two or three, ten or twenty doctrin.es does not matter as long as the rest of God's Word is retained. Let us rather tell you that the indifference which is ready to sacrifice two or three doctrines does not stop there. It will, but for the preventive grace of God, extend to all doctrines. Woe unto the Church if indifferentism, the very lifeblood of unionism, should enter the bloodstream of the Church! We have spoken of this once or twice before and shall repeat it again and again. Indifferentism clogs the arteries against the stream of life and health flowing out from the Word of God. Indifferentism thus induces ::;pi:riiual paL'alysis. The in­differentist is a nerveless being, who no longer has the power to speak out against the false teacher. His senses are dulled, &"'ld he can no longer See the ravages wrought in the body of the Church by dodrinai errors. It is a terrible indictment which Dr. J. Dell makes against the indifferentist Dr. H. W. Snyder, who cried out at the Washington Debate: "Shall we quarrel over an adiaphoron­Verbal Inspiration -while a sin-sick, needy world is hungering for the bread of life?" Dr. Dell answered in the Journal of Theology of the A. L. c.: "Would it be better to pretend that the difference is not there, to heal the skin over the wound, and leave the festering sore beneath? I do not think so. Better to keep the wound open until it heals from within, even if the process is pain­ful for the time being." The indifferentist is a man who can calmly look upon these festering sores of doctrinal error, upon the cancer eating at the vitals of the Church, and declare: All is well! Shall we look to these men to lead the army of the Lord to victory? The statement of Professor G. W. Richards (Evangelical-Reformed) will bear repetition: "A mere sentimental and thoughtless tolera­tion is evidence not of strength but of weakness." (Christendom, 1939, Spring, p. 268.) The indifferentist lacks spiritual vigor and in the degree that his counsel and influence prevails, the Church loses spiritual strength. Indifferentism, if unchecked, would destroy the Church. Unite and be submerged! The S'l.tnday School Times, discussing the slogan "Unite or be submerged!" utters the solemn warning: "That denominations are 'getting together' increasingly there is no doubt. The regret­table fact is that the co-operation or union is usually at the expense The Reunion of Christendom 615 of the purity of the Christian faith. Sound doctrine almost always suffers in such, united movements, just as God predicted it would. Union colleges and schools in the foreign mission fields, for example, have invariably gotten farther and farther away from evangelical New Testament truth, as have such union movements in the home­land. The reason for this seems to be that people co-operate on the basis of activities rather than on the basis of faith. In uniting they minimize or drop out any doctrine that any of the parties to the union do not believe or stress. The result usually is large organization and small spiritual power. The tendency is to fulfill the New Testament prediction: 'Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.'" (Quoted in Watchman-Examiner, Nov. 15, 1928.) Can an army win battles by disobeying the orders of the commander-in-chief? Will the Lord bless a church body which sets His instructions "Teaching them to observe all things" at naught? "The hand of the Lord was with them" (Acts 11:21) -with whom? With men who said: "Dear Lord, we cannot carry out Thy instructions to the letter; the Church has come upon evil days; in order to wit. d great host to combat the rising forces of evil, we must abate Thy Word somewhat"? Nay, the hand of the Lord was with men who refused to give any kind of error entrance into the Church, who insisted on every jot and tittle of the apostolic faith, and left the issue to the Lord. And to them the Lord gave the victory. It has always been so. Dr. Walther tells us: "Von der remen Lehre und Bekenntnis, wen es Gottes ist, duerfen wir niemandem auch nur einen Buchstaben nachlassen .... Und wahrlich, auf diesem entschiedenen und fortwaehrenden Zeugen und Predigen ruht mehr W ohlgefallen und Segen Gottes als auf allen kirchenpolitischen Experimenten und schriftwidrigen Unionistereien." (Proc., Western Dist., 1870, p. 54f. Subject of the essay: "Ueber Abendmahlsgemeinschaft mit Andersglaeubigen.") The hand of the Lord is not with them who presume to know better than He how to promote the welfare of the Church. The Lord looks with displeasure upon the counsels of the unionists. Their counsels are traitorous. The army they are gathering is Ln mutiny against the commander-in-chief. It is a rebel cry: Unite or be submerged! They are against the Lord, and the Lord is against them. Furthermore, it is a foolish notion ~ and a wicked notion­that the mere size of a church body adds to its strength. Do not tell the Lord that He needs great numbers to accomplish His purpose. He will ask you to ponder the story of Gideon and the three hundred, Judges 7. And do not commit the insane folly of telling the Lord that the loss of portions of the eternal truth is 616 The Reunion of Christendom outweighed by the prestige and influence of the great host which the unionistic plan -the disregard of certain teachings of Scrip­ture -has mustered. The Lord will answer: "Not by might, nor by power, but by ]Vly Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts," Zech. 4: 6. That congregation is a strong church which, though small in number, lives by the Word and works with the Word. That Church is a weak Church which owes its bigness to indifference to any teaching of Scripture. Do not commit the folly against which President F. H. Knubel warned the Lutheran World Con­vention: "New Babel towers of attempted religious unity are built. . . . When we stress exaggerated statistical totals and boast of our great numbers, we are trusting in might. The same is true when we emphasize overmuch the increased efficiency the Church will gain by a forced 'united fronL'" (Luth. Weltkonvent, Paris, pp. 33,39.) Oh, yes, you can make an impression on the officials at Washington if you can tell them that a host of so and so many thousand Lutherans are back of a certain measure. But the Lutheran Church is not a political machine, the Christian Church does not fight with the carnal weapon of bigness. The only weapon in her hand is God's truth. "Gideon's three hundred were more powerful than the thirty-two thousand with which the march against the Midianites began. There have been previous great crises in the history of the Church, crises almost comparable to this. One appeared in the second century, when the very life of Christendom was threatened by the Gnostics. Another came in the Middle Ages, when the Gospel of God's grace seemed forgotten. In such times of crisis God has always saved the Church. But He has always saved it not by theological pacifists, but by sturdy contenders for the truth." (.J. G. Machen, Christianity and Lib­eralism, p. 174.) What fools these unionists are! They think they can scare the devil by a great show of numbers, while they cannot please him better than by getting people to think that certain teachings of Scripture -all teachings of Scripture -are indiffer­entials. In the words of Dr. C. E. l'vlacartney: "I must frankly confess I see no great contribution to the work of the Kingdom of God in the external drmving together of Protestant denominations. As Phillips Brooks once aptly put it: 'Exchange of courtesies between two regiments in an army does not win a battle against the enemy.' I do not believe that Satan and his angels are in the least troubled by the fact that in some village or town a Pres­byterian, a Methodist, a Baptist, and a Christian church unite as one congregation; nor do I believe that the angels in heaven Hnd any particular reason for rejoicing in it. The enmity of this lost and unbelieving world is just the same, and man's fallen nature is just the same, after you have merged two or three churches The Reunion of Christendom 617 as before the churches were merged. In particular do I have a distrust of those movements towards a church unity which is to be accomplished by the surrender of Christian truth or by the subsidence of vital C:hristian conviction. . . . The movement toward church unity amounts to giving up this and that distinguishing truth and doctrine, until finally the churches agree to merge and unite on the general proposition of the truth of the multiplication table!" (See The Christian Century, March 8, 1939.)14) The idea that the Word of God alone cannot subdue the forces of evil, that it needs to be re-enforced by external might is not only foolish, but also wicked. For what lies back of this idea? Let Dr. Walther tell us: "To endeavor to keep the Church through various human means, thl'ough grand demonstrations, through sensational speechmaking, through pacts and compromises with enemies of the pure doctrine, through external federations against a common enemy while internal differences in articles of faith remain, -all this is an idolatrous exaltation of man." (Lehre und Wehre, 1858, p. 323; CONe. THEOL. MTHLY., 1940, p. 9.) These idolaters trust in human might more than in the power of God; they believe that the might of numbers, "the united front," can accomplish more than the poor Gospel. And they set their wisdom above the wisdom of God. They are presumptuous enough to tell God that the minimizing and suppression of His truth will do more for the Church than the uncompromising confession of it. -These men who are doing what God forbids and Satan advises are not leading the Church to victory, but to defeat. Shall we rally our laymen with the slogan "Unite or be sub­merged"? The Augustana Quarterly warns against it. It denounces the folly and wickedness of it in these strong words: "We dare not become too much impressed with the argument that it is necessary to unite in order to speak with a commanding voice to the world 44) Professor John Schmidt (U. L. C.) on this subject: "There are many contemporary Protestants who envy the efficient organization of Rome. They believe that the divisions within Protestantism weaken the influence ·of the Gospel. A cartoon, which appeared recently in The ChTistian Herald, illustrates their hopes. It was entitled 'United the Forces of the Church Can Rout Them' and showed the leaders of the armies of evil clustered in the tower of a castle, watching the approach of their enemies. 'I don't like the looks of that,' says one, as two columns merge into one that is labeled 'Methodist Church: Near by is another column called 'Congregational-Christian.' In the next scene the two general Presbyterian groups are beginning to join forces, and the frightened watchers cry, 'If this keeps up, we might as well surrend.er.' Measured by every standard of hwnan efficiency, these critics of a divided Church are right. But are we not told in the Scriptures: 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts'? God's ideas of power are not ours. Gideon's three hundred. realized that their only hope of victory lay in the might of God." (The Riches of His Grace, p. 193 f.) 618 The Reunion of Christendom and to bear a powerful testimony to Christ before men. The voice that will be listened to is not the voice of numbers, size, organiza­tions, or government; it is the voice of the life of the Church in its congregations and its members. The true inner unity of the Church will produce a voice that is heard in heaven and on earth. 'Leading role,' 'united voice,' 'our rightful place,' 'the spirit of the times,' 'everything else is merging,' and such as these, are slogans and propaganda we must banish as utterly unworthy and dangerous. They only retard true Lutheran unity, although it is possible they may bring about a sort of Lutheran union. . . . The broad insinua-:' tions of 'hair-splitting' against the theologians of the Church must stop. A union in which the laity has been taught to despise or minimize the fundamental necessity of theology or its teachers will have a weak foundation to stand upon and will not be prepared to build a strong Church or to give a true witness for Christ." (Quoted in The Problem of Lutheran Union, by Th. Graebner, p. 11 f.) 45) 45) Further material on the present subject. Dr. M. Loy, in his discussion of the Augsburg Confession) '\vrites: "Even Lu.therans are enticed upon the .. __ "g road whl."_ ~ ___ are induced to lay great stress upon their numbers and to fancy that their union in larger organizations will give them more power. The power for all legitimate purposes of the Church lies in the means of grace. Numbers may give us prestige and in that respect give us larger opportunity to ply these means. But it is an erring and disloyal thought that any concession in regard to the purity of the Word and Sacrament, which might increase the number of believers, who alone constitute the Church, is permissible. A little company can do more by fidelity to the Lord and His Gospel and a faithful plying of these means in season and out of season, tDJ"ough evil and through good report, than could that company increased tenfold by a surrender to the liberal sentiment of men who cannot brook the exclusiveness of Christianity in its teaching that Christ can save and only Christ shall rule the congregation of the saved." (See Concordia Cyclopedia, p. 775.) Theologische Quartalschrift, 1939, p. 262: "The theory here raises its head, unblushingly, that the testimony of the Gospel alone is not sufficient to overcome atheism, Modernism, and secularism in their new garb; the added momentum of united forces, externally united, is necessary for the victory. Minimizing doctrinal differences and ascribing to mere numbers the spiritual power to overcome atheism, etc., is a motive in the union movement fraught with the gravest dangers." The Watchman-Examiner, April 8, 1943: "When is a church a large church, and when is a church a small church? Is a church's size measured by the number of people who belong to it? The first church at Jerusalem, with a membership of only 120, started a revival the reverberations from which can be felt today .... A church is small only when its faith is small." Dec. 25, 1941: "A certain preacher once said: 'The two outstanding characteristics of the first century ChurC'h were poverty and power.' The Church had but little of this world's goods, but it was possessed by the Spirit of God, and it went everywhere as an evangelistic force, proclaiming salvation through Jesus Christ, and, as a result, it grew by leaps and bounds. The two outstanding characteristics of the Church in modern times are wealth and weakness." A member of the Southern Presbyterian Church, warning against a union with the Northern Presbyterians, "because (8) in the matter of doctrine, the U. S. A. Church nurtmes and tolerates beliefs (Auburn The Reunion of Christendom 619 "Unite or be submerged" means, further, that the Church is suffering incalculable loss through "duplication of work," "over­churching," "waste of her spiritual resources," etc. The unionists never fail to stress this pOint in pleading for the reunion of Christendom. Macfarland's statement "The Church must find its way to lmity or be submerged" is followed by the statement "At such a time as this 'duplication of independent effort, or lack of concerted plan, is a criminal waste.''' (Trends, pp.146, 155.) "The Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry closes with the appeal for unity. It refers to 'costly overlapping and wasteful overhead ex­penses.''' (Macfarland, Christian Unity, p.250.) Dr. Ihmels calls it "Verschwendung der Kraefte." Bishop F. T. Woods deplores "the heart-breaking wastage of men and money due to overlapping and even competing churches. . .. By our divisions we not only waste our resources, but also diminish the Church's effectiveness for righteousness and purity in non-Christian lands." (The Reunion of Christendom, p.114.) The Christian Century, April 14, 1943: "OvercnurchL'1g small communities is an open sore that win never be healed until greater unity is effected. Tr,is same shanleful eco­nomic waste and this same disgraceful inefficiency prevail in our missionary effort." The latest pronouncement that came to our notice declares: "One of the most urgent needs for repentance lies in the sphere of American denominationalism. As a more or less typical example of our Southland, I wish to cite the case of a village of three hundred people which boasted (?) five Protestant churches. The Presbyterian minister received the largest salary of any of the five pastors -the munificent sum of nine hundred dollars a year. Of the five churches, no one had a live program: the situation forbade it. We all need to repent and 'bring forth fruits worthy of repentance'; then such situations cannot exist. What a rich life a minister might have as pastor of this entire vil­lage! What a heartbreaking experience to compete with four other men for a following in such a place! Is this not a great challenge to our denominational leaders?" CW. D. Chamberlain, The Meaning of Repentance, p.l09.) Affirmation, etc.) which seem contrary not only to the Westminster Confession, but also to the Apostles' Creed and the Word of God," closes his protest with the words: "Unless the U. S. A. Church mends its ways and shows a real desire to recognize our contributions to Scriptural Presbyterianism and to meet our scruples, let us cease and desist from further agitation. Why descend to a lower plane just because of megalomania?" (See The Presbyterian, Sept. 21, 1939.) Luther: "Wohlan, so gelte der Trotz in Gottes Namen. Wen es gereuet, der lasse ab, wer sich fuerchtet, der fliehe; mein Rueckhalter ist mir stark und gewiss genug, das weiss ich. Ob mir schon die ganze Welt anhinge und wieder­urn abfiele, das ist mir eben gleich, und denke: ist sie mir doch zuvor auch nicht angehangen, da ich allein war." (XIX: 422.) 620 The Reunion of Christendom Shameful economic waste? We know, of course, that the unionists are not actuated by the sordid motive of saving dollars and cents for the individual Christians through the elimination of four of those five village pasto.". Vlhat they mean is that these four could be more profitably employed somewhere else; that would be good church economics. But what a sinful waste of the Church's resources the unionistic plan entails! Let one of these five ministers be a Lutheran. Let him be removed, and let his parishioners join the Community Churchl That means that they would no longer have the benefit of the doctrine of justification by faith alone, as preached in its clarity and power by a genuine Lutheran; they would be deprived of the full comfort of the Sacra­ments. The community would lose the blessed influence of Lu­theran doctrine and life. The greatest among the resources of the Church is the pure doctrine of God's Word, and the unionists ask the Church to dispense with it. Shameful economic waste! 46) Again, let us assume that the Lutheran pastor in the typical Southern village is a Lutheran by conviction, and he is called to be pastor of the one community church. Shall he sacrifice his con­victions? Shall he suppress, in the interest of peace and good will, the precious doctrine of universal grace? The unionistic church economics would require that. Or let the Presbyterian pastor, a Presbyterian by conviction, head the united church. Should he sacrifice his convictions? Should he, in the interest of peace, lest he offend the Freewill Baptists, suppress the sola gratia? The unionistic stipulations require that. Oh, what a shameful economic waste! There is tremendous power in honest convictions. Convictions based on the truth constitute one of the richest assets of the Church. And the unionistic economists are for freezing these assets. Unless the candidate give strong evi­dence of spiritual flabbiness, he cannot receive the call of the com­munity church; the Laymen's Foreign Mission Board will have no use for him; he cannot serve at a union seminary.471 46) This talk of overchurching is much overdone. Our country needs many more churches. Everyone of our larger cities is under­churched. There are, of course, localities where one might raise the charge of overchurching. If there are two churches of the same faith in one locality which could be supplied by one pastor, that should be done. Moreover, if those five village churches of different denomina­tions do not really differ in their religious convictions -that would have to be established, however! -they should at once wipe out the dividing lines and save money, Finally, every locality in which the pure Gospel is not preached is underchurched. 47) There is much truth in the following editorial of The Living Church, July 13, 1929: "Among the many reasons pro and contra, the question of finance is commonly put forward. Over and over we are urged to think of the tremendous saving of money which would result from consolidation .... It is, in a word, the Community Chest method The Reunion of Christendom 621 Finally, how will all this money saved through cutting out the "overlapping" and "overchurching" be expended? Naturally, in building up the United Church, i. e., in fostering the spirit of in­differentism in the Church. But does that pay? For lack of space we can submit only one piece of evidence, from The Watchman­Examiner of Feb. 25, 1943. It deals with the classic experiment in unionistic economics -the United Church of Canada. It points out that unionism does not pay spiritually -indifference is the bane of spirituality -and does not pay financially. "A Toronto Baptist minister pointed out 'that the church union was a spiritual disaster, and until the passing prosperity of the war was a financial disaster as well.' . .. Now comes an official pronouncement of a United Churchman. In reporting at London, Ontario, for the Christian Education Committee, Rev. A. H. Johnston says that 'in the decade 1931-1941, the Sunday school enrollment of the United Church of Canada declined 142,000, and that instead of adding members to the Church at the rate of 7,000 or 8,000 as in other years, the number added in 1941 was less than 1,000.' This would indicate that church union is also a numerical disaster. Whatever we do, we must preser've the sinceY'ities in the present ecclesiastical situation." -The unioYl.ist will say that this one instance is not conclusive evidence. Granted. But it illustrates the general prin­ciple which is based on Scripture and experience -the stubborn truth of the sterility of indifferentism. See pages 407 and 408 above. What about the argument that the divided state of Christendom scandalizes the heathen and keeps them away from the Church? They tell us: "I know that our division at this point is the greatest of all scandals in the face of the world." (Archbishop Temple.) "Instances were cited by the representatives of the younger churches of disgraceful competition, wasteful overlapping, and of groups and individuals turned away from the Church because of the divisions within. Disunion is both a stumbling block to the faithful and a mockery to those without. . " Put an end to the of religion, so far as money goes. But would it work? What little en­thusiasm remains over any characteristic doctrines of Christianity would probably evaporate entirely under such a scheme. If that is the chief motive, the unity resultant would indeed be a delusion. Moreover, there is something rather fine about caring so much even for things not of primary importance as to be willing to pay for their maintenance. Of course, we all know that it would save a deal of overlapping and costly rivalry; it would increase 'efficiency' -dreadful word. . . . We believe that so long as various denominations stand for principles rather than for mere prejudice, those honestly supporting them will gladly support them even at much waste of substance, because they believe that they are standing stiffly for the mind of the Master. May that spirit long endure! No sordid frugality can supplant such devotion, however mistaken or blind. The real ground for Christian Unity must be sought in higher levels .... " 622 The Reunion of Christendom scandalous effects of our divisions and lead us in the path of union -the union for which our Lord prayed, through which the world would indeed believe in the Divine Mission of the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ." (Tne International Missionary Council. -See Chris­tendom, 1939, Spring, pp. 239,325.) Dr. Ihmels: "Den Heiden wird diese Zerrissenheit der Christenheit oft zum Aergernis." What about this "scandal of Christianity"? In the first place, the divi­sions in the Church are a scandal. "Ach, lieber Gott, dies Aerger­nis hindert viel Leute. Wenn die Lehrer untereinander in der Lehre uneins sind, da einer dies, der andere das vorgibt, und nicht aus einem Herzen und Munde lehren, das stoesst viele Leute vor den Kopf, dass sie irre werden, wissen nicht, wem sie glauben sollen." (Luther, XXII:I025.) In the second place, the blame for this lies with those who have introduced these divisions and offenses and demand tolerance of their false teaching. It is a scandalous procedure when the unionists put the blame for the divisions on those who refuse to tolerate the offensive teachings. And in the third place, nobody is won for the Church by the unionistic plan for treating this scandalous condition. That plan consists in covering up and l'.ciding the divisions. The heathen are being told that the differences between Lutherans and Reformed and Catholics do not amount to anything. The poor heathen is being told that the Bible is God's Book, but one may accept as much or as little of it as he pleases. That will scandalize the poor convert more than ever. And the final result will be, unless God intervenes, that the convert has little respect for the teaching of God's Word. Is such a one won for the Church? 48) 48) A word on the perversion of John 17:21: "That the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." The International Mission Council says that unless the churches forget their differences and form a united front, the world would not believe in the Divine Mission of the Son. Dr. Ihmels: "Fuehrt uns auf den Weg zur Union, fuer die unser Herr gebetet hat, durch die al1ein die Welt an die goettliche Sendung des Sohnes, unseres Herrn Jesus Christus, glauben wird." J. A. Cottam: "The unity of the Church -the visible oneness of the Church -is to be the convincing testimony to the world of the divineness of Christ's mission." (Know the Truth, p.213.) If that were true, Christ's prayer will never be fulfilled, since the Church will never be visibly one. Moreover, Christ could not have prayed for a union brought about by the denial of His truth. He forbids and denounces such a union. -What is the meaning of John 17:21? Lenski: "'This is the fruit which is to follow from this oneness, namely, that Christ's Word is to break forth more and more and b" ac­cepted in the world as God's Word, in which an almighty, divine, un­conquerable power and the treasure of all grace and blessedness reside.' (Luther, VIII: 833.) This oneness of faith voicing the Word, adhering to it in every part, obeying its every precept, is bound to act powerfully upon the world. The greater our oneness in the Word, the greater our victories in the world. The more schism, heresy, and ignorance prevail, the less will our victories be. . .. If the Church is only in part a unit on the Word, if great parts of the Church repudiate or pervert parts of The Reunion of Christendom 623 All of this also applies to the plea "that if the Church does not unite, it will lose the young people more than ever." We say: Woe unto the youth because of offenses. And woe to those by whom the offenses came. And tenfold woe to those who, instead of warning their young people against the wickedness of false doc­trine, train them to slight the truth and sell it for a mess of pottage -carnal pomp and power. And as to the other "vital losses involved in spiritual disunity," which The Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry deplores (see Mac­farland, op. cit., p. 250), such as, for instance, the loss of the blessing inhering in the practice of church fellowship, we, too, deplore that loss deeply. We crave the solace of the Christian brotherhood. But the brotherhood effected by countenancing false doctrine is not a Christian brotherhood. There is no spiritual gain to be derived from indulging in ungodly fraternizations. There is only one way to regain the blessing and comfort of the Christian fellowship, and that is to restore the unity of faith disrupted by the errorists. For that we labor, for that we pray. Meanwhile we thank God for knowing, by ~<litl, tha~ we are one in Christ with all children of God thro·,gh~·~t t~~ w~!'ld; we thank God and rejoice in the Lord as often as we meet a Christian, of whatever denomination, who testifies to the truth; our hearts go out to him -and in love we admonish him of his errors; and patiently we wait for the day that we can enter into church fellowship with him. That way has God's blessing. But the way of unionism is wicked. It remains a wicked way even in wartime. Dr. G. W. Richards aI\d the others say: "When the nations are divided and are en­gaged in a global war, the necessity of uniting the churches be­comes self-evident and needs no argument. Both the will of God and the needs of men require it." (The Christian Century, May 12, 1943.) But nowhere has God indicated that as His will. The Apostle nowhere says: "Avoid the false teachers at all times­except in the case of a global war." They say that "these are not normal times." But Rom. 16:17 is normative for all times. And suppressing portions of God's truth does not supply the needs of men. What men need, what they need particularly in days of great distress ann perplexities, is the full comfort and instruction of the whole Word of God. They need, indeed, amid the hatreds and passions engendered by war, the comfort and blessings of the the Word, the saving impact of the Word on the world is reduced." See also Theological Quarte1"ly, 1916, p.26: "The example of the Chris­tians must perforce leave an impression on the world. Already here on earth the world shall be forced to acknowledge the divine mission of Christ. . .. Here on earth the change that has taken place in the be­lievers shall force recognition from the world that certainly the Savior who could effect such a change must be sent by the Father." 624 The Reunion of Christendom Christian brotherhood. But God supplies that, too, as we have just shown. God's ways, God's regulations are not in accord with carnal wisdom, but happy is he who submits to God's ways and brings the sacrifices required of him. -Let us take heed lest Satan beguile us and, under the pretext and pressure of wartime necessities foist a false, self-chosen union upon us. To sum up, we warn all Ghristians against the cunniIlg seduc­tion hidden in the catch phrase: unless the churches unite, the Church cannot fulfill her mission. It is absolutely true that the divisions within the Church hinder her work in an incalculable measure. Immeasurable gain would result if the truths of Scrip:" ture were proclaimed by all churches with a united voice. (See Luther, footnote 48.) And the Lutheran church would wield a hundredfold greater power if all Lutherans stood for the same old Lutheran principles which gave the Lutheran Church her glorious victories in the past. The Globe-Democrat of St. Louis, Feb. 6, 1943, published as a piece of news, of "encouraging" news, the statement of a Lutheran periodical: "We must face the fact honestly and courageously that the Lutherans of America can never fulfill their destiny as long as they are divided. . . . Every possible effort to unite the Lutheran Church should be welcomed and supported." Surely, surely, the Lutheran Church is wOe­fully hampered in her work because of the divisions within her ranks. The Church Universal suffers the same 10ss.49) And they who caused the divisions and refused to remove them bear an awful responsibility. But now note the subtle artifice: the unionists, playing upon the Christian's desire for union, craftily substitute for the "union in the truth" "a union by compromise." We who know them know that they absolutely refuse to stand for a full agreement in doctrine. What they want is a union which tolerates differences in the faith. "It shall leave ample room for the differences of experience and conviction represented by the existing denomina-49) The Lutheran Witness, June 24, 1941: "The way to a God­pleasing union of the Lutheran Church is discussed . . . in the article [Reason or Revelation?] .... It points out the tremendous force which could be exerted by the Lutheran Church if it were united. 'If all Lutheran pulpits and all Lutheran periodicals and all books by Lutheran authors knew nothing but what the Bible says and knew nothing but the grace of God, the Lutheran Church of today would exert a power beyond measure and description. . . . Men say that if the Lutherans of the world were united and the various divisions marched as one army, under one banner, the power of our Church would be increased a hundredfold. That is true. We deplore the divided state of Lu­theranism. It hampers our work, and that results in incalculable spiritual losses. In such a union there will be strength; the power of God that inheres in the Gospel of the universal grace and the sola gratia will be more widely applied.''' The Reunion of Christendom 625 tions." (See above.)50l Playing upon the Christians' burning desire for a united Church and the attendant blessings and in­sinuating that the Confessional Churches have no great interest in this matter, they hope to win these good people for their fraudulent union with its attendant evils. -Summa summarum: unite on the unionistic basis, and you. submerge the Church into disaster. The second reason why the united front of the unionists must fail is that there is no united front there. Ask the unionists whether they want unity in their camp, the unity of doctrine, of faith, and they will answer: No, never! The commander of the Christian-Jewish-heathen division declares: All religions have equal rights. The commander of the Protestant-Catholic divisions declares: The Catholic religion is a good religion. The commander of the Lutheran-Reformed division declares: the Reformed teach­ing on the means of grace is as good as the Lutheran teaching; disagreement on such doctrines is God-pleasing. And speaking for the unionistic Lutheran division, Prof. A. Weemas wrote in his JJiindebLade (1890); "There were parties enough in the Norwegian­American Church; Missourians, Ellingianers, Augustana people, all organized in their own synods and congregations. What was needed was -one Norwegian Lutheran Church, in which true Lutherans of all shades and tendencies might build and dwell." (See Grace for Grace, p.198.) These men do no want a Church which is one in doctrine. Their army thus does not present a united front. Ii is a dis­organized army. This "path leads to a kind of church union which would mean a huge body of church-going people lacking in con­viction, without spirituaL cohesion and with only a weak and un­stable fonn of government." (The Living Church, Aug. 17, 1929.) It is doctrine that unites; the common faith in the Word of God produces spiritual cohesion; submitting to the teaching of Scrip-50) "United in the fundamentals, but allowing, and gladly allow­ing, very wide divergences in secondary matters." "Transcending the trivial differences. A unity of fellowship on the basis of the funda­mentals, the very simple elementals, of that faith which is the priceless heritage of us all." (See above.) Stating that "the world is falling to bits all about us and no divided Church is going to stop the dis­integration," a writer in The Christian Century of April 14, 1943, de­clar~s: "If toe wait until all possible difficulties aTe 'removed, unification of our churches will never come to pass." And he makes another significant statement: "To those who are fearful of possible 'heresies' involved in church federal union, we might say that the greater heresy is maintaining and perpetuating a divided Church." Heresy means little to the unionist. Need we add further examples? And the Lutheran unionists blandly speak about "quarreling over adiaphora," "quibbling about Verbal Inspiration," "theological hairsplitting," etc. Need we multiply examples? 40 626 The Reunion of Christendom ture provides the strong, efficient church government. "The Word and the doctrine must effect the Christian unity of doctrine, the rest will follow; if that be lacking, no real unity can obtain." (Luther IX: 831.) Do not tell us that i.ll the proposed Protestant­Catholic Church there is a feeling of kinship between those who confess, and those who abhor, the doctrine of justification by faith. Do not tell us that in the proposed Lutheran Union Church those who sneer at Verbal Inspiration have a fellow feeling for those who love it. And do not tell us that those who have no doctrinal convictions and interests are, as far as their indifference rules, one in the Lord. Herman Sasse, as quoted and ridiculed in Dr. Macfarland's The Christian Faith in a Day of Crisis, p.37, will tell you that the unity of the Christian Church can come only when we are all "at one in our understanding of the Gospel and the Sacraments." "We cannot bring about unity by ceasing to take the search for truth seriously." True, we are fighting against a common foe, against pagan philosophies and the like. But this common interest alone does not produce spiritual cohesion. On the religious issues involved there is no agreement, much less is there agreement on the teach­ings of God's Word, by which alone these issues can be settled. The common need cannot unite those who disagree fundamentally on the methods to relieve the need. ''Was waere falscher," declares Hans Asmussen, "als vorschnell aus der Tatsache gemeinsamer Not eine kirchliche Einigkeit konstruieren zu wollen?!" (Theol. Existenz Heute, 56, p. 25.) As soon as religious questions come up, there is a clash of convictions -if one may speak of "convictions" among the unionists. "Nothing engenders strife so much as a forced unity, within the same organization, of those who disagree fundamentally in aim." Thus J. G. Machen, in Christianity and Liberalism, p. 167. The fathers, Dannhauer for instance, described the syncretistic unity of their day with the words: "Foris ELQij'V'l], intus EQt'V'VU';;" -externally peace, inwardly discord. (See CONe. THEOL. MTHLY., 1939, p.833.) Luther used the term "painted, counterfeit unity." "Wo der nicht ist, der innerliche Geist -einerlei glauben, einerlei lehren -, da ist es un­moeglich, dass Einigkeit seL Und wo sie etwa ist, da ist es nur ,eine aeusserliche und getuenchte." (XIX:345.) lIere is no organized army. Here we have a disorganized :rabble. And will such an army accomplish anything worth while? Dr. F. Pfotenhauer: "Gerade auch die Lehrer am Seminar im ver­:£lossenen J ahrhundert haben alles versucht, den Schaden Josephs zu heilen, aber nicht auf Kosten der Wahrheit und durch Preis­geben in Gottes Wort geoffenbarter Lehren. Wenn eine Front nicht festgeschlossen ist, so ist sie, je laenger und groesser sie ist, The Reunion of Christendom 627 desto schwaecher und gebrechlicher. Alexander der Grosse ueber­wand mit einer kurzen, festgeschlossenen Front die laengeren, zu­sammenhangslosen Fronten des Perserkoenigs und eroberte in wenigen Jahren ganz Vorderasien." (Lutheraner, 1939, p.214.) The Church could only lose if, in order to gather a mighty host, it would neglect doctrinal discipline and give license to all and any y..ind of teaching. Let her heed Luther's warning: "For to what does this hateful double-tongued way of speakIng tend? It only furnishes an opportunity of disseminating and fostering in safety the seeds of every heresy, under the cover of words and letters that have a show of Christian faith. And thus, while religion is believed to be taught and defended, it is, in reality, utterly destroyed and subverted from its foundation before it is understood." (XVIII: 1996.) 51) A third reason why the unionistic "united front" must fail is that it is dissipating much of its energy in going after false objectives. The churches must unite in order to hasten "the coming of the kingdom." (See above -E. S. Jones; R. T. Stamm.) "Christian "nity," says Christendom, 1934, Winter, p. 11, "is the needed remedy for the ills of the Church and of the social order. 51) Some unionists feel that the discord would be too great if, as E. S. Jones advocates, all churches formed one denomination. They feel that the formation of four or five denominations would be more feasible. The Living Church, March 6, 1940, proposes this: "No one believes that overnight Catholics and Protestants, fundamentalists and modernists, liberals and conserv"atives, will be able to come together in the unity of a single Christian Church, though under the leadership of the Holy Spirit even this seeming impossibility is possible." (!!) "It does seem, however, that Christian statesmanship in America ought to be capable, through prayer, tact, and energy, of merging the hundreds of denominations into perhaps four or five Christian communions in this country. Doubtless the Roman Catholic Church would form one such communion; Episcopalians, Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholics, and certain other groups with which we have increasingly close relationship, might form a second such communion; Lutherans and other con­servative Protestant bodies a third; Methodist.s and other liberal Protestant groups a fourth. What an improvement in the picture of American Christianity such a realignment of forces would that make!" These men feel that there ought to be some sort of unity in the army. Our St. Louis Church at Work, June 4, 1931, favors this alignment: "1. A non-liturgical and non-l..1'l1mersionist Church. 2. An immersionist Church. 3. A liturgical Church. 4. A Church, say, of Lutheran ante­cedents for the presumable German or Scandinavian minority. 5. Pos­sibly a fifth Church of American antecenents," HO,!I! many visible churches should there be? Only one. But the situation being what it is, it would be a great advantage to the Church if there were only two communions: the orthodox Church and the Union Church. -What do you think of this prophecy of the Theological Magazine of the Evangelical Synod? It declared that within a century or so there would be only three Christian Churches in America: the Catholic, the Waltherian (vu/,go Missouri), and a third, the large Union Church; the other churches would disband, their various elements joining either the Catholic or Missouri or Evangelical camp. (See CONe. THEOL. MTHLY., 1943, p. 324.) 628 The Reunion of Christendom It is the next inevitable step in preparation for the coming of the kingdom of God in sufficient power and fullness to realize the ideals of Jesus in the world." The Church is bound, indeed, to work for the spread of the kingdom of God; but the Church is forbidden to work towards the establishment of the millennialistic "Kingdom of God," a kingdom of earthly power and secular advantages. 52) This "comL"'lg Kingdom" is an illusion, a wicked illusion. All efforts toward establishing it are wasted energy. Again: "Only a united Church can evangelize the world." That is another chiliastic dream. The Lord has not promised that at some time the Church will convert the whole world. The Church will always be the little flock. Luke 12: 32. And the stronger the Union Church with its suppression of much of the Gospel truth becomes, the smaller will be the number of those she converts. Again, the purpose of the Federal Council and the Union Church of the future is "to cast out the demons of social wrong, the prejudice of race, of ignorance, and of brutal \var," to work for "the conservation of health, protection of the worker from dange ____ -' ____ ._~. ./, etc:' (Macfarland, op. cit., 297 Is all of this the business of the Church? The one business of the Church is to preach the Uo::;pel! Luther: "The Church has nothing to do but to teach the Gospel rightly and purely and thus to bear children." (IX: 575.) Inevitably the influence of these children of the Gospel tends towards the righting of social and economic wrongs and the establishing of good relations between nations, but the Church as such has not received a mandate from God to act as arbiter in wage disputes, as counselor of the Government, 52) E. S. Jones' "Kingdom of God on earth is both within and without the Christian Church." It represents "a higher order of human living." "Christ's Kingdom is the embodiment of and the inevitable meeting place of all the tendencies that make for human betterment." "The Kingdom of God -the perfected man in a perfected society." "The first item in the program of Jesus was good nev,g to the poor" -those who are poor "economically." "Kagawa of Japan is making the forming of co-operatives a part of the Kingdom of God Movement. He is im­proving the economic and rnoral condition of vast numbers and at the same time training them. for the new Co-operative Society -the Kingdom of God on earth." (Christ's Alternative to Communism, p. 274 fl.) _ The Lutheran, Jan. 3, 1940: "The final objective is that the 'kingdoms of thif' 'Norld' shall 'become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ.' When Christian people will bring their saved personality into the 'unsaved states of the earth as active, saving factors, then only will the states become Christian." That will "hasten the glorious time long foretold." (See also CONe. THEOL. MTHLY., 1940, pp. 215,58.) The Chris­tian Century, April 14, 1943: "Come into this larger fellowship with a view to increasing the effectiveness of all churches as they attempt to make the kingdoms of the world the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." The Reunion of Christendom 629 as adviser at the peace conference.53) A Church that labors in these fields labors in vain. It is dissipating its energy. And it is wasting its spiritual resources. God has made the Church the steward of the saving Gospel. The Church is the distributor of immense, eternal wealth. Devoting herself to the preaching of the Gospel, the Church is engaged in the most profitable work on earth. "If we could give to the world the most profitable inven­tions," said Dr. Pieper at a Delegate Synod, "or secure for it a uni­versal temporal peace or make all men multi-millionaires, that would not be worth as much as one single Gospel sermon." (See Lutheraner, 1890, p. 134.) And how many Gospel sermons does the preacher fail to prepare and deliver who busies himself with civic improvement? "The churches of Lansing, Mich., have united for four Sunday evening services. The subjects to which the united audiences have listened are the following: 'Political Reorganiza­tions to Maintain Peace.' 'Racial Problems in the Postwar World.' 'War, Peace, and the Religion of Jesus.' And 'Rebuilding for Pros­perity.''' (Watchman-Examiner, April 8, 1943.) The churches which unite for the purpose of it-nproving the worldly conditions ire permitting the wonderful spiritual resources which God has placed at their disposal to go to waste. 53) CONC. THEOL. MTHLY., 1943, p. 369: "The World Council members are in disagreement among themselves on the question whether the churches should confine themselves to the teaching of divine truth or should endeavor to show the states and nations how these truths must find expression in definite attitudes, decisions, and regulations. Reformed churches have quite generally sponsored the latter view. That the historic Lutheran position is that the Church must confine itself to the preaching of divine truth and must not presume to dictate to the State what laws and policies it ought to adopt is well known and requires no lengthy proof." 1940, p. 116: "Congregations are not founded as clubs working for a certain laudable civic end, as that of keeping the elections pure or eliminating slum districts or fighting vice. It is not wrong to establish clubs with such aims; it may even be necessary at times; but the congregation is not such a club. See Matt. IS: 17 fl.; Acts 2: 42-44; Col. 3: 16; 1 Cor. 11: 14." Theologische Qua.rta.lschrift, 1939, p. 152: "Underlying very much of the present enthusiasm for church unions are particularly two ideas which are really anti-Christian in nature and -destructive of true church work. They are the ideas that numbers add weight to the truth of God and its testimony, and that it is the task of the Church to work for social, economical, political improvement." 1937, p. 35: "The aim of the Church to become a social pvvv~, ~n this vvvrld, for the righting of its economic ills through the leadership of the Church, is illusory -pure vanity. In following that false aim the Church will not achieve the world happiness and will lose its power for the saving of dying souls. Our Lord has set the Church no such aim nor promised it such worldly success. From the beginning the Church of God has not been a ruling power on earth, but a gathering of the few that were despised by the world for their evident weakness." 630 The Reunion of Christendom Can the Lutheran Church survive if she refuses to practice unionism? Can the Missouri Synod survive if it refuses to practice unionism? Again and again the gravediggers had been sum­moned to prepare for the burial of the Lutheran Church. See page 408 above. And they have been ready these many years to dig the grave of the Missouri Synod. The Lutheran Church can be killed in only one way, and that is, that she kills herself, kills herself by compromising with error. In the words of Dr. M. Loy: "We Lutherans could get along very nicely with all the world and with all the churches if we would only stop pressing the ex­clusive claims of the Bible and the way of salvation which it teaches and quit -being Lutherans." (The Augsburg Confession, p. 128.) But as long as we remain Lutherans, insist on the observance of every jot and tittle of God's truth, our Church shall survive. Fidelity to the truth does not kill or weaken a Church, but gives it enduring strength. When the gravediggers were getting ready for the burial of the Missouri Synod, Dr. Pieper spoke thus: "Men have alway" censured the so~.:::alled 'lVlissourians' for their 'exclusiveness' and keep on predicting our early demise if we do not abandon the exclusiveness of the 'old fogies' in favor of the 'American ideas.' But do not let that disturb you. We gauge our position not by the 'American' or any other idea, but solely by God's Word. But God's Word requires the Church to separate from all who teach otherwise than God's Word teaches. Rom.1S: 17. And if we continue to follow the instructions of God's Word and maintain the 'exclusive' policy of our fathers, that will not submerge us, as little as it submerged our fathers. On the contrary, God would turn away from us as a Church and cast us out as salt that has lost its savor if we, who know what church and church fellowship mean, would deny the truth of His Word by unionistic dealings. . . . Let others seek strength through other means. We, by the grace of God, want the strength of God's Word. What made our fathers so strong and invincible and always gave them the victory, though the vvorld and the fainthearted union church constantly predicted their speedy debacle? This was the strength of our fathers that, making no compromises of any kind, they stood squarely on God's Word." (Proc., Delegate Synod, 1899, pp. 35, 38.) When they tell us that unless we join the union host, we shall lose out, we answer in the words of Luther: "No, dear sir, none of that peace and unity for me through which God's Word is lost." (IX: 831.) 54) (To be continued) TH. ENGELDER 54) We have examined a few of the chier arguments employed by the unionistic propaganda. It employs many other arguments. The Christian Union Quarterly, January, 1927, presents its case thus: