Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 28, 1960
NUMBER 50, PAGE 10-11a

Beyond The Horizons

By Wm. E. Wallace, Box 399, McAlester, Oklahoma

"The Pink Shows Through"

The controversy over statements in the Air Force Training Manual, regarding infiltration of communists into the Protestant clergy, recalls Senator McCarthy's work of a few years back. It has not been long since the Methodist Church was accused of having a pink fringe. The statement in the Air Force Training Manual merely asserted that communists had penetrated into the churches. The statement was brought to light and a swell of protest arose from Protestant leaders.

The National Council of Churches of Christ was caught up in the middle of the controversy. The leaders of this organization (no kin to churches of Christ) tried to remain aloof from the charges and offered little reply.

The basis for the charge that communism has found its way into Protestant churches is found in the fact that Protestant leaders and organizations are following the communist line in political utterances. Protestant leaders and organizations have spoken out boldly for admittance of Red China to the United Nations. They have pressured for disarmament, they have echoed the communist peace propaganda, they have criticized the use of the Atomic bomb on Japan, they have pushed for ban of nuclear weapons. While some of these positions may indeed be worthy, they are offered at a time when free nations are desperately employed in a battle for survival with communist forces. The communist forces throw before the world these same positions in propaganda and peace overtures. When Protestant leaders echo the communist preachments, many believe they see a pink coloring showing through.

Another factor serving as a basis for the charge of communism among Protestant clergy, is the fact during the days of economic disaster between the two world wars, many members of the Protestant clergy turned to various socialistic schemes in search for an answer to the problems of suffering society. Most of these clergymen were later turned away from socialism by communist treachery and totalitarianism. But past association with communist fronts offers good material for McCarthyism and head-line hunters.

Of course, it is quite probable that there are communists among the Protestant clergy. Communist sympathizers in the churches may be stronger than we think. However, if the Protestant clergy would stay out of politics, and suit trying to run the country, there would be less involvement in such things as the Air Force Manual affair. No doubt it is hard for the Protestant clergy to leave politics alone in the face of Roman Catholic participation in politics. But if I were a politician, I think I would look upon the political utterances of church leaders as the paddling of ducks in deep water. Men who become experts in one field often appear ridiculous when they dabble in others.

Rocking The Ecumenical Boat

We note the Methodist protest to the ordination of a Methodist clergyman by an Episcopal bishop. George Medley is a Methodist preacher who serves as chaplain of Mills College, Oakland, California. Episcopal students on the campus were undecided as to whether or not to participate in some of Medley's services inasmuch as Medley's ministry was not authenticated by "legitimate" Episcopal succession.

James A. Pike, Episcopal bishop, thought he could settle the problem by the laying on of Episcopal hands of authority. So he extended to Medley the Episcopal orders of ordination. The idea is that Medley can operate more broadly now than he could before.

But protest arose from Methodist ranks. Methodist Medley has been accused of "tacitly admitting in public that his Methodist ordination was insufficient and perhaps even invalid" in his receiving of the Episcopal accommodation. Would Episcopal clergymen bow to the ordination of a Methodist bishop? Bishop Pike indicates he would be among the first to kneel down before a Methodist bishop for ordination if there were provisions for such in the Methodist system. The Episcopal system provides a rule allowing such action taken by Pike, in his ordaining of a Methodist to Episcopal service.

Pike claims that he was acting in interest of the ecumenical movement in ordaining the Methodist chaplain. He explains that he thought he saw a chance to make a breakthrough in interest of unity. But Methodist have their tongues in their cheeks. They feel that Pike and Hedley have rocked the "ecumenical boat."

The apostles of Christ would certainly view with awe and chagrin the denominational system of clergy ordination. The confusion and controversy over the Pike-Hedley affair is another manifestation of the unscriptural nature of denominational organizational structures.

Narrowing The Catholic Issue

The question of where a presidential candidate stands on the relation of church and state cannot be evaded. History speaks out to accuse the Roman Catholic church of an official attitude in favor of the uniting of church and state. Pope Pius IX's "Syllabus of Errors" is a case in point. The alliance of church and state in such countries as Spain serves to show that church-state union is still in favor with the Roman Catholic Church.

Much is being said now about the American Catholic interpretation of this church-state relation. In 1948 American Roman Catholic bishops declared for "our original American tradition of free cooperation between government and religion — cooperation involving no special privilege to any group and no restriction on the religious liberty of any citizen." Thus there appears to be an attitude among Americans Catholics to reject the Catholic traditional view of church and state union, in lieu of the American constitution.

So now in Roman Catholic circles there is some controversy on the matter. Shall American Catholics string along with the traditional official view of church-state relation (or shall they reject that view in favor of American democracy?

A Catholic priest has stated the issue thusly: "Is the Church in America to be allowed to travel her own historical pattern and forward her own solutions to the Church-State problems, remaining faithful to essential Catholic principles, or is the Church in America to repudiate the history of America and what is most unique about it — a political tradition sharply in contrast to that of modern continental Europe?"

Suppose we question a Roman Catholic presidential candidate as to which position he holds. Could we trust his answer? Roman Catholic moral theology grants the right to Catholics to prevaricate under certain conditions. This doctrine is referred to as "Mental Reservation". In the Manual of Christian Doctrine, page 447, it is stated that "When impertinent people, either maliciously or stupidly, endeavor to wrest these secrets from us, we are perfectly justified in using mental reservation, to meet their rude and ill-bred questioning ... Mental reservation is allowable only when we are driven into a corner by captious questions about a matter which he knows perfectly, but does not choose to tell the truth?

Can America trust a Catholic president?

Methodist Dissenters Methodist Church doctrine teaches that salvation comes to man before baptism. The Discipline of The Methodist Church, 1948 edition, states: "Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort." (Page 27)

Recently a poll among Methodists, conducted by Methodists, revealed that 56.1 per cent of those polled believe that "Men are saved by divine grace when they respond in repentance and trustful obedience." Only 3.8 per cent believe that "Men are saved entirely by divine grace." It appears that Methodists are not very loyal to their creed.