Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 10, 1960
NUMBER 43, PAGE 12-13b

Beyond The Horizons

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

Presbyterian Split In Korea

In a previous article we commented on the split among Presbyterians in Korea. Since the division, which began in a Korean assembly last September 26, Presbyterians in America have made strong efforts toward reconciliation in Korea. Trouble shooters have been sent. In the January 11 issue of The Presbyterian Outlook one of the troubleshooters writes about the efforts. A "special team of inquiry and reconciliation" formed for mediatorial and remedial reasons brought representatives of both sides into a meeting. The efforts are described as follows:

After some days representatives of both sides were brought together and as a result unanimously agreed that a reuniting of the divided Assembly is imperative. They set up a committee to issue a joint statement and proceeded to arrange dates for subsequent meetings to carry out plans for a restoration of the broken bonds of Christian fellowship.

The blame for the split is being placed on the shoulders of Dr. Carl McIntire, an American leader of a Presbyterian minority. McIntire is accused of fanning flames and of encouraging rabble rousers. Of course Dr. McIntire's version should be heard.

The basic issue, according to the writer of the article in The Presbyterian Outlook, is membership of Korean Presbyterian churches in the World Council of Churches. The world Council of Churches has been accused in Korea of modernism and of communism. It is accused of world conspiracy. The article states: "For the sake of unity those who favored the World Council of Churches have readily agreed that the church should withdraw from that organization. At the same time they have insisted that the untrue accusations against W.C.C. be refuted." Both sides will have to swallow bitter pills, but from the Presbyterian standpoint this is better than sipping the dregs of a poisonous cup of division.

The compromise can create a degree of unity; if the doctrinal issues ore insufficient as the American troubleshooters assert; if Doctor McIntire's work is stifled; if personality conflicts can be overcome. These are big ifs; they will figure prominently in future events in Korean Presbyterian church affairs.

The affair is interesting to us because we see in it several parallels to current troubles among churches of Christ and because of the opportunities conservative reaction offers for our brethren in Korea.

As I prepared to complete this article, later reports come to my mailbox. These reports inform us that "Hopes for healing the schism in the Presbyterian Church in Korea, the country's largest Christian body, sank to a new low as three days of marathon reunion negotiations ended in failure." We will follow the events with keen interest.

The World Council of Churches still figures prominently in this affair. The ecumenical movement advanced by W.C.C. has bogged down in Korea; the Korean disunion continues to cause grave concern among American Presbyterians.

Catholicism And Political Philosophy

A Vatican City periodical recently warned Catholics; "No one can be 'both a good Catholic and a true socialist.' " It is declared that socialism is unacceptable to Roman Catholics, even though it may repudiate Karl Manes ideologies.

In one generation Roman Catholics may be called on to reject a social or political philosophy, like socialism, and yet in another generation Catholics may be encouraged to accept the same ideology.

In an encyclical letter Pope Leo XIII warned against Americanism. Said he, "Hence from all that we have hitherto said, it is clear, beloved son, that we cannot approve the opinions which some compromise under the head of Americanism." Pope Pius IX in a famous encyclical condemned systems in which man is free to embrace and profess the religion he shall believe true. Pope John XXIII would not be so bold. The Roman Catholic Church now flourishes under the kind of system which it once condemned.

Would the current opposition to socialistic ideology be reversed in a situation where socialism offered good opportunities for the Catholic mission? Catholicism today condemns socialism on the basis that "its concept of society is such that it can be called opposed to Christian truth." We must remember that Catholicism once condemned Americanism on the same count.

Those outside the Roman Catholic fold who stand back and observe the comparative Roman Catholic and modern socialism, see little difference in the kind of restriction placed on communicants of the two systems. One restricts man under a social-political philosophy, the other restricts him under a politico-religious philosophy. They are in competition; they call for the same kind of subservience. Man cannot serve two masters equally well: for this reason Catholicism condemns socialism. She will condemn it until expediency dictates differently.

Pithy Quotes

"The supreme moral issue of the 1960's will be the outlawry of war." (Charles J. Turck) "The absurb man is the contrary of the reconciled man." (Albert Cam-us) . . . . "The state of the union increasingly depends on the state of the free world." (The Christian Century) .. . "Can one overlook the fact that communism is the unwelcomed yet — in all its belligerence — natural result of Western developments?" (Karl Barth) " I think that out of fear of fire we are irresponsibly playing with fire." (Karl Barth) . . . . "When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness we repent of, but our severity." (George Eliot) .... "If the present tries to sit in judgment of the past we have the world in our hands, God is about to put it in someone else's."

Sickles Instead Of Pruning Hooks?

In an appeal from Russian churchmen, released by the Soviet embassy in Washington, the following reference to Isaiah 2:4 appears: "Reading the plan for disarmament, we Christians cannot help recalling the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 2:4) about the time when peoples 'will beat swords into ploughshares and spears into sickles.!" Sickles? The hammer and sickle? The Russians are rewriting the Bible!