The section under “Reconciliation in Society,” which deals with peace, is a part of the faith of the new confession. It says that the church “is called . . . to commend to the nations as practical politics . . .” In the relation of nation to nation and the conflict which faces the world, therefore, the church now has confessional warrant to speak to the nations and offer guidance to the governments of the world. This, too, is found in the premise of God’s reconciliation in Jesus Christ. Indeed, the organized church is now authorized to tell the Government how to conduct its affairs. Historically, this activity is called “clericalism.”

The first real thrust of the confession is to question national sovereignty and national security. The search for peace “requires the pursuit of fresh and responsible relations across every line of conflict, even at risk to national security…” Every line of conflict obviously includes the major conflict of the day between the East and the West, the Communists and the world that they are seeking to conquer for their socialism. The Confession of 1967 is not on the side of resisting or repudiating Communism, but on the side of accepting it and broadening “international understanding.” All this goes beyond peaceful coexistence, which has been a Communist strategy in their peace offensives. The confession even goes further than that and argues in behalf of a reconciliation between the Communist world and the free world, lest mankind be annihilated.

This strategy for reconciliation was spelled out in Evanston, Illinois, in 1954, in the pronouncement of the World Council of Churches on “Living Together in a Divided World.” Churchmen from Iron Curtain countries, under Communist discipline, including Janos Peter, who was a member of the secret police and returned to the United States later as foreign ambassador to the United Nations for the Communist government of Hungary, and Josef L. Hromadka, known as the No. 1 Protestant defender of Communism, were there. This document said that peaceful coexistence “can only be a transitional stage or a point of departure. It must move, through untiring endeavor, beyond these minimum requirements into an order of genuine cooperation. The first move into such an order must surely be in the direction of peaceful competition with growing cooperation. This order will be facilitated and reinforced through the free exchange of persons, culture, information and goods; through common undertakings for relief and human welfare; and through the growth of the United Nations as an instrument for peaceful change. Christians must go still further. They must promote the reconciliation of the nations.” The implementation of this, in accordance with the spirit of the new confession, was seen in the December 16, 1966, pronouncement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Paris, unanimously approved by all 14 of the members, including the United States, represented by Secretary of State Dean Rusk. They called for the removal of “barriers to freer and more friendly reciprocal exchanges between countries of different social and economic systems.” The New York Times reports they “pledged to work for better political, economic, social, scientific and cultural relations with the Soviet Union and with other countries in Eastern Europe” (New York Times, December 17, 1966, p. 1).

Thus the new confession is indeed keeping pace with ecumenical leadership and world political leadership as they work toward this so-called reconciliation with Communism. All of this reveals the complete abandonment of the moral law in dealing with the colossal evil of Communism. The new confession has abandoned a commitment to that moral law as set forth in the Holy Scriptures. It is impossible that there be reconciliation between freedom and Communism, between those who believe in God and are responsible to Him and those who repudiate God and are responsible to a totalitarian power. There are many matters in this world as they relate to light and darkness, truth and error, God and Satan, which cannot be reconciled, and those who would adhere to the truth will not attempt to reconcile them. They will resent all such efforts as disastrous. God is not being reconciled to the Devil and He never will even attempt such a reconciliation. Satan is to be judged and consigned to the hell of fire. The new confession at this point has long since departed from the concepts of good and evil as set forth in the wisdom of Solomon and the commandments of Moses.

Let us examine this matter, however, a little more closely in two respects. We are confronted with what can properly be called just plain Communist propaganda.

First, we must be reconciled to the Communists, work with them, or risk “the annihilation of mankind.” The full statement reads, “Reconciliation among nations becomes peculiarly urgent as countries develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, diverting their manpower and resources from constructive uses and risking the annihilation of mankind.” The fear of the bomb is to lead Western man to abandon his principles, yes, even his God, and compromise his freedom in the interest of life and security. No longer do we say, “Give me liberty or give me death,” or “I would rather be dead than Red.” The principle here is, “I would rather be Red than dead.” Communist propaganda has found its way, its fear, and its goal into the Confession of 1967.

Those who know the Bible and believe its teaching are assured by divine revelation that Jesus Christ is returning for His own; He will come in the clouds of Heaven, and He will gather the believers to Himself and raise the dead. There will be no atomic annihilation of mankind, and no true Christian fears it. It is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom. It is the fear of the Lord to depart from evil. It is the fear of the Lord that gives understanding, while the Confession of 1967 abounds with the fear of the Communists.

Second, it is Communist propaganda that would lead us to take risks to our national security and with our sovereignty.

The reference to national security in the new confession provoked the longest debate and brought the largest dissent in the Assembly of 1966. The entire sentence reads, “This requires the pursuit of fresh and responsible relations across every line of conflict, even at risk to national security. : . :” It originally read, “At the risk of national security,” but after the leaders of the Assembly slept on the matter, the next morning it was decided to modify it-at least, they explained it that way, though we can see little difference so far as the issues are concerned as to whether it reads, “at risk to national security” or “at the risk of national security.” In one instance you have one risk; in the other instance you have possibly many risks. The specious argument used was that our relationship to God is above our relationship to our country, but this was irrelevant and had nothing whatsoever to do with risks involved in being reconciled to the godless Communists. At this point our loyalty to our God and our loyalty to our national security are not opposed to each other, but are on the same side of the conflict, opposing the Communists. A strange and irrational twist indeed manifested itself in the debate and in the new confession at this point. We do risk our loyalty to God when we compromise with the Communists. In fact, we do more than risk it; we deny it and sacrifice it. The greatest restraint we have in dealing with the Communist world and in making no compromise with it, is our moral standards and our faith in God. This is totally absent from this section of the new confession.

This attack upon sovereignty also reflects definitely against the United States as a sovereign power. This line of thinking has been in the writings of these dreamers and one-world thinkers for a long time. It is a part of their attack upon “the American way of life,” which many Christians are defending from the assaults of the socialists, and it is a most important point to be won if the United Nations is to be developed into any effective instrument of peace. At least, that is the way the argument goes.

“The Myth of National Sovereignty” was the head of an article appearing in the Adult Teacher, January, 1964, official publication of The Methodist Church, which was written by U Thant, secretary general of the United Nations. He wrote, “Another great fact of our times is the myth of the absolute sovereign state . . . . In San Francisco, 17 years ago, the assembled statesmen of the world clung to this myth …. If the United Nations is to have a future, it must assume some of the attributes of a state. It must have the right, the power, and the means to keep the peace.”

Thus the confession lays the groundwork for the battle which will come at some future time in the United States Senate and before the American people when we shall be called upon to surrender the nation’s sovereignty in varying degrees to a world superstate. Undoubtedly, the drafters of the new confession looked into the future and placed a commitment in the leaders’ hands to use in that day of battle. Now here is strong language used such as should accompany the denunciation of those who reject the virgin birth or the literal bodily resurrection of Christ, but it is here reserved for a church that would identify “any one way of life with the cause of God . . : ” Such a church “denies the Lordship of Christ and betrays its [the church’s] calling.” The assault is upon the Christian foundations and the teachings that have built the United States and in which the Presbyterian Church has historically had a large part. It has been under the Lordship of Christ that Christians

have fought for righteousness in their country. They developed a form of government under which they were free to serve God. The problem here is that what the drafters of this confession desire is an entirely different social system established under the Lordship of Christ, and they cannot believe that the order of freedom that we now’ have was given to us by men who believed and who did establish it under the Lordship of Christ. The “christs” are different.

We are back again to where we started-two different lords, two different christs, two different laws, two different concepts, two different ideas of freedom and society.

The new confession has embraced an entirely different concept of society and freedom from that which we find in the Bible and in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. It is particularly under the Ten Commandments and the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shah not steal,” that the right of the individual to hold property and the divine sanction undergirds a society of free men in free enterprise, or what has been called historically “capitalism.” Each individual has his own capital and is responsible for himself under God.

Reconciliation is a strategy of revolution. As I pointed out in Chapter 7, the reconciliation of the nations or of any of these questions is brought about by compromise and concession, dialogue, rapprochement, and peace. This has nothing to do with the Cross. It involves simply the dialectic—two sides are in conflict; each side makes compromises, and they find unity in a new position. The new position then enters into conflict with an arising opposition. There is thesis, antithesis, and out of this conflict there comes the synthesis. Thus the process is repeated—thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. The latest synthesis becomes thesis, another antithesis arises, and the struggle continues, and before long, society is a long way from where it first started under the original thesis. This is nothing but the Hegelian or Marxian dialectic. This is a study of revolution which will destroy freedom and the indeed separates society from any responsible relationship to the law of God or to God Himself. Peaceful coexistence and reconciliation with the Communist world involves deserting and forsaking God. In fact, such a world appropriately belongs to those who believe that God is dead and that the purpose of all church activity is to identify itself with the “secular city.”