The section on poverty in the new confession, Part II, Section A, 4-c, opens the door wide for socialism. This section could be called an introduction to the Communist attack upon our capitalistic system.

One needs to be familiar with the constant antipoverty propaganda which is carried on in The Worker and the Communist theoretical journal, Political Affairs, to appreciate such phrases as “the product of unjust social structures,” or “enslaving poverty in a world of abundance,” and, “exploitation of the defenseless.” The Communists have the answer to our poverty problems! It is state control.

“Communists and the War on Poverty,” by Albert J. Lima, was a feature article in the September, 1965, Political Affairs. “The people afflicted by poverty,” the article said, “are already developing new, democratic organizations for struggle. If the Communist Party and the Left forces generally are able to tackle the problems effectively, a new political force will emerge in many major cities. And the growing movement and our participation in it will, in turn, have a powerful effect on the status of our Party…

“Participation in activities related to problems of those affected by poverty results in contact with the most oppressed sectors of the working class, employed as well as unemployed. They can be organized for struggle, and for participation in political actions.

“These struggles will result in a direct confrontation with the seats of power of reactionary and ultra-Rightist politicos of the Establishment. These politicos represent both the Republican and Democratic parties in their grass-roots bases of city and county officialdom and control.”

The Hon. Hubert Humphrey, Vice-president of the United States, when he addressed the National Council of Churches’ General Assembly in Miami Beach, Florida, December 6, 1966, associated the Government’s actions in this field with the leadership of the church. He said, “You passed a resolution endorsing an antipoverty program two years before we enacted it in Washington.”

To talk about the church not evading “responsibility in economic affairs” points directly to “The Social Creed of the Churches.” This creed enunciates Marxian ideology and was drafted by none other than Dr. Harry F. Ward, a Methodist clergyman who was declared by two former Communists, under oath, to be a member of the Communist Party. Louis Budenz, former editor of the CommunistDaily Worker, appearing. before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, September 26 and 28, and October 1, 5, 6, 7, and 10, 1951, testified, “I also know, from conversation with Dr. Ward personally, of his Communist affiliation.” Manning Johnson, former Communist Party leader in the United States, testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, July 8, 1953, “Yes; he was a member of the Communist Party while I was a member.” Vice-president Humphrey made direct reference to this social creed in commending the National Council of Churches. He said: “To read through the famous old social creed of the churches that the Federal Council took over from the Methodists is to see how visionary and ahead-of its-time that document was. And a good- deal of it is yet to be achieved.” It was then that he made his direct reference to the antipoverty pro gram. Plank 2 of that social creed reads, “Social planning and control of the credit and monetary systems and the economic processes for the common good.” It could have been taken from the constitution of the Soviet Union!

But this antipoverty program and emphasis has to be managed under the Government and political activities. This is a major part of the “great society” of the Johnson administration. And the Vice-president stood before the National Council of Churches and said: “You have preached, lobbied, marched, carried out bold and difficult programs from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago, from Watts to Roxbury…I would point out that the periods of great government action have also been periods of venturesome action by churches and private groups.” And again, “The public has been made aware of the new demands of social justice-by the parallel and cooperating work of church and state…” He repeated, “I am here to ask your help.”…”Right now is when we need your leadership most of all.”

The new confession gives the moral and religious foundation for all manner of expansion in political endeavors in this field. Antipoverty at present is a door through which the socialists and Communists are pandering their propaganda to destroy individual responsibility and free America.

Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, in taking over his position as general secretary of the World Council of Churches in Geneva on December 1, 1966, indicated that the world did not need to be too much concerned about Communism. He emphasized that all should focus their attention on the elimination of poverty.

The new confession nowhere recognizes that poverty is related to sin and the corruption of human character. Solomon said, “He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread; but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough” (Prov. 28 :19) . All the social structures in the world cannot control the will and the disposition of a man who takes what meager earnings he has, or what gifts have been placed in his hands, and goes out and, in one night, drinks himself drunk at the neighborhood bar, or proceeds on a Saturday to a nearby race track and gambles it all away upon the horses.

The tragic flaw of all government-sponsored, antipoverty programs with their various handouts is that such programs are dependent upon the corruption of human nature, both on the part of the recipient and on the part of the distributor.

“Apathy Found in Poverty War Here” is a headline in The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 26, 1966. The story reads:

“WASHINGTON, Dec. 25.—Behind the Federal Government’s demand for reforms in the Philadelphia poverty program are a series of confidential reports suggesting a large part of the effort to help the city’s 350,000 poor to help themselves has become bogged down in apathy, inaction, and patronage.

“The neighborhood centers that were to be the ‘nerve centers’ in eliminating poverty in 12 city ‘target areas’ are pictured as deserted for the most part, and many of their staff workers are said to be confused over their roles, if not demoralized.”

The poor themselves are described as “increasingly skeptical and cynical over the relevancy to their lives of the neighborhood poverty councils and the city’s umbrella agency, the Philadelphia antipoverty Action Committee (PAAC).”

If all the money that exists in the United States were divided equally with the 800 million people in Red China it would not solve the poverty of the Communist world. After the Communist government used all the funds obtained by this process, it would need a similar amount to keep going. Communism and socialism produce poverty, engender irresponsibility, and make serfs. It is only under freedom and capitalism, where men enjoy the benefits of their own labors and serve God, that it is possible for wealth to be accumulated. The testimony of the Scriptures is precise, “Let him that stole steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Eph. 4:28). This leaves out the state.

The antipoverty program in the United States followed the civil rights struggles. The antipoverty program has developed in the wake of the failure of the integration battles. “Integration Has Failed” was the feature article of the Christian Century, December 28, 1966. Now the hope of the Negro movement is to obtain relief through the antipoverty program. All of these things seem to be somehow synchronized, for the Sunday school publications of January, 1967, one after another, feature the campaign to relieve the poverty of the United States by some form of federal subsidy. Martin Luther King himself called for a guaranteed annual wage for the poor, and figures in support of this vary from $20 billion to $44 billion a year, all of course to be provided from the federal treasury. Dr. King’s proposal was so attractive to the Communists that The Worker featured at length his denunciation of the cruel and unlawful war in Vietnam, and his explanation that the money being spent in Vietnam could be used to guarantee the Negroes of the country in their poverty the annual wage he says will solve all the problems.

What the Confession of 1967 does at this point is to give church sanction, divine authority in the name of the creed of the church, for church endorsement and activity in the program to change the social structure of the United States because under it unjust conditions develop. The new confession relates such economic activity to the worship of God, and it denounces the “one social class,” which “expects gratitude for its beneficence,” and says it “makes a mockery of reconciliation and offers no acceptable worship to God.” Very strong and unbiblical indeed! Apparently under this program for worship it will not be possible to please God until reconciliation between the rich and the poor has been fully accomplished and some form of socialistic order has been established. Then comes the worship of the “secular city.”

Are the implications of this statement valid? Can we actually not have acceptable worship except under some system where this reconciliation has been accomplished? Is it not possible to worship God in the kind of free society such as is protected under the Constitution of the United States? What is wrong with the individual expressing his gratitude to some other individual who has in a gracious manner sought to help him in his poverty? This kind of help can be given in the name of Jesus Christ. When the state helps, and takes care of the poor, God is eliminated from the picture. This section on poverty is full of revolution.

Solomon describes our realities, “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man” (Prov. 6:9-11).

“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich” (Prov. 10:4).

“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing” (Prov. 20:4).

The new confession seems to have gotten entirely away from the concept that our Saviour sets before His own, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). The other things are raiment, food, shelter. Yes, “your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” The new confession, however, provides that those who seek first raiment, food, and shelter as the Kingdom of God are entering into true worship.