All Around Us

Roman Catholic Influence In Government 

With the democratic nomination for president of the United States going to a Roman Catholic, there is considerable discussion going on among church leaders as well as leaders in the publishing field in general about the advisability of a Roman Catholic in the White House. Many churches have already taken a stand against this, especially the churches in the South. That the Romish Church is still interested in world domination is evident from the following quote by a Catholic named J.J. Connor who is chairman of the Catholic Committee for Historical Truth:

“We now have more than 100 Catholics in Congress, 18 or 20 Catholic governors and thousands of Catholics in our state legislatures. If these Catholics would forget the by now meaningless designation of ‘Republican’ and ‘Democrat’ and work together, keeping in mind the social and economic doctrines set out through the generations by the Church since at least the days of St. Thomas Aquinas, and if we elect a Catholic as president to take his place at the head of the Army of God, we cannot only march triumphant against the scourge of Communism but we can bring a true and lasting peace to the entire world and make the United States a Catholic country in a real sense, and the greatest nation of all time. We are at a crossroad now. We can take the road to destruction and damnation, or we can take the road to God and glory. And we must do it at the ballot box.”

Missionary Labor In Africa 

With the strong surge of nationalism in Africa bringing new nations to independence almost every month, there is a need forced upon many churches to re-examine their mission endeavors in the “dark Continent.” Articles are appearing with regularity in many papers about the difficulties of mission work and the hazards of missionaries. Some time ago an interesting article appeared in Christianity Today in which the threat to mission work by the rise of nationalism was vividly discussed. It seems as if nations who attain independence from so-called “colonial powers” soon turn against the church. This article pointed out that the churches which had been established and the missionaries who were working. in these fields were threatened constantly and often forced to flee. Many seeming converts turned back again to paganism with all its strange and often repulsive rituals and rites once the nation was freed from the rule of another country. The leaders of these new nations were often not favorably inclined to the work of missions, and harassed those who carried on such work, The result is that the whole mission enterprise in Africa stands in some danger of coming to an end. This was especially true recently in the Congo. 

Now there is a plea on the part of some leaders for missionaries to return. Under the title, “Re-entering Congo,” in the August 29. issue of Christianity Today, there appears the following brief notice:

“As of the middle of August, Protestant missionaries who had evacuated the strife-torn Congo were slowly returning, urged on by appeals such as one received by Dr. C. Darby Fulton, executive secretary of the Presbyterian U.S. Board of World Missions. The letter to Fulton from Congolese Christians cited, in halting English, the ‘necessity’ of having the missionaries return. 

“‘We ask you to get them back in Congo immediately,’ the letter said. 

“During his visit to North America this summer, Congolese. Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba said that missionaries had done much for the ‘moral and intellectual up bringing’ of his people. 

“‘We want the missionaries to remain,’ he said. ‘For years it was only the missions who looked after the Congolese. We ask them to continue their help.’ 

“The Swiss Catholic press agency KIPA said, however, that it had secured a copy of a ‘secret instructions’ document issued to militants of the Congolese National Movement singling out Christian missionaries as the ‘greatest enemy’ of the people. The document apparently was issued before the proclamation of independence. Lumumba was the head of the Congolese National Movement.”

This whole matter of mission endeavor in Africa brings up some interesting questions. It certainly is a fact that the gospel has never had the influence in Africa that it had in nations such as Europe arid America. This is not to say that the Lord does not have His own elect in Africa as well as other nations, for the church shall be gathered and is gathered from every nation and tribe and tongue. Nor does this mean that all that goes under the name of mission work today is indeed the progress of the gospel in the gathering of the church. Much, and perhaps most, of what is called mission endeavor cannot possibly have any positive fruit. For many people who claim to preach the gospel do not preach it at all, but preach a perversion of the gospel that the Lord will not and does not use to gather His church. 

But, apart from these questions, it remains a fact that the continent of Africa as well as the nations of Asia are never nations that come under the influence of the gospel. The gospel is predominantly limited to the nations of the West. And such is also undoubtedly the purpose of God. The progress of the gospel is always westward from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to Asia Minor and Europe, and finally to America. The covenant lines run mainly through the nations that inhabit the western part of the globe. And always with the gospel there is also a certain civilizing power and influence so that the main stream of culture is to be found mainly in the West. 

This is not only evident from history, but is also the teaching of Scripture. It is perhaps entirely in harmony with Scripture to, say that these nations which come under the influence of the preaching of the gospel and are “Christianized” are also the nations that become Anti-Christian—i.e., the very center of the power of the Anti-Christ. While at the same time, the nations that do not come under the influence of the gospel as completely as the Western nations become the nations on the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog. While these nations also are bitterly opposed to the church and to the truth of the Word of God, they remain for the most part in Paganism. They are not part of the nations that are called “Christian,” using the term in its broadest sense. They remain for the most part under the influence of their pagan religions. They are the nations that are forced to give their power to the beast for a season; but they are also the nations that never will have anything to do with what is called Christianity. They are atheistic and pagan to the core and remain so to the end of time. This seems to be evident also from history which is, recently being made in the Congo. Part of what is happening there may be the result of a perpetual hatred of these nations against all that goes under the name of Christian. 

These same nations are the ones that eventually turn against Anti-christ and bring about the final battle which shall come at the end of the ages. It is, however, interesting that the basic reason why these nations turn against Antichrist is no doubt that they still consider the Anti-Christian kingdom to be the citadel of Christianity, not realizing in the darkness of their paganism that what was once Christian has become in time Anti-Christian. 

It is difficult if not impossible to predict what part these nations will play in detail in our contemporary history. But the believer, who looks at history as being one of the signs of the return of his Lord, sees these events as instructive and comforting, for they must bring with them the final redemption of the church when Jesus shall appear again. 

Religious Broadcasting

As some of our readers know, there has been an attempt in recent years made by the National, Council of Churches to gain control of all religious broadcasting in our country. This NCC favors a policy of bloc allocations of free time to major religious groups instead of individual sales to religious broadcasters. This means also, of course, that the NCC will have a great deal to say about what religious organizations are granted these free blocs of time to broadcast. 

Under the heading “Protestant Broadcasting Faces More Cutbacks,” Christianity Today has the following:

“Religious radio appears to be in for even harder times. 

“New curtailments on paid religious broadcasts go into effect this fall, forcing more programs off the air. Hundreds of big stations now refuse to sell time for religious programs. 

“Latest to announce a cutback is the American Broadcasting Company radio network, which has the nation’s second largest chain of station-affiliates. ABC has dropped four of its eight paid religious programs, including the Oral Roberts broadcast.

“Network spokesmen say that failure of local stations to air the programs is responsible for the move, which follows a creeping trend toward general elimination of paid religious broadcasting. The trend runs in accord with National Council of Churches policy favoring bloc allocations of free time to major religious groups instead of individual sales to religious broadcasters. Evangelicals, generally oppose such an either-or arrangement, but radio stations have asserted a right to refuse to sell time. Even though the broadcasting industry is federally-regulated, no religious broadcaster has thus far been able to prove his legal right to radio time. 

“A strong argument Against paid religious broadcasting revolves on the poor quality of some programs which have been aired under such an arrangement. Once the time is sold, stations have no control over amateur producers who may alienate an audience. 

“Paying broadcasters will counter with the assertion that the free time concept does not guarantee quality programming inasmuch as there is no agreement on what constitutes good religious radio. 

“Another consideration: size of audience is not in itself a fair measure of religious program effectiveness. 

“Faced with the loss of radio time on commercial stations, some Christian groups are looking to stations all their own . . . .”

In connection with this same subject, a stinging criticism of religious broadcasting is made by a certain Charles Brackbill, Jr., executive director of radio and television for the New Jersey Council of Churches. The following is a quoted summary and partial quotation of his views.

“‘It is a picture of confusion, waste, out-dated and incredibly dull programming,’ he says; charging that individual producers follow patterns that seem right in their own eyes and fail to cooperate with other broadcasters. 

“Brackbill asserts that ‘the Protestant ministry has failed to keep pace with developments in radio. “‘Preachers could always preach,’ he declares, ‘and they have been doing it on radio since the first religious broadcast. All during radio’s heyday of great variety productions, they preached. And now that radio has its strength back, religious broadcasters still preach. They haven’t moved backward, they just have pot moved.’ 

“Brackbill suggests that Protestant broadcasters should cooperate if only because they have in common so many problems, such as: (1) ineffective programming, (2) schedule extremities (‘And it’s our own fault . . . The public interest, convenience and necessity clause of the Communications Act will not protect our poor programming forever’), (3) mercenary motive, (‘If Congressional committee ever investigates the deceit and chicanery of some religious broadcasting, there will be a bigger scandal than that of the recent payola exposures’), and (4) denominational pride (‘We ought to decide whether we are selling individual automobile brands or transportation’). 

“‘Too much money is being spent to save the lost by programs which the lost never listen to,’ according to Brackbill. ‘Often the whole program is pitched to the beloved in Christ and then to O sinners in the last thirty seconds. The Christian friends must never stop praying for God to bless the program in its soul winning, or to send in the money on the chance that a lost one will tune in.”

In this same article, Brackbill proposes that all the churches get together to coordinate their broadcasting aims, and try to decide what can be done in order to make religious broadcasting more effective. This whole matter of religious broadcasting is of no little importance to our churches who are constantly expanding their work in this field. Especially since we now have started a foreign broadcast, developments ought to be closely watched. Although Brackbill is undoubtedly in favor of some control by the NCC of all religious broadcasting, some of his criticisms are to the point. One who has heard occasionally many of the programs on the air sponsored by every type of religious group has felt the same way that he does. 

Nevertheless, the deepest evil of modern religious broadcasting is that the gospel is not preached. This will never be admitted, but it is the deepest cause of the gross misuse of religious radio ministry. Radio has become another means of propagating false religion, and has been prostituted in the service of that which is not the gospel. 

The day is no doubt coming that the NCC will gain control of religious broadcasting, and will have its say about what programs will be aired. And we can be sure that once this happens, the Reformed Witness Hour will not be exempt from the criticism of the NCC. The time is no doubt coming when it will be impossible for us to bring our truth over the radio, and to use radio time as a means of witness. Our program, with its emphasis on the truth, will never be tolerated by a liberal organization such as the NCC. 

Just recently, while a sub-committee of the Mission Committee was inquiring into the matter of foreign broadcasting, it became evident that there are already some stations who are not interested in our program. There were responses which we received from several stations which would not consider giving us radio time. And no doubt this general attitude will increase. 

—H. Hanko