SUPPORT FOR ARMINIANISM
Recently, the following decision was adopted by the Christian Reformed Consistories of Saskatchewan, Canada:
The Consistories of the Saskatchewan Christian Reformed Churches hereby resolve to lend their support to the Leighton Ford Evangelistic Crusades to be conducted in our Province.
Our resolution is based on the following grounds:
1. Both Billy Graham and his associate Leighton Ford are committed to the Scriptural proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world dead in sin. The Scriptures assure us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe,
2. Though we may not find ourselves in wholehearted agreement with the method and emphasis of this evangelistic crusade, nevertheless as Christian Reformed people we should be actively engaged in the counseling and follow-up program, in order that we may be God’s servants in leading those, who under the impression of the Gospel message have responded to the invitation, into the fellowship of Christ’s Church, where they may come to a fuller knowledge and confession of the truth of God’s Word.
The key statement in the decision is: “Both Billy Graham and his associate Leighton Ford are committed to the Scriptural proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world dead in sin.” This is not true. As has been shown by our editor in two editorials of recent date, Billy Graham (and presumably his associate) are not committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but preach a false gospel of Arminianism. With a decision of this nature therefore (although what these consistories officially decided has long been the practice of individual members) this segment of the Church turns its back on the Reformed faith, ignores the heritage of Dordt and commits itself officially to the heresy which her forefathers expressly condemned as evil and vicious.
Nor will some disagreement with method and emphasis alter this, for this minor disagreement is of no principle account. Our Standard Bearer earnestly urges these Consistories to reconsider their rash and foolish action and take a stand in their own tradition of the Reformed faith.
Time carries some interesting essays. Recently one essay reported on a new kind of profession in which men engage m the art of predicting the future. They do not do this for entertainment; their services are in great demand since many companies rely heavily upon these predictions to plot the future course of their enterprises.
It is interesting to note some of these predictions.
—By 2000 A.D. the U.S. population will have soared to about 330 million people and nine out of ten will be living in super cities; or their suburbs.
—A permanent lunar base will have been established long before 2000 A.D., and men will have flown past Venus and Mars.
—Fish will be herded into large offshore pens as cattle and fields of seaweed will be farmed by frogmen who live for month’s at a time in submerged houses, all helping to alleviate the food shortage.
—Climate control will be in the hands of men. For example, a nuclear! generating plant on top of Mount Wilson will produce so much heat that, guided into the atmosphere above Los Angeles, it will raise the inversion layer that hangs over the city to 19,000 feet, ridding the city of smog and drawing into the area sea breezes bringing rain which will transform that part of the country into a fertile paradise.
—In the area of, medicine artificial hearts, lungs, stomachs and other organs will be commonly available. The blind will be able to scan their surroundings by radar. The deaf will be enabled to hear by means of similar devices. Artificial arms and legs will be motorized and computerized and even connected to the brain. Babies will be grown outside their mothers during the nine months of gestation. Bacterial and viral diseases will be eliminated. Retarded infants will receive chemical therapy at birth which will make them normal people. Memory loss of old people will be overcome. Genetic manipulation will become common so that the shape or color of unborn babies will be controlled; and, in the words of one: “Man will become the only animal that can direct his own evolution.”
—The kitchen will be automated so that the housewife can make out a menu for the whole week, put the food in storage and the instructions in a computer. The foods will be taken out of storage, cooked and served at the proper time, all by mechanical means. Washing dishes, vacuuming rugs, washing windows, cutting grass will all be done by robots. Shopping will be done by video phone so that a housewife can select her purchases by sight, order them and pay for them without stirring from the living room chair.
—Only 10% of the population will be working, the rest will be paid to be idle. A man will go to school for one-third of his life, work for one-third and be in retirement for one-third. There won’t be enough work to go around unless this is done. Everyone will be independently wealthy making about $30,000 to $40,000 a year with government benefits.
One man went so far as to say, “My hunch is that man will have finally expiated his original sin, and might now aspire to bliss.”
Indeed, there are some problems to face. Some worry about who will supervise this man-controlled evolution. Others are concerned about dangerous side effects when the processes of conception and birth are tampered with—as well they better be! No one sees any possibility of eliminating death at 70 or 80—at least for the time being. And leisure will be a major problem: some of these self-appointed prophets see a “pleasure oriented society full of ‘wholesome degeneracy.'”
No doubt God will permit men to realize some of these dreams and build their little heaven on earth. But it must always be remembered that these dreams are made into realities in a world under God’s curse. “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked.” And surely this means that each accomplishment of wicked men in this curse-torn world contains in itself the seeds of further judgment and greater sin. Man’s mighty accomplishments have always turned out to be his worst enemies—killing him. He sows the seeds of destruction in all that he does, presently to reap the whirlwind. He builds a house of cards which collapses from the heavy weight of God’s anger against his sin, and the resulting catastrophe carries man along with it to destruction.
The, curse of God is not something incidental to what man does—added to it; rather, the curse permeates all his life and fills all his efforts. There are instances of this equally evident today. Man conquers one disease only to be baffled by another of greater horror. He invents one antibiotic to eliminate one strain of deadly virus or bacteria only to be faced with another, more vicious and destructive. He makes the automobile, but uses it to slaughter thousands on the nation’s highways. He splits the atom to create bombs of unbelievable power and destructive force. He creates in his laboratories tranquilizers to calm his frazzled nerves, but needs also pep pills to counteract his self-induced lethargy. He strives for peace while the blood of his screaming and dying sons mocks his efforts. He makes contraceptive pills, but who is able to predict the disastrous results of tampering with life processes? And will he not take evolutionary processes in his hands to make monstrosities? He makes marvelous machines to free him from the drudgery of labor and to create leisure which he uses to live in shameless debauchery. In the name of progress he denies the reality of crime and the need for punishment of the criminal and fills the streets of his cities with anarchy, chaos, and danger.
This is his little heaven on earth. The curse shouts at him, but he puts his fingers in his ears and will not listen. The higher he builds his quivering towers, the greater is the catastrophe when it comes crashing down in judgment upon his own sinful head.
The child of God is not seduced by the allurements of man’s dream; he looks to his inheritance in the everlasting kingdom of his Lord Jesus Christ.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL ISSUE
The responsibility of Christian parents towards the public school system always creates a problem of sorts. Not that we are interested in public school education itself, but our tax dollars are used to support public education. And, when bond issues or tax increases for public education come before the electorate, Christian parents face a problem in voting. Do they have a right to vote against tax increases and thus defeat, if possible, the efforts made by the world to raise needed money for public school education? Do they have this right when they do not use the schools?
The problem recently came into the news in Buffalo, New York. The mayor of this city is Roman Catholic, and he appoints the school board. The result is that the majority of the school board has been traditionally Roman Catholic, and these men have consistently refused to raise sufficient money to care adequately for the educational needs of the schools. Their argument has, been that in seeking increased taxes they are raising the taxes of their own people who receive no benefit from the additional money they are forced to pay; and each increase in taxes makes it all the harder to support their own parochial schools.
But the question persists: Do we have a right to withhold needed tax money from the public school system and allow the system to deteriorate?
The problem is complex. For one thing, the fact is that public school officials are notoriously wasteful of money and that people often rebel against elaborate building programs which are scarcely needed. The result is that the public schools have facilities far more elaborate and modern than the Christian schools. For another thing, there is the fact that most Christian parents find the argument that “the public school system is basic to our democracy” very weak since they insist that education is a parental responsibility and not a state obligation.
But what must we do under the present circumstances where we are forced to pay school taxes and where the increases which are constantly being made jeopardize our own schools?
It seems to me that the best we can do is protest continuously the inequality of the present system and insist that we have a right to alleviation from the public school tax burden. But, for the rest, no doubt we are better off refraining from voting on public school issues. If tax raises are proposed, we had better let the ones who use the public schools decide what they want to do about it. And if they are voted through, we will have to bear the inequity and be willing increasingly to sacrifice for the sake of our God-given calling to educate our own children. In this way we shall, no doubt, have to suffer loss for the sake of our calling; but we ought to keep our hands off affairs in the world with which we cannot concern ourselves.
But here is a subject for some “after-recess discussions” in our church societies.