The American Council of Christian Churches

In earlier articles I have brought to your attention that affiliation of churches known as the A.C.C.C. This council of churches has also sent communications to our churches, inviting us to attend their gatherings. It is part also of the International Council of Christian Churches. These councils of churches have been closely associated with the Dr. Carl McIntire organization. In fact, one complaint, possibly unjustified, was that McIntire was the “whole ball of wax” in these organizations. 

Now, however, a new development has taken place within the organization. Christianity Today (Nov. 22, 1968) reported:

Carl McIntire, founder of the fundamentalist American and International Councils of Christian Churches, is accusing colleagues of trying to undercut him. 

Things came to a head last month at the ACCC meeting in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, where—among other things—the council voted to set up permanent headquarters at nearby Valley Forge. McIntire opposed this and other moves, and the discussions consumed most of the three-day meeting. 

The apparent issue is the ACCC’s desire to break out of the one-man mold, and some embarrassment over McIntire’s hard-line methods in his radio and publishing work. ACCC General Secretary John Millheim, one of the anti-McIntire leaders, denies any matters of doctrine are involved . . . . 

This echoes behind-the-scenes complaints at the International Council’s August meeting. Its missions arm wrote the council executive committee expressing alarm at McIntire’s “increasing involvement in political issues,” protest parades, and criticism of the government. “When he speaks in the area of politics, race, and civil rights, this causes irreparable damage to our missionary efforts,” said the letter, signed by outgoing missions executive J. Philip Clark, the new ACCC president.

Of course, it is difficult for an outsider to evaluate the various charges and counter-charges. For what it is worth, I’ll try to summarize a statement of the differences issued by the ACCC on Nov. 15, 1968. 

1. It was charged that at its fall convention, there was held a “secret session” which passed a “suppression upon speech rule.” The ACCC contends that when serious charges had been presented on the floor of the convention, the executive officers with the majority approval of the delegates adopted Robert’s Rules of Order as guide to debate and demanded that, charges against individuals be not allowed on the floor until the provisions of Matt. 18 be followed. 

2. McIntire’s church (Bible Presbyterian) claims that communications sent by them were never placed on the floor of the convention. They were ignored. The ACCC insists that the disputed communication was never received by that body; there was therefore nothing to treat. 

3. There was a dispute about office space. The ACCC presently has its headquarters in New York City. The ACCC claims the space is inadequate, too expensive, and existing in an area of high-crime rate. The ACCC proposes to move to Willow Grove near the historic Valley Forge. McIntire insists that the ACCC should be located near the headquarters of the National Council of Churches and therefore ought not make a move. He insists too that the proposed relocation would involve too large an expenditure of monies. 

4. There is disagreement about the proper use of certain money willed to the ACCC. 

5. There is disagreement about the duties and functions of some of the officers of the ACCC. 

6. There is disagreement about the number of conventions which the ACCC ought to hold each year. 

7. There is evidently also some disagreement regarding suggested constitutional revisions involving doctrinal positions. 

8. McIntire evidently claims that the executive committee is usurping the functions of the Council itself. 

9. There is dispute regarding the International Christian Relief Commission, supposedly a branch of the ACCC but now functioning under ICCC. 

10. Finally, ACCC officials deplore that Dr. McIntire is now urging the radio audience to make sure that the ACCC is not remembered in their wills. McIntire, who constantly pleads with his listeners that someone of them give him a million dollars (in addition to the many smaller gifts already given), wants to be certain that his erstwhile child does not benefit from the generosity of his followers. 

The ACCC continues to function. It will be interesting also to observe its course in the days to come. Will it be able to change its image of being a one-man organization? Will it change in its doctrinal position?

Opposition to the World Council of Churches There has come to my attention a full page advertisement appearing in the New York Times of Nov. 18, 1968. The ad emphasizes the terrible direction in which both the W.C.C. and the N.C.C. are headed. There are clergy and churches very much concerned with decisions taken—many of these affiliated denominationally with the N.C.C. and W.C.C. There is a good reason for their concern. The entire ad can not be quoted, but some is worth consideration. The ad points to decisions taken by the World Council of Churches this past summer:

In July of 1968, the World Council of Churches, meeting in Upsala, Sweden, released a series of recommendations and pronouncements which called for: 

1. Granting recognition to Red China, stating that her entrance into the international community (U.N.) is a “matter of great significance to the future of mankind.” 

2. Adoption of the idea of “One-World Government,” by suggesting that “Christians should urge their governments to accept the rulings of the International Court of Justice without reservation.” 

3. Endorsement of the principle of world socialism by advocating the Marxist philosophy of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” The idea of a tax of 1% of G.N.P. for industrialized countries was presented as a means of accomplishing this. 

4. “The lifting of the economic blockade of Cuba, as an example of what could be done to develop a political climate which can adopt development policies transcending purely ideological and political interest.” 

5. “The immediate and unconditional cessation of all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, and the use of all weapons of mass destruction.” 

6. Endorsement of “the principle of civil disobedience of draft laws by conscientious objectors and giving sanction to non-participation in particular wars for reason of conscience.” 

Tragically, few American delegates expressed opposition to these controversial political and economic issues. A typical example of the reactions and. editorials in the American press to these pronouncements was the response of a New York editor who said that the Assembly had been “pre-occupied with practical, social, political and economic issues of the day rather than with a far greater human hunger—the spiritual starvation of mankind.”

The above indicates again how the beasts of Rev. 13continue to arise. The W.C.C. encourages a one-world government. Its concern is physical, earthly, material. Its actions reflect not the working of the Spirit of God, but the spirit of the antichrist. It remains a cause of amazement to me that any truly Reformed Christian could suggest union with such an organization. The advertisement in which the above summary of decisions was presented, contains also several recommendations worthy of consideration:

We, therefore, propose to replace the Council’s recommendations with three simple guidelines for all people to follow. We believe that the Church should: 

(1) Adhere strictly to its spiritual commission and not seek to function as a political, economic, or otherwise secular institution. 

(2) Place greater interest on the communication of Biblical truth and emphasize the need for zealously proclaiming the good news of how mankind can be liberated from the bondage of sin and discover true peace and happiness by faith in Jesus Christ. 

(3) Encourage the clergy and laity to become actively involved in finding solutions to the social, political, and economic problems in which they have interest and competence and, as concerned private citizens responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, exert leadership in their circles of influence to their fullest potential. In conclusion, we believe that clergymen, as counselors and leaders of their communities, should be well informed on matters of national and international concern and as Americans they should uphold our Constitution and help to preserve our heritage of Freedom under God. Policy-making decisions and pronouncements, however, should be left to our elected officials and experienced statesmen.

To much of the above we can respond: Amen!