Dr. A. Kuyper, founder of the “Free University, called his political party the Antirevolutionair Partij. With this indication, he meant to say, that he was strongly against radical changes in the social and political structure of society. Even though his program was principled by the Word of God, yet he was determined to introduce it only within the framework of duly constituted authority. In working for the improvement of society, the fundamental principles of Kuyper’s program were diametrically opposed to radical humanism which ran riot during the French Revolution.
Recently the Free University bestowed an honorary doctorate upon the Rev. Martin Luther King. This leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference believes in changing the present order socially by extra-legal procedures. He believes that he has the right to determine which laws are just and which are not just and feels one is obligated only to keep those which he considers to be just. In accordance with these views, he recently seized a piece of private property, proceeded to make improvements and to collect the rent. This is the spirit of revolution. In bestowing the doctorate on the Rev. Martin Luther King, it seems to me, that the Free University has violated one of the great principles advocated by its founding father, Dr. Abraham Kuyper. Tn this action the Free University was not antirevolutionair but revolutionair.
C. VAN SCHOUWEN
REFORMATION MORE NEEDFUL THAN ORGANIZATION
Reportedly many ministers of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Gereformeerde) favor joining the World Council of Churches. Presumably they feel that they can exert a wholesome effect upon the direction of the Council. With the preponderance of weight on the ultra liberal Side, this is extremely doubtful. Church history seems to teach that the only way the church can purify itself is through secession—not amalgamation. The great need of the church today is purification and not unification; not organization but reformation. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6. The Reformed Churches of the Netherlands are historically secessionist churches. If this denomination should decide to join the World Council, it would disregard the sufferings, the persecutions, the hardships endured by the founding fathers and the principles which brought about the secession. In joining the World Council, De Gereformeerde Kerken must give moral support to an ultra liberal organization and it will become co-responsible for the activities of the Council. Some of the strongest warnings in Old Testament history were given against the Shepherds of Israel. Before taking this final step; I would suggest that such ministers favoring the Council take time out to read Ezekiel 34.
C. VAN SCHOUWEN
WHAT ONE CHURCH HAS DONE
Repeatedly churches which are wholeheartedly committed to the Scriptures and creedal standards experience pain and perplexity when the denomination by majority vote at one of its broadest assemblies commits all the congregations to entangling alliances inimical to the faith once-for-all delivered to the saints.
Often these congregations through their leadership petition for breaking such ties. In the United States, however, these attempts have almost always failed.
What should a Bible-believing and creedally-committed church do in this situation? The following testimony was prepared and publicized by one congregation which desired that all should know its strong disapproval of and distantiation from the officially-adopted position of its denomination.
The Consistory of Beverly Reformed Church has unanimously adopted the following statement, making plain where our Church stands in a day of theological and ecclesiastical confusion:
WE BELIEVE that the Bible is the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God, our only infallible rule of faith and practice.
WE SUBSCRIBE, without reservation, to the historic Reformed Faith as it is expressed in the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Synod of Dort.
WE AFFIRM, in fellowship with faithful Churches around the world, that the one mission of the Church is to declare the Gospel of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and to call all men to repentance and faith in Christ crucified.
WE CONSIDER faithfulness to the Christ of the Scriptures and the truth of the Gospel to be the minimal criterion in the distribution of such benevolent funds as God provides through the tithes and offerings of His people.
WE ARE GOVERNED only by the Consistory of this local congregation in accordance with the Constitution of the Reformed Church in America.
WE DISCLAIM any and all affiliation with the Ecumenical Movement as represented by the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches and local councils of churches.
WE RECOMMEND this stance to the earnest consideration of our brethren in other Reformed and evangelical churches.