Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    January 27, 1909

    “Church Federation—III. Its Meaning, to All Churches and Religious People” The Medical Missionary, 18, 4, pp. 70-72.



    IN the first article on this subject the statement was made that the Federal Council of the Churches, “in the name of heaven assumes jurisdiction of everything on earth.” By the records of the council this is so plainly and abundantly manifest, and it means so much to everybody on earth, that it is important to present the evidence: First, as relates to the church; and secondly, as relates to the State.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.1

    It must constantly be kept in mind that the thought and scheme of the Federation itself, though entitled “the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America,” is not by any means to be confined to America; but is intended to become International Federation and World Federation.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.2

    In the report of the committee on Foreign Missions, in this Council it was said that “closer interdenominational affiliation and co-operation ... has gone further in foreign countries than it has at home, and that the movement is increasing with commendable rapidity.” And this council recommended “that these practical and effective efforts at, co-operation abroad have the hearty and even enthusiastic support of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America.” And this same report mentioned as “the special merit of this new union” or Federation in foreign lands “that it plans to absorb gradually all the outward activities of the missions and make them its own.” This shows at once that there is to be a centralization of all, in the Federation council, wherever and at whatever stage it may be developed. And as developed in America, what this means in America and everywhere else is to be seen for exactly what it is and as it is.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.3

    In the report of the committee on State Federation, the Federation centralized body is said to be “the Senate of the Federated Churches of the Commonwealth;” and that as such “its office is to collect and make available—MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.4

    “(1) A list of all pastors in the state, and possibly church-clerks and laymen of prominence, in every local community.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.5

    “(2) A list of all churches in each city or township, with location by ward or village, membership, and income....MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.6

    “(3) A compilation of statistics, civil and religious, State and local, as the basis for the study of the task and degree of success of the churches in reaching the entire population.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.7

    “(4) A file of letters, reports, and documents, giving further information about localities and local churches, especially their experiments in co-operation: including “annual reports of all denominational bodies; the histories and anniversaries of local churches, and newspaper clippings of any permanent importance.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.8

    “(5) Diagrams, charts and maps; to present the common tasks of the churches to the eye...MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.9

    “(6) A list of all interdenominational organizations for religions education or evangelism, philanthropy or reform, with information as to their organization, income and work.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.10

    “To learn all the facts and to ally all the factors, is the only method of usefulness for a Federation!”MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.11

    And so it was declared by the council that “not only in our cities but in smaller towns and rural communities the time has come when the churches of every community should join their forces in Federated effort.”MEDM January 27, 1909, page 70.12

    And now to what purpose is all this knowledge and effort and assumed jurisdiction? It is for the purpose of dividing up and apportioning all of the territory—“each square mile,” yes, “each foot”—of the United States, among the denominations; each section to be controlled exclusively by a certain denomination, or denominations, or the Federation. For it is plainly said:MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.1

    “No community, in which any denomination has any legitimate claim, should be entered by any other denomination through its official agencies without conference with the denomination or denominations having said claims.”MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.2

    And—MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.3

    “In case one denomination begins gospel work in a destitute community, it should be left to develop that work without other denominational interference.”MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.4

    And “a complete list of all churches in a State” is to be made “to discover every case of overlapping” in the occupancy of territory. And where disputes arise between denominations as to rights of occupancy, all these “cases of friction between denominations or churches of different denominations” are to be referred to the Federation for “formal arbitration”; as it is the purpose and promise of the Federation to “provide arbitrators, where this is required and requested, whose decision shall have only the authority of its own obvious wisdom and the Christian public sentiment back of it.”MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.5

    Nor is this jurisdiction to be confined to the denominations that form the Federation itself, and that have invited it by becoming a part of the Federation. The jurisdiction is first territorial, and then is a jurisdiction of all in the territory just because they are in the territory. Therefore, whether a denomination be of the Federation or not, it is to be under the jurisdiction of the Federation; because it is in the territory the jurisdiction of which has been assumed by the Federation. Of course this is religious imperialism flat and open, as plain as ever was in the world.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.6

    Nor yet does this Federation-jurisdiction stop with including all the denominations. It stops nothing short of including everything religious that shall be found in the territory. In many country districts there are union congregations, and undenominational assemblies, several of which together employ for themselves a pastor. All of these are likewise to be included and dominated, for the plain word is—MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.7

    “There are also many scattered undenominational or union churches.... Ascertaining the existence of these by its knowledge of every community, the State Federation... can bring them into touch with each other and with the Federated churches of the State.”MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.8

    But it is just to escape the domination of centralized denominational federation, that in any cases these undenominational or union churches have been formed. But while they have thus and so far escaped the denominational federation, they are not now to be allowed to escape the same thing from interdenominational Federation; and this in such all-inclusive form that they simply can not escape it.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.9

    Having, then, monopolized the territory and all of the religious activities in the territory, and having duly apportioned the territory among the agencies which the Federation recognizes and commends, then if there should be a denomination, or any congregation, sufficiently Christian to repudiate Federation and all that there is of it, in any and every form, that denomination or congregation will immediate become “a speckled bird.” It will be an “anarchistic elements,” and “injurious to the interests and progress of the kingdom of God.”MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.10

    And if there be a minister of the gospel, called and commissioned and sent by the Lord with his message to the people, for the time, but who is not of any denomination, and who will not be of the Federation;—the territory being all apportioned or exclusively held, by the Federation—such minister of the gospel, with his message from heaven, will be absolutely excluded; against him every place will be closed. And if in loyalty to Christ and under the weight of the mighty importance of the truth and message that he has from God, such message that he has from God, such messenger shall go and preach his message anyhow, then the Federation-management will warn all the churches against him, will direct them all to close the doors against him, and he will be religiously outlawed. And if any of the churches disregard the interdict, and will hear him, then they will be attainted and their “insubordination” will be dealt with accordingly by the Federation “authorities”; because that preacher of the gospel is “opposed to Federation” and such example followed “would destroy all Federation.” The Federation, then, assumes jurisdiction of all territory and of all the denominations and churches and religious activities in the territory. And this jurisdiction is so complete, so absolute, and so natural to her, that without any sign of any sense of incongruity it readily includes even the Lord himself. For when in the Council a speech was made in protest against it, asserting that the Federation stands professedly “on the principle of the Protestant reformation—the right of private judgment”; and that therefore “native Christians in all countries have the right to organize as they please and to do as they please,“—this was met with the palliative that “if they see fit under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to organize without any denominational name or connection, they may know by this action of the Council that they have the authority of the council for so doing.”MEDM January 27, 1909, page 71.11

    It would seem that when any person had been guided by the Holy Spirit to do a thing, that of itself should be considered all sufficient authority for the doing of it. And it would seem that in the presence of the authority of the Holy Spirit the Federated Council of Churches would say to herself and to all, “Hands off. That is of God, and is enough.” But lo! instead of this the Federated Council of Churches must needs take “action” indicating that when the Holy Spirit has guided people in the doing of a thing, then “by this action of the Council” those people may know that they have the “authority” of the Council to do what the Holy Spirit has already guided them in the doing of! And that this was allowed to pass in the Council without any question and without any apparent sense of its incongruity, shows that it seems to them proper enough to be taken for granted.MEDM January 27, 1909, page 72.1

    (Concluded next week.)

    Larger font
    Smaller font