Christianity in the World Today

(This special report on the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church in the U. S. (Southern), held in Birmingham, Ala., April 25-May 1, was written by Dr. John R. Richardson, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, G. Dr. Richardson is a graduate of Louisiana State University, Louisville Theological Seminary and did graduate work at the University of Edinburgh.

The most controversial subject to come before the General Assembly related to continued affiliation with the National Council of Churches.

Many southern churches are unhappy over the Council’s pronouncements about social, economic and political matters. Some believe that leaders in the Council have become “political lobbyists or partisan advocates.”

The Council was urged to avoid extreme pronouncements “which may compromise the role of the church as a witness to the Gospel above party, class or social theory.”

The majority report of the standing committee on Inter-Church Relations recommended continued membership. Dr. Joseph Garrison of Greensboro, N. C., committee chairman, told the Assembly that some charges against the Council could not be documented.

A minority report signed by 10 members of the committee recommended that “the question of our continued relationship be referred to the respective Presbyteries for advice and the result of Presbyteries’ actions relating thereto be made to the next General Assembly.” This recommendation was offered as a substitute for the majority report. It was defeated.

In other action the Assembly authorized the ad interim committee on Mass Communications to obtain the services of a qualified consultant to make fact-finding studies concerning the most effective utilization of radio and ...

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