Christianity in the World Today

One of Latin America’s most beloved poets, Ruben Dario, finishes an ode to Christopher Columbus with this sideswipe at the dictatorships and violence which have all too often characterized the volcanic republics south of the Rio Grande:

While Christ walks the streets, feeble and frail,

Barabbas flaunts his slaves and chariots.

Christopher Columbus, unhappy admiral,

Pray to God for the land which you discovered!

Barabbas today has not only his slaves and his chariots, but his tanks and jet fighters as well. Carnage in Cienfuegos, assassination in Guatemala, kidnaping in Trujillo, bombs in Buenos Aires—these are the order of the day in lands where people still prefer Barabbas to Jesus Christ.

Jesus himself was once tempted to use the methods of Barabbas to establish his kingdom. He could have achieved sudden and universal popularity if he had chosen to espouse the political cause of rebellion against Rome. Satan said to him in the desert, “All this power will I give thee … if thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”

But instead of violence, Jesus chose the path of humiliation, love and sacrifice. He refused to endorse the methods of political banditry.

Much of Latin America today is in the hands of Barabbas. Its dictatorships have ranged from the benevolence of Guatemala’s liberal Ubico to the conservative egotism of Colombia’s Rojas Pinilla; from the comic-opera grandiosity of Trujillo in the Dominican “republic” to the demagoguery of Peron in Argentina; from sugar-rich Batista in Cuba to oil-rich Perez Jimenez in Venezuela. All have had this in common—they have climbed to power over the dead bodies of their compatriots in revolutions of varying ferocity.

Possibly the most dangerous manifestation of Barabbas in Latin America is the existence of a strong and organized Communism in nearly all of the lands to the south of us. Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina—nowhere in Latin America can one escape contact with Red agents and Marxist doctrines. This is not surprising to those who are familiar with the dead authoritarianism of the official church and the economic feudalism still prevailing as an integral part of Latin America’s Spanish heritage.

Ex-president Galo Plaza of Ecuador, referring to this double legacy of religious authoritarianism and economic feudalism, recently stated that it is a short step from these factors to dictatorship. He could have added, “and to Communism,” for coincidentally present in Latin America are all the other factors which provide fertile soil for the Marxist agitators—a rising spirit of nationalism, a phenomenal industrial boom, the emergence of labor as a political factor, and a careful cultivation of Latin minds by social reformers of the left. Add to these ingredients the fact that Latin America has not found spiritual satisfaction in Roman Catholicism, and you have a perfect hothouse for communistic insemination.

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Although Romanism opposes Communism with all its strength, it has at the same time created the very conditions upon which the Red cause thrives. By its accumulation of superstition and formalism in Latin America, as well as by its indifference to the economic and social welfare of the masses, the church of Rome has not only defaulted as a possible solution to the rule of Barabbas—it has cultivated the very factors which have opened the doors to communist activity.

For the moment, in one form or another, Barabbas is firmly entrenched.

At the other end of the political spectrum in Latin America can be discerned the shadowy, black-robed form of clericalism. This is Annas, the sinister, scheming religionist, whose interests are more political than spritual. Twice a high priest, and patriarch of a high priestly family, his were the money changers whose tables Jesus indignantly overturned. Fattened by a lucrative temple revenue, Annas is more interested in cultivating the favor of secular rulers than in ministering to the spiritual needs of a hungry people. Religion with him is a profitable career, not a faith. Cynically, he plays the game of power politics.

Nowhere in the world today has Annas had the opportunities afforded by long and uncontested tenure as in Latin America. Recognition of Roman Catholicism as the official religion, compulsory religious education in the schools, education in many instances controlled by the priests, concordats with Rome, government patronage of cathedrals, churches and mission territories—for the centuries that have passed since the conquistadores first brought the sword and the crucifix together to the Hispanic New World, Romanism has been the unchallenged (although, paradoxically, frequently neglected) religion of Latin America.

That this religion is superficial more often than not, cannot be denied. In many instances the Indian idol has become the Roman saint, and the crucifix has thinly disguised the indigenous paganism of the Aztecs and the Incas. Nor is the Romanism of European vintage much more profound. Possibly as low as 10 or 15 per cent of the Catholics in Latin America are truly practicing their religion. Theirs is a faith of outward convenience and of social propriety. It goes no deeper. I have been told of one country where the masses are said to be the briefest in the world—ordinarily one priest preaches the sermon while another says the mass in order to hurry things up for the parishioners!

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Rome itself considers Latin America an unchurched mission field. Foreign priests are pouring in. The Spanish-speaking lands may be nominally Catholic, but the hold of Catholicism is tenuous. The hand of Annas is weakening, his grip failing. And as he sees his onetime power slip, he struggles frantically to maintain a degree of political, if not spiritual, control over the Latin American hemisphere. This explains the persecutions in Colombia—the ecclesiastical pressures in Mexico—the political maneuvers of Rome in so many of the republics. But, Annas is fighting a losing battle.

Still another important figure on the Latin American scene is that of Pilate, the cultured, worldly-wise, liberal-minded procurator who by his spinelessness sent Christ to the Cross. Pilate knew better, but he tried to pacify Annas and his crowd—he compromised his ideals on the altar of expediency. And in this he symbolized the political liberalism of Latin America.

Evangelical Christianity owes a large debt to the liberals of Latin America—the Masons and the free-thinkers, the men who stood up to the Jesuits a generation or two ago and by the sheer weight of their intellect and conviction turned the political charters of their lands into liberal channels. Latin American liberalism produced great leaders and great educators, and opened the doors to Protestant missions.

But in the last generation, political liberalism, lacking a spiritual core, has sold itself down the river. Being devoid of religious and ethical content, it has yielded to expediency. And the average Latin American liberal today is married in the church to a Catholic girl, has his children baptized in the church, educates them in church schools, and when the pressure is on he sells short his liberal ideals.

If Pilate at one time seemed to be the great white hope of Latin America, he is now simply the foolish little man who tried to wash his hands of responsibility.

Revolution, clericalism and liberalism. In none of these has Latin America found the solution to her moral, spiritual and political problems. Revolution breeds violence. Clericalism nurtures bigotry. Liberalism spawns indifference. Neither Barabbas, nor Annas, nor Pilate has provided what Latin America wants and needs.

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But the three men have one thing in common—nothing much was heard from any of them after Good Friday. They are definitely pre-Resurrection figures in the Holy Week pageant of our Lord’s Passion. Up through Good Friday they each had their following. But on Easter mom they were eclipsed and condemned by the shining glory of the Risen Lord.

This Reformation Day of 1957 finds us in the Holy Week of Latin America. Barabbas, Annas and Pilate are struggling for the Hispanic soul, while off to one side, a crown of thorns on his brow, stands the Lord Christ, the Eternal Son of God. For the moment he is a minority. He stands in apparent defeat. But the day will come—very soon—when he shall break asunder the bonds of death.

Humanly speaking, it is unlikely that the Reformation of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries will repeat itself in Europe. Catholic Italy is overshadowed by the Vatican. Catholic France is vitiated with the inroads of secularism. Elsewhere, Moscow is in control, but Latin America is different. In a climate of relative liberty, the Gospel of Christ has made tremendous advances. Already like the brightness which precedes the dawn, there are signs of an evangelical awakening.

If it please God, a glorious Resurrection Day is just ahead. For Latin America, Jesus Christ is the answer!

• This special interpretive article was written for CHRISTIANITY TODAY by W. Payton Roberts, staff correspondent. See also Dr. Taylor’s article in this issue.

People: Words And Events

Active Laymen—One of the largest laymen’s gatherings in recent history was held this month at Miami when the Presbyterian Men’s Conference drew almost 10,000. Among the speakers were Dr. Theodore F. Adams, President of the Baptist World Alliance, Dr. Billy Graham, Mr. Howard Butt, Jr., and the Rev. J. Marcellus Kik, Associate Editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY.

New Library—Princeton Theological Seminary in October dedicated its new Robert E. Speer Memorial Library, built at a cost of $1,700,000 and with a capacity of 400,000 books. It is said to house the largest and finest collection of theological books in the western hemisphere.

Lutheran Hour’s 25th—Lutherans celebrated the beginning of the 25th year of broadcasting the “Lutheran Hour” at a rally in Milwaukee recently, attended by 7,000 persons. The Lutheran Hour, of which the Rev. Oswald C. J. Hoffmann of New York is the speaker, is now heard over more than 1,250 network and independent stations around the world, and in 53 languages.

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Leaving GothamDr. John S. Wimbish will leave the pastorate of Calvary Baptist Church in New York at the end of the year, after seven and a half years of service there. A native of Georgia, Dr. Wimbish will return to the Southland to resume pastoral duties and evangelism within the Southern Baptist denomination.

Editorial TaskEmile Gabel, former editor of La Croix, Catholic daily published in Paris, told 400 delegates from 30 countries at the fifth World Congress of the Catholic Press at Vienna that Catholic journalists must not leave their readers in “editorial isolation.… to think out, in a vacuum, problems connected with current events,” but that they should discuss anything that concerns truth and justice and thus help to create informed Christians. “The Catholic press must propagate the teaching of the Gospels,” he said, “but this must not be done abstractly.”

Mission Milestone—The 80th anniversary of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago was celebrated recently. Known all over the world for its “Unshackled” radio program, the mission is a landmark in Chicago, and the second oldest city mission in America. It is currently engaged in an expansion program to cost $420,000.

Ethics in Public Office—A committee of 12, including 5 religious leaders, has been appointed by Governor Orville Freeman of Minnesota to study ethical and moral standards in state government. The governor said he would ask the committee—first of its kind in the country, according to one political scientist—to come up with recommendations to foster greater integrity in public office and better service to the people’s interests.

Publishing Progress—The nation’s largest denominational publisher, The Methodist Publishing House, founded in 1789, recently opened its new two-million-dollar headquarters building in Nashville. About 1,000 persons are employed in Methodist publishing activities in Nashville, and another 1,000 in the 14 branches of the organization.

Personality Stories—Two new books from the pen of George Burnham, News Editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, are being released this month. Prison is My Parish, the story of Park Tucker, Atlanta Penitentiary chaplain, has been published by Revell, and Billy Graham and the New York Crusade, by Mr. Burnham and Lee Fisher, is scheduled for release October 30 from Zondervan.

Only a Nickel—According to the Southern Baptist Handbook, “Mr. Average American” spends only 5¢ a day for religious and welfare causes. In contrast to this nickel, each day he spends 9¢ for tobacco, 15¢ for alcoholic Beverages, 22¢ for recreation, 58¢ for transportation including foreign travel, 59¢ for taxes, $1.12 for food and $2.30 for other household expenses such as rent, clothing, savings, medical and miscellaneous expense.

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Conferences Prepare Far East Pastors

TOKYO, JAPAN—It is now regarded as evident, among Christian leaders of both East and West, that Asia will never be reached for Christ unless native pastors in their own countries do the job of evangelizing.

The time of the white missionary as an important factor is rapidly drawing to a close. No matter how appealing the foreigner’s message may be, and no matter how attractive his personality, it is still something packaged in America. Asians are looking to Asians for leadership.

Fierce tides of nationalism are rising in all the nations of the Far East, coupled with superior initiative of Communism in exploiting situations. The day has passed when an American can command respect simply because he is an American, but hordes of tourists, workers, government officials and church leaders, failing to recognize this, have pushed the public relations barometer to the storm stage.

Fully aware of the approaching new day, based on many years of experience in the Orient, Dr. Bob Pierce and his World Vision organization have been holding pastors’ conferences for the last three years. The big aim is to arouse the evangelistic zeal of pastors in the various countries, in order to leave behind a commanding voice for Christianity when the welcome mat is pulled from beneath the white man.

Outstanding speakers from America have been greatly used of God in the conferences, but each year there has been increased use of “team” speakers from the Far East. And it seems that delegates sit a little straighter in their seats and listen with greater concentration when an Asian is speaking.

An example of this was seen at the conference in Japan, attended by 800 pastors ranging from liberals to fundamentalists. Bishop Enrique C. Sobrepena of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, who serves as chairman of the East Asia Christian Conference, went to the rostrum. He told the ministers the same things, in effect, that they had heard many times from Western speakers, but he was an Asian speaking to Asians. He hit hard, in uncompromising language, on the main points found in Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”

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“This can only be done through Christ,” Bishop Sobrepena said, “and he is calling upon us as ministers in the great task of individual and world redemption. Those of us who would participate must be willing to bear our portion of the Cross like the great men of old—the Apostle Paul, Livingston and Carey. Sacrificial service is needed.”

In commenting on the significance of the pastors’ conferences, the Bishop said, “I think they have tremendous value. I don’t know of another agency in the Far East that could bring all the different factions together for fellowship, inspiration and instruction.”

Nothing should be detracted, however, from contributions made to the conferences by Dr. Pierce and his three principal associates from the United States and India. Their talented efforts were blessed of God, but they share the feeling that such unusual opportunities may not always be present.

Evaluations by three members of the team traveling with Dr. Pierce are as follows:

Dr. Paul S. Rees, pastor of First Covenant Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota:

“A ministry to ministers has an importance that may be described as geometric, since the effect of it runs so far and so rapidly. There is the sheer impressiveness of the number of ministers and church leaders who have attended the meetings. Not less than 3,500 in the first five! For another thing, there is the breadth of compass by which the conferences have been marked. In most cases, the whole gamut of Protestantism has been represented.

“Impressive also is the fact that these have been Asian leaders with whom we have been associated. Can anyone think of an area on this planet more strategically and crucially important for the Christian Church? From Indonesia on the south to Japan on the north, we have seen the breath of God blowing upon souls of his servants. And this has been as true when we were at grips with such preacher’s ‘shop’ as ‘How to Prepare a Sermon,’ as it has when we were seeking to define for ourselves as ministers that distinctive doctrine of ‘Grace’ that makes the Christian message ‘Gospel.’ ”

Dr. Richard C. Halverson, associate director of International Christian Leadership:

“The most significant aspect of the pastors’ conferences was what I would call ‘true ecumenity.’ Together in Christion fellowship were representatives of many divergent groups from the extremely informal, non-liturgical to the extremely formal and liturgical. There was a striking demonstration of unity and love in Christ among the delegates. In several instances, pastors were reconciled to those they had previously opposed and there was public admission of the reconciliation of groups.”

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The Rt. Reverend Dr. Alexander Mar Theophilus, Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church, India:

“As Christian workers continue their work in their separate churches and congregations, they are liable to feel lonely and weak. Sometimes they may feel as Elijah felt—‘I alone am left.’ But in these conferences they come together in deep Christian fellowship around the Word, and realize the unity given in Jesus Christ. The deepening of their dedication and strengthening by the Holy Spirit has made them serve their congretions more effectively and be better pastors of their flocks. The need for evangelism in Asian countries, to be carried on by the Church in Asia, has been presented with greater force. Along with evangelism, the need was seen for witnessing to the love of Christ in acts of love in ministering to the needy in society by sacrificial service, and by the prophetic ministry in calling the nations to the will of God.”

Dr. Pierce: “The conferences have exceeded my greatest dream. We have seen men come together under the blood of Christ who had never before enjoyed fellowship. And we have seen them return to their cities, villages and jungle outposts with a new zeal for winning the lost. Entire tribes in mountain areas are being won for Christ by men of God who substitute action for programs. They have a simple belief—that God is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do. For all that is being accomplished, we must give God the credit. He is doing an unusual thing in Asia.”

A capsule review of the conferences, with the largest remaining to be held in Korea, is as follows:

Bandung, Java—597 registered. This was the first conference sponsored by World Vision in Indonesia, and marked the first time that various Protestant segments united for a common goal. In a church that evolved from a European background, there was a graciousness and drawing together by such groups as the Sundanese Church of Western Java, Christian Missionary Alliance Balanese, Assemblies of God and Chinese groups. Stiffness was broken down as the men ate, worshiped and prayed together. Now that the ministers have come to know one another, they will be offered more in the way of practical helps if a conference is held next year.

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Cebu, Philippines—625 registered, representing an estimated 15 denominations. Since this was the third year of conferences in the Philippines, the format changed from the purely inspirational to practical counseling in particular problems—stewardship, homiletics and social responsibilities. Some ministers from remote islands journeyed as much as seven days to the conference.

Baguio, Philippines—811 registered, representing 33 denominations. Dr. Pierce felt this was the greatest and most fruitful conference he had ever held. The ministry of the Holy Spirit resulted in Bible-centered unity and love. A number of the leading clergymen in the Philippines came forward at a service in humble rededication of their lives. Twenty-five observers were present from the liturgical Philippine Catholic Church.

Poli, Formosa—600 registered. The largest group, by far, came from the Presbyterian Church, greatly in the majority in Formosa. An estimated 250 mountain pastors, many from aboriginal tribes, who were not Christians 12 years ago, were present. They received a larger view of the total church than they had known in their mountain areas. In the 12 years, more than 400 churches have opened in the mountains of Formosa as people go from tribe to tribe talking about Jesus Christ.

• The above report of religious conditions and perspectives in the Far East was written by George Burnham, News Editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, on tour with Dr. Bob Pierce and other American Christian leaders who have been conducting pastors’ conferences and evangelistic meetings in the Philippines, Formosa, Japan and Korea. After a brief vacation, Mr. Burnham will resume his duties on the news desk of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, with the November 25 issue. In the interim, the news department is being handled by Peter deVisser, Editorial Associate.

Baptist Jubilee Advance

A five-year program of evangelization, starting in 1959, is being planned by the major Baptist conventions of the United States and Canada, to climax in a Third Jubilee Celebration in 1964, commemorating the first national organization of Baptists in America, the General Missionary Convention, formed in Philadelphia in 1814. This cooperative effort, called the Baptist Jubilee Advance, is being sponsored by the American Baptist Convention, the Baptist Federation of Canada, the Baptist General Conference of America, the National Baptist Convention of America, the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., the North American Baptist General Conference, and the Southern Baptist Convention, with cooperation of the Baptist World Alliance. Baptists in 101 countries around the world will participate in the six-year celebration. A two-year program of preparation is now in progress.

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Crusade Aftermath

The General Assembly of the Protestant Council of the City of New York has approved an expanded one-million-dollar program of evangelism, establishment of a Protestant chapel at New York’s International Airport, and has announced plans for a Crusade for Church Attendance the first three months of 1958. In addition, representatives of 31 denominations projected establishment of Protestant information centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Disciples Plan For Future; Change Name

(This special report was prepared forCHRISTIANITY TODAYby Dr. James DeForest Murch, prominent author and editor, ordained minister of the Disciples of Christ and a member of the Convention’s restudy commission and a director of the Disciples Historical Society.)

Christian unity—the traditional concern of the Disciples of Christ—was at the forefront of the 1957 Convention of that communion in Cleveland, Ohio, October 11–16. The Convention moved toward merger with the United Church of Christ (Congregational and Evangelical and Reformed) consummated in the same Cleveland Public Auditorium last June. It further strengthened ties with the ecumenical effort of the National Council and World Council of Churches.

This does not mean, however, that the 2,000,000 Disciples of Christ listed in the Convention’s Year Book and reported in the religious statistics of the USA are moving this same direction. The International Convention is prone to think of itself as “the mainstream” of the religious movement begun by Barton W. Stone, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott and Benjamin Franklin early in the nineteenth century, but it is in fact only one of three groups tracing spiritual ancestry to that source. The Church of Christ (opposed to the use of instrumental music in worship) now numbers better than 1,000,000. The so-called “independent churches,” strictly biblical and evangelical in faith, number over 1,000,000. This leaves the Convention proper with a constituency of less than 1,000,000. The 2,000,000 “right wing” of the movement has no relationship with the National Council or World Council of Churches and is completely opposed to any union with the United Church of Christ.

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The International Convention, however, is an organization of tremendous influence, headed by men capable in ecclesiastical diplomacy though mostly liberal in theology. The ICDC includes in its organizational framework educational, missionary, benevolent and other agencies significant in American Protestantism. Many ecumenical leaders in the NCC and the WCC were at one time prominent in Disciple leadership and “earned their spurs” in the efficiently-operated machinery of the Convention or its agencies.

The Cleveland Convention gave much time to reports and future plans of these agencies. Its announced theme was “His Love—We Share,” dealing with the 1957–58 agency emphases upon missionary education and benevolence.

The United Christian Missionary Society, largest of the agencies, in a 17,000-word report told of the work of 254 missionaries and 2,093 national leaders in 11 mission fields. Its budget last year was around $5,000,000 and it is building a capital fund of $3,000,000.

Especially through the women’s work in local churches, the UCMS exerts great influence in minister placement and in interchurch and agency relationships. Because of this fact, and its “open membership” and ecumenical policies, it has long been the chief “bone of contention” alienating “independent churches” from International Convention support. These churches now have a missionary program of their own, giving $2,000,000 annually to support over 400 missionaries in over 20 foreign fields.

International Convention agencies which tend to unify the churches are the National Benevolent Association, The Pension Fund and the Board of Church Extension. NBA, supporting 10 homes for the aged and 7 homes for children, reported assets of some $10,000,000 with revenues for the year of $3,000,000. Pension Funds for ministers reported assets of $23,354,136. Church Extension board has, since its beginnings, loaned some $35,000,000 to assist churches in building projects. These boards are wisely administered without discrimination.

The Board of Higher Education serves 32 colleges, universities and seminaries (enrollment, 25,000 students), including such well-known institutions as Texas Christian, Drake, Butler, and Phillips University. In this area the constant battle between conversatives and liberals has given rise to more than 20 strictly evangelical Bible schools and colleges—institutions not recognized by the Board—but training more than half of the young men studying for the ministry among Christian churches.

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The Disciples of Christ Historical Society, serving all wings of the movement, reported progress in the erection of its $1,000,000 Thomas W. Phillips Memorial library and museum in Nashville.

Fringe agencies, representing varied interests, held meetings at Cleveland. On the “right” the National Evangelistic Association, sounded a strong evangelical note. Dean E. G. Homrighausen of Princeton gave three challenging addresses. On the “left” the controversial Disciples Peace Fellowship and the Campbell Institute promoted extremely liberal social and theological views. While meeting the needs of minority groups, such gatherings had little effect on the Convention.

Resolutions processed by the Committee on Recommendations had to do with social concerns such as farm incomes, minimum wages, economic assistance programs, foreign trade, social welfare, United Nations, disarmament, immigration and refugees, race relations and capital punishment. Pronouncements followed the usual pattern set by the National Council, but all were prefaced by a modifying statement to the effect that “human pronouncements must not be confused with the will of God.” Resolutions on Christian unity committed the Convention to complete cooperation with the WCC and NCC in its ecumenical objectives and programs.

Most significant was the approval of a projected $25,000,000 fund for establishing 1,500 new churches in the next few years. Inter-agency rivalry over administration of this project is being ironed out, and “independents” and “schismatics” will be excluded.

There is a marked tendency toward centralization of authority in the Convention with potentially larger control over the agencies and the churches. At Cleveland the name of the Convention was changed from the International Convention of Disciples of Christ (Christian Churches) to the International Convention of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ). Most of the local congregations bear the name Christian Church, not Disciples of Christ, and the action will eliminate much confusion. While the move was said to have no significance as to ecclesiastical structure or function, nevertheless many advocates of strictly congregational polity see a shift from a Convention of individual Disciples with agency service features to an eventual delegate convention officially representative of the churches and with growing powers over churches and agencies.

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Most of the 8,000 registrants at Cleveland will prefer to remember the great assembly by the “Ecumenical Communion Service” on the Lord’s Day. The Convention had invited all Protestants in Cleveland to join them in the observance of the Lord’s Supper. A throng variously estimated at 10,000 or 15,000 partook of the bread and the wine together. Four hundred deacons from Greater Cleveland Christian churches served the emblems of the Lord’s death and suffering in just eight minutes. It was an impressive and soul-lifting service.

Traditionally the mass Communion Service has been the high point of national gatherings of the Disciples for 100 years. As a people they have always maintained the Lord’s Supper as the center of their worship and observe it every Lord’s Day. Their open communion practice is based on the belief that the observance is an “ordinance of Christ” and is basically an experience of the individual Christian with his Lord.

The next Convention will be held in Saint Louis, Mo. Beginning in 1960 the gathering will be held biennially.

Dr. Granville T. Walker, minister of University Christian Church, Ft. Worth, Tex., was chosen president for 1958, succeeding Mr. John Rogers, a layman and outstanding business and civic leader of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Gaines M. Cook continues as Executive Secretary of the Convention.

Worth Quoting

“There is … something we can learn from Billy Graham. It is the profound importance of good public relations, competent publicity and efficient organization in conducting a religious campaign.… Billy Graham’s crusade was magnificently organized.… Crude commercialism? I don’t think so. The Graham office has conducted the campaign in dignified fashion. No blatant sensationalism. Public relations firms are tempted to sell religion as you might sell soap or toothpaste, but the Graham crusade was conducted in good taste.… It has often been said that if Saint Paul were living today, he would be a journalist. I rather think he would be a modern evangelist whose religious crusades would dwarf those of Billy Graham. He would employ the best modern techniques of publicity and promotion: direct mail, TV spots, doorbell ringing, etc. ‘Every scribe instructed in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings forth from his stockroom things new and old’ (Matt. 13:52).”—The Rev. John B. Sheerin, C.S.P., editor of the Catholic World, in “What Can Be Learned From Billy Graham?”

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