NOT THE ANSWER
The suggestion which was made, preceding the opening meeting of the National Council of Churches in San Francisco, that four of the major denominations in America formulate immediate plans for organic union, plus the sensational way this suggestion was publicized, highlight a behind-the-scenes activity that National Council leaders have been denying for years—namely, the eventual creation of a super-Church.
Under certain circumstances such a plan might strengthen the witness of contemporary Protestantism.
But unfortunately these favorable circumstances do not exist, and the writer believes that such a move (if consummated) will only add to the confusion already prevalent in the Christian world and demanding solution.
The suggested merger has been based on the assumption that the loss of Protestant influence and prestige is due to the fragmentation of the Church into multiplied denominations.
It may be admitted that many divisions in the Church are unwarranted when they stem from the enlongated shadows of certain personalities, or are based on dogmatic theses taken out of scriptural context and made the pretext for separation. Nevertheless the “scandal of Christendom” (a phase dear to the hearts of ecumenists) lies not in denominational differences so much as in a dilution and alteration of the content of the Christian message.
Those who continually harp on the need for merging existing ecclesiastical organizations lose sight of the fact that only when the message of the Cross and Resurrection, with all its implications, is made central, can the Church have any valid significance.
One prominent bishop has recently written an article for a secular magazine titled, “Christianity Is in Retreat.” Many of us are prepared ...1
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