Three distinguished Washington clergymen discuss the controversial subject of the Church’s social concern. They are Dr. Clarence Cranford, for twenty-five years pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington and a past president of the American Baptist Convention; Dr. George Davis, minister of National City Christian Church, which in recent years has become known as President Johnson’s home church in Washington; and Dr. Edward L. R. Elson, minister of the National Presbyterian Church, which was President Eisenhower’s home church during his eight years in the White House. Moderator of the discussion is Editor Carl F. H. Henry ofCHRISTIANITY TODAY.This is one of a filmed series of thirteen half-hour panel discussions prepared for public-service television presentation and for use by church and college discussion groups. The series, “God and Man in the Twentieth Century,” was produced by Educational Communication Association (P.O. Box 114, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204) under a Lilly Endowment grant.
Henry: Now, gentlemen, the subject before us is the Church and social concern. In view of the American principle of separation of Church and state, ought the Church to become concerned and involved in national affairs?
Cranford: Well, I think the Church must try to reflect God’s love for people. If it is going to do that, there are times when it must take a stand either for or against some things that are happening to people, even in the political realm.
Davis: I think the Church is involved whether it wants to be or not. It’s involved by indifference. But it needs to use caution and judgment and much prayer to know how to be involved and how fully.
Elson: I think it needs to be understood that the founding fathers intended that there ...1
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