Look Who’s Cheering For Mao!
A team of medical workers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has perfected a technique for curing deaf-mutes, according to a report I saw last week. This is splendid news, but with the utmost solemnity the account went on to brag that out of 157 deaf-mutes currently under treatment 32 can now shout, “Long Live Chairman Mao!”
A cartoon that showed Snoopy carrying the same slogan led to a student’s being disciplined during the ascendancy of Red Guardmanship. The plaudits of “a ghost and a monster” were rightly denounced as unacceptable, and the offending one was made to write out a “self-critical confession” (can’t you imagine the Red Baronial chortles?).
It scared me, then, when the U. S. Marine Corps admitted that Marines who tried to obtain discharges were handcuffed to mirrors and forced to look at themselves for eight-hour periods, in order to “stimulate a change of attitude.” The object of the exercise, explained a Marine spokesman, was to give nonconformists time for “self-appraisal.”
Taking stock of oneself is theoretically the sort of thing we should have more of, but a sustained scrutiny of their own reflection would promptly evoke from many the complaint that the mirror was distorted. It reminds me of a discerning Frenchman who said: “One must always tell what one sees. Above all, which is more difficult, one must always see what one sees.”
Still on the same tack, an ancient number of the Boston Congregationalist recently drew my attention to the results of an anonymous pastor’s self-assessment. Included in it were two paragraphs that ought to go down to posterity and all others interested. I quote:
I am going to clean up my inner life. There are three distinct demons that have troubled me much in the past that I am going to lay for good this winter. I have been drifting; this is going to be a winter of mastery.
I am going to cut out all that has become unreal in my life and conversation, stock public prayers that mean nothing any longer, pulpit phrases that have lost their savor, and all social cowardices and hypocrisies.
He wouldn’t have made it in Red China or the Marine Corps, and I am skeptical even about his ecclesiastical future in Boston. Nevertheless, I like the sound of that guy, wonder if those three D.D.’s he referred to got what was coming to them by way of exercise, and hope that 1915 did indeed prove to be for him a masterful winter.
Sex And The Christian Child
Thank you for the article by James Huffman (Sept. 26). It was most helpful in its discussion of “Sex Education in the Public Schools.” He not only raised the right questions but was fair in his presentation.
I have appreciated the direction your magazine has taken more and more. To grapple with the problems of our day, and to look at them in the light of the Gospel. Also delighted to see the emphasis that came through at the U. S. Congress on Evangelism. It is time the Church takes the lead in this area of social concerns.
Faith United Church of Christ
Fort Wayne, Ind.
In my candid opinion, James Huffman’s treatment of sex education can only contribute to the increasing breakdown of morality in our society. I am utterly amazed that an intelligent, seemingly informed Christian scholar could ever speak approvingly of Sexology magazine. If it “can hardly be regarded as lascivious,” then I don’t know what can. Perhaps I need a new dictionary.
HENRY T. HUDSON
It seems to me that, generally speaking, you have done a most thoughtful job, although I think both the NEA and the AMA will be quite startled to be saddled with the formation of SIECUS. In point of fact, SIECUS was founded quite independently by six professionals in various fields, but it is listed in the AMA Directory of Voluntary Health Organizations.
I am afraid, too, you do give the impression that SIECUS is responsible for programming in public schools. We actually have no programs at all for schools and had nothing at all to do with the Chicago or New York City school programs except for acting in a minor consultant capacity for the latter.
You are more than fair to me, and I am deeply grateful that you pointed out how deliberately twisted my statements have been made. I also think you were extremely fair about Sexology in covering the truth about it. You are also most skillful at stating the inevitable fact that, as a public voluntary health organization, SIECUS cannot operate within any specific framework—although you will note that we review many religious-based publications, and include these in our reading list.…
All in all, I am most grateful to you. Certainly, I hope that those of the evangelical denominations will read and ponder, for I believe it is due to the overrighteous fervor of some of their brethren that, in the name of Christianity, offenses against the peace and democratic processes of communities are being committed.
MARY S. CALDERONE, M.D.
New York, N. Y.
The article leaves me disgusted.…
I have the material of SIECUS and have seen enough of Dr. Calderone to know that they are “unbiblical and relativistic—which evangelicals find unsatisfactory.” Furthermore, they are agents of Satan who would pull down the Kingdom of Christ with all the ferocity of Herod.
Then after praising this company of sex purveyors, we have the usual mealy-mouthed hand wringing about the churches’ and parents’ failure and how we ought to take the Bible seriously on matters of sex.…
Sex is preeminently a private matter. Have you ever wondered why so little education is given by parents (I received none)? The Scripture condemns every manifestation of sex except in marriage in which the man and woman become one flesh. Could anything be more private? I am not ashamed or afraid of sex but it is private. I’m having difficulty giving my seven children sex education—not because I don’t want to but because they don’t want to.
I conclude therefore that poor as it is, no sex education is better than the unbiblical, relativistic corruption SIECUS is peddling and any public school could relativistically peddle.
CHARLES A. SIGNORINO
King of Prussia, Pa.
I wish to express my appreciation for James Huffman’s article. As the fairest, calmest evangelical treatment I have read, it needs wide distribution.…
The author’s comment, “For, while its materials treat sex with a much needed wholesomeness and a medical accuracy, they nevertheless do so from an unbiblical, relativistic point of view that the evangelical finds unsatisfactory” must not be used as a SIECUS “turn-off” but should be related to a later comment, “He will probably find the SIECUS-related materials useful: they are among the best prepared, most factual in the field.”
The current, intense controversy over sex education only increases a young person’s dilemma about his own sexual role. In recognition that responsibility for sex education cannot be compartmentalized, the General Program Council, Reformed Church in America, has embarked on a ministry which recognizes the urgent role of the home, the church, the school, and society in understanding God’s gift of human sexuality.
ARTHUR O. VAN ECK
Secretary for Church Life and Mission
Reformed Church in America
New York, N. Y.
There are many Christians in this Great Republic who will be much discouraged by the article.
Mr. Huffman was wise to visit abroad at publication time.… Many, many Christians are fighting this public-school sex education because we have studied both the curriculum and the people behind it, and we know them to be opposed to everything we stand for.…
Sex education must be kept out of the public schools, and kept where it can be controlled and planned by those closest to the children involved. Even the liberal churches would do better.
ALICE B. WIGGIN
Your article by James Huffman was a very good analysis of this issue. However, I am surprised that he did not mention the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s excellent books on the subject. Although the Church has made “no widespread, systematic effort,” these books do back up our religious convictions.
MRS. KEN METZGER
Cape Girardeau, Mo.
A Gift Of Workers
As a former pastor, I can appreciate the “organizational inadequacy” mentioned in “The Minister’s Workshop” (Sept. 26). However there is a serious danger in taking the “industrial” approach, if done uncritically. This is the application of a convenient double standard. On the one hand, the worker would be considered a “called one” when work assignments were made, sacrifice was required, vacation and pay given (if applicable), and so on; but on the other hand, the worker would be considered an “employee” when such matters as personal interests, conscience, authority, and job security (if applicable) were in view. It would be wise to remember that Christian workers are gifts from the Lord to his Church, and should be handled so. In doing this, we may solve part of the motivation problem also. Aside from this, the article is appreciated.
WILLIAM C. WALDEN
One Man’s Opinion
Isn’t it a bit presumptuous for the reviewer of Elisabeth Elliot’s book Furnace of the Lord: Reflections on the Redemption of the Holy City (Sept. 26) to project upon his readers his own beliefs of what the author’s expectations were? It is certainly a waste of your subscribers’ time to find a review so filled with opinion and so limited in perceptive analysis of the material at hand.
A book and author of this caliber deserve a review that reflects fewer opinionated conclusions and more in the area of objective analysis and skillful literary discernment.
EUGENIE L. DE HAAS
Spanning Lessing’s Ditch
Dr. Hughes’s article, “Reason, History, and Biblical Authenticity” (Sept. 12), is a good analysis of a major problem inherent in the two-leveled universe handed to us via the humanism of the Renaissance. He understands, too, and quite adequately, that the issues in Historie and Geschichte are rooted in the basic questions occasioned by modern rationalism. It should be noted, however, that to understand the problems and to see whence they arise is not necessarily to answer the basic question and accusation implied in Bultmann’s query, “How is such faith distinguished from a blind acceptance involving a sacrificium intellectus?” …
The point which should be made is that the illumination of the Holy Spirit is the necessary ingredient to span Lessing’s ditch and to get from mere historical belief to biblical faith. This is not a sacrificium intellectus, since it in no way deprecates the historical data but rather affirms them. It is instead the enabling, making willing, and even compelling of the heart and mind to assent cordially to the truth as it is in Christ. In the biblical view as orthodoxy has always affirmed it, two things are needed for faith: the Word (witness) and the Spirit. Strictly speaking this is not simple opinion, thoughtless credulity, or mere historical assent, nor should these things ever be confused with biblical faith.
ERIC G. LEMMON
The Ire In Ireland
I must congratulate Dr. Douglas on his largely accurate summing-up (“John Bull’s Other Island,” Sept. 12) of the situation in Northern Ireland. It is an example of the ever-disastrous combination of religion and politics, which seems inevitably to lead to injustice and discrimination. The example which he gives of election candidates stating openly that they “have never employed a Roman Catholic” appears, unfortunately, to be typical of the attitude of members of the Unionist party.…
I would point out one small inaccuracy in the article, where he writes of “a rebellion by the nationalists in the south, with some help from revolutionary France.” This hides the fact that this uprising was supported by the majority of the Presbyterians in Ulster.… There is a tendency to assume that all Catholics supported independence and all Protestants British rule, but such was by no means the case. Most of the leaders of the movement for independence … were Protestants, so perhaps it is not so surprising that a Protestant was elected the first president of Ireland.
R. H. RICHARDSON
Grammar and High School
I was born and raised in the Republic of Eire; I am Protestant and I attended Roman Catholic schools until I was twelve years old. Because there seems to be lack of a voice to speak for Ulster, I am going to do the best I know how to rectify this discrimination.
Your editorial (“Reflections on Ulster,” Sept. 12) seems to indicate that Catholics are very unfairly treated in Ulster and that Protestants are afraid to go south for fear of reprisals. Both statements are outright lies. If Catholics were being abused in Ulster, the government of Eire would soon send up an army and put an end to such treatment. The Republic of Eire knows full well that the agitation in the north is caused by their own (supposedly long outlawed) Irish Republican Army (IRA), aided and abetted by radicals from France and Germany and, of course, Miss Bernadette Devlin.
You could try to be fair in your editorials and practice a little of what you say Ulster should do. “Repay no evil with evil” works both ways, and your lack of material pertinent to the Ulster situation does you no credit.… If you do practice what you preach, please print this letter.
WILLIAM C. WOODS
The situation in Ireland is certainly complex, but at the grass roots Protestants and Roman Catholics in Ulster can and do live and work beside each other in complete harmony. But we Protestants as British subjects do not want to be in an all-Ireland republic, and we do not desire to have the legislation of our country controlled by the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
As the IRA and other political organizations which are determined to bring about a United Ireland are supported and maintained by Roman Catholics, it is only natural that the issue appears to be a battle between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Protestants resist the political power of Rome just as freedom-loving Americans would resist Communism.
Having said this, 1 fully endorse the final note of your editorial based on Romans 12. As Christians we in Ulster should and must seek to fulfill this scriptural injunction.
The Evangelical Protestant Society
Belfast, Northern Ireland
It is hard to understand how a magazine such as CHRISTIANITY TODAY would fall in line with propaganda coming from biased Roman Catholic reporters through the daily press. The issue at stake is not civil rights.… The border between North and South is the thorn in the flesh of the Roman Catholics.…
I would not deny the fact that there may be isolated cases of discrimination. It is not all one-sided either.… If Roman Catholics were loyal citizens of their country, I am sure they would enjoy the same rights and privileges regardless of their religion.…
I have great interest in the affairs of Northern Ireland; I still own a farm there. I am in close touch with the situation … and would be willing to make a special trip to N.I. with an impartial observer to verify my statements. I enjoy your magazine, and it would be with regret that I cancel my subscription, when it expires.
Rochester, N. Y.
A great spiritual awakening among God’s people is our only hope to evangelize the world. Thankfulness flooded my heart as I read your timely editorial “Times of Refreshing” (Sept. 12). It is imperative that every born-again believer join with Hosea and seek the Lord till he comes and rains righteousness upon us.
First Baptist Church
An Ugly Old Kingdom?
Concerning the “What If …” cartoon (Sept. 12): One of the beautiful young women at the recent Miss America contest in Atlantic City—Miss Nebraska, I believe she was—uttered a beautiful little prayer on stage, so why shouldn’t the winner of such a contest also be able to rattle off portions of the Bible by memory? I doubt very much that Jesus intended for his Kingdom of Heaven to be the exclusive property of the old and ugly, but the latter act as if it is at times.
Observations On Reservations
Once in a while one is made to wonder how much research has been done before a writer places his conclusions on paper. To me such is the case with regard to “Indian Reservations About the Church” (News, Sept. 12).
Without doubt he has touched some of the sore spots in our lack of ministry to the first Americans. But how could he miss the tremendous evangelistic and missions efforts of the Assemblies of God on practically all reservations and on even many of the rancherias—as well as in large cities? My information is that we have the most widespread of all such representations in the Indian ministry. There are many licensed and ordained Indian ministers. (And in the Southwest, at least, Indians have long been accepted just as whites have in our Assemblies.) Sacrificial efforts are being made constantly by both white and Indian ministers to bring the biblical message to these neglected ones.
First Assembly of God
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