For a church in the great liberal tradition of modern Protestantism to withhold benevolence money from its denomination is sensational news—particularly when this church charges that the denomination has given funds and support to acknowledged Communistic and revolutionary groups. This was the action taken not long ago by one of the wealthiest and most strategic churches in the Midwest against its denominational conference.
The split within Protestantism today is clearly revealed when denominational leaders, rather than denying such charges, admit them and then seek to defend their policies in the name of “reconciliation.” “We have already radicalized the conference machinery and budget” said one activist leader in the bureaucracy. “Now we must begin to radicalize the local church.” One may safely predict, however, that the latter “radicalizing” will be longer in coming than the first.
At first glance, the proposed takeover of the Church for radical ends seems politically motivated. And superficially it is—hard politics, revolutionary if not Marxist. Those who deny it or believe it will go away if ignored are in for a great shock. This struggle is going on in almost all the major denominations in America, and in every geographical section, including the Bible Belt. (In fact, some of the most strategic and clever political action to radicalize the Church is taking place in Deep South enclaves.) But something is happening that transcends the political. The basic issue has been and is now theological.
A review of a book entitled The Secular Search for a New Christ illustrates the theological basis of this shift to the far left. The author of the book is G. H. Todrank, professor of religion at Colby College, and his thesis, comments ...1
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