1. The Movement for Church Unity is non-evangelical in its nature.
This is freely recognised and candidly acknowledged by its leaders who have been at pains to denounce evangelical “fundamentalism” while seeking to woo evangelicals to their side. This was shown clearly at the 1964 Nottingham Conference when the Rev. John Huxtable openly attacked a specially invited group of evangelicals on their belief in the full inspiration, authority, reliability and verbal accuracy of the Bible, and their insistence on the substitutionary and expiatory character of the death of Christ.
The leaders of the World Council of Churches realise they can only achieve their aim by so broadening the basis of their beliefs as to render Christian doctrine quite innocuous, and to emasculate it of almost all its distinctive Christian features.
The evangelical has no intention of being steam-rollered out of existence. He believes that his doctrine of an Infallible Word, the Sufficiency of Holy Scripture as the absolute and only guide to eternal life and godliness; the teaching of Justification by faith alone in the atoning blood of Christ as the sole means of everlasting life, and the eternal retribution to be visited upon the finally impenitent, are the bare minimum of the Christian gospel, and cannot be surrendered without surrendering the entire Christian religion and destroying the Church. Nor can he ever, without betraying his Lord, accept fellowship with those who do not stand with him on this irreducible ground. Within the limits of the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, he is prepared to recognise his essential unity with anyone, but nowhere else.
2. The Movement is Romeward in its ultimate aim.
No one any longer takes the trouble to hide this. The enthusiasm with which the leaders, and most of the rank and file attend Roman Masses, and the adulation now paid to the Roman Pontiff, and to his officers, must be set beside the repeated declarations by the Pope and his spokesmen, that Rome has no intention of abating one tittle of her claims to be the One True Church to whom all others must come, and to whose Sovereign Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, and the Vicar of Christ on earth, and the sole and infallible arbiter of Christian doctrine, every knee must bow.
The evangelical cannot for a moment consider making any concession to such outrageous and antichristian claims. Others may—he cannot.
3. The Movement is built on the dangerous fallacy that a religious monopoly would be a good thing for the world.
It ignores the fact that Europe has had this kind of thing before, and groaned under the tyranny of a religious dictatorship for a thousand years. The Reformation blew this tyranny to shreds, and liberated powers of mind and conscience from which Europe and the world are still reaping the benefit. A religious monopoly means in the end, the crushing of all who will not conform, and a denial of the divine right and duty of dissent. The evangelical refuses to put upon his neck the same religious tyranny which his forefathers, at the cost of their own lives, threw off.
4. The results of Church Union, wherever tried, have proved disappointing.
Great things were promised for Scotland in the Presbyterian Re-union of 1929, and of the Methodist Union in England, but the results are now known. Closing churches (by the hundred), dwindling membership, empty Sunday schools, and the increasing worldliness and indifference of the churchgoers, is the consequence. The only people who are gaining ground are the Roman Catholics (by immigration from Ireland) and the Mormons. Does this please the Church Unionists, or don't they care?
5. Much of Church Union talk is double talk.
The Anglican refuses to recognise the “orders” of either Presbyterian or Methodist. Episcopal re-ordination and confirmation are demanded as the bare minimum for this “re-union.” The traffic is all one way. The keyword of this unity movement is always “surrender,” and surrender, in most cases, to the successors of the very people who originally created the disunion by thrusting from them those who in conscience could not and dared not conform. Of course our unionists today assert that the old controversies are dead, and there is now a broader charity. Why then does the Episcopalian not make concessions to the Methodist or to the Presbyterian? Why act as though there are first and second class Christians?
6. Those who unite with Rome are due for a rude awakening.
As the Anglican treats the nonconformist and his “orders,” so the Romanist treats the Anglican whose orders and episcopal succession he fundamentally denies. The Anglican must be re-ordained before he will be recognised by Rome as a true priest. Moreover, he will be required to dismiss his wife to a convent, withhold the cup from the laity, believe in purgatory, accept confessions, worship the Virgin, supplicate the saints, fill heaven with mediators, and accept complete mental and spiritual domination by the Sovereign Pontiff of Rome. Anyone who piously asserts his belief or hope that Rome will change, surrender her dogmas, and turn her back upon her own history of 1500 years, is to be pitied.
7. The end of the road for the Church Unionist is to be united to the foulest, bloodiest, and most corrupt institution history has ever known.
The end of the road is Rome, and Rome is all that this heading indicates and more. Even now, in Protestant England, Rome is largely an alien church with an alien religion. She builds her churches out of the proceeds of drink and gambling. On her own admission (see Douglas Hyde in the “Universe”) she furnishes to the courts a calendar of criminals out of all proportion to the numbers of her adherents. Church unionists, and those who trip so lightly and gaily to Roman Masses to show their Christian unity, are strongly urged to ask the reason why robbery, drunkenness, violence and vice are the preserve of members of the R.C. Church, out of all proportion to their numbers, and why in traditional R.C. countries like Italy, France and Latin America, Communism finds such a prolific breeding ground. You have been warned!
8. Church Unity will make no real impact upon the world.
Contrary to the ideas expressed by unity leaders, the world is not waiting for Christianity to settle its problems and unite. This unity is itself a symptom of the surrender of the mind to the materialistic forces which are destroying the earth. Modern materialism stems from the same unbelief which has banished faith in the Bible from most of the Christian world. The church is playing the world’s game when it seeks a unity which depends upon the surrender of the Bible. Read Dr. Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich, who is now proclaiming the savage fact that the Reformation is ended, and all beliefs cast in the old forms are doomed. Cast loose from its moorings in a divine and supernatural revelation, the world is turning to atheistic materialism. Religionists who turn from faith in a verbally inspired Bible have surrendered the last defence against the tide of unbelief. Let them look at the world today--if they still have eyes to see.
9. Organic unity in the Church is an impossibility.
The Holy Spirit has managed very well without it in past times. As long as the human mind is what it is, it will be impossible to run all thought into one mould for any length of time. A completely united Christendom today means a new nonconformity tomorrow. The only guarantee of liberty and progress in any sphere—religion, politics, art or science—is the existence of dissent. The destruction or elimination of dissent means the destruction of knowledge and liberty.
10. The Evangelical has bigger issues to face.
The corporate unity of Christendom is NOT the burning issue of these times. The real issue is the survival of the truth—that is, the assertion of the Holy Scriptures of Old and New Testaments, as the Divine Word, exclusive, unique, verbally inspired (for there is no other form of inspiration possible), the Christian’s only and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice. On this basis the evangelical will unite with any person who sincerely holds to the historic and apostolic Christian faith. On any other basis he will unite with no-one, for he regards the subversion of faith in the Bible as the subversion of the Christian faith, and the betrayal of his only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom be all the glory, dominion, honour, power and blessing, world without end.