King's Business - 1962-01



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which believes that man’s mind should control the world through human nature that has been exploited” (p. 1). “ Dr. Buchman 'says: ‘Only a new spirit in' man can bring a new spirit in industry . . . The new type of man that Moral Re-Armament is producing finds that the basic problem of industry is not economic but moral. The four moral standards |— absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute selflessness, absolute love — make it pos­ sible to decide issues on the basis of what is right and not who is right” (p. 15). These sentiments are re-echoed repeatedly in the writings of Peter Howard and other Moral Re-Armament propagandists of the present day. It is the same verse of the same song: “Moral Re^Armament is the only answer to the needs of man.” As one cannot secure a definite statement of doctrine from the Group, in order to orient himself in the teachings and techniques that characterized the movement from its inception, one must examine such writers as Arthur J. Russell, whose book, “ For Sinners Only” practically constituted a text­ book for the Group. "For Sinners Only" When RuSsell’s “ For Sinners Only” was first published, it was denounced by churchmen as “ deplorable” and “ dangerous,” but to me the worst thing about it was that it was not clear on the way of salvation and did not set forth clearly the Gospel of a crucified, risen, and glorified Saviour. The atonement was scarcely mentioned. In fact, Russell was taken to task so severely for this fatal omis­ sion (I was among those who criticized him) that he produced another book entitled “ One Thing I Know” to help undo the damage. In the preface of this second book, which did not receive the wide circulation of the first volume, he began with a typical Oxford Group “ confes­ sion.” He claimed he had been unjustly criticized and declared an “unqualified belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ and His atonement on Calvary.” Naturally, I was glad to note this. I could wish that some of the modem THE KING'S BUSINESS

I n t w o p r e v io u s articles we have discussed the innate weakness of Moral Re-Armament, namely, its ne­ glect of the Scriptures and its lack of doctrinal founda­ tion. We have also briefly reviewed its history. This movement was initiated over forty ye'ars ago by Frank N. D. Buchman, an American Lutheran minister, who died this year on August 8th at the age of 83. There has been a radical change from the early days of the “ First Century Fellowship” as it was first called, and from the time its first British phase of operation be­ gan in the rooms of Loudon Hamilton at Oxford. From a man-to-man, personal-work type of service, Moral Re- Armament has developed into a mass movement, with the avowed purpose of changing the entire world and of curing all the ills of our society. One can commend its anti-Communistic effort without reservation. At the same time, it is practically impossible to pin down its officials to any kind of doctrinal commitment. Recently I wrote MRA headquarters, asking for a doctrinal statement. What I received in reply was a 32-page booklet entitled “ Ideo­ logy and Co-Existence,” which contains no doctrinal dec­ laration at all. In it is no reference to the cardinal doc­ trines of the Word of God; iA fact, the Lord is scarcely mentioned. “ Moral Re-Armament is a superior ideology, with a superior strategy, because it meets the needs of the whole man and because it is available for men everywhere -— non-Commimist and Communist alike. It is far more than an answer to Communism. It is the revolutionary idea that is putting right what is wrong and giving every nation the incorruptible and inspired leadership that can create a full and free life for every nation” (p. 2). Instead of doctrinal views, here are a few of the high-sounding declamations in this MRA booklet: “There are two ideologies bidding for the world to­ day. One is Moral Re-Armament, which believes that God’s Mind should control the world through human na­ ture that has been changed; the other is Communism, 14

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