King's Business - 1962-01

mysterious way,’ but to say, ‘Lord, speak to me as I read Thy holy Word.’ And as we read the Book, the Holy Spirit opens it up and reveals the truth of God to us, and perhaps brings such things before us as we have never seen before.” ** Moral Re-Armament1Today and Tomorrow The major part of Moral Re-Armament promotion is now by means of plays, musicals, moving pictures and television, in addition to its busy press. I have not at­ tended any of its dramatic presentations but I understand that Hollywood actors and actresses are employed and the production has become quite professional, although the theme is as naive as ever. One of the earliest plays was entitled, “ The Good Road,” and is typical of the runs at local theaters, sometimes offered free to the public, but generally presented at regular theatrical pric­ es. Geoffrey Williamson thus describes the close of “ The Good Road:” “ The curtain fell, to rise again on a ‘changed family’ though how they all had become transformed we are not told. Now, of course, every one was polite and kindly and the family was united, so united that it insisted upon singing two songs together, ‘Families can be Fun,’ and ‘Sorry is a magic little word.’ This last song was sup­ posed, apparently, to provide a key to the whole sketch and a message of importance. Learn to say ‘sorry’ and harmony flies into the home! And if that works in fam­ ilies, why not in the family of nations? Did.any of them seriously believe that the world strife could be averted by a team of jolly teen-agers chorusing, ‘Sorry is a magic little word’ ? Or did they think war-mongering nations could be appeased with spice cake?” *** No wonder some students of this movement have come to the conclusion that it never did “ grow up.” No one can predict what the future of Moral Re- Armament (Oxford Group) will be. Certainly its syncre­ tic policy of the present-day is increasing its numbers. At the same time it is weakening any semblance it may have to a truly Christian organization. When Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, — followers of any and all religions, provided they are not Communists — are welcomed into the Moral Re-Armament fold, without the necessity of renouncing former beliefs and loyalties, the word “ Chris­ tian” can no longer apply. One of the most vocal propon­ ents of Moral Re-Armament today is Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of the great Hindu, passive resistance lead­ er, Mohandas K. Gandhi. I do not know what his profes­ sion is; perhaps Peter Howard, his constant travelling companion, has “ changed” him. Many Catholics have supported Moral Re-Armament, according to MRA pub­ lications. Recently the Shah of Iran was quoted by the group as saying: “The noble principles you advocate coin­ cide with the tenets of Islam.” Frank Buchman coined a term to describe Moral Re-Armament— supemational — and Peter Howard claims, “ It stands on a world front, the force of the future.” Moral Re-Armament may be a force, but it will not be a Christian force unless its message is changed to that of a crucified, risen, living Saviour who alone can change the hearts of men. “What s Wrong with Moral Re-Arma­ ment?” is what was wrong with those of whom Paul wrote in II Timothy 3:5: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” That power is the Gospel preached by saved men through the indwelling Holy Spirit. ♦Used by permission of the C/ospel Witness, Toronto, Can.; **Used by permission of Loizeaux Bros., New York, N. Y .; ♦♦♦Used by permission of C. A. Watts & Co., London, Eng. from Inside Bucb- manism.

Public confession often discloses an unwholesome pride in past transgressions and a tolerance for moral failure. The. term “ Sharing” meant to Oxford Groupers not only admission of personal sins to each other, but also what is generally termed “Witnessing.” This in their case amounted in the main io telling others what had occurred to them. There was a sad lack of the presenta­ tion of the redemptive work of Christ If the efforts on the part of Oxford Groupers to “ live up” to the Four Absolutes, and to the Ten “ C’s,” has brought any of them to throw up their hands and ac­ knowledge that such a life is impossible without the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit through the ac­ ceptance of Christ as Lord and Saviour, I rejoice. But I seriously question whether they know conversion in its truest sense, that of “ turning to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for. His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come’” (I Thess. 1:9-10). Guidance Another technique of the Oxford Group is their par­ ticular method of seeking guidance from the Lord for every detail of their lives. Certainly no one is to be cen­ sured for that. We have the example of Daniel who “ kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God’* (Dan. 6:10). The ma­ jority of Christians have some form of personal, private worship, generally consisting in reading the Bible and praying morning and night. Those who neglect com­ munion in secret with the Lord make a p ’eat mistake and find themselves weak in the conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil. The “ Quiet Time” did not origi­ nate with the Oxford Group. However, the MRA type of guidance is quite a de­ parture from simple prayer and Bible study. The Group­ ers take Bibles and notebooks in hand, sit in silence, and await guidance. It is called “ two-way prayer,” “ listening to God,” “ divine guidance.” Dr. T. T. Shields has analyzed this kind of guidance very well, I believe: “ The guidance of the Group is al­ ways exclusively subjective in its initial stage. They speak of ‘luminous words’ and ‘the quiet hour,’ when, with pad and pencil, they sit down and wait for guid­ ance. One of the leaders says, ‘I speak less to God than ever I did, but I listen more and longer to hear what God the Lord would speak.’ Less prayer, and more listening. That is a dangerous practice. Religious subjectivism un­ controlled, unregulated by objective standards, has been the cause, the base, of nearly all the soul-destroying here­ sies of history.. . These subjective experiences are to be checked mainly by the four ‘absolutes’ . . . I wonder if any of the Oxford Group have ever consulted the Oxford dictionary . . . ‘Absolute’ is a big word. ‘Absolute,’ in its real content, is as big as God. There is only one Absolute. He is the Absolute. These qualities in the absolute degree are found alone in God . . . Do not call it divine guid­ ance without some objective regulation . . . Surely we must try all these impressions by the principles and precepts of the Word of God, and not by a vague and inadequate standard consisting in what we call honesty, purity, unselfishness and love . . . The religion of Christ was never intended to make an automaton out of any­ body . . . It is for the whole man: for my mental facul­ ties, my reason, my memory, my affectional nature, my will •— all there is of me.” * And Dr. H. A. Ironside comments: “ This (Oxford Group method) is not the way of getting guidance. What is the Christian way? It is to get alone with God over your Bible. Not to say, ‘Lord, speak to me in some strange,










Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter