“The first and fatal charm of national repentance, therefore, is the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing – but, first, of denouncing – the conduct of others.”
C. S. Lewis
In their 2016 General Assembly the Presbyterian Church of America passed resolution 43 by a overwhelming majority of 861 to 123. This resolution offered up corporate repentance for racial actions they were corporately involved in prior to their formation in 1972 and for racial actions they were corporately involved in after their formation.
The wonder of this document is the general assumption and declaration of sin with no corresponding detailed names of proofs that can be attached to the general assumption and declaration of sin. By making such a declaration of sin of one’s Fathers one doesn’t have to give due process to the dead. One doesn’t have to put together a court where the accused can face their accusers. One doesn’t have to convince a jury of their Father’s sins when one just assumes and declares their sins. One doesn’t have to come up with concrete proof for concrete cases against concrete Fathers. No, all one has to do is just give a general condemnation of one’s Fathers.
It strikes me that the the current PCA is condemning as “sin” those sins that the Founders of the PCA cited as reasons to leave the denomination they were previously associated with. If this is so the current PCA then can be regarded as the anti-PCA, at least as measured by their Father’s intent for the denomination they were creating. According to the current PCA it is hard to see how the current PCA doesn’t consider the Founding PCA as being in sin for leaving the PCUS given that the Founding PCA’s reasons for separation are now repudiated by the current PCA’s standards. As we will see in this post it is possible that the current PCA is most directly repudiating the particular founders John Edwards Richards and H. Morton Smith.
So what I’m going to do here is interweave the stated reasons that some of the Founders gave for leaving the PCUS with the most recent Resolution 43 as passed by the current PCA by a vote of 826 – 123. Finally, I will add some quotes from men and organizations from the past who have agreed with what the PCA is calling for here.
Now it may be the case that a reader may agree with the old PCA or it may be that they agree with the new PCA but regardless who is agreed with we can at least conclude that the denomination is on a different trajectory from when it was formed.
I.) Resolution 43 — PCA General Assembly 2016
A.) Therefore be it resolved, that the 44th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America does recognize, confess, condemn and repent of corporate and historical sins, including those committed during the Civil Rights era, and continuing racial sins of ourselves and our fathers such as the segregation of worshipers by race; the exclusion of persons from Church membership on the basis of race; the exclusion of churches, or elders, from membership in the Presbyteries on the basis of race; the teaching that the Bible sanctions racial segregation and discourages inter-racial marriage;
B.) Where PCA Founders Disagreed with the 2016 PCA
1.) Causes of Separation in 1973 (PCA separates from PCUS) by one of the PCA Founders, Dr. John Edwards Richards,
- a.) The Socialist, who declares all men are equal. Therefore there must be a great leveling of humanity and oneness of privilege and possession.
- b.) The Racial Amalgamationist, who preaches that the various races should be merged into one race and differences erased in oneness.
- c.) The Communist, who would have one mass of humanity coerced into oneness by a totalitarian state and guided exclusively by Marxist philosophy.
- d.) The Internationalist, who insists on co-existence between all peoples and nations that they be as one regardless of ideology or history.
And again from Richards,
e.) “The vast majority of good thinking people prefer to associate with, and intermarry with, people of their respective race; this is part of the God-given inclination to honor and uphold the distinctiveness of separate races. But there are many false prophets of oneness, and many shallow stooges, who seek to force the amalgamation of the races.”
2.) This time from Dr. H. Morton Smith — One of the Founders of the PCA
“If from this we may conclude that ethnic pluriformity is the revealed will of God for the human race in its present situation, it is highly questionable whether the Christian can have part in any program that would seek to erase all ethnic distinctions. That such distinctions may be crossed over by individuals may be granted, but it is at least questionable whether a program designed to wipe out such differences on a mass scale should be endorsed by the Christian. It is this line of argument that the average Christian segregationist uses to back his view. He fears that the real goal of the integrationist is the intermarriage of the races, and therefore the breakdown of the distinctions between them. Many who would be willing to integrate at various lesser levels refuse to do so, simply because they feel that such will inevitably lead to intermarriage of the races, which they consider to be morally wrong.”
H. Morton Smith — A Founder of the PCAComment
Christianity Race & Segregation
Now one group that does agree with the PCA are those found among the Marxists. That they agree with the PCA’s insistence that the bible does not sanction racial segregation and that they agree with the PCA that inter-racial marriage is Biblical is seen by examining these quotes,
C.) Writers or Organizations Who Agree With the 2016 PCA Resolution 43
1.) Frederick Engles
Question — ”What will be the attitude of communism to existing nationalities?
The nationalities of the peoples associating themselves in accordance with the principle of community will be compelled to mingle with each other as a result of this association and hereby to dissolve themselves, just as the various estate and class distinctions must disappear through the abolition of their basis, private property.”
~ Frederick Engels in “The Principles of Communism”, 1847
2.) Karl Marx
And this time from Marx who agrees with the PCA“Even the natural differences within species, like racial differences…, can and must be done away with historically.”K. Marx’s Collected Works V:103,As cited in S.F. Bloom’s The World of Nations: AStudy of the National Implications in the Work of Karl Marx, Columbia University Press, New York, 1941, pp. 11 & 15-19:
3.) Nikita Krushchev
“Full-scale Communist construction constitutes a new stage in the development of national relations in the U.S.S.R., in which the nations will draw still closer together until complete unity is achieved…. However, the obliteration of national distinctions and especially of language distinctions is a considerably longer process than the obliteration of class distinctions.”
Now if the current PCA is indeed going after Richards and Smith, one of whom is still living, then let these men have their day in court. Let charges be brought against them and let them be tried and face their accusers. In Richard’s case let any trial be done posthumously. Prove that what these Founders — Dr. Richards and Dr. Smith held — was sin. Prove their statements in error. Don’t just make declarations. Offer up proof and as you offer up proof make sure you don’t take up league with the Marxists.
II.) Resolution 43 — PCA General Assembly 2016
A.) the participation in and defense of white supremacist organizations; and the failure to live out the gospel imperative that “love does no wrong to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10); and
B.) Where PCA Founders Disagree with the Current PCA
1.) Dr. H. Morton Smith
“it may be said that the principle of segregation as such is not necessarily sinful in and of itself.”
H. Morton Smith — A Founder of the PCA
Some thoughts by a Southern White Christian: The Racial Problem Facing America
2.) This time from Dr. John Edwards Richards
“No human can measure the anguish of personality that goes on within the children of miscegenation… Let those who would erase the racial diversity of God’s creation beware lest the consequence of their evil be visited upon their children.”
John Edwards Richards
One of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
C.) Some writers that agree with the PCA’s interpretation that love means do no wrong to a neighbor are found among the Socialists,
1.) Vladimir Lenin
“The aim of socialism is not only to abolish the present division of mankind into small states and end all national isolation; not only to bring the nations closer together, but to merge them….”
The Rights of Nations to Self Determination — pg. 76
2.) Vladimir Lenin
“… Just as mankind can achieve the abolition of classes only by passing through the dictatorship of the proletariat, so mankind can achieve the inevitable merging of nations only by passing through the transition period of complete liberation of all oppressed nations, i.e., their right to secede. “
There are other “Resolveds” in Resolution 43 but they are more and less a repeat of the type that has already been quoted here.
In the end, how does the PCA and the Christian community in general deal with the fact that they seem to be advocating a policy that lines up rather nicely with the Marxist agenda from its beginning? Those of us who are concerned with the egalitarian revolutionary thrust found in Marxism and seemingly on display by the PCA and other denominations only want an answer on how they intend to stand against the great heresy of Marxism? How does the integrationist’s call to “love” avoid being the Marxist call of hate that finds a bleeding of all things into a revolutionary egalitarian uniformity?
I close here by quoting Dr. H. Morton Smith.
“The reason that so many see a Communist influence in the present movement is that the goal seems to be the same as that of the Marxist philosophy, namely, the leveling of all to a common uniformity. Even if the American Negro movement has not been started or backed by the Communist Party at first, it certainly plays into the hands of the Communists, especially when civil disobedience (Black Lives Matter — BLMc) can be encouraged, and the law and order of a city, state, or nation threatened. Enough of this disorder, and the Communists or some other tyrants may be able to step into the situation and seize control of our nation”
Certainly if there is a danger in a philosophy that demands too much segregation so there is a danger in a philosophy that demands too much integration. Yet, all we seem to hear from the modern denominations is siren calls about “racism,” “xenophobia,” “homophobia,” “bigotry” and “sexism,” and the siren calls seem to have the collected effect of pushing us ever further towards the socialist dream of a New World Order where we can imagine that there are no countries, and no religion too. A New World Order where there are no races, no genders, and no distinctions.
From Dr. Abraham Kuyper, to Dr. Francis Nigel Lee, to Dr. Geerhardus Vos and countless others there have been warnings against an amalgamation that would be destructive to all peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations and yet the Church seemingly keeps pushing that agenda, taking no heed to those of us who are pointing at and screaming about the original intent of the Christ haters named Engels, Marx, Stalin, Lenin, Khrushchev, and countless other Revolutionaries who have always imagined there is no heaven.
Will anyone ever listen to our warnings or answer our concerns that are born out of love for Christ and His Church and not out of hatred for anybody except for those who would pull down Christ or assault His Bride?