Friday, August 17, 2018

“And Should Communism Be Victorious?”

Professor Emil Brunner of Zurich, Switzerland, along with Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr, were theological liberals in the Protestant ecumenical movement. The final chapter in Apostles of Deceit includes text from an article by Professor Brunner published in the Neue Zurcher Zeitung newspaper of Zurich for Sunday, May 28, 1961. (Emphasis and links added.)
But above all, the Communist strategists undertake to split and make of no effect what Christian and humanitarian strengths are still in existence in Europe. Most alarming is the success they have gained in World Protestantism. The World Council of Churches accepted as their password, “Anti-Communism is the line of attack of the Roman Catholic Church and must inevitably lead to war!” The opinion became widespread that anti-Communism is a sterile position unworthy of a Christian; that one has to “remain in Communication with Communism.” Moscow's peace propaganda was accepted inasmuch as the church has to, of course, be “for peace.”

With great passion it accepted and made its own the “fear” of the atom catastrophe, which Moscow propaganda is constantly spreading. This was done by falling for the Communist trick of equating nuclear armament with willingness to wage an atomic war and making the West responsible for it. All this without noticing how Moscow alternatively wavered between threats of rockets and Russian superiority in atomic weapons, and the waving of the palm of peace. All of this while ignoring the fact that that segment of Europe which is still part of the free world owes its very existence, above all else, to this very nuclear armament of the West which had never been put into action.
Whoever warned against unilateral nuclear disarmament, as Bishop Dibelius most strongly did, was pointed out as an enemy of Jesus Christ. It or Western Europe should be neutralized, and the reception of Red China into the United Nations a demand of justice — the same China which had just raped Tibet and was constantly making warlike advances into remote parts of India. The most astounding spokesman for Protestantism, Karl Barth, asked in an open letter to the philosopher, Russell — the same Bertrand Russell who all his life had attacked the “Christian superstition” — “whether the time had not come to proclaim against any government involved in nuclear arming, the practical refusal of national service.” Such a proclamation was immediately made by Bertrand Russell, but it met with little success.

To the brotherly colloquies of the Ecumenical Movement, when preparations were made for the World Council meeting in the fall of this year in New Delhi, the churches of the East were invited more and more, churches, which, of course, could only send delegates subservient to the Communist State. This was quite contrary to the position taken in the past concerning delegates of churches subservient to Hitler. At these meetings voices raised in warning against this “brotherhood” with delegates from Communist-controlled countries were suppressed again and again. Especially so when they had things to say which might have brought contradictions from the delegates of countries from behind the Iron Curtain, or which could possibly cause these delegates embarrassment at home. So it came about that in the Ecumenical Councils there was a growing alignment with Communism with constant stress and effort to learn to understand each other in a brotherly fashion. Recently this thought was introduced through ecumenical channels into the churches of the United States. This was clearly manifest in the “Cleveland Message” in which before an ecumenical circle of American Christians, the great danger of an atomic war was pictured so dramatically. The equally great danger of Communist world domination was not mentioned at all. Ideas were spread which had, until then, only been presented by German theologians. Sentences were read from the open letter of Karl Barth to the German Christians in the DDR (the Communist dominated part of Germany) in which he states that “one can after all preach Christianity, believe Christianity, and live Christianity under a Communistic regime.” Defeatism was being preached as the will of God but harking back to the Prophet Jeremiah. And so the poison which paralyzes the will to resist, something American people have been immune to up to now, is becoming virulent in America, too. Thus the church without at all being Communist is unwittingly doing the work of Communism.

Because the people of the West still live in a world where thinking for oneself and expressing these thoughts are a matter of course, they are quite incapable of imagining a generation of humanity so completely inhuman. For this reason they still permit themselves to defame anti-communism as willful, inhuman and unchristian attitude, and even indulge in the luxury of fighting anti-communism. It is indeed high time to awake from this madness and to rise up so that we may protect mankind, ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren from this ghastly end which will nullify the fruits of all history of man.

All that one can mention in favor of Communism — the raising of the standard of living, the increase in the spread of education, the progress of health and hygiene, can never, even so far as these may be true, make up for the loss of the soul. The extinguishing of the free spirit and man's soul is too high a price to pay. This must be the common creed of all Christians, all religions, and all who believe in the soul of man.

An excerpt from pp. 524-526, Apostles of Deceit, by Edgar C. Bundy, a book published by The Church League of America in 1966, Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 66-24178.

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