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    March 24, 1909

    “Church Federation—VIII. In International Affairs” The Medical Missionary, 18, 12, pp. 228, 229.

    ATJ

    ALONZO T. JONES

    FROM the beginning it has been one of the avowed purposes of the Federation of Churches to become international. And its international standing and purpose is intended to be only the extension internationally of all that it is in its purposes local, State, and National. And this we have seen is nothing less than an imperialistic monopoly of all things ecclesiastical, civil and moral.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.1

    In the late council there was a report on “International Relations.” Yet this report was not on the international relations of the Federation; it was on the international relations of the nations themselves. And that this report on the international relations of the nations of the world, should be made to this Federal Council of churches, by a committee of the Federal Council of Churches; and that this report should discuss and advise upon the international relations of the nations of the world, for the consideration and action of the Federal Council of Churches, plainly shows that the Federal Council of Churches has assumed jurisdiction of the international relations of the nations of the world, just as, and with the same assurance, that she has assumed jurisdiction of all religious work, and of all the territory, and of all the people in the territory, and of all things civil, and in all things moral, in the United States.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.2

    While this report of the committee and the action of the council plainly shows that the council assume jurisdiction of the international affairs of the nations of the world, the report itself and the action of the council dealt particularly with the subject of war, and how to cause war to cease and assure to the nations and the world the reign of peace.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.3

    And not surprisingly, but curiously enough; the report and the council soberly proposed to stop war by establishing a, “substitute for war.” They said: “If nations are to abolish war, then some substitute for war must be found by which States can settle those international differences which can not be adjusted through the channels of diplomacy.”MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.4

    It never seemed to occur to a single individual in the council that there was anything ridiculous or absurd about the idea or the proposition to abolish war by a “substitute for war”; “that while a substitute for war would remove actual war one degree, it would not in any degree remove the spirit of war; and therefore would remove actual war that one degree only for a time, when the’ same old abiding spirit of war would sweep away the substitute and all kindred contrivances, and plunge into actual war more deeply and more desperately than as if no substitute had ever been, indulged.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.5

    And what is this “substitute for war” through which the churches would have the nations to “abolish war”? Here it is, and the one only: “There is but one substitute for war, and that is the doctrine of arbitration.”MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.6

    But it being perfectly plain both on principle and from experience that true arbitration—voluntary and friendly arbitration—could never prove a substitute for war, simply because there could be no certainty that the nations would voluntarily enter it, the Federation Council put its unqualified endorsement on what it called “obligatory arbitration.”MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.7

    But “obligatory arbitration” is arbitration only by force and compulsion. And force and compulsion “is itself only the spirit and essence of war. For to “oblige” in this sense, is “to bind, constrain, or compel, by any physical, moral, or legal force or influence.” It is especially appropriate that this warlike “substitute for war” should have been “originally proposed by Russia.” Undoubtedly Russia is the one grand model of all the nations, to originate that “one substitute for war.”MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.8

    And yet the Federated Council of Churches unanimously fell in with that self-contradictory and deceptive thing, and adopted a resolution that “It declares its conviction that war is evil and that Christian nations should determine by obligatory arbitration the international differences which can not be settled by diplomacy.”MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.9

    It is hardly more than to be expected that any view that could soberly pronounce any of the nations “Christian” could just as readily approve Russia’s originally proposed “obligatory arbitration” as the “one substitute for war.” The two conceptions are perfectly fitting to each other, and to the whole conception and scheme of Church Federation.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 228.10

    All this was by way of the Federation’s expressing its disapproval of war. And it very well reveals just the measure of the influence of the Church Federation to stop war. That is, just none at all in any true or Christian sense. It is all only outward and substitutionary, and this wholly by worldly means and human and political contrivance; never inward and absolute, through the entire change of heart and mind and spirit of individual persons by the gospel and Spirit of God.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 229.1

    If the people of the nations, or if even only the men in power in the nations, were Christians indeed there could not be any war; for no Christians will ever engage in war. But the truth is that the people, and the men in power, of the nations, call themselves Christians and are recognized by the churches as Christians, when they are nothing of the kind in truth. These so-called “Christian nations” and people, not being Christians, and being as full of the same old spirit of war as any other heathen, will inevitably go to war. Then the churches who recognize them as “Christian Nations,” and vast numbers of them being members of these churches, the churches federated and confederated, find themselves under the necessity of doing something to keep these their own church-members from engaging in war, and must needs adopt Russia’s “original proposition” of warlike “substitute for war.”MEDM March 24, 1909, page 229.2

    And thus again we are brought face to face with the fact that this grand centralisation of church influence and endeavor is but following in the same course, and even in the very steps, of that former one, of the fourth century and onward, that first produced “Christian Nations” and so assiduously cultivated them that Europe was filled with “Christian Nations” that were so perpetually at war that the church must needs come in amongst them with her obligatory “truce of God,” which, by the way, answers very well to this now Russia-proposed and Church-Federation-promoted, “obligatory arbitration.”MEDM March 24, 1909, page 229.3

    But none of it was ever of any avail to stop or abolish war. When the papacy was at the height of her power and had everything in her own hand, Europe was so filled with wars and anarchy by the quarrels of the popes, that the heads of the Nations were compelled to revolt and force the calling of the Council of Constance expressly to “reform the church in its head and members” and so save themselves and Europe from the supreme curse of the church-combine.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 229.4

    And the character of those “Christian Nations” is sufficiently indicated by the fact that in a war brought on by themselves in their own open violation of a solemn treaty, under the leadership of the papacy, the Sultan of the Turks rode out between the two armies arrayed for battle, read aloud the violated treaty, then fastened it on the head of a lance and appealed to the “insulted Jesus”; “Oh, Thou insulted Jesu! avenge the wrong done under thy good name, and show thy power upon thy perjured people.” And he did it splendidly.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 229.5

    It is altogether likely that through this “obligatory arbitration” or some other such “substitute for war” this Church-Federation scheme of to-day will succeed in getting; the so-called Christian Nations of to-day into such an attitude of seeming to “learn war no more” that the churches can proclaim a universal peace. And then the abiding and native spirit of war will suddenly break forth in a universal war engulfing the world in sudden and mighty destruction.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 229.6

    There is no such thing as Christian Nations. There is no such thing as a substitute for war.MEDM March 24, 1909, page 229.7

    There are individual Christians, and that is all. And in these individual Christians there is annihilated all spirit of war, and in its place there reigns the spirit of Christ which is only the spirit of “peace on earth good will to men.”MEDM March 24, 1909, page 229.8

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