That the New Left has selected the campus as a base for the disruption of society and a target for assault is not surprising. The halls of academe are peculiarly vulnerable because of the emphasis within the academic community on free discussion and on the relative immunity of the campus to the operations of law-enforcement agencies.

The deeper factors that have contributed to the student left remain largely concealed, partly because of the attention given by the news media to the surface phenomena of campus uprisings. The behavior of campus radicals seems to many to be mindless, irrational, and without rationale. Mindless and irrational it may be; without rationale it is not. Nor is it enough to attribute the behavior of academic militants to some vague feeling of alienation or of loss of individuality, though these do enter into the dynamics of the current wave of student rebellion.

But there is a very definite rationale, traceable to systematic and dogmatic indoctrination. The low-key social pessimism of the late C. Wright Mills does, we are persuaded, underlie much of the mentality of the campus left. Professing a commitment to reason and freedom, Mills nevertheless has sown down the academic world with views of society rooted in romanticism. His volume The Power Elite seems to many a visceral response to a frustrating experience. He holds that the power structure in our national life is an impenetrable and sinister force, completely out of reach of any influence by the citizenry.

Essential to this thesis is the view that the determining decisions in our nation are made by a three-headed “power elite”—the military, the business community, and government. He holds that big hierarchies keep the rank and file voiceless and helpless, while the elite are supported in their Kafkaesque remoteness by the glamor of the professional celebrities.

Mills’ assertion, further, is that “the American elite is composed not of representative men whose conduct and character constitute models for American imitation and aspiration” (p. 360) but of a “fraternity of the successful” whose characters are controversial and ambiguous and whose morals are only those of accomplishment. The end-result is that “the top of modern American society is increasingly unified, and often seems willfully co-ordinated: at the top there has emerged an elite of power. The middle levels are a drifting set of stalemated, balancing forces: the middle does not link the bottom with the top. The bottom of this society is politically fragmented, and even as a passive fact, increasingly powerless.…”

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Mills’s vertical model for society furnishes the broad background for the ideology of the campus left. It is not surprising that if idealistic youth accept this thesis, they will be without appreciation of the positive values resident in our society. They are left as fair prey to ideologies of determinism and violence.

Such an ideology is to be found in the works of Herbert Marcuse, whose Reason and Revolution, a critique of Soviet Marxism, and Eros and Civilization have been overshadowed by the volume The One-Dimensional Man and his essay on “Repressive Tolerance” in the symposium A Critique of Pure Tolerance. His central contention in One-Dimensional Man is that today’s society is repressive and totalitarian using non-terroristic manipulation to subject the citizenry to a concealed type of regimentation. The instrument for this is, of course, “vested interests.”

He asserts that in “one-dimensional thought” discourse is corrupted and technological rationality becomes a tool for crass political oppression. Affluence is held to produce a type of public euphoria, inuring the members of the “free” society to its own lack of freedom and to the iniquities his nation perpetrates abroad.

If this volume articulates a sophisticated cynicism, his third lecture in A Critique of Pure Tolerance removes the fur glove from the mailed fist. While in other contexts Marcuse is critical of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union, in “Repressive Tolerance” he takes his stand with the most blatant forms of repressive authoritarianism. The public, he holds, must have access only to “authentic information”; “liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion of propaganda, of deed as well as of word” (p. 109).

If the terms “left” and “right” were transposed, this speech would sound appropriate in the mouth of Joseph Goebbels.

Contending that our society is in a kind of state of fascist “war,” Marcuse develops the authoritarian dictum that “… true pacification requires the withdrawal of tolerance before the deed, at the stage of the communication in word, print, and picture. Such extreme suspension of the right of free speech and free assembly is indeed justified only if the whole of society is in extreme danger. I maintain that our society is in such an emergency situation, and that it has become the normal state of affairs” (pp. 109 f.).

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It requires little imagination to understand why campus militants act in a manner almost identical to that of the “bully boys” of Hitler’s Third Reich. The bullhorn is the real symbol and common denominator of campus radicalism. The shouting down of those who attempt rational discourse, the wresting of microphones from speakers, the manhandling of those expressing contrary views (however well structured these views may be), and the prevention of great universities from conferring degrees upon eminent public servants—these are not incidental and spontaneous events. Rather, they spring from a deliberately articulated philosophy of cynical intolerance—an intolerance that dialectically sports itself as tolerance.

The irrational inherent in Marcuse’s dialectic of tolerance is reflected in the nihilism and the romanticism of the adherents of the New Left. Having had no experience with such a phenomenon as the Great Depression, and having only the most superficial view of the magnitude of the task of making even gradual changes in the vast economy of a land like ours, they mouth endlessly the slogans of “destroying this rotten order” and of “cleaning up the mess the older generation has left.” Theirs is a bland assumption that there is a law of Phoenix-regeneration by which new and viable order rises out of chaos.

Ultimately, of course, the campus left has a blind faith that the overthrow of existing society and its institutions will lead quite naturally to a liberation of the individual from the restraints a supposedly “irrationally rational” society has imposed upon them and quite easily to a new form of society structured along lines of “participatory democracy.” Some theoreticians, of course, are less naïve. They are the exponents of the leftist eliteism, who are confident that when they can humiliate and destroy the American nation, they will be the architects of a new order.

Students will do well to ponder carefully the doctrine of “Phases of the Revolution” and to be reminded that “student power” has no intention of granting permanent power to the rank and file of students. Rather, the elite will use the unsuspecting majority for the attainment of revolutionary ends, and then “rub them out,” or at least dominate them in the same manner that they now dominate student governments and twist student journals to their purpose.

Every totalitarianism must have its foe, its “enemies.” Marcuse demands a double standard of tolerance, a double standard of expression, a double standard of violence. For any “reactionary” (read conservative) force there must be radically unequal treatment. And any opposition to the Left must be identified with Fascism or Nazism. (The title “National Socialism” must not be used, for it too clearly identifies the socialist component of Nazism.)

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Today must, according to Marcuse, be called a “post-fascist period.” Here, in spite of his critiques of Sovietism, he shows the same authoritarian and haughtily totalitarian mentality that has marked the fascisms of this century, be they brown, red or black. The major appeals to prejudice, to irrationalism, and to repressive action are there—and the sheep continue to hear his voice.

Recalling A ‘Campaign Promise’

When Dr. Arthur S. Flemming took on the presidency of the National Council of Churches he vowed to make evangelistic emphasis a major characteristic of his term of office. That was two years ago, and the pledge has yet to be fulfilled. The National Council has shown no signs of an evangelistic awakening.

Dr. Flemming is an able leader reasonably capable of instituting the program he promised. Christians across the United States should urge him to get on with the task in the year left to him as president.

Dubious Means For Dubious Ends

The religious liberals’ romance with ecumenism seems to have been giving way to an affair with social activism. They still carry the torch for inclusiveness, but the glow has diminished. Their new flame is the principle that God is (only?) where the action is, and they fail to see enough action at 475 Riverside Drive or 150 Route de Ferney.

The shift of the ecclesiastical dynamic from ecumenism to activism has become so pronounced that so-called New Breed clergy are achieving instant greatness in mass media. They are the ones who see the ultimate in “moral action” in resisting the draft or getting arrested for an anti-war demonstration.

In the case of parish ministers, such acts understandably arouse the ire of the local laity who pay their salaries. Resulting tension alienates many, but this only serves to contribute to the heroic image. The pastor performs the supreme sacrifice when he is obliged to resign because of his “courage.”

To the extent that today’s activist clergy represent genuine compassion, they constitute a welcome corrective to the creeping institutionalism that infected the church in the decade following World War II. What is appalling is that their confrontations are confined to a few supposed evils over which equally earnest Christians differ, while trends which are clearly unbiblical go unchallenged.

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Even more distressing is the activists’ tendency to regard social reform as the end-all of the Christian faith. Religion by definition has a basis infinitely more profound. Christ died to redeem from sin those who trust him. Compassion can and should be the product of spiritual rebirth, not the means to it.

Mrs. Aristotle Onassis

The marriage of Jacqueline Kennedy to Aristotle Onassis has rubbed many people the wrong way. Surely there is reason to wonder why she chose for a husband a man who has been party to the violation of one of life’s most sacred vows. It is hard to see how this marriage could set a good example at a time when the home, the basic unit of society, is crumbling rapidly.

Of all people Mrs. Onassis must have an awareness of human depravity, shown so graphically by the assassination of her first husband and of her brother-in-law. We hope and pray that she will reorder her life in a biblical perspective and that out of her past grief will emerge a desire to use the Onassis means and influence for spiritually beneficial ends.

Outer Space And Inner City

The world saw on Tuesday, October 22, a striking example of man’s ingenuity as Apollo 7 splashed down safely after a 4,500,000-mile space trip marred by little more than head colds and arguments with ground controllers. The nation’s largest city, meanwhile, faced a massive paralysis brought on by striking teachers and balky police, firemen, and garbage collectors. The moon seems in reach, but big-city traffic crawls along at a pace below that of horse-and-buggy days. This disparity between advance in space and retrogression on terra firma speaks eloquently of the unruliness of man’s nature, which keeps him from solving his problems even though he has the capacity.

The National ******** Reporter

Charles Helmsing, Roman Catholic bishop of Kansas City, Missouri, has turned upon a remarkable weekly newspaper that he helped start. The advent of the National Catholic Reporter in 1964 as an offshoot of his diocesan paper remains the most important development in Catholic journalism in this country. Now Helmsing charges that the Reporter is downgrading such things as Pope Paul’s recent traditionalist “Credo,” and such beliefs as papal primacy and the perpetual virginity of the Virgin Mary. He threatens excommunication of the culprits under Canon 1325, which states that any church member who “obstinately denies or doubts any of the truths proposed for belief by the divine and Catholic faith is a heretic.”

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In a statement sent to the nation’s bishops, Helmsing says the least the Reporter could do is drop “Catholic” from its name. He is saying, then, that “Catholic” is a word that belongs exclusively to his church and that those who use it must submit themselves and their views to the control of the Pope and the hierarchy.

To a point, the bishop can indeed wonder whether the Reporter is “Catholic,” in the traditional understanding of that term. It has crusaded quite openly against distinctive Roman Catholic dogma, and its interpretation of the Kingdom of God can be quite secular, temporal. But we are happy that it feels free to express its opinions and—most important—to report the news, even though it is often slanted toward Catholic liberalism. The founders were wise enough to set up a publication independent of hierarchy control; this seems to be an important factor in religious journalism, Catholic or Protestant. The result is that anybody who desires to follow the fast-moving Catholic scene must read the Reporter. We do.

Conviction Of The ‘Catonsville Nine’

The appeal made by the Catonsville Nine at their recent trial in Baltimore is a far cry from the attitude expressed by the Apostle Paul when he stood on trial before Festus (Acts 25). The Nine, a group of Roman Catholic pacifists, were found guilty of destroying government property in the burning of Selective Service records last May. By their own admission there was absolutely no question of their guilt; but in their defense they claimed that they should be judged on the basis of their motives, not on the basis of acts done. They asserted that they acted in conscience against evil; in their view the war in Viet Nam is immoral and illegal.

By way of contrast, when the Apostle Paul was confronted with the possibility that he had disobeyed civil authority, he was ready to take whatever punishment was prescribed—“If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die.” This attitude was certainly not reflected in the defense of the Catonsville Nine. They had no right to expect the laws of the land to be set aside because they did not approve of the action of the government.

New Patterns For The Lord’S Day

New patterns for the Christian use of Sunday emerged at the Consultation on the Lord’s Day in Contemporary Culture which met at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, October 7–9 in connection with the 80th anniversary of the Lord’s Day Alliance in the United States. The eighty-three participants, churchmen and leaders in business and professional life, came from eighteen states and twenty-one denominations.

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The discussion revealed a shift from the legalism of a former time to the openness and liberty in the use of the Lord’s Day reflected in the New Testament. There was candid recognition that stimulation of voluntary observance of the day should replace endeavors to initiate new Sunday legislation. While the consultation reached no formal consensus, its mood seemed to favor a much freer celebration of the day commemorating Christ’s resurrection than that sanctioned by former generations of American Protestants.

The Lord’s Day Alliance deserves commendation for listening to its friends who took part in this consultation. Many things—the mass media, entertainment and sports, weekend travel, business as usual in stores and markets—are competing with the centrality of Sunday worship. Thus the Alliance is wise to study its position in the light of Christian liberty under grace while at the same time holding fast the special character of the Lord’s Day.

Amid a prevalent secularism, Christians cannot afford to let slip their basic obligation of corporate worship on the first day of the week. If the church ever becomes unfaithful to this obligation, its life will be jeopardized. Although for Christians every day must indeed be the Lord’s, the assembling of the body of Christ for public worship on Sunday was never more essential as a witness and source of spiritual strength than now.

But even among many who do gather faithfully for Sunday worship there is a disturbing pattern. They seem to feel that as long as they spend that hour or so in church they are then obliged to run themselves ragged the remainder of the day. Lord’s Day observance as a set of restrictions finds no basis in the New Testament. But the trend in our day is the other way. The drift is toward license rather than toward legalism, a fact easily confirmed by the washed-out weekenders who limp to their labors each Monday morning.

God set apart a day at creation. Jesus perpetuated this institution when he said that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Whatever else it may or may not mean, the statement strongly suggests that a divinely proclaimed day of rest has continuing validity—for man’s own good.

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Sunday is not only an observance, but an opportunity. When Christians fail to use it for spiritual, mental, and physical renewal they are perverting the purpose of Almighty God.

No Changes In Hollywood

The self-imposed rating system recently announced by the motion picture industry has met with widespread approval. Confronted with increasing pressure for formal governmental controls, the Motion Picture Association of America, supported by the National Association of Theater Owners and the International Film Importers and Distributors of America, revealed plans to begin rating films with respect to their suitability for young people. The system will divide pictures into four categories—G for general audiences, M for mature audiences, R for audiences in which children under sixteen must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and X for audiences from which those under sixteen are barred. This new venture is a step in the right direction; however, it will not effectively deal with the problem of Hollywood’s increasing exploitations of sex and violence.

Two things can be said in favor of the new rating system. Any attempt to protect the young and impressionable from the objectionable subject matter of many current films is to be commended. Also on the credit side of the ledger is the likelihood that this voluntary move has greatly reduced the dangerous possibility of government censorship, a measure that even the strongest critics of Hollywood have cause to fear.

But these advantages come mixed with possibilities which may be cause for alarm. It remains to be seen whether this is a genuine move to protect the moral environment of our younger citizens or a reluctant maneuver which will eventually lead to an even greater degree of appeal to prurient interests in film production.

Even though it is doubtful that this system will result in an improved moral standard in the movies, not all the blame can be laid at Hollywood’s doorstep. The general public in its response to the current crop of pictures must share the responsibility. Sex and violence sell tickets, and Hollywood keeps a sharp eye on the box office. Sick movies reflect a moral disease within society, and no code can begin to deal with this problem. Unregenerate men cannot be expected to be concerned about the will of God in matters of morals. Only as our society has felt the transforming power of the Gospel of Christ will there be a solution to the problem of moral flabbiness.

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The Nature Of Faith

Ours is an age of unreason, of subjective fancy, and of intuitional response. Frequently we wonder how many people know what is meant by the words, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” Is faith subjective, irrational, or simply intuitional? Indeed, what is faith, and how do you get it?

Faith in the biblical sense is three dimensional; if any one of the elements is missing, the remainder is not biblical or saving faith.

The first element of true faith is knowledge. No one has ever been regenerated in an intellectual vacuum. Knowledge in itself will not save you. But neither can you be saved without knowledge. The indispensable knowledge essential to saving faith is the knowledge that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for your sins and rose again for your justification. There are many other important theological truths to believe, but knowledge of this one is the bare minimum for salvation.

The second facet of faith is intellectual or mental assent to this knowledge. You must accept the knowledge you have received as either true or false. When someone says the traffic light is red, your mind agrees with the statement or rejects it. So with the death of Jesus Christ for your sins. Either you “believe” that Christ died for your sins or you don’t. But to believe that Christ died for your sins is not to be saved. Indeed in Scripture we are told that the demons “believe” that Christ is God but they are not saved. What essential element is still missing?

The third element of faith is personal appropriation. What you believe in your mind must be laid hold of by your will, by a volitional act, a choice. You may believe that Uncle Sam will deliver the mail you deposit in the comer box. But if you don’t act on that knowledge and put the letter in the box, it will not be delivered. So with Jesus Christ. You must not only believe that he died for your sins. You must act upon that knowledge and by choice lay hold of or receive Him as your Saviour. Whether you are a Calvinist who holds to predestination or an Arminian who believes in free choice makes no material difference.

Faith, to be faith, must include all three of the elements. And for those who ask the question, “How do I get faith,” the answer comes back from Scripture, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

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