[1949. Satan’s Logic. The Witness, Dec: 8.]
Gordon H. Clark
SOMETIMES it is said that true Christianity is a matter of the heart and not of the head. If by heart, zeal, conviction, and devotion are meant, the affirmative half of the sentence is true; but the Bible, although it uses the word heart, never contrasts heart and head. A knowledge of what the Bible says and a facility in clear logical thinking does not guarantee that one is a Christian, but God never exhorts us to remain ignorant to think illogically.
IN POLITCAL MATTER
Most of us have become aware of the communistic technique of using deceptively honorable titles for their front-organizations. They have opposed fascism and praised democracy, especially economic democracy and people’s democracies. These phrases have deceived many Americans because they are used ambiguously. For publicity purposes the Communists have relied on the American meaning of the terms, but secretly they have used the power of such front organizations to advance a quite different type of society. The result today is that democracy is a highly ambiguous term. Because the original idea of political democracy – the ideal of equality before the law – is such an excellent idea, people have been deceived into thinking that democracy is excellent in every relationship: economic democracy – everyone should have the same amount of wealth regardless of his work; education democracy – if the average child cannot learn to read (German or mathematics), bring the curriculum down to something all the students can do, religious democracy – let us have no differences in the community.
IN RELIGIOUS MATTERS
Ambiguity and fuzzy thinking are standard enemies of evangelical Christianity. Today even the term evangelical is being used in the sense of anti-evangelical. The enemy works by diluting and confusing the language.
A certain denominational paper whose editor does not seem interested in straight thinking asks and answer this question: “What do you mean by the religious life? Who is the religious person?” The question itself is indefinite. One might literally and truly answer that the Pharisees, Mohammed, and Buddha were religious persons. They were not Christians. The answer which the editor gave mentions a vital religious experience, effective prayer and worship, increasing contact with the Source of life. And so on. But the editor never once mentions Christ. What he says is completely ambiguous. In one sense prayer and worship are good: worship of Christ and prayer in His name. In any other sense prayer and worship are evil. Ambiguous language obscures the truth. This type of language is standard and modernistic procedure is nothing new.
IN RELATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
More recently another ambiguous phrase has been launched upon the public. It is the Citizens Committee for Separation of Church and State. Is this not a fine idea? The Roman Catholic church, always grasping for political power, is making great strides in this country, and as a large pressure group intends to get as much of our tax money as possible. Everyone should read the book of the year: American Freedom and Catholic Power, by Paul Blanshard (The Beacon Press, 1949). America surely needs citizen committees for the separation of church and state.
But when one reads the letter soliciting membership to this committee, no reference to Romanism is found. On the contrary they are most anxious to prohibit pupils being released from public schools in order to go voluntarily, to the church of their choice, for religious instruction. Since Protestants have not been so wise as Romanists in providing schools for the education of their children, the released time program is their poor best. The intention therefore of this committee with its laudable title is to prevent Protestants from using the only wide spread device for religious instruction that they now have.
And it is done in the name of democracy. They write, “The Release Time program uses the public school time and machinery to promote particular religious beliefs. It introduces conflict among the children themselves, because this program acts as a divisive force, which accents the differences that exist in various religious practices or philosophies.”
Division, so it seems, is evil in a democracy. Everybody should think alike, and their thinking should not be Christian. Religious differences should be extinguishes by a public school system that takes up so much of the children’s time that they cannot learn what Protestantism is.
Thus ambiguity, productive of deception, once more is Satan’s device, an implement of the “Angel of Light.” And effective Christianity is also a matter of logic and “the head.”