THE Christian Statesman is publishing a series of editorials intended to show how the several Protestant churches may and ought to unite or rather federate into one “united church.” The creed of this “united church,” which is also to be the United States church, is to be “the acceptance of the divine law and of the headship of Christ.” But has the Christian Statesman suddenly become orthodox, and is it going to advocate the “commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,” the biblical creed of the remnant Church? Not by any means, for it hastens to add:—
It is not wise to attempt to make the Bible itself, uninterpreted and in its simple letter the sole fundamental creed of the church. As seen in a former article the inspired and infallible Word of God is to be acknowledged as supreme, authoritative law. The final appeal must be to that in all moral questions in both Church and State. But the State and Church must for themselves determine what the teachings of this divine Word are by the best interpretation which each in its own sphere of duty can reach.
In this case, as is usual with State-Church systems, the Statesman is afraid of the Bible. Though professing to desire that it shall be the basis of union, it hastens to explain that it does not mean to state that the commandment, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord” is to be obeyed as it reads, but as interpreted by the majority in Church and State,—that is that “the first day is the sabbath of the Lord.” And since the creed of the Church is the creed of the State, the dissenter from this “interpretation” is to be handed over to the State for punishment as of old. All this which the Statesman proposes to do is now being done in a degree. Doubtless if the program planned by the Statesman shall materialize it will result in an increase of the amount of heresy hunting and correcting of heretics.