THE following letter regarding the so-called “Christian Unity” movement, of the Bay Cities, Mich., published in the Bay City Times-Press, of March 8, will be of interest to those who are watching the movement in these cities, which has for its object the union of Protestantism and Catholicism. The letter is written by Rev. C. H. Irving, a Baptist minister:—
Rev. H. J. Johnson, Secretary Bay City Ministerial Association—
My Dear Brother: Through you I wish you present my withdrawal from the Ministerial Association of the Bay Cities.
For my brother pastors I have the sincerest regard and have always enjoyed the Christian fellowship manifested at our gatherings. Since it has seemed wise, however, for the association to enter into a movement inappropriately called “Christian Unity,” I deem it consistent with my convictions and honor as a Christian and a Baptist to have no further connection with the association.
While I would regret to question the motives of my brethren who have thrust this matter on the association, yet I do regard it as very unwise and disloyal.
As far as I am personally concerned, there can be no fellowship between Roman Catholic clergymen and myself. I certainly would not occupy the position I do for a moment if I did not believe that the Roman hierarchy was corrupt from root to branch.
If I did not believe that Catholicism was injurious to its followers and one of the greatest enemies to our nation, that its teaching is idolatrous and ruinous; that it practically ignores the plain teachings of God’s Word, whatever its claims are to the contrary; that it is the determined enemy of free speech, free schools and soul liberty,—if I did not firmly and with substantial reasons believe these things, then I would step down and out of the pulpit.
Personally I could not be loyal to my Catholic fellow-citizens, to my convictions as a Christian minister, to the Word of God as interpreted by the Holy Spirit, to the flag of my country, or to the trust committed to me by my God, if I did not preach the truth about the errors of Roman Catholicism, and do so fearlessly, fully, and in love.
It cannot be possible that the brethren are ignorant that the “Christian Unity” movement so-called, is a sham. If so, let them read “St. Mary’s Parish Messenger,” January, 1895, page 5. Speaking of how the Protestants rally to the support of their churches, it concludes by saying: “See what is done to keep up error and heresy; see how a false religion is supported.” This article is signed by “Your Devoted Pastors.” This is the second act in the “Christian Unity” movement, and I am confident that a discerning public will await with no small interest the third and final act in this farce.
Fraternally, C. H. IRVING.
One of “Your Devoted Pastors” here referred to is Jos. Schrembs, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and one of the priests connected with the “Christian Unity” movement. It would appear that while he was engaged in public love-feast demonstrations with Protestant ministers, he was telling his people that the religion of these ministers is “error and heresy,” “a false religion,” etc. While the “Christian Unity” movement put padlocks on the Protestant ministers’ mouths, so that they dared not preach Bible truth regarding the papacy, the priest continued to tell what he believed to be the truth about Protestantism. No man can preach the gospel without offending the papacy. The Protestantism of to-day is on better terms with Roman Catholicism than formerly, but it is because it has compromised the truth. There can be no true love manifested in a movement which compromises the truth of the gospel. A true Protestant will tell the truth about Roman Catholicism in love, even though it cost his life, but he will not compromise with the “mystery of iniquity.”