Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 3, April 6th, 1949.
Church or Communism
Church or Communism
It is hard to be young—and it is harder if you're honest, because then you can't help seeing the other side of every question. Communism is claiming your alliegance at University. It is founded on a white-hot desire for economic justice, has made the Russian masses intellectually free, calls forth noble actions from its followers.—but its followers are in blinkers, they must accept the ancient he that "the end justifies the means. The result is treachery, .cruelly, hatred, fear. The chief alternative to Communism is the Christian Church. The Church has produced tremendous things—the world's greatest art and music, its most searching literature. From the Church sprang the Abolition of Slavery. Trade Unions. Western Civilization itself. The Church preaches the Love of God shown in the Life. Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. But then the Church is divided and rather dull, it tends to resist reforms, and in moments of stress it forgets its own gospel of love. The Church is muddled, impotent, ridiculous.
So neither Communism nor the Church will do. It is necessary to go beyond man's place in society to his place in the universe. At that level we can make contact with the Personality who made the universe a cosmos instead of a chaos. We can find ourselves in a purposive creation, part of a gigantic Intention. That Intention goes forward by love expressed in service and suffering—the life and death of Jesus made that clear. This love is our highest good. It is not passive. It leads to total participation in the Purpose which is the Redemption of man, the reconciliation of the world to God.
This was the theme of Howard Wadman's address at the University Service at St. Andrew's Church on 6th March. The service was conducted by Rec. J. Somerville. It was preceded by a tea arranged by the S.C.M.