GEMS FROM SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.
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GEMS FROM SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.
This is the last of our mopping-up action, posting entries by Rev. Van Horn which we previously missed or overlooked. In the coming year, on Sundays we will be moving on to new territory, presenting portions of a catechetical work which has never be reproduced. Some time back here on This Day, we presented a small portion of this work and it was well received. So please watch for it next week. I think you will find it profitable.
STUDIES IN THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM
by Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn
A. Baptism is a sacrament wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our engrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.
Scripture References: Romans 6:4; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 5:25-26; Matthew 28:19.
- What are the essential points of the definition of baptism as found in our Standards?The essential points of the definitions are:
(1) It is a washing with water,
(2) It is a washing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
(3) It is done with the design to signify and seal us and make us a partaker.
- What is essential to baptism?Baptism is essentially a washing with water. No particular mode of washing is essential for there is no one mode specified in the com- mand. Water is commanded because it is a natural symbol of moral purification and it was established as such in the ritual of Moses. It is a symbol of Christ’s blood being poured out for us and our hearts being sprinkled from an evil conscience?
- Who is the author of baptism?The Lord Jesus Christ is the author of baptism and he instituted it just before His ascension into heaven (Matt. 28:19).
- In name are we baptized and what does this signify?We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and this signifies our baptism in the authority, and into the faith, profession and obedience of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
- What is meant by our engrafting into Christ?When we are engrafted into Christ we are cut off from our old na- ture and become joined to Christ and’ therefore we can grow up in Him and bring forth fruit to Him. His righteousness is imputed to us (Galatians 3:27).
- What are the benefits of the covenant of grace we receive?We are admitted into the visible church, our sins are remitted we are regenerated, and adopted and are raised to everlasting life.
A RIGHTLY USED SACRAMENT
Too many times, in churches subscribing to Reformed doctrine, the sacrament of baptism is taken too lightly. Too many parents are guilty of the attitude of thinking their task is done when they have their child baptised. Two many churches give themselves a pious pat on the back when another child is baptised and feel that their task is completed. The sacrament of baptism is used in the wrong way so many times.
It is good for us once in a while to review our beliefs about a particular doctrine. In regard to baptism, we need to be reminded again and again that a person may be saved without it and a person may be lost with it! We do not believe in the necessity of baptism for salvation. We do believe it is a sin to neglect it. Here we need to review what our Confession states regarding it: “…it be a great sin to condemn or neglect this ordinance.” Again, “The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the Holy Ghost…”
I remember hearing one time a minister holding a “renewal of the vows of baptism” in his church. He had before him a group of some twenty or thirty parents. He asked them, “Have you, as parents, been impressing upon your children the fact that they need not be afraid to die because if they love the Lord Jesus and believe that Jesus shed His blood for them and they are trusting Him to wash away their sins, they will be saved?” It was a serious time and it was a serious question. It was certainly a making of a right use of this sacrament.
One of the troubles today in churches committed to the Reformed faith is that we forget our responsibility to teach our children (as part of our baptismal vows) that God does not show any mildness apart from the offer of His Son. The Bible says, “There is none other name under heaven whereby we must be saved.” We need to remember that there are two things that must be kept before our children, baptized in infancy, can be saved:
(1) The keeping of the covenant promises by the parents,
(2) Tne public profession of the child of Jesus Christ. And the last must be followed by fruit in the life.
John Murray put it well when he said, “To suppose that we may entertain any confidence respecting the covenant grace Signified and sealed by our baptism, if we are destitute of godly fear, if we break God’s covenant, and walk contrary to His commandments, would be contradiction.” May God help us to use this in a correct way!
Published by THE SHIELD and SWORD, INC.
Dedicated to instruction in the Westminster Standards, for use as a bulletin insert or other methods of distribution in Presbyterian churches.
Vol. 6, No. 11 (November 1967)
Leonard T. Van Horn, Editor.
What The Northern Presbyterian Church Did To Dr. J. Gresham Machen
(“Exploring Avenues Of Acquaintance And Co-operation”)
By Chalmers W. Alexander
[The Southern Presbyterian Journal 8.11 (1 October 1949): 13-18.]
This is the sixth in the series of articles by Chalmers W. Alexander under the1 heading, “Exploring Avenues of Acquaintance And Co-operation.” This is an informative new series of articles written by one of the most able laymen in the Southern Presbyterian Church.
II: MODERNISM IN THE FOREIGN MISSIONS WORK
In order to understand why Dr. Machen was booted out of the ministry of the Northern Presbyterian Church in 1936, it is necessary to turn our attention to some events which took place only a few years before that.
In November of 1932, a book entitled Re-Thinking Missions was issued as the report of the “Commission of Appraisal” of the “Laymen’s Inquiry after One Hundred Years.” This report, which was about foreign missions work, was the product of an inter-denominational committee. The Northern Presbyterian Church’s one representative on the Commission of Appraisal was Dr. William P. Merrill, of New York City, a signer of the heretical Auburn Affirmation.
As Dr. Machen pointed out in a 110-page book which will be mentioned presently: “The work of the Commission was financed, to the extent of some half-million dollars, largely by a Modernist layman, Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who in 1918 wrote for the Saturday Evening Post an article which was afterwards circulated in pamphlet form advocating admission to the Church without any profession of belief whatever.”
The Theme Of “Re-Thinking Missions”
Dr. Machen gave this clear analysis of Re-Thinking Missions’ theme and teachings: “The resulting book constitutes from beginning to end an attack upon the historic Christian Faith. It presents as the aim of missions that of seeking truth together with adherents of other religions rather than that of presenting the truth which God has supernaturally recorded in the Bible. ‘The relation between religions,’ it says, ‘must take increasingly hereafter the form of a common search for truth.’ It deprecates the distinction between Christians and non-Christians; it belittles the Bible and inveighs against Christian doctrine; it dismisses the doctrine of eternal punishment as a doctrine antiquated even in Christendom; it presents Jesus as a great Teacher and Example, as Christianity’s ‘highest expression of the religious life,’ but certainly not as very God of very God; it belittles evangelism, definite conversions, open profession of faith in Christ, membership in the Christian Church, and substitutes ‘the dissemination of spiritual influences’ and ‘the permeation of the community with Christian ideals and principles’ for the new birth.”
Re-Thinking Missions revealed clearly that its authors had no conception at all of the finality and the exclusiveness of the Christian Faith as it was revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but to me.”
Now two members of the official Board of Foreign Missions of the Northern Presbyterian Church were members of the original Laymen’s Foreign Missions Inquiry, which appointed the Commission of Appraisal which, in turn, produced Re-Thinking Missions. When this book, which was the official report of the Commission, was issued by the Laymen’s Foreign Missions Inquiry, and when it presented a clear-cut view of what missions are and what the Christian religion is, the members of the Northern Presbyterian Church had a right to know whether its Board of Foreign Missions rejected or accepted that view. The Board issued a statement, which was vague in nature, about “the evangelical basis of missions,” on November 21, 1932, after Re-Thinking Missionsappeared. The Board, however, did not let the people know that it considered the book as being hostile to the very roots of the Christian religion, and nothing was done to remove from the Board the two members of it who were members of the original Laymen’s Foreign Missions Inquiry.
Our own Southern Presbyterian denomination, on the other hand, expressed itself in no uncertain terms regarding Re-Thinking Missions. Our General Assembly of 1935 declared it to be “a monumental folly” miscalled Rethinking Missions and stated that “its true title should rather be rejecting missions and crucifying our Lord afresh.”
Re-Thinking Missions did serve one good purpose. It immediately aroused countless thousands of Bible-believing Christians who felt that something should be done at once to stem the fast-rising tide of unbelief in the Christian Church. And the leader among those who shared this feeling was Dr. Machen.
Dr. Machen Proposes An Overture
Accordingly, in 1933, the year following the publication of Re-Thinking Missions, Dr. Machen proposed to the presibytery of which he was a member, the Presbytery of New Brunswick, an Overture which was to be presented to the General Assembly of the Northern Presbyterian Church at its next meeting.
This Overture asked the General Assembly to see to it that members of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Northern Presbyterian Church be believers, in the absolute exclusiveness of Christianity and, that they be persons “who are determined to insist upon such verities as the full truthfulness of Scripture, the virgin birth of our Lord, His substitutionary death as a sacrifice to satisfy Divine justice, His bodily resurrection and His miracles, as being essential to the Word of God and our Standards and as being necessary to the message which every missionary under our Church shall proclaim.”
The points of doctrine set forth in this Overture were the well-known “Five Points” of doctrine which had been declared as essential by the General Assembly of 1923, and which had been declared not to be essential at all by the heretical Auburn Affirmation in 1924.
Dr. Machen’s 110-Page Book
In connection with this proposed Overture, Dr. Machen very carefully prepared an Argument to accompany it; and this Argument named names and cited specific instances of Modernism in the foreign missions work. Both the Overture and this Argument were published in the form of a book 110 pages in length entitled Modernism and the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. This book, which was issued in the early part of 1933, was widely distributed, free of charge, throughout the Northern Presbyterian Church.
In its opening pages, Dr. Machen began his Argument by discussing Re-Thinking Missions. And then he called attention to Mrs. Pearl S. Buck.
The Famous Case Of Mrs. Pearl S. Buck
Dr. Machen showed that in the official list of foreign missionaries of the Northern Presbyterian Church there appeared the name of Mrs. J. Lossing Buck. This Mrs. J. Lossing Buck is Mrs. Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, who is the author of The Good Earth and other novels which have made her one of the best known novelists of the present day. She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in literature.
Born in Hillsboro, West Virginia (and not, as is often reported, in the Orient), Mrs. Buck is the daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Sydenstricker, who were for many years two of the outstanding foreign missionaries of the Southern Presbyterian Church. A graduate of Randolph-Macon College, she had spent her childhood in China, and in 1917 she had married a missionary, Dr. J. Lossing Buck. Later, in 1935, she was to marry Richard J. Walsh, after she and Dr. Buck were divorced.
Now in 1932 Mrs. Pearl S. Buck was one of the foreign missionaries of the Northern Presbyterian Church, and she had been one of its missionaries for years. Mrs. Buck very clearly stated her views regarding missions in an article entitled “The Laymen’s Mission Report” in The Christian Century for November 23, 1932, and in an article entitled “Is There a Case for Foreign Missions?” in Harper’s Magazine for January, 1933.
In his Argument, Dr. Machen gave an analysis of Mrs. Buck’s views. Regarding the contents of the two articles mentioned, he wrote:
“In the former article, Mrs. Buck expresses the most enthusiastic agreement with the book Re-Thinking Missions, and singles out for special commendation those features of that book which are most obviously and diametrically opposed to the Bible. She says, for example:
‘I have not read merely a report. I have read a unique book, a great book. The book presents a masterly statement of religion in its place in life, and of Christianity in its place in religion. The first three chapters are the finest exposition of religion I have ever read . . .
‘I think this is the only book I have ever read which seems to me to be literally true in its every conclusion … I want every American Christian to read this book. I hope it will be translated into every language.’
Mrs. Buck’s Views On Christianity
“In the article in Harper’s Magazine,” Dr. Machen continued, “Mrs. Buck deals more generally with missions and with the nature of the Christian religion, and what she says in both articles on this subject is in thoroughgoing conflict with the historic Christian Faith. She represents the deity of Christ as a thing accepted by some and rejected by others, but certainly not essential:
‘Some of us (Christians) believe in Christ as our fathers did. To some of us he is still the divine son of God, born of the virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit. But to many of us He has ceased to be that . . . Let us face the fact that the old reasons for foreign missions are gone from the minds and hearts of many of us, certainly from those of us who are young.’
She rejoices in the stripping of ‘the magic of superstition’ from Christ, and it seems clear that in the ‘magic of superstition’ she includes the miracles of Christ and the Biblical notion of the salvation which He wrought. . . She rejects directly the Bible doctrine of sin:
‘I am not inclined to blame human beings very much. I do not believe in original sin. I believe that most of us start out wanting to do right and to do good. I believe that most of us keep that desire as long as we live and whatever we do.’
She rejects the old gospel of salvation from sin and even seems to advocate the denial of religious liberty to those who preach that gospel:
‘In the old days it was plain enough. Our forefathers ‘believed sincerely in a magic religion. They believed simply and plainly that all who did not hear the gospel, as they called it, were damned, and every soul to whom they preached received in that moment the chance for salvation from that hell. Though heard but for a single moment, the preacher gave that soul the opportunity of a choice for eternity. If the soul paid no heed or did not believe, the preacher could not take the responsibility. He was absolved. There are those who still believe this, and if they sincerely believe, I honor that sincerity, though I cannot share the belief. I agree with the Chinese who feel their people should be protected from such superstition.’
Needless to say, Mrs. Buck agrees fully with Re-Thinking Missions in belittling preaching over against what she regards—quite falsely—as living the Christian life:
‘Above all, then, let the spirit of Christ be manifested by mode of life rather than by preaching. I am wearied unto death with this preaching. It deadens all thought, confuses all issues, it is producing in China at least, a horde of hypocrites, and in the theological seminaries a body of Chinese ministers which makes one despair for the future, because they are learning to preach about Christianity rather than how to live the Christian life.’
It is needless to say, further, that this estimate of preaching is entirely contrary to that which is taught in the Word of God.
“One thing is certainly to be said for Mrs. Buck. She is admirably clear. Her utterances are as plain as the utterances of our Board of Foreign Missions are muddled. There is nothing vague or undecided about them. She has let it be known exactly where she stands. She is opposed to the old gospel and is not afraid to say so in the presence of all the world . . .
Mrs. Buck And The Foreign Missions Board
“Mrs. Buck’s views about missions have obviously not been formed overnight. She herself intimates very plainly that the book Re-Thinking Missions only expresses views which she has already held. Yet she has been allowed to continue in the foreign field by a Board which is charged with the sacred duty of seeing that its mission work is in accordance with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church and with the Word of God. Could she have done so if the Board had not been grossly neglectful of its duty?
“Moreover, there is not the slightest likelihood that Mrs. Buck stands alone in her destructive views. Her distinguished talents have merely allowed those views to become widely audible in her case. It is altogether probably that there are many like her among the missionaries under our Board. Rev. John Clover Monsma (in his booklet, The Foreign Missionary Situation in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., February, 1933 . . . ) is quite justified in saying:
Today the Board is not in a position to guarantee our church members that there are not scores upon scores of other ‘Mrs. Bucks’ in the field, at different stages of apostacy and doctrinal revolution’.”
As a result of the pressure which Dr. Machen and other Bible-believing Christians had built up, Mrs. Buck handed in her resignation as a missionary to the Board of Foreign Missions. And she insisted that the Board accept it when the Board seemed reluctant to do so. It is highly provable that, except for the great publicity given to her unsound views by Dr. Machen, Mrs. Buck could have continued to serve indefinitely as a foreign missionary of the Northern Presbyterian Church had she so desired.
When the Board of Foreign Missions finally accepted her resignation, it announced that it did so “with regrets!”
The Candidate Secretary Of The Foreign Missions Board
Dr. Machen, in his Argument, then called attention to the fact that the Candidate Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Northern Presbyterian Church was a signer of the heretical Auburn Affirmation. To this Candidate Secretary is entrusted the delicate task of interviewing candidates for the foreign missions field and of encouraging or discouraging them in their high ambition. There is no agent of the Church who ought to be more completely clear as to what the Church’s message is than the occupant of that position. And yet the minister who was occupying that position had signed a formal document erasing the virgin birth and four other great verities of the Faith from the essential message which the Church is proclaiming in the world!
In commenting on this, Dr. Machen wrote: “Serious, however, though the presence of a signer of the Auburn Affirmation in the position of Candidate Secretary is in itself, it is far more serious in what it indicates as to the principles of the Board as a whole. A Board (of Foreign Missions) which in the face of criticism, after the issue has been plainly pointed out to it, can retain a signer of the Auburn Affirmation in such a position is an agency which has made its attitude known only too well regarding the great issue between Modernism and indifferentism, on the one hand, and Biblical Christianity on the other. Certainly it is not an agency which deserves the confidence of those members of the Church which adopt the view of Christian missions which is taught in the Word of God.”
Modernism In The Missions Work In China
Now, very briefly, let us consider some of the many evidences of Modernism in the China mission field which Dr. Machen pointed out in the Argument contained in his 110-page book entitled Modernism and The Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. From page 65 to page 110 inclusive in his book, Dr. Machen showed in detail the evidence with regard to Modernism in China, in enterprises supported in part or in whole by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Northern Presbyterian Church, or with which that Board was connected.
In explanation of this evidence, it should be noted, the Yenching University at Peiping, the National Christian Council and the Church of Christ in China, and the Christian Literature Society all got support from the Board of Foreign Missions of the Northern Presbyterian Church. In answer to an inquiry from Dr. Machen, Chancellor Arie Kok of the Netherlands Legation in Peiping and Dr. Albert B. Dodd, Professor in the North China Theological Seminary, who was himself a missionary of the Northern Presbyterian Church, gave data fresh from the China mission field.
Testimony Of Dr. Albert B. Dodd
Dr. Dodd stated: “The North China American School is a union school for missionary children in which our Board (of Foreign Missions) is financially interested. Quite a number of us have to send our children to Korea because of the ‘modernism’ in all the schools provided by our Board in China.”
Then Dr. Dodd presented reviews of certain books published by the Christian Literature Society (which got financial support from the Foreign Missions Board of the Northern Presbyterian Church), showing their unsound teachings. A glance at one of the many books he mentioned will give an indication of the type of unbelief to which he objected. A volume entitled Fundamentals of the Christian Religion was an outline for Group Study, arranged by T. R. Glover, and prepared in Chinese; it was issued in 1932 by the Christian Literature Society. This book said, among other things:
“To say that Christ’s blood means His death and that on account of that death God draws near to men does violence to human reason . . . Hence when we think of the death of Jesus, a thousand times ten thousand times (I exhort you) do not think that Jesus was an offering of sacrifice.”
Dr. Dodd also remarked, in a list of books on which he offered brief comments: “A book of Sherwood Eddy’s on ‘Sex and Youth’ has been translated into Chinese by some other society but I notice its sale is promoted, in connection with a household library, both by the C.L.S. (Christian Literature Society) and the Church of Christ in China” (both of which were supported partly by Northern Presbyterian missions funds through the Board).
“Other noted ‘Modernists’ whose works are published by the C.L.S. are Fosdick and Kagawa,” Dr. Dodd continued. “A recent book of the latter so published is on the religious education of children. As usual in his books he therein freely expresses his convictions that the Old Testament has a large legendary element which is therefore historically untrustworthy.”
Testimony Of Chancellor Arie Kok
Chancellor Kok, of the Netherlands Legation in Peiping, in writing of Modernism in the Northern Presbyterian missions work in China, stated: “More than twenty years of close observation in different parts of China have established the fact beyond any shadow of a doubt that all types of Presbyterian missionaries ranging from strong conservatives to rank modernists have arrived on the field, being accepted and sent out by the Board (of Foreign Missions)”.
In the January-March 1932 issue of “The China Fundamentalist,” published in Shanghai, Chancellor Kok wrote an article about the latest campaign in China of Dr. Sherwood Eddy, “a well known modernist, socialist, advocate of birth control and Soviet sympathizer,” and he sent Dr. Machen a copy of that article.
In this article Chancellor Kok had remarked: “The Y.M.C.A. platforms everywhere were, of course, open to him (Dr. Eddy) . . . Representatives of other national organizations, in particular the National Christian Council of China, have been co-operating whole-heartedly … It goes without saying that liberal missionary institutions of the Yenching University type were most eager to have him address their student body” (the National Christian Council of China and Yenching University received financial support from the Northern Presbyterian Church Board of Foreign Missions).
“Who,’ continued Chancellor Kok, “is Dr. Eddy? He is best known as a Y.M.C.A. man . . . From the great mass of material which throws light on Dr. Eddy’s religious and other views, it is only possible to select a few of the most striking passages:
‘Too long has the Bible been set up as a text book of law, science and everything else, and Christians have paid a bitter price for trying to keep it as such,’ declared Sherwood Eddy … to three thousand students and others meeting at … church. ‘There has been a conspiracy of silence,’ he declared. ‘If you try to make that book infallible in all matters the world is doomed. I won’t have thousands of young people lose their faith because it is demanded that they accept some antiquated dogma derived from it … Such controversial matters as the virgin birth, blood atonement, bodily resurrection can well be dispensed with. They may be believed in or discredited individually, and no difference made.’
“The modernists’ strongholds are the schools,” Chancellor Kok narrated, “Here they are entrenched and it is here that children of the Chinese Christians and outsiders are initiated into the first principles of Modernism. The results are often most disastrous . . . The plain undeniable fact is that the Yengching University has been steadily drifting away towards the extreme left of theological thought, a point where it stands today … In the years 1926 and 1927 it was known in Peiping that the Yenching University harboured teachers, who were in full sympathy with the Soviet Revolution, and who advocated Soviet ideas among the students. Propaganda was carried on in an underhand way
until, in December, 1927, they came out in the open by publishing a monthly paper . . . The Editors were actually living on the grounds of the Yenching University, where the paper was both edited and issued. Only the printing was done on the outside.”
Dr. Machen’s Overture And The General Assembly
By means of his Overture and the Argument supporting it, extracts from which we have examined, it is clear that Modernism was flourishing in the Foreign Mission Board’s activities, and Dr. Machen made this fact widely known before he presented his Overture to the Presbytery of New Brunswick in the early part of 1933.
Then Dr. Machen introduced into that Presbytery his Overture supported by his carefully documented Argument. What did the Presbytery do with his Overture? After listening to Dr. Machen speak at great length in support of his Overture, that Presbytery by a large majority refused to send it to the General Assembly!
But from other Presbyteries his Overture reached the General Assembly of 1933, where it was referred to the General Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Missions. What did the Standing Committee on Foreign Missions do, after permitting Dr. Machen to present his evidence before it at great length? By a vote of 43 to 2, that Committee reported unfavorably on the Overture, and expressed its confidence in the Board of Foreign Missions! By an almost unanimous vote the General Assembly approved that Committee’s report!
Thus it was clearly called to the attention of the General Assembly that Modernism was being supported in the mission work of the Board of Foreign Missions, and the General Assembly refused to do anything at all about the matter!
The Independent Board For Presbyterian Foreign Missions Is Organized
After it had become clear that the General Assembly did not intend to correct the deplorable situation in the foreign missions work, Dr. Machen and others of like mind set about at the close of 1933 to organize an Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. They declared that it would support only missionaries who were fully orthodox in their beliefs and that it would lend support to no missionary enterprise which tolerated Modernism.
Here, at last, was an agency through which Bible-believing Christians in the Northern Presbyterian Church could give their funds with an untroubled mind. They knew that none of the money given through this new Independent Board would ever be used to help Modernism flourish in the foreign missions field.
Now what was the reaction of the Northern Presbyterian Church to the establishing of this new Independent Board?
The answer to that question is a very simple one: because of that new Mission Board the Northern Presbyterian Church kicked Dr. Machen out of its ministry!
(Concluded in the Next Issue)
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Lardner Wilson Moore was born on May 20, 1898, in Osaka, Japan. His father was the Rev. John Wallace Moore and his mother, Kate (Boude) Moore. His parents were among the very first Protestant missionaries to serve in Japan.
Lardener received his collegiate education at Austin College, in Texas, earning his BA there in 1918 and an MA in 1919. He then pursued his preparation for ministry at Union Theological Seminary, in Richmond, Virginia, where he earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1922.
Upon graduation from Seminary, Lardner then married Grace Eagleton, in Sherman, Texas on July 6, 1922. To this marriage, three children were born, including George Eagleton, John Wallace and Robert Wilson.
Moore was licensed and ordained on September 15, 1921 under the authority of Durant Presbytery (PCUS), being installed as a pastor of the PCUS church in Caddo, Oklahoma. Additionally, he served as Stated Supply for a smaller Presbyterian church in Caney, Oklahoma. These posts he held from 1922-1924. [Returning to the States from Japan in 1942, Rev. Moore was able to return to Caddo to conduct the funeral of a member of his former church]
But his heart was set on foreign service and in 1924 he began his career as a foreign missionary to Japan, remaining there until 1968. A term of service in the US Army, from 1943 – 1947 had interrupted his work in Japan. In that military service, he was commissioned to oversee the translation work of a core group of Japanese Americans. At the conclusion of the War, he also served as a language arbiter during the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal.
In the years following the War, he became president of Shikoku Christian College in Zentsuji, Japan, serving in that post from 1950 – 1957.
In 1968, Rev. Moore was honorably retired, and returning the United States, went on to serve as Stated Supply at a Presbyterian church in Antlers, Oklahoma, from 1969 to 1972. It was in 1973 that he was received by the PCA’s Texas Presbytery. Later, on October 31, 1981 he transferred his credentials into the OPC.
Rev. Moore died peacefully in his sleep on December 28, 1987, within a few months of his 90th birthday.
Words to Live By:
The Lord gifts all of us differently. To some, He gives a great facility with languages, thus equipping them to be particularly useful in the work of missions. If you know someone with such gifting, do all you can to help them along their way in serving the Lord. More than anything, pray for them, even now, long before they ever reach the mission field. Pray that the Lord will prepare them and that He will use them to advance His kingdom. Pray that they will stand strong in the Lord, firmly anchored in Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior.
For Further Study:
For more insight into Major Lardner W. Moore’s work as language arbiter with the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, click here. [See under #8. Language Arbiter]
Today’s post is an excerpt from a longer article written several years ago for the PCA Historical Center by Dr. Barry Waugh.
The Civil War has been described as the war of brother against brother and father against son and this was especially true in the case of Robert J. Breckinridge and his family. As the war progressed and victory seemed to be coming to the Union, Kentucky turned more of its support to the south because of Lincoln’s emancipation of the slaves. This conflict within Kentucky was reflected among Robert’s descendants and kin. His sons, Robert Jr. and Willie, took sides with the southern cause against their father. Issa Breckinridge, Willie’s wife, was particularly angry with Robert and his support of the north, and in protest, she would not let him see two of their newest children until Willie convinced her to do so in 1867. Theophilus Steele, the husband of Robert’s daughter, Sophonisba, donned Confederate gray and rode with John Hunt Morgan. It is likely that Robert’s intervention with the Union Army resulted in Edwin M. Stanton’s imprisoning Theophilus as a prisoner of war rather than executing him as a guerilla raider when he was captured by Union forces. Robert’s nephew, John C. Breckinridge, became a southern Democratic candidate for the presidency when the pro-slavery forces were the minority at the 1860 Democratic National Convention that nominated Stephen A. Douglas to run against Lincoln. Despite these kin turning against R. J., his sons Joseph and Charles along with three sons-in-law fought with Lincoln’s forces.
The tensions Robert faced within Kentucky increased when he was nominated to the Baltimore convention that re-nominated Lincoln in 1864, and he made a speech at the convention denouncing the anti-union position of many Kentuckians. James Klotter notes that James G. Blaine, who had just entered the U. S. House of Representatives in 1863, commented that Breckinridge’s appearance was strong and “patriarchal” and that his speech was the most inspiring of the convention. The speech was against slavery and Blaine’s praise may reflect his sectional perspective just as a lady from Charleston had once shown her southern sympathies in her assessment of Breckinridge’s preaching. Lincoln managed to carry Kentucky in 1864 with the smallest margin of victory achieved by any of the states voting for his return to office.
The closing years of Breckinridge’s life included another marriage after eight years as a widower. His third wife was Margaret Faulkner White, whom he married on November 5, 1868. As age slowed Robert Jefferson Breckinridge, he left his professorship at Danville in December 1869 and he died in Danville on December 27, 1871 after an extended illness. Breckinridge’s life and work had been tumultuous and colorful. He had survived as a vocal opponent of slavery in Kentucky, he had been a leader of the Old School in its ejection of the New School, he had improved the quality and quantity of Kentucky education, and he had worked to bring ministerial education to the rough Kentucky frontier at Danville Seminary.
Just as R. J. Breckinridge came from a notable ancestry, his family and descendants also enjoyed prominence. Robert and his first wife, Ann Sophonisba, had eleven children together, six girls and five boys. One daughter, Mary Cabell, married William Warfield in 1848 and on November 5, 1851, Benjamin Breckinridge was born. B. B. Warfield would mature in Kentucky and be educated for the ministry at Princeton Seminary. Warfield then served as a professor at Western Theological Seminary from 1878 to 1886 when he moved to Princeton to become the Professor of Theology at the seminary and remained there until his death on February 16, 1921. William “Willie” Campbell Preston Breckinridge, married a Kentuckian, Lucretia Clay, the granddaughter of Henry Clay, and he, like Henry Clay, worked in politics. Willie served in congress from 1884 to 1892. Robert’s second wife, Virginia Hart Shelby, had been married to Alfred Shelby, who was the son of Isaac Shelby, Kentucky’s first governor (1792-1796) as well as the fifth (1812-1816). Isaac had also fought in the Revolutionary War and commanded the troops that defeated the British at the battle at King’s Mountain, North Carolina.
Words to Live By:
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it:and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”—Matthew 10:34-39, KJV.