UNIONISM -  Rev. W. Huizinga

 

Taken from Clarion Vol. 25, No. 6, March 20, 1976, Vol. 25, No. 7, April 3, 1976 and Vol. 25, No. 8, April 17, 1976

*This is a copy of the speech delivered to the young people on their League Day, May 19,1975.

Your representatives asked me to speak on "unionism".* While researching this topic by telephoning and visiting some local union centres, a local union secretary commented, "Why do the young people not ask one of our experienced union leaders to speak on the subject? To ask a minister to speak about unionism is like asking a plumber to preach a sermon!" In other words, ministers know about preaching and union leaders know about unions. Ask the specialist. There was enough truth in her statement to make me chuckle.

However, here I am - not a union leader - to speak on the topic which your program entitled: "The Church Views Unions". As I said, originally the topic was plainly, "Unionism". Now it has become, "The Church Views Unions". I must apologize for the fact that I cannot speak today as the spokesman for the whole church. Mine will not be the first nor the final word.

Having said this, let us now come to grips with our topic. Apparently many inquire into the fact why our churches and church members oppose unionism. Why can we not participate? What exactly is wrong with unionism? Are all unions unbiblical? What alternative do we have?

In order to discuss and hopefully to answer some of these queries I propose to introduce the following three points:

1. The Viewpoint of the Scriptures about Labour.

2. The Viewpoint of the Unions about Labour.

3. The Two Viewpoints Compared.


1. THE VIEWPOINT OF THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT LABOUR.

Since our Lord Jesus Christ completed the temple-service by undergoing trial, sentencing, and punishment, all of life has become holy for the Christian. Christians are a kingly priesthood, a holy nation in Christ (1 Pet. 2:9). The ground on which Christians place their feet to do their work is then holy ground. Christ claims it for Himself. Christ, in fact, claims our whole life. Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength. Christ commands TOTAL allegiance. Divided loyalties constitute an impossibility. As Christ Himself proclaimed:

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

Scripture, then, does NOT view labour as a part of life divorced from our faith in Jesus Christ and from our love for God. We are not only Christians on Sundays in the church and at home when we worship God as a family or as an individual. No, the new covenant which God made with us through the Mediator Jesus Christ encompasses our whole life. Do you think God is satisfied with only a few moments every weekday and a few hours every Lord's Day? Are we not His creatures, living in His creation at all times? Do you think that the Saviour who created and saved us allows another master to own the major part of our life; for instance, the most productive eight hours per day, five days a week? No sir! Jesus paid a dear price for us! Pure silver or gold would not do. The Son of man who was God Himself in the flesh had to offer His own flesh and blood, His own life, as a ransom for us. Well then, He wants more than our "souls". As Jesus declared through Paul:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are NOT YOUR OWN? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God IN YOUR BODY (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 - emphasis mine, WH).

This is a crucial point for our topic. Therefore I lay stress on it. For ask yourselves the question: for whom do you work on the job eight hours a day? Do you serve your boss whom you try to please so that you can keep your job or possibly even receive a promotion? Or does Jesus have some authority over you at work? Are you still His own possession on the job? Listen to what Jesus says through Paul to the Colossians and to us:

Whatever you do, do your work (our daily work is meant, see the context WH) heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. IT IS THE LORD CHRIST WHOM YOU SERVE (Colossians 3:23, 24 - emphasis mine, WH).

This quote needs no comment. Paul even gives an inducement to workers to work as unto the Lord. For one's boss may give you weekly wages plus fringe benefits, but our heavenly Boss graciously grants the reward (not salary) of the inheritance. Clearly, then, on the job we still serve our Lord Christ. He is still Boss. Christianity therefore neither may nor can be relegated to a Sunday religion. Our "religion" permeates our whole life even as leaven causes the whole lump of dough to rise. Our labour must be "religious" work, a work of faith, a labour based on the creed that we serve our Lord Christ.

We must not, therefore, be ashamed of Christ on the labour scene, where we concentrate our mind, our heart (hopefully), and our strength for at least half the time our eyes stay open. Applicable to our labour and place of employment, therefore, are the words of Jesus:

Every one therefore who shall confess Me before men, I also will confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I also will deny him before My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:32, 33).

This implies that we be not afraid to stand up for the Name of Jesus in front of our boss and fellow-workers. Immediately before these words Jesus comforted His disciples by declaring that our Father values us, caring for us more than for sparrows. My Father cares for you, He said, for "the very hairs of your head are numbered(verse 31). In other words, do not be afraid. To confess Me before men at work while you stand outnumbered but remember, your Father cares for you and I will stand up may seem hard, for you on the Great Day before My Father.

Already in early Christian times labourers struggled with the question of trade unions. In the city of Thyatira labour organizations plagued the Christians. This ancient city was particularly noted for the number of its trade guilds, more so apparently than in any other ancient city. Every skilled tradesman became a member of a union. That was compulsory. These trade unions were incorporated bodies, possessing property in their own name, letting out contracts and exerting wide influence. On Greek inscriptions we meet woolworkers, linenmakers, tailors, tanners, potters, bakers, and even slave-dealers. Among the larger guilds was that of the bronze workers (is that why Christ addressed this church as He "who has eyes like a flame of fire and His feet are like burnished bronze" - Revelation 2:18?). Another large union included the dyeworkers who produced the famous purple dye which Lydia of Thyatira sold in Philippi.

What made these unions offensive to the Christians was the pagan religion attached to them. Each union had its own pagan god to whom the tradesmen of course had to give allegiance. For example, they dedicated their festal foods to this god.

Some Christians participated. Who believes in these pagan gods, they exclaimed? We do not. They do not exist. So what do we care if food is dedicated to non-existent gods? And if someone quoted Paul - who had said:

...I say that the things which Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons (1 Corinthians 10:20)

- then they would retort, "We are not afraid of the devil nor the deep things of Satan" (cf. Revelation 2:24). Christ nicknamed their leader, a self-styled prophetess, as "Jezebel". You will remember this evil O.T. queen who taught Israel to compromise and to commit idolatry. Compromise was her keyword. Otherwise how do you find work as a tradesman? You have to feed your family! Why should my skills which God gave me go to waste?

Jesus exposed this unholy practice. He criticized the church of Thyatira for tolerating "Jezebel" and her followers. Jesus Himself will exercise church discipline against them, unless she and her followers repent (read Revelation 2:20-23). Then all will know that Jesus searches the minds and hearts of His followers.

So you see that believers then already experienced the beginning of the great boycott of the beast, foretold in Revelation 13:16, 17:

And he (the beast) causes all, the small and great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and all slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their foreheads, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Our search of the Bible about labour has already brought us into conflict with it. We shall leave our criticism till the third part, however.

Summarizing our findings from Scripture thus far, we conclude:

1. Every part of life and every day for a Christian is holy in Christ.

2. Our places of labour are therefore holy places.

3. We must serve our Lord Jesus Christ at our work.

4. Christ does not tolerate rival masters.

5. Thus we must work according to our faith and creed.

6. We must confess Christ also in and at our work.

Of course, this means that a Christian worker goes by a constitution to which he pledges total allegiance. This is the constitution of the kingdom of God. We call it the Bible, the sword of the Spirit, the Sceptre of the King of the Kingdom. As your confession puts it in Article 7 of the Belgic Confession, ... the manner of worship (our work is included - WH) which God requires of us is written in them (the Holy Scriptures) at large ....

Much more could be said about what Scripture states concerning labour. Our third point hopefully will allow us to return to some of these places in Scripture.

2. THE VIEWPOINT OF THE UNIONS ABOUT LABOUR

What do unions say about labour? How do they organize workers? What demands do they make on their members? What do they promise?

First of all, let me state that my information comes directly from the constitutions and by-laws I received from the unions I contacted. Most unions agreed to give these when they heard that you asked me to speak on unionism. However, as one of the union personnel stated, "not everything is in the book". Common facts which you can read in your newspapers will have to serve as additional research material. Of course the local unions claimed that much good has been done by unions. They have removed much of the exploitation of the worker by the management, secured better working conditions, reduced long working hours, and obtained better wages. Who would deny this? We heartily concede this, although the same could be said of a communist or socialist regime maybe. The point is not whether unions have done some good but whether their principles and constitution allow a Christian to work as a union-member. Does the oath of allegiance to the constitution, by-laws, and ritual of a union conflict with a Christian's oath of allegiance to the constitution of the Kingdom of God? That is the crucial question.

To answer this we must examine the unions. What strikes you as you read union constitutions and documents is their character as "brotherhoods". Since many of these "brotherhoods" united, you find many unions' names starting with "The United Brotherhood of . . . ." Indeed, the members are to cultivate the spirit of brotherhood. Members of the United Association must pledge:

I will at all times assist members of the United Association to the extent of my ability, defend them when unjustly treated or slandered, and cultivate for each and every member the warmest friendship and brotherly love. (UA Constitution, section 170, page 82, 1971)

You hear of union picnics, for example. Women auxiliaries for unions are also included in some. Some unions pay part or all of a deceased member's funeral expenses. The United Steelworkers of America even include a Burial Service form with many Scriptural phrases sprinkled throughout, ending with a benediction which uses the name of the triune God. The United Association calls for a minute of silence in respect for "our deceased brothers" at 11 A.M. on the second day of each Convention.

This may give the unions a show of religiosity. However, do not be mistaken. Any qualified worker can be a member of the union regardless of race, colour, nationality or creed (USWA, page 4, line 14). All men are created equal, say the unions (UAW, page 3, line 6f). Religion is therefore no obstacle. As that secretary politely implied, religion and labour are separate. In fact, unions do not appreciate religion or religious topics being brought up. In the Constitution of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters we plainly read:

No topic of political or religious nature shall at any time be allowed, on penalty of . . . but topics, concerning the economic welfare of our members shall not be prohibited, not even if they are of political nature. (Article 23, section 17)

In other words, anything but religion goes.

Members must do everything to promote the interests of the union and the union brothers, even if this brings them into conflict with non-union persons. A secret aura even surrounds this promotion of brotherhood, since no member is allowed to divulge the names of union members to outsiders. So you can see that unions really are "brotherhoods". You may say that unions are religious bodies in that a body of principles, statutes, orders, and ritual govern and guide their actions. It is no coincidence that their meeting halls are called "Labour Temples". Unionism has become a religion and the union membership a "brotherhood".

As far as the principles of underlying philosophy of unionism is concerned, we may say that these are the (Marxist) principles of class struggle between labour and management, between the proletariat and the capitalists, between the worker and the boss. Let me cite some glaring examples. The opening sentence of the constitution of American Federation of Labour (AFL), to which most international unions belong declares:

A struggle is going on in all the nations of the civilized world, between the oppressors and the oppressed of all countries, a struggle between the capitalist and the labourer, which grows in intensity from year to year, and will work disastrous results to the toiling millions, if they are not combined for mutual protection and benefit.

Is this not exactly the cry of Marx: " workers/ proletariat, unite!"? Even the terms (oppressors, capitalists, toiling millions) betray the socialist background. The AFL-CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) have not abandoned this approach since their merger in 1955. To quote another example, in the preamble to its constitution the International Association of Machinists flatly states:

It is impossible for those who toil to obtain full reward of their labour other than through united action through organizations FOUNDED UPON THE CLASS STRUGGLE. (Emphasis mine - WH)

The Mine Mill and Smelter Workers boldly assert:

We hold that there is class struggle in society, that this struggle is caused by economic conditions . . . that the class struggle will continue until the producer (worker - WH) is recognized as sole master of his product. Therefore, we unite. (Preamble to the Canadian Constitution)

Most union constitutions state that workers must unite (form unions) in order to protect, to promote, and to solidify the interests of the workers. Do you not hear Marx shout, "Workers, unite!"? Clearly, then, unionism involves, yes, even breeds, class struggle between labour and management.

Even a superficial observer of today's labour scene will agree that this class struggle is still a reality. Read the newspapers. Listen to your radios. How often are labour and management not deadlocked in a bitter struggle, resulting in part from the antagonistic attitude of the union towards management? No one wants to give. Everyone wants to take. In this tug-of-war the strongest takes all.

Why is there this antagonism between the class of workers and the class of capitalists, to use union terms? Without going into the question of whether the apple or the tree came first, we can definitely state that the two-fisted approach of the unions over against the bosses has only aggravated the situation. Their philosophy of setting workers overagainst their bosses breeds this antagonism.

One of the weapons the unions use to great advantage in their warfare against management is the strike weapon. If negotiations for a new contract between workers and boss cannot be reached to the satisfaction of the workers, they may vote for strike action. Every secular trade union constitution includes this ultimate weapon. A meeting is called and if a certain percentage (50% to 2/3) votes for strike action, then the union representatives scrutinize the situation. They usually approve the strike-vote. According to our present laws, unions may legally strike if their contracts have expired.

Last year of all countries only Italy experienced more strikes than Canada did. You have undoubtedly heard of numerous strikes again this year. The Public Service Alliance of Canada approved strike-action for the lettercarriers and inside postal workers this spring. Because of this strike the Canadian economy became crippled. Many small businessmen suffered. Everyone was inconvenienced, to put it mildly. The longshoremen on the West coast and along the St. Lawrence River went on strike. Finally the government had to order them back to work, since our grain exports were at stake. Nurses in Ontario and elsewhere, doctors in Manitoba, teachers in Ottawa (and Toronto) plagued the country with strikes. Electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and I do not know who all went on strike this year already. Many contracts expire this year. It could be the year of strikes (it was, and the Antiinflation Board now has a difficult job of curbing the unions - WH). In Quebec, strikes erupted into terrible violence. The QFL (Quebec Federation of Labour) workers broke through gates, occupying a plant building. This well planned attack of about 200 members resulted in bodily injury to many. Police had to use tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, who violently oppose the recommendations of the Cliche Commission set up by the Quebec government. In the violent encounter, union protesters overturned and damaged six police cars, besides inflicting bodily injury. Many ended up in the hospital. Militancy often accompanies the use of the strikeweapon.

As you can understand, unions have become politically involved in order to further their interests. Listen to some union statements from their constitutions:

Recognizing the need for UNITED POLITICAL ACTION, we urge that the political policies as determined by the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organizations shall be the basic foundation for our political beliefs. We must assist in electing to public office only those favourable to the cause we espouse, which is the cause of human freedom, and doing so elect our friends and defeat our enemies. (UA, Preamble, page 4, Emphasis mine - WH)

This same international union appoints a Committee for Political Action for each local union in order "to coordinate the Local Unions' political activities with the trade unions in the area" (UA, section 125, page 62). All constitutions I read encouraged political activity on behalf of the local unions. Unions, I say, seek power for their cause. They want to rule.

This comes out in their statements for increasing union membership. In the preamble one constitution urges each member to acquaint himself with union laws so that he may

be prepared to use his influence on those who do not as yet belong to the Association, but whose only reason for not belonging to it is that the benefits offered have never been fully explained to them (UA, page 3).

One method of coercing more workers to join is the "closed shop". That means that only unionized workers may work in that shop. Either you belong to our union or starve, is the crude but plain message often directed to workers not sympathetic to unions. It is no secret that unions use present legislation to good advantage in manoeuvring their way into plants.

In examining unions we cannot forget the pledges all candidates must swear. Let me cite a typical procedure for obtaining union membership. The applicant fills out the form, accompanied with an affidavit in certain cases. After acceptance of his application, the union notifies him. The applicant is then given at least ten days' notice before the day of initiation and obligation. At THIS time the union furnishes him with a copy of the Constitution, By-laws, and Ritual, which is not made public but kept a big secret (UA, section 169, page 81). The pledge or oath commits the initiated member to full allegiance to the Union. Let me offer an example:

I hereby agree to remain loyal and true to the principle and policies and to be governed by the Constitution and By-laws and Ritual of the United Association and the Local Union IN ANY AND ALL MATTERS NOW OR THAT MAY HEREAFTER BE INCLUDED THEREIN ... I take this obligation voluntarily, WITHOUT ANY MENTAL RESERVATION, AND BIND MYSELF UNTIL DEATH under penalty of scorn due to moral perjury and violated honour as one unworthy of trust or assistance. (UA, section 170, pages 81-82, emphasis mine - WH)

Membership thus pledges one's whole heart, mind, soul, and strength to the union practices and principles for life. This is thus a total allegiance. One promises to keep all past, present, and future laws; not to discriminate against a fellow worker on the basis of creed; to cease work at any time when called upon by the organization to do so; and to have all workers join our Union (USWA, Constitution, page 92f, 1974). Of course, this involves obedience to the President General of the Union. This head boss has broad powers. He can suspend local unions, render decisions and judge cases, appoint representatives and others, and investigate and arbitrate with employers who threaten to strike or lock out workers. Although appeals can be made to the General Executive Board at its next meeting, meanwhile, if the president has spoken, the local unions and its members must comply and obey. Truly, the general president assumes an extremely powerful position.

I think we have now sufficiently examined unionism and union membership in order to compare the viewpoint of the Scripture with the viewpoint of unionism about labour.


3.
THE TWO VIEWPOINTS COMPARED

In this third part we will compare the viewpoint of the Scriptures about labour with the viewpoint of unionism about labour. The question which faces us is whether membership in secular unions conflicts with membership in the church of Christ. Does allegiance to the constitution and King of the Kingdom of God rule out allegiance to a union and its leaders? In our comparison we will focus on seven areas of conflict. Yes, I believe the two viewpoints clash.


A. SECULARISM

The Scriptures state that all of life is religious for the Christian. At his job the believer serves His Lord Christ and not man in the first and last place There on the job, as prophet, priest and king, he must apply the laws promises, and obligations of the constitution of God's kingdom.

Unions oppose this. Religion should not interfere with one's work. You should keep your religion to yourself, at home or in the church building. Do not bring it to work. Religious discussions are not appreciated at unionized places. Jesus Christ as Lord and King is not the welcomed Head of unions, either local or international.

Therefore union membership will necessarily choke out your active faith as a servant of Christ. Unionism will ultimately try to put the stranglehold on the good news that announces that Jesus Christ is Head over all things and that all should confess He is Lord and Christ.


B. PLEDGES

If you want to become a union member you first fill out an application form. Once accepted, you receive copies of the Constitution, By-laws and Ritual. You are told to read them and to familiarize yourself with them. Moreover, one must swear total allegiance to past, present, and future laws of the union in many cases.

This is an unacceptable practice for the Christian, since it involves blind obedience. The Scripture exhorts us:

Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22).

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God ... (1 John 4:1).

How can you apply this test of Scripture in the case of union-membership? After you are accepted, then you are given the documents to test. That is too late. Moreover, how can a Christian swear allegiance to laws MEN will make in the FUTURE? Again, this violates our allegiance to God's Word, since we cannot test such future unknown laws now. Clearly, such unions ask more than a believer can pledge.

It remains to be seen if other parts of union statutes conflict with our pledge to the covenant God.


C. ALLEGIANCE TO UNION PRESIDENT

As we saw, the pledge of loyalty to a union involves submission to the decisions and statements of the union president. Moreover, if the majority votes for a decision (to strike, for example), then you MUST comply even though you conscientiously oppose it.

Our Belgic Confession reads as follows:

Neither may we consider . . . the great multitude (the majority vote - WH) ... decrees or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God, since the truth is above all,"for all men are of themselves liars, and more vain than vanity itself(Article 7).

Clearly, union membership brings us into conflict with our confession. We may not blindly follow majority decision, nor may we blindly elevate the decrees or statutes of a mere man to the position of the Word of God.


D. CLASS STRUGGLE

Unionism advocates and propagates the class struggle between workers and bosses. Workers, proletariat, unite! Unite and organize so that you may have the power to enforce your interests over against the capitalists. As we saw in the second part, this breeds antagonism, clashes, strikes, and violence.

The Scriptures know of no such class struggle. Frequently the prophets denounced the money-hungry Israelites who used unscrupulous means to fill their purses. And remember how James howled against the rich bosses who kept back the pay of the labourers (5:1-6). Paul tells the masters not to threaten their servants, since both worker and boss have one Master in heaven (Ephesians 6:9). On the other hand, the Scriptures teach the workers to work heartily and sincerely for their bosses as unto the Lord. Instead of a class struggle the Scriptures preach a state of CO-OPERATION and HARMONY between workers and bosses on the basis of faith in Christ and love to God.

As a result a believer could not pledge to seek the interests of a union, seeing that this involves him in a class struggle which the Scriptures denounce and fight against.


E. GREED

Union constitutions openly declare that they want higher (definitely not lower) wages, shorter hours, and improved working conditions (USWA, article 2, second point, p. 3; UA, section 207, p. 96; UAW, article 2, section 1, p. 4). Their contract demands reflect this stance. Often ridiculous and outrageous wage demands or fringe benefits are asked.

The Scriptures teach us to be content with our wages, to work six days a week and not to be greedy for gain. The GREEDINESS or LUST for money is the root of all evil, says the Scripture.

As you can tell, the outlooks clash. They are completely different. Again, union membership diametrically opposes the viewpoint of the church and church members.


F. RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY - STRIKES

Unionism preaches respect for the boss, the authority-bearer over the workers (or is it the union who is boss?), only when the boss meets their contract demands. If a contract settlement is impossible, then union members can and often do go on strike. This is pure revolution. Union members must thereby reject the authority of their employer. In fact, in this revolution the workers seize the authority. They give the orders now. They will tell the boss what to do. Either he meets our demands or his business stands idle and if necessary his business will even collapse.

God's covenant law teaches differently. In the fifth commandment God deals with authority in general and with parental authority in particular. Your confession summarizes God's teaching as follows:

104 Q. What does God require in the fifth commandment?

A. That I show all HONOUR, LOVE, AND FIDELITY ... TO ALL IN AUTHORITY OVER ME; submit myself with due obedience . . . and also BEAR PATIENTLY with their weaknesses and shortcomings, since it pleases God to govern us by their hand.

To strike is to revolt against the boss whom God set in authority over us. That would bring us in open violation of the covenant law of our God.

Moreover, a strike has far-reaching repercussions. Consider the "sympathetic strike within the association" (UA, section 206). If the union approves a strike against a certain employer in one place, all other local unions belonging to the same union and who work for the same employer must debar their members from working until the dispute has been adjusted. Here you see how the unions are involved in a power struggle a lusting after power. Or consider the fact that at one plant or location one body of unionized workers often has to honour the picket lines of another body of striking workers. For example, a couple of hundred striking workers at Douglas Point, Ontario, recently caused over 4,000 other union workers to honour their picket lines. In other words, one's neighbours must suffer loss of wages because some strikers have revolted. We have not even mentioned how this inconveniences, often upsets and disturbs, the whole economy. Is this not STEALING from others through illegal means? Do strikers not steal their bosses' and others' livelihood?

Compare this to what we confess: That I (must) FURTHER my neighbour's profit wherever I can or may, deal with him as I would have others deal with me, and labour faithfully that I may be able to relieve the needy (Heidelberg Catechism, Answer 111).

And how can we square this confession with the union practice of closed shops whereby unions deny non-union workers a place to work? Either you join the union or you are free to move on! In many occasions employers gave in to the unions' demand to hire only unionized people, even though the Canadian Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of association and religion, even though our human rights codes forbid discrimination because of creed, and despite the fact that Canada endorsed the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares that "everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment" and "no one may be compelled to belong to an association." Yet closed shops are tolerated. Are our laws mere scraps of paper?

How good and wholesome is God's law forbidding "envy, hatred, and anger" while commanding us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Answer 107, Heidelberg Catechism).

We could mention more, but this had better end our comparison between the two viewpoints of Scripture and unionism on labour. From the foregoing comparison we can only conclude that allegiance to the Constitutions, By-laws and Rituals of secular unions CONFLICTS with a believer's allegiance to the constitution of the Kingdom of God. We cannot be loyal to a secular union and its laws and simultaneously remain loyal to Christ. Unions express more the mind and ways of the beast of Revelation 13, the powerful agent of Satan, than the mind and ways of Christ. Indeed the unions oppose the "mind of Christ" and the ways of God.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said ... Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord. And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty (II Corinthians 6:14-18).

One central thing which our survey about unionism should show is that without faith in God and obedience to His Word a country commits bankruptcy in more ways than one. Only the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who converts hearts can fight the lawlessness of unionism which increases in our land. Only a reformation, a return to God's Word, is the answer, also for labour.


W. HUIZINGA

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