“Christian Sociology” American Sentinel 10, 50, pp. 394, 395.

WILBUR F. CRAFTS, Ph. D., author of “The Sabbath for Man,” “The Civil Sabbath,” etc., has given to the world another book, “Practical Christian Sociology.” 431

This book contains over five hundred pages, and the key-note of the whole work is “the salvation of society through the Kingship of Christ.” 432

“In order to solve social problems,” says our author, “the Church needs to be reminded that the Kingship of Christ as the salvation of society and the Saviourship of Christ in its relation to the individual, are equally and often together proclaimed in the Bible.” 433 And it is this phantom, “the salvation of society,” which is pursued throughout the entire work in question. It is this thought, therefore, which, more than all others in this book, demands our attention.

“The heart of Christian sociology,” says Dr. Crafts, “is the Kingship of Christ. The individual is saved by his cross, but society is saved by his crown, that is, by the application of the law of Christ to all human associations—to the family, the school, the shop, the church, the State.”

“The law of Christ, which is to be thus applied, includes,” says our author, “more than that trilogy of love, the ‘new commandment,’ the Golden Rule, and the Royal Law. Those two words of Christ, ‘my commandments,’ include many other New Testament laws. The general opinion that there are only ten commandments is not more unscriptural than the equally common opinion that the Decalogue is not strictly a part of the law of Christ. It is his not only in that he indorsed it, but also in that he originally proclaimed it. The divine Person who gave the law on Sinai was seen, and therefore the Son, for “no man hath seen God [that is, the Father] at any time; the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [or revealed] him.” 434

In these quotations truth and error are found side by side. It was indeed the Son who spoke the law from the quaking mount; [395] it is his law because he proclaimed it; and in this as well as in redemption he and “the Father are one.” But where in all the Word of God are we taught that “society is saved by his crown”?

Dr. Crafts answers this question by citing the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come; they will be done as in heaven so on earth.” But what warrant is there in these words for the declaration that Christ is the Saviour of society, in any other sense than that he is the Saviour of the individuals who compose society?

True, the Scriptures teach that this earth is yet to be filled with “the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters covers the sea;” 435 that “the tabernacle of God is [to be] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” 436 But this is not spoken of men in their mortal state, nor of the earth in its present condition.

The Scriptures tell us plainly that instead of growing better and better until all are converted to Christ, “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived;” 437 until at last just before the second coming of Christ, it will be as it was in the days of Noah. 438

In a letter to his son in the gospel, the apostle Paul says of the last days:—

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 439

And in view of these things the apostle gave Timothy, and all who should come after him, this solemn charge:—

I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. 440

And it might now be appropriately said: “The time has come when they will not endure sound doctrine,” for rejecting the plain teaching of the word of God, the Church has gone after the fable of the world’s conversion, and kindred errors calculated to lure souls to death.

But destruction, not conversion, awaits the kingdoms of this world. “Ask of me,” says the Father to the Son, “and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” 441

Writing of this destruction and of the lack of faith in the last days, the apostle Peter says:—

There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished; but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up…. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 442

It is in this new or renewed earth, promised in Isaiah 66:22, that God’s will is to be done as it is in heaven; and to pray: “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done as in heaven so on earth,” is to pray for everything which must attend it, including the utter destruction of all things earthly as they now exist.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” 443 is not a promise of temporal inheritance, but of an everlasting possession. God’s people are strangers and pilgrims in the earth in its present condition as was Abraham, and like him they look for “a city which hath foundation, whose builder and maker is God.” 444

The purpose of the gospel is to prepare subjects for the future glorious kingdom of God, not to save human society as at puresent constituted. Society as it now exists, or as it is possible in this mortal state, is not to be saved by the kingship of Christ. The first act of Christ when he receives from the Father the kingdoms of this world will be to dash in pieces and utterly destroy civil society as we know it, to make way for that society wherein they “neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” 445

Christ is now a priest upon his Father’s throne. 446 He is now by the power of his word and the divine influences of his Spirit preparing subjects for the kingdom promised him, and which will be given to him by the Father at the conclusion of his work as priest. He himself connects his second advent and the taking of his kingdom in these words: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” 447 The apostle Paul likewise connects Christ’s appearing and his kingdom in his charge to Timothy: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word.” But our author, and others of like mind, would take Christ by force and make him king, and install themselves as his representatives on earth to declare his will and to administer his law, or rather their version of that law. But whether they realize it or not, the success of their scheme would be nothing less than the establishment of another papacy. Christ has however no accredited human representatives on earth except his ministers, and their commission only authorizes them to preach the gospel; it gives them no authority to exercise civil power. The language of Christ’s representatives should be: “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 448 But such is not the language of the papacy nor of its image, formed and managed by “Protestants” who, instead of protesting against papal methods, avail themselves of those methods for the furtherance of that which they imagine to be the gospel.

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