“Is It Christian?” American Sentinel 12, 1, pp. 7, 8.

IS the “Christian Citizenship” movement a Christian undertaking in truth, or is it such only in name? We ask this question with particular reference to some statements made by the president, Mr. Edwin D. Wheelock, in the Golden Rule, of December 10. That individual says:—

“It has taken three years to educate even a comparatively few people up to a clear understanding of the full and true meaning of the Christian Citizenship movement….

“Christian citizenship is more than reform; it is regeneration.”

“It is more than the ethics of politics, it is the science of righteousness.

“It maintains that the State is as truly sacred as the Church, should be governed by as high principles, and should recognize God as the source of all authority.

“It believes that but two ways lie before our country; one leading to anarchy, the other to the application of gospel principles to public affairs.

“It is the voice of one crying in the wilderness of public sins, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord;’ measure all things by the rule of absolute righteousness rather than that of ‘policy’; cast out whatever is not in harmony with the teaching of Christ.”

The first of these statements distinctly and emphatically affirms that “Christian citizenship” is regeneration. This is a scriptural term, and refers the mind to that deep and vital mystery of the gospel of God—the new birth. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” is a cardinal doctrine of the Christian religion. This new birth is “of water and of the spirit.” John 3:5. In Titus 3:5 it is spoken of as “the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy ghost.”

But “Christian Citizenship” is confessedly not “of water and of the Spirit.” It does not seek to attain the end it has in view by any such means. Its means are, the ballot and legislation. Through these it seeks “the application of gospel principles to public affairs.” As therefore its means are earthly and not spiritual; as [8] regeneration is wholly a spiritual process, wrought only by spiritual agencies; and as “Christian Citizenship” claims to be regeneration and not mere reform; it follows that it is a fraud, and therefore not Christian at all. But not only is it a fraud in not being what it claims to be; it is a substitute for that which has been instituted by God for human salvation. It is a man-made system of regeneration—a substitute for the real generation which is of God by the Holy Spirit. In claiming to be regeneration, it stamps itself as not only a fraudulent, but an anti-Christian, thing.

The acceptance of Christian Citizenship as the means of regeneration, means its acceptance as the Christian religion. The Christian Citizenship worker will engage in politics—for “the application of gospel principles to public affairs” by means of the ballot and legislation can be nothing more than a form of politics—believing that he is thereby showing forth “the science of righteousness.” It is the same old error which has done such evil work all through the ages—the confounding of politics with Christianity. And this latest phase of it is no better than any of the others, and no less fraught with evil to mankind.

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