“Moral Reform Not Political” American Sentinel 14, 43, pp. 673, 674.

IT IS a fact made plain in many ways at the present time that the churches of the land are aiming to secure moral reforms through politics. They think by this means to advance the cause of the kingdom of Christ, and have visions of an approaching millennium of righteousness and peace which these moral reforms are to usher in. But it ought to be plain from a brief survey of the situation and of the principles involved, that no such reform, by such means, is possible.

The political field is occupied by two leading parties. These parties hold the political power of the nation, and they are in the nature of things permanent parties. There are and have been many smaller parties, but these have been short-lived and have accomplished nothing beyond an occasional turning of the tide of success from one of the two leading parties to the other. They have made no impression at all in the direction of transferring the political power of the country to a new party. It is a foregone conclusion to-day, and has been for [674] generations back, that the President, the members of Congress and of the State legislatures, the governors, the supreme court justices and other judges, etc., will be Republicans or Democrats. The exceptions to this fixed order of things have been so few as only to make it more conspicuous by their contrast.

The only channels, therefore, through which political reforms in the state and nation can come, are those which these parties present. But what hope is there that either of these is to so change its present character as to become the party of moral reforms? Who is to defy the Scripture query and bring a clean thing out of that which is unclean?

The following statement by Mayor Jones, of Toledo, who has become a prominent figure in Ohio politics, is to the point in this connection:—

“The great political parties in this country have been without a moral issue for the last quarter of a century…. They do not differ in their moral purposes. One is as bad as the other, and both are against the best interests of the greatest number. They are greedy for spoils and plunder. They do not care for social conditions. They do not seek to improve society. They foster nothing so much as place-getting. There is a constant evasion of real issues in the platforms and in the resolutions of public assemblages. No mention is made of the appalling condition of distress which exists among the masses in our cities. Not a word is said about the throngs of unemployed men and women, who are tramping the well-beaten road to beggary and crime. Everywhere in the public utterances of party leaders we hear a soothing and pleasant optimism that is wholly unsupported by the facts of our every-day life.”

The two leading parties are friends of the liquor traffic. Over and over again has it been shown that no hope for temperance reform can rest with either of them. The prohibitionists and the W. C. T. U. have long since ceased looking to either for any help to the temperance cause. And what moral reform can be hoped for from a party which is so thoroughly immoral as to favor the traffic in strong drink?

Is it not perfectly plain that the most that can be hoped for in politics, as regards moral issues, is a compromise? But a compromise of this class is itself a surrender of moral principle. A compromise between right and wrong is always a defeat for the side of right. Christians cannot compromise with wrong; that is forbidden by Christianity. The devil can be satisfied with a compromise, always; the Lord, never. The Christian church can compromise with the world only by stepping down from the plane of Christianity.

And just this must be the result to the church if she persists to the end in her purpose to utilize the nation’s political power for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. She herself will be dragged downward, the standard of moral truth and righteousness will be lowered, and the cause for which it stands, instead of being advanced, will suffer great defeat.

The power of God is the church’s strength and safety; worldly power has always been to her a delusion and a snare.

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