“Politics and Religion” American Sentinel 12, 37, pp. 581, 582.

A WRITER in The Vanguard, Mr. John Ratliff, argues for the union of religion and politics, and lays down the principle that a man’s religion and his politics are not divorceable. This is a principle that is getting a good deal of sanction in the religious world at the present time.

How is it when two “Christians” conscientiously vote, one the Republican ticket and the other the Democratic ticket, at an election? Is Christianity joined to opposing political principles? If so, there are occasions when it opposes itself.

Mr. Ratliff speaks of “political sins.” What is a “political sin?” It is the support of the “other faction,” or the “other party,” of course. A definition of “political sin” would amount to this and nothing more.

Who can make a just standard of right and wrong but God alone? Men have set up many standards of right and wrong, but they have all been unreliable, because they were the work of fallible beings. In politics we have only those standards of “right” which men have set up: and we find as many such standards as there are parties.

To make men understand right and wrong,—to convict them of sin, in other words—is the office work of the Holy Spirit: and to impress the truth upon the soul, the Spirit uses the Word of God. But politics commands neither the agency of the Word nor of the Spirit.

In Judea, over eighteen hundred years ago, Jesus Christ walked among the people, and taught them of the kingdom of God. He is the perfect example for every Christian. To the extent to which he engaged in politics, the Christian may rightfully engage in politics. To the extent to which he sought to get control of earthly power, the Christian may properly exert himself for the purpose to-day.

Jesus Christ was the mystery of the manifestation of God in human flesh. And every true Christian presents the same mystery to-day, for in him Christ lives and [582] manifests himself to the world. In his true followers Jesus Christ lives on earth to-day, and what he does to-day is what he did in Judea so long ago. For he changes not, but is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” If he was a politician then, the Christian will be one now. But it not, then the Christian will not concern himself in that way.

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