“True Christianity Forsaken” American Sentinel 14, 20, pp. 305, 306.

SO CALLED good citizenship organizations and movements are increasing in number, and professed Christians and prominent clergymen are the most prominent in this work. For instance, Philadelphia has an “American Citizenship Alliance” which is providing lectures “in the various churches throughout the city.” The leading objects of this Citizenship Alliance are:—

“1. To unite all religious and moral forces for the suppression of wrong and for building symmetrically our national life.

“2. To inaugurate a system and to utilize existing forces for the promotion of this work.

“3. To encourage intelligent observance of our national holidays.

“4. To coöperate in all social, industrial, and civic improvements with other associations.”

In Boston also lately a “Good Citizenship Society” was formed, and noon meetings are held in Tremont Temple to promote the interests of this society whose object is “the better organization of the world;” and one of the leading speakers is also a leading clergyman of New England.

Now suppose that all of these professed Christians and professed ministers of the gospel should be completely successful in their work for the building up of “our national life” and thorough “observance of our national holidays,” and advance, to their ideal, “all social, industrial, and civic improvements,” and thus secure their object—“the better organization of the world”—what have they then accomplished in the fulfillment of their own proper mission to the world under the profession which they make of Christianity?

Christianity is to call people from this world to the world to come. To be a Christian is to be separated completely from this world, to be chosen out of the world unto God. Christians belong to the other world. To accomplish this, and this alone, is the sole object of Christianity in this world. For this object alone Christ came into the world, insisting while he was here, “I am not of the world,” “My kingdom is not of this world.” For this purpose he commissioned the ministers of this gospel to go into the world and preach this gospel to every creature. For this purpose to his disciples, he says, “As my Father sent me even so send I you,” and of all his, it is written: “As he is so are we in this world,” and “Ye are not of the world even as I am not of the world;” “Ye are not of the world because I have chosen you out of the world.” His Word declares that this world is “the enemy of God,” and that “whosoever therefore will be the friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Such a loan is the object and work of true Christianity in this world.

Now, in view of all this, when professed Christians and professed ministers of the gospel, having out of the other world, turn their attention to this world to the better organization of it, the building up of national life, the promotion of earthly citizenship, even though they were to attain in this their highest ideal, what would they have accomplished? None of this, for all of it together, prepares men for the other world. And while they are thus putting forth their endeavors in the interests altogether of this world, thousands of people are perishing all around them, simply because of their not having received the message which these people profess to bear: calling people from this world to the other world.

It is perfectly plain, therefore, that nothing can show more plainly then these movements do, that all of these professed Christians and professed Christian ministers, have lost all their connection with the other world, with the message from the other world, which they profess to bear to this one; and are becoming in their aims, interests, and efforts, altogether of this world. And while these people professing to bear a message from the other world to this one, instead of delivering that message in its sincerity and in its power, forsake it and turned all their attention to this world, and to the things of this world, and to men’s interest only as they are in this world, what our men to do for the message which God sends from the other world, which Christ Jesus came to bring, and which poured out his life to make sure to the people of this world?

This is not to say that the message of the gospel and the lives of true Christians in the world, will not benefit this world. This will supremely benefit the world if only Christianity is maintained in its true integrity and in strict loyalty to the other world. But when that is forsaken, or when it is neglected, or when an attempt is made to use it for the benefit of this world, every such [306] effort only robs it of all its power to benefit this world, and deprives this world of that which belongs to it as a benefit from Christianity. The only benefit this world can ever receive from Christianity is by the lives of those who are true Christians and who, as true Christians, are individually separate from this world, as Christ was; and who live apart from, and above, the world, even as Jesus Christ did.

A. T. J.

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