THE Christian Endeavor leaders are swinging the youthful enthusiasm of that religious movement into the current of conquest and imperialism of the United States.
The Christian Endeavor department of the Interior of June 22, 1899, in presenting matter for “A Christian Citizenship meeting,” makes the “topic,” “Our Country for Christ”; and as a sub-heads gives such as these: “A blessed nation—Psalm 144:15”; “A victorious nation—2 Chronicles 20:1-30”; “Praise for victories—Psalm 44:1-8”; and “The nation for Christ—Luke 14:15-24.” Any Christian endeavor that can apply to the United States and its victories the Scriptures, as is done in this Christian Endeavor lesson, can easily do anything else that it pleases with the Scriptures.
The lesson continues in the same strain, as follows:—
“There is a mighty contest abroad. The Goth has risen from the dead; the modern vandal stalks throughout the land. The call for patriotism was never louder, the demand for Christian courage was never greater than it is to-day. Let every citizen consecrate his right of franchise to the rule of Almighty God, and pledged himself to stand by those principles that have made our country what it is. Let every patriot feel again the tingle of loyalty that burns like a flame in the veins of every ardent lover of home, and native land, and Christ, and good. Let every woman to whose guiding care has been given the training of some Washington or Lincoln, pour into her children’s ears the rich lore of our country’s Christian heroes and sacrificing heroines. Let every soldier enlist again in the war against vice and immortality; every youth join in the drum beat that leads to victory; every infant be taught lisp, ‘Jesus, Lover of my Soul,’ and the ‘Red, White and Blue’; every boy to join Christ and country, and nail the flag just beneath the cross. The cause of America is the cause of humanity. It has a mission among the nations. May it adorn the centuries, shedding its blessings to the last shock of time.”
If that does not mean a union of church and state, then there never was such a thing in the world. Any boy or anybody else who “joins Christ and country,” will always put country before Christ. Anybody who in his thought joins Christ and something else, will always in his conduct put the something else before Christ.
There was never conceived a more deceptive thing than that which is almost universally conceived by professed Christians as the very ultimate of Christian loyalty, namely, “Christ and the Church,” or “Christ”—and anything else. In the vocabulary of Christian loyalty, nothing—absolutely nothing—can have any shadow of a share with Christ. Christian loyalty knows simply and only Christ; Christ and Christ alone; Christ, all in all. And in this loyalty there is embodied unswerving allegiance to every cause that is true, and everything that is right.
Anything else, or anything in addition, is a deception; and is disloyalty, in some of loyalty, to Christ.
A. T. J.