“What Jesus Did Do?” American Sentinel 14, 28, pp. 433, 434.

MUCH is being said of a certain book professedly written from the basis of “What would Jesus do?” As this question is akin to the Christian Endeavor pledged, the theories of the book are expected to have a large place among the Endeavorers: indeed it seems that this is so already.

Whatever may be said of the book as to its application to the individual life in general, of the question, “What would Jesus do?” it is certain that in one important particular it is altogether in error: and that is that it carries into politics and all the affairs of the state and endeavors to apply there the question “What would Jesus do?”

But this is altogether an error, because the only way anybody can truly tell “What would Jesus do?” is by [434] what Jesus really did. What Jesus really did and commanded all to do, is written out in his Word for the guidance of all. And in all that is written of what he either did or said, there is no suggestion that he ever in any way whatever took any part in politics, or had anything to do with the affairs of state. On the contrary, there is direct and positive evidence that he refused to do so.

This was not by any means because there was no need of reforms in politics nor improvement in administration; for if ever there was in the world corruption in politics, and evil in administration, that was preeminently the time.

“The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and repressive: on every hand were crying abuses—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example, kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because he was indifferent to the woes of men; but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.”

With reference to all matters of politics and governmental administration, the only proper answer to the question “What would Jesus do?” is that he would utterly separate himself from it, and would have nothing whatever to do with it. And when anybody enters into politics and affairs of government asking “What would Jesus do?” he leaves at once the realm of Christ, enters an utterly foreign field, and can get from Christ no answer to his question for his guidance there; for Christ never was there and never did anything there. The only true answer that anyone can get there to that question is, “My kingdom is not of this world.” “Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” “Come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

All therefore who enter politics and affairs of state contrary to the whole example and word of Christ, as they must do to do it at all, and then expect to apply the question “What would Jesus do?” the only answer they can ever get allowing them to continue there, is such answer as they themselves can give to themselves. And the answer that religionists have always given to themselves in those places is abundantly told in the persecutions and oppressions that have afflicted the people in every country where the thing has ever been done.

And for this perverse sentiment to be imbibed and carried out by the enthusiasts of the so-called Christian Endeavor movement, in the interests of that most stupendous error of Sunday observance, would speedily flood this nation with evil enough to ruin it.

No: the state is not the realm of Christ. Politics is not the work of Christ. The spirit of earthly government is not the Spirit of Christ. It is all “enmity against God, and is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” And in all such connection the only answer to “What would Jesus do?” is, He would do just what he did when he was here—separate entirely from it all and be joined body, soul and spirit to the realm, the work, and the Spirit, of God, which are not of this world.

That is what Jesus did. That is what Jesus would still do. And that is what every one will do who will go in his steps.

A. T. J.

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