AMEN TO THIS!!
ELECTING GODLY CANDIDATESChristians also must not be conformed to the world in politics. The politics of the world are entirely dishonest. The policy of every party is to cover up the defects of their own candidate and the good qualities of the opposing candidate. Isn’t this dishonest? Every party holds up its candidate as a piece of perfection and them aims to ride him into office by any means, fair or foul. No man that is committed to a party can be entirely honest. Can a Christian do this and keep a clear conscience?
By falling in with the world in politics, Christians are guilty of setting up rulers over them (by their own vote) who do not fear or love God and who defy the law of God. Some politicians break the Sabbath, commit adultery, fight, swear profanely, and leave the laws unexecuted. Christians put them into office! Where parties are divided, as they are in this country, there are enough Christians to tip the scale in any election.
By following the present course of politics, you are helping to undermine all government and order in the land. This great nation staggers and reels because the laws are broken and trampled under foot, and the executive power refuses to act. Either politicians don’t want to put down disorder, or they compromise and let the devil rule. This is true in all parts of the country and in all parties. Can a Christian be consistent with his profession of faith and still vote for men like this? What greater stumbling block can we place before sinners?
No wonder the world has a hard time believing “Christian candidates.” I myself often doubt whether many of them believe the Bible. They show, as far as evidence goes, that there is no change of heart.
What is Christianity? Is it going to the communion table once a month and sometimes to a prayer meeting? Is that a change of heart? The world would be foolish to believe in a change of heart on such evidence.
If Christians acted perfectly conscientious and consistent in this matter, they would say, “We will not vote for any man unless he fears God and will rule the people in righteousness.” Then ungodly men wouldn’t nominate candidates who set themselves against the law. Every candidate would be obliged to show that he was prepared to act from higher motives. Then he would strive to make the country prosperous, promote virtue, and put down vice, oppression, and disorder. They would have to do all they could to make the people happy and holy. It would shame dishonest politicians to show that the love of God and man is the motive that Christians have in view. What a blessed influence would flow over the land!
If we had a holy ministry, it would be far more important than an educated ministry. If ministers were holy, they wouldn’t need so much education. I don’t mean to undervalue an educated ministry. Let ministers be educated as much as they can–the more the better, as long as they are holy.
But to suppose that education can convert the world is a farce. Let the ministry have the spirit of prayer, and let the baptism of the Holy Spirit be upon them. Then they will spread the gospel. If Christians lived as they should, the Church would shake the world. The report would soon fill every wind, until the earth was full of excitement and inquiry. Conversions would multiply like the drops of morning dew.
BE YE SEPARATE!Christians must be singular. They are called to be a peculiar people, essentially different from the rest of mankind. To argue that we are not to be singular is to maintain that we are to be conformed to the world. This is the direct opposite of the command in the text.
The nearer you bring the Church to the world, the more you annihilate the reasons for their changing sides and coming to Jesus Christ. Unless you separate from them and show that you are not of them in any respect, how can you make the ungodly feel that a great change is necessary? The change that is necessary is a change of heart.
Many people may argue that if Christians are too separate, then people will become disgusted and take to the world altogether. This is about as reasonable as it would be for a sober man to get drunk now and then to avoid offending alcoholics or to retain his influence over them. People must see in the lives of Christians that they have given up the love of the world and its pride. We must live holy lives in watchfulness, self-denial, and active benevolence.
Your heart is not right unless your conduct is right. What is outward conduct but the acting out of the heart? If your heart was right, you would not want to follow the world.
By non-conformity to the world, a great deal of time may be saved for doing good that is now consumed and wasted in joining in the pursuits of the world. At the same time, Christians would preserve their peace of conscience, enjoy communion with God, have the spirit of prayer, and possess far greater usefulness.
Something must be done! You say that you want to have sinners converted. But what help is it if they sink right back again into conformity to the world? I am filled with pain at the Church’s conduct. What are the results of the glorious revivals we have had? I believe they were genuine revivals and outpourings of the Holy Spirit, yet many converts are a disgrace to the Lord!
One holy church crucified to the world would do more to promote Christianity than all the churches in the country, living as they now do. If I had strength to go through the churches, I would preach to bring them up to the gospel standard of holy living. Of what use is it to convert sinners and make them such Christians as these? Of what use is it to try to convert sinners and make them feel that there is something in religion, and then by your conformity to the world prove that there is nothing in it?
Where shall the Lord look for a church–like the first Church–that will be separate and serve God?
Do you believe that God commands you not to be conformed to the world? Do you believe it? And dare you obey it, regardless of what people say about you? Will you separate yourself from the world and never again be controlled by its principles and practices? Will you do it?