COUNSELS TO THE CHURCH

Deuteronomy 17:13-20

1Kings 8:1-7

1Corinthians 5:1-13

1Corinthians 6:1-7

 

The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; FOR WE DO NOT KNOW WHOM WE ARE VOTING FOR. We cannot with safety take part in any political scheme. {CCh 316.2} Those who are Christians indeed will be branches of the true vine, and will bear the same fruit as the vine. They will act in harmony, in Christian fellowship. They will not wear political badges, but the badge of Christ. {CCh 316.3} What are we to do, then?—Let political questions alone. {CCh 316.4}

 

The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; 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. 566 {CCh 314.4} Again and again Christ had been asked to decide legal and political questions. But He refused to interfere in temporal matters. Christ stood in our world as the Head of the great spiritual kingdom that He came to our world to establish—the kingdom of righteousness. His teaching made plain the ennobling, sanctifying principles that govern this kingdom. He showed that justice and mercy and love are the controlling powers in Jehovah’s kingdom. 567 {CCh 314.5}

 

The spies came to Him, and with apparent sincerity, as though desiring to know their duty, said, “Master, we know that Thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest Thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?” {CCh 315.1} Christ’s reply was no evasion, but a candid answer to the question. Holding in His hand the Roman coin, upon which were stamped the name and image of Caesar, He declared that since they were living under the protection of the Roman power, they should render to that power the support it claimed, so long as this did not conflict with a higher duty. {CCh 315.2} When the Pharisees heard Christ’s answer, “they marveled, and left Him, and went their way.” He had rebuked their hypocrisy and presumption, and in doing this He had stated a great principle, a principle that clearly defines the limits of man’s duty to the civil government and his duty to God. 568 {CCh 315.3}

 

FUNDAMENTALS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Those teachers in the church or in the school who distinguish themselves by their zeal in politics, SHOULD BE RELIEVED OF THEIR WORK AND RESPONSIBILITIES WITHOUT DELAY; for the Lord will not co-operate with them. THE TITHE SHOULD NOT BE USED TO PAY ANY ONE FOR SPEECHIFYING ON POLITICAL QUESTIONS. EVERY TEACHER, MINISTER, OR LEADER IN OUR RANKS WHO IS STIRRED WITH A DESIRE TO VENTILATE HIS OPINIONS ON POLITICAL QUESTIONS, SHOULD BE CONVERTED BY A BELIEF IN THE TRUTH, OR GIVE UP HIS WORK. His influence must tell as a laborer together with God in winning souls to Christ, or his credentials must be taken from him. If he does not change, he will do harm, and only harm.  {FE 477.1}

 

The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God. WE CANNOT WITH SAFETY VOTE FOR POLITICAL PARTIES; FOR WE DO NOT KNOW WHOM WE ARE VOTING FOR. WE CANNOT WITH SAFETY TAKE PART IN ANY POLITICAL SCHEMES. WE CANNOT LABOR TO PLEASE MEN WHO WILL USE THEIR INFLUENCE TO REPRESS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, AND TO SET IN OPERATION OPPRESSIVE MEASURES TO LEAD OR COMPEL THEIR FELLOW MEN TO KEEP SUNDAY AS THE SABBATH. The first day of the week is not a day to be reverenced. It is a spurious sabbath, and the members of the Lord’s family cannot participate with the men who exalt this day, and violate the law of God by trampling upon His Sabbath. THE PEOPLE OF GOD ARE NOT TO VOTE TO PLACE SUCH MEN IN OFFICE; FOR WHEN THEY DO THIS, THEY ARE PARTAKERS WITH THEM OF THE SINS WHICH THEY COMMIT WHILE IN OFFICE.  {FE 475.2}

 

 

Selected Messages Book 2

Chap. 39 – Counsel on Voting

OUR WORK IS TO WATCH, AND WAIT, AND PRAY. Search the Scriptures. Christ has given you warning not to mingle with the world. We are to come out from among them and be separate, “and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18). Whatever the opinions you may entertain in regard to casting your vote in political questions, you are not to proclaim it by pen or voice. Our people need to be silent upon questions which have no relation to the third angel’s message. If ever a people needed to draw nigh to God, it is Seventh-day Adventists. There have been wonderful devices and plans made. A burning desire has taken hold of men or women to proclaim something, or bind up with something; they do not know what. But the silence of Christ upon many subjects was true eloquence. . . .  {2SM 336.1}

My brethren, will you not remember that none of you have any burden laid upon you by the Lord to publish your political preferences in our papers, or to speak of them in the congregation, when the people assemble to hear the Word of the Lord. . . .  {2SM 336.2}

 

We are not as a people to become mixed up with political questions. All would do well to take heed to the Word of God, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers in political strife, nor bind with them in their attachments. There is no safe ground in which they can stand and work together. The loyal and the disloyal have no equal ground on which to meet.  {2SM 336.3}  He who breaks one precept of the commandments of God is a transgressor of the whole law. Keep your voting to yourself. Do not feel it your duty to urge everyone to do as you do.–Letter 4, 1898.  {2SM 337.1}

 

Attended meeting in the eve. Had quite a free, interesting meeting. After it was time to close, the subject of voting was considered and dwelt upon. James first talked, then Brother [J. N.] Andrews talked, and it was thought by them best to give their influence in favor of right and against wrong. They think it right to vote in favor of temperance men being in office in our city instead of by their silence running the risk of having intemperate men put in office. Brother [David] Hewitt tells his experience of a few days [since] and is settled that [it] is right to cast his vote. Brother [Josiah] Hart talks well. Brother [Henry] Lyon opposes. No others object to voting, but Brother [J.P.] Kellogg begins to feel that it is right. Pleasant feelings exist among all the brethren. O that they may all act in the fear of God.  {2SM 337.2} Men of intemperance have been in the office today in a flattering manner expressing their approbation of the course of the Sabbathkeepers not voting and expressed hopes that they will stick to their course and, like the Quakers, not cast their vote. Satan and his evil angels are busy at this time, and he has workers upon the earth. May Satan be disappointed, is my prayer.–E. G. White diary, Sunday, March 6, 1859.  {2SM 337.3}

 

LAST DAY EVENTS

Oppose Sunday Laws by Pen and Vote

We cannot labor to please men who will use their in fluence to repress religious liberty and to set in operation oppressive measures to lead or compel their fellow men to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK IS NOT A DAY TO BE REVERENCED. IT IS A SPURIOUS SABBATH, AND THE MEMBERS OF THE LORD’S FAMILY CANNOT PARTICIPATE WITH THE MEN WHO EXALT THIS DAY AND VIOLATE THE LAW OF GOD BY TRAMPLING UPON HIS SABBATH. The people of God are not to vote to place such men in office, for when they do this they are partakers with them of the sins which they commit while in office.–FE 475 (1899).  {LDE 127.5}  I do hope that the trumpet will give a certain sound in regard to this Sunday-law movement. I think that it would be best if in our papers the subject of the perpetuity of the law of God were made a specialty. . . . We should now be doing our very best to defeat this Sunday law.–CW 97, 98 (1906).  {LDE 128.1}

 

GOSPEL WORKERS

“Be Ye Separate”

I CALL UPON MY BRETHREN WHO ARE APPOINTED TO EDUCATE, TO CHANGE THEIR COURSE OF ACTION. IT IS A MISTAKE FOR YOU TO LINK YOUR INTERESTS WITH ANY POLITICAL PARTY, TO CAST YOUR VOTE WITH THEM OR FOR THEM. Those who stand as educators, as ministers, as laborers together with God in any line, have no battles to fight in the political world. Their citizenship is in heaven. The Lord calls upon them to stand as a separate and peculiar people. He would have no schisms in the body of believers. His people are to possess the elements of reconciliation.  {GW 393.2}

 

THE GREAT CONTROVERSY

The regulation adopted by the early colonists, of permitting only members of the church to vote or to hold office in the civil government, led to most pernicious results. This measure had been accepted as a means of preserving the purity of the State, but it resulted in the corruption of the church. A profession of religion being the condition of suffrage and office-holding, many, actuated solely by motives of worldly policy, united with the church, without a change of heart. Thus the churches came to consist, to a considerable extent, of unconverted persons; and even in the ministry were those who not only held errors of doctrine, but who were ignorant of the renewing power of the Holy Spirit. Thus again was demonstrated the evil results, so often witnessed in the history of the church from the days of Constantine to the present, of attempting to build up the church by the aid of the State, of appealing to the secular power in support of the gospel of Him who declared, “My kingdom is not of this world.” [John 18:36.]

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