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    March 18, 1897

    “Politics and Religion” American Sentinel 12, 11.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Present Truth.” (London, England.)

    Why is it that this society which considers itself cultivated two tabooed subjects are “religion” and “politics?” No doubt because so many people, who are admitted even to the best society, are unable to control their tempers, or speak with calmness and moderation respecting subjects in which their personal interests are involved, or concerning which their personal prejudices are crossed. In discussing politics it certainly is quite natural that there should be heat and rancour. Here individual prejudices are likely to hold sway and to govern more or less the language and demeanour of those who indulge in political conversation. But in the realm of true religion, the religion of Jesus Christ, prejudice has no place.AMS March 18, 1897, page 172.1

    There must be, it is true, assured and fixed conviction. But that is quite a different thing from prejudice. Conviction is indeed the natural foe and conqueror of prejudice. Two persons whose hearts are filled with the conviction of the eternal truths of true religion pure and undefiled, may talk together of the hope that is in them with joy and delight. Nothing in word, or act, or look, would pass between them which could mar the amenities of any social gathering. In their hearts prejudices do not exist,-they have been driven out by the conviction and acceptance of religious truth.AMS March 18, 1897, page 172.2

    Politics cannot exist without prejudice. Indeed it is nothing else than the personal and individual interests, desires, and feelings, of different men and bodies of men, countries and sections of countries, brought into activity and antagonism. It is unavoidable that the partisanship here should be intense. But in the realm of true religion there is no room for partisanship, there can be no selfish interests or desires. Politics, it is evident, cannot be otherwise than disturbing in its tendency, it is inevitable from its very nature. But the very contrary is the fact in the case of true religion from its very nature.AMS March 18, 1897, page 172.3

    What then is the trouble? Why should these two things, direct opposites-the one which makes the most for war, and the one which makes the most for peace-be classed together as the two greatest elements of disturbance, and equally denied admittance to the drawing room? The one, it is true, contains every uncomfortable and disagreeable possibility, but the other contains none. The reason of this strange and ill-assorted companionship in exile is that true religion is utterly misapprehended. That which is thought to be religion, and discussed as religion, is not the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the visionary politics of an unknown future.AMS March 18, 1897, page 173.1

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