QUESTIONS ABOUT POLITICS, VOTING, ETC.
DEAR SIR:--I am endeavoring to "walk in the light, as He is in the light," believing myself fully consecrated, and solicitous to understand his will concerning us. I read the TOWER with pleasure and profit, and quite approve of most of its utterances. Here is one, however, I wish you would further explain and justify:
"As concerns voting, the case is somewhat different, and we fully agree with you in the view expressed--that our covenant with the Lord, and our fidelity to him, practically make us aliens in our relations to all human governments, and that, therefore, we would best take no part in the election of officers or in the management of the affairs of this world." --Z.W. TOWER, May 15, 1893.
I am far from taking any particular interest in political affairs, and, indeed, rarely vote: but I have not refrained from voting through any sense of duty so to do.
Cannot, and does not, God sometimes use his people to accomplish some good even through the much abused ballot box?
Whatever is his will concerning me I desire cheerfully to do.
With best wishes for success to your earnest efforts, and prayers that his "will be done on earth as it is in heaven," I am, dear brother,
Yours sincerely, DR. S. L.__________.
Another brother writes urging that the Prohibition Party should have our votes and influence. He claims that the reform that it is attempting to bring about is in perfect accord with our teachings relative to the character of the Millennium; and that it is, therefore, evident that the Prohibition Party is of the Lord's institution, and that to fail to support it is to fail in that degree to serve the Lord.
These two brethren present their side of this question in its best form--pure patriotism-- the welfare of the people. And we confess that, if we considered it possible to bring in the blessings of the Millennium by political reform, there would be a great temptation to help it on by voting.
But we see no reason for supposing that a majority of the people, of this or of any other country inhabited by the fallen race of Adam, will join in the interest of righteousness and establish it. Some of the vast majority are wicked; more are blind and stupid and easily misled in judgment; and nearly all are ruled by selfishness, which is the very spirit of Satan.
Hence we have no confidence in the flesh, nor that any government that the majority of fallen men could institute would be anything more than relatively good--and that in comparison with the terribly bad institutions, which have for centuries more or less abused power and oppressed the masses, especially the meek.
Not only is this our judgment based upon the history of centuries, but the infallible Word of God more than corroborates this view. It declares that present governmental institutions are simply human efforts and not of God; and that because mankind in general are sold under sin and blinded by Satan, and thus his dupes, therefore, Satan is really "the prince of this world" or age. It pictures present governments as beastly, and bids God's saints rejoice in the promise that soon Christ will overthrow all these, and on their ruins establish the long promised and prayed for Kingdom of God.-- Dan. 2:44.
The testimony is that it will not be by a bloodless revolution at the ballot box, but by "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation;" in which the Lord will dash the Kingdoms of this world to pieces, as pottery is shivered before the blows of an iron rod.-- Dan. 12:1; Rev. 2:26,27.
True, all who love righteousness should feel, and do feel, a sympathy for every moral reform which gives the slightest promise of helping roll away the curse which now rests upon the world by reason of the reign of sin and death. But those who get into the Lord's confidence, and are granted an insight into His Word, are there informed regarding the divine plan; for the "secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him." And thus getting the spirit or mind of the Lord--"the spirit of a sound mind"--they are saved from following the various delusions, which swallow up the time and energies of many well-meaning people; and are enabled to give their time and energy in harmony with the great plan which God is out-working, viz., the call and "perfecting of [R1563 : page 236] the saints," thus making ready the kings and priests who, under Christ, their "head," shall soon rule and bless all the families of the earth.
It is therefore a mistake to suppose that the Prohibition Party is God's Party, laboring under his direction, and that he will bring to its efforts success. While it is less selfish than other parties, and while it probably contains proportionately a larger number of good people than do other parties, yet it is only man's [R1564 : page 236] party carrying on man's idea. It is going about to establish righteousness, etc., on its own lines, and has not submitted itself to the divine plan for establishing righteousness, presented in God's Word.
Let us not forget to look to the Lord and the apostles as our patterns in this as in every matter: There were many moral, social and political reforms possible in the days of our Lord and his apostles, but we do not read of any effort on their part either to inaugurate or to assist in such movements. Why? Because they knew that such was not God's plan; and they desired to be and were co-workers with God in his plan. If God had seen fit to give the four great empires, pictured in Daniel, the control of the world "until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled," why should they attempt to take it from them sooner. If God saw fit to permit the groaning creation as a whole to continue to groan and to gain experience for a few years longer, until the Kingdom Church has been selected and set up in power and great glory, cannot his children acknowledge the wisdom of his plan and co-operate in it by giving their energies, as he directed, to the selecting and polishing of each other as members of that Kingdom Church? "Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for him;" for all his purposes shall be accomplished in his own due time. Let us work with him as much as we can, and follow in the footsteps of our Lord and the apostles by preaching God's Kingdom (and not moral reforms) as the hope of the world, and let us seek to perfect the members of that Kingdom.
Furthermore, looking at the subject from another stand-point, we remark that, He who votes at an election is morally bound to sustain the government he has participated in making --even to the giving of his life in its defense. On the contrary, soldiers of the cross are not to battle with carnal weapons, but have consecrated their lives even unto death in the service of another kingdom, whose interests are often against those of all the kingdoms of this world.