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In the booklet Youth Speaks on Calvin­ism, the author of the chapter entitled “The Calvinist as a Citizen”, contends that the principle of Calvinism must be applied to the political sphere as well as to all other spheres. He believes that history proves the possibility of working out such a program.

In 1878 Dr. A. Kuyper recognized the political program in the Anti-revolution­ary Party and again Calvinism became successfully operative on the political scene. The author continues to say that this shows that Calvinism can be applied to the political problems of a modern age. Kuyper raised Calvinism to a na­tional level and showed that a minority of Calvinists can be a great influence on the national scone. The article con­tinues to say that the only requirement necessary to make Calvinism effective in politics is for the Calvinist to apply his beliefs.

Calvinism has tremendous possibilities for our age. America is now the leader of the western world and never before has Calvinism in America had such an opportunity to be a world-wide influence.

We must now translate this opportunity into action.

There is a need for Calvinistic politics today. Politics is often disgusting, secu­lar, worldly, and rotten.

For Calvinism to become effective in 20th century politics the author mentions at least two things which are needed.

The first is a Calvinistic philosophy in modern terms, related to modern prob­lems.

The second thing necessary is to have individual Calvinists who are willing to be active and work out the philosophy.

The writer also contends that we must make use of the facilities we have. We must be influential through our writ­ing first of all.

Calvin College, he says, offers a fine place to begin. The student should be taught to understand for himself and to express to others, the relation between Calvinism and modern politics.

Political action as such, on both na­tional and local level is the duty of all of us. This means voting, exercising our political influence, and going into politics. The number does not count but the enthusiasm. Voting is the least that can be expected of us. We should also remember that we should vote for the man, not the party.

However a Calvinist can do much more. The charge that Christianity and Politics do not mix has been proven false by Kuyper and Colijn in the Netherlands and in our own country by such men as Garret Heyns and others. A Calvinist entering politics will find that honesty and conviction are still at a premium.

So, briefly, the summary of this article, “The Calvinist as Citizen.”

The author of this article tries to prove that Calvinism and Politics do harmonize. He claims that history proves the fact that Calvinism entered successfully into politics; for instance, during the 17th century and also when in 1878 Dr. A. Kuyper organized the Anti-revolutionary Party.

These instances were, first of all, ques­tionable as to their success and, if grant­ed successful, the fact that they worked in the Netherlands surely proves nothing when applied to this country, for surely Dr. A. Kuyper fell victim to his own success. Before he entered the political scene he was known for the soundness of his Reformed Faith and regarded highly for his sound doctrinal policies. But after entering politics he found and met many problems. He found problems be­cause of his close contact with the world and his only solution for these problems was the Common Grace theories which he developed to the point where they stand today in the Christian Reformed Church.

The problem to the author is that people do not manifest Calvinism out­wardly. He points out that it is the Calvinist’s duty to enter into politics. It is his duty and obligation to vote as a Calvinistic Citizen in this world, he con­tends.

In answer to this we cannot find such a calling whatsoever in the light of Scrip­ture namely for the Calvinist to enter into Politics. In fact it is impractical and almost impossible. For a Calvinist to enter in politics means that he must firmly contend at all times for his be­liefs and ideals as a Christian. He must always say, “Thus saith the Lord.” This we all can see is quite foolish and im­practical in the Political world in which we live today.

As to our duty to vote; what really happens when we go to the polls for an election? We try to make a choice be­tween two candidates and cast our ballot for the lesser of two evils. We ask this question, Is it our calling or duty to do this?

To sum up the entire matter we believe it is inconsistent with the command to be a “separate people” and to “come out from among them” for us as Christians to enter active politics in this country. It is simply impossible to consistently live, testify and act the part of a sincere Christian and cooperate with the poli­ticians such as we have here. Only by camouflaging our principles or glossing over our convictions by compromise would this in any way be possible. To go a step further we can even question whether a Christian pray vote for men whose principles and convictions are not in harmony with God’s Word.

We do not consider it our calling nor do we find any mandate in Scripture as to our participation in politics except to obey the powers that be and to give due honor to all in authority for God’s sake.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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