Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spurgeon on the Myth of Neutrality in Politics — and the Need for Nations to Acknowledge God, Rule by God's Law, and Enforce the Sabbath

In the following 11 queries we get insight into the political views of Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher.

Spurgeon believed that civil government was required to acknowledge God and therefore rule by His lawincluding by enforcing the Christian Sabbath. Note also how well he articulates the myth of neutrality in civil governmentwhen the state ceases to acknowledge God, it does not become indifferent, but opposes God.

He also shows the myth of neutrality regarding education.

Spurgeon's 11 Queries on Politics 

1. Are not all mankind under law to God, and where and when did the King of all the earth announce that nations were to be free from his control, and from all recognition of his existence and authority?

2. Ought not a nation in all questions which necessarily involve religion, to decide for God, and according to his word, rather than for infidelity; and when a question is decided by numbers, is not every citizen burdened with a share of responsibility, and should he not give his vote on the Lord’s side?

3. If the case of a government appointed for secular rule be exactly parallel with that of a company for the management of a railway, so that neither may go beyond their special business, are not both the government and the company still bound by the laws of God; as for instance, but that which allots one day in seven for rest? And can either of them break such laws without sin? If it be true, that both are free from all allegiance to the law of God, where is this affirmed or implied in Scripture?

4. If a government has nothing to do with religion, by what right are public houses closed on Sundays at certain hours? Why are theaters closed on the Lord’s day? Why are chaplains provided for the Army and Navy? Why does not Parliament sit on Sundays? We venture to challenge the believers in the non-religious principle to endeavor to carry out the logical inferences of their own assertion; most devoutly hoping that they will never succeed.

5. If a government should cease to acknowledge God at all, or in any sense, would it not at once become religious in the very lowest and worst sense, and be to all intents and purposes atheistic, and would it not necessarily by disregarding the Sabbath and in other ways, become a persecuting government towards the Christian faith, at least in the case of its servants and employees? And would it not thereby involve all its Christian subjects in a share of its sin?

6. As the non-respect of God’s word is as much a religion as the respect of it, and as the avowed believers in this religion are a small minority of the nation, is it consistent with justice that the governing power should be controlled by the negative faith or non-faith of the minority, in a word, by their ir-religion? If not, then in questions which necessarily involve religion, must not the government decide for respect to God and his Word?

7. How can religion be eliminated from education, unless it be eliminated from the teacher himself? If books of history and science, and reading lessons be expurgated of every religious idea, and the Bible be excluded, will not the work still be incomplete till we raise teachers of a colorless character, or so utterly destitute of any zeal that they will never intrude their faith in God, his providence, his Word, or his Son?

8. Supposing this last fact to be accomplished, what results beneficial and desirable are likely to follow from the teaching? What results which Nonconformist Christians could look upon with pleasure when on their knees before God in intercession for their country?

9. If it be said that Sabbath Schools will make up the deficiency, is it remembered that in large towns the government schools will mainly gather those who never have gone to such schools and never will? Is it also remembered that many of the lowest class of parents who now send their children to Sunday Schools as their only chance of learning to read, will probably withdraw them when they are forced to acquire that accomplishment, or at least can do so for nothing elsewhere?

10. Is this the freedom which our fathers fought and bled for, and this the liberty for which Nonconformists have suffered and labored—the liberty to deny to those who ask for it, permission for their children to read the Bible in the government schools? If it be so, was the object worthy of the effort?

11. As we have now with considerable clearness taught the world that the state has no power within the sphere of the church, would it not be as well to teach the further lesson, which is needed to balance the first, namely that God is King over all the earth, and that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of Lords? Is it not true that parliaments, and kings, and nations, are under the law of Christ, and that whoever may say, ‘Let us break his bands asunder, and cast his cords from us,’ such language ill becomes Christian men. 

C. H. Spurgeon, "Politics and the Separation of State from Religion," extracted from Ordained Servant vol. 5, no. 1, January 1996 ( Retrieved March 5, 2015 from

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