Counter Culture: Political Elections

(Joh. 17:16; Phil. 3:20)

An interesting letter from the year 1848 which surely causes controversial reactions (in Deutsch HIER):

Montpellier, March 24th, 1848

VERY DEAR BROTHER,

I write a line in haste, having at heart the course of the brethren with regard to these elections which are about to take place. I found that the brothers at V. had scarcely reflected at all on the bearing of an act which was making them take part in the course of the world. Thanks be to God, from the moment when that was presented to them they saw the thing, and, I hope, clearly. This has led me to think that perhaps the brothers near you may not have reflected upon it either.

It seems to me so simple that the Christian, not being at all of this world, but united to Him who died and rose again, has no business to mix himself up with the most declared activity of the world, by an act which affirms his existence as belonging to the world, and his identification with the entire system which the Lord is about to judge; that I think the truth has only to be presented in order to be acknowledged by those who have understood their position; so much the more that these events [The Revolution.] place the world more manifestly (not more really) on its own ground, but more really near the great catastrophe which is about to fall upon those who rise up against God.

Oh how my soul longs that His people should be separated to Him, and even with understanding of what is awaiting the world, and still more of what they ought continually to await themselves! May God give the grace to be faithful in bearing this testimony, and everywhere, according to the door that He will open, in season and out of season; for His own, so dear to Him, need it.

Events are hastening on, dear brother, and yet as to us we are waiting for but one, that our Beloved, our Saviour should come. His coming becomes a resource, as it has long been a joy to us, and a reality still more precious, and more near. May we expect it continually; God alone knows the moment.

The Christian takes cognizance of the events which are taking place, as a testimony to the one who understands; but his thought, his desire, his portion, is much more within the sanctuary than all that. But is it not true that this voting, as an act of identification with the world (in the very forms which it assumes in the last days), ought to be avoided as a snare by all Christians who understood the will of God and their position in Christ? Always true (I have been acting upon it for twenty years), it is doubly true now.

May peace, grace and mercy be with you, dear brother, and be multiplied to you, and may the presence and the joy of the Lord be with all the brethren who surround you. Probably I shall set out immediately for England, but in the hope of returning. Salute affectionately all the brethren.

Your very affectionate

J.N.D.

I think that at the end of Philippians 3, the way in which we wait for Jesus Christ as Saviour, is to deliver us finally from the whole course of this world, such as it is.

J. N. Darby, Letters, Vol. 1, Nr. 65, p. 129

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