The Signs of the Times, vol. 21- Contents
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January 22, 1906
“Freedom of Choice” The Signs of the Times, 21, 3, 25.
“One man esteemeth one day above another.” Romans 14:5.SITI January 22, 1906, page 25.1
THAT touches a question that is rife everywhere to-day: the question of compelling people to observe a certain day and in a certain day, the regarding of one day above another, God says to all people, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord: and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.” So you see any day regarded not to the Lord is not truly regarded at all: for there is nothing in it truly to regard. Therefore, since the observance of a day is a matter that pertains to God, and lies between God and the individual’s faith and conscience, any observance of a Sabbath or rest-day enforced by law, by statute, by police, judge, court, or prosecution, is an invasion of the province of God and the realm of faith and conscience in the first instance; and in the second instance, is not the observance of the day and never can be.SITI January 22, 1906, page 25.2
That repeats the original truth that is expressed in Genesis and all the way through the book. The observance of a day, the observance of a Sabbath or a rest-day, pertains to God; and to the relationship between God and the individual faith and conscience. God has appointed a day, that is true. He calls upon all people to observe that day, that is true. But in the original freedom in which He has created man, any man is free to choose not to do it just as he is free to choose not to believe His word.SITI January 22, 1906, page 25.3
And when any man chooses not to regard the day that God appointed, his responsibility for it is to God alone, and not to any man, to any set of men, to any legislature, or to any court on earth. Therefore by the word of God all this campaign that covers the whole land, yes, covers all Christendom, that is seeking for law, more and more law, to compel the observance of a day, whether it be Sunday or any other day—even if it were the day that God has appointed—is a direct invasion of the province of God and of the realm of faith and conscience; and must be repudiated by every Christian; by every one who would respect the sovereignty of God and the freedom of faith and conscience—in a word, by every soul who would regard religious liberty.SITI January 22, 1906, page 25.4
Service to God must be chosen to be true and acceptable. When it is not freely chosen and is compelled, such compulsory and constrained service is only sin. As the leading church historian has expressed it, “The truth itself forced on man otherwise than by its own inward power, becomes falsehood.” Thus the truth cannot be forced upon men. For it to be to men the truth that it really is, it must be received upon their personal choice freely made: and when men simply cannot be compelled to obey the truth, much less should they be compelled to obey lies.SITI January 22, 1906, page 25.5
Friends and people all, let us open our eyes and look at things as they are, in the light of the truth as God has given it. Let us recognise God in His true place, and the freedom which He has given to every soul. And let us ever remember in behalf of all people that charter of religious liberty from God: “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master be standeth or falleth.” Let us all seek ever the true way of the love of God shed abroad in the heart for all people in the world: seeking by all means of loving-kindness and long-suffering to truly represent Him who introduced Christianity into the world with the divine watchword: “On earth, peace: good will toward men,” and thus be true representatives of true religious liberty.—A. T. Jones.SITI January 22, 1906, page 25.6
“Note” The Signs of the Times, 21, 3, 31.
When any nation, any state, any people or government, puts itself between men and God, and undertaken to decide in the matter of religion and faith, and presumes to put upon man against his choice what some men say that the recognised religion shall be, then such is not religion at all: it is iniquity.—A. T. Jones.SITI January 22, 1906, page 31.1