Main Menu

Christianity and Politics

The Difference between Christians and the Church

Printer Friendly Version Email Link to a Friend
Image for Article

The year was 1926. The issue was Prohibition. J. Gresham Machen, assistant professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary, had just voted against a motion in his presbytery to support the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act, the federal legislation that made illegal the sale and distribution of alcohol between 1918 and 1933. Machen's denomination, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. was vehemently supportive of Prohibition. And yet Machen voted against the motion, not because, as some alleged, his family money came from running bootleg gin. Instead he believed the church's support for this specific legislation violated the church's legitimate authority.

If you have a current subscription or current on-line account please log-in here to read the rest of this article.

Darryl G. Hart is Director of Fellowship Programs at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (Wilmington, Delaware) and author of several books including, John Williamson Nevin: High Church Calvinist (P&R, 2005) and A Secular Faith: Why Christianity Favors the Separation of Church and State (Ivan R. Dee, 2006).

Issue: "The Christian Voters Guide" Sept./Oct. 2004 Vol. 13 No. 5 Page number(s): 32-33

    You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. We do not allow reposting an article in its entirety on the Internet.  We request that you link to this article from your website.  Any exceptions to the above must be explicitly approved by Modern Reformation (

    Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: This article originally appeared in the [insert current issue date] edition of Modern Reformation and is reprinted with permission. For more information about Modern Reformation, visit or call (800) 890-7556. All rights reserved.