Participatory Democracy in an open society is messy. Unlike tidy authoritarian systems, “Government by the people and for the people” is rough around the edges. Many different chapters of American History record the ragged edges of our civil unrest (Shays’ Rebellion, Whiskey Rebellion, the Haymarket Affair, Jaybird-Woodpecker War, Pullman Strike, Columbine Mine Massacre, Bonus Army March, Zoot Suit Riots, Long Hot Summer of 1967, end etc.).
Recent events seem to be opening another rough chapter of civil unrest. With passions flaring and rhetoric blaring, what should Christians do? The New Testament teaches us to stand aside from the unrest and stand beside law and order.
This article is written in support of Houston churches. About 400 of them. Yes, this bulletin of the Liberty, Texas Church of Christ is written in support of Southern Baptist Churches, Missionary Baptist Churches, Community Churches and all other churches that are being harassed by the City of Houston.
Why would a city harass its churches? Not so long ago, cities like Houston held their churches in high esteem as partners together in the cause of "leading peaceful and quiet lives" (II Tim. 2:1-3). Now, Houston's city offices see Houston's rectories as enemy territory.
With the NFL now in socially conscious post-game review, every superstar's ill-mannered fumble is headline news. Once we let (Cow)boys be boys. Now we hold every boorish and overpaid running back accountable to (gasp!) the rules.
No longer waiting for the snap, the blitzing press is piling on. Caught on instant replay, Baltimore's Ray Rice is due his penalty for punching his girlfriend. Over in Montgomery County, it appears that Minnesota's, Oklahoma's and Palestine's Adrian Peterson was unnecessarily rough while physically disciplining his children. The Vikings and the NFL have certainly been guilty of unenlightened procedure as their decisions about Peterson's playing status have jumped off sides, back and forth.
Hi-story, or Just-a-story?
Estranged from scripture, history is just a story, an account of the good and the bad. Engaged with scripture, however, supported by and supporting Bible books, chapters and verses, history is another powerful testimony about the proper doctrines and practices of Christianity. The New Testament gives us the “sing-sing” passages (Eph, 5:19, Col. 3:16, I Cor. 14:15, and etc.), the utterly consistent a capella doctrine of church music. What does history add to our understanding of the kind of music we are to offer in praise of God?
"Of making many books there is no end" (Eccl. 12:12). This is especially true of religious books. The Bhagavad-Gita of Hinduism, the Qur'an of Islam, the Humanist Manifestos I-III of secular Humanism, and the Christian Bible all line up side by side on bookshelves. But among all of these books the Bible stands alone, apart and above.