Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Reflection: Politics in Perspective

As Christians read the news, we should not worry like those without hope. This morning, my pastor, preaching on Paul's Letter to Philemon, pointed out that the Apostle refers to himself as "a prisoner of Christ Jesus" (Philemon vv. 1, 9). Of course, Paul was in real chains, writing from Emperor Nero's prison in Rome. No matter. Paul knew that his life and days were in God's hands for God's purposes. Equally well, he knew that the cause of Christ is in no way threatened by anything men can do.

We may consider the Korean missionaries who are being held hostage by the Taliban who are threatening them with death. (Michelle Malkin has good coverage of this; Gypsy Scholar in S. Korea posts sober thoughts.) My pastor, noting of course how concerned he would be if his own children in that situation, remarked nonetheless that, though the Taliban think that they hold these lives in their hands, the missionaries actually have the Taliban just where they want them, even should they die. Pilate thought that he could decide our Lord's fate. "Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?" Jesus with confident equanimity responded, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above" (John 19:10-11 ESV). People thought they could smother the church in its cradle by suppressing news of the resurrection (Matthew 28:11-15) and by killing the witnesses (Acts 7:54-60, 12:1-2) and the church leaders (Acts 9:23). But "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" (Tertullian, but there is some doubt about this source).

Even if Hillary Clinton is returned to the White House (would the republic survive?), God is nonetheless working out all things according to his good and glorious plan (which does not depend upon this republic surviving). "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (I John 5:21).

For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen. -- Romans 11:34-36

2 comments:

kapok said...

Thanks D.C.

JK

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks for the link, Dr. Innes. I've been rather busy with various things, or I would have thanked you before.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *