Archive for the ‘Martin Luther King Jr.’ Tag

Christian Citizenship   1 comment

Christian Citizenship

Above:  The Original Text

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

I think I know what Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., would have said about this.  I do, however, detect a strong influence of Martin Luther.

Were those who helped slaves escape to freedom after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 rebels and disturbers of the peace?  If they were, they were correct!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 4, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CORNELIUS THE CENTURION, WITNESS TO THE CRUCIFIXION

THE FEAST OF SAINT GILBERT OF SEMPRINGHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT JANE (JOAN) OF VALOIS, COFOUNDER OF THE SISTERS OF THE ANNUNCIATION

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL CROSSMAN, ANGLICAN DEAN OF BRISTOL CATHEDRAL

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Rom. 13, 1 & 5

I.

Man has a genius for government.  He must live with others, who share with him life’s common experiences.  He does not, cannot live apart and to himself alone.

II.

For the common good men organize some form of government, enact laws or rules of conduct for all and choose men to administer the government.  These leaders are to labor for the good of all.

The savage seeks to rule or have his own way, by brute force.  Hence there is no stability nor lasting peace possible to him.  Civilization is found where law reigns–the only guarantee to public tranquility.  One should think seriously of how great a blessing it is.

III.

Christianity likewise is concerned for the happiness and usefulness of all.  Her very spirit is general good will.  So it enjoins upon all brotherly kindness and to the effort to live peaceably with all men.  Hence as citizens it is the common duty of men:

(1)  To obey faithfully and conscientiously the law of the land.  Who does not is a disturber of the peace, a rebel.  This involves proper respect of faithful officers.

(2)  Tribute is necessary, to administer the affairs of state.

(3)  The franchise is a solemn responsibility.

“Live in all good conscience.”  God is concerned in these things.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

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Righteousness Exalteth a Nation   1 comment

Righteousness Exalteth a Nation

Above:  Part of the Original Text

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

I have entered item #4 nearly verbatim, adding only an “It” and making the capital “b” in “begets” lower case.  Making only these cosmetic changes does not change the reality of the odd subsequent punctuation and the evidently missing thought between the sentence and the sentence fragment.

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And, on a different issue, I think of all the abuses of human nature which “Christian” cultures have perpetrated–Anti-Semitism, mysogyny, the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery, racial segregation, et cetera.  Then again, I ponder the wondrous art and music which the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches have inspired and sponsored.  On balance, I am convinced, that which Dr. Cornel West calls “Constantinian Christianity” is too respectable and insufficiently prophetic in society.  The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., made a similar critique in his 1963 Letter From a Birmingham Jail.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 9, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN CHEMNITZ, GERMAN LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF BARTON STONE, COFOUNDER OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST)

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Prov. 14, 34

In proportion as people are righteous in life is the nation exalted.

1.  “Righteousness”–justice, holiness, conformity to law.

2.  It raises man’s ideas to ideals above the low and mean things–from low thinking.

3.  [It] elevates personality till the individual is respected as an immortal soul.  Men are not to be slaves, but free under law.  Hence Christian culture–put on the earth but heads above the clouds.

4.  [It] begets love of political and religious freedom.  till men make their laws and choose their rulers according to their own choice.

5.  How great has been the output of Christian civilization–the greatest governments and characters of the world.–done most to uplift humanity and enrich life.

The people should rally to religion and the church in great earnestness that Christianity may bolster all that is good and render the great service the world so surely needs.  “Sin is a reproach to any people.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT