Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.
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Do you trust politicians, or newspapers, or the BBC, or Google? If not, is there anyone you trust? What do we mean by asking if a politician is trustworthy? If it means that they keep their promises, and do what they said they would, then some dictators would come near the top for trustworthiness. We mean more than that, and we know it. We want our leaders to be just, and fair, and honourable. But there is the problem; whose justice; which sort of fairness; what do we mean by honour?
It is false comfort to say that a couple of generations ago there was more agreement on these things; the 1930s saw bitter disagreement between Christians in this country as to whether pacifism was the only right action in the face of dictatorship. In earlier times, much evil was swept under the carpet of respectability.
The rule of law only works where most people agree with it. If we all decided that looting shops was acceptable, the law - on that point at least - would become unworkable. There is always a tension between what we want and what society needs.
Nor can we truly say that our laws are based on biblical principles; we would have to leave out quite a lot. Even the teaching of Jesus isn’t easily boiled down into a moral code; if he told the Centurion to resign his commission and become pacifist, it’s not recorded.
In the end, thank God, we don’t have to solve all of this, nor all at once. We are called to use well whatever gifts and whatever power we are each given, in every moment. To Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God. From that, by grace, under Christ, all else may follow.
Written by Roger Quick
News category: General
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