Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Doctrine of Fairness

I continue to hear calls for [conservative] critics of President Obama to back off and let the president be president for a while. I've addressed this before, and it turned up again in my study this morning:
Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?” And those who stood by said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?” Then Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

-- Acts 23:1-5

Even though Paul had a justifiable claim against the unjust treatment he was receiving, he repented when he realized the position of the one he was addressing. Calling the high priest a "whitewashed wall" is probably an example of the kind of reviling Christ condemns.

But if the president [our "king"] claims our consideration out of respect for his position --basic fairness, maybe -- then what should we make out of this passage?
Do not curse the king, even in your thought;
Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom ...

-- Ecclesiastes 10:20a

Is there some unbridled rhetoric and heavy-handed policy coming from the new administration? I think there's room for self-examination and repentance on the other side of the aisle, too.


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