Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Time for Recovery

The next two weeks I don't have to go to school - finally I have a vacation. I'll let my body recuperate from having worked straight through since September, and get started on reviewing for heading to Gordon-Conwell Seminary. I guess I'm on for cooking, cleaning and packing to go, too.

There was a news item here in Korea today that brings home Susan's recent post about the death penalty: "Court clears victims executed for treason in 1975." In that story eight Koreans that were executed in 1975 have been cleared of the charges. A lot of good it does them now, eh.

To add my own thoughts to Susan's musings on the subject, I, being a Christian, do not support the death penalty, but, also because I am a Christian, do not expect any government to follow the same way. If a government happens to have a Christian policy, then that is by mere coincidence, not design. I believe the Christian walk is apart from society. Yet we all live within a state, whatever form it might take. Paul, in his writing in the book of Romans, chapter 13, speaks about the Christian in relation to the state. "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities." This means everyone, including followers of Christ.

I have always paid my taxes, but I have never voted. I will follow laws insofaras they do not contravene the law of heaven. I have citizenship in heaven, and I happen to be living on Earth, subject to whatever ruler happens to be in power. Whether in Canada, the States or Korea, that ruler is always different, coming and going. But as for my citizenship in heaven, it is granted by a ruler whose reign will never end.

God is not Lord of only some spiritual "part" of me, but Lord of all my life. The way of Jesus Christ is given a place to direct each part of my life, not those parts which I choose. That means some very difficult choices sometimes - and it means there will be opposition from family and friends. Jesus said he did not come to bring peace to the world - rather he came to bring peace to those who believe in him. The corollary of this is that only those who have decided to follow Jesus are to be held to obedience - those who have not should not be compelled to the same standards. Certainly there is a kind of worldly wisdom which come from experience in the world - I'm not talking about that - but rather ethics and morality. These things are different for Christians; radically different from the ways of the world.

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