Honoring Those in Authority
by Charles W. Colson
May 24, 2005
I was in Grand Rapids last week for a celebration, as Calvin Seminary established a chair in my name. I agreed because of my respect for the man who will hold it, Dr. Neal Plantinga-one of the keenest thinkers in the Christian world and a wonderful, godly man.
But while there, I was confronted by the ad in the Grand Rapids Press challenging President Bush's Christianity. Before the president spoke at the commencement at Calvin College (which is affiliated with the seminary, but a different institution), nearly eight hundred students, professors, and alumni signed the ad.
Now, I believe, of course, that Christians are free to protest. And though the majority of evangelicals support this president, some do not. And that's okay. In my book Kingdoms in Conflict, I wrote that Christians should never get enmeshed in a partisan agenda.
But there's a time and place to do it. And a college commencement that the president is gracious enough to attend is not the place. Calvin ought to make a course on civility and manners mandatory.
The ad said, "Your deeds, Mr. President-neglecting the needy to coddle the rich, desecrating the environment and misleading the country into war-do not exemplify the faith we live by."
Ironically, right before the president appeared at Calvin, he announced that he would veto any stem-cell bill that destroyed life, despite huge pressures to sign it. No president in my lifetime has been more consistently pro-life.
What about the sanctity of marriage? The president strongly supports a constitutional amendment to protect marriage.
Human rights? When I told the president one day of the uncontrolled state of sexual trafficking, he was horrified. He spoke to the United Nations about it. And at home, he got a bill passed in Congress to stop women from being kidnapped into the sex trade.
When a number of us urged the White House to get involved in Sudan, this president ended the killing of southern Sudanese Christians.
And neglecting the needy? At a summit meeting on AIDS in Africa held in the Roosevelt room, the president told us, "We will spend 15 billion dollars, and we will teach abstinence-only as our priority." This is the first president to back a bill to stop prison rape and to put funds for prison re-entry in a State of the Union message. He has delivered Angel Tree gifts with us; he's encouraged mentoring. He has been the most vigorous advocate of faith-based solutions.
I have talked with the president about his faith, which, I can tell you, is rock solid. You may dislike the president's policies, but challenging this man's faith in this way-no, that's out of order.
John Calvin, the great reformer for whom this once proud school was named, said, "The first duty of subjects towards their rulers is to entertain the most honorable views of their office, recognizing it as a delegated jurisdiction from God." People in office should be held in "esteem and veneration," and he added that we are to "bear patiently their failures."
The best advice I can give these upstart students and faculty at Calvin College is to study the words of the one whose name they bear (particularly Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book IV). They will find no better example of a truly Christian attitude toward those in authority.
Shamelessly stolen from the Breakpoint website. Originally posted here. Thanks for bringing this to my attention are due to Mrs. Christina Benjamins.
This post bubbled to the surface on Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I had my second-ever Settlers victory on sunday afternoon against Jenn and Ja-Rod. The picture below is of Ja-Rod winning the afternoon's second game.
So, if you live nearby and want to play, give me a call!
Bike 1, Car 0
Apparently someone had planned to send it plummeting down into the ravine, but a tree stood in the way and it was left teetering at the brink.
So, if your license plate read ASMA507, I'm terribly sorry for your loss.
Worst... Coffee... Ever
This, in fact, is the worst coffee out there.
This coffee, purchased at Wendy's on Golflinks in Ancaster at 11.02am on Saturday the 14th of May, had the look of weak tea and the taste of grim death.
2. My Middle Name
3. My Last Name
4. Age On My Next Birthday
5. My Favourite Colour
6. A Place I Want to Live Someday
7. A Bad Habit I Have
8. My Favourite Fruit
9. My Favourite Animal
10. Last Name of My Favourite Teacher
11. Name of Pet
12. My Best Friend's Nickname
I am presently working hard to build up an active clientele composed both of residential computer users and small to medium sized businesses.
Nerds On Site offers a broad range of technical services from computer purchase consulting to wireless network installation to virus removal to custom software design... the list goes on! If you know anyone interested in Nerdly services, here's my contact information:
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We are fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.
If only it were that easy. Many thanks to the ever-wonderful Naomi for this inspiring quote.
A few of us had the privelege of enjoying lunch at his Aunt and Uncle's place in Ancaster. Here's Nick chilling in the shade with his Pake.
If I Were a Penguin...
Here are the rules, in a nutshell: I pick 5 occupations out of the list below and post my answers. Then I tag 3 other people to post their answers on their blog. If I tag you, and you don't want to be a part of this, I'll try not to think any less of you. Just let me know and I'll tag someone else.
The "questions": If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...
Here are my answers:
If I could be a scientist, I'd get to know the human genome really well, and find a way to eliminate genetic disorders.
If I could be a musician I would try to show audiences the commonality they share with composers of distant lands and times.
If I could be a linguist, I would love to get to know real, living people who are participants in and caretakers of each of the world's languages.
If I could be a professor, I would eschew lectures and have a full hour one-to-one chat with each of my students every week. Of course, I would only have 20 students.
If I could be a librarian, I wouldn't be me.
I tag three people, Goheen, Klassen and Skocpol.
This post bubbled to the surface on Monday, May 02, 2005
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