by June Griffin
Every philosophy or doctrine has its incarnations or emanations. Philosophies/doctrines which teach passivity will result in a passive person or citizen. It is the desire of tyrants to use such persons to promote their selfish ends which is why religions like Buddhism or Communism, which pass for as 'peaceful' actually keep hordes of God's creation in the virtual slavery of collectivism. Laws, ways of forgiveness, punishments for transgressions, avenues to leadership, means of supporting the kingdom, personal livelihood, Rights or deprivations of same -these things vital to life are important matters to determine whether one will be slave or free.
With that said, consider the matter in Rhea County, Tennessee, regarding its County Executive. According to news reports, the Knoxville City Police set up a sting operation and one of their stingers, posing as a hooker, caught a big fish, the County Executive, who purportedly offered her fifty dollars for a favor, leading to his arrest and jaded publicity.
Good Rhea County citizens, naturally incensed, ran a half-page public notice calling for his resignation. Enter aforesaid doctrines and their application.
Two religious doctrines appeared. Those whose desire was for good government and morality pressed for purity in public examples. They were concerned with the public trust which was violated and stained the reputation of the County. And while these good citizens prayed the charged official would repent of his sin, yet justice and morality demanded his resignation.
On the other hand, another doctrine arose and this from persons whose livelihood and political gains were effected because this official had many political contacts in the right places and was a valuable monetary asset to their kingdom. Thus these paraded their doctrine of automatic forgiveness, forbidding justice under the misunderstood quotation of Christ: "He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone," thus relieving the well-heeled and useful official of any guilt or recompense. Such a comforter applied across the board would free all the criminals and end the problem of jail overcrowding and licentious lawyers. If all are forgiven, then no person, all being sinners, are worthy of bearing penalty for crimes.
Lorenzo Dow, nineteenth-century Methodist circuit preacher, whose writings were only second to the Bible in public sales, was an astute student of nature and saw how reckless such doctrines as "eternal security," "imputed righteousness," and antinomianism (lawlessness) could be applied to politics.
"What dangerous sentiments these are, not only on a religious point of view, to lull people to sleep, but also in civil and political respect; for if one falls into public scandal, and retaining an idea of being secured unchangeably in the favor of God, he cannot be under the principles of honor, nor yet the idea of future rewards and punishments; and of course hath nothing to restrain him, wherefore he is a dangerous citizen and subject. This is the truth and it cannot be confuted." Page 83, Lorenzo Dow, PUBLIC WORKS.
What a prophet is this great circuit riding preacher! It can be easily seen then that doctrine greatly effects justice and trust.
The real question regarding justification in this deed why this 'automatic forgiveness' is to be only applied to one who, by vested interest standards, has "done so much for this County." Who did "the most for the County," the good citizens who demanded integrity in office or the charged County Official?