November 18, 2008

Christian Rights

Demand vs. Petition

I get uneasy anytime the church (individually or corporately) demands her rights, as if she had authority to demand anything for herself. However, I don’t see any problem in asking for them, pursuing them through appropriate channels, or being very grateful when they are given.

1 comment:

Joshua Butcher said...

I agree with your sentiment, insofar as it assumes that demands are being made for the sake of Christians on the grounds of individual or corporate preference.

It seems perfectly acceptable to demand obedience to the commands of God, which entail God-given rights, on the basis of God's authority and for the sake of His justice. But how many folks make appeals to rights on the basis of God's Law?

More often it is on the basis of personal preference and convenience, or sometimes (among the more thoughtful) on the appeal of natural rights common to all men. But even natural rights must be grounded in a transcendent authority, which goes back to the original concerns: demands made on the basis of what and for the sake of whom?

We petition God to be faithful and gracious (with the implication that we seek to honor and obey Him) and we demand of ourselves and others (even, and especially authorities) to do likewise, lest they face the perils associated with rebellion against the Supreme Authority, Christ our Lord.