Recently Read: On Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and Government Terror

rf-4by David Gushee

The favorite Bible passage for traditional Christians related to government authority is Romans 13:1-7. One key line in that passage says this (v. 3, NRSV):

Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; for it is God’s servant for your good.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? Government authorities, like police officers, are public servants. They are frightening only to those who are bad and do wrong. But those of us who are not bad and do not do wrong need not be afraid of public servants like police officers. They will offer us only good; they will not harm us. How many times have I heard white preachers and theologians present this happy version of how divinely ordained government authority works?

The late Philando Castile did not find it to be the case last night near St. Paul, Minnesota. The late Alton Sterling did not find it to be the case two days before in Baton Rouge. These black men were shot by white police officers, two of 123 black Americans shot by police so far in 2016, out of a total of 506 nationwide.

Read the rest on Ministry Matters.

Recently Read

Recently Read

Recently Read posts are stories the editors of The United Methodist Reporter have found interesting from other sites and wanted to share with our readers. The editors do not necessarily endorse the opinions shared in these stories, and referral here should not imply endorsement of that content.

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