The liberator and the despot

The Christian Science Monitor

In the global community protests are increasingly raised against oppression. But, as many recognize, more than political action alone is needed to bring freedom. Prayer that quickens the affections and reveals something of spiritual reality, of the perfection of God's creation, is powerfully liberating.

Appeals for human rights are sometimes grounded on the Biblical point that every individual is created by God. People generally feel that social measures must align with ultimate truth. But even when human rights are theoretically honored, they are seldom easily achieved. Endless, sometimes even plausible, claims arise that some should be "more" equal than others. Methods from covert manipulation to outright brutality are used to support these claims. Those with greater human power seem to have the advantage.

Christianity has always maintained, however, that spiritual authority does not necessarily coincide with human power. Christ Jesus was deprived of every human right, unjustly sentenced, and cruelly executed. Yet he, not the rulers of the day, prevailed. He showed us that man, God's image, has an authenticity superior to every imposition which would dwarf, crush, or enslave him. His real being is imperishable.

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The burning bush
March 2, 1987

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