The Criminal Element

Twenty-first century western discourse avoids pejorative words and expressions at almost all costs.  Rioting, vandalism, burning, stealing and even murder are generally identified, with great apparent sadness and regret, as “tragedies” or “disasters” rather than what they truly are: crimes.  Those who express their inner frustrations or selfish desires by “acting out” in a criminal manner are described as “militants,” “extremists,” and even “victims” of societal pressures and ills.  Meanwhile, the core functions of any legitimate government, i.e. to punish those who do evil and to commend those who do good,[1] are buried under dusty layers of social advocacy, legal positivism,[2] and the ubiquitous curse of “political correctness.”

The fact of the matter is that we are all, without exception, potential criminals.  Some of us have evaded discovery by our fellow human beings while all of us have been found guilty before the ultimate bar of justice.[3]  However, the most insidious criminal elements in any society are those who not only look out exclusively for themselves, excusing their own actions and motives, but those who declare evil to be good and good evil.  These are the people who translate freedom into moral license, chastity into ignorance, and purity into laughable unsophistication.

It must be noted that we are focusing on public conduct and public policy—crimes that are committed in private and remain private are beyond our depth.  That is not to say that private corruption cannot be combated for it can and does come under the constant scrutiny of the One with whom we have to do and should be directly affected by the ordinary ministries of the Christian Church.  However, our concerns here are the public actions and activities of the Church Militant.

[1]1 Peter 2:14

[2]In effect, the belief that the law is whatever governmental authority posits, generally informed by changing and changeable societal norms, with little or no regard for universal principles of morality or justice.

[3]Romans 3:23

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