A Pocket Guide to the Christian Use of Power
These statements, expressed with particular concern for associations between men and women, define the Christian ideal in both personal and organizational relationships. They would fit snugly on a 4 x 6 card.
- God made us all, male and female, in the divine image (Genesis 1).
- The Bible sides with the weak against oppression by the strong (Exodus, the prophets, Jesus).
- Jesus, the Word made flesh, repudiates coercive power and embraces the persuasive power of service and humble witness (John 1, Hebrews 1, Mark 10 and parallels).
- The Holy Spirit clarifies the meaning of Jesus’ ministry and drives disciples toward new and deeper insight (John 14 and 16).
- Paul, prompted by the Holy Spirit, repudiates all distinctions of status based on inherited traits or imposed conditions (Galatians 3).
- When, following the Holy Spirit’s promptings, new consensus comes uneasily, both Gamaliel-like patience and dramatic protest may reflect the spirit of Jesus; coercion does not (Mark 11 and parallels; Acts 5 and15; 1 Corinthians 9).
Charles Scriven is Board Chair of Adventist Forum, the organization that publishes Spectrum.
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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7670