Friday, April 06, 2007

Death in the Line of Duty

I’ve been distancing myself from political commentary, but I couldn’t resist this one. The big news in the Charlotte Metrolina is the death of two police officers in the line of duty.

I stopped by to visit my parents on the other side of town and they were watching the hours-long live coverage of the funeral. Of course, our tragic local news media tragically overused, if they used it once, to the tragic word “tragic” to describe the anything-but-tragic deaths of these police officers. As you may know, the only reason they use the word is part of the emotional appeal to the viewers. Why the appeal? Ratings? Whatever the reason, the fact that the appeal works at all illustrates that death yet has a grip on this world.

I didn’t watch that much of the funeral. Yup, it’s a funeral. Yup, he’s dead. Yup, it’s sad. Doesn’t anyone realize that the death rate is 100%? It had to happen sometime. I kept thinking about how the media touts the deaths of American troops in Iraq as an obviously fallacious argument for running from there with our tails between our proverbial legs. By the same logic, we would have to conclude that we should now withdraw the police force from Charlotte, NC, so that no more police officers die.

I can hear the argument now: “But Iraq is over there and has to do with people other than ourselves. Charlotte is our own place to worry about. The Iraqis should be the ones to defend themselves. Anyway, it’s a civil war and they’d be fighting their own people. We shouldn’t be there because of this.” This argument would be made by otherwise staunch internationalists who love the U.N. and would just as soon there be one big socialist world government. In this respect, these would be our people and we, who are so rich and should support the rest of the world should be providing the apparently abundant American resources to keep the peace in just another neighborhood of the great world state.

So why don’t liberals see the obvious contradiction in their own positions? Truth be told, we’re not in a world government yet and with so many conservatives around to prevent this occasion, the only way liberals see the demise of American nationalism is to weaken our military position. To cut and run is to encourage other countries to come here to attack us. It’s happened and can happen again.

They may return the argument that conservatives are nationalistic, favoring local governments over federal ones and that we shouldn’t be inclined to defend other than our own localities. Actually, the World Wars proved otherwise to us. With the rise of internationalism, coming to the aid of other localities for the purpose of helping the people there maintain self-government in the face of the threat of international control is an activity that has become quite necessary for us. Our own civil war ended with the preservation of our federal union which paradoxically has made us strong enough to do this.

The struggle between nationalism and internationalism has a parallel in our Christian denominations. Internationalism can be seen as somewhat parallel to hierarchical denominational government while nationalism can be seen as somewhat parallel to congregational government. Apostate movements have apparently had a much greater impact on hierarchical governments than congregational governments because apostates with intent have sought control in key hierarchical offices. In this way, sweeping denominational policies can be affected by only a very few compromising the correlation between doctrinal truth and practice. Once that happens, truth falls handily as true doctrine is no longer practiced, for knowledge of the truth is not the end of truth. Practice (or application by another name) is the next step, for in the practice of true doctrine through the transformation of our hearts is God glorified.

So, in the death of America's finest is set the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans. Likewise, Christ Himself died in the line of duty...

...and therein the battle was won.

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