Opinion

Order reflects God’s nature; Say ‘hello’ in Branson

“But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.” 1 Cor. 14:40

One of the remarkable aspects of the “Battle for the Bible” in the Southern Baptist Convention is how conservatives followed the rules in gaining control. There was no cheating, and all business was conducted on the convention floor so messengers could hear the issues debated and vote according to the rules. Presidential candidates were elected in true democratic form and the winner was able to follow the prescribed rules for naming people to the Committee on Committees, then the Committee on Nominations, which in turn, nominated people to serve on the various SBC boards.

1 Corinthians 14:40 was followed. The idea that things are done properly and in an orderly manner is an important aspect to conservatism. Conservatives believe God wants order in our lives. Without God, there is chaos.

More recently in the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), a process was in place and followed as the trustee board at Southwest Baptist University dealt with some theological and personnel issues. The process was followed in an orderly manner and, as a result, the university has been set on a promising path.

God’s orderly character is seen in His creation of the universe and of the three institutions he ordained: the family which reflects Christ’s relationship with His church; the church which provides spiritual guidance and ministry; and government, which has the authority to establish laws so society can live in an orderly manner (Rom. 13). Russell Kirk points out that men and nations are governed by moral laws; and those laws have their origin in a wisdom that is more than human – in divine justice. At heart, political problems are moral and religious problems.

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“The wise statesman tries to apprehend the moral law and govern his conduct accordingly. We have a moral debt to our ancestors, who bestowed upon us our civilization, and a moral obligation to the generations who will come after us. This debt is ordained of God. We have no right, therefore, to tamper imprudently with human nature or with the delicate fabric of our civil social order,” Kirk argues.

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God’s orderly character has been evident from the beginning. Genesis 1:1-2 tells us God created the heavens and the earth. Verse 2 says the earth was formless and void. In the original text, the terms formless and void were meant to convey the idea of confusion and disorder. God created the earth to be inhabited, but for a brief time before he created, plants, animals, man, light and so forth, the earth was void of anything. If God had just left things the way as described in Gen. 1:2, there would be no life.

Many people think that the universe happened by accident. The universe was set up by God in an orderly manner. When was the last time two of our planets collided? There are billions of stars and planets in the universe, yet they are all in orderly orbits. The movement of the planets of our solar system is so precise, scientists can calculate exactly where a planet will be hundreds of years in advance. The Naval Observatory, the United States’ timekeeper makes continual observation of the stars and adjusts its master clock accordingly.

Our excellent, creative God is a God of order and Southern Baptists would be wise to always conduct business in an orderly fashion, void of disruptive, chaotic behavior.

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The Center for Disease Control reported Oct. 17 that the suicide rate among young people, ages 10-24, climbed 56 percent between 2007 to 2017. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death for Missourians ages 10-24. In 2016 alone 73 Missouri young people, ages 10-19, committed suicide, according to state statistics compiled by the Kansas City Star.

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A new 18,000-square-foot abortion facility opened Oct. 23 just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis in Fairview Heights, Ill. The Associated Press reported that the clinic’s construction began last year, but details were not released until near completion to avoid protesters and potential construction delays. The facility is being run by taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of abortions.

Missouri is among several states to pass new laws restricting abortions.

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Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson are scheduled to attend the Oct. 29 Gettys concert at the MBC’s annual meeting in Branson. Tickets are free, but must be obtained to gain entrance.

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I hope to visit with as many messengers as possible at the MBC annual meeting in Branson. If you see me, do not be bashful. I love to visit with Pathway readers. If you do not catch me in the hallways, come by The Pathway exhibit in the exhibit hall and let’s chat!  



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