Jun 27, · Anthony Petruzzi 7 years old racing modified power wheels Porsche GT 3 with 18 volt Battery upgrade and HPI electric racing engines LED headlights and undercarriage lighting. Bringing in his unique insights as a PhD in economics, Dr. Petruzzi’s book is a great resource for those wishing to go deeper into why Christians ought to reject the siren song of politics in favor of charity, evangelism, and living lives transformed by the Holy Spirit. Rome in Love (TV Movie ) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more.
Following the drug-related death of a young clubber, the unit attempts to crack a large scale Ecstasy racket. Mackenzie is put undercover on the witness protection scheme to befriend a victim of attempted murder because of her connections with a leading politician who is suspected of corruption. The Professional Integrity Unit investigations goes undercover over claims of corrupt handling.
After evidence leads to Rocca's suspension, the unit wants to know what's going on. Church is forced to drop his longtime team informant, Benny. Benny is outraged, but as a last hurrah, he gives Church information about a planned armoured van robbery.
Emotions run high as Church is forced to remain undercover. After Stone is nearly shot during a meeting with a dealer, Mac is worried about Stone's well-being when an informant helps Stone penetrate a gun dealing ring. The Unit goes undercover to locate a charismatic prison escapee, Kane, who accuses the police of wanting him dead rather than recaptured. Stone and Angie go undercover to infiltrate "Mother Earth," a radical environmental group suspected of stealing explosives.
Church is put in prison to befriend Aaron Feilder, the psychopathic leader of the group. Church encounters Stone as part of the environmental extremist group. Stone wants to report to the unit but Church, driven by his own agenda, insists that any contact would jeopardise the sting.
Someone is killing prostitutes and when another woman is found murdered, Mackenzie and Angie go undercover at a brothel. When Church goes undercover to investigate a murder, he inadvertently ingratiates himself with the Rossis, a criminal family currently the target of an independent inquiry. Church is ordered to remain undercover.
With the help of the unit, Church manages to impress Dino Rossi and weaken the position of his right-hand man, who is resentful of Church being accepted into the ranks. Mackenzie and Angie face an Internal Affairs investigation when an informant commits suicide.
While the Unit learns of Church's relationship with Christina, Church is forced to come to terms with Christina's involvement with the family business and refuses to testify against Dino. Information comes to light that someone is trying to sell Dino details about Church. With his identity revealed, it is a deadly race against time for Church to save his relationship and his life.
Stone and Angie go undercover to investigate the murder of a young Asian woman involved in the X-rated movie business. MacKenzie receives a compromising photograph relating to her former relationship with Church. The compromising photograph of MacKenzie and Church threatens the security of the entire unit. Church pursues the source of the photos while Angie and Stone push for more information on the Porn Star murderer. Church works undercover as a safecracker to find out the target of the robbery, discovering that the gang have a one-off, get rich quick scheme.
Rocca finds himself in unfamiliar territory when he goes undercover with Church on a case involving gold smuggling and political intrigue. The Unit pull off a successful cocaine bust, leaving drug lord, Bryce Forbes, wanting revenge.
Acting on information supplied by Forbes' lover, Heather, Stone is sent undercover to infiltrate the drug lord's operation. MacKenzie goes undercover in a woman's prison.
Her target is Nancy, a young woman convicted of murdering her husband, who embezzled millions of dollars in an investment scam. The Unit's aim is to recover the money. Stone and MacKenzie infiltrate a gang planning to rob and murder a coin dealer. When they lose contact with the Unit, Rocca must second guess their movements. Church is due to give evidence in court against major crime figure, Dino Rossi, but the Unit discovers someone wants Church silenced before he can testify. MacKenzie works closely with Maddern, a psychological profiler to identify a killer who uses the internet to select his victims.
With the Unit in full-scale back up, Mac is put undercover as bait. Working undercover as an ex-army officer, that now supplies illegal explosives, Stone encounters his first girlfriend, Kelly, entangled in a contrabrand arms export scam. While investigating large scale thefts on the docks, Church accidentally shoots an old mate, Tony. While Church is suspended, the Unit continues to uncover the extent of the shipping robberies.
Church and Angie go undercover to investigate suspected drug importation in the music industry. Church works on the record company manager, while Angie investigates charismatic rock star, Jimi Mercer.
Stone leads a sting on a well known crime family that doesn't quite go to plan as the eldest son, Billy, escapes. Stone and Angie lay low at Stone's family farm, but Billy tracks them down. When the daughter of a Family Court judge is abducted, Church teams up with Rory, a young Undercover recruit, and together they investigate a group lobbying against the judge. While investigating a heroin racket, Church encounters his nephew, Matt, who has fallen victim to the needle.
Church spends time with Matt, experiencing the emotional, rather than criminal, side of heroin addiction. Undercover with Angie and Stone, Church investigates a series of strategic truck-hijackings which have turned to murder. When the husband of a leading Aboriginal activist is car-bombed, Stone and Angie go undercover to investigate SWARM, a radical right-wing group suspected of involvement.
When A. By using Stone's informant, Rocca plans a dangerous drug operation to land a well known drug heavy. The drug operation is put at risk when Stone's informant goes into labour and Church is left holding the baby. Church and Mac go undercover to infiltrate a group of high-roller gamblers who conduct illegal gaming sessions. The sting takes a bizarre turn when the gaming session is raided, not by the police, but by robbers. When Rocca is shot outside his home, Church becomes obsessed with finding the gunman.
Mac assumes she will fill in for Rocca so there is friction aplenty as a new boss joins the ranks. Church meets a new informant, Terry Hanks, who repeatedly delivers big time drug dealers, but when Terry offers to land them 'The Dingo', the biggest and baddest dealer of all, Mac and Church have their doubts.
A sassy new operative arrives at the Unit as the group go undercover to entrap a gang of teenage thieves. However, a mistake leads to as kidknapping which places everyone in jeopardy. Church goes undercover into the world of stolen art. When he discovers that the target is abusing his son, Church's repressed memories. A well planned sting goes horribly wrong when Church infiltrates a criminal gang who are intent on robbing a very large bank.
Angie's assignment is jeopardised with the unexpected arrival of her sister. Mac is faced with a crisis when she discovers that Danni is involved with a suspect. Danni's future with the unit is on the line when her ex-boyfriend becomes the prime suspect in a horse-doping scam.
Hollister asks Mac for help to capture master bank robber, Marty Stockwell. Hollister wants revenge after Stockwell fatally shot one of his men. Church and Danni go undercover to bring Stockwell to justice. In court, things go horribly wrong when the Magistrate dismisses the charges against Tony Howarth for shooting Bernie Rocca. Church comes under fire from Internal Affairs after he is accused of using excessive force to obtain a confession.
Church becomes involved in a young boy's life after he catches him trying to steal his car. Meanwhile, Angie goes undercover to expose a dentist accused of malpractice. Three backpackers are murdered. Stone is sent in to investigate the suspect, Evelyn Leigh but he lets his emotions cloud hs judgement - a mistake that could cost him his life.
Mac and Church must infiltrate a neighbourhood residents group who are protesting the acquittal and return to the neighbourhood of a local teacher recently charged with the murder of a young student. When Church conducts a sting on a bikie gang, a simple gun deal becomes complicated after Church is hired to do a hit. The undercover Unit face a psychological challenge when an operative loses his identity during a long-term assignment. Church strikes up an unlikely friendship with a hitman after preventing his attempted suicide.
He is drawn into the middle of a heated triangle with no simple solution. Danni learns the meaning of betrayal when she is forced to use an innocent to solve a murder.
MacKenzie faces a dilemma when Detective Inspector Bill Hollister is revealed as a regular client at an illegal brothel. Danni and the rest of the team are called in when a well-known career criminal turns Crown witness under unusual circumstances. MacKenzie's past comes back to haunt her when her adopted brother is released from prison. While working to exposed and armed robbery ring, Angie is stalked by an obsessed admirer.
The stalker not only jeopardises Angie's sting, but threatens the security of the entire unit. Church must put his career on the line when an old Academy buddy is implicated in a homicide. A personal favour from Church becomes a case for Undercover when an illegal organ-trading scam is exposed. The Undercover Unit are assigned to investigate a five-year-old unsolved bank robbery with tragic consequences. MacKenzie and Angie face an internal Affairs investigation when an informant commits suicide.
The Undercover Unit is called in to investigate when eleven illegal immigrants are found dead inside a shipping container. Church uses an informant to infiltrate a drug syndicate, with tragic consequences. Angie goes undercover at a halfway house to obtain evidence against a psychological killer.
Church and MacKenzie pose as a married couple experiencing relationship difficulties as they investigate a murder. Church becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation when he moonlights as a private investigator.
Church goes undercover in a bikie gang to expose a major amphetamine ring, with unexpected and tragic consequences. The future of the Undercover Unit looks uncertain when Stone is investigated for the shooting death of biker Chicken Lake. In the aftermath of Bill Hollister's murder, MacKenzie grieves while Church tries to bring the killer to justice.
The Undercover Unit investigates a group of paedophiles who use an internet chat-room to procure their victims. The Undercover investigate an extortion attempt against a pharmaceutical company and find themselves at the centre of a long-term feud. Stone is recruited by an Assistant Commissioner to assassinate the Bomb-maker responsible for Bill Hollister's death. The Undercover Unit stage an intensive investigation to nail the ex-police officer believed responsible for Bill Hollister's murder.
Danni's cover is blown and her career is threatened when an escaped criminal seeks his revenge. A case of mistaken identity results in Stone being recruited to assist with a major armed robbery. Strange guns, UFOs, and piggerists with glass eyes - it's all in a day's work for Church, when his only source of information for a possible murder case is a paranoid schizophrenic.
MacKenzie investigates a Private Detective who specialises in adoption cases, with the secret hope of locating her birth mother. MacKenzie makes contact with her natural mother and both women become embroiled in an Undercover operation to nail a mastermind armed robber. The Unit works with an undercover operative from Queensland to defeat a gang of amphetamine dealers responsible for a kidnapping.
Stone is caught in a siege situation at a hospital when an armed robbery goes horribly wrong. Church's worlds collide when he has to attend his twenty year high-school reunion as part of a drug sting. MacKenzie becomes the victim of a grifter on the eve of her interview for Head of Homicide, while Church's career is threatened when a journalist attempts to expose him.
Angie has to develop a romantic relationship with a murder suspect and then coerce him into becoming an informant. Danni's determination to go it alone with her pregnancy clouds her professional judgement when she stumbles across an illegal adoption racket.
MacKenzie discovers the grifter who drugged her is linked to a senior colleague - someone who had good reason to want her out of the running for Head of Homicide. Stone cultivates a live-wire young prostitute named Brittany to get information on a dangerous drug criminal. When Church is sent under cover to share a cell with a convicted murder, Danni must face the toughest decision of her life alone. Angie is forced to bend the rules as she attempts to prevent her sister Sam from being arrested on drug importation charges.
Danni has to protect former undercover cop Gary Edgerton and help prepare him for court case where he is the reluctant key witness. Stone investigates a woman who may be organising a hit on her husband, while MacKenzie is dealing with hit men of a different kind.
Angie and the rest of the Undercover Unit rally around MacKenzie, risking their jobs in order to prove her innocence. With Harry Love in a position to make his final move against MacKenzie, she and the other Undercover have to take desperate action. Angie goes undercover to bust an armed robbery ring but her romance with informant Marty Engle places them both in dangerous territory. Stone and Church go undercover to investigate a pair of teenage drug manufacturers, with unexpectedly tragic consequences.
Sonte is abducted when Undercover fails to bust an international arms dealing ring that is run by lethal ex SAS officers. When a failed frug bust leaves Undercover with a dead dealer and a high class protitute holding a couple of bags of cocaine, the Unit undertakes an operation inside a busy brothel. When an undercover operation causes the death of a young woman, Church and Angie are faced with the dilemma of saving one dangerous criminal from another.
The Unit's attempt to trap a serial killer leaves MacKenzie fighting for her and her best friend's life.
Stone is set to expose a high powered businessman trading cars for heroin when he discovers a young prostitute he has cared for his in anger as a result of his actions. Church becomes convinced he is being stalked by a man who holds him responsible for the murder of his girlfriend.
When the Unit try to nab a standover man for murder, Angie's relationship with an informant causes a confrontation within the ranks.
The unit seems on shaky ground when Homicide attempt to charge Church with murder, but are devastated when Stone goes beyond the call of duty to save Church. MacKenzie is faced with a choice between her personal happiness and her successful career when she becomes involved with a charismatic art thief.
Oscar Stone's Killer is brought to trial in a situation of high security. The accused is represented by a high profile criminal barrister, Ingrid Burton. When Church goes undercover as an armed robber, he is busted by a young cop. Harris is so impressed that he arranges for her to join Undercover for a trial period. Church's undercover assignment results in the kidnapping of a drug dealer's son. Meanwhile, Chris finds herself on what appears to be a routine surveillance job at a video store.
An undercover attempt to sting a drug distributor results in tragedy, with accusations made against an undercover operative.
Harris sends Chris undercover to infiltrate a violent gang of brothers despite Church's reservations about her inexperience. A middle-aged woman, Helen, brings a cardboard box into police headquarters claiming it contains a bomb. Church's hapless pursuit of the coke happy Vidarl crew takes a turn for the worst when most of them turn up dead - victims of a bloody armed robbery. Church goes undercover on a building site to investigate union corruption and the disappearance of activist Craig Shore.
Church goes undercover on the construction site where Ingrid Burton's client, Steer, was murdered. Church is convinced that Harris is corrupt and goes to extreme lengths to prove it. Church and Angie continue piecing together links between Conrad, suspected drug kingpin Sting Endquist and known union basher Rick Tyson.
Harris suspects Church of corruption. Harris is clearly losing it and is convinced that his officers are out to get him. In his paranoid state, he decides it's time to do something about Church The cat is well and truly set among the pigeons when Church and Harris are forced to work together determined to catch two small-time dealers.
Church and Harris find themselves under extreme pressure to sealer their names after the Police Integrity Unit are tipped off about the duo's possible involvement in a drug trade. When drug boss Sting Endquist survives an attempt on his life, Church convinces him that the assailant was Stone's killer, Conrad.
Church's determination to find Ingrid, missing for seven days, brings him into conflict with his colleagues. An undercover operation investigating stolen art reveals black market dealings.
Harris' attempts to teach a mate a lesson in crime and punishment backfire with disastrous consequences. The doors are never closed to that witness. As far as I can remember in my forty some years of bearing witness to Jesus and his peace, the door is always open and the invitation is always there to share the good news of Jesus. Are there any general tips or guidelines one sho uld keep in mind with sharing the Gospel with Muslims? In Revelation 3 we have the promise that Jesus will open the door that can never be closed.
The passage then describes the qualities of the church for whom Jesus is opening the door. Those qualities are: doing good deeds; commitment to the scriptures; acceptance of suffering; witnesses for Jesus; patience. These churches also keep the i r identity to Christ and to the church clear. These qualities enable Jesus to open doors! Revelation 1 2. If one of our readers feels a burden for doing ministry in an Islamic context, what advice would your give them to go about discerning this call and where they might be most effective?
The best way to test your calling for Muslim ministry is to become acquainted with Muslims and develop friendships. Every Christian needs a Muslim friend and every Muslim needs a Christian friend. It would be great to begin to learn Arabic. That would open doors! Invite a Muslim friend into your home. Hang out with Muslims in the teashops where they hang out. Get acquainted with Muslims. The overwhelming value in Islam is hospitality.
Receive and extend hospitality with Muslims. Four thousand years ago s omething terrible happened in the home of Abraham. Hospitality was denied to Ishmael and Hagar. The tragedy of that separation has never gone away. Every year in the pilgrimage.
The p ilgrims enact the account of Hagar looking for water for her son and the angel miraculously redeems Ishmael from death. As a Christian and Anabaptist community we are called to restore the ostracism of Ishmael.
We offer the hospitality to Ishmael that was denied in the tragic day 3, years ago when Abraham sent Ishmael away into the desert. Pray that Ishmael may indeed be saved! Genesis Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy as he grew up.
He lived in the desert and became an archer. Petruzzi, how does an economist and Evangelical Presbyterian come to write a book about the danger of mixing Christianity and politics, and how did your religious and professional backgrounds help equip you to tackle such a difficult subject? W hile I was raised as a Presbyterian and even belonged to a Presbyterian church a few years ago, I am not now a Presbyterian.
I became interested in politics and government in my early teen years. In college I became more interested in the economics of government and how that related to property rights and market solutions to economic problems. The free- market orientation of economists at the University of Chicago was part of why I picked that university for graduate school, and when my advisor, Arthur Laffer, left Chicago to teach at the University of Southern California I went with him to finish my PhD there.
That background left me with the perspective that political solutions to social problems all involved changes in broadly defined property rights. They take rights away from some parties while giving them to others.
When, at the age of 39, I became a born-again Christian it became apparent to me that following Christ was not about seeking to change property rights. People often think of politic s as the way to get things done.
They did not understand that Jesus was doing much more than that. He offered a way to change the behavior of people by bringing them into a spiritual kingdom. More important , he offered a way for people to enter into a new relationship with God.
It makes the state into an idol. When Christians become seduced by politics they are following that same false ido l and, consequently, rejecting Jesus.
What is the most co mmon objection you hear to the view of Christianity and politics you propose in your book and how do you answer it? The common objection is that Christians should change the world and that politics is the best way to do that.
I agree that Christians should seek to change the world, but trying to do so through politics lead s to failure. The only way that we can genuinely change the world is by leading people to Christ and letting the Holy Spirit change the hearts of men.
That needs to be done one person at a time, by witnessing, showing charity, and making ourselves good examples. While that it may not be the quick and easy solution that people want, it is the only solution that works. Many say that by declining to participate in worldly politics, we refuse to be part of the discussion. Most of the private hospitals in the US were started by Christian organizations, and through charitable endeavor s like th ose , we have been an important part of health care.
We should continue providing health care to the needy. Political solutions , however, are about forcing other people to spend their own money to provide health care to the needy. That is not a Christian cause. E ach Christian should do his own part on protecting the environment, including little tasks like picking up trash that has been left by other people , and I support courts holding polluters liable for the damages they cause.
While they are important , environmental issues are not what I would call Christian issues. Just because an issue has importance and even involves justice, does not make it a Christian issue. For example, think about Luke When a listener asked Jesus to tell his brother to make what was presumably a just division of an inheritance, Jesus said that was not his business.
In a similar ways some other issues which involve justice are not our business. O n a similar note, scientific issues are not Christian issues. Global warming and what causes it are scientific issues, and we should leave those to science. There is no Christian position about what causes global warming.
Courts have upheld religious liberty in the US, so that should not be an issue here. What makes Christian charity a superior more efficient form of charity than government ch arity, in your view? That relates to my answer above about health care as well as other issues of charity. First of all , a political solution which forces people to pay for health care or other benefits for the poor does not help the souls of the people who pay or the souls of the people who receive those benefits.
The payers just see it as one more tax. They do all they can to avoid the tax, and many resent being force d to pay for the benefit s of other people. The recipients see it as an opportunity to get something from the government.
Since they know that the people who paid for that benefit were forced to do so, there is no reason for them to feel grateful. By contrast, Christians who freely give to charity know that they are being obedient to God, and this enhances the Holy Spirit who dwells within them.
Similarly, the recipients of Christian charity know that people gave to them out of love. That makes the gift something special to them. In addition to these spiritual advantages of Christian charity over public benefits, there is a practical side. Taxpayers arrange their affairs to avoid taxes in every way that is legal. That has social costs which do not exist for charitable giving.
R ecipients of public benefits arrange their affairs to qualify for more benefits , and that has even greater social costs. For example illegitimacy rates among the poor soared after the creation of the federal program AFDC which provided cash benefits based on number of dependent children in poor households.
Finally, there is the cost of administration which is more expensive for public benefits due to the many rules which are necessary to prevent the system from being exploited.
What Christians would call bad be havior was normal. People enjoyed watching other human beings being tortured to death in the public arenas. Slave owners could force their slaves to have sex with them.
Nonetheless, over t he next 2 8 0 years, the number of believers grew from about 3 , on the day of Pentecost to by my best estimate more than half the population of the Roman Empire. Christians changed public morality over this period. Their contrast with the behavior of non-Christians may have been part of why people changed from pagan ways.
They changed from their pagan bel ie fs even though that change sometimes brought the death penalty. If the behavior of unbelievers becomes worse in modern times, it will only make the contrast with Christianity more apparent, and that may help bring more people to Christ. An outward appearance of moral behavior is enforced in the one fifth of the world that follows Islam.
That outward appearance does not bring people closer to Christ , and it might keep them away from him. How should Christians approach U. Embassy to Jerusalem, celebrated by many Con servative Evangelicals, for example? Other than using the courts to further our rights to worship and witness as was done by Paul in the Roman Empire and by modern Christians in the US Christians should not try to influence government policies.
Many Christians have let the State of Israel and Jerusalem become idols. We should explain their errors to those Christians with love using the Bible along with historical and scientific facts. In your own life, how receptive have you found people to your view of Christianity and its relation to politics? Most Christians do not like this viewpoint. I think that there are a couple reasons for that. Politics is part of the world , and I suspect that some Christians want to hang on to that part.
Worldly politics is an idol, and people make idols of their political leaders. Those leaders, however, will not save them and, for the most part, are not going to make the world a better place.
Jesus the Christ is the one and only leader whom we can trust. We cannot be divided on that. Jesus does not want half of our allegiance, or even most of our allegiance. He wants it all. Christians had a great historical success in making the world a better place, but that success did not come from our involvement in politics.
In fact, the involvement in politics hindered Christian success. Our success was through witnessing, charity, and making ourselves good examples. The Holy Spirit helped us with that. My advice to Christians seeking to make a positive change is to step away from the world, and obey God. We can trust Him. What are you up to these days? Any new projects on the horizon? I am working on some academic articles that develop concepts from my book to explain how and why government works the way it does.
I am also continuing with the project on Christian group living which I started a few years ago. Roots : International Churches of Christ. We have been married for eighteen years and have five amazing kids whom we homeschool. As far as work, we have a vending machine business and our blessed that I Steve can now work from home as an accountant. We were converted in the International Church of Christ in Steve and Steph during which time we learned discipleship and the basics of the gospel.
Can you explain your background and involvement in the International Churches of Christ? Once converted, like many others, we were in leadership pretty quickly, eventually going on full-time ministry staff. We continued to serve on staff for several years before leaving in in the months after the reorganization caused by the Henry Kriete letter. We homeschooled with many folks from the ICOC, and maintain many of those relationships to this day.
In recent years, we have been back in fellowship to a degree with people in the ICOC, though we do not commune with them. They respect us and our convictions, and are somewhat humble in many respects regarding our convictions, as most of them are unfamiliar with Kingdom-centered convictions. What does that journey look like? The church is doing well by American Evangelical standards, as we had not yet embraced Kingdom teaching when we worked with them.
Jesus being the head of the church in truth and reality, not just in word, has become very important to us. Particularly, the handling of communion is the best indicator we have seen as to this headship issue, for if a church treats communion flippantly, it is a warning sign that the Head is missing. It has been a process for us, doing various house churches through the years on and off and seeing the fruit in the churches we have known through the years, etc. Having three of our kids in the middle of their formative years exposed to Evangelical churches, and seeing the need to move towards more grounded groups has been very challenging.
As Paul says, marriage divides our interests. We want relationships for our kids, but struggle knowing the cost of those relationships is a compromise in holiness and, frankly, numbers of people, as Kingdom-minded folk are scattered and relatively scarce. We do not want to go from lawless Christianity to rules-based holiness with our kids. They will have to sift through a lot just to see God. How does Kingdom-centered Christianity play out practically in a marriage?
What advice can you give to young couples who may be on the same journey as you and your wife were? The sooner you get the King to be the head of your home, the better.
There is nothing like taking communion as a couple, and having accountability before partaking keeps the throne in its rightful place! What can conservative Anabaptists learn from the Restoration Movement and vice versa?
Traditional Church of Christ circles resemble the Anabaptists mostly with their rules and piety, but still only just so. Even especially in the ICOC, worldliness abounds and persists. The Anabaptists, however, are shackled by rules that stifle growth. Both Anabaptists and Restoration Churches would do well to abandon group-think and come together in humility to learn from each other.
We are strongly considering starting a fellowship here just north of Kings Island Amusement Park where we live. Revelation has warnings that are best to heed when considering worldliness, and the book of Acts has convictions for those who are comfortable in their piety.
The reliance on the Holy Spirit in Acts prompted many radical things to happen, from gentile conversion to jail breaks. Some books on the holocaust, and a couple other books for my Steve profession and entertainment. I Steve am a studier of people, and am very interested in sociology and in what people are doing in regards to their journeys.
Please pray for us as we consider our next steps. And those who have current fellowships, please be humble. Other people have probably walked your steps before, and you would do well to heed their advice. The book of Proverbs says as much for a reason! John Mark Hicks is Professor of Theology at Lipscomb University, having taught in institutions affiliated with Churches of Christ for thirty-six years you can read more about his bio here.
In , Dr. We thank Dr. Hicks for agreeing to be interviewed on life and legacy of David Lipscomb. Hicks, for those u nfamiliar with David Lipscomb, can you give us a brief sketch of who he is and how contemporary historians of the Restoration Movement have appraised his impact on the Movement? David Lipscomb was born in Tennessee, and he was educated, farmed, and ministered in the area around Nashville, Tennessee for practically all his life.
He is recognized as the most significant thought leader among southern Churches of Christ in the post-Civil War era, even into the 20 th century. While all would agree he was a significant figure in the separation of Churches of Christ from the Christian Church due to his opposition to instrumental music in the Christian assembly and the centralization of money and power in missionary societies, among Churches of Christ he is often viewed as a moderate.
He did not embrace some of the right-wing perspectives that characterized publications such as the Firm Foundation in Texas. For example, he opposed the practice of reimmersing those who had been previously immersed upon a confession of faith in Jesus simply because they did not understand baptism as the moment when God saved them.
Doing what God said because God said to do it was a sufficient motive for faithful obedience, according to Lipscomb. From the perspective of the Disciples of Christ, Lipscomb is a radical right-winger. From within Churches of Christ, he is a moderate. In fact, if the Disciples had never moved toward higher criticism, the introduction of women preachers, and ecumenicism , Lipscomb would probably have never been as strong on separation from the Christian Church.
When did his non-participation, non-violence view begin to wane among the Churches of Christ? Lipsbomb did not originate this position. It was held by a significant number of people in Middle Tennessee at the outbreak of the Civil War, and Tolbert Fanning advocated it a dozen years before the Civil War at least.
In Lipscomb published a series of articles articulating his position, and those articles ultimately became the book Civil Government published in The articles and book created considerable controversy. It is difficult to judge percentages , but it appears it was a dominant position in Middle Tennessee but it was not as well received elsewhere. Some suggest that it was a strong minority at the time of World War I, perhaps even a slight majority.
His view began to wane among Churches of Christ in the ss. World War I began the demise, and as some power brokers within Churches of Christ moved to isolate premillennialists among them, it declined further because his view of civil government was closely linked to an apocalyptic vision of world history and many added premillennialism to that vision, such as James A.
Ultimately, World War II was the death of this vision of life as the vast majority within Churches of Christ embraced patriotism and nationalism much as what happened among Northern Christian Churches at the outbreak of the Civil War.
The plethora of responses by Restoration Movement Christians to the plight of the enslaved Africans on American soil, especially in the time surrounding the Civil War, is both fascinating and frustrating. Alexander Campbell seemed to take a moderating view that stressed unity. Yes, Alexander Campbell was a gradualist, that is, he believed the evils of slavery would gradually disappear over time as the nation came to its moral senses, and he did not think slavery should divide churches because it was, in his view, morally sanctioned in some form by the New Testament.
Campbell hoped and believed that slavery would disappear in the South just as it had in New England, given enough time and due moral diligence. Lipscomb held a similar view as Campbell. However, he did regard slavery as a great evil because of the way the slaves were treated and he believed God, in his providence, would find a release for the slaves.
Indeed, Lipscomb believed the Civil War was for the purpose of punishing the south for its treatment of the slaves as well as freeing them. At bottom, Lipscomb did not believe in violent revolution, and though Fanning and others were known to buy and free slaves when freeing them was costly and difficult , Lipscomb submitted to the government as he thought Scripture demanded but worked for the humane treatment of slaves and expected its ultimate dissolution.
You co-wrote a book on David Lipscomb in And those familiar with your online writings know how Lipscomb, Tolbert Fanning, and James Harding have captured your attention. What is it abo ut these men that fascinates, inspires, and challenges you? Well, first of all, they are my family of origins as a minister among Churches of Christ. They shaped my family in significant ways. In order to understand myself, I need to understand them.
More than that, however, I find their passion for evangelism, the poor, and critique of government fascinating. They advocated living simply, giving generously, and dedicating their energy toward kingdom-building rather than political and economic power.
Their sense of the priesthood of all believers every Christian is a teacher, missionary, etc. The church truly is, for them, a community that bears witness to others by its own life and practices. The challenging dimension is holding together the tension between kingdom of God and the desire to bear witness to justice and peace in the world. To what extent is political action necessary if we are going to bear witness to justice?
Lipscomb himself favored labor over the business tycoons of the late 19 th century; he was a progressive era unionist, even sometimes bordering on a socialist communal agenda without, of course, involving himself in politics themselves. What would Lipscomb have done with the Civil Rights Movement? I think he might have marched given the changing times and supported the movement, but to what extent would he have seen the necessity of political action in the legislatures and voting.
Probably, I imagine, he would have left that to God though he would have been a voice for humane treatment of people in their social relations and in churches.
It is difficult to know exactly what Lipscomb would have done in our contemporary context. In his own context, he welcomed laws that supported morality though he neither voted for them nor antagonized for those laws. When there are good laws, he is happy to obey them. When there are bad laws, as long as they do not subvert the gospel in any way, he still obeys them. Civil disobedience is on the table for Lipscomb, though it is difficult to discern when he would actually use such except in extreme circumstances where the law explicitly contradicts the will of God.
He also used his voice to protest war e. In the Jim Crow south, you do not see him, however, confronting the evil and calling for change, though it is clear he did not agree with Jim Crow laws.
One sees this in the context of the church, for example, where there should be no difference between Black and White in the community of faith.
Lipscomb opposed the Jim Crow process of segregation that shaped the South in the ss, and it was basically complete by the s. What is your advice for such a person for whom the teachings of the leaders of the past are clashing with the realities of present teachings and trends? I hope there is a place because that is where I sit! There is a persistent stream of thought from Stone and Fanning through Lipscomb and Harding to the present.
Pacifism never died out among Churches of Christ, though it was overwhelmed at times. Our heritage has this resource, and we should retrieve for the present, especially in the light of current realities.
However, one must sit with grace, patience, and persistence. Speak when there is opportunity, live peaceably with people, model how to resist evil with good rather than evil, etc. I imagine Jesus himself had to wonder whether he could endure remaining among his own disciples who wanted to burn cities rather than liberate them. This is part of suffering with Christ and completing the ministry of Christ in our time.
How can we allow the example of David Lipscomb to continue to challenge us in the present day? The pressures surrounding the Civil War were intense. It is difficult for us to imagine. Suppose someone might say , it is just for us to fight back and make war on the Taliban because of what they d id to us.
It serves justice and freedom. Each could make their own case. Lipscomb and others were under tremendous pressure to conform and pick sides and go to war. The cultural pressure must have been enormous.
Nevertheless, Lipscomb refused to conform, and he decided for the kingdom of Christ instead of the human kingdoms. That challenges me. Could I have done that? What would I have done? What should I do now? Skip to content. Four seconds. Before wading into those murky waters, let me out myself: I am a Christian pacifist.
Neither sitting idly or sword-wielding characterize the way of Christ. Leave Worry. Take Trust. Each day has enough trouble of its own Matthew 2. Leave laziness. Take a Kingdom-focus. Opposite selfish ambition are those who cannot be bothered take anything seriously at all. Or Bill Thomas, my mentor, who credits Bible Bowl with being a key reason he entered preaching ministry.
That prisoner was Richard Wurmbrand. Both men would suffer dearly for their service. In the starkest of contrasts, even while still imprisoned, Wurmbrand and many of his fellow Christian inmates prayed for and desired the salvation of their captors: In the jailors who whipped us we saw the possibilities of the jailor of Philippi who first whipped St Paul and then became a convert …It was in prison that we found hope for the communists, that they will be saved.
Richard Wurmbrand went to prison with a vision of giving to his enemies life through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And what is the perfect church?