“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Avoiding High Misdemeanors

(Please read Matthew 24:31-46)

December 13

Several years ago Americans were doing lots of discussion about the meaning of the term, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” in the Constitution. We generally assumed that it meant high crimes and high misdemeanors, since regular misdemeanors are misdeeds less serious than felonies. So what, we wondered, was a “high misdemeanor”?

Well, one answer was provided in the writings of religious leader Alexander Campbell, who wrote in the February 1838 issue of Millennial Harbinger, “To neglect a brother in distress is a high misdemeanor. ‘I was sick and in prison and you visited me not.’”

No, he wasn’t writing on the subject of presidential impeachment or anything else of a political nature. He was writing, though, about a subject that could be related to such things. He was discussing “Christian Morality,” and among the first points he made was that morality included benevolence, and he declared, “Morality without religion is conceivable, but religion without morality is impossible. . . . Christian morality is the effect of Christian religion.” And one of his conclusions was, “The whole law of religion and of morality is found in the word LOVE. The two great concepts on which, according to the Infallible Commentator himself, the whole Law and all the Prophets hang are, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul, and mind, and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.’”

Don’t you think that if those “two great concepts” were adopted by the whole country and taught from every pulpit and at every breakfast table, the “high misdemeanor” rate in this nation would go down quickly? So do we.

 

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