Concordia Theological Monthly

Article Title

Civic Order

Publication Date


Document Type



civic order, authority, community, society, government, social order, violence, fallen, luther

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


Order is a gift. It may not be taken for granted. The tensions inherent in every social situation tend toward disruption unless they are harnessed toward creative ends.

Violence on our streets and in our cities has brought us up short to the realization that the social order is much like a garden: if left untended, it will produce only the weeds of exploitation, decay, frustration, and outrage. During some of the riots in our major cities we watched our television sea in sheer disbelief that this evil could erupt in our midst. Somehow we assumed that such things could not happen here. For we did not live unaffected by the rather optimistic view of man and of society propounded by the founders of our nation.

The time has come to take a closer look at the subject of civic order as it relates to the problem of our existence, to the question of liberty, to the issue of justice, and to the subject of authority. As we go about this task in the light of recent developments, it will be helpful to keep in mind the following statement of John C. Bennett, president of Union Theological Seminary in New York: "The historic connection of democracy with an optimistic and perfectionist conception of man must be abandoned."


History of Christianity

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:14; Luke 4:6; Romans 13:4; Daniel 10:13, 21; Daniel 12:1; John 19:11;

Submission Cost


Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars