Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Annexation, A Kingdom Perspective

Last night the City Council of Rockwall, Texas, held public meetings to discuss annexation of 234 acres of land. Since my acre is included, I attended the hearing.

After many property owners voiced emotional pleas, asking the Council to exempt their property from annexation, I rose to speak. In a moment of clarity, I saw that the real issue was a clash between two kingdoms. The city had the legal right to annex our land and boost their tax base, and by golly they were going to do it whether we wanted them to or not. Forced annexation is a manifestation of governmental power and differs very little from the Roman system of domination. Therefore, I decided to approach the issue from a kingdom perspective.

Here are my comments:

Mr. Mayor and members of the Council. I can’t add much more to what has already been said; so, I wish to address the basic issue of justice and fairness. Sometimes what is legal is not fair or just.

When our forefathers declared their independence from Great Britain, they stated, “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

By adding the adjective “just” to “power” they were making a moral argument, not a legal one. There is a different between “raw power” and “just power.” The latter is derived only from the consent of the governed.

When my wife and I moved to Rockwall County 15 years ago, we chose to live outside the city limits. Now our rights and desires are in jeopardy by this council who wants to annex us into the city without our consent.

Our precious next door neighbors were retired and on a fix income when we moved into our home 15 years ago. They no longer drive at night and are not here. Annexation will place an undo burden on these good people. With the current drop in property values and the anticipated recession will this couple, who still lives on the same fixed income as before, be able to pay the extra taxes and $10,000 sewer hookup required by annexation?

The city of Rockwall may exercise its legal power, but one must question whether it is “just,” since it is being done without the consent of the people? The issue is a moral one.

When the Republic of Texas was annexed (1845) into the United States of America it was done only with the consent of the citizens of Texas.

Consent is the founding principle upon which our nation was established and upon which “just power” is derived.

I appeal to your sense of fairness and justice. Annexation without consent is un-American and it is certainly not the Texan thing to do.


wnpaul said...

And what was the city council's reaction? Did they annex?


Wolf Paul

Already/Not Yet said...

Although my speech was like a scene out of "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" and moved several Council members emotionally, it unfortunately did not have the same result. We later discovered that the Council had already worked behind the scenes and was conducting the public session only out of legal obligation.

Nevertheless, I was able to expose the "kingdom of the world," which is based on power, domination, and greed, by offering an alternative kingdom of God solution, which is founded on the principle of justice.

Temporary victory cannot be the measure of success. We must never forget that governmental powers unfairly executed Jesus. But Jesus placed his faith in the Father, who raised him from the dead and vindicated him.

We should not be surprised when the world opposes us when we challenge its power. In fact, we should expect the same treatment as our Lord. Our hope is always in the resurrection. When the king returns all injustices will be righted.

In the meantime, Christians must band together as kingdom citizens and offer the world a glimpse of an alternate society. We must model the kingdom always and yet prophetically challenge ungodliness whenever possible.