This past week I was perusing the world of Facebook when my soon to be sister-in-law shared a memory that caught my eye. It was from a tweet from a local Fox station in Colorado (which is where she lived a few years ago). It stated, “Be extra careful this weekend. Spread the words with your friends. Colorado State Patrol out in full force this weekend.” I appreciated her thoughts on the tweet as it was my sentiments as well. She wrote, “I think this is stupid. Shouldn't we feel safer? Not more threatened?” The recent “attacks” both against the physical lives of police officers and their character has raised my level of awareness to an all time high. My soon to be sister-in-law made a great point. We live in a system that is clearly broken. We live in a society that thinks that police officers (sometimes called peace officers) are a threat to our well being and safety. (Now, I am not saying that there aren’t bad police officers. There are bad police officers just like there are bad preachers, bad teachers, bad judges, and bad bank tellers. But, just because there are a few rotten apples it does not mean that the whole of them are bad. We certainly wouldn’t want someone judging all members of your profession as bad because someone ended up on the local or national news because of something awful that they did.) The reality is though I think that there is a much bigger issue here. It is not just police officers that are treated poorly by a growing number in our society. The entire judicial system is claimed by some members in our society to be stacked against them. (Maybe the reason the judicial system is “stacked” against a person is because that person keeps committing crimes.) Teachers are viewed as villains because they actually expect the students to learn and be respectful towards other students and to teachers in general. And the growing generational gap is not just about being hard to understand where two different people are coming from, but rather a growing hatred for those that have done it all before. (It actually blows my mind that certain young people have the audacity to claim that those that have fought in wars, fought and defended their freedoms don’t know anything). It seems like everywhere I look there is a growing lack of respect for authority. You have pop icons supporting The Black Panthers on National TV during the Superbowl halftime show and MANY in the national media proclaiming that was a good thing!!! I recently heard that Prison Break, a popular TV show from the late 2000s is being brought back. This show glamorized the lives of criminals who broke out of prison and the list goes on and on. Authority is under attack in this country. And my friends, if we don’t do something as a nation to change this, we have serious ramifications coming.
Did you know that every form of authority that exists in our society; in our homes, communities, schools, and nation is based upon the principles and guidelines established by our God? I am convinced that God gave these institutions to help us learn that he is in control. In Rom. 13:1-7 Paul wrote of how God is in control of all Governments. They are His sword to administer punishment to the wicked. (Regretfully some governments do abuse this write… the Roman government was one of them). In Gen. 2 we read of how God created the world’s first institution… the family. He designed it. He set it up. And interestingly enough He used it to describe the order of authority in I Cor. 11 and Eph. 5. God wants us to respect His authority over us. If we as a society reject civil authority what do you think is going to happen to man’s respect for Divine authority? They will reject it. They will grow to hate it. And sadly that is exactly what I think is happening right now.
As we continue to study through the Minor Prophets this become more and more frightening to me. I am afraid that our nation is walking the path of Israel, Judah, Edom, Ammon, and Moab. I am afraid that we are coming to the point where God will be saying unto us that he has had enough. In Amos God used the phrase, “For three transgressions and for four.” In most cases he listed only one transgression. God did not forget to count. It was an expression used to convey the idea of frustration. If you have a three cup glass and you try to fill it with four cups of water what is going to happen? It is not just going to fill up. It is going to overflow. The cup of transgressions were not just full. It was so full it was spilling over. God had had enough. If we don’t change the hearts of our young people by showing them the power of God’s love and God’s forgiveness, how long will it be before he says of the United States, “For three transgression, yes for four?” WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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The Dangers of Losing Respect for Authority
Volume 7 Issue 18