PREACHER’S POINT: The road to loss of respect
By Timothy Johnson
Have you ever wondered why old habits are hard to break? I reckon the longer we do something, the harder to stop.
As an example, you know what they say about riding a bicycle – you learn when you are a kid, and you never forget. Just yesterday, I had a sixty-one-year-old tell me of his experience riding a bike recently. He thought he would not be able, but to his surprise, “I rode like I was a kid” was his reaction.
The Bible tells us the things we learn as a child stick with us. Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Is the opposite of this verse true? If we train up a child in the way he should not go, will he still be doing wrong when he is old?
Do not get me wrong I am not saying a righteous person, never does anything wrong, or even that an evil person, never does anything right. I am not saying that a person cannot change. What I am getting at is that many of our likes and dislikes, habits, and hobbies we learned or acquired when we were children.
With that said, let us think about our nation’s current situation. Riots in the streets have brought cries of not only police reform but also proclamations to get rid of police altogether. A section of Seattle is currently blocked off and has declared itself as the new nation of “Chaz.”
How did we get here? Maybe Proverbs 22:6 mentioned above has more to do with it than we think.
I have shared the following experience a few times, but I think it bears repeating.
It was about eight years ago. I was in the Little Italy Festival parade in Clinton, Indiana. The local pregnancy center recently opened. I was carrying the banner; others were passing out fliers.
Directly behind us, a church had a float. It was a man portraying Jesus hanging on the cross. Crown of thorns, blood everywhere, a white cloth wrapped around his midsection.
We barely started when I heard a child 10-12 years old ask from the crowd, “What is that?”
A few seconds later, another kid on the other side of the street, asked, “Who is that?”
I started to count comments I could hear from children who did not recognize a man on a cross as a representation of Jesus. A little more than halfway through the parade route, I reached 40. I stopped counting; my heart could not take it anymore. The questions and comments continued.
One time I was looking straight at them, I can still see their faces. A little girl, probably around kindergarten age, pointed and asked her mom, “Why’s that man up there?”
Momma replied, “That’s church stuff. You don’t need to worry about that.”
Those kids are late teens and early 20s now. Some probably with babies of their own or will have in a few years. I wonder how much their children will know of the man on the cross?
If children do not recognize a man on a cross as Jesus, then I think the odds are fairly good that they do not know other Biblical things, such as the ten commandments and the golden rule.
God is the ultimate authority. As a nation, we disrespected Him by kicking Him out of the public forum. We have disrespected God’s gift of life by killing the unborn. We have disrespected God’s gift of living in America by electing Godless people to lead us over and over and over again.
God does hold authority responsible, and He wants us to hold them accountable as well. God is the supreme authority, yet, we celebrate the passage of ungodly laws.
In a lawful society we do not hold the police responsible by burning down the police stations. In other news – Elected officials are discussing defunding or even possibly abolishing the police because of the evil actions of the mob that was “protesting” the heinous acts of a cop.
Call it what you will, but what is going on in our nation, is total disrespect for authority. This disrespect started decades ago when we threw away our respect for God. We might as well face it – this lack of respect includes not only the police but also parents, teachers, the boss at work, and anyone with authority. When we lose honor for the ultimate authority – God – over time, we will lose respect for all authority. This loss of respect is coming to the surface of our society. The Biblical principle is we reap what we sow.
With a generation, now young adults, that does not recognize God’s Son hanging on a cross, the solution is probably a long way off. The answer can only come from God, and we do not even recognize Him.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordprss.com; Email: email@example.com; Mail: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872.