By Jahnle Edwards
Respect is almost a thing of the past with many today. There are some areas in which we must regain respect if we are to be as God would have us. Thus we look at some areas where respect is greatly needed:
1. In the Home. No doubt you have heard the expression that a number of things begin at home. Surely the home is the place where respect must begin. Children must be taught, and taught from day one, respect for parents. Paul wrote, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise” (Eph. 6:1-2). Did you know that teaching children to have respect for the authority of parents is a command of God? One reason a lot of young people have little or no respect is due to the lack of discipline that is necessary to bring about such respect. The wise man said, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Prov. 19:18). Sure, the child will cry when corrected, but don’t let that stop you from doing your duty toward the child!
2. In the Government. There are three divine institutions and one of them is the government. The higher powers are of God, thus divine. The Holy Spirit said, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Rom. 13:1). One of the problems of our society today is that of having no respect for God’s ordained power, the govern-ment. Perhaps, if we spent more time praying “…(for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority (1 Tim.2:1-2), instead of being so critical, we might have a better group of people in high places. We owe the government, our prayers, our taxes, our respect and we must get back to teaching our young men and young ladies the importance of such respect.
3. In the Church. Respect for authority in the church is necessary if we are to have the proper attitude toward God, Christ, the Word of God, and each other. We must learn that the Bible is the Word of God and inspired of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). When we get back to teaching that Christ has “all power . . . in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18), we will begin to see the difference in the kind of things we do and say. Just take a look at all the worldly things some churches of Christ are doing, all without one ounce of scriptural authority for such. I read just a few days ago about a church of Christ announcing a “concert.” Did you ever read, in the New Testament, about the Lord’s church having a concert? When the church is put in the recreation and entertainment business and builds and maintains human organizations through which to do the work God gave the local church, respect for divine authority has been tossed out the window. We are going to have to get back to preaching book, chapter and verse sermons with Christ at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, or there will be a sad day in Zion.
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: No. 24, p. 9
December 21, 1995