Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I was in the car the other day and read a bumper sticker on the tailgate of the pickup ahead of me -- one of many. It said: Question Authority.
It seems to me that we don't need to be encouraged in that direction. Especially when it comes to faith. We question authority to the point that we believe no one and trust in nothing. That does us no good. There are still people who believe the moon walk took place in the sands of Arizona and it was all staged. There are a ton of folks who believe Obama was not born in the US and his birth certificate was staged. There is that grassy knoll in Dallas. There is the fear and suspicion that Congress can fix anything. There are classrooms where students dare the teacher to instruct them in anything and courtrooms where the last thing on the agenda seems to be justice. The list could go on and on.
Such suspicion and refusal to believe cannot help but harden our hearts to the voice of God. We cannot be suspicious of everyone and everything and still be open to God. Just the opposite. It is easy for us to believe everyone and everything and still be closed to God.
I don't think that we should blindly accept anything and everything but neither do I believe that we should, and especially our children should be taught to question authority. The hardness of sin is encouraged even more when we become closed minded and fearful.
Respect for authority is the fruit of the Gospel. It is because of the Gospel that we have respect for the commandments and for the beneficial role they play in ordering our lives -- once we are freedom from their pointy finger through the blood of Jesus. It is because of the Gospel that we respect those in authority and pray for them (not because they do what we want or think like we do). It is because of the Gospel that we seek not our own way but learn the path of service and submission (in marriage, in family, and in society).
Honest respect for authority -- not blind obedience which is generally the fruit of fear -- honest respect for authority needs to taught to our children for the sake of the world and their lives in it and because this is in keeping with the Gospel.
I have my days when it seems I trust no one and my fears lead me to complain about the misery those fears have created... but thanks be to God I have a wife and family that call me out... a group of co-workers that challenge this brooding mood... and a Lord who speaks to my fearful heart that I may learn trust... and from trust may learn obedience. Soli Deo Gloria