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Archive for February, 2008

Respect

Is respect a legitimate exercise and attitude or is it a power grab by one set of people over another? If it is legitimate when should it be exercised? Since all words are suspect in this day of reverse connotations (“He’s the ‘baddest’ dude I ever seen.”) and relativism (“It may mean that to you but not to me.”) a definition is always a good beginning point for any intelligent discussion. Respect as a noun means a feeling of high regard, honor, or esteem. Some would say all persons should be regarded the same either for egalitarian reasons or for supposed spiritual reasons (“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism” James 2:1, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”). Equal value as a citizen with rights before a government or as a believer before God does not negate structure to society or valuing what God values.
Here are what I believe to be three reasons we should respect any particular person:

1) Respect all persons because they are made in the image of God.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
As image bearers of God’s own nature we are afforded respect because our very existence gives glory to God.

2) Respect those who have positions of authority over you including age.
Examples include governors, senators, policemen, teachers, pastors, ruling elders, bosses, parents, husbands, and elders.

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God….” Romans 13:1 “You youger men, likewise, be subject to your elders” 1 Peter 5:5 “The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.” Galations 6:6

Not only does Scripture support authority structures in society, the government, the church, and home, but there is no culture that has ever been without such lines of authority and generally in agreement as to who should be respected. The only other alternative is chaos and anarchy.

3) Respect those who have earned respect.

“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, expecially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.” 1Timothy 5:17 “Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected, because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior…” 2 Kings 5:1

Earned respect is the only reason some are willing to respect but truly it is third reason on the list. The first two above apply regardless of observation, inference, or feeling. They are due because the person is a person or in a position of authority. The third reason is nice and to be sought after but not necessary for respect.

All three reasons imply an ultimate one to be respected, the image behind all images, the ultimate authority- God. Because more people are not accepting authority or divinity, respect is not recognized. If there is no ultimate authority and no divinity and no one is to be respected then neither does the person disrespecting others have respect or the implied value that results.

So, for the good of us all and for God’s sake (His glory) show a little respect (or “quit dissin’ me”).

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Efficacious Grace (part 3)

“So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 53:11) That is, God’s Word is efficacious. Effective is a synonym, but it means “producing a result” whereas efficacious means “power to produce effects or intended results”. The shade of difference seems to be passive versus active. God’s Word actively, powerfully, and without faltering accomplishes God’s designs. So does His grace. Without it I drift, I’m sunk. With it I am enabled, it will change me. I know it;I feel it; It is happening. Click on Grace Means to Me to check out my song on how grace is at work in me.

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What is noise? How does it affect us? What can we or should we do about it? What difference does it make? Is it an unavoidable result of modern technology or is the source older? The answers may unnerve (knowledge) and settle (application) you. Check it out by clicking on Noise

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