Respect For Authority

May 7, 2015

                                      Respect For Authority

A country will not long endure if there isn’t law and order.  To have law and order there must be respect for authority.  When people don’t respect authority they do whatever they want to do.  That leads to chaos and anarchy.

When we see rioters throwing bricks and beer bottles at the police we are seeing what happens when people haven’t been taught respect for authority.  The police are authority figures.  Their job is to maintain law and order.  They don’t go out and arrest people without having a reason for doing so.  If they do, our justice system will come to the defense of the innocent.  Rioting in the street is not the proper way to settle a grievance. When we recognize that we have a serious problem, because of the lack of respect for authority, we often overlook the root cause.  It begins in the home.  If parents don’t teach their children to respect authority, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to teach it to young people and adults.

Children need to learn that there are limits placed on their liberty.  Perhaps parents don’t realize the importance of teaching respect for authority to their children.  It is just as much their responsibility as is the need to provide food and clothing for them.  In part, some parents can be excused because pseudo intellectuals are telling them that it is wrong to discipline their children.  They have even persuaded our law makers to make corporal punishment a misdemeanor punishable by law.  Corporal punishment speaks of the act of turning your child over your knees and spanking him on his bottom.  We are told that it will warp the child’s personality.  The truth is that a child’s personality will be warped if he isn’t taught to respect authority.

Children are handicapped for life if they haven’t been taught respect for authority.  When they reach school age their parents are obligated to send them to school.  However, if they have no respect for authority, they aren’t going to respect the school officials.  We have all heard it said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”  It could also be said, “You can send a child to school but you can’t make him learn.” If the teacher says, “Now this is your assignment for tomorrow…” the rebellious child may say, “This teacher isn’t going to tell me what to do.  I’ll do it if I feel like it.”

If the majority of the people in a society have no respect for authority, that society is on the verge of collapse.  We have reason to wonder if our society isn’t near that point.  If our society does collapse, much of the blame can be laid at the feet of two groups of people.  First and foremost will be the parents who didn’t teach their children to submit to authority when they were young and pliable.  The second group of guilty people will be the pseudo intellectuals who promoted the false teaching that corporal punishment is cruel.  The truth of the matter is, it is cruel not to use corporal punishment to teach a child to submit to authority.

If a policeman looks at you, puts his hand on his weapon, and says “Hands up” you better put your hands up.  That’s the only option you have at that moment.  You don’t have liberty to argue with him.  If you want to, you can try to reason with him, but while you have your hands up. Your arguing needs to be done at the civil justice court.  If you are innocent, you have nothing to worry about.  You are innocent until proven guilty.

We would be enjoying a more peaceful and prosperous society if people in general were willing to accepted and apply biblical teaching.  Romans chapter 13 tells us that it is our duty to be subject unto the higher powers.  Romans 13:1-2 says, “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.   Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”  The remainder of the chapter explains the reason for that.  In the early days of our country children were taught to submit to authority.  Back then we don’t read of anarchy like we do today.  They didn’t have public schools like we have today.  Many children were just taught by their parents.  The local parson often had a weekday school for children who wanted to learn.

The book of Proverbs explicitly teaches that it is the duty of parents to teach their children to be in submission.  The following verses are some examples of that teaching.

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24).

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15).

“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.    Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:13-14).

“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame”  (Proverbs 29:15).

“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul” (Proverbs 29:17).

Obviously there is a right and wrong way to use the rod.  If parents beat their child over their head with it, of course they are out of order.  If they spank them on their bottom so severely that they need two or three days to recover, again they are out of order.

We have a system of government that gives us the privilege of electing our leaders.  They are given authority to make decisions that we need to respect. If there is a breakdown of law,  order, and corruption in government it is the fault of the voters.   It is our responsibility to elect officials who will be respectable, responsible, and honest.  We need discernment to weed out the politicians who are just seeking money and power. We need to respect authority, but we need to elect authorities who merit respect.

If you have comments or questions you can send them to us at the following address: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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