Thoughts Regarding the Matter of Respect: October is almost gone. Two more months and the year 2005 A.D. will be history. I remember as a kid thinking in terms of the 20th century. It simply did not enter my head that I would also be living in the 21st century. Well, here we are. The things I grew up with are now found in the history books.
Respect. How do you view it? You can talk all you want about respecting the office, President, Supervisor at work, Pastor or elders at church, and so on. But the truth as much as you may respect the office, the person holding the office needs to earn your respect and maintain it. How many in positions of leadership squander the respect of those under them. (Bill Clinton comes to mind as an example.)
I've thought about this issue of respect with regard to a former church we left several years ago. Simply put, the leaders of that church did not conduct the over all ministry of the church in a way that maintained my respect. So we as a family "fired" them by leaving that church. Respect for the leadership was squandered by a pattern of disrespect by that leadership for the integrity and conscience of God's people. Sorry, but my rational and critical thinking facilites will not be left at the church door. Being an Elder does not nesecarrily equate with being wise and knowledgable. A pattern of un-wise decisions and pulpit statements indicating a lack and deficiancy of knowledge and discernment does not engender and maintain respect. What it does do is indicate that those in leadership are not qualified for the office they hold.
This leads to a critical conclusion. I can only care about a person or group's opinion to the degree I respect that person or group. The degree of caring is proportional to the degree of respect. Realizing that truth is liberating indeed.
Sola Deo Gloria,
~ The Billy Goat ~