Respect authority

The story of the year will likely be about the set of events played out over this summer and also this past week in Ferguson, MO. And as I have watched it all unfold and reflect on it, this unfortunate and yet also horrible story has struck so many emotions in me.

One, sorrow for the community at large, having grown up in Ferguson in the ’60’s and ’70’s and remembering it’s glory. Next, concern and fear having a son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren who make their home there. Then there’s compassion for a family who lost a son in a most unfortunate way. But last, there was and still is the shock at the depth of depravity of citizens supposedly engaged in peaceful protests that turned into hate-filled, out-of-control mobs looting, stealing and destroying public and private property.

Has it now become acceptable to loot, steal and destroy property as part of a protest? Have we as a society finally embraced lawlessness and rejected the respect of authority and the law? Since very few of our leaders today speak out against actions like these, I suppose it now is politically correct to allow the mobs to break the law. I’ve heard some even refer to it as letting them vent their anger. Really? At whose expense do we allow this? More importantly, what’s the message that we’re sending in this? It’s the mob rules.

What a sad state of affairs our society has turned into! I close with a scripture that I pray all social, political and church leaders will begin to shout from their lecterns and pulpits. God’s word is the only thing with the power to cause change.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13:1-5 (NIV)

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