I’m on my soapbox again. I tuned in to the Bronco game today, and found out that 32 players from my favorite team took a knee during the National Anthem. The disrespect is getting more and more flagrant each week, and I, for one, have to speak out to the issue.
As most of you know, I am a great believer in the words written in the Bible related to how we are to conduct ourselves in this life in order to be prepared for the life to come. It’s important, even vital, that we, as a nation, recognize our failings and begin to move toward a solution that brings us back to the God, who created us in His image.
You see, the Bible has a lot to say about the subject of disrespect, and some of us need to take a stand and speak out about this. Disrespect has become a pastime for this nation. It was of major significance during the recent presidential election, with mudslinging and other forms of disrespect began to take on a new look in our failing society. After the election, one side was so hurt about losing, that the level of disrespect took on a new look, one that continues to this day.
The slang word “dis” means to disrespect or disparage, and it has become a common word and an even more common action. There are many ways to ‘dis’ someone, including gestures, verbal abuse, eye rolling, and now, taking a knee during the National Anthem, showing full disrespect for our country and its emblems. Being polite and thoughtful in our actions has become a thing of the past, and professional athletes and celebrities have lost all semblance of courteous action. Parents, teachers, those in political office, bosses (anyone in positions of authority over us), the men in blue (police), our military, and even our God.
Disrespect has become an epidemic, one that is contagious. You see, when you are constantly faced with disrespect, seeing it all around, hearing it constantly, it is difficult not to join in. Players who take a knee, are now joined by players, simply because they don’t want to be seen as insensitive to the actions of their teammates. To be rude and profane in one’s speech and actions, has become commonplace in the entertainment field, and it is greeted with praise by those around it, even if they don’t totally agree!
Even comedy shows have become flooded with sacrilege and constant ridicule of those in power. The problem is, when disrespect becomes an acceptable action by those in the spotlight, violence quickly follows. Disrespect for the police, has evolved into violence, looting, with hate becoming the driving factor. Respect is lost in our current school system. Humility is a vanishing trait, with kindness and compassion falling by the wayside.
You that know me, also are aware that I believe that we are living in the final days of earth, as we know it. I believe that Jesus will soon come to take His church, and will return to rule, shortly after that, for a period of 1000 years. So, in my view of life, I am always looking at how current events fit into the chronological order of things described in Biblical prophecy. We are, indeed, on the verge of watching the horizon open to the final stages of history.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 tells us “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,”.
I believe that disrespect is growing, because of our ignorance of the Bible, God’s eternal Word. When we remove all things Godly and Biblical from our society, we bathe in the ignorance that is destroying our society.
Isaiah 3:5 speaks to this, when we are told “The people will be oppressed, everyone by another and every one by his neighbor; the child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable.”
Because God made us “in His image”, we are all children of God (at least those of us who accept the Truth of faith unto salvation). Being children of God, we each have an eternal destiny. God has a plan for each of us, and we are on His path to the goal for which we have been set.
Genesis 1:27 says “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Because we are created in the image of God (male and female), we should realize that EVERY human being is deserving of being equally treated with respect and dignity. The Bible is a story of love, the great love of the Creator for his creation, which makes love (including mutual respect for one another) a basic necessity for a quality relationship. This is true in marriage, but also in daily relationships with friends, family, those in authority, our elders, and our leaders.
Matthew 19:19 deals with relationships with our parents. Whether you agree with them or not, they are a major part of your own personality and moral standing, so we should honor that. We are told to “Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Love includes respect. This is true of family AND even those with which you disagree. We all desire respect for ourselves and our opinions, but we all resist offering that same courtesy to those with which we disagree.
One of the most telling scriptures related to our honor of country is contained in 1 Peter 2:17, where we are told to “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”
We don’t have a king in America, but we do have a president. The office deserves honor, even if the man in office is a bit rough for our tastes. The office deserves honor. If we not only withhold the honor, but initiate and slap our leaders with disrespectful acts, we are taking the wrong path, away from that path on which God wants us to tread. Our disrespect leads us to destruction.
We are instructed never to abuse or mistreat a weaker person. This is a command to show respect to even the weak.
Exodus 22:21-22 tells us “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.”
In that same manner, we are told in Leviticus 19:14, “You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD.”
Again, this is a command to show respect for those with disabilities.
Leviticus guides us toward the proper respect to be paid to those elders, who have gained wisdom, even if simply by being around long enough to experience life’s ups and downs.
“You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:32
Romans 12:10 tells us to “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;”
There are many more scriptures, which speak to the subject of showing respect for all, but I don’t want to get too long winded on these things. However, I will add one more scripture for your consideration.
In 2 Peter 2, we are told of those things for which we are to look as identifiers of the times in which we live. Peter gives a whole list of those things (I have a teaching notes on this chapter of Peter, which I will post at a later date) that will be occurring toward the ends times. In verse 10, we are given the following piece of information, “…….and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and DESPISE AUTHORITIES. They are presumptuous, self-willed. THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK EVIL OF DIGNITARIES, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.”
In other words, we will see folks who simply show massive disrespect for those in authority, even though the angels (who are more powerful than us), won’t even speak evil of before God. Why then, do we believe that we have the right to show such disrespect to our leadership?
There are many cases in the Bible, where Israel had leaders of questionable morals, but God chose them, put them in power, and used them for His plan for humanity. Saul was handsome, a head taller than anyone else in his kingdom, and God chose him. Saul did not follow direction, even though commanded directly of God. So, God chose David to replace him. Saul did all he could to kill David and retain his kingdom, but ultimately failed. Why? Because God’s plan was going to happen, with Saul, or in spite of Saul.
David was the only one in the Bible, who God said was a man after God’s own heart. But, David’s lust overcame him, and he even arranged to have one of his captains killed, so that David could have his wife. God’s plan went in the direction God wanted, in spite of David’s failings. The son, which was born of David and his stolen wife, was Solomon. Even Solomon was not true to God, because he allowed his wife to worship false gods and idols. God’s plan went forward, in spite of Solomon’s failures. The list goes on and on.
I believe God puts those in power, who will lead the path in the direction necessary to insure the end result. This will occur, in spite of the leader. Even if you hate the current leader, he was allowed to take power by the all-knowing God. God’s plan for this country will occur in spite of the leader and in spite of the current rage of disrespect toward that leader.
Our problem is not the leadership in this country. Our problem is the constant allowance by the church to push God out of this country and away from our leadership.
We see God pushed out of schools, we see God pushed out of our government, and we see God even being pushed out of the churches. We see compromise allowing evil to take a foothold in our faith. And now, we see disrespect (in all those phases described in this writing) becoming, not only acceptable action, but celebrated as heroic.
I, for one, am tired of allowing this disrespect to continue. I want to be respected as an elder, I want my flag to be respected, I want my government respected, I want the men in blue respected, I want the National Anthem to be respected, I want all people to be respected and to show respect to others, and I WANT GOD BACK IN OUR LIVES.
So, as of today, I will not watch another NFL game, until these disrespectful actions cease. I may be the only one, but I AM ONE! I have been a Denver Bronco fanatic since year 1 (1960 – striped socks and all), and I have rarely missed a game, but I am finished. My country, my countries leadership, and my God deserve respect. I demand it.
Come Lord Jesus! It is time!
Just my thoughts!
Don D. Stephens