21 February, 2007

Where's the Respect?

I always loved Rodney Dangerfield, Mr. "I get no respect" himself. What can I say, I loved his humor.
I have wrestled with a question for years..."What happened to the respect for those in the ministry?" That question really came home over an episode recently. I don't want to discuss just that episode, but I will use it as a spring-board for this topic.
Here's what happened.
On Myspace, a young lady who used to attend my church was listed as one of my friends. There were some things on her site that I did not approve of, but I left her linked to my site. But then she began posting numerous bulletins that were just down right vulgar and it kept happening for several weeks. I finally decided that it was time to delete her, so that this material would not appear on my site again.
Today, more than a month later, I got a message from her that said, "
I got rid of all the bad stuff on my profile do you approve? I'm I glad Jesus don't abandon his friends when we do somethin wrong, where would all the great preachers in the world be??"
So, I'm supposed to feel guilty because I choose not to have vulgar and obscene material piped onto my site?
I don't think so!
I sent her a message saying that I will not let her throw a guilt trip on me for choosing to delete pornographic material from my site and my life. Further, I told her that I was extremely disappointed that she had no more respect for me, as well as herself, as to post that kind of garbage.

As I said, I don't want the focus just on this event. What we see here is typical today. People have little or no respect for the men and women in ministry today. They have no problem lying to us, trying to deceive us, have no respect for our time or our families, nor our authority. Many have no problem cussing us out or using profane language to us. I've had people ask me to lie for them, help them cheat insurance companies or the government or to deceive other people.
My question is, "What has happened?"

I can hear the argument being raised, "If you want respect, you have to earn it."
I'll buy that to a degree. But the shear position demands some respect on it's own merit; and it just is not there.

Much of this can be and should be attributed to the high profile ministers who have fallen. But the fact is, for every one of these men, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of ministers holding up the standard of righteousness and integrity. Let's keep this in perspective.
I think the media and Hollywood have done much to unravel the respect given to a minister of the Gospel. For years, most ministers have been portrayed to be carnal,
phony or idiotic morons.

But in my opinion, the most damage has been done in the homes of our people. Church members for years have had no problem talking about their pastors with disrespect and even disdain in front of their children. The
question everything about the pastor, the church and the ministries in scathing ways around the dinner table or with friends, and the kids are raised hearing this. (Mind you, those people seldom ever asked the questions of the pastor directly) Those kids have no grown up to not trust the pastor, nor the church. The respect was not instilled in them, and it is hard to put it back in place now.

I think this goes beyond ministry. We have a generation now that has no respect for anyone or anything. They have been taught to question the motive and integrity of everyone and everything. It shows in our society from the playground to the classroom to the workplace.
Respect for others, I am afraid, is a thing of the past.


Sylvia said...

(Respect for others, I am afraid, is a thing of the past.)I am sorry but I do not think this is how we should look at this.We can not give up.If we do where will we be.We have to hold on to our faith.You have been talking to use about faith keep yours up You can not give up.Our youth needs to find it.With our help I belevie they can and will change.We just have to keep our FAITH.If they find faith they will learn to respect them self and then others.

Darrell said...

I never said anything about giving up. I am speaking of the conditions we live with right now. There is no respect. I have all kinds of faith in my God and in His Word, but I have NO faith in the systems in place. Our schools teach our kids to not obey parents. Our laws take the strength away from the parents. The system stinks. Sure, with God, all things are possible, but we are talking about a society that has rejected Christ.

Sylvia said...

We as a church have to pull together to help society that has rejected Christ to find him like you said with God, all things are possible.Then maybe the system will change for the better.