Respect

Can We “Honor” the  COVID-19 Rule-Makers?

Everyone is annoyed at times by a stupid rule or a bad decision by a leader. But lately, conservative Christian responses to government rules look and sound about the same as non-Christian attitudes on the political right: they’re dominated by anger, harsh judgments of motives, mockery, and defiance.

Sanctimonious defiance is still really just defiance. If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still… etc., etc.

Christians are called to better attitudes—ones fueled by a different focus. Keeping some realities in mind may help chill the anger and judgmentalism and foster something closer to our duty to “honor all” and “honor the king” (1 Pet 2:17, KJV).

Reality 1: All rules are stupid at the margins.

Observing how life works can lead to wisdom (Prov 24:32, 8:1-3). Observe that mailing or transmitting your tax return at one second past 11:59:59 PM on tax day is late. Going 70.00001 mph in a 70 mph zone is, technically, a violation. One second before midnight on the eve of your 18th birthday, you’re a minor and you can’t join the Army. One second later, you’re an adult, and you can.

1027 reads

“We may have Jesus in the bio, but it's the Republican or Democratic Party that is really in our hearts.”

"'Follower of Jesus.' A follower of Jesus myself, I normally like to see those words on someone's Twitter profile. Lately, however, I'm reluctant to scroll down for fear that this same follower has cussed out a politician on the social media platform or tweeted nasty things at a person they disagree with." - Dan Darling

239 reads

“We live in a strange time when fighting for fundamental liberties while treating other human beings respectfully is seen as a sign of weakness.”

"If a person despises me for defending life, filing lawsuits to protect the First Amendment, or deploying abroad to play my own very small part in battling vicious terrorists, then so be it. That’s what some on the Left have done. Some on the new right, however, seem to despise me for not mocking my opponents, not insulting them, and not treating them as less-than-human." - David French

703 reads

Arthur Brooks on Rejecting Contempt: “If you have contempt for ‘them,’ more and more people will become ‘them.’”

"We are called to find common ground where it genuinely exists, improve our own arguments, and win over persuadable Americans by answering hostility with magnanimity, understanding, good humor, and love. We cannot do that while hiding in our narrow ideological foxholes." - National Review

545 reads

The Collapse of Manners

"In college, when we studied Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, I realized my father was the disciple of a rather ancient set of values. He was a gentleman: someone who still practiced the art of manners, and as such, he was both inheritor and promulgator of the classical conservative tradition." American Conservative

596 reads

When Followers Don’t Follow: Cultivating Influence

Read the series.

You can’t convince them to do it. You can’t make them do it, but you know it’s the right course of action, and you feel responsible. What can you do?

Several common responses should be promptly rejected. Empty threats should be off the table for Christian parents, spouses, coaches, teachers, coordinators, etc. (Eph. 6:9). That option only builds resentment, damages relationships, and reduces whatever respect the leader has. Ranting and sulking certainly don’t help (Gen. 42:36). Quietly stewing in bitterness finds its way out eventually, too (Num. 20:11-12).

Better options include reexamining our sense of responsibility, reexamining the potential tools, and refocusing on the tool of influence.

2061 reads