Thursday, March 5, 2009

Trust and Authority

In the 1960s, authority came into question. An unpopular war and other problems caused the youth of that day to question all authority. We are still feeling its effects today. Today however, I think we have to question earthly authority because it has shown itself to be ineffective, self-serving, and often unethical.

In addition to less than effective government at all levels and public servants who are not serving their constituents, you now have unethical practices by corporate, bank, financial, and other executives. The earlier catastrophes such as the collapse of Enron due to crooked dealings and “cooking the books” now look like a walk in the park compared to the mismanagement and downright illegal actions we are seeing uncovered today. Moreover, there are scam artists such as Bernie Madoff who have robbed thousands of people of billions of dollars. How could all this happen?

First, we now have situational ethics rather than absolute principles guiding behavior. That is a recipe for disaster. We must be guided by transcendent principles as found in the Scriptures, not by situational ethics and other man-made guidelines.

Second, we have an increasing unchurched population who haven’t been exposed to biblical teachings about morality, ethics, and the principles for leading an upright life. Maybe their parents tried to instill those kinds of principles in them, but without the reinforcement from the Church, the efforts are less effective. Kids today are exposed to all kinds of garbage through the media, with little or no exposure to biblical principles. Then we’re surprised when these things happen?

Third, we have had an attitude in government that prefers trust over regulation, ignoring the fact that humankind has a propensity to sin. We have government and its various agencies (the police, military, FBI, SEC, FDA, etc.) to protect us from the evils that might be perpetrated if there is no oversight.

Last, we have a callousness and uncaring attitude towards others since fewer people have been exposed to the Golden Rule and the principle of caring for and about your neighbor. How, for example, could the executives of Peanut Company of America knowingly allow tainted food products be shipped from their plant? It is astounding.

We aren’t going to turn this country around by government policies and rhetoric from Washington. We must turn back to God, and expose our kids and ourselves to biblical teachings. If it isn’t too late, we just might get back on track.

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