My Fitness

Saturday, July 11, 2015

respect authority

It has always annoyed me when people say we should "respect authority" in a blanket response to any fraction of dissension. It annoys me because people are flawed. People are wrong. People need to be questioned and subjected to scrutiny. Without it you get names like Doug Phillips and Monsignor Lynn popping up in your newsfeed as well as Judge Yaffe and McKinney cop Cpl. Casebolt being topics of debate.

Ancient Bible with drawing of St. JohnIn my life there are two authorities that I respect. Neither are people. Of course, the Bible is the first and ultimate authority in my life. And maybe less obvious, the Constitution of the USA is the other. Anytime someone is granted a voice to speak on behalf of one of these I put them to the test. If the person says he* speaks for God, then everything he says better be verified in the Bible. -Pope, pastor, priest, cardinal, deacon, lay teacher; it doesn't matter. If you are in a position of authority and you want my respect, you need to deserve that respect. Just because a group of people make the mistake of following Bill Gothard, who has never been married nor has children, on principles of marriage and raising children does not mean he is or should be considered an authority on such matters. I have no respect for the man. Nor do I respect those who blindly follow another infamous pedophile, Doug Philips. Just because these men claim to be Christ-following leaders and just because others are dumb enough to follow their extra-biblical teachings without thinking for themselves, does not mean they deserve respect. Should anyone respect the monsignor Lynn who raped several little boys just because he has the title of "monsignor"? No. Because obviously this man is a bad person. He snuck into the church for the purpose of harassing people not shepherding them.

So why do all these dumb people follow all these horrible men?

I tried reading what the Bible says about respecting authority. Here's one verse that seemed relevant.
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 1 Thessalonians 5:12 
[I once had a girl tell me I had to do what she said even though she was full of crap too because the Bible says to respect your elders. She was not quite three years older than me and just being bossy and wrong. Anyone can twist Scripture. The simple-minded are prey. The bullies of the world see a ripe harvest.]

So this verse. Obviously it contradicts everything I wrote above about respecting Monsignor Lynn, Phillips, and Gothard, right? To which I say a resounding NO! Are these men truly laboring among us? No. These men are looking to further their own agenda; namely sex. Are they over anyone in the Lord just because they claim to be? Absolutely not! These men are of the devil and vehemently opposed to all things God-centered. Now you may be thinking, "But Lauren, I heard a good thing from one of them at one point." Surely. I don't doubt it. Even a stuck clock is right twice a day, right? Every tyrant and quick speaking charlatan speaks mostly true things. Even Satan when he tempted Jesus in the desert spoke straight from Scripture. Does that make this most famous fallen angel godly? Really? Even demons believe in God and shudder.

[One time a person thought she was in authority over me and told me to go apologize for making someone angry. She didn't know the circumstances. She didn't know that I was completely in the right. She didn't know that the other girl was completely in the wrong - both morally and because she was butting into a conversation that wasn't hers which made her mad. (I had told a guy that he should stick with his conviction and this gal got angry with me because she overheard me say that and somehow claimed that I was speaking down to her. It was ridiculous. I wasn't even talking to her. She wasn't even in the conversation circle.) So my authority figure tells me to go apologize because she wanted to be seen in a certain light. It infuriated me. And rightly so. My authority figure decided to abuse her god-given position to make herself look like a peace-keeper. Needless to say, I don't respect anything that person says any more. I did not apologize and now also that abusive authority has lost her authority over me.]

What do you do with verses like the following for these miscreants?
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Hebrews 13:17
I mean, really? Do these self-appointed men really sound like they are keeping watch over your souls? Obviously their selfish ambition is waaaaaay more important to them than keeping watch over anyone's souls. Even their own souls. Once you find someone who is actually concerned for your soul, and not just saying they are, then sure, obey him. Just because some other lame-brain decided to make him a leader, doesn't mean he is or should be. You won't be able to tell if he's legit without questioning him. A leader who is afraid of being questioned, is juvenile, foolish, and insecure. These are not the traits of a good leader. A leader who can't handle a differing opinion, or one who handles disputes by yelling over all the other voices, or claiming "dissenter" or "demoniac" is simply ridiculous and should not be taken seriously.

[This reminds me of a big difference between the God of the Bible and the Allah of Islam. Look at Christians - extremist are those who don't want to bake a cake and lose their businesses because of it. Muslim extremists go around beheading children and killing anyone who dares question their almighty who apparently can't even handle women learning to read. Perhaps it's because if their women were able to read and be educated they'd overthrow the ridiculous men who are falsely in authority over them right now. But I digress...]

I think most people are with me on this up to this point.

But then something magical happens when I dare put the men of the law under the scrutiny.

I don't "back the blue" because sometimes blue is wrong. Dead wrong. And let me preface this with the fact that I've never had a poor experience with a cop. My husband even remarked once when I got pulled over that the cop apologized to me. I didn't realize that this wasn't normal. I recognize that I am America's most precious and protected class - suburban, white, female. I'm a "soccer mom" and therefore not a threat to anyone. And it's true. The absolute worst thing I've ever done is gone over the speed limit. I say all this so you know I don't have a personal vendetta against cops. I love cops.

I had a grown woman tell me how tired she was of people speaking against cops. I won't make a blanket statement against cops, just as I won't about pastors. There's good ones and there's bad ones. They all need more scrutiny. Because they want our respect, they need to show that they deserve it. Pastors need to have an open check book and open meetings; cops need body cameras. If that kid in McKinney hadn't recorded the swim party incident, no one would have believed the girl who claimed the cop was outrageous. Even Casebolt admits he was outrageous and he resigned. Someone actually tried to tell me that it was okay for him to shove her into the grass and sit on her because someone else had cussing music on earlier. The stupidity renders me speechless. This specific person was just exposing her underlying racist heart.

Judges, senators, congressmen, cops, councilmen, and anyone in any type of lawful authority in the USA needs to be subjected to higher scrutiny than those they are allegedly serving and protecting. I take my cue from Romans 13 that says we should be subject to the governing authorities. Apparently to many this means letting governing officials rape and pillage and abuse their authority. But the great thing about America is that we have the constitution: our ultimate national authority. Any cop or judge failing to subject himself to the authority of the constitution, is not really in authority. And we can't know what they do unless we question them. When we do that, cops resign, judges resign, scandals are unearthed and their lack of authority is revealed. Their arrests are questioned. Innocent men go free.

In Acts 17 Paul and Silas were welcomed as authority. You know what the Bereans did? The Bereans verified everything Paul and Silas said. They dared to question these authorities. Since Paul and Silas were legit, they were found legit. They encouraged this behavior. That's true leadership and authority: authority that says, "Go ahead and question everything I say. And if I ever say something wrong, call me out. I am imperfect but try my best." Any other attitude toward authority is not biblical and is just plain stupid.

Don't subject yourself to any man who is not willing to be questioned. Do not hesitate to vote for pro-scrutiny measures of cops and officials. By the way, can you believe lobbying is legal? It's legalized bribery and I am constantly shocked that we allow it in our nation. And I'm SO glad I live in a nation that allows me to say so. I'm allowed to question this authoritative decision. I can even appeal to a higher authority to get lobbying criminalized. Can you imagine if I spoke so candidly in closed nations like China or North Korea? Those places are ridiculous. You aren't allowed to speak against their authority because they know they aren't legitimate authorities. They know that the only reason people are under them is that they are abused. No one would willingly subject themselves to their tyranny. Well, actually, a few people have and most look at them as crazy; and we're talking about like 3 or 4 out of billions. 3:1,000,000,000+ That's pretty pathetic. If their authority wasn't so fragile, they'd be willing for more freedom and more questions.

I've already cleansed myself from the dummies that believe a lot of the nonsense of "backing the blue" and "don't tattle on daddy because you'll break up the family" and "if you just let the cops beat you to death then they wouldn't have shot you" so I'm not concerned about losing friends over this. Who wants to be friends with such stupid people, anyway?

Alright, I think I'm done being angry and will get back to being "the happy wife" now.
PS- I use this mode of respect for my own children too. They are absolutely allowed to question me. I hope to always teach them appropriate questioning. They're allowed their opinions. They can tell me "no". They're human beings in a free country under a loving God. Why would I demand their "respect"? The other day I was wrong about something and my oldest was allowed to point it out. And I corrected the situation. I don't need to shove my weight around with my kids. I don't need to beat them into submission. If I deserve their respect, they'll give it out of love and not fear of a whipping. They don't need empty words of "yes ma'am" and "no sir" because their respect is evident by what their heart says, not their tongue. My kids love and respect me and I love and respect them.

*throughout I use a universal "he" and "man" and do not mean only males but females too.

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