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Tag Archives: respect

The Defaming of Faith

Defame refers to cast asperations on, malign or slander the reputation of someone. In this age of social media, it only takes one post, tweet or video to ruin years of faith, respect and trust. As individuals battle for control, power and supremacy, distortions, embellishment and lies will be made to elevate one’s status while tearing down others.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you, 1 Peter 4:12.

From a spiritual perspective, there is a rise in naturalistic scholars, revisionist historians and secularism within America. When history does not enhance a particular worldview, events, facts and founding fathers are being defamed to delegitimize past accomplishments. Meanwhile, K-12 education is omitting significant influences such as the Magna Carta, the Pilgrim’s religion and role the ten commandments has played in establishing our justice system.

But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory [filled with His radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy. 14 If you are insulted and reviled for [bearing] the name of Christ, you are blessed [happy, with life-joy and comfort in God’s salvation regardless of your circumstances], because the Spirit of glory and of God is resting on you [and indwelling you—He whom they curse, you glorify], 1 Peter 4:13-14.

Whether you want to call this watering down or defaming, America has a rich Christian Heritage. Yet, due to political correctness traces of Christianity has vanished from public education. Meanwhile, other believers are afraid that if they speak up at work, their jobs or potential advancements will be terminated. However, Peter states that you shouldn’t be surprised by the defaming of faith. First century Christians embraced this as a badge of honor, a sign that their faith was alive and well. While nobody wants to endure hardship, trials in life are meant to strengthen and refine your faith.

by Jay Mankus

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A Message from Charity

The original Twilight Zone ran from 1959 to 1964.  The second coming of this series only lasted two seasons in 2002 and 2003.  Trying to feed off of the success of the X Files, this science fiction television show attempted to illustrate what if scenarios that defy logic.  Despite asking Bruce Willis to star in the revived pilot episode,, this type of show ran its course in time.  My favorite episode of the latter version is entitled A Message from Charity.

“For inquire, please, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have searched out. For we are but of yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow. Will they not teach you and tell you and utter words out of their understanding? – Job 8:8-10

Two teenagers born 300 years apart contract the same virus which killed others their age.  A parasite from stagnant well water brings a boy from the present named Peter and a girl from Colonial times, Charity together.  Like a time warp, each is able to see into the other’s world.  While hallucinating with high fevers, these two teens begin to hear voices on the other side.  Initially in denial, Charity and Peter begin to communicate.  Unfortunately, when Charity reveals this secret to a friend, she is put on trial for being a witch.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4.

Using a public library to help Charity, Peter combs through history books to prepare Charity for her public hearing.  Meanwhile, each time Peter curses or takes the Lord’s name in vain, Charity’s faith naturally flows, quickly reminding Peter about what is right, noble and true.  If Charity was alive today, she would remind current leaders and politicians about the need for civility.  This is one message that everyone needs to hear.  Instead of complaining, condemning and yelling at those you disagree with, its time to take a lesson from the past by demonstrating courtesy, kindness and respect.

by Jay Mankus

Respect This

It’s been fifty years since Aretha Franklin introduced her version of Respect.  This hit song has been part of advertisements, commercials and movies.  One of my favorite synonyms for respect is reverence.  This is one of these terms which been forgotten, rarely practiced anymore.

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor, Romans 12:10.

Unfortunately, the popularity of social media has gradually flushed respect down the toilet.  Every day Twitter wars disregard decency to bully, defame and lash out at those with whom you disagree.  While the Bible encourages individuals to outdo others in a positive manner, this message is either ignored or simply scoffed at.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you,” Exodus 20:12.

The reason why respect is vanishing can be found in one of the ten commandments.  When individuals begin to dishonor fathers and mothers, this decision opens the door to every area of life.  No one is immune resulting in a culture that trashes everyone or everything in sight.  Atheists helped kick God out of American public schools in the 1960’s.  Fifty years later respect is one of the casualties of this war on religion.  If you want to keep respect alive, start honoring fathers and mothers and maybe, just maybe respect will survive.

by Jay Mankus

 

When Justification Goes Too Far

One of my junior high teachers used a familiar saying to address students who were about the cross an invisible line.  Interrupting just before individuals earned a detention, promptly exclaiming, “that’s far enough.”  Unfortunately, obedience and respect appear to be at an all time low.  Instead, excuses, justification and victimization now reign.

Then Eli’hu the son of Bar’achel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; Job 32:2.

While listening to a heated discussion, a young man felt compelled to share his own two cents.  Apparently, Job was lacking humility.  Instead of accepting the hardship dealt by God, Job began to justify his own actions.  Maybe Job did not do anything to receive the ordeals sent his way, but Elihu felt that Job is disrespecting God.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

One of the greatest examples of justification occurs while watching replays of penalties in sports.  Most of the time athletes complain to officials, “I never touched them.”  Yet, replays often reveal guilt.  In real life, no one is without fault.  All have sinned.  Thus, if justification continues, countless individuals will deny and reject the only One who will come to their rescue, Jesus Christ the Lord.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Pursuit for Truth

Due to an outbreak of fake news, news, political and social media sites are hiring fact checkers to decipher truth from fiction.  However, if one worldview does not belief in absolute truth, distinguishing opinions from reality becomes challenging.  Unfortunately, this pursuit for truth often ends up in a he said, she said dispute.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, Ephesians 6:14.

One of the first sermons I ever heard on the Armor of God has stuck with me.  The pastor was using the analogy of getting dressed.  Unless you enjoy wearing tight clothes or have gained weight around the waist, pants require a belt to stay on.  Yet, if you become careless, lazy or negligent, you can get caught with your pants down.  This occurs when you embrace false statements that on the surface appear to be true.

And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth,” 1 Kings 17:24.

There is a fine line between seeing and believing.  Yet, anyone who consistently demonstrates a pattern of integrity will eventually earn the respect of outsiders.  The woman in the account above may have heard about Elijah, but his actions won her over.  Subsequently, if you want to pursue truth beware of rhetoric.  Rather, take your time, examine the whole context and test what you hear using biblical principles to ascertain truth.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Content of Character; Not the Color of Your Skin

In this age of instant information, individuals have become synonymous with specific acts, movements or speeches.  Whether its Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a civil rights leader or Abraham Lincoln for his second inaugural address, these moments transcend time.  Yet, in the end, you should be judged based upon the content of character displayed, not the color of your skin.

But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, Proverbs 1:24.

During the most recent Democratic and Republican National Convention, certain groups tried to high-jack and steer the audience toward their movement.  Thus, Black Lives Matter either protested or expressed their beliefs within these avenues.  In response, opposition crowds chimed in with All Lives Matter as well as Blue Lives Matter.  These highly charged reactions is freedom of speech in action.  Nonetheless, those caught up by emotions may miss the point, the content of your character is what truly matters.

I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—Proverbs 1:26.

Sure, this day and age is not your parents generation, but respect should be encouraged.  Without decency, open debate and common courtesy, opinions are merely a voice in the wind.  Maybe children haven’t been raised properly.  Perhaps, parents have become hypocrites, setting a bad example for those still growing up.  Despite this, Americans should not forgot Dr. King’s “I have a dream speech.”  For if this message is rejected, this country will regress, returning to a nation that is once again color blind.

by Jay Mankus

Prayers that Please God

If you admire, are fond of someone or respect them, a common response is to please these people.  Teenagers tend to court the opposite sex, trying to curry favor or earn another date.  Students will stick up for or go the extra mile for their favorite coach or teacher.  If this is true, why can’t adults begin to study prayers which please God.

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 1 Timothy 2:3.

According to the apostle Paul, one such prayer involves leaders and those in authority.  Beyond lifting specific names up to the Lord, content should include godliness. holiness and peace.  However, once you leave this outline, its important to keep in step with the Holy Spirit.  Usually, I find myself drawn to passages in the Bible.  As individuals begin to claim God’s promises, power is unleashed and on occasion prayers are answered instantaneously.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit, Galatians 5:25.

For those who need an aid to prayer, several acronyms exist.  PRAY stands for petition, requests, adoration and yourself.  ACTS refers to asking, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.  Whatever you choose, try to find a quiet place, void of distractions.  From here, open your heart, be honest to God and lean on God’s grace and mercy.  As you develop a daily routine, may you begin to verbalize prayers that please God.

by Jay Mankus

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