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Viewpoint from Rev'd Richard Knowles


Viewpoint from The Revd Richard Knowles
Team Vicar in the Great Yarmouth Team Ministry

RESPECT – what has happened to it?

We seem to have built a society that simply has no respect for law and order. Today every piece of new legislation has to answer the question, ‘Will it be enforceable?’
Maybe I have a very skewed memory but I seem to remember that when I was kid in the 50’s and 60’s if it was against the law then in the main you didn’t do it – or if you did you were fearful of the consequences of being caught!
viewpoints cross logo jpegFor instance, when we did our cycling proficiency training we were taught to ride on the road. It was (and as far as I know still is unless it’s an official cycle lane) illegal to ride a bike on the pavement. Today you are very likely to be mowed down on the footpath by a furiously pedalling cyclist and get a mouthful of abuse when you remonstrate with them.  
Whatever the infringement maybe it is clear that respect for the law is at an all-time low. Is it a coincidence that at the same time respect for God and His Church is also at an all-time low? It seems to me that when we were more of a God-fearing nation (if not a church-going one) we had more respect for each other as human beings. Now we only seem to care for ourselves, No 1, and everyone else can get st****d.
I believe such a mindset is going to end in anarchy and bloodshed which in time will lead to a complete breakdown in civilisation – far-fetched? Just look at what happened to the Roman Civilisation when it lost its moral centre.
The sad thing is – we have the answer staring us in the face. Jesus Christ said we should love (respect) God and that we should love (respect) our neighbour as we would wish to be loved (respected)
Dove rightSo what are the churches going to do about it? Are they going to spout Scripture in the bigoted way we have seen recently in The Mercury’s letters columns; are we going to continue to meet behind closed doors and ‘worship’ God; are we going to continue chanting the same historically-bound language that has made up the bulk of our church liturgies for so or are we going to come out into the sunlight and bring Jesus with us.? Are we going to adopt ways that will give to today’s society the same message of love and respect that we believe we are blessed with? Or are we going to get out of our churches and into the high streets -and I don’t mean with lunatic-style preaching or second-rate drama or whatever! Where are the drop-ins, the church-led café’s; the help-shops for the poor?
Get a more visual witness to God’s love on the streets, and maybe, just maybe we will start finding this thing called RESPECT might start to come back. Surely it’s worth a shot!
Daphne Mason (Guest) 19/09/2008 21:16
How will they know unless they are taught ? we are quick to blame, but surely we only have ourselves to blame for allowing it to happen !!!!!!
(Guest) 05/10/2008 18:50
It is the sign of the times when children are to rise up against their parents. If you teach your child good manners and to treat others as they would like to be treated they are then bullied at school. Our society has become very difficult to live in for those who have principles.