From Jim O'Brien
June 30, 2017

Hi Friend,

Culture of Disrespect

Laura Ingalls Wilder is famous for her series of books, "Little House on the Prairie," depicting her childhood in pioneer America. One of the memorable experiences of life is being snuggled between our kids-and later grandkids-reading bedtime stories of Laura's adventures as the tiny tots hung on each colorful word.

She described moving to Missouri in a covered wagon to homestead their new land. Alone on the prairie they were running low on food so Pa had to leave Ma and the kids alone for a couple of days to forage for meat. Laura described living in the covered wagon away from any other humans. One morning Ma took their freshly washed petticoats and put them on the step of the wagon to be ironed.

There was no other explanation, but I was left wondering why little girls on the prairie needed to dress in petticoats and I could only imagine what it must take to iron them when there was no electricity.

The kids asked, "Why would they iron their clothes when no one else was around?" Donna, always the font of wisdom, responded, "They were not trying to impress anyone, respect is the culture of civilized people."

An often-overlooked act of Jesus occurred during the minutes after He was resurrected. When the stone was rolled away the Gospel account records that the blanket was neatly folded. It's remarkable that Jesus would take the time to fold the blanket during such a momentous event.

At times I wonder what God thinks of the way some Christians dress when coming to worship Him.

In ancient Israel when the Ark of the Covenant was returned after having been lost to the gentiles for a period of time a tragic event took place. When the Ark arrived men allowed curiosity to overcome respect for the sacred. "But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. (1 Samuel 6:19) These were Israelites who knew that the Ark was holy to God. You don't open the doors of the Ark anymore than you allow a man to walk into the women's restroom-but then America has forgotten that the body is sacred.

Later when the Ark was being transferred to Jerusalem, "Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:6-7)

How can a person read these accounts without concluding that respect for sacred things is a core part of Christianity?

Compare that with the recent news story of a comedienne holding an image of the severed head of the President of the United States. Is tolerance for such barbaric antics the mark of a civilized people?

Nothing has done more to civilize mankind than the values of the Bible. Few things have done more to undermine civilization than the disrespect encouraged by the popular media.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien