Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 13, 1964

Respect For Law

Cecil B. Douthitt

Respect for law seems to be on the wane. Laws of every kind are violated apparently without the slightest remorse of conscience, and with little, if any, fear of punishment. Such violations sometimes occur among leaders in governmental affairs, in politics, and in religion, as well as among the masses.

Reports of the embezzlement by leading statesmen of hundreds of thousands of dollars are not such an uncommon thing. Short weights, short measures, and other fraudulent means are in use every day, regardless of the laws forbidding these. Several former leaders in religious organizations are now behind bars for obtaining money unlawfully, and some for appropriating money to their own use, much of which was given at great sacrifice by a gullible public for the noble purpose of helping life's unfortunate.

Laws governing the marriage relation, laws which form the frame and fabric of our civilization and domestic happiness, are recklessly trampled under the feet of many unembarrassed participants, as is evidenced by the morally shocking and detestable divorce cases on court records; and as a result children who have an inherent right to a mother's love and a father's advice and support are thrown upon society as mere products of the divorce evil.

But we may expect just such conditions to obtain as long as so many pulpits are filled by preachers who have no respect for the laws of God. Disrespect for one of our civil laws tends to break down respect for all of them. Preachers who, under the pretense of tolerance, broadmindedness, and sweet-spiritedness, refer to God's commandments as "non-essentials," and obedience thereto as "mere forms" do not seem to know that such disrespect for a few of God's laws destroys reverence for all.

Though the church of the New Testament is described as the purchased possession of our Savior (Acts 20:28), and the object of his love (Eph. 5:25), yet such advice as "join the church of your choice" and "one church is as good as another" continues to come from many pulpits. Who can believe that such counselors have a proper respect for what the Bible teaches about the church?

Jesus requested that the Lord's Supper he observed in his memory, (I Cor. 11:23-26) This the disciples did upon the first day of the week under apostolic direction. (Acts 20:7) But due to the attitude of many religious leaders men are caused to look upon this institution with indifference and neglect.

God commands believers to be baptized. To reject this command is to reject the counsel of God. (Luke 7:30) To create a lack of respect for this commandment of the Lord is to create a lack of respect for everything God has ordered.

When respect for God's word becomes so great that all men will make it the authoritative and limiting factor in all their activities, then our national, social, moral and religious ills all will be removed.

While the occupants of so many pulpits are so "tolerant" and so "broad-minded" as never to lift the voice against modern departures from God's word, men will continue to flout the laws of all duly constituted authority.

— 712 Victoria Dr., Louisville 7, Kentucky