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Summary: Fifth Commandment: Attitudes Toward Authority

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Honor Guard

Introduction

Speeder Finagles Way Out of Ticket

A police officer pulled a man over for speeding and asked to see his driver’s license

Calmly, the driver responded: I don’t have one. I had it suspended when I got my fifth DUI.

Officer: May I see your registration?

Driver: It’s not my car. I stole it.

Officer: The car is stolen?

Driver: Yeah – But, now that you mention it, I think I did see the registration in the glove box when I was putting my gun in there.

Officer: There’s a gun in the glove box?

Driver: Yes, sir. I put it there after I killed the lady who owns this car and stuffed her in the trunk.

Officer: There’s a BODY in the TRUNK?!?!?

Driver: Yes, sir.

Hearing this, the officer immediately called his captain. The car was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the driver:

Captain: Sir, can I see your license?

Driver: Sure. Here it is.

It was valid.

Captain: Who’s car is this?

Driver: It’s mine, officer. Here’s the registration.

Captain: Could you slowly open your glove box so I can see if there’s a gun in it?

Driver: Yes, sir, but there’s no gun in it.

Sure enough, there was nothing in the glove box.

Captain: Would you mind opening your trunk? I was told there’s a body in it.

Driver: No problem.

The trunk was opened; no body.

Captain: I don’t understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn’t have a license, stole the car, had a gun in the glovebox, and that there was a dead body in the trunk.

Driver: No kidding? I’ll bet he told you I was speeding, too.

Transition

That story actually has NOTHING to do with today’s sermon, but I just really wanted to tell it!

But seriously… what makes the story funny is that the driver is able, through a series of outrageous lies to completely discredit the integrity – and the authority – of a police officer. And in a culture where authority is often seen as something to be fought tooth and nail, the driver is a hero.

Today we are looking at the fifth commandment: Honor your father & mother.

It’s interesting to me that there is nothing in the 10 Commandments about “respecting your elders” – in general

There’s nothing about “honoring political or civic leaders,” (although we are told to do so elsewhere in scripture).

There’s nothing about honoring the king or the president or your boss.

In fact, the 10 Commandments don’t even say, specifically, “Respect God’s authority.”

But it does tell us to honor our parents.

Why did God tell us to honor our parents, but not all these other forms of legitimate authority?

Because if children honor & respect their parents, they invariably show honor & respect to their teachers, to police officers, to elected officials, to their bosses, and so on.

There have probably been millions of research dollars that were spent to discover that principle, but God knew it all along.

I believe that even though this verse only talks about honoring our parents, that it is intended by God as a command to honor and respect all legitimate authority.

Author Oscar Wilde died over 100 years ago, he summed up the spirit of our own time when he said:

"Disobedience … is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion."

We live in a society that admires disobedience and rebellion.

If you don’t believe me, put a notepad in your living room or whereever you watch TV.

Take notes on how advertisements (and most TV programs, really) portray authority figures

With few exceptions: Parents are clueless morons

Teachers are about the same.

For the most part, we don’t really care for authority figures in this country.

We value independence – and we resent having anybody tell us what to do.

Even as I’ve been thinking about and praying about and preparing for this message, I’ve realized that this dislike of authority is lodged pretty deeply in me, too.

Today is Father’s Day – a day dedicated to honoring our fathers – and it seems like it’s an appropriate time to consider what it means for us to obey this command to honor our parents.

First Commandment with a Promise

In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul offers these wrods on the 5th commanment.

NIV Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother"-- which is the first commandment with a promise-- 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

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