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Date Posted: 04:22:43 03/10/05 Thu
Author: Caitlin
Subject: Re: Obedience
In reply to: Mike K. 's message, "Obedience" on 02:34:26 03/10/05 Thu

>Caitlin, I think of course the parents want obedient
>But I think by the same token, parents do not want
>robots to program that will just do the routine. They
>want to raise persons, with their own decision making
>process, drawing their own conclusions etc.

To me it's hard for me to understand. This is the scenario. Many people in schools write on the desks and it's offensive to me because it's not their desks. Also, I think it leads to sloppiness and disrespect. Some kid is drawing penises on chairs and desks.

This kid was doodling on his desk. I went to him and asked him nicely to not doodle on his desk. He looked at me and acknowledged my existense but didn't say anything. I went back to my desk and there he goes doodling on the desk-even signing his name on it. I went back and told him please to not doodle on his desk-the rule was for one infraction I'm supposed to call the parent. Honestly, I wanted just to make him clean the desk, but I can't make children do "manual" labor in the schools.

All this happened last week. Then yesterday, the kid was pretend doodling on his desk. I said, "That's it, I'm going to tell the head teacher to call your teacher". He said I was being unfair. So, you don't think it's a sin to disobey? As a teacher, I'm an authority figure. How about in Hebrews when we are told to obey those who are leaders in the church? What about when we are told to obey the authorities in Romans? I was even told that when Paul wrote to the Romans about obeying the authorities, Nero was the authority. I think in Heaven obedience won't be an issue because only those who love Jesus will be there and those who love Jesus will obey Him. However, on earth we deal with human beings who don't have the Spirit to control them.
>Of course, many times, children don't understand, and
>as such, should simply do as told.
>The problem isn't about when someone is disobedient to
>something or someone, the problem is about when a
>person is doing something wrong.
Disobedience is no wrong.

How about in Deuteronomy when if a parent had an unruly child who wouldn't obey them, they were to take them in front of the community and stone them to death? I don't think I should stone children to death, but the law reflects God's character, so I think to God, disobedience is a sin. However, if the authorities contradict God's law, as in Exodus when the Egyptians were to kill the first-born of the Hebrews or in acts when the authorities told the disciples not to preach the word, they were to obey God's law and not the authorities.
>As a Christian, we have a very high moral standard, so
>high that sometimes, it will only let us choose
>between disobedience and wrong (such as: there's a
>redlight between you and that old lady, but someone
>attacks that lady: you could either disobey traffic
>laws and help her, or you could obey traffic laws and
>let the lady get mugged)

I do think that we need to be very careful about hiding behind the law and not caring about others. As the Levites did in the story of the Good Samaritan, however, this is not often the case.

>Obedience in the adult world comes out of
>understanding and appreciating the underlying
>principles behind a law, regulation or order. Without
>this understanding, one can not reasonably be assumed
>to obey (unquestioningly).

So do you think I should explain to the class why I think it's repugnant to write on the desks? I think they'll laugh in my face. It's not my property and I could think, "Well, who cares? It's not my property". However, I think it's a sign of disrespect and just rude.

>And with this understanding, one has to weigh whether
>it is better to violate these underlying principles or
>whether to violate other principles and/or conscience
>or whether all principles are harmonic and obedience
>is no issue of conflict.
>The question isn't so easy and straightforward as you
>may think, but my answer is: disobedience is no sin in
>itself. Lack of understanding leading to disobedience
>may cause disobeying to constitute a sin, but lack of
>understanding leading to obedience may cause obedience
>to be a sin as well.
>Dis-/Obedience can lead to sin, but it isn't one.
>I mean, you told your kid not to dial 9-1-1 unless
>your house burns, but then the neighbour falls down a
>ladder, wouldn't you be thankful the kid disobeyed and
>dialed 9-1-1 regardless?

Yes, but I think I'm careful with my words. I wouldn't be so specific with my kid. I tell him to call 9-1-1 in emergencies. Therefore, there's no need for disobedience in the above situation.
>In Christ,
>Mike K.

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