Greetings precious people, I hope that you are doing well today and being thankful to God for His goodness toward you. In todayís article I would like to address a growing problem in our society, namely Rudeness. On the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune a few weeks ago was this caption, "Excuse us. Society seems to be growing ruder. You got a problem with that." For the most part, I found the article to be well written covering various areas where we see rudeness (almost every where) as well as some of the reasons for this rise in rudeness. Some of the reasons cited for this increase in rudeness were the influence that the media has had on the shaping of our etiquette or lack of it. Though I believe this has played a part, it is only a symptom of the real cause.
I would like to explore from a Biblical perspective the deeper reasons for rudeness as well as offer Godís solution to this problem. Letís begin by understanding what rudeness is. Rudeness is defined in Websterís Dictionary as: being crude, barbarous, or ignorant; uncouth, lacking refinement, culture or elegance; vulgar, untaught. From these definitions we realize that rudeness stems from selfishness, carelessness, thoughtlessness, and unkindness.
There are too many examples of rudeness in the Bible to mention. One though stands out above all the rest. It is manís ongoing display of rudeness toward God, which reached its climax when God became a man, the man Christ Jesus. There are many instances of rudeness recorded for us in the Bible, Godís Word, of mans disrespect toward Jesus, which interestingly are still practiced today. That of using His name in a less than honorable way, blaming Him for many of the problems that exist today, and many others.
The greatest display of rudeness toward Jesus was while He hung upon the cruel cross of Calvary. We read of what happened in Mark 14:62-65, "Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" And they all condemned Him (Jesus) to be worthy of death. Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, "Prophesy!" And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands."
The cause for rudeness and its dramatic increase over the past few years is closely related to manís disrespect toward God. Though the plunge into depravity in the media has had its effect, the more important reason can be found in manís lack of fear and respect for God. When there is an absence of respect and fear of God, man will act with little to no restraint on himself. He will do whatever his wicked heart moves him to do at the moment.
This absence of having a respect and fear toward God can be accredited to many of the decisions our government has made over the past 35 years. When our courts and school boards decided to remove every resemblance to God and His Word such as the Ten Commandments and prayer from the classrooms, we began the downward spiral that we find ourselves in today. It should be no wonder that if man does not have any respect or fear of His Creator, he will definitely have no respect for his fellow man.
I find our current situation both tragic and interesting. Tragic for the obvious reasons such as the negative impact that it is having on our society. But it has a degree of interest, for it is a fulfillment of prophecy concerning the coming of what is known as the "End Times". Look at what is told us concerning how things will be in the End Times. In 2 Tim 3:1-9, "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was." And in Matthew 24:12, "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold."
As we consider the previously mentioned verses, it should be easy for us to see how descriptive these are of our present day. Did you also notice that they describe much of what is played across the movie screens today and is called entertainment?
With the departing from God and His Word as we have done in the past 35 years, there is no basis to teach people not to be rude. We can as some are trying to do, (in vain I might add) teach children in our schools how to be kind and thoughtful to others. But this is a confusing message when they are also being taught to "just do it", be your own boss, follow your own heart, there are no absolutes, do what is right in your own eyes, etc." When this humanistic philosophy has been ingrained in their hearts and minds for years, and then they are told to not be rude, the response often is, "I donít think my actions are rude. Or I donít care if it bothers others how I act, this is how I feel and Iím going to do what I want. Who says my behavior is rude? Who sets the standard? I will determine what is rude and what is not!"
When Communism lost its hold in Russia, the new government soon realized the terrible state the country was in because of the lack of morals. An entire generation had arisen that was void of any morals. Crime rate skyrocketed. The government realized that the godless teachings of the former government had left a moral and spiritual vacuum, which left the country in ruins. The government began to solicit Christians to come and teach the Bible in their schools and universities. They recognized the need for the absolutes, authority, and morality that the Bible teaches. I was one of those that went. It was a wonderful experience to freely share the Gospel in public schools and universities in parts of Russia. The people were hungry for truth and they soaked up what God had to say to them in His Word. It was also interesting to see that the government in their request for the morals of the Bible to be taught, they did not want Jesus taught. We told them that one was not possible without the other. A people cannot have the correct morals that will last without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
So what is the solution to our growing problem of rudeness in our country? Is it the need for more education, as our public educators would have us believe? Is it new laws, ordinances, and regulations that will make it illegal to act rudely? A resounding NO to all of these and all attempts man will make to change the way we act.
Only a change of heart will change the way that we act outwardly toward others. Jesus tells us in Matthew 15:17-20, "Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."
And in Proverbs 4:23, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." It has been rightly said that, "The heart of every problem is the problem in every heart."
We all need a new heart. Listen to King Davidís cry to God in Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." And in
2 Chronicles 7:14 God says, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
The change that is necessary must begin with you and me. We should not look for the "other" person to change. I must, you must cry out to God to change our heart. It must be you, it must be me that humble ourselves, repent, turn away from our wicked ways and turn back to God. Rudeness is just the tip of the iceberg. If we donít repent now it is going to get much much worse. Take God at His Word, act now.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine