Submission or Demanding my Rights?


ArguingI’ve been watching a trend develop – perhaps it was always there but is now being encouraged – that we are justified in defending ourselves against any wrong, even to the point of violence or murder.

Instead of discussion we have immediate over-reaction, which then escalates into shouting, raging and sometimes physical violence as well.

It’s all about ME and MY RIGHTS!

Is it partly the result of conditioning?

So many have been raised on movies, TV and games that – instead of showing restraint or allowing the legal system to run its course – teach that the appropriate response to wrong is to shoot, to fight back, to wound, beat up, maim or otherwise injure in ever-more horrific ways the person who is troubling you.

QUOTE “For example, think about how some TV shows depict people being helped by some of our most respected professionals-physicians, nurses, lawyers, and police officers. If a patient on Grey’s Anatomy, for example, doesn’t like the diagnosis he’s received, he curses at the physician. In one particularly egregious example, a disgruntled widower shoots everyone he can in the hospital where his wife lost her life. True, it was a season finale and therefore given to hyperbole. But on an ordinary episode almost everyone speaks to everyone else as if they were sworn enemies.”

fistfightEspecially worrying is the fact that “wrong” today means anything that deprives us, offends us or disadvantages us in any way.

It’s all about personal revenge against those who have the misfortune to step over the line we have drawn, the defence of “my rights” is paramount and those who dare to challenge us “deserve all they get”.

Anyone who tries to use reason or debate instead of physical violence is “a loser”, a weak cowardly pacifist. (That then would include Jesus Christ!).

READ: Is Our Society Getting Angrier?

As just one example – and probably not a very good one, but it will have to do – I watched a viral video of a man talking on his phone who was annoyed by a child being noisy and who then kicked out towards him. (He raises his foot towards him but doesn’t actually hurt him) That in itself displays the kind of selfish “don’t disturb me because I’m the important one here” attitude of today.

However, what followed was even worse in my opinion: the father, IN FRONT OF HIS CHILD, punches the man and lays him out. Now the child has learned the lesson that all children are being taught, that any infringement of my right to be annoying, noisy and disruptive is answered by physical violence.

ADDITIONAL: I just viewed the same video on Youtube, with comments. It is even more disturbing now. The man who lifted his leg at the child was mentally disabled (had Down’s Syndrome or similar). Knowing that, these comments are a terrible indictment of attitudes today.

Who the he** cares who’s elderly, who’s handicapped, who’s a teenager or who’s a young healthy adult man? Since when should that s**t even matter? The only kind of person I would never hit back is a girl or a woman. Any kind of man who dare kicks my child is going to get clobbered. I don’t care less if he’s handicapped or what ever the f**k he is. Who the he** do people think handicapped people are? Being handicapped now means you should have a shield that protects you from the consequences for your own actions? Sounds pretty selfish, unfair and spoiled.

I would have put his f***in head in that trash can over there in the corner and citizens arrested his b**** a**. If you are wandering around freely in public where all equal and it’s fair game. Unless you’ll let him kick the s**t out of your kid.

I agree, what kind of unmanly, cowardly sicko would dare not defend his loved ones just because the assailant is handicapped? Handicapped guy should have known his place and got back in the kitchen! I hope this handicapped guy gets ANOTHER black eye.

Don’t you get game points for picking up the cup afterwards like GTA? (Grand Theft Auto)<

The guy who kicked the kid was mentally handicapped, you know what that means? The father should have hit that guy even harder! That’s what it means, handicapped people are SCUM! They should have no legal protection from assault. A handicapped person’s place is in the kitchen, making me a sandwich and knitting me a sweater before I get violent.

Even though some of this may be trolling, a lot of it is the genuine thoughts of people today!! Is this what we call normality? Or should we restrain our feelings?

How many of us have felt incensed when seeing children running wild in the restaurant or supermarket, but we kept our feelings to ourselves apart from some muttering to whoever we were with. We didn’t find the parents and beat them up, no matter how much we felt like it. Our strongest response would be to ask the parents to restrain their children. But this video suggests that knocking somebody unconscious is the appropriate response.

And almost everyone agreed! The website offered a poll of opinions:

“Would YOU have punched the man?”

  1. Absolutely! No one hits my children!!
  2. No – violence is never the answer.

I answered the second option and found I was in a minority of about 16 percent. If that doesn’t worry anybody then I’m living in the wrong world – which indeed I am. A fallen world where violence is the answer to everything.

Car Rage: if somebody cuts you up or doesn’t give a clear signal, or moves into the wrong lane – what is the appropriate response – grow up and get over it; or get out of the car and beat up or shoot the other driver?

Air Rage: the flight attendant brings you the wrong food or seats you in a place you don’t like. What do you do? Live with it, the journey will soon be over; or stand up and shout, grab the attendant by the throat and threaten to kill him or her?

Marital Rage: a jealousy-enraged Florida mother of three burned her husband’s boat, go-kart and Jacuzzi over an argument about a popular actress. The wife also punched her husband and threatened to put his dog to sleep.

Childhood Rage: in New Hampshire, a 17-year-old girl wanted to get even with her mother for an unresolved argument they had two days earlier. She poisoned her mother’s drink with a household disinfectant.

READ: Why the Age of Rage?

argument

The idea of humility and self-abasement seems to have been lost today.

It’s even seen as the very opposite of all we strive for in society and our personal lives.

Today’s world is all about demanding my rights, and anything other than that is feebleness and passivity.

But this was in fact foretold in scripture. We are seeing an escalation of violence and selfishness that God warned us would come just before the End.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof”.

A closer examination of these verses reveals the very attitudes are those we see all around us today.

  • Lovers of their own selves.  Selfishness. The “Me Generation,” in which each person always demands his or her own way—no matter the cost.
  • Incontinent. The Greek word means “without self-control, intemperate” and describes how people “fly off the handle” for the slightest reason. Uncontrolled emotions.
  • Fierce. The meaning of this is “savage, untamed, wild.”
  • Heady. “Rash, reckless, headstrong” – act first and think of consequences later (if at all). These reckless acts can happen anywhere, and over the tiniest inconveniences.
  • Highminded. The Greek word used here is typhoo, related to typhoon, and it can be defined, “To be puffed up with haughtiness or pride; to be blind with pride or conceit.”

How should Christians react?

Ministries today are telling us that God protects our rights, and intends for us to have the best of everything, defeating all our enemies and overthrowing anything that is to our disadvantage. We deserve the best, the highest, the greatest. Is that biblical? No, we are told to “be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15) and “be content with what you have” Heb 13:5

And as for fighting against all who wrong us, demanding recompense if we are abused in any way?

Romans 12:18-20 If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written:“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Submission, even when badly treated

The letter of Peter runs against almost everything modern man stands for. Instead of demanding our rights, it teaches submission.

How popular are the verses below?

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: … 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2)

We Christians are to buck the trend of self-defense, revenge, retaliation and all that involves fighting others for what we demand simply because “we deserve it”, remembering that all we really deserve is punishment and death! Yet Jesus Christ loved and forgave us, despite our wrongdoing, so we owe it to others to offer them the same mercy.

And to go further, we need to become as Jesus was on this earth. To do that we have to draw closer to the Lord who practised humility (even though he was the Son of God) and seek to be irradiated with his attitude of self-abasement.

Phillipians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

That does not mean we allow evil to triumph, nor allow fraud, lying and abuse to pass unnoticed, especially on behalf of others! No, Jesus wasn’t a doormat, but when it came to a showdown he was more ready to forgive than to condemn.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger… (James 1:19)

SLOW TO ANGER!

How rare those word are today. Every TV and movie star presents us with the opposite view, that being quick to avenge yourself is the manly and appropriate thing to do.

However, although we are living in this world, we should not be OF the world, that is, displaying the same thought-process and emotional response as everyone else.

When provoked, draw a deep breath, remember Jesus, remember that YOU do not “deserve” anything on earth, and that your rights are no more important than anybody else’s rights – even if that person is obnoxious. When threatened, remember how Jesus responded, and let this verse become the hallmark of your actions:

“A gentle response turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath”. (Prov 15:1)

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5 thoughts on “Submission or Demanding my Rights?

  1. True. There is a view, though, that Christians should submit in nearly any situation, whereas we have had to fight for our freedoms and we wouldn’t like to give them up.

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  2. Much violence today is immoral, but pacifism is controversial. The freedoms we enjoy today were often paid for in bloodshed, including freedom from the Nazis. John the Baptist baptised soldiers and did not tell them to stop killing their enemies. I guess some people feel that it changed when Jesus Christ brought a new covenant, but we wouldn’t do well under tyrants.

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    • This isn’t about genuine defence or military action, or war, but personal revenge, which is very different. Soldiers don’t kill out of hatred or resentment or a personal grudge.

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      • It hasn’t been unknown for the military to be sent out to settle a “national” grudge, and for members of the military to be encouraged to see their “enemy” as something sub-human or deserving of contempt, ,making it easier for them to kill that enemy.

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