Wikipedia defines contempt as, “Contempt: a pattern of attitudes and behavior, often toward an individual or group, but sometimes towards an ideology, which has the characteristics of disgust and anger. The word originated in 1393, from the Latin word contemptus meaning “scorn”.
Google defines it as,
- the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.
- disregard for something that should be taken into account.
- the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful of a court of law and its officers.
“Universal” is simply this, “affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases.”
The scary “sixties”
I am a Baby-boomer who hit my teen years in the now infamous sixties, and yes, it was a scary time.
- Riots on university campuses were common.
- There were the assassinations—no one was really “safe,” because anyone might be the next target.
- (Sounds like today doesn’t it?)
- Vietnam “death tolls” were part of the daily news cycles–our guys vs. their guys.
Boys I went to school with, were signing up for military service and showing up in uniform, before they even graduated. Funerals with flag draped caskets were also a common part of our world.
Violence and death were everywhere–or so it seemed to us.
So, what has changed?
Contempt breeds hopelessness
The rampant contempt for all those who disagreed with you, back then, brought a hopelessness that was just as deadly as any virus we face today.
Our hopelessness then, was a breeding ground for rebellion, rampant alcohol and drug abuse, which cycled to more violence, and in turn, more hopelessness.
(I still cringe if anyone tries to tell me what a great “time” the sixties were.)
And… I wonder, “Doesn’t it say somewhere, that those who don’t learn from history, are destined to repeat it?”
And where was the Church?
Mostly, silent. Uninterested. Ambivalent.
(I listen to the News today, and I think, “What has changed?”)
We are just as divided politically, racially, economically… and His Church?
We speak of One King, who asks from us unity and love, but who is more divided than the Church?
How many differing denominations do we have now? Forty-two? Forty-three?
Jesus said to His Church,
These things I command you, that ye love one another. John 15:17 KJV
More than words?
I listened to the conversation below, and I tried to understand what was said…
But, then I wondered, “Will someone really do something–or will this just be a continuation of more decades of words?”
What I see, is a universal contempt everywhere I look:
- It’s in our homes and schools.
- It still reigns on campuses.
- We find it at work.
- And yes, sadly, it is even in our churches.
And, our politics…
Where is there more hatred or universal contempt than in our bastions of political power?
Has our President Trump ever served one single day in office, without having to face a barrage of hatred, ridicule, and contempt?
I want things to change, and I desperately hope that they will. But, if it doesn’t start with us, His Church–we who are all commanded to love and respect others–then who else will ever step up?
If not in The Church, then where does anyone find hope?