Honor and respect for those in authority
Throughout the history of civilization, man has affirmed basic morality and the necessity for government to maintain it. Where there has been an absence of law, order, and moral values, the society soon crumbles. Where law and order have been maintained and fundamental moral values (like the sanctity of human life, fidelity in marriage and family, respect for private property, integrity, honesty, and character) have been upheld and promoted, societies have flourished. That God’s Law is written in the human heart can be seen in the fact that all people know “instinctively” that murder, adultery, stealing, and lying are wrong. To be sure, not everyone accepts or believes in the Ten Commandments, but that does not set aside the fact that it is God who has given order to human society and assigned parental authority and government its place.
The force of law maintains morality within families as it does within society. A boy is taught right and wrong by his parents. If he obeys the rules, he enjoys the benefits and value of living in the family; if not, he receives punishment and loss of privileges. As life in the home goes, so goes life in society. One can begin to see that the maintenance of law and order in society really stems from the basic authority of father and mother in the home. This understanding of law in the secular society, which flows from parental authority, and the understanding of the primary role of parents in the rearing of children, is not the prevailing view of the world in which we live. Schools and teachers often ignore the fact that they operate in loco parentis (in the place of the parents). Sadly, however, there are also many parents who willingly abdicate their responsibilities to professionals or strangers.
We at Peace Lutheran Academy are committed to strengthening and supporting parents in their God-given roles or “offices.” We take very seriously our motto: “forging a partnership with parents in elementary education and Lutheran catechesis.” Our Academy is a place where Christian parents, who believe as we do, can receive the support and help in the sacred callings which God has given them. We pledge this support to our parents.
In the spiritual kingdom, the Church, the Law has another important, though different use than that of the secular kingdom, or civil realm. In the Church, the Law is used chiefly to show us our sin and bring us to repentance and faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. At Peace Lutheran Academy we support the role of government in the maintenance of an orderly and just society. We also support our parents who are given the task of teaching what is right and wrong to their children and in maintaining discipline in the home so that their children grow up to be responsible citizens in our society. But above all, we support the use of God’s Law to show us how desperately we need Christ and the salvation from sin which He won for us upon the cross.
The Gospel, however, teaches us that we have a gracious God who, in undeserved love, has stepped into the sinful misery of our human existence in the person of His Son and paid the ultimate price for our rebellion against God’s Law through the shedding of His blood on our behalf.
Christian parents are in a unique position as God’s agents. They function in the civil realm to maintain order and discipline; they also function in the spiritual realm to bestow forgiveness of sins to their children for Christ’s sake. As a father chastens and disciplines his children through the force of Law, so God disciplines and chastens us. But that’s not all. As a father freely forgives his children and loves them unconditionally, so God loves and freely forgives us. He wraps us up in His righteousness for Jesus’ sake.