The importance of being fair to dead people

Guest post by Demetrius Rogers

One thing I am reminded of when I present information about historical people is that I am vested with a trust to represent them well. And it dawned on me that their reputation is largely (if not wholly) dependent on us. And I get this sense from the Lord to be as kind and fair to each one. They cannot defend themselves. And the shear fact of respecting the dead should add a dimension of sacredness to the matter (at least for me). How would I like some punk kid smearing me all over the place come 250 years from now? First, they better get it right. Second, try to understand and be kind. Hardly on one does what they do out of bad motives. People typically mean well. They think they are doing the right thing, however, misguided it appears to us. It is easy to judge, it is more difficult (yet more noble) to understand. The Bible says to respect your elders and these fathers and mothers of the faith (if you will) can very well fit into this class. So at times when I would like to trash this or that person I always feel checked to back to back the truck up and be more level headed about it.

Do unto others as I would have them do unto me is a principle that still is applicable to dead people. I do not believe they fall off of God’s radar once they die. Obviously God still cares about them and cares about what we say about them and how we do it. Really, they are still alive – just in another location. Respect is not reserved to earth. And we cannot forget that they are still people; dead, but still very much alive!

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on August 22, 2010, in Historical Theology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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