Let’s spend a few minutes recapping what has been presented so far.
We know that authority is the ability to empower others and that one has to have it in the first place before one can dispense or delegate it. Our Christian world view puts God as the ultimate source of all rule, authority and power and we know that in the end He abolishes all of that.
I want to spend a few minutes to more fully explain what I believe this means. Again, I need to remind you of my human fallibility and that this is my “latest” understanding of this passage.
Continue reading “Authority? What Authority? Authority (Part 8)”
Last time we established that authority, true authority, could only be delegated by someone who has the authority to delegate it, and we established that God was the ultimate source of authority.
We also briefly looked at 1 Corinthians 15:24, where God abolishes all rule, and all authority and power. We defined “Rule” as a jurisdiction or kingdom, “Authority” as having the ability to exercise or distribute power, and “Power” as having the ability to exercise authority within a jurisdiction. We also stated that Power was more of a restriction than a license. We will see how this works today.
It is very important to understand that you cannot have one without the others. That is, a rule without authority is nothing and power cannot be exercised within a jurisdiction without authority.
Continue reading “The Distribution of Authority: Authority (Part 7)”
Continuing with our lessons on authority, I would like to bring your attention to a very interesting passage from the Bible.
I cannot begin to count the number of times I have read 1 Corinthians, where the Apostle Paul is describing what most would see as end time prophesy. This time, I saw something that gave credence to my discovery of the dual nature of authority.
Beginning with verse 1 of Chapter 15, Paul gives a quick synopsis of why Jesus came and what transpired after His resurrection, then goes on to use himself as testimony to the grace of God. After providing evidence for the resurrection, Paul goes on to explain how this is foundational to the faith, then describes the order of events at the end of time.
Continue reading “Rule, Power and Authority: Authority (Part 6)”
Before embarking on this academic journey, we would be better prepared if we clearly defined a few things so that we can all begin from the same starting point. Let’s take a closer look at a few words.
Authority – the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience OR a person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere.
Understand that authority is to have power and power is to have authority.
Continue reading “What is Authority? Authority (Part 5)”
We all seem to be experts in some things while not so much in others. That is, once we discover the truth about a matter, we are confident discussing it, while we tend to stay away from things that might expose our ignorance. I experienced this respecting one particular topic.
Since I have always been a bit of a free spirit, I have occasionally had individuals challenge me respecting my understanding of “authority.” Whenever this happened, I usually deflected because I knew deep down that I lacked knowledge, not of what authority was, but about its legitimate application.
In fact, I usually perceived the motive of the people questioning my understanding of authority with wanting me to “line up” with their view of authority or more disconcertingly, wanting me to subjugate myself to them and/or their “authority.” That is, someone was exercising an authority I was not comfortable with, but I simply could not explain why I felt so.
Continue reading “Facing Uncertainty: Authority (Part 4)”
Have you ever considered that one cannot gain wisdom if unable to admit error or ignorance? It is okay, indeed laudable, if not necessary, to be able to say “I don’t know!” or “I was wrong!” I have a story to tell about what can happen when someone fails, avoids or refuses to do this.
I once knew a fellow who was never wrong! Nor was he able to forgive. In fact, he often bragged about never forgetting any wrong doing, real or perceived, that he had received from anyone. It was impossible to get near him in any kind of relationship as you knew full well that any offence he may have taken from you in the past was still alive and well.
The problem with this fellow was that since he was not able to forgive and forget, he had to store everything in his memory bank, which after several decades was full to overflowing with grievances. In fact, his memory was so full that it became impossible for him to properly recall information in chronological order nor correctly associated with the reality of what had happened.
Continue reading “Facing the Facts: Authority (Part 3)”
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6).
Ten years after I initially asked the question “what is truth?” this verse jumped out at me causing another pivotal moment in my life. I had found the truth! It was not complicated! It was not plural! It was not determined by public opinion or some kind of democratic consensus! It just was and it was Jesus!
While I may have discovered that Jesus was the truth, I remained perplexed. While anyone can claim to know the truth or to be searching for the truth, to claim to be the truth is entirely another matter! I had yet to discover who this Jesus was and how or why He could make such an outrageous claim. This, obviously, demanded further investigation.
Continue reading “Discovering Truth: Authority (Part 2)”
We are created with a great capacity for learning. To be sure, some are more proactive in this activity than others, but all of us grow in wisdom as we age; again, some more than others.
Throughout this quest for knowledge, we occasionally experience pivotal moments that cause us to make major shifts in our thinking and/or lives. Most of us can clearly remember such a time when something big occurred. We may not have realized how critical this experience was at the time, but looking back, we can see the importance of that moment and how it directed or redirected, indeed changed our lives.
Pivotal moments are profoundly life changing. Some may be “bell ringers” in that your “bell” got “donged” and you suddenly found yourself in another paradigm. Sometimes it is just a small decision or a simple question that reconstructed your world view.
Continue reading “What is Truth? Authority (Part 1)”