Authority

posted Jun 3, 2012, 7:18 PM by Hector Falcon   [ updated Jun 8, 2012, 10:03 AM ]
When we examine the underlying issue that drives the tensions we encounter regarding worldviews we ultimately find the question, who has the ultimate authority to define all of reality?

To understand how people and cultures think, we need to understand what they believe is the ultimate authority in their lives that defines all reality. This source of authority can be traced back to some form of religion. Even atheists who say they have no religion, actually have one, whether they realize it or not. Atheism defines all of reality just as any other world religion does.

This is a critical question to understand human behavior since one's ultimate source of authority acts like a policeman that sets limits on our behavior. If one believes that some humans are not really people, then they will not be protected under the law reserved for human beings. This occurred with our own Supreme Court. Earlier in our nation's history it ruled that black people were actually property - not human beings. Therefore they could be bought and sold as any other property. It took a civil war to finally resolve the injustice of that decision. However, the issue behind the slavery question was, who defines reality? Do a group of judges or a majority of the people determine what the law is ultimately or is there a higher authority? 
 
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the ultimate authority that defines all of reality. His will and his laws are provided in written form in the Bible. Once Jesus was raised from the dead he conquered death and God gave him all authority in both heaven and on the earth.

        All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.                    Mathew 28: 18  

Authority and God

When discussing the issues related to authority one must consider the place of God's law in the scheme of how authority has been delegated within the world. All of reality is explained by God. People have a fallen nature due to the fall of mankind into rebellion against God, as described in Genesis when our parents, Adam and Eve, openly rebelled against God and his authority. As a result, human beings have an inclination toward independence in which, like our parents, we seek to be “like God” and want the right to determine what the law is "for ourselves." In essence, we want to play the role of God and determine what the law is in place of Him. 

In many ways, we are repeating the same sin that caused Satan to rebel against God and convinced a third of the angels to follow him in open rebellion. Prior to becoming a Christian, we all seek our own way and seek to be our own god, determining right and wrong according to our selfish desires. 

However, the reality is that God and his laws rule the universe. His laws stand despite what “we” want reality to be To know what God's will is for our lives, we need a source of moral revelation that reveals his will and laws. God has provided mankind with His written laws which he presented to Moses. To those laws we remain legally accountable to God.

 

John MacArthur on Authority of God




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