Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Authority and Power

We hear a lot about authority these days. Do folks who claim to have authority have legitimate authority? Where does authority come from? What does it mean? How do we know if a person who claims to have authority actually has authority? Can just anyone proclaim, “I have authority!” and from that moment he or she has authority? Or does a person gain authority because another person declares it to be so? Or can a person just “take” authority over another without that person's consent? And if a person takes authority over another adult in that way, (ie: takes authority away from the other person) what prevents it from being stealing? And why does authority always have to be over another person? Why is there so much emphasis on wielding authority over others, and very little emphasis on applying authority/control over oneself? What is it about genitalia that gives 48.3% of the adult population the mandate to take authority over the other 51.7% of the adult population? (for every 100 men, there are 107 women) What are the limits to authority? Does having authority over another adult, carry with it the right to school, punish, coerce, force, or enforce? If so, who gives that right and where is that mandate written? Is power synonymous with authority?

I plan to address these questions in a series, exploring what the Bible says about power and authority. I will conduct the study based on the foundation that God, I AM, is the supreme authority, the author of all, and that all authority comes from our triune God, and that God is the author of the Bible—as it was originally written. This study will also rest on the belief that Jesus, being a part of the God-head, taught with God-endowed knowledge, wisdom, power, and authority when He was on earth in human form.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.