Sunday, August 30, 2009

Authority (10) - Business

Business is one of the few legitimate forms of authority on earth. A business does not need delegated authority from God because it receives authority from below. This authority comes when shareholders entrust their money to the business by buying shares, or by giving it control over money loaned to it. Employees give the business authority over their lives while they are at work by accepting employment.

This authority is voluntary because no one is forced to work for a business. No one is forced to buy its shares or loan money to any business. The authority of a business quite limited. It can control employees while they are at work, but has no authority over the rest of their lives. The share prospectus and loan agreements also place limits on the actions a business can take.

Business authority is temporary, because investors can sell their shares in the business, if they stop trusting it. Lenders can terminate their loans, when they fall due. Employees can resign from their employment, if they give the specified period of notice. The temporary authority over wealth and life that has been submitted to the business can be withdrawn at any time. If the business is liquidated, the authority that it exercised evaporates.

Business is a good place to exercise authority. Even in a hostile culture, the owners of an effective business will have significant authority. After learning to exercise authority in their family, Christians should go on to exercise authority in the business world. Business is a good place to learn about authority and how to exercise it.

God gave mankind two tasks.

  • Multiply and fill the earth.
  • Subdue and care for the earth.
The first task can be done by families; with help from the church, where people need converting. However families and the church can’t complete the task of managing the earth on their own. Families will need to pool some of their authority in businesses to handle some parts of this task. Significant aspects of managing the earth will be done by businesses.

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