Monday, August 31, 2009

Authority (11) - Families

God gave legitimate authority to Adam and Eve in the creation mandate. They gained authority over their own lives, expressed as freedom. They gained authority over creation with responsibility to care for it.

Adam and Eve were free to use their authority as they pleased. They could hear God’s voice, so they could draw on his wisdom when they needed it. Adam and Eve would have to bear the consequences of all their decisions, but their authority was unconstrained.

This authority was not delegated authority, because God gave it without recourse. It was voluntary and permanent. God chose to give authority over the earth to mankind, and he chose to give it permanently. He would not take this authority back, even if it was abused. He would not take it back, even if when it was handed to the devil. One reason that Jesus had to come as a man was that authority on earth belongs to humans in perpetuity, so only a human could take it back. This was true, legitimate authority, not delegated authority.

God gave authority to Adam and Eve as individuals and together as a family. He did not give authority to any institutions. Organisations and institutions only have legitimate authority on earth, if it is has been surrendered to them by people and families. Human institutions and organisations cannot claim their authority is delegated from God, because he has already given all authority on earth to people and families. Kings and presidents cannot have permanent authority, because the people who granted authority to them can always take it back.

No comments: