1 Peter 5:1-4
James I. Packer “Truth & Power”
What is Authority?
Authority is a relational word which signifies the right to rule. It is expressed in claims and is acknowledged by compliance and conformity. There are various sorts and sources of authority. Documents and authors are ‘the authorities’ for scholars, statutes and past decisions for lawyers, parents for their young children, governors and law-enforcement personnel for us all. In the realms of belief, truth has authority; in realms of behavior, authority belongs to the moral law. In every situation it is wrong, and we know it is wrong, to disregard the form of authority that applies. When historic Christianity receives the Bible as an absolute authority for creed and conduct, it does so on the basis that since God is a God of truth and righteousness, the instruction that he lays before us in writing must have the same qualities. The inerrancy debate about whether we should treat all the Bible teaching as true and right is really about how far we can regard Scripture as authoritative. Exercise of authority in its various spheres is not necessarily authoritarian. There is a crucial distinction here. Authoritarianism is authority corrupted, gone to seed. Authoritarianism appears when the submission that is demanded cannot be justified in terms of truth or morality, and actually harms those who submit. Any form of human authority can degenerate in this way. You have authoritarianism in the state when the regime uses power in an unprincipled way to maintain itself. You have it in churches and other religious groups when leaders claim control of their follower’s consciences. You have it in academic work in high school, university, or seminary when you are required to agree with your professor rather than follow the evidence of truth for yourself. You have it in the family when parents direct or restrict their children unreasonably. Unhappy experiences of authority are usually experiences of degenerate authority, that is, of authoritarianism. That such experiences leave a bad taste and prompt skepticism about authority in all its forms is sad but not surprising.
Authoritarianism is evil, anti-social, anti-human, and ultimately anti-God (for self-deifying pride is at its heart), and I have nothing to say in its favor. Legal and executive power may be present to enforce authoritarian demands, but nothing can make them respectable or praiseworthy. Even when unprincipled requirements have legal right on their side, as they sometimes do, they remain demands that it was morally wrong to make. When Christians affirm the authority of the Bible, meaning that biblical teaching reveals God’s will and is the instrument of his rule over our lives, part of what they are claiming is that Scripture sets before us the factual and moral nature of things. God’s law corresponds to created human nature, so that in fulfilling his requirements we fulfill ourselves. The gospel of Christ answers to actual human need, as glove fits hand, so that all our responses to God work for our good, and no touch of authoritarianism enters into his exercise of authority over us.
James I. Packer “Truth & Power”
“Just as drugs with lethal long-term effects, like heroin and cocaine, will for the moment make one feel brighter, so any authority-principle, however they integrated, more purposeful, more in shape – than they would feel with no such principle to hold their lives together. The one who knows no obligation to do anything lives the saddest, most aimless, most distracted life of all.
So the anti-authority syndrome now current in the West, leading as it does to lives of haphazard hedonism in which my feelings of like and dislike are the only authority I recognize, is a major human tragedy. We could hardly get further from the way we were meant to live. Nor is the tragedy just personal. It touches society, too. History shows that many of the values basic to what we call civilization as opposed to savagery are biblical and Christian in origin. The world never knew them till it started living by the Christian authority-principle, and without that principle these values are unlikely to survive, at least in the West as we know it.”
Kent Hughes “Disciplines of Grace” 1993
“In 1980 the United States Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 decision in Stone v. Graham that the schoolchildren of Kentucky have the constitutional right not to be assaulted by the presence of the Ten Commandments on their classroom walls. The Court’s majority revealed its rationale, in part, with remarkable secular frankness:
‘If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.’ In short, the passive display of the Ten Commandments was not permitted because some students might obey them. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Court handed down its decision without hearing oral arguments and despite the fact that the Kentucky stature required that all copies of the Commandments were to be paid for by voluntary contributions and that a footnote was to be imprinted on each document stating it was not intended as a religious guide but as the basis of the secular legal code of western civilization. So, in one swoop America’s highest court declared that the Decalogue (a document of incalculable influence that has provided the basis for the public morality of western culture, a text which for the first two hundred years of our nation’s history was universally used to teach English) was an improper display for impressionable young minds. This is secularism with a vengeance!”
Inside The Corrupt World Of Alzheimer’s Science (And What Its Failure Means For All ‘Settled Science)
BY: CHRISTOPHER BEDFORD – JULY 28, 2022 – The Federalist
An international cabal of scientists who believe in their own righteousness. Scientific journals, conferences, and grants that suppress dissent. Tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer, Big Pharma and venture capital money. Decades of research — and precious little to show for it all. I’m not describing Covid, global warming, or any other highly politicized scientific debate. I’m talking about Alzheimer’s research. The implications for the rest of science, policy, and education, however, are deep and troubling. None of this means the people who’ve devoted their lives to researching Alzheimer’s are some nefarious cult. They were just human beings — meaning they were greedy, protective, prideful, and prone to groupthink.
“It’s difficult to break into a field with so many strong voices supporting a single target,” INmune Bio CEO Dr. Raymond Tesi explained to STAT News. “Alzheimer’s has egos and superstars and big personas unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere.” These men and women had lucrative careers to defend. “Admitting doubt,” STAT senior writer Sharon Begley concluded, “let alone error, would not only be a blow to the ego but also a threat to livelihood.” “There were very big egos involved and they couldn’t stand to be wrong,” Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai neuroscientist Nikolaos Robakis agreed. “It wasn’t science anymore.”
Peter wants to make sure that any leader in the church of Christ will follow their examples when shepherding the Lord’s flock.
Kent 1. Shepherd the flock which is among you
2. Serving….not by constraint by willingly
3. Serving….not for dishonest gain but eagerly
4. Serving….not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.