Monday, April 21, 2008

Authority, Headship, and Obediance

I've had this blog in my head for ages now - but haven't been able to really put it together in any manner that didn't seem abrasive for those who disagree. Yesterday, while catching up on podcasts, I listened to Albert Mohler's discussion with guest Phil Johnson about trend in Evagelical theology (you can listen to it here). One huge thing that stuck out to me was the postmodern church's refusal to accept Biblical authority. What huh?

Isn't that a fundamental belief of the Christian church? That the Bible is the written revelation of God and as such, is an authority in how to live our lives and what God expects from us - guidance in everyday moments and so on? Uh, that seems sort of well, basic to me. But as they began discussing post modern churches and post Christian ones (a term GP uses often so I guess I'll finally have to dedicate some time to understanding it) the term, "absolute truth" or "know" came up often and I immediately thought of some Rav posters and threads. It's not acceptable to say, "I know Jesus is the only way to heaven," or "I know the Bible says that these actions are a sin against a holy God," - no that's not okay. I loved in their conversation that post modernists hate absolutism except in say a pilot - it's kind of crucial for the pilot to have absolute knowledge that there is gravity and that there is flight course. One wouldn't want a post modern surgeon who didn't have absolute knowledge on how to operate. In everyday living, we want to make sure our professionals know what they are doing, but in terms of eternal salvation or spirituality or religion, one doesn't want anyone to know there is a right and wrong way. I thought this was very interesting. I thought back to an interview Devin mentioned in First Steps - I forget who it was with (Johnny Dep perhaps) but this would probably apply to her holiness Oprah (egh) - but religion was never meant to be a all-you-can-eat-Vegas-style-buffet. Come to Vegas for that - but that's not what religion is supposed to be. "Hmm, I really like this over here - but that sacrifice stuff, nah I won't take that."

In the Christian faith, there are a few basics. There is the authority of God - which is revealed in the Bible. There is a call to obediance. And there is headship - one who is approved to hold that authority. The Christian life isn't about picking and choosing what to believe - if you don't believe something the Bible says, just say so - don't make a ton of excuses about it. I'll freely admit that I'm not always obediant to the Bible - it isn't because I don't believe it, it's because I'm a human, faulted by the fall and there are some things that are just hard in the Bible. And as such, I practice my free will and sinfully choose not to be obedient. It's really just that simple.

The Christian life is not about a man who bursts into one's home and shoots up a family, or rapes a woman on the street, or gets high everyday. Although those people are the most needing of grace (Romans 5:20) - a transformed life is marked by the life lived. And Jesus makes that promise to transform His people.

Just today a poster in Rav stated a new thread just about obediance (being a mod I don't partcipate in these type of threads anymore). She quoted two Popes:

“Poverty is good, chastity is better, but the greatest of all is obedience.” Pope John XXII (1316-1334)

And then a more recent comment:

“Authority. Obedience. To be frank, these are not easy words to speak nowadays,” the pope said in his homily during the Mass, held on an acre-size platform built over the Yankees infield, “especially in a society which rightly places a high value on personal freedom.”
Pope Benedict XVI

Obedience is a fact of life - we are obedient to governments, bosses, and other people in authority in our lives. Yep, authority.

When did our society become so self centered? That God revolves around me, that I am under no authority, that I do not need to be obedient to anyone except myself... so on and so on. When did we become the Creators of this world? Last I checked, man didn't speak the world into existence.

It seems to me, that this whole post modern thinking - of what we "don't know" is just a lazy cop out that we so easily believe, because just as in the Garden - we want to be God.

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