When I hear the word authority, I think of parameters and boundaries. I do not have any measure of a rebellious spirit. Some think that that means that I do not have any original thoughts. That I do exactly what everyone else does, as if I am a dumb sheep. That is a reflection of their own personal prejudice against authority.
I just finished listening to Ayn Rand’s slim volume, Anthem. I read it decades ago, but decided to become reacquainted.
Rand describes a society where individualism is taboo. Personal, original names are anathema. Citizens receive a short name followed by a series of numbers at birth. No original thoughts or words can pass from their lips. Accordingly, books only exist in special buildings. All education is brainwashing. The word, “I,” is lost and when the hero of the book re-discovers it, he and his family are truly liberated.
I expect Rand thought that this was how the world already was. If we have an unfailing rebellious spirit, we will likely see this everywhere, as well.
I generally don’t have any interest in what popular culture screams for. My favorite singers and movies are unknown to most people. That is fine with me. However, that is a far different matter than being rebellious or anti-authority.
Parental authority is there to keep us safe. Otherwise, as children we would drink cleaning fluids or wander into traffic or be captured by a predator. We all understand this simple concept. Almost no one thinks that we are repressing children by establishing boundaries.
The police keep order by having laws and we all understand this. Most of us appreciate and respect the law. If the police come into a dangerous neighborhood, the law-abiding citizens cheer and the criminal element curses. Obviously, we can see why.
If these facts are true of human nature, they are also true of us as we approach Biblical authority. Years ago, I wrote an article entitled, Why Violate Scripture? In that article I described how our attitudes concerning authority say a lot more about our character than some may realize.
When we approach Scripture and we are unable to bend our spirits to God’s authority, we will find trouble and place ourselves against the Father. There will always be consequences when we rebel against the Creator. Are we really willing to pay that price?
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up” (James 4:10). We will all be wise to take this to heart.