Who has the authority?

The first thing is that we are not going to agree on everything.   If that is so, then we have to agree on what or whom we’ll accept as an authority.

I’m not going to dwell on the issue at OoL over Christianity, except to say that once the basics are taken care of, it is far easier to fall out over non-fundamental things than to find reasons to stay together.   If someone did walk on earth who is as He claimed and is claimed to be, then surely what He wants is for people to “straighten up and fly right” and through that, to come together.   If the things He said are recorded, then with all the human flaws in writing those up, the tale is still pretty clear and the principles equally as clear.

However, there are 5 billion people out there who haven’t considered those in that way.    For those of us who have and who believe that it is the right way, we’re faced with two dilemmas:

1.  What to do with those who agree with the basics but not many of the peripherals, e.g. how to run a church service?

2.  People who don’t believe at all or who believe entirely different things.

As I simply don’t know the answer to these things and as I am a small voice within a secular society, rather than moving in church circles and it’s been made fairly clear that that’s where I should be at this time, then how to solve 1 and 2 above?

The answer, it seems to me, is to make it possible for people to explore this if they want.   On this blog, I’ve taken that line, rather than trying to ram something down your throats [on this].     If you’re interested, the net has many copies of the KJV.    Now I’m not even bothering to argue this with the largely non-Christian readership as I reason that if He is the real deal and if you, the reader, are meant to come to this, you will, in a timeframe that I certainly have no control over.

He moves in mysterious ways.

One thing I do believe quite strongly is that Christians must not fall out over things which were not written in the gospels, unless they negate those fundamentals – sin, redemption, love thy neighbour, the beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount.   Those basics are understandable by the common man.

Other things like the width of the rood screen or the positioning of the lych gate or consubstantiation or the efficacy of saints and so on are issues to be sifted through, sure.   It seems to me that of those, only the last one is to tackle because it presupposes that human agency can intervene between you and your Maker.   It takes the role of the apostle as adviser and reference point and makes it into a human “do as I say” in order to be redeemed.  Pay indulgences.

That is way beyond the authority of any human.   So how do I react to the Orthodox or Roman Catholic?

Well, for a start, not by bombing and killing in Northern Ireland.   There is a point when Jesus of Nazareth is asked what is the primary law and he gave a two part answer.  The second part, like unto it, was do unto him as you would wish etc.

It seems to me that too many Christians forget that part and one aspect is that if we fundamentally agree on the things in the gospels in their full import, then we are not to be divided over peripherals and that is something I feel quite strongly about.   In fact, to get tied up in not-major doctrinal matters is entirely different to the gnostic crisis in the early church – look at what the gnostics maintain and it is diametrically opposed.   That needed opposing.

And what to do about such people?   We had one on this blog some time back and it was he who fell out with me, not the other way about.   He said he didn’t have to stick around listening to my rubbish and in a similar way, someone has written “I’m departing this thread” over at OoL.

The obvious retort to me is the feminazi issue.   As I fundamentally disagree with the feminist narrative and have shown, using many sources, why that is, how should I react to someone who is sucked in by the feminazis?

Well, not by rejecting them as humans for a start.   This would militate against the second part of the fundamental law in Matthew.   Loving my neighbour as myself does not mean embracing the erroneous feminist narrative.   It does mean saving her life, if possible, if she fell into a raging river or offering her food if she was in trouble – that sort of thing.

………..

If you thought that area of thought was rife with misunderstanding and fallings-out, have a look at the Libertarian area, courtesy Revolution Harry.

My first thought was that as the writer’s thesis is that we don’t really know who is behind things and that does need to be known, then why is his authorship listed as wmwadmin, which tells us nothing?   Who are these people, why is their language so colourful, what is their purpose?   Also, why are they advertising New Dawn?   Now that worries me more than the rest of it, including the lurid colour.

Their purpose, of course, is clear – to split the libertarian movement, along with the Tea Party, Ron Paul, anyone giving an alternative viewpoint to the elite.    So they might be correct in saying:

We already know that Ron Paul is backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, a member of the steering committee of the Bilderberg group.

… or:

Blogger (and libertarian sympathizer) Lila Rajiva recently revealed that Ron Paul had a longtime partnership with James Dale Davidson, founder (with Lord William Rees-Mogg) of the financial conglomerate Agora Inc. Through the Agora network, Davidson, Rees-Mogg, and executives Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin control most of the “hard-money” investment newsletters and “free-market” websites in the West, most of them ferociously pro-Paul.

… and it might be right that:

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Daily Bell recently started praising former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe’s pro-business administration, although Uribe was once listed by the Defense Intelligence Agency as an “important Colombian narco-trafficker” and “a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar”.

… but I want to know who is writing this, what are his antecedents and organizations he himself is part of and what is his agenda, beyond vilifying Paul and the libertarian movement?    It seems to me that he is just as divide and rule as those he’s accusing.

Returning to the gospels, false prophets are mentioned, false teachers.   We see it in schools right across the west now anyway and that’s one key reason why education is in the state it is.   Anyone popping the head above the rampart is a target for divide and rule.   You could say that about anyone, e.g. “Did you know that OoL is adminned by three people who …. blah, blah, blah.”

I’d suggest that often the connections, if any, are either peripheral or unknown.   The only way around this is transparency – to state what we’re about and whether we directly represent anyone’s interest either for remuneration or through ideology.    Yet if someone is doing this, they’re hardly likely to come clean.

So, it’s pretty clear that there is a real danger of people basically on the same side, even with an agenda, falling out and it shouldn’t be so, if the agenda is clearly known.   If it comes out later that it was not – and this was an issue with LPUK in their internecine strife, then the question of stalking horses arises, does it not?

You could turn that back on me and say my posts are not friendly to LPUK and perhaps I am a bit too friendly with one of them, having been in a separate campaign with him and with others.   Think you have to look at my track record of disagreeing over almost anything with anyone, no matter how close.

Now there’s nothing wrong with knowing someone’s agenda and much of what he/she says can be valid – just not on the points where we know that person’s prejudice.   Or else it is valid on those.    The bottom line is that it needs to be clearly up front.

So, in a sea of relativity, where, to quote Mathis in Quantum again, “the heroes and villains get all mixed up”, is there any authority you can rely on and say: “Look, here is a pretty good basis for living and it seems to have a stamp of authority to it?   Either way, it’s a formula I can try to follow.”

3 Responses to “Who has the authority?”

  1. Daniel October 17, 2012 at 09:16 Permalink

    Believing in an authority is often an illusion. It is wiser to be informed. Continuously. This could be a mantra. Relativity starts when the information is:
    a. negating confirmation
    b. distorted
    c. divided
    d. absent
    e. not absolute
    One will soon find out that all is gray. The best characteristics are sometimes found in the worst individuals and vice versa. The wisest words are sometimes found on the lips of a murderer. The preachers are often creating evil in their effort to do good.
    That is why I mentioned Crowley and Burton, previously. Both men were searchers and not limited by boundaries. They were smart outcasts by leaving voluntarily the beaten path: Rebels questioning authority in every sense.
    All information should be at our disposal and this should be a common struggle. What we do with it is a personal fight. If the majority of individuals prefer to close their eyes than it is a task for the minority to open them, but not to guide them.
    Once words are used that define an ideology, walls are build and disinformation takes off. That is a given, all the time.

  2. richard October 18, 2012 at 01:03 Permalink

    The question must be, as a putative ethical system, does it harm anyone else? Statism fails instantly. Taxation, warfare, plus jail for victimless crimes. And so on.
    Stoicism seems to offer a path for non-religious ethical types though. My final authority is myself, no-one can think for me.

  3. James Higham October 18, 2012 at 07:57 Permalink

    Believing in an authority is often an illusion. It is wiser to be informed.

    The question must be, as a putative ethical system, does it harm anyone else? Statism fails instantly.

    Agreed.

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