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Authority, Power, and Love

Power seems to denote the ability to force and/or coerce.

Authority lends itself to the concept of having a "right to be heard".

Power can come by virtue of superior strength, position, or alignments, that puts one in a posture where they can force something or someone else to comply (generally by pain, threat, or fear.) We would be most familiar with this concept in government, but it also extends to the realm of the Holy Spirit, giving us the power to force the seen world into the mold of the unseen.

Authority seems to me to have less to do with a person's position and more to do with an invisible quality in/on/around them. People marveled that Jesus spoke with so much authority. This authority SHOULD be a part of a person's position of power but is often missing. This causes power to move to establish itself abusively, and it creates hollow shells of abuse.

The Father, in a home, has power by virtue of his size and strength. It is in his position.


In his book "The Power Delusion", Tony Campolo points out that as followers of Christ, we must choose BETWEEN power and Love. Pick one. So if a father decides to walk in power and forces compliance, he loses the Love of the children. But when a child violates the Law of Love, the Father uses power to bring restoration until the child learns to self-regulate by the Love in relationships.

However, eventually, the Father is not going to have power over the children. Therefore, as he goes thru life, he seeks authority instead. He seeks the right to be heard by his children when they are grown.

True authority, it seems to me, is built on this triangle:

Calling

Character

Comprehension


Take, for example, your car.

Where do you go if it starts a weird noise or makes problems? Who has authority in this? Where do you see the highest possibility of the best answer?

Banker? Farmer? Mid-wife? Counselor? Policeman? Or do you seek a mechanic?

A man born with a calling to be a mechanic walked into that calling early in life, is learned and trained, and has lived with impeccable character.

That's the guy you want.

Authority.

But if you are in labor, don't call the mechanic.

If you need a loan, don't call the police.

Seek out authority; it is all around you. Everyone has some, and some have a lot.


Jesus spoke with tremendous authority because He had a calling from birth, His Character was perfect, and His comprehension was unmatched. Humankind never saw fit to give Him a position they recognized, but His Authority remains until this day.

The political world uses power ostensibly to stop evil. (The Judeo/Christian view of government is that force is used to halt evil; attempts to use FORCE to produce good tend to be abusive and counter-productive) Its primary weapon for this endeavor is the sword.

Some people in the office of power have authority.

They all should.

Some have none.

These authority-hollow powers, these empty suits, are extremely destructive to any populace they govern.

However, because the order of society is more important than my whims, I must obey even the empty suits. They have power.

The primary calling of the Church is to love.

If the Church seeks power, Love dissolves.

If it seeks Love, power dissolves.

Don't seek the heavy-handed, highfalutin positions. Unless, of course, you despise your authority. Then you might compromise your character to gain power.


Power to force others against their will... to do what YOU want... Probably won't go well.

Love well. Live in your authority.


It's really hard to bring healing to lies.


Lies in a wound or in a memory are like infection in a cut. Infected wounds become swollen and sore, causing over-reaction when touched in any way. The infection has to be removed, overcome, or neutralized... if the wound is going to heal. Ditto to wounds of the soul.

In the summer of 2020, riots exploded all over the US. Most major cities were affected, eventually even some overseas. The "wound" that was touched revolved primarily around "BLM" movement, with the direct ignition poke being the George Floyd incident, resulting in his death. This entire saga became a hot-button issue that sucked all kinds of well-meaning people into a vortex of swirling pus, infection, lies, and blood.

The original wound is real: the issues surrounding slavery in the early years, dehumanization of those with African background, abuses in the years following the Civil War, etc.


Those wounds are real.


I have never doubted the wounds are real. I saw men in prisons go to pieces when I addressed this issue with them, repenting for what was done to their ancestors. And, I saw God do miraculous healing in their hearts almost instantly.

What upset me tremendously was the lies. Wounds don't heal when infected with lies.

When things are felt deep within, we seek to find a REASON for the emotion we feel. In that search, we can easily attach to lies that SEEM to be true... and we may even have examples that LOOK true. The problem is, lies are still lies, bring poisonous infection, and prevent healing.

I groaned and howled into the dark about the lies, but may as well have been spitting into the wind. I wailed, not because I don't believe there is a wound, but because I know the wound CAN NOT ever heal when infected with lies. And Christians... good friends and brothers fell into alignment with the lies.

I agree there is a wound. I wish to find healing. I will not agree with the lies.

The police are not the problem.

Policing was NOT instigated to deal with slaves.

The economic system was not designed to hold down one color of people.

The system is not racist.

The vast majority of people in the USA are NOT racist.

The police are NOT murdering unarmed black men at a mass rate.

Black criminals are NOT being mass incarcerated.

Riots are NOT helping.

Thieves do NOT have some automatic right to whatever they can steal.

These are simply NOT statistically supported notions.

I know... I realize that inside, there are some deep feelings. I get that. I also understand that events along the way in life serve to underscore, legitimize, and accentuate those feelings. BUT THAT DOES NOT MAKE THOSE FEELINGS TRUTH, nor are the events necessarily as they seem to the wounded.

If a person has been hurt by authority (say, Dad), then every event pokes his rejection/wound. He gets direction from a boss at work and turns away seething. Stopped by a cop, he feels violated, picked on, and rejected. Turned down by a girl, his rejection goes suicidal. Cut off in traffic, there is road rage. Reprimanded by a Pastor, and a volcano happens. At the end of the day, he has 1,000 examples of how OTHER PEOPLE made him feel rejected. And ALL of it is someone else's fault.

And that lie absolutely prevents his healing.

I get it that not all police are perfect. They make mistakes. Occasionally, someone dies from a mistake they make, and that is tragic... but with almost a million of them on the ground, yeah, I bet you they're going to be some mistakes. And, there will be some bad apples. That is a fact. Now, we can have discussions all day long on how to improve the situation, and I would love to have those discussions, as I think there are some excellent, inexpensive answers. But, taking away their funding and then saying, "do a better job unfunded," is stupid. There is not a nice way to say that. It is just a completely ignorant notion, as is now being portrayed by the exploding crime wave.

So, now we head off into the future, having firmly ensconced lies into the wounds and hoping they will heal. They won't. Not until we can have some real, raw, intelligent conversations surrounding the actual WOUND.... and the lies. We need some Kingdom people who can see beyond the lies and the emotion, to separate TRUTH from fiction and wound from infection. Then, real healing will have a chance. Poor in the Oil and the Wine.

Or, we can all stand in our corners and scream our favorite rhetoric, further embedding the lies and ensuring that healing will never happen.


Politics. Or Kingdom. Where only the King's opinion matters.

After all, He said, "The TRUTH will set you free."

-Steve Stutzman

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