June 1, 2019

Authority

Stephen Um on authority...


"Authority is not authoritarianism. Authority is the ability to influence others -- the right to give orders and make commands with the good of others in view. Authoritarianism is enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.  It is 'showing a lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others; domineering; dictatorial.'  Authority is having a supervisor who seeks his or her staff's good in harmony with the good of others, leading to personal and social flourishing. Authoritarianism, however, is having a supervisor who demands strict obedience and crushes both individual and social flourishing for the purpose of maintaining control. The problem is that all of the uneasy feelings associated with authoritarianism (which are good and proper!) have been imported into the conception of authority."


Stephen Um (1 Corinthians: The Word of the Cross, Preaching the Word Commentary Series)

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