I’m Interested in the True, not Alternatives

Several people have tried to convince me that authoritarianism is not the right word to describe a form of government (whether in the home or over a country) in which the head creates a real obligation of submission for his body when he gives a command. My reading on the etymology of authoritarian is that it used to mean someone is in charge, and those under him are obliged to obey him, but that Communists (somewhat ironically) habitually used the word authoritarian as a synonym for totalitarian; which is a different thing.

Gee, I am so surprised to find that Communists told lies to subvert common knowledge…

Nevertheless, leave your suggestions in the comments.

7 thoughts on “I’m Interested in the True, not Alternatives

  1. It’s no different than Patriarchy. Or like the fake sins of racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia that they use to demonize and control people. You have to get over the fact that you will be demeaned, and hated, and realize that people despise authority because they despise the God who rules over them. To the extent that Christians do, it is to their shame, for they have become like the world.
    Let me know when they find a sin that originates in the Bible, then I will listen. But I can promise you real sins like effeminacy will not be brought up.

  2. Agreed with Charles.

    Also, don’t get blindsided by others that claim to agree with you. There are many that say they’re all for headship, or authority, but only if you do it their way. When they find out you don’t do it their way, they throw you to the wolves. They will do so without any discussion of what could be real issues of differing principles versus merely applying the principles to individual situations.

  3. Christ told his apostles, “All authority is given to me in heaven and on earth.” The term he used is exousia, Greek for delegated authority. Exousia includes: “the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)
    authority over mankind
    specifically the power of judicial decisions
    of authority to manage domestic affairs”
    Christ’s exousia includes being head over the church, which is His bride. In this role Christ is the pattern for all husbands, while the faithful church is the pattern for all wives. The unfaithful among the churches? Read John’s letters to the seven churches in Asia, then tell me that a husband has no authority to discipline a wayward wife.
    Romans 13:1 tells us, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
    God ordained the family. He ordained the man to have authority over the woman, and he ordained both parents to have authority over their children.
    God ordained the civil state, and he ordained it to govern according to His laws, rewarding the just and punishing the guilty.
    God ordained the church, and he ordained that Christ is the head, and that bishops, who are all to be men, are to oversee the flock.
    To reject authoritarianism is to reject God’s ordained plan for each sphere of this realm, and hence to reject God Himself, as He is the Author of all rightful authority.

  4. That is the funny bit, it’s been gutted as a word. I just looked it up on wikipedia and it says “strong central authority” and “limited political freedoms”, both of which aren’t necessarily the case.

    I was thinking maybe legitimism, rightly constituted authority (David for example the legitimate king, Absalom for example, a pretender). But that has a lot of baggage that isn’t necessarily pertinent to the discussion.

    The problem is we’e hamstrung by “having” to use a secular understanding for terms. All right authority derives directly from God, even if the right authority doesn’t even recognize it (St. Paul and the Roman Empire, for example). Authoritarianism as a term fits within the secular framework, which is roughly a mix of “power” or deriving authority from the “consent of the governed” (sufficiently vague, but the ostensible legitimizing feature of both the USA and the Soviet Union).

    Maybe there doesn’t need to be a specific name for it.By the time someone accepts the foundation principles of right government, we’re already where we need to be. It’s a pickle though.

  5. @gmh

    I just looked it up on wikipedia and it says “strong central authority” and “limited political freedoms”

    I don’t see a problem with either of those definitions. Do you?

    The problem is [we’re] hamstrung by “having” to use a secular understanding for terms.

    As you point out, all authority comes from God so we shouldn’t worry about whether the term is secular or religious. Neither the Romans nor our ancestors (if different) made the distinction. That separation is a false conceit of modernity; which I reject.

  6. Excellent; very cogent. Let me add that shying away from the word “authoritarian” also dangerously depersonalises legitimate civil government, i.e., that which has an author or a careful director administering it. Remember: most rulers, even in this most heathen era, want to be perceived as deriving legitimacy from a divine power even above themselves. It is for that reason that kings of old and some also of today have the Bishops crown them, signifying their submission to the higher authority, that of the Church, and to the Lord God whom they beseech to be the author of their own lives. It must be personal all the way from each subject to his lord, from each citizen of Heaven to the Almighty I AM THAT I AM, or else it is mere brutality or tyranny.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.