Sunday, February 16, 2014


I have argued elsewhere (below) that the Christian view of reality is hierarchical. God is king and he has established people, kings, husbands, fathers, elders, employers and others to govern the world under him.

I agree the word hierarchical is infelicitous and may come with all sorts of unhelpful and misleading baggage. Perhaps you can suggest a better one?

To reflect on the nature of some of these hierarchies, consider the case of the general and the private soldier. They are of course equal in dignity and worth as human beings. They are God's image bearers. But the private is to obey all the lawful orders of his commanding officers. Note that he is to do that whether he agrees with them or not. In fact, the private may be a better, more moral, cleverer person than the general. The private's battle plan may be better, but it matters not. The private obeys the general (within limits) because of the general's status, role and function not because of his essence or worth or ability.

So it is with husbands, fathers, rulers, elders and employers and whatsoever lawful authorities there be.

Now, you could argue that perhaps the private should be appointed a general, but that is another point. Also the wise general will listen to the appropriate useful suggestions of his men when circumstances allow, but again that is not the point here.We obey because of the office not the man.

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