Authority Commensurate With Responsibility 1

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Teachings of Alister John Lowe Th.D.,Ph.D.

March 1995 Volume 24


Authority Commensurate With Responsibility   1

What should I do now?" enquired the South American Indian Chief who had recently recived the Lord Jesus as his personal Saviour. Eager to please his new found Lord the chief sought diligently to follow the Master's steps.

"I will let you know", responded the young missionary. "I will have to contact my headquaters in New York to determine the next course of action."

Explaining how the chief was married to eighteen women, the authority asserted he must put away seventeen wives.

Dutifully carrying the requirements to the chief, the missionary affirmed he would make contact in three weeks to see how the problem would be solved.

Three weeks passed. "Did you remedy the situation with your wives?", enquired the young man. "Oh, yes",
replied the chief. "What did you do?"
"I killed seventeen. I am now living with only one wife. I have met the requirements of your authorities in New York."

The "authorities" had turned a chief into a murderer. What must be rectified at all costs, according to their concept, something must be done about the awful sin of adultery.

This is a classic illustration of authority not being commensurate with responsibility.

The young missionary had the responsibility of telling the chief but had no corresponding authority. The "heirarchy", seated comfotably in their plush carpeted offices, exercised authority, but carried no responsibility.

Authority must be commensurate with responsibility.

The English word commensurate, is derived from the Latin, con and mensura, a measure. It means equal, proportional, having equal measure or extent.

The Greek word for authority is exousia. It means permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do anything, jurisdiction, strength, and is so translated in the King James Version of the Bible.