For this chapter, we will investigate two main philosophical thoughts rooted in the Christian gospel. Firstly we will examine how we, as creation, must use the freedom of choice that we have been given, and, secondly, we will consider how God may observe each individual in regards to how they contribute to the overall expression of their respective society. As we analyze our individual participation within our respective society, we will develop the idea which states that each person, if even to a varied degree, is ultimately a vital contributor to their societal expression.
“Because we readily observe the state of our shared reality is, at the very least, significantly a product of our individual choices and actions, we can readily understand how a significant determinant – which establishes the overall expression of our shared reality – is our individual choices and actions.“
To start the discussion, let us first examine the notion that all – not a little, not some, not a lot, but all – instituted authority is righteous and granted by God.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.“
Of course, it should be fairly evident that the ideological reasoning behind Paul’s statement is thoroughly sound (not considering that Paul was actively seeking to make the Christian uprising seem non-threatening to the Roman government). Such as, if no one respected their authority figures humanity would be incapable of any form of social order. Because no one would cooperate for the greater good, all efforts which required organizational structure would be impossible. Consequently, there certainly is a profound wisdom, which clearly demonstrates an essential dogma necessary for establishing civilization, to these scriptural words.
However, we can plainly see through history that faithful submission to every instituted authority has not always been God’s will. As such there is perhaps no clearer illustration of this than the fascist state of Nazi Germany [please understand the only intention here is to use this nation as an obvious example – which stands on its own – in making the point]. So then, hopefully it is evident to the reader that under no circumstances was it righteous for the German citizen to follow Hitler. In the same way, hopefully it is evident to the reader that blindly following worldly authority is not always (and probably never) God’s calling for us either.
Now, through such observation, we must then contemplate upon the possibility that it is not only God who establishes authority – even if it’s technically always through God’s allowance. As we do so, we should recognize fairly quickly that God will also allow Satan to constitute his own authority as well.
“The idea of God allowing evil to have authority in the world is a central theme in scripture which it not only uses to explain why there is strife in the world, but it even uses the idea as the basis for what it testifies will happen during the world’s tribulation period.”
Unfortunately, it is through this ominous figure that we will always have a duality of good and evil in every facet of our existence. As a result, in almost every case we can’t just say “this can only be good,” or “this can only be bad.” God can make something evil be used for good, and, by his destructive nature, Satan can make something good be used for evil.
So forth we must always examine within and outside of ourselves who we follow, and who we don’t. Because we all always have a choice (though we may not always like our choice), we should likewise seek to be resilient in consciously and vigorously questioning the ethos of those whom we elect to lead us. As is, any leader’s appointment over a person is always held through the endorsement of the person in which they lead.
Consequently, the volition of the individual is one of the most essential assets a leader may possess, for there simply is no substitute to the election we may give. In this way, the authority every individual has is a special privilege, and it is a powerful gift God gives each person. As such from the day we crawl out the womb to the day we are lowered to the grave, no one or nothing can take this power away from us. While other men may limit our options and other men may control the outcomes of our choices, we always have a choice that can’t be made for us. Ultimately this innate freedom of choice, which may be defined as our own personal inherent sovereignty, is a God-given and naturally entitled condition we always possess.
Therefore, at the very least through nature, we are, at any given point, never mandated to follow anyone or anything we don’t recognize as leading us in the direction we wish to go. We are therefore, at the very least through nature, always allowed to choose our path in life. With this being the case, the reality is that we are always an authority over our self, and, through the giving of our self to a collective, we have tremendous power and influence to impact the world around us.
“Where the individuals as a collective ultimately determine the state of their shared reality, the individuals in a collective must be responsible for the state of their shared reality.”
Given the magnitude of the power withheld in our natural right to choose, we must be diligent to properly care for and use this privilege, of inherent sovereignty, in the correct manner. The hopefully evident truth is that just because we have the ability to choose doesn’t mean all choices we make are underneath the same distribution of privilege. It should be apparent that we only have the right, in our proper application of choice, to assert our own authority on another – if and only if – the person in question, in an unrighteous manner, attempts to assert their authority on us (or another) first. In this wisdom, for the sake of us keeping our great privilege, each one of us should always seek to use our entitlement justly.
Accordingly then, through reasoning we should realize that we are not, under any circumstance, entitled with the right to unduly impose upon another that is rightfully entitled in their own existence as well. As such, we may only say that we rightfully are entitled to inherent sovereignty, so long as we properly respect the inherent sovereignty of others. Naturally, because this ideology is so basic, pure, and conducive to a healthy civilization, it is not overtly extreme to suggest that all other contrasting beliefs and practices, based on their degree of difference, are proportionally perverse.
Now, as we come to fully understand our sovereignty, we may truly investigate the fullness of the responsibility we have in the expressions of the society we live within. Clearly, as we can conclude through observing Germany, Hitler’s authority was in fact a complete embodiment also encapsulating that of the will of its citizens. As evident, the blood of those he persecuted must be on the hands of all that reinforced his rule as well. Where the citizens aided in Hitler’s aggregation of sovereignty and they continued to do so throughout his campaign, they became one body with the will of Hitler. As a result, each abiding German citizen must also share in the responsibility for the actions of what Hitler did as well.
While of course, as things escalated, the options of the citizens became more and more limited, it still bodes badly for them having given in to his reign. For as much all are always able to choose, regardless of the personal consequences, whether or not they empower their particular society to travel in a certain direction. So then just because we may experience a diminishing sense of responsibility when we conform – where this is merely an indulgence to the flesh – we do not truly lose our responsibility when we choose to conform. Rightfully our actions are always counted separately from our emotions, for through scripture we can confirm the countless verses in which it has that, specifically and thoroughly, calls each one of us to overcome being controlled by our body’s basic urges (hence Spiritual acknowledgement and birth).
Now, from this short discussion, we should be prepared to adequately understand why the mark of the beast is so profound. When it is such that we give over our authority to the beast – no matter what consequences we might face if we do not – we are still punished harshly for having done so. Therefore it is certainly true that following along with evil and allowing evil to prosper is also both doing and being evil. Wherein, if we were truly dedicated to living in the authentic spiritual teachings of Christ, we would not be conformed to any way which is in evil – even unto death.
Unfortunately, as things appear, we might see how in America, as we are more and more blindly giving in to whichever way the world calls us, we are slipping towards becoming an ungodly (denying natural privileges to others) nation itself. Without doubt, if we as a nation do not have a godly approach, we should rightfully understand the risk we take in tainting our hands with injustice and thereby losing our entitlement to our God-given freedom of choice. Whereas, avoiding this outcome should be our collective focus.
In regards, let us seek to use our privilege of choice justly and take ownership for the condition of the whole. We don’t have to agree on everything, but we should agree in creating a fair society which gives equal opportunity to every member. As we remain divided, we will be at war with one another and we will welcome chaos and the loss of civil liberties. We have a choice, and our fate as a whole rests ultimately in our decisions. If we do nothing, things will get worse. However, if we do something – the right thing – things will get better for each of us. Likewise, the world the future generations inherit will be a world we can best feel justified in giving.
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“The Privilege of Choice” © 2017 Matthew L Ainsworth
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