Authority in the Scriptures is a position that is given by God.
All cultures value the ‘power’ of authority over the ‘responsibility’ of authority. As Jesus said:
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His [n]life a ransom for many.”
Jesus is not denigrating authority or canceling it:” “It is not this way among you” indicates that authority will still be present and active. Rather, the responsibility of authority should not be disconnected from it, AND it should be approached with humility.
Authority was given to Love. God is authority, and God is love. God used His authority to send Jesus to die on a cross, assuming full responsibility for our sin, so that we have the opportunity to be accept, believe, confess, and repent to be reconciled to the Father.
Matthew 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 And He *came to the disciples and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then He *came to the disciples and *said to them, “[k]Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”
God’s authority was used to Love us, and Jesus being in full subjection to God’s authority willingly submitted himself to die for us.
To go on to marriage:
- Feminists accept authority but invert sex roles.
- Conservatives try to hold on to what what liberals said before their new statement, whatever that is.
- Egalitarians reject authority in word and deed, consequently in the vacuum of authority they accept feminism.
- Complementarians accept authority in word but reject authority in deed. The husband is a neutered figurehead.
There are several cultural blinders on authority, which many Christians can fall prey to.
- Power is lauded as the most important part of authority and not the responsibility. This goes back to Jesus’ statement that the Gentiles lord their authority over them.
- Those with “authority” or “power” are seen as “better” than those without. If you suggest a husband has authority in marriage, Christians who are uncomfortable with authority will always jump to the argument that “men and women are equal.” A God given position of authority does not mean that one is “better” — all sin and fall short of the glory of God and all of us need a Savior.
- The creation of the impression that any authority held by men is bad. “The Patriarchy” is reviled. Real and made up abuses of authority are commonly used as examples of how the structure itself is bad not the abuses.
- Authority and power are fine in the hands of women but not in the hands of men, despite when women abuse authority. This can also be seen in the justice system where men who commit abuses of authority tend to get longer and harsher sentences than women for the same crimes.
- Responsibility is always tasked to the men/husbands, without authority or power. In other words, men usually get most if not all of the blame when something goes wrong, even if they didn’t have any power to get results.
I’m sure there’s more, but these are the ones that stick out. The first two are extremely important because they show that most people still have a “gentile mindset” toward authority instead of understanding what the Bible says about it.
The responsibility cannot be dissected from the power of authority and having authority does not make one better than another.
The rest are obvious biases.