Daily Archives: December 3, 2018
Posted by RJ Dawson
The framers of the United States Constitution fully understood that absolute power corrupts absolutely. They had first-hand knowledge of the consequences that result from the abuse of power.
It is for this reason that they devised a form of government that greatly diluted authority. They installed checks and balances within the framework of the Constitution in order to arrest the corrupting ability of absolute power. The founding fathers were very aware from their knowledge of past governments and their present circumstances that great abuses resulted from a one-man show.
Only Jesus is sovereign. Everyone else is clearly inferior and subordinate to Him, whether they acknowledge it or not. The gap between Jesus, the Lord God of all Creation, and the entity most like Him is so vast it would be impossible to calculate. The only chance which humanity has to experience and continue in fellowship with Him is through applying the sacrifice of His sinless tabernacle to themselves, as a substitutionary death, which in turn gives life.
The Lord stated that no one has greater love than the one who surrenders his own life for the lives of his friends. A kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil (in death) in order to bring forth new life. Accepting His life-giving death is the only way that mankind can be reconciled to Him. Once reconciled to God, a person can become “godlike,” but only through the introduction of the Spirit of Jesus into his being.
Only Jesus is worthy of absolute power. Only Jesus can control it. Only Jesus cannot be adversely affected by it. When a human being is given power, he must be given checks and balances as well. In this way, he has a good chance of not being destroyed by power, or more importantly, not destroying others by it. This is why the concept of the “one-man show” church should be anathema to Christianity. This concept comes in many varieties. Other than a single individual, the “one man” could be a pastor with a sycophant board of elders, or even a worldwide hierarchy pledged to a single leader. In each of these varieties, individuals have no voice, no power, and simply do what they’re told.
We should never forget, however, what absolute power does to people. It corrupts the holders thereof and their yes-men, and in time alienates those subordinates who are passionate for positive change, inevitably causing rebellion against the abuse of power and the neglect of those under that power. If able to unite, the neglected will rise up to rightfully extract power from corrupt leadership. This rising up or rebellion against reprobate authority serves as a check on the flagrant mishandling of authority. A successful rebellion of this kind is called a revolution. A successful Christian rebellion is called a reformation.
The great Reformation of the sixteenth century was nothing more than a rebellion against corrupt, absolute power. The American Revolution of the late 1700s was exactly the same, though in a different arena. If the American Revolution had failed, George Washington would have been guilty of treason against the English throne and would likely have ended up with a rope around his neck. Many thousands were burned at the stake during the Reformation, not because they were heretics, but because they challenged corrupt leadership. Each of these celebrated, successful rebellions proved to be far-reaching, long-lasting remedies against the pox of nefarious authority that had come to be concentrated in the hands of one man.
[The preceding is an excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]
 Matthew 28:18
 John 15:13
 John 12:24
 John 10:34-38, Psalm 82
 Romans 8:9-10