Everyone has an authority by which he organizes his life by and in the choices he makes. And culturally, by default, we have chosen ourselves. By becoming our own authority, we decide what is right or wrong individually. Some may see this as a natural by-product of believing in individual liberties, but it is not so.
The founders of America based the idea of fundamental rights on their belief in a “Creator” (an authority above everyone). As a nation, we continue to lose our faith in the Creator - the very basis by which our rights were established.
There is nothing new with this line of thinking. In the history of Israel, this extreme individual morality became a problem during the time of the judges. In Judges (17:6 and 21:25), we read the same phrase, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This was in clear disobedience to God’s command “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes” (Deut. 12:8).
Before we point the finger at our culture, let’s examine our own lives and feelings.
Do we act as we please according to our own standards? Or do we submit humbly to the authorities God has established for every Christian’s life? Do we ever pause to think about how this very attitude impacts our churches or our own spiritual health? Do we make decisions based upon Scripture, or do we base them on our culture and our own opinions? Are we willing to be viewed as old-fashioned and inconsequential because we submit to the teaching of Scripture instead of the wisdom of men?
Submitting to God’s authority is not a popular notion in today’s culture. But if we continue to use ourselves as our own primary authority, then we should not be surprised by the turmoil that it brings.
So, who or what is your authority?
Do you shudder at the idea of submission? Do you believe that your own eyes are to be trusted over God’s? These are questions we all must ask and answer. To answer these questions wisely, we must turn to Scripture in humble obedience.