A human being was created in God’s image. How possible can it be for one, also created in God’s image, to teach another to be good? This reveals what has all along been the cause of all problems in our environment. We have those putting themselves in positions of authority. Thereby, causing those submitting to that tomfoolery to disconnect with their Creator. Starting off with His twelve disciples, Jesus introduced a new civilization, being the opposite of what prevails:
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:8-12) (NIV).
The authoritarian culture, among those groupings, calling themselves “Christians” is, obviously, an affront of what Jesus taught. They deliberately omit the above Scripture, in their sermons, to keep their followers under control. The only purpose of maintaining that delusion is to sustain loyalty among the uninformed laity, constantly coaxed to pay tithes.
I have no doubt that their followers sincerely desire to follow Christ. But those crafty leaders would constantly highlight that it is impossible to follow Christ without them. In the meantime, those believers find something to worship in those leaders. Christ would be out of the picture. Loyalty to those fallible humans would be considered more important than loyalty to Christ.
This is sad. The matrix of this is a totally confused Christian religion, whose basis is not the Christ, in whose name they profess. One could trek all confusion in Christianity as emanating from this phenomenon. Faith is an active reality, taken for what it is. A true Christian holds no doubt in his/her postulates. Authoritarianism is a syndrome, observed in how young children are treated.
A small child is a perfect example of what is done to those created in God’s image. Yet, what was created in God’s image cannot need improvement. In other words, one cannot add anything to what is in perfect condition. After having created humanity and observing all creation to be good, God rested. There was no need to add anything (Genesis 1:31).
Everything had been created after its own kind. When one observes the behavior of a lion, one observes the behavior that is after its own kind. A lion does not behave any other way, except after its own kind, as God intended it to behave. The same applies to other species in their diverse nature. The behavior of a dove reflects exactly the characteristic of the first dove.
However, human beings were created after God kind—so that as God behaves, humans ought to behave. Let us take a child, being raised under a typical family environment. That child is not aware of having been created in God’s image. The child gets taught by an authoritarian parent, assuming to know better. The child takes after the parent whose genetic time track is warped with misinformation.
The child is given the do’s and don’ts, right from his toddler years, up to college years, including his religious environment. The authoritarian training does not allow self-determinism, under those circumstance. Authoritarians claim to know everything, yet without having produced anything workable. The person created in God’s image was pronounced as having been very good. How does one add goodness into what has been pronounced as very good?
Right at that point, we pick up the cause of all confusion. This is like agreeing with someone who comes to take your perfect computer, promising to improve its performance. Though pretending, the person would have no clue of how that computer works. After ruining it with all sorts of viruses, comes back, blaming the manufacturer as having not been good enough.
What do you think should be done to such a fake computer technician? This illustrates the magnitude of what authoritarianism does to humanity. Our country, Zimbabwe, can be used as a clear example of how far bad the system of authoritarianism can go. It seems everyone shuts off their intellectual capabilities when assuming that authorities are more superior.
The whole country goes into ruins, and then blame one person at the position of leadership. All this emanates from the syndrome of authoritarianism. The young people who, today, appear as having no solution for the problems of their country, have answers. But they are not allowed to think independently. Only the man at the top is assumed as more intelligent, as to think on their behalf.
As mentioned earlier, this is a syndrome, picked up from the parental level, where young children are not allowed to be themselves. I know of parents, blocking their children from playing football. But forcing them to study subjects, against their liking, for instance. Silly, this is, but those parents would be intending to produce the best out of those children.
They want those children to be like what those parents envied of others. They would, themselves, have failed on what they now desire their children to achieve. Zimbabwe, being a Christian country, use Scriptures to control those children. This is notwithstanding that such Scriptures would have been taken out of context. For instance:
4“Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth, and honor, and life. 5In the path of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them. 6Train a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:4-6) (AKJV)
One then picks up verse 6 of the above Scripture and, authoritatively, drills children to do what he wants. He may assume having achieved that goal. But that Scripture would have been taken out of context, when not applying verse 4. One needs to first understand the meaning of humility and fear of the Lord. Otherwise, the person does the opposite of what the writer of Proverb intended. See [Earthly Parents are mere custodians of their children].
A Child is God’s image, like other humans. The golden Law:“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”(Matthew 7:12) (NIV). Applies to all people, including the children that the person considers to be not as informed as he, himself, assumes to be.
Interestingly, when having been raised under an authoritarian culture, the tendency is to apply the same onto one’s own children. The person would have dreaded this type of behavior by his own parents. But, lo behold, he goes to apply exactly what he, himself, dreaded when growing up. This is the only reason why it is difficult to break from customs and traditions.
In his memory, one would have parental practices that made him feel good. Amazingly, he would consider those as unfashionable. He would rather be enslaved in those practices that made him uncomfortable, coining them as good culture and traditions. The Person feels unsafe, breaking away from them. And yet the safest way would be to break away from them.
This is what has enslaved humanity from the time of Adam. Jesus came with a datum that helps humanity out of that stupidity. This is why He said He was the way, the truth, and the Life. The reason why people continue to fumble in darkness, even after the availability of Jesus, is failure to believe in Him. Jesus, Himself, did not succumb to the authoritarian culture:
“Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.’ ‘Why were you searching for me?” he asked. ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he was saying to them”(Luke 2:47-50) (NIV).
Of course, verse 50 reveals to us that His parents could not understand Him. Having been grooved into the idea of controlling children, it could not have been easy for them to take what Jesus said. But, it ought to be different with those calling themselves “Christians.” One cannot be a Christian, yet not applying the principles taught and practiced by Jesus.
If the cub of a lioness resembles its own kind, the child also ought to resemble its own kind. What is observed of the Child’s parents is not of our own kind. Joseph and Mary ought to have known that their son Jesus was not of their own kind. The children that we raise under our care, are not of our own kind. This is why Jesus specifically told His disciples to call no man on earth their Father, telling them that their only Father was in Heaven (Matthew 23:9).
The authoritarian culture starts within childrearing. The methodology being used, on childrearing, across all races on this planet, leaves a lot to be desired. Of course, the methods are not uniform. But those child-rearing principles contain some shortcomings, founded on the philosophy of authoritarianism. The reason why other nations appear as better than others, can be measured according to the degree at which authoritarianism is practiced.
Where more authoritarianism is practiced, you have more problems, as compared with those given liberty to exercise freedom. If allowed to practice what they were created to be, those children could, actually, achieve greater things, as to marvel their own parents. Another problem, causing authoritarianism could be the aspect of inferiority complex.
The parents would have no confidence in themselves, and therefore, desiring to shape their children to be like what they envy on others. However, some of them feel threatened, when their own children turn out to become better than them. All this reveals people striving to be like other people, not themselves. They feel threatened, by those turning out to be better than them.
This authoritarian syndrome is not limited to parents in a family environment. The educational system sustains it. This is why, before an examination, school children become so nervous. They are expected to meet the examiner’s standards. In other words, if unable to meet the demanded examiner’s standard, they are reduced to being nothing, in this life.
This is like telling a leopard that it would be nothing, if unable to behave like a lion, or vice versa. Huge sums of money are expended in education, but what comes out of that are educated dupes. Children spend time being educated on things that would not identify with their own purposes of existence.
Either a child would choose to pursue a career out of envying someone considered to be successful in it. Or the child is forced to pursue that course, by parents who wish to reach the level of what is considered success. Both those postulates come out of total confusion. The reason why a child also values that would be out of desiring to be someone respected in society. The child takes after the parents whose good performing child is perceived as better than others.
All this becomes different when applying the Axiom, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. It should be unnecessary to compare oneself with others. Unlike animals, or other species, humans cannot be compared, one with the other. Each is different, but all created after God-kind. Each one has a special reason for being created uniquely but expected to serve others.
The sad thing is that, while the Bible, as used by Christian, carries this information, Christianity also practices authoritarianism. You are considered a rebel if exercising freedom to practice Christianity. Each member of a Christian group is expected to abide by what is taught by leaders. Those leaders put themselves in the position of being better than other members.
Clearly, what they do would be in violation of what Jesus taught in Matthew 23:8-12. Including what Paul also taught in 1 Corinthians 12. Any person could simply show those leaders such Scriptures, but that would be at the expense of being considered a renegade. Paul describes money as being the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:9). It certainly appears so, when observed in Christian organizations. The purpose of authoritarianism in Christianity is for collecting tithes. Yet those leaders are supposed to be the light of the world.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99