Thursday, December 01, 2005

Relationships vs. Authority

"Relationships must have priority in your life above everything else." -- Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life, p. 124

Such is the philosophy of the peer-driven church. Given the influence of Peter Drucker over Rick Warren, this type of "relationship" emphasis can be expected. A recent tribute to "Peter Drucker, management master" was published Thursday, December 1, 2005 by Martin Henry at indicates the foundation of emphasis -- the humanities, psychologies and social sciences of the past century.

"In The New Realities Drucker sharply crystallised an idea that had been flowing through his work, the idea of management as a liberal art, something which means a lot to me because of my own interests and work, and something which has been widely picked up and endlessly quoted. 'Management is thus what tradition used to call a liberal art', Drucker wrote. '"Liberal" because it deals with the fundamentals of knowledge, self-knowledge, wisdom, and leadership; "art" because it is practice and application. Managers draw on all the knowledges and insights of the humanities and the social sciences - on psychology and philosophy, on economics and history, on the physical sciences and ethics. But they have to focus this knowledge on effectiveness and results.'

"'For these reasons,' Drucker announced, 'management will increasingly be the discipline and the practice through which the humanities will again acquire recognition, impact, and relevance.'"

The Truth:

Below is an excerpt from a sermon delivered November 19, 1643 by Jeremiah Burroughs entitled "A Heart That Trembles at God's Word is Precious in God's Eyes," based on Isaiah 66:2 " . . . and that trembleth at My Word."

"[A heart that trembleth at His Word] sees. . . a most dreadful authority in the Word of God. Not only greatness and luster and glory causes fear, but authority. If we should see a prince in his greatness, in his pomp, it causes some fear. But when we consider the authority that he has over us, this causes fear. And therefore, we read in Jeremiah 10:6-7: 'For as much as there is none like unot Thee, O Lord, Thou art great and Thy name is great in might. Who would not fear Thee, O King of Nations? For unto Thee doth it appertain.' See how fear is grounded upon authority.

"'Oh, Lord, Thou has the absolute and supreme authority over all nations of the world. Who would not fear Thee?' Certainly the reason why the hearts of men are so vain and slight before the Word of God is because they do not apprehend the dreadful authority there, that authority which has potentates under it as well as the poorest who lie upon the face of the earth, that authority which is over all authority, that authority that is over the heart and the soul.

"Nothing in the world has authority over men's consciences but the Word of the Lord, and that has authority. It has authority to bind consciences, to awe and terrify men. So a gracious heart sees the great seal of heaven stamped upon every truth in God's Word and, therefore, dares not trifle with it as it did before. It comes to the Word either as to a sovereign to receive laws, or as to a judge to receive the sentence of condemnation. That soul now looks upon the Word as backed with such authority that either it must yield unto it or else it binds that soul over to eternal death by such bonds that all the power of all creatures in heaven and earth cannot loose it again. When a soldier hears his fellow soldier rebuke him, he does not much care. But if the general speaks who has his life in his hand, then he trembles. So while people come to hear the Word as from a minister, one whom they look upon as equal with themselves, they do not much regard it. But a gracious heart, whoever the minister is, yet he looks upon the Word as being above him. Cyprian calls it 'the Tribunal of the Church,' because from thence men receive the sentence of death upon them. Now when the soul comes to see this, it cannot but tremble at whatsoever truths are revealed unto it. . . ."

[Gospel Fear or The Heart Trembling at the Word of God Evidences a Blessed Frame of Spirit, Delivered in Several Sermons from Isaiah 66:2 and 2 Kings 22:19 by Jeremiah Burroughs, 1647. Reprint by Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1991,]

"Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." (Jeremiah 6:16)