- Written by David Moody
I watched a great clip the other day featuring Ravi Zacharias, described as an Indian born Canadian American Christian apologist in his response to a question about his opinion about gay marriage. My topic today isn’t about gay marriage but more the opinions we can all carry about anything and how they are shared and received in this day and age. It’s the matter of ‘this day’ that is the key. Ravi spoke about three ‘mous’s to outline how societal thinking has shifted over the years. Not every nation or state is up to the same position but generally it is what has happened over the centuries.
Many societies have functioned under Theonomous law or rule. This is governance and law based under God. Even only up until the last couple of centuries God inspired and directed laws and leadership that lead people from the heart dominated the way in which many countries, regions and families operated, so the reference point for many was a theonomous one.
This has and continues to shift to a more Heteronomous position where the control or influences are under the few over the many such as a monarchy, religious, political or militaristic influences. North Korea could well fit into this category, Islam also fits into this especially in the middle east. This can also be present in domineering individual positions such as a parent, teachers and local law authorities. Heteronomy can also operate under Theonomy, what a joy that would be.
The third onomy though is where many would relate and is only getting worse: Autonomy. This is about having the freedom to act independantly. Countries can be autonomous, businesses, private schools and the like but it’s personal autonomy that many people want for their own opinions and choices but often not for any that conflict that. Autonomy is about self. It doesn’t necessarily mean selfishness but it can also be narcissistic.
Ravis’ great point for me was that in the same way that one person can have such a strong personal autonomous view about an issue, any conflicting view is seen as unacceptable and therefore the autonomous person then also want s to become the heteronomous director of others! If we are not living in a Theonomous society nor an Heteronoumous society then it is an Autonomous one and that comes with rules that go both ways.
You literally cannot have your opinion in this ever increasing everyone has an opinion social media driven society but also get to be the master over people with just as autonomous yet conflicting opinions as your own. With the measure you use, it will be used against you someone once said.
Check out the clip here from the 20 minute mark for 5 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grWycEu-SPc