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Authority and Submission



Someday, watch a stream of ants stretching between their anthill and a food source. Some will be going to pick up their load; others will be returning to deposit their prize in the recesses of the anthill. The whole process will be very organized, very precise. Then ask yourself, “Why are these ants so organized in their task?” The reason is that ants are good followers, each dependent on the ant in front of him to lead him to the food supply. Because each ant follows the other, there is a straight line between the anthill and the food—no wasted energy, no unnecessary detours. There is a lesson in that for would-be disciples. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



The captain on the bridge of a large naval vessel saw a light ahead on a collision course. He signaled, “Alter your course ten degrees south.” The reply came back, “Alter your course ten degrees north.”

The captain then signaled, “Alter your course ten degrees south. I am a captain.” The reply” “Alter your course 10 degrees north. I am a seaman third-class.”

The furious captain signaled, “Alter your course ten degrees south. I am a battleship.” The reply: “Alter your course ten degrees north. I am a lighthouse.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Submission to Authority

A little boy finally sat down after first resisting his parents’ command to do so. He said to his parents, “I’m sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



During a heated debate at a church’s board meeting, one of the overheated deacons rose to his feet and with clenched fists declared, “I have my rights!”

Quickly and sensitively, one of the older men replied, “You don’t mean that. If we had our rights we would all be in hell.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Obsession to Authoritativeness

A friend of mine works for a gas company. While he and a younger employee were checking the meter at a woman’s home, my friend challenged his co-worker to a foot race to prove that an older guy could outrun a younger one.

As they came tearing around a corner, they realized the lady of the house was huffing and puffing right behind them. They stopped immediately and asked her what she was doing. “When I saw two gas men running as hard as you were,” she replied, “I figured I’d better run too.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Remember that the powers-that-be will someday be the powers-that-have-been. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



This illustrations is well known but here it is for the record:

In U.S. Navel Institute Proceedings, the magazine of the Naval Institute, Frank Koch illustrates the importance of obeying the Laws of the Lighthouse. Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities.

Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing reported, "Light, bearing on the starboard bow."
"Is it steady or moving astern?" the captain called out.
The lookout replied, "Steady, Captain," which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship.
The captain then called to the signalman, "Signal that ship: 'We are on a collision course, advise you change course twenty degrees.'"
Back came the signal, "Advisable for you to change course twenty degrees."
The captain said, "Send: "I'm a captain, change course twenty degrees.'"
"I'm a seaman second-class," came the reply. "You had better change course twenty degrees."
By that time the captain was furious. He spat out, "Send: 'I'm a battleship. Change course twenty degrees.'"
Back came the flashing light, "I'm a lighthouse."
We changed course.

Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, p. 153.

When Christian Herter was governor of Massachusetts, he was running hard for a second term in office. One day, after a busy morning chasing votes (and no lunch) he arrived at a church barbecue. It was late afternoon and Herter was famished. As Herter moved down the serving line, he held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person in line.

"Excuse me," Governor Herter said, "do you mind if I have another piece of chicken?"
"Sorry," the woman told him. "I'm supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person."
"But I'm starved," the governor said.
"Sorry," the woman said again. "Only one to a customer."
Governor Herter was a modest and unassuming man, but he decided that this time he would throw a little weight around.
"Do you know who I am?" he said. "I am the governor of this state."
"Do you know who I am?" the woman said. "I'm the lady in charge of the chicken. Move along, mister."

Bits & Pieces, May 28, 1992, pp. 5-6.

For centuries people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an object, the faster it would fall to earth. Aristotle was regarded as the greatest thinker of all time, and surely he would not be wrong. Anyone, of course, could have taken two objects, one heavy and one light, and dropped them from a great height to see whether or not the heavier object landed first. But no one did until nearly 2,000 years after Aristotle's death. In 1589 Galileo summoned learned professors to the base of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then he went to the top and pushed off a ten- pound and a one-pound weight. Both landed at the same instant. The power of belief was so strong, however, that the professors denied their eyesight. They continued to say Aristotle was right. 

Bits & Pieces, January 9, 1992, pp. 22-23.

Amy Carter brought an assignment home one Friday night while her father was still President. Stumped by a question on the Industrial Revolution, Amy sought help from her mother. Rosalynn was also fogged by the question and, in turn, asked an aide to seek clarification from the Labor Department. A "rush" was placed on the request since the assignment was due Monday. Thinking the question was a serious request from the Prez himself, a Labor Department official immediately cranked up the government computer and kept a full team of technicians and programmers working overtime all weekend...at a reported cost of several hundred thousand dollars. The massive computer printout was finally delivered by truck to the White House on Sunday afternoon and Amy showed up in class with the official answer the following day. But her history teacher was not impressed. When Amy's paper was returned, it was marked with a big red "C." 

Campus Life, May, 1981  p. 59.


God-ordained authorities:

Government: Rom 13, 1 Pt 2:17
Employer: Eph 6, 1 Pt 2:18
Husband: 1 Pt 3:1, Col 3:18, Eph 5:22
Parent: Eph 6
Elders: Heb 13:17