This is the fourth post in series on Stephen Clark’s five principles of modern thought. The list is below along with links to the previous posts.
The Principle of Equality
The Principle of Freedom
The Principle of Developing Full Potential
The Principle of Authenticity
The Principle of Being a “Full-Person”
Here is what Clark says about the principle of authenticity:
The Principle of Authenticity-“It states that each individual should express his or her true feelings and preferences at all times so that one’s ‘authentic’ personality might develop and be seen. Closely related to the principle of authenticity is the notion that each person should express his or her unique personality and gifts as fully as possible. The ideals of authenticity and uniqueness lead to a dislike for the type of social structure taught in scripture. To accept a role which does not fit one’s feelings or preferences would be inauthentic.
While scriptural teaching allows for individual differences it does not idealize them, since sin finds authentic and unique expression in the lives of most people.”
Biblical structure, order, submission, and obedience reject the absoluteness of this idea. You may have dreams, desires, personality traits, giftings, that cannot be developed without breaking God’s commands. Or that are outside of God’s providence for you. The idea of women preaching and having authority is, in part, rooted in this idea of authenticity. A woman has the gift of teaching. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to express that gifting? Often authenticity is just an excuse for selfishness and a refusal to submit to God’s Word. Authenticity does not equal righteousness. For a Christian the question is not, “Am I expressing the true me?” Rather it is, “Am I conforming to Christ and His revealed Word?”