I have been reading an interesting book on the American Puritans, for whom a major issue was autonomy vs non-autonomy. It took careful reading to figure what they were on about. Autonomy was simply doing your own thing, whereas non-autonomy was doing God’s own thing.
The Puritans were endeavouring to build a society, even a nation, that was non-autonomous. They wanted to build a society where God and His Word were the authority for everything they did. They did well for a generation or two, but then man’s natural proclivity (sin) surfaced and more and more their goal was clouded and ultimately lost.
It reminded me of Christian education, which should be ‘non-autonomous’ and perhaps that was our goal and desire when we started out, but how quickly ‘autonomy’ sets in unless we constantly resist it.
Before you dismiss the ramblings of a fanatic, consider the product of a non-autonomous educational program as against an autonomous program. Which would you prefer for your children? Do we want our children’s lives to be modelled on the Lord Jesus or on the lives of those in the world around us?
That is the challenge and the opportunity we have as we begin this new year. May the Lord bless you mightily as you set a goal of non-autonomy this year.
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