Authority in Action
This chapter uses the Question and Answer feature of Brethren magazines to explore the extent and form of authoritarianism found in the assemblies. The questioners appear to be only too eager to submit to authority, indicating that assembly believers are authoritarian in culture, not merely compliant in behaviour while harbouring secret dissent. They are, on the contrary, anxious to learn how they might more closely follow Assembly Truth: the supposed New Testament blueprint for assembly practice. They are also eager to discover how non-conformists should appropriately be punished, not only for biblical sins but for errors that offend the questioner. Authoritarianism is finally evident in the willing acceptance of the authority of the self-appointed overseers in assembly matters, and in the exercise of coercive parental control within the family.