The English Feudal system was developed to be a Monarchy’s attempt at improvement of a King’s capacity to care for the welfare of His people. The King cared for the ‘Lords’, the Lords cared for the people. Since the Lords were closer to the people, this arrangement made perfect sense. The word ‘Lord’ of course is both a title and a noun, which implies acknowledgement of some dependence on a person to whom the title is applied. Since peasants and commoners all typically lived off lands which belonged to Lords, equivalently Barons, there was no misnomer implicit in adoption of the title in English medieval times. Naturally, as trade, commerce, and industrialization rendered it possible for more and more people to make a living without dependence on land, people depended less on Lords. The Feudal system remained, however, cornerstone of the English monarchy’s attempts at caring for its people. While it is the case that original intentions of care were not always maintained in the sense that Lords sometimes took advantage of those dependent on them, the original intent made perfect sense.
Good principles can be corrupted by immorality of those expected to act as guardians of such principles.
Fast track to modern times, and what we have mostly today are employer-employee relationships. Employees today do not, however, call employers or those to whom they report on the organizational ladder Lords. Naturally, such terminology never should characterize employer-employee relationships other than in situations within which they are characteristic of a culture.
It is reality, however, that employers’ decisions can have the sort of impact on people’s lives that Feudal Lords’ actions had capacity to generate in medieval times. When a company ups and leaves a small town in the United States for facilitation of outsourcing of production to Mexico, China, Thailand or whatever else location, a small town can become a ghost shell of itself. The company is not called Lord, the reporting chain does not use Lord terms, but effects of the company’s actions are as damaging as effects of a Feudal Lords’ abuse of his authority. That is, since a feudal Lord could eject a tenant from his land, a peasant or commoner could be consigned to a difficult life by actions of a feudal Lord. This is much the same as a company’s actions consigning an entire town to difficulty of living via movement of production outside of the town or country.
Offshoring or outsourcing of production that results in ghosting of a town is an extreme example of actions that have Lordship effects. When a company lays off people in midst of a recession and keeps some, this again is no different from a Lordship event, particularly if superior performers who earn a lot of money are among categories of people laid off. The action has a Lordship effect regardless of the fact that Lordship terminology neither is tolerated nor encouraged.
The essence of the discussion so far?
Let us define a Lordship Event to be an event that induces difficulties in people’s circumstances independent of actions of such people. Think closing down of a production plant or layoffs induced not by sub-par individual performance but by a recession.
We have then that regardless of whether ‘Lord’ related terminology is adopted or not, there exist interactions within society, employee-employer interactions in particular that have potential to generate Lordship events within society.
Whether we like it or not, there exist possibilities of Lordship Events within every single society represented on this Earth.
Whether Lordship Events occur within contexts of societies that adopt Lord terminology, such as Monarchies, or societies that are Republics, what really matters is fairness or equity of interactions within society.
Does a Lord give more land to the industrious peasant or commoner or does he give more land to the sycophant?
Does a company lay off people in an equitable manner whenever layoffs are induced by market forces outside of control of the employees? Does a company delay as long as possible prior to initiation of such layoffs?
When a company outsources production, is there a mandate to contribute some lump sum amount or percentage of production savings to redefinition of life in the small town such that life in that small town can continue to have some meaning?
At the end of it all, it is actions of constituents of society that are most important not adoption or exclusion of Lord related terminology in interactions with one another.
Regardless of adoption or not of ‘Lord’ terminology, what matters the most in interactions within society is fairness, equity, and justice.
As can be expected, explicit usage of Lord related terminology can lead to abuse, hence, combination of democracy with monarchy in England. Terminology is maintained, but abuse is mitigated by adoption of democracy. The experience of the English makes clear adoption of ‘Lord’ terminology in interactions between people within a society increases hubris of those addressed as Lord, as such increases probability of abuse within a society. It would be the case then that it is not advisable for a society already devoid of Lord related terminologies to transition to adoption and usage of such terminology.
Adoption of ‘Lord’ terminology in interactions between people within a society increases probability of abuse.
At this point we have established three things. First, regardless of adoption or not of ‘Lord’ terminology, Lordship Events are a fact of life in every society. Second, adoption of ‘Lord’ terminology that is not accompanied by Democratic institutions can in spite of good intentions of Feudal systems increase probability of abuse of those dependent on Lords. Third, regardless of adoption or not of ‘Lord’ terminology, what matters most in society is that interactions between people in society are guided by fairness, equity, and justice.
Clearly, what is most important to address of the three concepts established is mitigation of abuse that has potential to occur within context of Lordship Events. Governments of countries help in this regard via institution of labor laws. But the best of countries are unable to do this perfectly because there does not exist any country within which Government is perfectly independent of Business or the Private Sector. In the give and take that occurs between Governments and Private Sectors, labor laws never are perfect.
Labor laws that protect against Lordship Events never are perfect.
The God of the Bible has provided insurance against Lordship Events in the person of Jesus Christ. But then He asks we call Jesus Lord and Savior.
The word ‘Savior’ of course we would love to use — everyone likes the thought of being saved from whatever they think might be holding them down.
The term ‘Lord’, however, we tend to balk at in light of thoughts of servitude such terminology can induce in our minds. God has solved the servitude problem that can hold us back, however, because while Jesus was a man for thirty three and a half years, He is not a man at the present time, does not live on earth, and if the Bible is right (discussion of evidence in favor of this claim has to be reserved for some other blog article), He is Creator of Heaven and Earth, man inclusive.
To make things even sweeter, Jesus says all we have to do to acknowledge Him as Lord is two things, the first rendering the second relatively easier.
First, He asks we acknowledge we find it difficult to love one another (is there any doubt whatsoever in this day and age of truism of such acknowledgement), that we desire to love one another, then accept He has made it possible for us to love one another via His Life, death, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven more than two thousand years ago. Once we make this one time acknowledgement all we have to do? Second, Love our neighbor using principles He demonstrated and taught during His three and a half year ministry here on earth.
What Jesus demands in exchange for insurance against Lordship Events seems like gravy to me.
God, Father of Jesus Christ asks Christians to call Jesus Lord so faith in Jesus Christ serves as insurance against Lordship Events.
This is not to say that a Christian cannot experience Lordship Events. Rather, while faith in Jesus Christ can militate against Lordship Events by helping a Christian become very valuable to an employer, its most important feature is guarantee that Jesus will open up new opportunities for a Christian who experiences a Lordship Event. This is the promise from Jesus Christ to everyone who believes in His name. If Jesus really is Creator and created everyone on earth, including those that have capacity to generate Lordship Events, if we seek insurance against Lordship Events, the only person really worth calling Lord is Jesus Christ.
If Jesus Christ really is Creator of Heaven and Earth, and calling of anyone ‘Lord’ serves to protect against Lordship Events, only Jesus Christ is worthy of ‘Lord’ appellation.
Does this mean a Christian should refuse to use ‘Lord’ terminologies in societies within such such terminologies are expected to be utilized? Absolutely not. It only means a Christian always lives the reality that the Lord terminology that is his or her ultimate protection is the one addressed to Jesus Christ.
But can address of Jesus as Lord not be characterized as sycophancy? Again, absolutely not! We acknowledge Him as Lord not really by calling Him Lord but by loving our neighbor as enunciated in His life and teachings. When we use the Lord term, we are acknowledging we are living and loving in line with His directives. Without the living and loving in line with His directives, it is futile to call Jesus Lord. We see then that as would obtain in a system characterized by fairness, equity, and justice it is our actions that induce protections available in Jesus Christ not our sycophancy.
We take directions from those we report to at work, take advice from friends or family, act on advise from strangers we find to be useful, it cannot be degrading to obey the Creator of the universe.
We induce Jesus as protector against Lordship Events not via our sycophancy, but by our actions.
But can we say the command from Jesus is for Jesus’ ego? Well, all of the ways in which we please Him relate to treating of others right. Since all of the benefits of our acting on His commands are domiciled within our very own societies, the commands in fact are for our good, with grand objective of limiting of Lordship Events and increase of good outcomes within society. When we call Him Lord, we are acknowledging Him in the same manner a respondent or defendant in court acknowledges their Lawyer. That is, we are acknowledging presence of some beneficence in our lives.
When we call Jesus Lord in our actions and words, we are declaring “Ultimately, Jesus I am submitting watching over of my affairs on earth to you.”
Jesus’ demand for Lord terminology passes litmus test of pure motives, and interactions founded on fairness, equity, and justice. What Jesus demands in exchange for His protections seems like gravy to me.