Posted by: Randall Niles | April 25, 2009

What is Foundational Authority?

Simply, foundational authority is the whole enchilada! It’s a matter of what you’re staking your entire life and eternal future on!


What’s your worldview?


What’s your belief system?


What’s the foundation on which you build your existence?


Over 900 million people in the world call themselves Hindus. Their belief system is based on a wide variety of philosophical writings beginning as early as 2500 BC, including the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, and the Bhagavad Gita.


Over 650 million people in the world loosely call themselves Buddhists. The original authority for that belief system is probably a man named Siddhartha Gautama in the mid-500’s BC, with writings such as the Pali Canon.


Over 1.5 billion people in the world call themselves Muslims. The original authority on which their entire belief system lies is the Qur’an, written by Muhammad in the early 600’s AD.


Mormons base their belief system on a couple of books written by Joseph Smith in the 1830’s, including the Book of Mormon.


Jehovah’s Witnesses ground their belief system to a series of Bible commentaries called, “Studies in the Scriptures,” written by Charles Russell in the late 1800’s.


Christian Science is based on the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.


The Church of Scientology is based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard in Dyanetics.


The list goes on and on…


Many people today follow the teachings of a so-called “guru”, a self-labeled “scholar”, or a high-profile “pastor” – CAUTION!


What is the authority on which these teachers (and thus, you) are building a belief system? That’s something to really think about…


OK, what’s my point?


Foundational authority is everything! 


The Qur’an is either the word of God, or it’s not.


The Book of Mormon is either the word of God, or it’s not.


The Vedas and Upanishads are either the words of many gods, or they’re not.


The Bible is either the Word of God, or it’s not.


That’s why I encourage you to keep studying for a lifetime!



Whether it’s the Bible or any of the other aforementioned texts, why are they special? What makes them trustworthy? What makes them powerful and credible as an authority for your spiritual journey? Indeed, are you truly willing to stake your life (and death) on them?


We all have to ground our belief system in something. It might be a holy book, it might be a guru, or it might be our own “rational” self, but it’s a decision we can’t take lightly…


Keep Thinking,


Randall Niles



  1. It’s a good question. To me the only thing that makes someone trustworthy is “works”. Talk is cheap, but if they can heal, then there’s proof of the theology.

    I believe that’s what lends the Christian Scientists authority. I have had many friends who are Christian Scientists who have had amazing healings unexplainable to modern medicine. To me, religions should have to prove what they teach.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: