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Authority

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by aspen, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    SORRY I PUT THIS IN THE WRONG SECTION


    After becoming Catholic, I realized that, although I was a Christian before, I really lacked a sense of authority in my life. The consequences included problems with people at church, at my job, and in the community. Whenever I met someone who wasn't showing me, what I considered to be equal respect, the gloves would come off. I would make sure they knew who they were disrespecting.....which never went over too well with the narcissistic men at church or any of my bosses at work. In fact, there was a time that my mouth moved so independently from my brain - I actually worried what I would say to God on Judgment Day. I was a really problem and I did not see a solution.

    As a Catholic, I encounter authority like I had never seen it before. It was solid, yet patient. It was nice to not have to re-interpret the Bible every time I read it - 2,000 years of scholars gave me a foundation for my own understanding. I remember the first time I visited my monastery - the food was cold, the mattress caused me to have to sleep on the floor, I was herded into prayer 7 times a day - and no one bothered to tell me the retreat was silent. To top off the experience, I missed my oblation ceremony because this old monk wanted to talk about the mortification practices of Catherine of Siena. The deaf ears I complained to about my terrible experience taught me all I needed to know about authority and the proper response to it. Sometimes you don't get everything you want.

    God is our ultimate authority, but He uses the authority on Earth to shape our character - with out it, we would remain undisciplined. Submitting to authority is picking up your cross and following Him.

    Authority is important because it teaches us emotional regulation (keep your mouth shut), delayed gratification (you have to wait for good things), suspending your disbelief (faith), cognitive flexibility (you must be the flexible person sometimes).

    Comments?
     
    Angelina and Prentis like this.
  2. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Moved forums for you.
     
  3. Jake

    Jake New Member

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    You had quit an experience Aspen! Thanks for sharing, it's always good to hear other's testimonies and how God is training them up. God always knows what we need, when we need it and even though it would seem a bad experience, He turns it around to good for those who love Him. Through your experience, you learned about authority, so praise God for the experience! I have to admit, I do have a hard time being thankful for the trial, when it's happening, but God is working on it.

    I agree with what you have said about how God uses our time here to teach us, form and mold us, as you have stated to shape our character . It's like a training camp, we're being trained for the future. The training includes suffering as Peter talked about, and James talked about testing of our faith develops perseverance, and perseverance develops maturity, perfect and complete. If we remember that our suffering is not in vain, we can be encouraged because it's all done out of God's love for us.
     
  4. Buzzfruit

    Buzzfruit New Member

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    I remember a assistant pastor once told me that to disrespect authority figures is to disrespect yourself because we are all in authority. I realized what he told me was true because as a human being God gave us dominion over the Earth. And since we have been given that by God Himself we should realize that it's not just those that society consider authority are the only authority. Others may not respect that fact that you are an authority figure but that is a fault on there part.

    Unfortunately we live in a world in which human beings are lording it over other human beings; this was never God's plan, but for now He wants us to work within this system. But when Jesus returns His system will not be like that because as Jesus told His disciples they are brothers, so they should not rule over each other. Jesus in effect is saying we are all lords so we should not be lords over others because they are lords themselves. Human beings are rulers or lords over the Earth has only one Lord and that Lord is Jesus. It is very important for me to mentioned here that a pastor, deacon for example is not an authority figure over the members in the Church……they are servants who are there to serve the members.
     
  5. Prentis

    Prentis New Member

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    Cool story aspen. :)

    I was stubborn. Real bad. It's shameful. Until I was confronted with a simple thing the Lord guided an elder to do and didn't like it. I think I bucked for like 6 months! Not good at all guys lol. Then I cried out to God, confused and finally willing to let it go cause I couldnt fix it, and he broke my stubborness.

    It was like Jacob's hip being put out. I can still run if I decided to, but I am humbled, reminded and shown by that dislocated hip that I shouldn't. And the Lord showed me my heart, that can be a scary thing!

    Of course, I'm not done, at 19, I still have lots to learn about authority, especially God's. But that experience turned my stubborness from a carnal strength, to a broken and weak thing. The Lord broke the strength of my old man to allow my new man to overcome in that area!

    If there's anything that I would say about authority that strikes me is how we are instructed to 'submit unto one another', as brothers. We are to be submitted to the anointing of the Lord in each other, Christ in each other. Also, the elder receives double honor in this.

    As far as the authority of God, I'm still learning to be humble and ALWAYS listen, and not buck. Just tonight, I was with brothers, and I had I felt the Lord telling me 'now's not the time, wait until I give you the words'. And this time wasn't one for me to share and bring God into the equation. It was a good lesson, but it needs to go deeper still, I think. :)

    That's exactly what I was thinking about today! :)

    Our time now is training, like the disciples where trained. Then comes the time we are to be empowered, once we have been trained. Just like Christ only started his ministry at 30. When we are ready, he puts us there, but we have to wait patiently and endure the training until he decides the time has come.
     
  6. Robbie

    Robbie New Member

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    I love reading stories about Jesus getting all the self righteous authority figures all upset... those who desired to go around in long robes, loved greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, made long prayers, and loved to be called teacher.

    I love that He who has authority in the Kingdom of God is He who serves...
     
  7. Rach1370

    Rach1370 New Member

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    Every person is under authority. It is dangerous for a person not to be. Wives are under the authority of their husbands, both are then under the authority of the Church. Within the Church there should be authority. The Pastor shouldn't be king of his flock...he needs to be able to answer to the Elders...and of course everyone is under Christ. Jesus Himself said He obeyed the Father. Not because He is less than the Father, but because of different roles. Of course authority within the Godhead is tremendously different from an earthly need for it! But if authority is heeded within the Trinity, why on earth would we think (especially since the Bible tells us it is necessary!) that we shouldn't need it? Yes we have the Holy Spirit guiding us, but until we hit heaven, we are not perfect, even with that help. We still must interact in earthly matters, with other people, in organisations! And goodness, we can see, just here on this site, that just because people are saved, does not mean they all agree on everything! There has to be an order to things, a hierarchy, or else things collapse into chaos and sin...something that definitely doesn't bring glory to God!
    I am not king and lord of my own life...that is Jesus...and under His authority I obey His commands. He has said that I should submit to my husband, that I should come under the authority of my pastor. In turn I have authority over my children. Authority is not licence to be a bossy jerk! It means to have responsibility for someone, to guide, teach, nurture. These are not bad things, and as long as those guiding you love and follow Jesus, we should welcome that authority!
     
  8. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    If you ever get a chance - go read George MacDonald's classic "Phantasms" - it is a fairytale for grownups about losing your ego and gaining the ability to listen to authority.

    MacDonald was a major influence on C.S. Lewis - in fact, Lewis quotes him in practically everyone of his books.
    You can find the book free online and audio (Librivox)
     
  9. Robbie

    Robbie New Member

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    Stoked Christ is my authority... stoked Christ is king and not man... most def don't want another Saul...
     
  10. Buzzfruit

    Buzzfruit New Member

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    Where do you get that from? The pastor does not own the Church......Jesus is. Any pastor that believes the Church is his then he is saying that he is the savior of his Church. No one is in the Church is under any blind obligation to obey whatever the pastor says. I mean, what if the pastor is telling the Church something that is not supported in the scriptures should they believe it just because he is the pastor? The pastor is the servant and is in the Church to serve, not to rule over the Church……he is not their lord and king. So it is not to any man in the Church that anyone answers to but to elders or others in the Church but to Jesus only.

     
  11. Rach1370

    Rach1370 New Member

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    hey, I'm just stating what the Bible tells us should be...not what often happens!
    Timothy, both 1 & 2 is filled with what Church leaders should be. It touches on women being under authority. It also goes through the 'qualifications' of a pastor...in respect to 'caring for God's church'. It also discusses the 'elders who rule'. The pastor or preacher is usually the person who guides the church under Christ...but as you say, sometimes an unwise man is chosen, so God ordained the role of the elder. Read Timothy...it does an excellent job of outlining all these things. Basically, it's just common sense that with any organisation, different people have different roles...it's how something like this functions. But for it to do smoothly...and in this case solely for the glory and worship of God, there has to be order and a hierarchy.
    The very reason that scripture goes into this, is so that every church can safeguard against having foolish, sinful and false people leading them. These people need to have a heart for Jesus, a heart for the people, be humble to learning, but fierce for the truth. Everyone makes mistakes, but the Bible gives us specific qualifications to follow when we choose our pastor and elders. If we followed them more often, maybe we wouldn't have people in pulpits like the one that apparently led Robbie to loose his trust in the 'church'. It is a shame that too many men that have feet of clay are put in a position of leadership. I think the reason Paul wrote what he did to Timothy was to try and avoid that.
     
  12. Robbie

    Robbie New Member

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    You know who has authority in Christ because they'll want to serve you...
     
  13. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

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    Excellent point Robbie.
    The Body of Christ is made up of brothers and sisters, so it is a family, not an organization. The more mature brothers and sisters help the less mature to grow by example through love, patience and kindness towards all.
     
  14. Buzzfruit

    Buzzfruit New Member

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    You need to be much more specific exactly in Timothy you believe justifies what you are saying.

    You claim that the pastor is king over his Church but that is not Biblical....it goes against what Jesus said about not lording over each others. One's qualification as a pastor does not give that person the authority to believe he is king of the Church or that whatever they say the members have to obey it. What the Bible says is what the members should live by is God's word......Jesus is the one that a Christian should obey. People can be deceived and mislead by false ministers of God if they fail to see that, and Jesus warned us of that.
     
  15. Prentis

    Prentis New Member

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    Hmm... I think she said is NOT, rather than is.

    "The Pastor shouldn't be king of his flock" :)
     
  16. Robbie

    Robbie New Member

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    haha... for sure Jiffy... that's what I love about family relationships... you live in a house together with family and eventually you quit pretending... eventually you realize that you all fart... you all burp... you all stink up the bathroom... you all have bad breath in the morning... etc....

    Is there any better feeling than knowing someone knows the truth about you and loves you anyways?

    That's what's so amazing about the revelation of Jesus... God knew we were sinners and expressed the greatest expression of love possible... there's no greater love than to lay down's one life...

    He knew every fart, burp, stink and sin we ever committed and he loved us to the point of self sacrifice anyways...

    That's why I have no problem bowing me knee to Him... because when it comes to Love... He rules!!!
     
  17. Buzzfruit

    Buzzfruit New Member

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    I just check it again and you are correct....so....

    ....I stand corrected.
     
  18. Jake

    Jake New Member

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    I hear what you're saying, training is important, yet it seems God can empower a person before the training is done, younger people can do His work, too, and without God's empowerment, how do we endure the training?
     
  19. Prentis

    Prentis New Member

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    Good point, Jake. I guess it's like the disciples being empowered to cast out demons and etc, it was part of the training.

    God gives us always just as much as we need to learn and continue.
     
  20. Rach1370

    Rach1370 New Member

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    This is true, but there is much more to 'serving others' than just doing want they want. As you said elsewhere, sometimes the best thing for a person is to have their sin pointed out. Sometimes a person has dangerous and foolish beliefs and needs to be steered back onto that narrow road. Jesus came to serve, and yes, he washed the disciples feet, died for all of us. But he also told people to repent, he told parables to point out peoples sin, he warned them that their foolish and sinful behaviour would lead them to hell, and finally he told his disciples to go and teach others. Jesus gave authority to all his disciples to become the first pastors. And then they went out and served people in that position.
    I really believe that we must be careful in who we allow to serve us as pastor...we must prayerfully and discerningly see if they preach and serve for Christ's sake and not their own. But having found a man who's heart is for Jesus, Jesus Himself would have us submit to him, so that he may serve us, guide us, teach us, support us, love us.
     
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