Authority of Church Leaders

GlorytoGod

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Hebrews 13:17 (New International Version)

17Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
I listened to a rather unpleasant sermon a few weeks ago about how church leaders are placed there by God and that we should follow them, in other words do as we are told.

Now this makes me very uncomfortable and I have no intention of giving any church leaders any authority over me whatsoever.

From a Christian perspective, what do you think of this ?
 
If you go to a doctor ... do you allow him authority over you?

Would you allow a surgeon to knock you out, and open you up, have a rummage, and see what's happening?

Thomas
 
If you go to a doctor ... do you allow him authority over you?

Would you allow a surgeon to knock you out, and open you up, have a rummage, and see what's happening?

Thomas

If i trust them, and if I think they know what they are doing then yes.
 
they used these scriptures to justify the authority of the Church

Romans 13:1-2 (New International Version)

1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
and

1 Corinthians 12:27-28 (New International Version)


27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
where just leaders are said to be gifts.

this sort of stuff makes me uncomfortable :eek:
 
Hebrews 13:17 (New International Version)

17Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
I listened to a rather unpleasant sermon a few weeks ago about how church leaders are placed there by God and that we should follow them, in other words do as we are told.

Now this makes me very uncomfortable and I have no intention of giving any church leaders any authority over me whatsoever.

From a Christian perspective, what do you think of this ?
Hi, GtG. I would say that the leaders having to give an account would be to keep leaders honest and not corrupt. Working with honest and upright dedicated leaders would then be a joy and a blessing to all. However, read about the curse of corrupt priests in Malachi 2...
 
I listened to a rather unpleasant sermon a few weeks ago about how church leaders are placed there by God and that we should follow them, in other words do as we are told.

Now this makes me very uncomfortable and I have no intention of giving any church leaders any authority over me whatsoever.

From a Christian perspective, what do you think of this ?



The downside of living in a democracy is that the benefits of simple obedience are downplayed as time goes on. Obedience is important; that's why we are to honour our mother and father by obeying them up until marriage, when we cleave from them and join to our husband or wife. If one cannot obey an authority that they can see, can one obey an authority that they cannot see?

However, I disagree with the idea that a pastor is a pastor because God made them a pastor. To me, a pastor is a pastor because they decided to become a pastor, and the idea that a person is looking for people to follow them based on God's authority is a bit creepy. They shouldn't have to; if a pastor is living their life for the benefit of others, why wouldn't those others just follow them based on their own.... authority? Authority isn't really the word I'm looking for, though.
 
I listened to a rather unpleasant sermon a few weeks ago about how church leaders are placed there by God and that we should follow them, in other words do as we are told.

Similar arguments were made for all high political figures - essentially, as an extension of Asian beliefs that equated King = God personified.

Hence anyone with authority had to be regarded as God appointed.

The trouble is that once someone claims Divine Authority, they are easily prone to misuse it. Absolute power corrupts...and all that.
 
The downside of living in a democracy is that the benefits of simple obedience are downplayed as time goes on. Obedience is important; that's why we are to honour our mother and father by obeying them up until marriage, when we cleave from them and join to our husband or wife. If one cannot obey an authority that they can see, can one obey an authority that they cannot see?

However, I disagree with the idea that a pastor is a pastor because God made them a pastor. To me, a pastor is a pastor because they decided to become a pastor, and the idea that a person is looking for people to follow them based on God's authority is a bit creepy. They shouldn't have to; if a pastor is living their life for the benefit of others, why wouldn't those others just follow them based on their own.... authority? Authority isn't really the word I'm looking for, though.

well I admit I do have a problem with authority, probably because I am a bit of a control freak.

and I think we should follow our leaders because they are worthy to be followed and on the strength of their personality and merit not because they claim divine authority.
 
The trouble is that once someone claims Divine Authority, they are easily prone to misuse it. Absolute power corrupts...and all that.
And we've seen this in countless situations, too many to allow such authority to exist over anyone. Folks are too susceptable in religious venues, easily taken advantage of by the unscrupolous and whether the unscrupolous join the clergy intentionally or become that way somewhere during the process, either way that risk is enough to say there exists a limit to what you follow.
 
they used these scriptures to justify the authority of the Church

and

where just leaders are said to be gifts.

this sort of stuff makes me uncomfortable :eek:


Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among YOU and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over YOUR souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to YOU.
HEBREWS 13;17



Now we request YOU, brothers, to have regard for those who are working hard among YOU and presiding over YOU in [the] Lord and admonishing YOU;

1 THESSALONIANS 4;12




Shepherd the flock of God in YOUR care, not under compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; 3 neither as lording it over those who are God’s inheritance, but becoming examples to the flock. 4 1 PETER 5;2-3


WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES IS GOOD :)


those who have shepherds, are not led astray , unless of cause they are like rebellious goats and do not want to listen to shepherds.








 
GTG, you almost make it sound as if authority is a bad thing.

Certainly we need watch out for tyrants, wolves in sheeps clothing, false teachers, and false Christs.

But in regards to the Church, any church, no one puts you under authority unless you voluntarily submit to it. If you are going to be involved with a body of believers there has to be order and discipline, just a joining a lodge or club requires certain rules to abide by. And there has to be leadership to encourage adhere to these rules. A pastor's job is lead the church in the direction that he believes God is guiding him and to provide spiritual counsel to those within his care.

That said, the pastor also has the responsibility to God for his flock and thus higher accountability. And he must also recognize first and foremost that Christ is the head of the church and that anything done in the church ought to bring glory and honor to Him. And a wise pastor will seek counsel from other leaders in his congregation, other pastors, and any authoritative scriptures that he abides by so that he can make the important decisions.

At the same time, he ought to recognize that he is human, and admit that he is not perfect. But that he has a heart for God and for people. And people in the congregation ought to regard him as human and not put him so far on a pedestal for him to pridely fall. Yet recognize that God placed him in a position of authority in the church to lead them.

A church working toward a common goal or goals must be organized and each memebr ought to have some part in bringing those goals into fruition. As the pastor sees fit, he may call upon certain members to perform certain tasks. But he's not just going to choose just anyone. He's going to look for men and women who have demonstrated themselves to be faithful in little things before handling larger tasks. New members must first prove themselves faithful with small things simply for the fact that many of them have left without being intergrated into the body. He wants to be sure they are going to stick around.

The pastor is experienced in how the church operates effectively from past experience. He knows the ins and outs, knows what works and what doesn't, for the most part. Say someone wants to start a new ministry, like for example, a food bank for the poor. Well, the pastor may question the practibility of having a food bank, especially when the church is small and ill-equipped to handle a food bank. He may question who would be eligible to utilize the food bank, would it be for less fortunate members of the church or for the general community? How will we know for sure that the recepient is truly needy (there has been a lot of fraud in his past experience)? What criteria would be established? How is it going to be run and who will run it? You know, questions that may not have occurred to the eager member who wants to do good.

If you want to be a loner Christian, then don't go to church. But if you want to be part of a community of believers that band together toward the goal of bringing the kingdom to every creature, then you have to understand that for the sake of unity there must be leadership and authority involved.

One day Christ will show His authority as He rules His Kingdom. We are told that He will make us kings and priests, but what are you doing to prepare yourself as a good and faithful servant. What are your doing with the talents that He has bestowed upon you? Sure, you can do some stuff individually, but there is strength in numbers. Israel had to operate as a nation in order to be blessed, so they submitted themselves to leaders like Moses, Joshua, and David. Christianity is not meant to be experienced individually. How are we ever going to love our neighbor as ourselves if we aren't interacting with them?
 
I think its important for a few reasons and I think you might be in for a lesson soon glory. lol

First off.. we are rebellious by nature and we need to recognize Gods authority over us.. And Jesus being over the church do we trust and obey the authority of our Lord? Do we also trust that God alone establishes all authority on this earth.. from Jesus over the church to government officials your bosses and even your own parents. By rebelling you are giving into that old man that was put aside.. by fearing.. you are giving into the adversary.

Thats why its called faith.. We cannot comprehend His works on this earth... His ways are greater than our ways.. you would not go wrong obeying His word but you might find some trouble by putting your own thoughts and ideas against it..

just my thoughts.
 
The Episcopal Church is often criticized because we don't have a person or body that acts as a strong central authority, so as a result we have a greater diversity of theological views and it can make for discomfort and the challenges that are obvious even to people outside the church.

But I actually think this is a strength of the Anglican Communion, even if it is 'messy.' We are constantly encouraged to keep in communion, relationship and dialogue with each other. We are constantly encouraged to have patience with each other as we try to find God's will among all these different ways of living out our lives together.

The interesting thing, IMO, is that rather than a paradigm of 'authority' we strive for a paradigm of relationship and 'servant leadership.'

Also, I think that some of the quotes GtG posted as supposedly supporting the submission to church authority actually were written to encourage early Christians to not be rebelling against the government and secular authorities of their day, rather than saying that followers should submit to their church leaders.
 
The Episcopal-s sound interesting, Lunamoth.

Marsh said:
However, I disagree with the idea that a pastor is a pastor because God made them a pastor. To me, a pastor is a pastor because they decided to become a pastor, and the idea that a person is looking for people to follow them based on God's authority is a bit creepy.
Hear, hear
 
The Episcopal Church is often criticized because we don't have a person or body that acts as a strong central authority, so as a result we have a greater diversity of theological views and it can make for discomfort and the challenges that are obvious even to people outside the church.

But I actually think this is a strength of the Anglican Communion, even if it is 'messy.' We are constantly encouraged to keep in communion, relationship and dialogue with each other. We are constantly encouraged to have patience with each other as we try to find God's will among all these different ways of living out our lives together.

The interesting thing, IMO, is that rather than a paradigm of 'authority' we strive for a paradigm of relationship and 'servant leadership.'

Also, I think that some of the quotes GtG posted as supposedly supporting the submission to church authority actually were written to encourage early Christians to not be rebelling against the government and secular authorities of their day, rather than saying that followers should submit to their church leaders.

Episcopal is that the same as Anglican ?
 
I would add that not all Christian groups have an idea of strong central authority or even church leadership.

Quakers generally have no pastor. Everyone is responsible for providing insight into scripture and organizing meetings. Decisions are reached by consensus, no matter how long that takes, trusting that God will work in the hearts of all believers to bring them together as one Body.

Amish have pastors, but decide guidelines for the communities through voting, generally with one vote per family with the man as a representative for he and his wife.

I would be wary of anyone who preaches about divine authority and blind obedience based on it. Sounds like on the way to cult-ville to me. Legitimate, good servant-leaders gain a following because they reflect Christ, and so people recognize their wisdom, dedication, and connection to God as something worthy of following. When someone feels the need to demand following, they have already failed at obtaining it through trust.
 
I listened to a rather unpleasant sermon a few weeks ago about how church leaders are placed there by God and that we should follow them, in other words do as we are told.

Now this makes me very uncomfortable and I have no intention of giving any church leaders any authority over me whatsoever.

From a Christian perspective, what do you think of this ?
Tis a method of keeping the flock in order. Do as I say not as I do. Don't go listen to those heretics, the devil will get in you...

Some folks will do anything to keep from losing any more congregants.
 
Tis a method of keeping the flock in order. Do as I say not as I do. Don't go listen to those heretics, the devil will get in you...

Some folks will do anything to keep from losing any more congregants.

well I left that Church sometime ago, I think that they were using scripture to manipulate people amongst other things. But is is a thriving and growing Church.
 
Tis a method of keeping the flock in order. Do as I say not as I do. Don't go listen to those heretics, the devil will get in you...

Some folks will do anything to keep from losing any more congregants.
It is a difficult situation to accept. Which makes me want to metaphorically break somebody's jaw, but in doing so I could do more damage to the flock than to the evil leader. The total sum of such an action would be negative. Instead, I must strengthen and enrich, enable and educate, strengthen and set free. That is the Christian way. The only exception is when someone openly preaches division, then they are a terribly destructive bomb in need of diffusing. To the degree that they try to cut off and isolate people, their strength must be opposed. I think that is also the Christian way.



  • "No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them"

    "A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, scrapes with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing."


    "And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?"
 
I know at my mom's and sisters church this was utilized. Their denomination rotates ministers around from on high...and ministers aren't supposed to stay at any one church for any length of time. Well one they liked was back in the area...about 20 miles away...and more than a few of the congregants didn't like the current one, so they were making the extra drive... Not the current minister but someone above was sent down to tell them how they should stay where they are...
 
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