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submitting to authority

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Kiwi, Mar 27, 2002.

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  1. Kiwi

    Kiwi Active Member

    517
    +16
    Christian
    Married
    What do you think of the 'submitting to your leaders' theology? I have seen alot of people hurt and burnt by this issue, having done things purely on the basis that some person in spiritual authority over them told them to do it. I know in the Bible it talks about submitting to your leaders but does that mean you become a doormat? Should you submit to someone solely because they are the pastor?
     
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  2. Aikido7

    Aikido7 New Member

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    Sometimes biblical notions can be carried too far, and in fact, most believers stop short of faithfulness to a certain passage and opt out for a more commonsensical approach--even if they themselves will not admit it.

    A good example of this is the Leviticus "holiness code," which is selectively invoked depending upon the social or political matter at hand. These ancient tribal rules become--when lifted piecemeal out of their original context--handy justifications for all sorts of modern judgements, while other Leviticus pronouncements are wilfully ignored because they are rightly outmoded and inconvenient.

    Thinking for oneself is always hazardous and freedom is not truly practiced and enjoyed without some cost. Submitting to authority--whether man's or man's interpretation of God's authority (which is all biblical exegis can ever be!)--is and will be problematic. The recent troubles of the Catholic Church and child abuse bear this out. The notion of obedience can actually be seen as a sign of weakness.

    In my opinion, listening to the "still small voice within" is a better guide than "going along with the crowd" or automatically surrendering my autonomy to an idealized vision of "Mother and Dad," but in this case I must be faithful and strong, because much Christian criticism assails such beliefs as "worldly" or even "New Age."
    It is easy to be dishonored in one's own environment.

    The gospels tell us Jesus was viewed as a glutton and and drunkard by his society (and probably with understandable reason). And let us not forget that his own family thought he was crazy!

    One still has to be careful and use some judgement when "submitting to authority." My advice--and it is only that--is to question authority. But when authority answers back, to listen carefully, evauluate the information, and make a common sense decision.

    "Here on earth, God's work must truly be our own."
     
  3. charlesj

    charlesj Member

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    KIWI:
    When a person obeys the gospel of our Lord, they have a
    "direct" relationship with Him. No one is above that person! (except for the Lord) An elder(pastor), deacon, preacher, evangelist, etc. are NOT "over" a person.
    When the Christian joins hands, ideas, etc. and works with
    other Christians, they become a church. They select qualified people in their group to become elders, deacons,
    a preacher etc. The elders selected "oversee" the flock in
    the church, but they are not "ABOVE" anyone. They make sure doctrine is correct, they teach, they minister to the
    flock.
    The New Covenant church has government, but it is to make
    sure the people (local church) functions correctly.
    Send me a private message with your email address and I will send you "A Pattern of New Testament Christianity." I wrote this some time back and is to long to post here.

    your servant in Messiah, Jesus,
    charlesj
     
  4. filosofer

    filosofer Senior Veteran

    +287
    Lutheran
  5. Hervey

    Hervey Member

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    I will let Charles respond first, but I am compelled at this time to quote > II Corinthians 1:24 - "Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy : for by faith ye stand"

    I posted this at 12:45 pm EST - In case you all wanted to know :D ;) :)

    Love IN Christ - Hervey
     
  6. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    I think we need to look at the definition of sunbmission, and how it has changed over the years.

    In KJ's time, "submission" meant "to voluntarily defer to an equal person who you respect for the sake of keeping order in the relationship." It did not mean, "allow another person to dominate you or abuse you," as is the implied meaning today.
     
  7. Hervey

    Hervey Member

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    LL:

    Your definition of "submission" in the first century is incorrect. We in the body of Christ are to submit unto Christ, because he is the head of the body and the members in the body of Christ, are the wife, as a whole body, unto Christ, and are "not" equal to Christ.(Ephesians 5:23)

    I am sure you are talking about the word - "submitting" in Ephesians 5:21 ? Again, we are to esteem the other, as better and highly than ourselves. (Philippians 2:3 & I Thessalonians 5:12 & 13)

    I think that your definition of "submission", is not first century, but present day, with a little sugar coating. :)

    Love IN Christ - Hervey
     
  8. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    I didn't say it was the difinition in the first century. I specifically said in King James's time.
     
  9. Dave Ulchers

    Dave Ulchers Active Member

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    Christians are supposed to do anything anyone asks them to do, and then some, if the action isn't contrary to the will of the Holy Spirit. "If someone asks you to go with them a mile, go with them two."

    I don't think someone obediant to Christ should have any "spiritual authority" over them, though, save God. "Call no man father, for you have one father, God in heaven."

    And if someone who is not holy is trying to convince you of their theology, I would suggest the scripture "beware the bread of the Pharisees" would apply.
     
  10. Hervey

    Hervey Member

    481
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    LL:

    The scriptures are the only thing that we can trust, if rightly divided. That is why I gave scripture to back up what God says, and not what man says.

    God Bless

    Love IN Christ - Hervey
     
  11. Kiwi

    Kiwi Active Member

    517
    +16
    Christian
    Married
    I asked this because it times past we have had church leaders tell us that we should be doing a certain thing they had told us to do and if we didn't do it we would be in rebellion because we would not be submitting to them, who was the spiritual authority of the church. They then quoted the verse that 'rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft'. Pretty strong stuff. Needless to say we thanked them for their opinion and rejected the offer. They were not to happy.
     
  12. Trace

    Trace New Member

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    The way I see it is that God desires order in the Body of Christ. That is why he has chosen leaders as a spiritual covering for us. Leaders are there to monitor/keep an eye on Gods flock. A shepherd has to keep all his flock together and the flock need to submit. Otherwise we'd have sheep running all over the place. God is a God of order and without submission we would have chaos in the body of Christ. This does not mean that the servant is better than the master, but it does mean that the body is able to operate effectively.
     
  13. edjones

    edjones Active Member

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    Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. Psalm 119:140
     
  14. Dave Ulchers

    Dave Ulchers Active Member

    767
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    There is only one shepherd. All that came before Jesus were theives -- Jesus said so himself -- and many who have come since as well I suspect.

    John 10:
    "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."

    Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came (before me) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.

    "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd."
     
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