PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Sunday, January 14, 2007

 

Authority and subordination


Lecture notes

Authority

Authority in the context of a Christian community is about giving personal direction, for someone to be formed to be like Christ. Christian authority is not the same as corporate rules; the focus is on the heart, not the law.

Authority consists in:

- teaching
- encouraging
- correcting
- disciplining
- helping building up the Christian community

Authority is also about giving direction for a life of service. But we, followers, are not under directon for our personal life. In life-changing decisions, it’s still the person’s decision that counts. The bottom line of Christian authority is the care and protection of an individual member.

Posture of a leader: Governing authorities should have a reverence for the responsibilities entrusted to them.

Submission

A Christian follower has a submissive spirit. He/she has a posture of humility.
Submission involves more than obedience; it means being faithfgul to things entrusted to the individual follower. It does not mean passivity but proactivity.

Submission is also a kind of protection from self-delusion.

Submission, though, has limitations:

- if leaders give something not in line with Christian statutes,
- if leaders tell followers to do something that is clearly a sin or wrongdoing,
- if leaders tell followers to do something against their conscience

In the Christian setting, correction is always done in a loving way (Eph.__). In submission, the model is always Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:_-11).

**

"Love one another both for and of Christ."


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