Is Pastoral Authority Passe

Is Pastoral Authority Passe

In this lawless generation does true authority still have authority?

God has purposed to manifest His authority to the world through the church. For authority to be expressed there must be obedience. 1 Samuel 15:22 lifts its voice to this untoward and rebellious generation and proclaims, “it is better to obey than to sacrifice.” The greatest of God’s demands on man is not for him to bear the cross, make offerings, or deny himself. The greatest demand is for him to obey. Many profess they know how to obey God, but they really know nothing as to obeying delegated authority. The problems facing us today are due to men living outside the authority of God.

Trust and obey. These are the two main beliefs of Biblical salvation. Faith and obedience constitute the dual powers of God-pleasing qualities that must exist in the true believer. “Faith without works is dead being alone.” Obedience has no substitute.

Disobedience is the root of all sin. Sin is described in 1 John 3:4 as “lawlessness.” Lawlessness is disobeying God’s authority, and this is sin!

Two principles exist in the universe: the principle of God’s authority and the principle of satanic rebellion to that authority. We who wish to serve God must have an understanding of divine authority.

Someone properly stated that, “Heaven’s first order is order.” The overall task of the pastor in the church is to establish God’s divine will and authority in the hearts of God’s people. Once an individual understands the principle of divine authority he can see clearly the process that takes place both in conversion of the sinner and the perfecting of the saint. What is salvation? Is it not coming to the realization that we were rebels—rebelling against God and His will for our lives and therefore in need of repentance for our rebellion? And what is “living for God” if not the process of aligning our lives to the divine authority of God that we may be “servants” of the Most High? Ought not we be “obedient children” of our Father?

The most difficult task on the face of the earth is that of the divinely appointed pastor which is responsible to present to the Lord Jesus Christ a “willing and obedient” bride (as was Rebekah). To accomplish this task the pastor must both point to the authority of God and he must exercise authority in the church on behalf of the Chief Shepherd. God must have the preeminence in all things, and the pastor that preaches that principle must be a delegated authority of God—else he is left powerless and incapable of preaching a gospel of authority!

Satanic spirits challenge divine leadership often asking the question: “Are we not all saved, and have the Holy Ghost just like the pastor?” Shades of Korah! Present day Korahites set themselves against divine authority as did their Old Testament counterparts. In a day of the absence of a “budding” rod that quickly and succinctly settles the issue of God’s delegated authority among His people these Korahites challenge the priesthood of God without fear. They devise all manner of laity governments in order to dilute and abolish the authority of Moses—the rod bearer! This hellish ploy is out to rob the pastor of his scriptural authority! A pastor is not called just to preach. He is also appointed to be an overseer. (Acts 20:28).

A Laodicean pastor is required to be a jellyfish! He must swim in the tepid waters of compromise. He will become a hireling or he will not survive long enough to be anything else! This pathetic hireling pastor ( I use the term loosely) ruled by the laity is not, nor ever has been, the will of God. Some, wishing to do harm to the doctrine of divine authority, advocate that the ministry has exalted itself above the people. They use terms such as “exalted clergy” and erroneously claim that “pastoral authority” is a form of the ministry lifting itself above the people. However, the term is used wrongly, the “exalted clergy” in biblical terms is a system of elected officials that rule over their brethren in an unbiblical man made organization. This organization forms a government of clergy over clergy. Nowhere in the Bible can this form of government be found. But much is found in the Bible concerning the authority of a pastor in the local assembly. The pastor being the under-shepherd to the Chief Shepard which both appointed him and justifies him having no man over him nor between him and the flock of God.

God holds the universe together with His authority (the power and authority of His Word), likewise He upholds His church through His authority. Authority flows from the ministry: it flows into people’s hearts and makes them conscious of God’s will and ways. The local church is revealed when God is able to express His authority through men. A church without authority endued in the ministry is destined to rebellion!


Leave a Reply