authority do the
children of the Father live in the world and form both
faith and conduct? Most Christians join in churches and derive their authority from
that association. There are three types of authority
among churches: Episcopalian, Presbyterian &
Here is a brief statement by a representative from each type.
(Episcopal): The Church
founded by Christ for the salvation of men needs, like every
society, a regulating power (the authority
of the Church). This power
Christ has bestowed upon it. Directly before His Ascension
He gave to the Apostles collectively the commission, and with it the authority, to
proclaim his doctrine to all nations, to baptize them,
and to teach them to observe all things that He had commanded
Presbyterian: In which authority is
delegated by the people to their elected representatives
who rule in their behalf.
In this form of church government, there is no authority outside the local church
except for Christ himself. The Church (local congregation) is complete
within itself and fully capable of determining all matters including
the details of its statement of faith, the selection and (if needed)
the ordination of its clergy, and the stewardship of its own properties
Every type of church governance
claims to derive its authority
from Christ and/or the scriptures. In
every case, the decision maker(s) consult, pray, then decide by vote
and/or fiat. The result is authoritative
for the church and/or
congregation. In practice, however, the decision is made on the
basis of what is most acceptable to the decision maker without
consulting Jesus the Christ. Take the decision to call a pastor for the
local congregation. Be it bishop, presbytery or congregation, the
decision is made, authorized by vote or fiat, and a
pastor called who is, in every case, said to be God's man for the
office. The fallacy arises from the fact that, according to Jesus, God
does not call or assign pastors other than Jesus himself.
FNT I am the good shepherd, and I know
mine and mine know me,
FNT And I have other
that are not of this sheep-pen, and I must lead [these], and they will
hear my voice, and they will become one
flock, one shepherd.
Now, check the word "shepherd"
and see that it means "pastor!" They do not hear the Good
Shepherds voice, so they do not know him, and he does not know
Therefore, their claim to derive their authority from
Christ, who does not authorize
pastors, is false.
[a] dispute also came to pass among them, who of them seems to be
greater. 25 But he said to them: The kings of the nations lord over
them, and those having authority over them are called benefactors.
you [are] not thus, but the [one] greater among you let him become as
the least, and the [one] leading as the [one] serving. 27
For who is greater,
the [one] reclining or the [one] serving? Is it not the [one]
reclining? But I am in your midst as the [one] serving
not be called Rabbi, for one is your
teacher, and all [of] you are brothers. 9 And do not call [anyone] your father on
the earth, for one is your father in the heavens.
be called leaders, for your leader is one, the Christ
There are no offices, orders, or authorities within the Little Flock
of disciples. Churches need them for three primary reasons:
(1) To define faith and doctrine. Jesus does that for the Little Flock.
He is our only teacher.
(2) Selection and ordination of clergy. There are none in the Little
Flock. The Good Shepherd is the one and only shepherd.
(3) To administer its properties. The Little Flock listens only to
Jesus, and does as he instructs regarding these things. It needs
no other manager of resources. The bottom line? My sheep hear my voice, and I know
them, and they follow me ...(Jn.10:27 FNT)