Friday, April 20, 2007

One Having Authority

Matthew 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Luther said, Calvin said, Piper said, Spurgeon said, Stanley said, Rogers said, Wiersbe said, Pink said etc... Why is it that so few writers/speakers/bloggers say, "Jesus said..."? Reminds me of I Corinthians 3:4, "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" Let me ask you, who is your authority? From the very beginning, isn't that what was unspoken in Satan's address to Eve in the garden..."hath God said?", in other words, who is the real authority? By convincing Eve to rebel against God, she indeed yielded herself to Satan's authority. She believed what Satan said rather than what God had said. By no stretch of the imagination am I comparing to the aforementioned preacher/theologians to Satan. What I am appealing to you about though is the incessant appeals that are made to them and what they taught, rather than to the source itself, the Word of God, Jesus. I am not suggesting that reading and studying these men's works is unfruitful rather, I am suggesting that when we read these men's works, should we not come away with rather, "the Scriptures say", or "God says" or "Jesus says"? I believe that I would be safe in speaking for the aforementioned preacher/theologians that they would all proclaim "follow me as I follow Christ" and yet somehow in the mix, I think that we tend to follow the men rather than the one they sought to follow and wish for us to follow as well. We appeal to these men as "those having authority" and yet if they have authority, is it not but for the single reason that they received authority from God.(Romans 13:1) In submitting to authority is it not really God we are submitting to and not particularly to the men? And why would we submit to these men, is it not because God is our authority?

I think one of the reasons we appeal to these men is because it is easier than wrestling with the text ourselves. A recent blogger was asked what he believed about a passage and instead of answering what he believed, he told the asker to go read someone that he(the blooger) agreed with. That was a whole lot easier than appealing to the text for himself. It is easier to digest what they have already chewed.(you know, in the real world, that is what animals do but for humans, that just seems nasty to me) It is in the wrestling with the texts ourselves that we come face to face with God. And just as Moses face shined reflecting the glory of God, perhaps that is why these respected men shine so? They have been face to face with God. And they in turn say, "The Lord says..." etc., because they have been to the Authority. Quoting respectable men is not what garners authority, or at least in God's economy, it doesn't. Rather, being able to quote the Authority is what gives our words authority.

May it truly be our endeavor, not to get to know these men, but rather to get to know the One they so passionately spoke of.

Have a grace filled weekend...
Luke

4 comments:

selahV said...

LUKE: What Jesus "SAID", and "thus saith the Lord", and "but I say unto you" written in red are the only things we need to make it as Christians. Thanks for this great post. Christ, and Christ alone, is my authority.

I don't discount the power of these men, either. However, any influence they have should be an influence without confusion. It should edify, encourage or comfort, in my unlearned opinion.

When my mind gets tangled up in knots from reading anyone, I go back to the Book--the Living Word of God, and let Him untangle the mess others make in my brain. And when all else fails, I "do not lean unto my own understanding--but trust Him to direct my path."

I'd rather not have someone else think for me. It's all I can do to keep myself from doing all the thinking in my brain. I need Jesus. He clears cobwebs and dusts out unnecessary thoughts far better than I. selahV

Luke said...

SelahV,
"influence without confusion"...isn't it amazing how much we can argue about what they really meant. We get no further with their writings than we do with Scripture at times.

I've also learned by experience that what I learn through my own studying sticks with me a lot longer than whatever so and so said.

Christ and Christ alone. AMEN!

Luke

selahV said...

LUKE: that's what bugs me about commenters who comment about the intent of a bloghost or even that of some speakers somewhere. How do they know what that person meant by something if they haven't asked them? that's why I put very little stock in the opinions of some folks. Let me see their fruit. Then I'll listen. If their fruit is wormy, then I ain't about to take a bite of their apple. Ya know? selahV

peter lumpkins said...

Luke

It is refreshing to see emphasized a word from Heaven possessing authority rather than a word from our heros. Thank you.

I viewed you rules and very much respect your rules of engagement and spirit as you dialog, Luke. I would like to place you on my blogroll if you do not mind.

Would you mind if I had your last name or do you prefer privacy?

You can email me at peterlumpkins@earthlink.net

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter