View Full Version : Authority..
02-27-2005, 12:46 AM
Jim, I read your post to our newest member, and I have a question relating to authority and Christianity. Should I refer this to a different forum? Please advise - Thanks!
02-27-2005, 12:59 AM
I'll move this thread to the Bible Q&A.
02-27-2005, 01:06 AM
I'll probably need to answer it tomorrow. It's midnight here, and I'm going to bed.
02-27-2005, 02:11 AM
OK - Goodnight!!
02-27-2005, 03:13 PM
But where's the question?
02-27-2005, 04:58 PM
The question BASICALLY is why do Christians feel the need to submit to aurhority? What is the "thing" with submission, anyway? Does it mean to God? - That is totally understandable.
02-27-2005, 11:16 PM
Great question, Madge. Our "thing" with submission is that we are commanded to do so in Scripture.
So what does it mean to submit? "To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another." Let me tell you how submission works. Submission is a choice I make to yeild to the authority of someone else. Do I have to submit? No, that would be slavery. I choose to submit.
Who are we supposed to submit to?
First, to God (Acts 5:29; Ephesians 5:24). He is the final answer on all moral questions. If the Bible tells me to do one thing, then I choose it over my own opinion or desires or someone else's opinions? Why? Because I trust that the Creator of the universe knows what is best for me better than I do. If he is God, then he is also Lord. If He isn't Lord, then He isn't God.
God comes first. All of the others are not in any particular order. Anytime any of the others asks you to do something contrary to Scripture, you submit to God first.
Second, we submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21). We recognize the importance of honoring other people. Of course, if anything they tell us to do is contrary to Scripture, then we revert to submission number one.
Third, we submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17). Why? Because God establishes all authority. As always, we submit to God before government. If Hitler tells me to kill a Jew, I take a bullet first.
Fourth, we submit to our church elders (leaders) (1 Peter 5:1-5; 1 Corinthians 16:15-16). Again, God establishes all authority.
Fifth, we submit to our bosses at work (1 Peter 2:18-21; Ephesians 6:5-9). Peter made a big deal out of the fact that you don't just submit to the good bosses that you like, but also to the bad ones. BTW, bosses are supposed to treat their employees in the same way (Ephesians 6:9). Bosses aren't supposed to threaten their employees because God is the boss of both of us.
Sixth, the Bible teaches that children are supposed to submit to their parents (Colossians 3:20; Ephesians 6:1-4). Parents are not supposed to exasparate their children.
Seventh, the Bible teaches that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3). This is the one that most people get hung up on. Why? Because men like to quote it when they don't get what they want. They ignore the rest of the passage that talks about husbands loving their wives like Christ loved the church. They ignore the part about being willing to die for their wives. They ignore the part about caring for their wives and treating them like fine china, about treating them with respect. They ignore the part about treating them as fellow heirs in the grace of life. They also ignore the part about submitting to one another. Of course, the most important thing they ignore is that by not treating their wives right, the Bible says that their prayers will be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).
How are men supposed to treat their wives? "To sum it up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for that very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:8-9).
02-27-2005, 11:20 PM
Why does God tell us to submit to these different things? Because He is God, and He knows what is best.
Here's the deal. Most of those passages point out that it is better to submit to a bad boss, a bad parent, a bad government, or a bad spouse. Why? Because of the example it sets. Why? Because we serve as if we are serving the Lord rather than men. Our reward will be in heaven. If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, it is commendable before God (1 Peter 2:20). If you suffer for doing good, you silence your critics (1 Peter 2:12, 15).
It doesn't mean that we roll over and let other people mistreat us. We don't stay in physically abusive relationships.
I remember driving down Coit road while listening to a radio show where a local judge answered legal questions for the callers. One of them asked his advice about starting a business with a partner. The most important thing to do, according to this judge, was not to make the partnership 50-50. He said that one person needed to have more than 50% so that when there was a disagreement, one person had the final say. Most of the legal problems he saw regarding partnerships were when there was no one single person in charge. The first time they couldn't agree to something, they split up. All of that said, this is earthly wisdom. I submit to others because God told me to.
Here is how Christians should look at it -- when two of us can't come to a conclusion on a topic, we first look to see if it is a moral issue. If it is a moral issue, then we go with what God says. If it is not a moral issue, then my first choice should be to defer to the other person. If we both have that attitude, then we'll probably go with the choice of the person who has more experience. For example, when my wife and I have a disagreement, my first responsibility is to seek to understand her rather than to have my view understood by her (James 1:19). If it is not a moral issue, then I usually find it is better to defer to her wisdom. She is my helpmate. A good wife speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue (Proverbs 31:26).
My wife seeks to have the same attitude toward me. She recognizes that she is my equal, but that God has established me as the leader of the family. She gives me her valuable opinion, but recognizes that ultimately when we disagree, I have the responsibility to make the final decision. She is glad not to have the burden of having to explain the family's decisions before God. I have the responsibility, but I also take the blame when I make the wrong decision.
Most people get hung up on submission because they don't understand Biblical submission. Submission is not an excuse for us to boss each other around. Quite the opposite.
02-28-2005, 07:07 AM
Thank you, Jim. Unfortuantely I do not have the time I need to ask any further questions because I have to go to work! I'm submitting! :) Seriously - I do want to get into this more with you, because 1.) I trust you and what you have to say and 2.) it's interesting and important. That was very nice of you to take the time for me, and I will return the favor. Have a great day!!! :)
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