Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Simple Profundity & Berean-like Nobility

Say this out loud, 'DON'T QUESTION MY AUTHORITY!' There, you said it. Now think about what you just said...

It's not just a play on words - it's profundity made simple. You plainly articulated the revelation of the cyclical 'power of submission.'

See how that statement can be taken two ways simultaneously? To question my authority is to question my authority! What or who is my authority? Where do I derive or get my authority from in the first place? The extent of your power is stipulated by the source of your submission.

In just the past two days I've had the occasion to share this with three very different young people; the first was over coffee with a young person who aspires for ministry and is addressing the challenges of our day, the second instance occurred during our altar service tonight with a young person who recently ran away from home, and the third opportunity took place with another young person who happened to be en route to a meeting with authority (good timing!).

In each case this simple statement seemed to resonate, connect, raise their hackles and cause goosebumps to piggyback on top of other goosebumps. More important than the emotion they felt was their subsequent actions. The young student is determined more than ever before to establish what it is that he believes, the prodigal son promised to return home and submit to authority, and the latter entered his meeting with a humility that was missing before.

None of us have all the answers, but we have the Book. It is interesting, however, that all the self-proclaimed subject matter experts (be it a teenager or 'theologian') with all of the answers are the very same one's with all of the questions! Questions breed questions, but I've never known anyone who stuck their nose in the Book to get hung up on doctrine. When you question your authority, you bring your own authority in question. When you are outside the umbrella-like covering of authority, you're outside of the Book - and when you're outside of the Book (and into other books or blogs), well, therein lies the root of the problem.

So, don't be so apt to question your authority. Come on guys - this should be second nature by now. Don't ask for directions until you've read the Map for yourself! Then, when you must ask, make sure the spirit behind your question is right. Are you asking the 'inquisitive' question out of a sincere desire to learn and know, or are you asking the 'interrogative' question argumentatively, to debate, to undermine?

Preachers are just as guilty of talking 'shop' and sharing tools and 'tricks of the trade' as anybody - and who doesn't enjoy the occasional clash of a theological sword and the iron-sharpening peer debate sessions? But, all frivolity aside here's some solid history and sober advice for students of the Word and or those who claim to be God-called, chosen 'men or women of the cloth.'

Scripture reveals that the Berean saints were 'more noble' than the Thessalonians because they had a predisposition to believe what was preached, but verified everything against The Book (Acts 17:11)! 'Nobility' connotes one's having kingly blood, or being heir to the throne. My, my. After all, we are kings and priests unto God. Furthermore, 'It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings to find out a matter' (Prov. 25:2).

Before questioning your authority (your Pastor, your shepherd), check in with THE Authority (The Word) and put into practice the noble, New Testament, Berean-like habit of 'searching the Scriptures daily' to find out for yourself 'whether those things are so.'

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