Authority

The LDS Church is all about authority. According to the Mormons, before Christ died, he bestowed his priesthood authority to his apostles, and then through the apostasy, this authority was lost from the earth. The priesthood was then restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the 1800s.

Conner and I have been trying out other churches lately. At the one that we’ve gone to for the past few weeks (Cedar Ridge Community Church), the pastor has been giving a series of sermons on the Bible.

This past week he talked some about authority, and what he said really resonated with me. Mormons (and I believe Catholics, but I’m not sure about that) believe in priesthood authority; the authority that one holds and that is bestowed upon them. Evangelical Christians believe in Biblical authority–that the Bible is the ultimate authority.

The end of the Book of Matthew, Chapter 28 (verses 18-20) says:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

So, Jesus has the authority.  He didn’t give it away.  He didn’t give it to the Bible–the Bible just (ha! just… that’s probably not the best word for this!) contains his words.  It’s a great place to learn about Christ, to draw closer to Him and to understand Him better.  But it isn’t salvation.  It doesn’t contain any authority.

Then He says to go out and teach and baptize and all that.  And then “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Now, I think I would prefer to have Jesus with me than the Bible.  (again, not trying to detract from the Bible here)  He has the power.  He retained the power.  And if I approach Him, He will be with me.  Surely, He will.

What good news!

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4 responses to “Authority

  1. I’m with you. I long for Heaven so that I can be with Jesus, not the Bible.

    What a sorry state Christianity is in that we need to point out that Jesus is the final authority. It’s a real testimony to grace that God puts up with us.

    Just to clarify some things about Protestantism. We also have the priesthood, but we believe the true followers of Jesus make up the “priesthood of all believers.” Male or Female, Jew or Gentile, Free or Slave.

    The Bible has authority (as does the priesthood), but clearly Christ is our final authority and He is the One from whom authority is given to anyone or anything. Often Protestants have given so much emphasis to the Bible that others have accused us of worshipping the Bible or putting our faith in the Bible. I would hope that all Protestants, no matter their devotion to the text would rightfully see that as heresy.

  2. Thanks for the clarification, Dando! I honestly don’t know a whole lot about Protestantism (yet!), so I’m glad you cleared that up for me. 🙂

  3. Dear Dando,
    Very interesting indeed. Protestantism dose believe in the authority of faith, which, if I’m not mistaken, consist of the body of, Christ correct? Thus, all believers that fall into the body of Christ thus become “priesthood of all believers.” Very interesting.
    I must concur with Katy Jane, the bible dose not have the authority, in fact how can a book which has so many different versions, interpretations, manipulations really exhibit divine authority? And if it were truly divine then how is it that the world has spawned so many different religions (divisions of the body of Christ). These divisions were very, and strictly, prohibited by Paul (see. Galatians, Corinthians). So, my conclusion is that the bible cannot be an authority.
    Also, not to cause contention, the idea that “all believers” = priesthood is against the bible on almost uncountable points. For example, the Leviticus tribe were the only ones who held the law and the authority to enter the tabernacle. Also, the 12 apostles were the only who could perform and work in the direct command of Christ.
    Thus, it cannot be given to just any believer (in Mathew it says that in the last days there are those who did great things in the name of Christ, and were believers, yet he says “I know ye not”)
    Thank you
    John

  4. I have also been thinking about a way to show everyone that there could only be one true religion. this is , and must be, Logical…
    Well I did, it here is a logical proof that i published in a jornal of philosophy recently..

    1. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then God would be able to use his omniscient and omnipotent abilities to achieve a state of absolute perfection. (premise)
    2. If God is absolutely perfect, then God would not be mutable. (premise)
    3. If God is immutable, then his truths must be absolutely perfect and immutable. (premise)
    4. If God’s truths are immutable and perfect, then the only religion that reflects these truths is true. (premise)
    5. Thus, if God is omnipotent and omniscient, then the only religion that reflects these truths is true. (1-4)
    thus we see that if we are not in a religion that reflects all the truths of God it cannot be the true “church.”

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