In the last few weeks, I’ve heard multiple times of un-biblical beliefs and practices related to the issue of “Spiritual Authority”. These bad teachings seem prevalent in Charismatic Christians, but they are everywhere, and have been around since even the times of the N.T. (where they were thoroughly rebuked by Paul and others). They have been institutionalized in the Roman Catholic Church and other professing Christian organizations that claim spiritual leaders have a delegated authority over you that is equal to (or even surpasses) God’s word.
In light of this, I wanted to write this blog post in the hopes that I could make some sort of contribution that will redirect people to what the Bible teaches on this issue. And here is my conclusion: God does place leaders in the church, and does desire organization that accords with the Scriptures. However, those leaders err, and it is the job of all Christians to routinely seek God and His word on what is right, and humbly correct their leaders where they contradict God’s word. The truly good leaders in the body of Christ would embrace and love such God-honoring correction: “rebuke a wise man and he will love you for it” (Prov. 9:9).
So…here are 3 things I put together on this issue:
1) 2015-A Response to Spiritual Authority Extremes (Concise) – e-mail responses written by myself and Rich Geer to a friend who was confronting spiritual authority abuses
2) Scripture or Christian Leaders: What is our Authority? – a response I wrote to a Catholic friend who asked for the biblical teaching on authority
3) Spiritual Authority in the Church (2009) – a short booklet I wrote on Spiritual Authority in 2009, after leaving a ministry that promoted an unhealthy view of spiritual authority
As I said, I hope this speaks truth into the subject. Also, please share if you have more to add on it.