Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.
The defiance of established authority, religious and secular, social and political, as a world-wide phenomenon may well one day be accounted the outstanding event of the last decade.
I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.
The Church is the Body of Christ, and the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. He fills the Body, directs its movements, controls its members, inspires its wisdom, supplies it’s strength. He guides into truth, sanctifies its agents, and empowers for witnessing. The Spirit has never abdicated His authority nor relegated His power.
A Western upbringing tends to stress questioning authority, which is always asking why, why, why.
Leonardo da Vinci
Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.
Max de Pree
In some South Pacific cultures, a speaker holds a conch shell as a symbol of temporary position of authority. Leaders must understand who holds the conch that is, who should be listened to and when.
Prayer is the risen Jesus coming in with His resurrection power, given free rein in our lives, and then using His authority to enter any situation and change things.
Our first remark on this subject is that the ministry is an office, and not merely a work. Our second remark is, that the office is of divine appointment, not merely in the sense in which the civil powers are ordained of God, but in the sense that ministers derive their authority from Christ, and not from the people.
Christ has not only ordained that there shall be such officers in his Church – he has not only specified their duties and prerogatives – but he gives the requisite qualifications, and calls those thus qualified, and by that call gives them their official authority.
God built into the creation a variety of cultural spheres, such as the family, economics, politics, art, and intellectual inquiry. Each of these spheres has its own proper “business” and needs its own unique pattern of authority. When we confuse spheres, by violating the proper boundaries of church and state, for instance, or reducing the academic life to a business enterprise, we transgress the patterns that God has set.
Authority exercised with humility, and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live.
Christ “didn’t merely enter heaven but strode into it as its rightful owner and heir.
Authority is no stronger than the man who wields it.
Authority can be faked. That’s why impersonating a police officer is a crime. Sometimes the outward appearances of authority can be deceiving.
As a preacher who is fully human, and clearly not divine, I can’t speak as Jesus did. But I do seek to speak truth that carries weight and authority. All of us who preach the gospel aspire to speak under the authority of Jesus.
Authentic spiritual authority is what puts you in touch with reality.
I developed a problem with authority. Any time that authority was what I interpreted as being unjust, I stood up to it, and that became my personality.
Like a good parent can’t also be his child’s best friend, a leader with authority requires some separation from subordinates.
His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority with us leaves us no other choice. And his presence in heaven gives us our only hope of success.
The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.
The modern world detests authority but worships relevance. Our Christian conviction is that the Bible has both authority and relevance, and that the secret of both is Jesus Christ.
Traditions tell us where we have come from. Scripture itself is a better guide as to where we should now be going.
Many in the church have turned their back on serious study, and have embraced an anti-intellectualism which refuses to learn anything from scholarship at all lest it corrupt their pure faith. It is time to end this standoff, and to reestablish a hermeneutic of trust (itself a sign of the gospel!) in place of the hermeneutic of suspicion which the church has so disastrously borrowed from the postmodern world.”
N.T. Wright and Michael Bird
Jesus did not tell his disciples that all authority is vested in the books that they would write; he insisted that it was vested in his own person. And yet Jesus’ authority operates through the New Testament message, as it testifies about and on behalf of the risen lord.
Still Looking for inspiration?
Consider checking out our illustrations page on Authority.