On Who’s Authority?
Updated: Jan 12, 2021
I often reflect that I’d love to have been around during the time of Christ, to sit at His feet, listening to his powerful teachings. The unique authority with which he taught, his amazing healing , and special insight — wow. It’s little wonder that “all” who heard Jesus speak in today’s gospel reading were amazed. The priests of that day, preaching in the synagogues and the temple, taught with no such authority or passion.
Did you know that Bishops, consecrated into apostolic succession, teach with similar authority of Christ’s Apostles? We, in turn pass that authority on to succeeding generations of bishops, priests and deacons. We have been given the responsibility, and even the authority to preach the Good news of salvation to our present age. But, the caveat is that we must be faithful in teaching what we have received, and not substituting our own particular agendas.
This teaching authority is actually a two-edged sword, there are literally consequences for teaching false doctrine that leads our followers away from the TRUTH. This is just one reason why, we, at Saint Nicholas OCC are such so dedicated to traditional exegesis, or teachings that are historically accurate. We fervently believe that those teachers of new-age, politically correct doctrine, have no God-given authority to do so, and are therefore a danger to their followers, leading them into destruction.
Nowhere in scripture do we find authorization to create new doctrine simply to comport to modern whims. To the contrary, in Ephesians 4:14 we are admonished to beware of such teachings — “that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error.”
In these last days, we are in a time foretold by St. Timmothy where preachers care more about being men pleasers, rather than being faithful to the Holy deposit of Faith — “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
So, you should be asking yourself; can you trust your bishop, pastor, preacher? Are they teaching historic truth, following the wisdom of this world, or are they following the TRUE authority, handed down from Christ and His apostles? “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” 1 Corinthians 3:19
We as followers of Jesus Christ need to understand that there is only ONE TRUE gospel. Teachers of false doctrine are little more than “thieves and robbers,” (John 1:8) or, “wolves in sheep’s clothing, seeking whom they may devour.” (Matthew 7:15)
My sisters and brothers, if you truly love God and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28), then you’ll need to seek out a Church that’s remaining faithful to the Authentic Deposit of Faith, one that heeds the AUTHORITY of Jesus, and not the wisdom of this age.
Prayers and blessings,
Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.