Authority and Submission

I wrote a week ago that what Governor Brown did in ordering us to have no more than six people in our homes at any one time was outside the jurisdiction that government has been given by God and therefore we are not obligated to be blindly submissive to the government when they go that far, and I personally will not.

I wrote about four areas of relationship that God has given authority to, the government, business, the church, and the family. I put verses from the Bible to demonstrate that principle, and you can go back and read that blog to see what they are.

If your boss told you that you couldn’t have more than six people in your home you would laugh at him, even if his motive was to keep you healthy so his business wouldn’t suffer if you died from the COVID. His jurisdiction as your boss does not extend into your home.

That being said, it is important for each of us to be humbly submissive to the authorities in our life unless they move outside their jurisdiction given to them by God. Often we are unsubmissive simply because we don’t like what we are asked to do or because of pride, not wanting anybody telling us what to do. I am often guilty of that.

Wise leaders understand the principle given in the Bible not to Lord it over those who are under their authority, because it always produces rebellion. Bosses often can’t seem to help themselves from being oppressive and domineering over employees, many husbands become abusive to their wives, parents often produce rebels because they go crazy with the rules, and Pastors become control freaks in their churches.

All that being said, as one of the Pastors at Jefferson Baptist Church, I would like to exercise some of the authority that God has given to me.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

1 Corinthians 16:16 that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

1 Timothy 5:17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.

These passages are clearly talking about the leaders in a church, not bosses, governors, husbands, or parents.

So if you call JBC your church home I would like to make an appeal to you as a Pastor of our church. I am not ordering you; I am not even strongly suggesting; I am merely telling you what would make me very, very happy and asking you to consider doing this because I am asking you.

December 7th through the 11th is one of our ”Five Days of Prayer” events. We have four of these each year because we believe that God works in the world, in the lives of people including government leaders, and that darkness and evil are controlled and pushed back in our societies and cultures as we exercise the authority that God has given us as the Body of Christ in our world. We believe that the more people who participate the more power we have, and the more work God will do. At each of these events about half the adult attenders participate even just a little bit. Many are gone, sick or have other reasons why they can’t participate. But many don’t participate because it is uncomfortable for them, or they are busy and don’t want to take the time, or they don’t believe it makes any difference.

So I am asking each person in our church to participate in this upcoming ”Five Days of Prayer” sacrificially unless it is impossible to do so. The purpose of leadership in every area of jurisdiction and authority is to create unity. You can tell good leadership or bad by the unity or lack of unity that there is under a leader. God blesses churches on the basis and strength of the unity that is in them. So my appeal to JBC is let’s pray together with one heart and one mind and see what God will do. You can come and pray in person or via Zoom.

If you have little to no faith in prayer, I would appeal to you to come anyway just because I am asking you to, and see what happens to your faith level. The experience just might change your life.

There may be a few of you, even though I have tried hard to be gracious, have your back up and consider it your right to come or not to come based on whether you want to or not. I agree, it is, but I bet that if you came just because I asked, even if you don’t want to, that God will bless you with joy.

So, even after my appeal to you, and begging on my knees for you to sacrificially participate in our ”Five Day Prayer” event, if you choose not to, I will still love you, I will still go fishing with you if you ask me, I will not pray that gophers infest your yard, and I will not avoid you in the foyer at church.

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