“To define is to limit.” Oscar Wild

I often refer to myself as a “Christian Anarchist” it is about as close as I can get to an accurate label. But it is the closest I can get to what I believe Jesus and the bible presented. Things like Sabbath, Jubilee, rest, and faith, seem to indicate that it’s OK to not know or have everything figured out.

As such defining anything as authority is a bit tricky. By defining I am limiting authority to what I have determined it to be. Authority is something always present or resident vs. something bestowed, proven, believed, observed, obeyed or earned.

My wife and I ate at Red Robin last week, at the end of our meal the server made sure we knew her name was Mary and that if we filled out the survey using the web address on the receipt she would get some sort of recognition. Plus! We are entered in a drawing to win $500, be still my heart. The survey asked the usual worn out question “on a scale of 1-10 how likely are you to recommend Red Robin to a friend.” I’ve started rating places low when they ask these questions because service has become a process to fill a quota vs. being used as a tool to just simply give service as an art form. I’ve had servers ask for a 10 so they can get recognition. This is called a Net Promoter Survey and the system is broken. Businesses that attempt to get only 10’s miss the point of the tool. I feel much the same way when Christians ask me a question about authority. Usually starting with “Is it right for a Christian too, dance, drink, swear, steal murder, rape etc.?” As if eliminating or regulating behavior does anything other then masking or preventing shame. Christianity was never a behavior-centric movement. I don’t believe Jesus ever set out to form a sect or religion. I think if you asked him he would say it should be a lifestyle of love, mercy, and service. The “authority question” is a distraction, unless we love and serve one another. In much the same way we get caught up in being perfect or right in our theology which is a distraction from the purpose.

John 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

“Mercy is a cloak that will wrap around you and protect you; it can block the terror, the dark and most terrifying aspects of your true self. It is soft, has lots of folds, and enfolds you. It can help you rest and breathe again for the time being, which is all we ever have.” Anne Lamott

1Cor. 14:1   Follow the way of love…

One of my favorite parts of the bible is when Elijah found Elisha and what Elisha did with it.

1Kings 19:19   So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”

“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

1Kings 19:21   So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.

It really is simple.

John 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Christianity is doing the unthinkable and at times unreasonable or impossible no matter what the cost. Freely receive, freely give. This is grace, this is Sabbath, this is Jubilee. This is the Kingdom of God.

All that is left is gold, He removed the dross.

Burn the equipment, cook the meat, feed the people.

God takes care of what remains.

 https://synchroblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/june -2018-link-list/

This post is part of the June Synchroblog in which numerous bloggers around the world write about the same topic on the same day. Links to the other contributors are below. If you enjoyed this article, you will also enjoy reading what they have to say about the topic of Authority.

Authority for Believers – Soulcare Ministries

Who Gets To Say What Is Right Or Wrong? – What God May Really Be Like

A Surprising Source of Spiritual Authority – Glenn Hager

Is it the Bible or Jesus that is authoritative for Christians? ANSWER: Yes – Jeremy Myers

Surrendering Our Authority To Jesus – K. W. Lesley

Under Who’s Authority – Layman Seeker

authority? – Metler

The Age of the Spirit – Liz Dyer