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Authority

“There is an etymological connection between authority and authenticity. The word authentic is from the Greek authentikos, meaning “original, genuine, principal,” and from authentes, “one acting on one’s own authority.” God, as the author of all being, is the only one whose authority is not derivative. For the rest of us, if we have genuine authority, it must be rooted in some way from above. In order for a created being to have authority, we must be subject to authority.” (Noelle Mering)


“Any form or expression of authority, then, must not be the expression of human pride but of humility before God, of assimilation to the divine hierarchy, and of obedience to the will of Him who alone is called Father (cf. Mt. 23:9). Such obedience is of the very essence ("esse") not simply the well-being ("bene esse") of humanity…All authority is for the sake of loving service (all authority is humbling) and all submission is to God (all submission is glorious).” (Rev. John Chryssavgis, Orthodox Study Bible, Colossians 3:18-4:1)


“In the course of His ministry, Christ was asked on several occasions by what authority He acted. In fact He never explicitly answered this question. Rather, He responded by the way He lived, that is by the authority of love incarnate. Authority outside this Christ-like love is an arbitrary tyranny. Authority lived in the laying down of life for one's neighbor (cf. Jn. 10:11), on the other hand, is creative and life-giving.” (Rev. John Chryssavgis)


“The ideology of individualism first encourages us to question all authority. Then, when this insidious, radical independence becomes fixed in our personality, it creates an inner resistance to submitting to anyone who would direct our behavior and decisions. When such an ideology is accepted by Christians, it corrodes our willingness to obey the tough, saving commandments of God. We start to question the very idea of lordship, and our duty to obey Christ is unthinkingly ignored.” (Dynamis 10/7/2020)


“The fragmentation of Christianity over the past half-millennium has seen the migration of authority from institution (Church, priesthood) to the individual (private opinion). At the same time, human beings have experienced an inner fragmentation in which we are ourselves are often living with any number of inner contradictions. The increase in information has not resulted in greater knowledge, as such. If anything, it has largely served to clutter the inner landscape of our lives with shifting opinions, uncertainty, and the unbridled energies of the passions.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“If she is true to herself, the Church acts with an authority grounded in love. She holds the authority to make her people the children of God. She has the authority to forgive and the capacity to love. And just like her Head, Jesus Christ, she exists to serve and not to be served. She guides her people with love, recognizing that each person is unique and is to be ministered to with an authority based on serving, not being served.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Authority is given, not for self-importance, ambition, or respect, but for useful service to God and His creation…When God delegated some of His authority to the human race, He expected us to take responsibility for the environment and the creatures that share our plant. We must not be careless and wasteful as we fulfill this charge. God was careful how he made this earth. We must not be careless how we take care of it.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 20:24, Genesis 1:28)

“Both authority and personal concern are needed in dealing with people who are ruining their lives with sin. But there are several wrong approaches in confronting others, and these can further break relationships rather than heal them. We can be legalistic and blast people away with the laws they should be obeying. We can turn away from them because we don’t want to face the situation. We can isolate them by gossiping about their problem and turning others against them as well. Or...we can seek to build relationships by taking a better approach—sharing, communicating, and caring.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 13:13)

Christians, the authority to judge is vested solely in God…If we do not accept the call of God in our lives and refuse to submit to His authority, then whoever we are, whatever our position and heritage, we will nullify our claim to be numbered among Christ’s own.” (Dynamis 6/30/2015, 8/12/15)

“Man is created in the image of God, not God in the image of man, yet our personal images of God from our youth are of the authority figures of our lives. God is like a parent who is punishing, a state trooper who sets a speed trap, a teacher who humiliates students with incorrect answers, a coach who judges us inadequate…. Yet Christ is the perfect Icon of the Father, and He says that the Father is like a woman who seeks the lost coin, a father who celebrates the return of the prodigal, a shepherd who leaves the flock for the lost sheep, and the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.” (Fr. John Abdalah)


#AbbotTryphon #FrJohnAbdalah #NoelleMering #RevJohnChryssavgis #OrthodoxStudyBible #Dynamis #FatherStephenFreeman #LifeApplicationStudyBible

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