When it comes to authority, if I don’t have it, I generally think the person who does have it is an idiot. Isn’t that how it goes, though? We go to school and enjoy finding some fact online during our professor’s lecture to correct some minute detail and then think we’re somehow more qualified to teach than he is. We punch the clock at work and secretly loathe our bosses’ incompetence. Clearly we all could do a better job than our boss. And let’s not forget the pastor. What makes him an authority any more than me? Why is he up there preaching and not me?
Part of this is envy. (A topic I will discuss in another post.)
But, another part is the general disposition men have against authority. If we don’t have it, we have a hard time respecting it in others. When we do have it, we often think those who come against us are out of line.
I suppose this is why D.A. Horton’s session on “Men & Authority” was so timely. Rather than taking a heavy-handed approach in regards to the topic, Horton gave examples of various types of authority to submit to and when it is alright to challenge authority. There is a time to be passive and a time to be active. Having grown up in “do not touch the Lord’s anointed” kind of church culture, it was particularly useful for me to hear Horton’s exposition on challenging authority in a godly manner and for a godly reason.
Dr. DA Horton & Pastor Adam Thomason talk with TCM Founder C. E’Jon Moore to provide commentary and feedback on their breakout sessions presented during the Man Up 2012 Conference in Atlanta, GA.
Thomason’s presentation on “Men & Responsibility” was particularly poignant, given his challenge for various church camps to come together. And maybe this throwaway line from his session wasn’t the main focus, but it is something I can’t help but focus on and it definitely ties into this issue of responsibility. If a man’s life is fractured into a million pieces—disconnected if you will—how could a person ever hope to be responsible man? The same goes for the church. The church has been fractured into prayers camps, serving camps, theology camps, Reformed camps, Baptists camps, Catholic camps, and so on and so forth. All of these camps call themselves disciples, but how could this ever be? How can a fractured body of Christ ever hope to be about true discipleship? All excuses aside, is this right?
I’m no closer to figure out the answer to the question. I am happy in my Baptist church. My presence there presupposes the idea that I think we get certain things right more than certain other churches, from style of worship to the way the Gospel is present to how we baptize to how our leadership is structured. But, I wrestle with the notion that being happy with the fractured nature of the Church is somehow stunting our ability to responsibly be about the Great Commission in the way the Lord commanded us to be.
Do you think denominations keep us from discipleship?