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Christian Authority

Updated on August 15, 2013
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Can a Christian Lose their Authority?

Jesus declared, "You shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you."

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that devout Christians possess a certain kind of influence. You see them on the school grounds, at work, in colleges and homes. When they move, they command a certain mysterious and desirable aura. You cannot specifically pinpoint it, but you know it when you see it. It is warm, it is safe and it is comfortable to be around.

I have been in meetings where everyone seems to wait on one unlikely candidate to make their view known. People can be going back and forth, but when this individual speaks, everyone calms down and pays particular attention. Not because they are in a position of power, but even leaders take note and treat them differently. Often, with careful choice of words whenever they need to reprimand them.

Christians are supposed to have influence. Positive influence. They are supposed to set tone of any moral dialogue, fairness, integrity and wisdom. They are supposed to bring sanity wherever there is confusion. The Bible says, we Christians are the salt of the World. We are supposed to promote justice, peace and reconciliation. We are supposed to lead the way in taking care of the orphans, the elderly and widows. We should take the lead in promoting tolerance for individuals who may hold different beliefs or values from us. To take care of those less advantaged in some way.

Every Christian have influence

Genuine and lasting influence is not something you can wear like a jacket, title or position. It is what you are. What people see, feel and sense about you. It is a combination of your overall personality and character. The values you hold and how you treat others. You can call yourself a Christian and do traditionally what society expects of you, but your influence goes beyond your mere activities.

Have you ever taken the time to study Christian leaders and observed why others seem to make a larger impact, while others flounder along. Yet the two leaders appear to read and preach from the same book? What makes the difference? I strongly believe that some answers lie in the following:

1. For one, authority comes from their position, while for the other; it comes from both position and personality. Personality is always stronger than position - people are attracted to those they like. This is beyond beauty or physical attraction, although these can contribute to a certain extent.

2. For one authority comes from following established rules, while for the other it is derived from their character. Integrity is what makes people trust you. Following rules does not make anyone trust you. Anyone can do that. What you do when there are no rules is what makes a difference.

3. For one authority is viewed as a personal achievement, while for the other, authority is seen as an avenue to serve others. People are generally self-centered. They want to see what is in there for them. So, the one who genuinely serves others ultimately becomes a favored leader.

4. For one, authority may come from pretending to love people, but only temporarily. People will soon find out your true colors. For the other, genuine love for people is what brings lasting authority. Moreover, people will remember what you did for them, no matter how long it takes.

Christians, therefore, can and do lose authority when their lives are no longer a reflection of Christ. For we are to emulate Christ in all we do and how we live our lives. As reflected in the two most important instructions given by Jesus – “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength; and; you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

Nothing else gives you more influence than a genuine love for God and people.

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    • Fuller-Life profile imageAUTHOR

      Fuller-Life 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      Lady_E thanks for visiting and for your nice comments. Indeed, living a compromised life opens you up to attacks from the enemy. It limits your authority.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      Very interesting read and I like the points you raised. I personally think a Christian can/will lose authority if they are not living right and also they will become more vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.

      Best Wishes.

    • Fuller-Life profile imageAUTHOR

      Fuller-Life 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Mhatter, great to have you here. What's your take?

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      i think this is a good discourse. i serve.

    • Fuller-Life profile imageAUTHOR

      Fuller-Life 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      Dave, I beg to disagree with you on that one. John 1:12 "yet to ALL who received Him, to THOSE who believed in His name, He gave the (authority, right, power) to become children of God. By simply becoming a child of God you receive the authority that every child of God is entitled to. That alone gives you access to all the privileges of heaven. It is that same authority the Jesus reemphasizes in Matthew 28:18 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, in this same authority, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and of Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you...

      The second level of authority, I believe, comes by the baptism in the Holy Spirit which was promised to the church when Jesus told his disciples to wait for - Pentecost. This authority adds on to that which you already received when you became a believer, and it's for empowering you to do effective service/ministry. Thus, it's not "IF one receives" it's a question of "WHEN one receives." Romans 8:9b If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Fuller-Life: My comment said "If one receives" implying that not just everyone receives.

    • Fuller-Life profile imageAUTHOR

      Fuller-Life 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      Dave Matthews, I agree with you that authority comes from God. But are you suggesting that there are believers who never receive authority from God?

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Authority is from God Almighty. If one receives it, it is a special gift.

    • Fuller-Life profile imageAUTHOR

      Fuller-Life 

      6 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks Teaches12345. I totally agree with you that "we have to live what we believe." There is no better determiner of character than that. Thanks for visiting and your insightful comments.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Your statement, "Genuine and lasting influence is not what you wear like jacket, title or position. It is what you are. What people see, feel and sense. It is a combination of your Personality and Character" hits the bottom line on how we Christians should live. We have to live what we believe if we are going to make any positive difference in this world. Voted interesting and useful.

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