x264......Pastoral Authority--it benefits me --right???

Many many Christians would define "pastoral authority"--as the following concept:

God has set pastors--(perhaps your church calls them bishops--or elders) in the church. These leaders have "authority over" the people in the church. I have been taught that if I am obedient to this "authority" it will benefit me. That I need as a Christian, to have another Christian who has "authority" over me--and that if I submit to this "authority" it will benefit me.

25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. (Luke 22:25)

However, Jesus describes this idea as the governmental concept that is in the world----the concept of governing that the world goes by!

Jesus says that the world has leaders--who "exercise authority" over others. In the world, rulers use power (authority) over others--and this is considered to be beneficial. In the system of the world, it is thought to benefit you if you allow another person to exercise authority over you.

The concept of pastoral authority is clearly the system that Jesus describes as being the governmental system that is in he world. and He says this about it--

"But ye shall not be so:....."

Jesus clearly says not to utilize this type of worldly system in the church, but rather to utilize His system of government--

".........but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve."

43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. (Mark 10:43-44)

In the system that Jesus describes, the chief--the ruler--the one who is great among a group of Christians, shall be the servant of all--not someone who "exercises authority" over the others.

17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)

Now lets look at the scripture that is very often taken out of context with the rest of the Bible and used to create the idea of "pastoral authority." This verse tells us to obey and submit to "them that have the rule over you"

Well now let's put this together. Jesus has clearly defined Christian "rule" as begin servanthood---and specifically as not being "authority over" others. What this verse is then saying is that we will receive benefit from the ministry of others within the church. We should give heed to--listen to the word of God (the "account" Greek:--logos) coming through another Christians' ministry or service to us. The person who is serving among Christians is he who rules--or is "the chief". Christian "ruler ship" is all about ministry or serving one another--rather than using authority over others as is so often taught. It is the word of God which comes through a servant of God (minister) which will benefit us---NOT their rule---only Christ has the rule in the Christian church!

So we see governmental system that functions like this. When we submit--listen to--give heed-- to these who are serving in their gift--when we submit to the gifts in others--we will benefit. When we submit to the service of other Christians, and accept the word of God coming through them, we will profit. They are to "serve us" rather than "rule us" in the worldly sense. We are to submit to the person who is ministering to us at the time--but not to the authority of their will or direction--since God the Holy Spirit is the lead--since Jesus is the Head of the body.


WE must always bear in mind the fact that we as Christians have changed the operational plan of the church (study church history!). The Bible is speaking of and about apostolic church operation--not the "pastoral church" which has been handed down to us by tradition. Church leaders are ususally the nicest, sweetest, most willing to serve people in the world. But they are trying to operate a church that is not Biblical. The Bible church operated from the homes of all people--or wherever the Spirit lead. The apostolic operation of the church was small groups of people, meeting together on a daily basis, praying in the Spirit, and immediately listening to and carrying out the directions of the Spirit. The "assembled themsleves together" in a large group, only on occasion, not by a rule of sabbath keeping. They understood and lived by Jesus example of doing good all the time--even on the sabbath.


We are all to submit to one another--younger to elder and elder to younger. This was a change from the Jewish tradition that existed in the day of the Bible. The elders of Jesus tradition had authority over those who were younger. So now when we understand what Christian rulership is--(servanthood) and that it is not "exercising authority" over others, we can understand the statement of Peter to the elders in 1Peter 5:1-5--

1 ¶ The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5 ¶ Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

"...ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another"

This is the description of Christian leadership. The word translated "subject" is the same Greek word translated previously as "submit" and the same word used in Hebrews 13:17 as "submit"--


upotassw hupotasso {hoop-ot-as'-so} v

----put under 6, be subject unto 6, be subject to 5, submit (one's) self unto 5, submit (one's) self to 3, be in subjection unto 2, put in subjection under 1, misc 12; 40

1) to arrange under, to subordinate

2) to subject, put in subjection

3) to subject one's self, obey

4) to submit to one's control

5) to yield to one's admonition or advice

6) to obey, be subject

++++ A Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".


As we can see by context-and in the understanding of what the Bible says all together about Christian leadership and "rule", the attitude amongst Christians should be one of submission to one another in a voluntary way-- "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden" We ought to look abjectly at Christian history and see that the military concept of submission and authority and rule was substituted hundreds of years ago. Worldly Roman emperors, Catholic popes and Protestant kings have given us our Bible translation, church format, and misconceptions of what rule and submission are. Shake yourself free from church experience, and look carefully and freely at what the Bible is truly saying.

The definition of cooperation, rather than "submission" fits perfectly with the doctrine that Jesus taught His disciples 3 times in Matthew 20, Mark 10 and Luke 22--in fact in Luke 22 Jesus goes on to state that this principle of voluntary cooperation as "submission" is the way the kingdom of God was meant to be operated by His disciples--

"........And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;" (Luke 22:29)

This is Jesus "appointment" of governmental teaching which comes under the New covenant. He is saying here that this is the way to operate under His form of rulership and government--the word "appoint" is as follows--


diatiyemai diatithemai {dee-at-ith'-em-ahee} v

----- make 3, testator 2, appoint 2; 7

1) to arrange, dispose of, one's own affairs

1a) of something that belongs to one

1b) to dispose of by will, make a testament

2) to make a covenant, enter into a covenant, with one


Jesus is telling HIs disciples that this is the governmental rule according to His New Covenant. That this is how He wants His New Covenant kingdom to be ruled--

" And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; (Luke 22:25-29, KJV).

This is the way we ought to stress church goverment be set up. This is the way the Jesus states that His form of rulership amongst ourselves ought to look like---and He clearly says what he doesn't want it to look like--"rulers exercising authority" over others and those who are being ruled believing that this will benefit them.