Subject: Re: christian?or/kiptian? From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Catherine Hampton) Date: 1996/10/07 Message-Id: <email@example.com> Newsgroups: alt.religion.christian.boston-church [More Headers]
: >Spiritually, Jesus says that "All authority on Heaven and on Earth has
: >been given to me." (Matthew 28:18) And his words are in the Bible.
: Agreed that all authority belongs to Jesus. Amen.
: Would you mind describing your interpretation of that verse in your
: own words?
: <Hint: the Greek may be helpful>
In a spirit of helpfulness :> -- here is the Greek original (rather strangely transliterated by yours truly) and an extremely literal word-by-word translation:
kai proselthon ho Iesus elaleysen autois legohn: AND APPROACHING (THE) JESUS TALKED TO THEM SAYING: edothey moi pasa exousia en ouranoh kai epi [teys] geys. WAS GIVEN TO ME ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND UPON THE EARTH.
The main word being discussed is, of course, exousia, translated by the NIV as "authority." That's probably as good a translation as any you'll get in English, but the word means something more than what we think of as "authority". It's primary root meaning is "power" -- not in the sense of brute force, but of influence born of a deep understanding of the thing over which one has "exousia". It implies, not just the =right= to rule heaven and earth, but also the intrinsic ability to do so.
In this passage, Christ is claiming He =knows= the heavens and the earth, and that they will do His bidding because He knows them intimately and is therefore their rightful master.
This is a claim no man could make unless He is also God or deranged. I suspect anyone who claims authority over others based on this verse needs to do a bit of homework and find out what it is really saying.
Now, that pesky verse in Hebrews :> ....
peithesthe tois eygoumenois humon kai hupeikete; OBEY THOSE LEADING YOU AND SUBMIT [TO THEM]; autoi gar agrupnousin huper ton phuxon humon hohs THEY FOR WATCH ON BEHALF OF THE SOULS OF YOU AS logon apodohsontes; hina meta xaras touto poiohsin ACCOUNT TO BE RENDERED; SO THAT WITH JOY THIS THEY MAY DO kai me stenazhontes; alusiteles gar huim touto. AND NOT GROANING; PROFITLESS FOR TO YOU THIS.
As you can see, there is no word to be translated as "authority"; evidently the NIV translators felt that it was implied by the imperative verb hupeikete. I don't really have a problem with their reasoning if the word authority is understood as the responsibility of a caretaker or guardian. The rest of the verse implies this. It also implies three other things:
While Christ cares for us and wishes us well, the authority granted to Him is absolute. He does not have to render an account to anyone -- He is God. The heavens and the earth belong to Him. Any "authority" granted to the leaders of the Church is an entirely different class of thing. The only places in the New Testament where human beings are spoken of as having coercive authority applies to civil leaders or, in a couple of cases, Jewish religious leaders.
Church discipline in the New Testament is the function of the whole church. For example, St. Paul asks the Corinthians why THEY (not "their leaders") had not put out of their fellowship the man who was having an affair with his stepmother. Further, in the New Testament St. Paul discusses what to do if an elder/leader is accused of sin. (I Tim 5:19-20) An accusation is not to be admitted except with two or three witnesses, and those found guilty are to be REBUKED PUBLICLY so that others will take warning. (This is =distinctly= different that usually happened in the discipling movement.)
There was absolutely no implication that any human leader was above the law, in any way exempt from the standards the rest of the Church was expected to uphold, or above criticism.
There are at least a couple of people participating in this newsgroup who knew Kip far better than I did, and at far closer quarters, who could add to this, but.... The evidence of far more than two witnesses suggests that he has lied time and again, slandered people out of malice and hatred because they opposed him on something, and thrown people out of what he (and often they) believed to be God's church.
Personally I think it's time and past time to rebuke him publicly, not because I think he will repent (although anything is possible), but so that others will take warning and not follow in his footsteps.
End of sermon. <wry grin>
Under the mercy,
©1996 by Catherine Hampton <firstname.lastname@example.org>. All rights reserved.
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