By Dr. Stephen Phinney
How many men do you know today who have a great relationship with their authorities? I know few! A servant leader knows and understands this critical need of participation in an intimate relationship with another leader. It is what makes him a great leader.
As patriarchs, we have been called to submit ourselves to every human institution of authority. When we do this, we actually prove what is right. Men, who master the art of submission, learn the secret to dealing with harsh authorities--we silence their ignorance. Most men are provoked to go “hand-to-hand combat” with aggressive and unreasonable authorities. This only proves our own ignorance.
God wants Christian patriarchs to act as free men, but not to use their freedom as an excuse to cover-up their rebellion against authority. It is far more important to show other leaders we are than it is to win the battle of influence.
God wants us to honor all men, love and serve others, fear Him (not man), and even honor an unreasonable authority figure. We have a mandate put on us to submit to our authority figures, not only to those who are kind and reasonably logical, but also to those who are unreasonable and who have not earned our respect.
Patriarchs have been called by their Supreme Patriarch to suffer like He suffered. One of our greatest temptations is to revile (disgrace) when we have been mistreated. Reviling is a fancy way of saying, “You threaten me--I threaten you.” The only way to stop ourselves from threatening others is to trust the threatening person with the true Judge, God. Men who revile others are attempting to heal themselves through “leveling the playing field.” Revenge is what causes us to stray from Christ. Submitting to authority figures who revile, purifies us and deepens us close to our Shepherd.
Because men have been wounded by their fathers, they tend to set up their own style of worshipping the Lord, outside of the authority of the church. These men are guilty of anarchy and being “pew” sitters, i.e. coming to church like it is a movie theater, then leaving and deciding on their own how to apply it. A true patriarch will devote himself to submitting to Christ, church leadership, the body of Christ, and the structure of the local church. Anarchy or patriarchy?--that is the question!
NEXT: Patriarchs Who Provoke
Patriarchal Authority. Copyright © 2013 IOM America. Permission to reproduce for educational purposes. Please keep author’s name intact.
All Scriptures, unless otherwise stated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.