Thus Saith the Lord, Or Not
As Christians, we are all children under our all knowing God. All are sinners, living under God’s mercy. God gave us the Bible, so we could know him. We can, from the Bible, know what makes God smile and what makes God frown. God died for us for a handful of reasons. One reason is that we could kive before hin as sons and daughters rather than living in fear of not being accepted. We follow God’s commands in the Bible out of love ideally.
A Christian brother of mine can rebuke me for being unkind to my child. He can do thus out of love as God fills his heart. I can give him advice on how to see his boss if he needs guidance. Mutual relationships among God’s children is best.
Let’s Look Through the History of the Church
Between 100 and 200 AD, the New Testament was being hand copied and distributed often one letter at a time. Books were very expensive as all were hand copied. As such few people could read. The text was written in common Greek to reach the widest audience. Men who wanted power produced false letters claiming to be from an apostle. How could common illiterate people know the Bible or know which letters were authoritative? Men who had know the apostles personally could authoritatively say which book were true. These men were the first Bishops. Priests had to learn to read Greek. The people could learn from the voice of the Bishops and priests. The priests could say this says the Lord, and read the gathered letters of the New Testament to the gathered people.
By 325AD, the 27 letters that make the New Testament were were mostly fixed. All of the main letters had been identified long before. However, the letters in the edge were more doubtful like Jude and 2 and 3 John. No books have changed since 367 AD.
After this time, the authority of the Bishops should have come down as the Bible could be the word of God directly.
When Could We Stop Saying Thus Saith the Lord?
The Western Church, needed a good complete translation of the Bible into Latin. Jerome finished it by 410 AD. All New Testament letters were hand copied all the way to nearly 1500AD. Some authority would always accrue to whoever was literate. However, they should not claim all authority. All should be brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, the Bishops liked power and gathered more and dared to make more rules beyond the Bible that people must obey.
By the 16th century, books became vastly cheaper and literacy rose dramatically. Translations into the languages people speak gathered as well. This put pastors into a new world. Now, the people could all read the New Testament and understand what it means. It is quite rare in this blog that I try to teach you what the text says as it is plain enough for the main things.
In some Pentecostal churches, people will have a prophecy to share with others. They might say, “Thus says the Lord.” Leaders in the community can see when people have prophecy that are not actually from the Lord. Some people reject all modern prophecy; some accept virtually all. We must be very careful not to step beyond the boundaries of the Bible regardless.
We Must Beware of Too Much Authority Outside the Bible
A Christian brother of mine said that a certain modern politician is The Chosen One. This is beyond the Bible and heretical. Only Jesus is the Chosen One. So Jesus has all authority. If you say there is a new Chosen one, then you have left the teaching of the Bible. Anyone named the Chosen One would have ultimate authority over people while the Bible says we are all priests and are equally children of God. No one should claim authority beyond the limits of the Bible. Such authority to tell me which job I should take or who I should marry only lies with God. Some such people who have accepted too high a power have been put in prison in the US in recent years, and none of them are martyrs. They have left the truth of the Bible behind.
We must not develop such authority among us. Pastors might lead a church. Christian non profitt leaders may lead their organization, but none have ultimate authority over the people they lead or should not. We need to live under the umbrella of Galatians 5:22-24.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
This is the parameters we live under. No government denies us the right to do these things not will they. We should demand no more. We must live in this space as children of our Father. It is an immense space He gives us to live in. He also gives us freedom from any human domination.