Authority--False View

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  • Bible (Correct): Authority originates from God and is given to the Christian (John 1:12) by which we are able to cast out demons and preach the truth (Mark 3:14). The authority comes from the Lord Jesus (1 Thess. 4:2).
  • CS: There is a claim of the Bible being the authority, but it also has thousands of errors. Mary Baker Eddy was, for all practical purposes, the authority figure of the religion and the Bible is to be understood through the “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” authored by Eddy. Therefore, the Bible is not the final authority.
    • “There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance,” (S&H, p. 134).
    • “I do not find my authority for Christian Science in history, but in revelation. If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me,” (Miscellany, pp. 318-319).
  • JW: According to the Watchtower organization, all authority is ultimately from God, but the Watchtower Organization claims to be the authoritative teacher of God’s word to people on earth.
    • "All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave," (Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1994, p. 8).
    • "It should be expected that the Lord would have a means of communication to his people on the earth, and he has clearly shown that the magazine called The Watchtower is used for that purpose," (1939 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 85).
    • "We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the 'faithful and discreet slave' organization," (Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981).
    • "We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his word and channel of communication," (Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967, p. 591).
  • LDS: Authority is found in the LDS church, and its living prophets, which has the priesthood authority from God by which it teaches the “restored gospel.”
    • “The moment a man says he will not submit to the legally constituted authority of the Church, whether it be the teachers, the bishopric, the high council, his quorum, or the First Presidency, and in his heart confirms it and carries it out, that moment he cuts himself off from the privileges and blessings of the Priesthood and Church, and severs himself from the people of God, for he ignores the authority that the Lord has instituted in his Church,” (Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 365).
    • “The Church teaches that every gospel truth and blessing, and all priesthood authority, keys, ordinances, and covenants necessary for mankind's eternal salvation have been, or will be, restored in this dispensation,” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 3:1218).
    • “The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God, through which He created the heavens and the earth and by which He governs the same. It is used to redeem and eventually exalt His children. As given in mortality, the priesthood is the power and authority to act in God’s name. By and through it, one is authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances and govern in the Church,” (“Priesthood Authority,” Church News, November 10, 2007, p. 16).
  • RC: Authority rests in the Roman Catholic Church which claims apostolic succession and the right to interpret scripture, proclaim biblical truth, and forgive sins.
    • "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ," (CCC par. 85).
    • "The Church's Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ . . . " (CCC, par. 88).
    • "The power which they [catholic bishops] exercise personally in the name of Christ, is proper, ordinary, and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately controlled by the supreme authority of the Church,” (CCC, par. 895).
    • “Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ,” (CCC, par. 1495).





About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.