When George Whitefield came to America in the mid 1700’s – He encouraged the people to ask:
Is your preacher really saved?
Whitefield reversed the European hierarchy of top down authority of:
This gave America it’s never ending Pentecost understanding of the line of authority “of the people, by the people, for the people” government, church & society. This idea was peculated by Wycliffe, animated by Luther, penned with the blood of Tyndale (Also written on the inside front cover of his Bible), and explained by Lincoln at Gettysburg as our national identity! This line of authority rest in:
- God & His Word
- The People
The people are not always right, but neither are kings, clergy or others who have been entrusted with power. There is still a line of authority and we must understand when, where, with, or against whom to exercise responsibility to submit or stand against it or them!
Chaos is not God’s will, but neither is silence nor capitulation when others misuse their trust of authority. Shall I list the great prophets of the Bible or those who have also turned our world upside-down throughout History? Ok, I will give a few. See one of my favorites Micaiah in 2 Chronicles 18, or read how Athanasius followed the apostles prim-directive (Acts 5:29) of obedience:
But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.
Below is an article from a Catholic women who I greatly admire. She is a cultural warrior for Biblical morality and faith filled families. But – men especially – while your reading ask yourself if she is not a figuratively Jael? Jael had to do a man’s work because the men where so afraid, ill equipped & lacked courage?
But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.
Laity Should Act When Clergy Won’t:
Let’s face it: The 2015 Synod on the Family is a mess. I was one who gave Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt. I now have my doubts about him. And I have no doubt at all that some of the men surrounding him are either heretics or lunatics or both.
The real question for us as lay people is this: what exactly can we do about it? We do not have full information about what is going on over there. Giving advice to cardinals and bishops is not likely to work. Screaming at them even less so.
As faithful lay people, we believe all that the Church has taught about marriage, family, and human sexuality. We do not want to see the Church water down that teaching, or surrender to the Sexual Revolution. It would be tragic indeed, if she did so now, right at the moment when the wisdom and beauty of her ancient teaching is becoming daily more evident from experience.
So what are we, as faithful lay people, to do about this? What has the best chance of cutting through the noise and having an impact?
by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse