Paul's Passing Thoughts

Does the Bible Have Authority?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 24, 2018


Does the city you live in have authority? The best way to find out is to run a red light in front of a police officer. Yep, they have authority. Church and politics are one of the few venues where you can get amens for proclaiming things blatantly contrary to reality.

One of the big ones is the whole “the authority of Scripture” gig. I am still looking for a passage where the Bible claims such about itself, but this would only add to a long, long list of church truisms that are merely the traditions of men. An example is Matthew 18 being about “church discipline” and how the elders are to use it to maintain order in the church. Neither church discipline or elders, or anything close to the idea of either, are found in the passage. In fact, “church discipline” is nowhere to be found in the Bible. Maintaining order among God’s people is pretty simple; home fellowships are in private homes so if someone is out of line, the homeowners tell them to leave, and if they don’t, they call the police. If the issue is resolved via Matthew 18 fellowship is restored. Pretty simple, but why does institutional church drama always escalate into more and more drama? Because it’s an errant and unbiblical model.

Let’s be honest, whenever we hear mumbo jumbo about the authority of Scripture it’s really about the authority of those who interpret the Bible for us. The Bible says what the church says it says. However, the idea is propagated that “gawdly” elders rule over the church as guided by Scripture…until you disagree with their interpretation and consequently find out where the real authority is. That is, in their own mind.

The Bible doesn’t have any authority; it merely exhorts people to choose life and informs them on how to add life abundantly to our existence. CLEARLY, the Bereans held the apostle Paul accountable to their own understanding of Scripture. If there is any authority at all it is individual conscience.



4 Responses

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  1. John said, on May 24, 2018 at 9:52 AM

    Yes, but didn’t you know that elders have special knowledge and insights and keys and stuff? And pastors have authority beyond any authority anywhere? This deluded bunch is directly (in some of their minds, directly above Jesus) in the chain of command, just slightly below “my sovereign Gawt.”

    Knew a Calvinist who would not dare speak to anyone else unless she had her husband’s, elder’s and pastor’s respective permissions nor could she receive a gift from anyone (including . . . a bible) without clearing the channels. Boy, how’s that for the ultimate, 12-Volt authority.

    Someone, roll me a joint (nah, I just wanna sniff at it; this lot makes me sick). I’ll be tempted though.


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on May 24, 2018 at 9:09 PM

      Agreed, the authority of Scripture boils down to their interpretation.


  2. Argo said, on May 24, 2018 at 7:49 PM

    Very well said, Paul. Just excellent.


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on May 24, 2018 at 9:02 PM

      Thanks Argo.


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