Relating with those in authority can be very “tricky.”
Some have found themselves in abusive relationships with those in authority over them where they feel undermined and lose their sense of self-worth. In other cases, people have been outrightly rebellious and divisive in their relationship.
I will focus in this article on spiritual authority only I.e the pastoral office. What do I do when I have a legitimate difference in opinion or conviction with the person who is in authority over me?
Now let’s lay some ground rules. First of all, there is a way that may seem right unto a man but the end is destruction. You must be humble enough to know that a thing seems right to you doesn’t make it right. You do not know it all.
Dealing with spiritual authority is twofold. There are things that are purely scriptural injunctions where the scriptures state explicitly that a Christian shouldn’t do certain things also it commands you do some things.
If someone in spiritual authority asks you to break the word of God in obedience to them then you are under no obligation to do that. i.e you are asked to help shoot a person dead, that’s murder. However, where you are told to do something which is in no violation of the scriptures but based on the judgement of the leader, you are under obligation to obey. If it is a matter of opinion, the opinion of the leader stands.
Paul himself spoke on subjects where he had no commandment from the Lord but exercised personal judgement. (1 Cor 7:25). This is where you may differ and you have to set aside your opinion for that which leadership says.
If you feel very strongly about it then release to God in prayer and speak to no one in the organisation concerning your feelings and in a matter of days, you will see the answer. God will make it clear to you either way. The leader by himself may change his or her mind or events that will unfold will make the person see his or her foolishness.
One thing I have learnt in relating with spiritual authority is do not maintain the relationship on emotions alone, pray always for those in authority over you that you may lead a quiet and peaceable life.