Authority and Control

Controversy

Heavy work, such as I should never choose; but sometimes it must be done. Well might the ancient say, ‘God made practical divinity necessary, the devil controversial. But it is necessary: we must “resist the devil,” or he will not “flee from us.” Those are the words of John Wesley in a letter to the Bishop of Exeter. Mr. Wesley was in the midst of a dispute with the Bishop over authority.

It is uncanny how many of the arguments we have in our day are over authority. The tricky issue of “who gets to decide,”causes many good things to go undone, because we hold on tightly to that which we claim as our own. The devil’s oldest trick is to have us busy resisting each other instead of resisting him. As we journey into Lent today, we must look deeply inside of ourselves and try to discern that path that we must take. God created us for good works and we must find those works . Let us not be thrown off the path by disputes over the issue of “who gets to decide,” but rather push to accomplish the task of being God’s hands and voice to the world.

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Filed under Christian Living, Church Conflict, Controversy, Criticism, Evil, John Wesley, Lent, Missional Living, Power

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