30 January, 2007

The Authority of the Spoken Gospel

By what authority does a minister of the Gospel come? To what extent does his authority, in Christ, extend?

The full and free and unrestricted power to take possession of this world in the name of Christ, to the exclusion of any other form of faith and worship, is what Christianity demands: with less than this it cannot be satisfied...The ministers of the Gospel claim it as a right to go into every nation, however fenced around and guarded from intrusion, and to demand an entrance in the name of Him who sent them, even although the magistrate should bid them depart from his coasts. Further still, the messengers of the Cross arrogate to themselves the title to enter into every human dwelling where is a sinner is to be found,- seeking admittance in the name of the Saviour of sinners, that they may negotiate with the inhabitant in behalf of their master, however sternly the door may be closed against them by jealousy of their errand, or hatred of their cause.
-James Bannerman, The Church of Christ, volume 1, page 141

4 comments:

shawn said...

Wow, Nate.

Great quote. Don't know any ministers who are compelled to such a degree.

Peter and John preached Christ even though the Sanhedrin beat them. Paul was found in the same circumstances - and I love that he goes back into the city, after they believe he is dead. What a testimony!

Penumbra said...

"Negotiate" seems an odd and inappropriate term, and I do not recognize that a minister has the authority to barge into my house whenever he pleases. I am a sinner after all, right? Sometimes these writings seem like unqualified posturings to stir the emotions while encouraging ignorance of details. While it sounds like brave and courageous faith, it also sounds like a call for foolish, rash, and wreckless witnessing.

Nate said...

Negotiate as is let the sinner know the terms on which God will meet with him.

As for the the book, it is a huge tome and Bannerman expands for some time on what exactly he means.

The context of the quote is his section on the relationship of the church to the state. He spends some time on how the minister has authorities within his parish that the state does not have.

Nate said...

Also notice, "seeking admittance" assumes that there is permission asked from the inhabitants and not just a barging into the home!