Executive Director’s Column Exposition of the Danvers Statement: Affirmation 7 -- By: Randy L. Stinson

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 07:2 (Fall 2002)
Article: Executive Director’s Column Exposition of the Danvers Statement: Affirmation 7
Author: Randy L. Stinson

Executive Director’s Column
Exposition of the Danvers Statement:
Affirmation 7

Randy L. Stinson

Executive Director,
Council on Biblical Manhood
and Womanhood
Louisville, Kentucky

Affirmation 7

In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission—domestic, religious, or civil—ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin.

This affirmation is a reminder that earthly authority is not the final authority. All of our behavior is governed by the clear instruction given by God in His Word. When instruction by an earthly authority contradicts that of Christ, then we must obey God rather than men. Several biblical texts bear this out. One familiar text is found in Daniel 3. In spite of the decree to bow down and worship the image of gold, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, issue their own decree, “we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Although these young men were ultimately delivered from the furnace (3:26–27), it should be noted that this is not always the case and many over the years have lost their lives because they were compelled by the Spirit to disobey their earthly authorities in order to obey God.

Another familiar passage is found in Acts 4. Peter and John, after being reprimanded by the Sanhedrin and ordered to cease from speaking in the name of Jesus, gave this well known reply, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Indeed, the Bible says that after they were released, they prayed with their “own people” and went right back to speaking the Word of God “boldly,” in direct disobedience of their earthly authorities. In another instance, shortly after this, the high priest angrily chastises the Apostles for teaching in the name of Jesus in spite of his command to cease this activity. Once again, their reply underscores the priority of God’s Word over the ungodly rules of earthly authorities: “We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).”

Sometimes those in authority have a tendency to over-extend their reach and end up abusing those under their auspices. This is not a natural by-product of the having a clear structure of authority; rather it is the result of the effects of sin on the human heart. Affirmation 4 of the Danvers Statement teaches that in the home, one of the sinful perversions of male leadership i...

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