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How Important Is Religious Authority?

Importance of authority in religionIn many areas of life we all need proper sources of guidance. In religion, however, many people give little consideration to the question of where they should go to learn right from wrong. 

 Standards of weight and measure tell us exactly how much we should receive when we pay for a "pound" of meat or a "gallon" of gasoline. Consider also the confusion and tragedy that would result if we had no traffic laws.

But in religion people often simply accept certain practices without really wondering why. Why do you believe what you do in religion? Are you sure God is pleased with what you believe? What does the Bible say?

"O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" - Jeremiah 10:23. By himself, no man can know how to please God unless he has a revelation from God. Matthew 7:21-23 tells about some people who thought they were pleasing to God, but Jesus rejected them because they were not doing the will of the Father in heaven. This is why proper religious authority is so important - without it we may think we are pleasing to God when really we are simply following human opinions.

Where then can we go to be sure we are following God's will? 2 Timothy 3:16,17 says: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." When we follow the Bible, we can be sure we are doing God's will. But our service to God is vain if we follow doctrines, practices, or religious organizations which cannot be found authorized in the Bible - Matthew 15:9.

For more information on this subject, please visit our Bible Instruction web site at /instruct/ and study our in-depth articles there about the importance of Bible study, how to study the Bible, and the danger of human authority in religion. 

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2016;

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