Listening

From Called to Communion blog:

. . .
If the Holy Spirit works through the Church, then we do not have to choose between “church authority” and “the authority of the Holy Spirit”. We can follow the Holy Spirit precisely by following the Church. Otherwise, no pastor (not even any Protestant pastor) could have any authority, because that authority would be in competition with the authority of the Holy Spirit.

No less problematic is granting “church authority” as having authority when it agrees with one’s own interpretation, but then seeing “a divide between church authority and the authority of the Holy Spirit” when it doesn’t. How is such an approach anything other, in principle, than “the authority of private judgment” which Phillips claims to reject? Those who simply and explicitly embrace “the authority of private judgment” are seeing clearly what they are doing. But those who claim to reject both “the authority of private judgment” and “the authority of the Church” seem to be playing a game involving self-deception, not seeing that their whole ecclesial activity is a charade, ‘play church’ — something to prop up the illusion and make it seem as though they’re not doing what they really are doing, i.e. accumulating for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires. (2 Timothy 4:4-3-4) St. Paul wrote that the time would come when this would occur. Has anyone stopped to consider what the results of such accumulation would look like, and how exactly, it would look different from the plethora of contemporary denominations? . . .

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