Friday, June 14, 2013

The Church Fathers on: Authority of Bishops

What did the Early Christians Believe?
Authority of the Bishop

“For Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, is the will of the Father, just as the bishops, who have been appointed throughout the world, are the will of Jesus Christ. [4,1] It is fitting, therefore, that you should live in harmony with the will of the bishop – as indeed, you do.” (Ignatius of Antioch, 110 AD, Letter to the Ephesians, [3,2] and [4,1] )

“Let us be careful, then, if we would be submissive to God, not to oppose the bishop.” (ibid. [5,3] )

I will [send you further doctrinal explanations] especially if the Lord should reveal to me that all of you to a man, through grace derived from the Name, join in the common meeting in one faith, and in Jesus Christ, who was of the family of David according to the flesh [see Rom 1:3], the Son of Man and the Son of God, so that you give ear to the bishop and to the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one Bread, which is the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ.” (ibid. [20,2] )

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