In our last episode we saw (among other things) that it’s important to know that those who claim to speak for God have been authorized to do so. I’d like to make a few related observations about this.
How do we distinguish among men who claim to be authorized by God to speak and who teach conflicting doctrine? Well, apart from a visible Church we can’t. If there is no visible Church which attests to having sent a man, we have no objective way of identifying the one who has been sent by God. This is a further reason why it’s important that we be able to identify the Church that Christ founded. In an age when there are many ecclesial groups saying that they have authorized their missionaries, it’s not sufficient merely to accept just any ecclesiastical approbation. What’s important is to identify the Church founded by Christ, and to receive those who have been authorized by it to speak: “He that hears you hears Me” (Luke 10:16).