RE: submitting to authority. The pastor of the church I go to just put out a membership pamphlet — we are a very new church and this is the first written stuff I’ve seen about membership. He has really changed his tune and is calling for tithing and commitment and submitting to the church leaders authority. My pastor used to say that the only membership requirement was wanting to worship God, study Bible and hang out with Christians/Believers, but now seems to be doing the authority thing. What is the End Times Bible truth about submitting to church leaders? Especially when they appear to be heading into the End Times apostasy and when they require it?
Biblically, the chain of command goes like this. The Pastor is under the direction of the Lord as the shepherd of His flock and leads them in a direction the Lord has determined. One of the responsibilities of the Board of Elders is to ensure this by getting confirmation from the Lord. (For example, as a pastor I never did anything until the board had prayed about it and was unanimous in its support.) When the Pastor and Elders are of one mind in agreeing that the path set before then is one the Lord has placed them on, then the flock is responsible to follow.