Can Christians make "commands"?
Apparently, Rick Warren has gotten in trouble. Here’s a blog post about it:
I challenge any church in America to match the spiritual maturity, godliness and commitment of any 500 members of Saddleback.
The blog author (Jared Wilson) argues that:
Stating (unsinful) pride in one's church, however, is different than challenging others to measure up to its awesomeness. "I challenge" you "to match" us? This is beyond pride in one's church and into boasting in one's superiority over another.
Yet the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1 boldly asserts: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
Note that Paul didn’t merely say “Follow the example of Christ” (though I would argue that he does make that clear elsewhere) but says quite plainly “Follow my example”.
Isn’t that a challenge?
So… our possible options:
- Paul was wrong to make his challenge to the Corinthians
- Only apostles are permitted to make these kinds of challenges; today’s pastors aren’t
- These challenges can be made on an individual level but not at a collective ‘church community” level