We’re looking at the Scriptural basis for the first part of the 5th membership vow we take in joining a Presbyterian church,

Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the church, and promise to study its purity and peace?

As people in an anti-authoritarian culture the idea of submitting ourselves to the government and discipline of anything we don’t have to is strange; but it takes humility to acknowledge that we are capable of blowing it, and ask others to come get us when we do. But leaders are capable of blowing it as well: governments and authorities mess up, power gets misused. This is true: so those entrusted with authority must be humble enough to see the likelihood of their abusing power. As Paul lays these ideas out in Hebrews 13 we see that all of this is only possible by the work of Christ.

The image is of Francis Gary Powers (right), the U-2 spy plane pilot who failed to kill himself after being shot down over the USSR in the 1950s.