Spiritual Authority

I've been thinking a lot about spiritual authority lately. Having decided not to move toward ordination, that realm where you are given “official” spiritual authority, I have wondered what my own spiritual authority might be. In thinking about doing teaching around spiritual topics, I have not felt sure that I had the “right” – not sure that I had the credentials necessary.

What is “spiritual authority”? Is it something that you can claim, or is it given to you? Of course Christians have their own perspective of it – and it's quite hierarchical (and patriarchal) in essence.

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