Op-Ed: COVID Taught Christians an Important Lesson About Authority


In the Nov. 28, 2021, episode of “Face the Nation,” Margaret Brennan interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Responding to a comment from Brennan regarding the politicization of matters of life and death and criticisms of him personally for promoting government-mandated experimental medical treatments, Fauci said, “It is very easy to pick out an individual and make them a target because that’s what people can focus on. But you’re talking about systems, you’re talking about the CDC, you’re talking about the FDA, you’re talking about science in general.”

“Anybody who’s looking at this carefully realizes that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this. So if they get up and criticize science, nobody’s going to know what they’re talking about. But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well, people could recognize there’s a person there. There’s a face, there’s a voice you can recognize, you see him on television. So it’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science.”

Fundamentally, science is defined as knowledge gained through observation, identification, description, experimental investigation and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena. In an open and free society where the pursuit of truth can thrive, empirical data is available for evaluation, debate, criticism, replication and the formulation of theories based on this process. In such an environment, no scientist or acknowledged expert is above having his theories or conclusions evaluated.

Legitimate science is incompatible with fallacious appeals to authority. In the context of Fauci’s comments, his claim to represent science was meant to emphasize the idea that the scientific or medical pronouncements he and “authoritative experts” like him make must be believed and obeyed without question or criticism.

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The Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested, but supposed latter-day “prophets” act as infallible interpreters of Scripture. There are many warnings in the Bible to watch out for people who would twist the word of God to gain followers for themselves and power over others (2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:1).

Latter-day so-called prophets make it clear that their pronouncements are not merely their own opinions, but words from God, even going so far as making the claim that their writings are just as authoritative as those of the prophets and apostles in Scripture and constitute the present truth for God’s people in these last days. They typically condemn those who question them as deceived by Satan, eventually reject the Bible itself and end up on the road to damnation.

Just as the light of the moon is superseded by the rising of the sun, the revelation of God from the Old Testament is superseded by the coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. But these so-called divine authorities usurp this superior revelation with their false teachings.

Instead of pointing to Jesus as God’s full and final revelation as Hebrews 1 teaches, latter-day “prophets” use their “inspired” interpretation of the Bible to present themselves as the authoritative “experts” whose teachings must be obeyed and cannot be doubted or critically measured against Scripture.

While God reveals himself to humanity in a general way through his creation, the Scriptures are a special, supernatural way in which he communicates with us. It is the standard by which all ideas, doctrines and beliefs are to be tested (2 Peter 1:20-21).

When you are walking on a wooded path on a cloudless day with the sun shining in its strength, you can clearly see the way to go. You do not use a flashlight to find your way because the sun provides more than sufficient light.

Would-be prophets and prophetesses, in drawing followers after themselves, typically make claims of receiving special revelations from God that go beyond what the Scriptures teach and reinterpret them to bolster their own heretical belief systems. They distract from the glory, majesty and completeness of Jesus Christ. Perhaps they do teach a few good and true things here and there, but in time they point away from the sufficiency of God’s Word. They inevitably draw power and authority to themselves and lead their followers into damnable falsehoods (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

In the Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah, the greatest of prophets in Israel, appeared with Jesus on a high mountain. It can be said that the law and the prophets were epitomized in these two figures. But of Jesus, the Father’s voice proclaimed, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him” (Mathew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)!

Scripture warns us in many places against false prophets and teachers who make claims to speak on behalf of God and mislead people (Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 18:20-22; 1 John 4:1-6). Do not accept the flashlights they offer, no matter how appealing, when the Son provides all the light needed to see the truth. Listen to Jesus!

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Believe in the One who is the exact representation and essence of God, who sustains the entire universe by his powerful word, who became a man to live the perfect life we could not, to die the death we deserved to pay for all our sins, who conquered death by rising from the grave, and who now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

He is the standard for truth, and we read about him in the Scriptures inspired by the Spirit of God (Hebrews 1:3-4).

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Rolaant McKenzie operates Gospel Outreach Ministries Online, a Christian apologetics ministry dedicated to the proclamation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ online and discussing important contemporary issues from a biblical perspective.