I wonder if it might be helpful here to list some of the dumber things people have said using their so-called authority to intimidate the sheep, and also some good examples of what someone with true authority has said to you. I’ll start.
BAD EXAMPLE: To someone who had shared with the pastor he felt God was asking him to leave the fellowship. “Don’t you think God would show me that before he would show you?”
GOOD EXAMPLE: “If that’s what you feel he’s saying to you you need to follow it and you’ll have my prayers and blessings as you do.”
BAD EXAMPLE: In a teaching: “The elders here know your heart better than you know your own. If an elder tells you something, believe it, even if it doesn’t sound right to you.”
GOOD EXAMPLE: When giving counsel, “If what I’m saying to you doesn’t confirm what the Spirit is already speaking to you, then feel free to ignore it.”
BAD EXAMPLE: “The pastor says we are not allowed to read THAT book.”
GOOD EXAMPLE: "All I want to know is how you’re walk with Jesus is doing, and if there’s anything I can encourage you there, please let me know.