Kingly authority is given to mankind in general, along with priestly and prophetic authority. Jesus identifies Himself as being the embodiment of the kingly when He says, “I am…the Life” (Jn. 14:6). As Basileians, we cultivate this kingly aspect of life as 1) Contemplatives who practice contemplative prayer, 2) Forerunners who in our governing roles create thin places between heaven and earth, 3) Overcomers who observe our Constitution, 4) Stewards who create wealth and tithe to fund the government of the Kingdom of God and 5) Voluntary Exiles who travel to the edges of established expressions of Christendom. We distinguish between the general kingly authority of individuals and the special, collective kingly authority of elders in general and of Presbyters of the Church in particular. As Jesus declares in Matthew 18:15-16, individuals are responsible to exercise corrective, restorative, judicial authority in private. Such authority cannot redefine another person's membership status in relation to family, Church, or state in particular and thus in relation to society in general. Elders, however, are responsible to exercise corrective, restorative, judicial authority in public when the status of a person's membership in the community is in question. It is important to note here that the concept of “in public” does not necessary mean before every member of the community, but before the collective community as represented by a community's elders. For example, Jesus indicates that the public judicial proceedings of the collective Church in regards to the brother who sins might normally involves as few as “two or three” who “are gathered together in My name” (Matt. 18:20), meaning one or two elders and the offending brother. Likewise, the phrase “in private” implies nothing about the number of people who may or may not be in the room or gathered as a group. Rather, this term is to be understood in the sense of “in an individual capacity.” In Scripture, Deborah is an example of someone who privately exercised her prophetic authority in a kingly, judicial manner in an individual capacity. This is established by the fact that she gave private (i.e., individual) instruction to those who came “to her for judgment” as she sat “under the palm tree of Deborah” (Judges 4:5). This stands in contrast with elders who administrated judicial instruction and judgments publicly in the gates of a city (Josh. 20:4). Also, Deborah spoke to Barak individually, that is in private (Judges 4:6, 14) just as Huldah spoke to the messengers of Josiah individually (2 Kings 22:14-20). Again, this stands in contrast with the special, collective judicial and prophetic authority of elders who speak to others in a public capacity. A New Covenant example of this distinction between individual (i.e., private) and collective (i.e., public) prophetic and judicial authority is found in 1 Corinthians. While women, for example, might prophesy in an individual capacity (1 Cor. 11:5), elders were to judge prophesy in a public, collective capacity (1 Cor. 14:29). Thus when the Corinthian church’s public court of judgment was in session, speaking in a private, individual capacity was “not permitted” (1 Cor. 14:34).
Also see Contemplatives, Elder, Forerunners, “Governing Roles of Men and Women in Basileia,” Kingly, Overcomers, Prophetic, Stewards, and Voluntary Exiles.