Personal and religious sources of authority available to most believers when they might need guidance and help.

When it comes to finding out about or understanding something, or making decisions about what to do, most people have various sources of authority they can go to for guidance and help. These may include:

Religious people also have other sources of guidance and help available to them. These include:

  • sacred texts
  • founders of the faith
  • religious principles or rules
  • faith community leaders
  • religious tradition
  • other people in the faith community

Insight and inspiration can sometimes come from the beliefs, teachings and practices of other religions and from non-religious sources too. Many religious believers might include personal conscience as a source of authority.

A decision is generally better made if a person has considered a variety of sources rather than just using one, or always consulting the same one. This can help them gain the most complete picture of their situation and the options available so they can make a better and informed decision.