Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Heterosexual relationships: does modernity prevail in church decisions?

Interesting read here about a church in Gore encountering modern life.

UPDATE: the notion of different rules for leaders compared to members applies in the Anglican church here. Licensed ministers, lay and ordained, are subject to Title D On the Maintenance of Ministry Standards, whereas members are not. A difference between the Anglican church and the Presbyterian church is that our notion of 'member' is more or less undefined, so the chances of any member being deprived of their undefined status is very low!

The point is not that as Christians, 'leaders' and 'members' we follow different 'rules': there is one standard under God for us all (even if we argue what the standard is). But within the church as an organisation which constantly reaches out to people of all ages and stages of life, and seeks to include new Christians as well as mature Christians, it is fair that everyone understands the rules leaders are expected to abide by while allowing that not all members are in a similar place about understanding the the rules for Christian living let alone abiding by them. To give an example: churches normally expect their leaders to control their liquor intake (if not be teetotal) while seeking to be a welcoming haven to the person with a drink problem.


Caleb said...

Good on them for walking their talk.

Anonymous said...

The comment I found most puzzling was:
"Executive officer of the Southern Presbytery, Rev Alan Judge, said the Presbyterian Church did have a rule around de facto relationships in leadership, but not around membership. "

Is what the Presbyterians are saying is that there are Christian principles here, but that church members don't have to hold to them??? The members bit being important - this is not someone who is just enquiring or visiting.

Jean said...

Tricky, tricky.

I support the stance ot the Presbyterian church in general around membership but not leadership.

I have witnessed people who have attended church for a number of decades be personally convicted and at their admission, come to realise what it was actually all about.

How can we determine God's patience with people?

In saying this some churches can be a little bit lax in stating openly what their principles are and most importantly why. And I think being clear as a church on this is important.

Tricky because:
People used to hear the gospel, be convicted and baptised, and then come to church.
Now it is just as common for people come to church, hear the gospel, and then be convicted.

Go figure.

Father Ron Smith said...

In stark opposition to the stance of the Calvinist Presbyterian Church in Gore, below is a report in the U.K. R.C. newspaper 'The Tablet', of the initiative of Pope Francis towards a woman divorcee, who wrote him a letter telling of her local parish priest refusing communion to her and her new partner:


This shows the difference between loving pastoral concern for a 'sinner' - as opposed to the rigour of a legalistic response.

Christ is Risen, Alleluia!