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Old 08-04-2020, 05:25 PM
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This is a long story but I will try to just hit the important points.

I am not happy with the way the Presbyterian church has treated my mother recentely. Sorry if this sounds all disjointed but I have edited some of it after I initially posted it. Sorry.

The particular minister involved I admit I'm not happy with. But what I am or am not happy with is ultimately irrelevant anyway, so I just have to suck it up and deal with it.

My mother, a decades long, faithful member of a Presbyterian church. My father, the last several years of his life he was a member and elder. Mother served on session repeatedly and cheerfully carried out her duties.

Minister was drawing full time pay/benefits but in actuality was only 'serving' at the church and minstering about 1/3 of the time. I can't even say half the time. Minister is a founding member of a political action minister's group called 'Civility in Politics' and spends the most time in D.C., visiting members of congress, senators, etc. Presbytery apparently had no problem with that. Most Sundays services were performed by members of the congregation. Readings, sermon, special days, etc.

Minister is/was considered by my parents to be not only minister but friend.



Minister retires two weeks (approx) before my father passes away in June. Presbytery says that the minister can have no further contact with congregation members or else they will not get their retirement and medical benefits. Yes, they did say that, and yes, the minister reiterated it to my mother when my mother called the minister to ask for a visit the day of my father's death.

Minister said a visit was not possible because it would endanger retirement, and further that my mother was not to tell anyone of their conversation in case someone blabbed to Presbytery.

So, in summation, my mother, a decades long, faithful member of the Presbyterian church was, in her literal hour of need, abandoned by the minister who they had known for many years, and by the Presbyterian church who in essence deprived my mother of a visit by the minister. Or any other Presbyterian minister, as (apparently? I am not 100% sure) no offer was made by the minister to contact another minister to visit my mother---because again, fear of losing retirement/medical. Regardless, no minister showed up at all, not even since.

ETA that no interim minister was in place at that time, and was only put in place a few days ago, so there was not even an interim minster at the time.

So as my father was carried out of the house, and she had to say her last goodbye to him, there was no man of God in the house to simply be with her, when she needed it most. No one to say prayers with her except for my mother praying, and one of my brothers who came a little later and read some bible passages.

I was furious, and more than that, absolutely heartbroken for my mother. She supported that church for decades, and the one and only time in her life she needed something back from it---she was basically told, just outright, no. Oh no doubt the minister couched it in soft, sympathetic words, but even so, that was not enough. What my mother wanted, needed, was denied her because of someone's retirement.

Ok, sure, I can understand that. Sort of. But it's a real kick in the gut to know that Presbytery holds this rule. And that ministers who have known their congregation for years, are not willing to minister at all because of it.

Maybe I am wrong, but I will go out on a limb and presume to speak for Christ and say that at that moment, He must have been disgusted with the Presbyterian church. I can't believe He wouldn't be.

And maybe I'm wrong again, but I thought once someone was ordained as a minister, they were a minister for life, regardless of if they are working as a minister or not. Am I wrong? Is a person only a minister if they are drawing a salary from a church and performing on it's stage regularly?

I've had a few people I know who are Catholic tell me that if my parents had been Catholic, a minister of some sort, even if just a newly ordained one, would have been there within an hour or two.

I'm just so disappointed, and more than a little sick at the state of the Presbyterian church, and I admit, I'm still upset with the minister for not even coming by to visit as a non-minister. Or meet my mother somewhere. Or something. No one had to know. My mother and me and my two brothers are the only ones who even know my mother called her that morning. It's sickening.

You know what that tells me? It tells me that yes, the minister is serious about abiding by the rules of the Presbyterian church as required at ordination, but it also tells me that people like my parents just do not matter to them. Period. Blind rule worship and quite frankly an assinine and unGodly rule of not having contact with the congregation is more important.

And that is why churches are failing. I could no more be a member of that church again if my life depended on it. Literally. I would not want to formally join a church that forbids ministering to the bereaved in their hour of need.

That is why people don't support churches, when they are abandoned by them after decades of faithfulness.

I think that specific church is going to close, as it has a dwindling congregation anyway, and it may well be for the best. Also the property is quite valuable and no doubt Presbytery could make some big bucks off the sale of it. God forgive me.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:00 PM
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First off...I am sorry for the loss of your Father....things like that can often times destroy a persons faith....I have seen it too many times in my Roman Catholic faith.

I am not sure if you are familiar with a term called "Pastoral Availability" which in my opinion is one of the single most import things when selecting or changing a church.

For those that are casual Church goers this may never be an issue.....for those that interact with a Pastor for spiritual guidance and Apostolic Ministry it is everything.

Overall the state of the Catholic Church as well as the many other Protestant faiths is a pretty big mess.....they have overwhelmingly moved on from the true teachings of Jesus.

Depending on where you live you should explore other Churches, attend services and see what is the best fit for you and your mother.

For us Catholics this is a big no no. But for the Protestant faiths this seems pretty common and does not come with any consequences.

I am not sure where you live...... if you want to really explore a devout and ancient service you may want to consider an "Ordinariate" Roman Catholic Parish.....there are only 40 or so of them here in the USA......but if you want a Church that stands by you when the SHTF this is the one.

I hope this helps to some degree.

HK
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:05 PM
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IN my experience the catholics will show up a day later with their hand out, and won't do last rites until the poverty stricken old man living in the ghetto gives the priest his last $20.

If I had any kind thoughts towards the catholics that killed it for me.

Now my Episcopalian friend, he was lay for a while, retired from his government job and then went full time, came on his own (we didn't attend his church as it is the fancy dress sort and way across town), with a love offering, oil, read the passage from James about praying over the sick, prayed over Ron very nicely, and insisted he take me to lunch. No complaints about the cost of parking (like everyone else!), just true consideration. HE served us.

We had some politics at my Presbyterian church growing up. The pastor had a very ill wife who declined over a period of several years and died. The congregation sent him on a vacation. He came back very excited he had met a woman and become engaged. The congregation felt it was too soon and they kicked him out, accused him of being unfaithful and worse.

The youth pastor had been hired with the understanding (to him) he would take over when the lead pastor (who was elderly) retired. But when it came down to it he was considered "too progressive" and passed over.

He found another job across the country and ditched the entire youth program with about 2 weeks notice, just a quick goodbye. I was very fragile at the time. My parents were so upset by the whole scandal they left the church and I lost all the support I had.

It was very detrimental to me at a time when I really needed support.

My family has a long history with the Presbyterians, most often evinced during progressive worship services where I DO NOT raise my hands because we don't do that during church. I would like to find some more presbyterians but that is really unfortunate about the retirement thing.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:09 PM
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Mazarine33, I am so sorry for your loss and the experience you described. I would have been just as devastated as you. In my church, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, we don't have this type of prohibition. Retired pastors are routinely called upon in such situations. When my dad passed last year, we had a retired pastor conduct part of the funeral service.

I hope you find comfort in the fact that your father is in a much better place.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mazarine33 View Post
This is a long story but I will try to just hit the important points.

I am not happy with the way the Presbyterian church has treated my mother recentely. Sorry if this sounds all disjointed but I have edited some of it after I initially posted it. Sorry.

The particular minister involved I admit I'm not happy with. But what I am or am not happy with is ultimately irrelevant anyway, so I just have to suck it up and deal with it.

My mother, a decades long, faithful member of a Presbyterian church. My father, the last several years of his life he was a member and elder. Mother served on session repeatedly and cheerfully carried out her duties.

Minister was drawing full time pay/benefits but in actuality was only 'serving' at the church and minstering about 1/3 of the time. I can't even say half the time. Minister is a founding member of a political action minister's group called 'Civility in Politics' and spends the most time in D.C., visiting members of congress, senators, etc. Presbytery apparently had no problem with that. Most Sundays services were performed by members of the congregation. Readings, sermon, special days, etc.

Minister is/was considered by my parents to be not only minister but friend.



Minister retires two weeks (approx) before my father passes away in June. Presbytery says that the minister can have no further contact with congregation members or else they will not get their retirement and medical benefits. Yes, they did say that, and yes, the minister reiterated it to my mother when my mother called the minister to ask for a visit the day of my father's death.

Minister said a visit was not possible because it would endanger retirement, and further that my mother was not to tell anyone of their conversation in case someone blabbed to Presbytery.

So, in summation, my mother, a decades long, faithful member of the Presbyterian church was, in her literal hour of need, abandoned by the minister who they had known for many years, and by the Presbyterian church who in essence deprived my mother of a visit by the minister. Or any other Presbyterian minister, as (apparently? I am not 100% sure) no offer was made by the minister to contact another minister to visit my mother---because again, fear of losing retirement/medical. Regardless, no minister showed up at all, not even since.

ETA that no interim minister was in place at that time, and was only put in place a few days ago, so there was not even an interim minster at the time.

So as my father was carried out of the house, and she had to say her last goodbye to him, there was no man of God in the house to simply be with her, when she needed it most. No one to say prayers with her except for my mother praying, and one of my brothers who came a little later and read some bible passages.

I was furious, and more than that, absolutely heartbroken for my mother. She supported that church for decades, and the one and only time in her life she needed something back from it---she was basically told, just outright, no. Oh no doubt the minister couched it in soft, sympathetic words, but even so, that was not enough. What my mother wanted, needed, was denied her because of someone's retirement.

Ok, sure, I can understand that. Sort of. But it's a real kick in the gut to know that Presbytery holds this rule. And that ministers who have known their congregation for years, are not willing to minister at all because of it.

Maybe I am wrong, but I will go out on a limb and presume to speak for Christ and say that at that moment, He must have been disgusted with the Presbyterian church. I can't believe He wouldn't be.

And maybe I'm wrong again, but I thought once someone was ordained as a minister, they were a minister for life, regardless of if they are working as a minister or not. Am I wrong? Is a person only a minister if they are drawing a salary from a church and performing on it's stage regularly?

I've had a few people I know who are Catholic tell me that if my parents had been Catholic, a minister of some sort, even if just a newly ordained one, would have been there within an hour or two.

I'm just so disappointed, and more than a little sick at the state of the Presbyterian church, and I admit, I'm still upset with the minister for not even coming by to visit as a non-minister. Or meet my mother somewhere. Or something. No one had to know. My mother and me and my two brothers are the only ones who even know my mother called her that morning. It's sickening.

You know what that tells me? It tells me that yes, the minister is serious about abiding by the rules of the Presbyterian church as required at ordination, but it also tells me that people like my parents just do not matter to them. Period. Blind rule worship and quite frankly an assinine and unGodly rule of not having contact with the congregation is more important.

And that is why churches are failing. I could no more be a member of that church again if my life depended on it. Literally. I would not want to formally join a church that forbids ministering to the bereaved in their hour of need.

That is why people don't support churches, when they are abandoned by them after decades of faithfulness.

I think that specific church is going to close, as it has a dwindling congregation anyway, and it may well be for the best. Also the property is quite valuable and no doubt Presbytery could make some big bucks off the sale of it. God forgive me.
sorry to hear about your lose Mazarine33 and the bad situation. I went to vacation bible school at a Presbyterian church growing up but that was the only real exposure that I had to the denomination. I believe Presbyterian's are Calvinist, but not congregationalist like the baptists (which what I used to be).

I would forgive the guy because he is human... But I'd drop the church like a hot potato.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:02 PM
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My sincere condolences on the loss of your dad! It's a tough time for you, but hang in there.

Regarding your Church and minister, I don't know what to say. To me it's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while and makes no sense.

As far as I know, an Orthodox priest remains a priest until he dies unless he voluntarily petitions the Bishop to free him from his vows or he is defrocked.

If he remains in the neighborhood of his old parish and/or attends services there he should make it clear to his former parishoners that there is a new priest who is in charge. However, in an emergency I don't see why a retired priest could not celebrate the Divine Liturgy or administer the Holy Sacraments.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:14 PM
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I know this wont help your situation but I looked up retirement for Presbytery ministers and came across this. Page 3 explains why this policy is in place.

Seems to me that the main mistake the church made is not having a new minister in place before the current one retired. b-salem-policy-retiring-pastor.pdf
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:15 PM
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Ok, so it seems that attachment isnt working.

If you Google "Presbytery minister retirement rules" it is the first link.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:12 AM
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“The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.” John 10:12

A Shepherd doesn’t care about losing a retirement package, he is totally prepared to even lay down his life for his sheep.

The hireling is a careerist and cares for his entitlements, wolf fighting isn’t in the contract.

I’ve seen catholic priests of every ethnicity be complete heroes through this pandemic risking fines, jail and even death to minister to people.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:18 AM
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What kind of labor union is in place to have that sort of silly rule put in place?

If it’s the church leaders....that’s a problem.

Seems like there’s a few things in the Bible regarding loving your neighbor, and doing unto others. These guys are caught up in the rules, rather than in the spirit. Modern day Pharisees.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:53 AM
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This is a long story but I will try to just hit the important points.

I am not happy with the way the Presbyterian church has treated my mother recentely. Sorry if this sounds all disjointed but I have edited some of it after I initially posted it. Sorry.

The particular minister involved I admit I'm not happy with. But what I am or am not happy with is ultimately irrelevant anyway, so I just have to suck it up and deal with it.

My mother, a decades long, faithful member of a Presbyterian church. My father, the last several years of his life he was a member and elder. Mother served on session repeatedly and cheerfully carried out her duties.

Minister was drawing full time pay/benefits but in actuality was only 'serving' at the church and minstering about 1/3 of the time. I can't even say half the time. Minister is a founding member of a political action minister's group called 'Civility in Politics' and spends the most time in D.C., visiting members of congress, senators, etc. Presbytery apparently had no problem with that. Most Sundays services were performed by members of the congregation. Readings, sermon, special days, etc.

Minister is/was considered by my parents to be not only minister but friend.



Minister retires two weeks (approx) before my father passes away in June. Presbytery says that the minister can have no further contact with congregation members or else they will not get their retirement and medical benefits. Yes, they did say that, and yes, the minister reiterated it to my mother when my mother called the minister to ask for a visit the day of my father's death.

Minister said a visit was not possible because it would endanger retirement, and further that my mother was not to tell anyone of their conversation in case someone blabbed to Presbytery.

So, in summation, my mother, a decades long, faithful member of the Presbyterian church was, in her literal hour of need, abandoned by the minister who they had known for many years, and by the Presbyterian church who in essence deprived my mother of a visit by the minister. Or any other Presbyterian minister, as (apparently? I am not 100% sure) no offer was made by the minister to contact another minister to visit my mother---because again, fear of losing retirement/medical. Regardless, no minister showed up at all, not even since.

ETA that no interim minister was in place at that time, and was only put in place a few days ago, so there was not even an interim minster at the time.

So as my father was carried out of the house, and she had to say her last goodbye to him, there was no man of God in the house to simply be with her, when she needed it most. No one to say prayers with her except for my mother praying, and one of my brothers who came a little later and read some bible passages.

I was furious, and more than that, absolutely heartbroken for my mother. She supported that church for decades, and the one and only time in her life she needed something back from it---she was basically told, just outright, no. Oh no doubt the minister couched it in soft, sympathetic words, but even so, that was not enough. What my mother wanted, needed, was denied her because of someone's retirement.

Ok, sure, I can understand that. Sort of. But it's a real kick in the gut to know that Presbytery holds this rule. And that ministers who have known their congregation for years, are not willing to minister at all because of it.

Maybe I am wrong, but I will go out on a limb and presume to speak for Christ and say that at that moment, He must have been disgusted with the Presbyterian church. I can't believe He wouldn't be.

And maybe I'm wrong again, but I thought once someone was ordained as a minister, they were a minister for life, regardless of if they are working as a minister or not. Am I wrong? Is a person only a minister if they are drawing a salary from a church and performing on it's stage regularly?

I've had a few people I know who are Catholic tell me that if my parents had been Catholic, a minister of some sort, even if just a newly ordained one, would have been there within an hour or two.

I'm just so disappointed, and more than a little sick at the state of the Presbyterian church, and I admit, I'm still upset with the minister for not even coming by to visit as a non-minister. Or meet my mother somewhere. Or something. No one had to know. My mother and me and my two brothers are the only ones who even know my mother called her that morning. It's sickening.

You know what that tells me? It tells me that yes, the minister is serious about abiding by the rules of the Presbyterian church as required at ordination, but it also tells me that people like my parents just do not matter to them. Period. Blind rule worship and quite frankly an assinine and unGodly rule of not having contact with the congregation is more important.

And that is why churches are failing. I could no more be a member of that church again if my life depended on it. Literally. I would not want to formally join a church that forbids ministering to the bereaved in their hour of need.

That is why people don't support churches, when they are abandoned by them after decades of faithfulness.

I think that specific church is going to close, as it has a dwindling congregation anyway, and it may well be for the best. Also the property is quite valuable and no doubt Presbytery could make some big bucks off the sale of it. God forgive me.
That will never have happened in the Orthodox Church. You and your family would have had so much support because the Orthodox Church is all about supporting one another though rite, personal comfort and yes food.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:38 AM
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I'm sorry for your experience. It must have been devastating. My Dad passed away recently. We had our parish priest out two weeks before he died to give last rites. Then the day before he died the priest came again. And he came out the day he died as well. Then at the funeral, we had our parish priest, and the retired priest from our parish performed the ceremony. We're catholic.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:40 AM
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So sorry to hear this

Seems like a droctrinal issue that leaves some unattend in their hour of need

With such a long-standing record of service, I would hope that the church members as a whole stepped into the breach to provide solace to your mother

We should all look forward to meeting your father in Heaven
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:51 AM
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When "men" involve themselves in making rules, regulations, traditions, etc. while second-guessing the simple, Gospel message of Jesus Christ -- they ALWAYS screw things up. It matters not what the denomination is.

A minister of the Lord does the Lord's work regardless of retirement benefits, medical benefits, status in the community, or any version of materialism or vanity. If a person is a follower of Jesus Christ, he/she deals with his/her fellow Christians with a sense of love, charity, kindness, sympathy, and empathy. Period! No ifs, ands, or buts.

Thanks, OP, for reminding me why I avoid the mega, tax exempt, organizational, and traditional forms of "churches." If a church isn't Bible-based and Gospel-based then it simply isn't for me.

I feel badly for your mom. May Christ, our Holy Healer, be with her in her time of need.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:09 AM
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When "men" involve themselves in making rules, regulations, traditions, etc. while second-guessing the simple, Gospel message of Jesus Christ -- they ALWAYS screw things up. It matters not what the denomination is.

A minister of the Lord does the Lord's work regardless of retirement benefits, medical benefits, status in the community, or any version of materialism or vanity. If a person is a follower of Jesus Christ, he/she deals with his/her fellow Christians with a sense of love, charity, kindness, sympathy, and empathy. Period! No ifs, ands, or buts.

Thanks, OP, for reminding me why I avoid the mega, tax exempt, organizational, and traditional forms of "churches." If a church isn't Bible-based and Gospel-based then it simply isn't for me.

I feel badly for your mom. May Christ, our Holy Healer, be with her in her time of need.
So id you avoid any Church... what priest will come to your funeral or anybody else in your family?
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:28 AM
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So id you avoid any Church... what priest will come to your funeral or anybody else in your family?
Christ is my Priest. Since I'll be dead ... I won't give two hoots what mortals attend my funeral and who won't. My Judge, Savior, Healer, Comforter, and High Priest is Jesus Christ.

But lets not follow the trend of derailing someone's thread. If you wish to discuss a new topic ... start a new thread.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:35 AM
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Christ is my Priest. Since I'll be dead ... I won't give two hoots what mortals attend my funeral and who won't. My Judge, Savior, Healer, Comforter, and High Priest is Jesus Christ.

But lets not follow the trend of derailing someone's thread. If you wish to discuss a new topic ... start a new thread.
The topic is access to priests for the loved ones and relatives of those that depart if I am not mistaken. Maybe you do not have family or loved ones (beside yourself) in your life but many do and they are concerned that the spiritual services and comfort does not reach them.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ActionJackson View Post

A minister of the Lord does the Lord's work regardless of retirement benefits, medical benefits, status in the community, or any version of materialism or vanity. If a person is a follower of Jesus Christ, he/she deals with his/her fellow Christians with a sense of love, charity, kindness, sympathy, and empathy. Period! No ifs, ands, or buts.
Exactly, That sucks, sorry to hear she was abandoned.

There are two issues here. The church rules and the pastor himself.

If you truly love and care then why would that stop at retirement?

Why would doing what you spent your whole life believing to be good and true suddenly not be okay or even wrong when you retire?
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:09 PM
Henrykjr Henrykjr is offline
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The majority of posts on this thread all sort of point to one direction......a devout conservative Church.....vs a modern Church with a modern message.

We you find a Church like this and you attend a service (for me it's Mass) it's like a mini-vacation.....and you truly reside in the Sanctuary that Christ provides for the battle weary.

HK
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:30 PM
Rett Rett is offline
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Originally Posted by ajole View Post
What kind of labor union is in place to have that sort of silly rule put in place?

If it’s the church leaders....that’s a problem.

Seems like there’s a few things in the Bible regarding loving your neighbor, and doing unto others. These guys are caught up in the rules, rather than in the spirit. Modern day Pharisees.
You have got to test ministers. Are they careerists aging like wine to their comfortable retirement.

The Apostles retirement was to get violently martyred in front of sneering crowd, they left it all on the field.

A good test of ministers dedication is to see what they have sacrificed.

If a minister is celibate, he has already sacrificed greatly to be available to the community. Sacrificing family, wealth, comforts, liberty and many other things is just preparation to sacrifice his very life if required.

Have your community gather at 3am and call their minister under the pretext of some emergency, and see when and if he arrives.
He has to love his community more than his own life, he has to be living sacrifice, something a careerist can never do or be.
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