Author Topic: Church Manual Proposed Change on Immorality  (Read 1754 times)

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Richard Myers

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Church Manual Proposed Change on Immorality
« on: July 05, 2015, 03:37:05 PM »
The NAD has not issued press credentials for me this year, so I do not have a clear statement on the proposed changes as I usually would.  Am seeking to find them now.  The proposal was confusing to me sense it included a statement about adultery.  I do not know what was meant. But, if there is a connection between what was changed and the definition of adultery, we would be allowing a husband or wife to divorce their spouse for viewing pornography. While it is a vile matter, it does not rise to the level of defiling the marriage bed. This change needs to be explained. 

There was a proposed amendment to the motion that would allow fornication in the church, youth living together prior to marriage. The motion to amend was soundly defeated.

The motion to change the church manual was sent back to committee after Daniel Jackson was concerned about the terminology calling for "lawful  binding marriage". His motion to return the proposal was approved.  I think it good that it was not passed since it appears to make divorce easier. One look at an undressed woman and there goes the marriage and the children?   As I said, it was confusing to me and I am sure that some delegates must not have seen this clearly.
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colporteur

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Re: Church Manual Proposed Change on Immorality
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2015, 03:50:12 PM »
The NAD has not issued press credentials for me this year, so I do not have a clear statement on the proposed changes as I usually would.  Am seeking to find them now.  The proposal was confusing to me sense it included a statement about adultery.  I do not know what was meant. But, if there is a connection between what was changed and the definition of adultery, we would be allowing a husband or wife to divorce their spouse for viewing pornography. While it is a vile matter, it does not rise to the level of defiling the marriage bed. This change needs to be explained. 

There was a proposed amendment to the motion that would allow fornication in the church, youth living together prior to marriage. The motion to amend was soundly defeated.

The motion to change the church manual was sent back to committee after Daniel Jackson was concerned about the terminology calling for "lawful  binding marriage". His motion to return the proposal was approved.  I think it good that it was not passed since it appears to make divorce easier. One look at an undressed woman and there goes the marriage and the children?   As I said, it was confusing to me and I am sure that some delegates must not have seen this clearly.


 My first response to the proposal of allowing for fornication would be,  you are joking right ? followed by   Good bye !

Give me a break ! They want approval for monogamous fornication. Monogamous .... fooor ...how long ?  ahh week ?  ahhh month ? ahhh year ? how about for life? If it is for life like the Bible says it should be that's marriage, so what's the problem ? A financial benefit ? Who is going to keep track if the monogamy is adhered to ? In most cases exactly NOBODY !

What a can of worms divorce because of pornography could be. If the spouse that wants a divorce gets to define pornography it could be that her husband did not look the other way when a lady in a bikini crossed paths with them on the street.  Pornography to varying degrees is everywhere. It is on the street. It is on billboards, it is in almost every magazine, and it is in the news. To take it a step further what about verbal pornography ? What if a lady hits on a woman's husband ? Grounds for divorce ? Who defines the terms and who decides what "viewing"is ? Just like divorce by abandonment , it is a very slippery and subjective slope. It seems like worldliness is breaking out at the seams.
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Immanuel

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Re: Church Manual Proposed Change on Immorality
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 04:25:16 PM »
Richard, could you expand on the challenge with the "lawful binding" part. I thought that it was included because there are some who are today saying that they are married when there has been no ceremony or legal service proclaiming them as such - they have just been living together.

This is the wording of the proposed change:
Violation of the commandment of the law of God, which reads, “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14, Matt. 5:28), as it relates to the marriage institution and the Christian home, biblical standards of moral conduct, and any act of sexual intimacy outside of a marriage relationship and/or non-consensual acts of sexual conduct within a marriage whether those acts are legal or illegal. Such acts include but are not limited to child sexual abuse, including abuse of the vulnerable. Marriage is defined as a public, lawfully binding, monogamous, heterosexual relationship between one man and one woman.

This is the current wording in the church manual:
Violation of the seventh commandment of the law of God as it relates to the marriage institution, the Christian home, and biblical standards of moral conduct.

Richard Myers

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Re: Church Manual Proposed Change on Immorality
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 04:48:16 PM »
I can't explain why it was placed there. As I read this Pastor Immanuel, I see the current wording to be pointed only to the marriage relationship, that is adultery. There is no adultery outside of marriage. Immoral sexual practices may be disciplined, but it is not adultery. To place this language in the section on adultery is not correct. Immorality outside of marriage is not Bible adultery. And, within marriage, pornography is not a violation of the seventh commandment which is adultery and adultery only. Thus, I see a lowering of the marriage standard. One may walk away from a marriage if the spouse views a naked person one time. This is most serious. I did not agree with Daniel Jackson. The proposal was clear about what a marriage is. But, because he objected, the motion t.o change did not pass. Otherwise I believe it would have. I may see this all wrong, but this is how I read it. Another attack on marriage.
 
Back to your concern. In another section not having to do with adultery, I can see that including the terminology "legal binding marriage" is important for the reasons you stated. Sadly, this was not explained by the church manual committee, neither was it brought up by any of the delegates after Jackson objected. It was all very sad. It seems to me that this business meeting is not going as smoothly as previous Sessions. Yes, there is a division in the church, but when the motion to return made by Jackson was voted on, I was shocked to see it passed. I understand the concern about the failure of society, buy to follow the motion made by Jackson really did surprise me, both because of who made it and because of the lack of the need to change it. And, if the reason for the insertion of "lawful  binding" was as you say, it makes perfect sense to include it. To then exclude it would leave out the concern which is not only legitimate, but needed.

But, from all I see, it does not belong in that section (adultery) in the church manual. You have the manual in front of you. Is may concern valid? Is this subject being misplaced in the manual, and will it weaken our position on marriage?
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Immanuel

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Re: Church Manual Proposed Change on Immorality
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 04:55:56 PM »
I do see the challenge and it would probably be best to separate those clauses. However this proposed change is in the section dealing with church discipline, not directly with what is standard for divorce and remarriage. There is another section that deals with divorce and remarriage and it is stated in that section that a physical act with another person is the standard, of course there is also the statement on abandonment. But as you have observed the wording in this section on discipline might lead to confusion.

This is the wording from the church manual from the section on Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage:

Unfaithfulness to the marriage vow has generally been seen to mean adultery or fornication. However, the New Testament word for fornication includes certain other sexual irregularities (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10; Rom. 1:24-27). Therefore, sexual perversions, including incest, child sexual abuse, and homosexual practices, are also recognized as a misuse of sexual powers and a violation of the divine intention in marriage. As such they are just cause for separation or divorce.

Even though the Scriptures allow divorce for the reasons mentioned above, as well as for abandonment by an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor. 7:10-15), the church and those concerned should make earnest endeavors to effect a reconciliation, urging the spouses to manifest toward each other a Christlike spirit of forgiveness and restoration. The church is urged to relate lovingly and redemptively toward the couple in order to assist in the reconciliation process. - 2010 Church Manual p. 152

Richard Myers

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Re: Church Manual Proposed Change on Immorality
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 05:19:03 PM »
Thank you, Pastor Immanuel. Adultery is one such offense that requires church discipline. But, the language as it reads appears to define adultery. I see now how it can be misunderstood.  The church manual committee could reword it. But, your explanation of the "Lawful binding" appears needed and ought to have been explained by someone when presented to the Session. I am sure it would have solved the concern. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully the working will be improved and an explanation forthcoming so it can be approved.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.