Month: October,2018
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE

October 15, 2018 By

SCOD 2018
Supt. Bruce N. G. Cromwell, Ph.D.

The 2015 FMC-USA General Conference directed the SCOD to research things that make for peace, the use of force or violence, and the concept of a just war. As I began to study this topic and research these issues,1 eventually resulting in a paper on capital punishment for the SCOD,2 it was suggested that the broader and yet more foundational issue which must be addressed is the relationship between the Church and the State. Such interchange is rife with challenges and opportunities. History has found the dizzying dance between the city of God and the city of humans to often have the respective partners switching the lead, or at least attempting to each guide the relationship. But the two-steps and dips and twirls and spins that Church-State relations seem to currently be engaged in have led to increased questions about what a Christian should do in our complicated and confusing political reality.

When looking at the issues facing our societies and the best ways for peoples and nations to address such societal concerns it is important to ask what the proper place and role of the Church is alongside of political entities. How much should one influence the other, or even relate to the other? The words “separation of Church and State” are frequently thrown about in such discussions, though they are often used in a manner not intended by Thomas Jefferson,

ABUSE, ABANDONMENT, ADULTERY

ABUSE, ABANDONMENT, ADULTERY

October 1, 2018 By

Free Methodist clergy recognize that marriage is a covenant that is not meant to be broken.  We also recognize, along with Jesus and Paul that there are circumstances from a “hardness of heart” that make a marriage abusive.  To require a person to stay in such a marriage would be contrary to the intent of Scripture.  Thus Free Methodist clergy also recognize that with the biblical explanation of abandonment and adultery destroying the covenant of marriage so does abuse.  In this writing by Herb Vander Lugt with editor Martin R. De Haan II we are provided a detailed study of Scripture in support of this understanding.  

In part De Haan says:

THE LAW OF MOSES

The apostle Paul reminds us that all

Scripture is inspired by God and full of wisdom for living in a fallen world (2 Tim. 3:16). With this reminder, let’s review some often-overlooked provisions in the law of Moses. While Jewish rabbis have seen significance in these passages, the church has often focused on the marital ideal rather than those conditions which, according to Moses, required protection for even the most weak and vulnerable women in Israel….

God’s ideal and intent formarriage has never changed.  What has changed, however, are the conditions that occur when hard- hearted people break and are broken by the timeless principles of God. The same law that offers penalties for murder, theft, perjury, and adultery also provides consequences when the purpose and covenant of marriage are broken by contempt and abuse.