Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
June 30th, 2016 by Joel Watts

St Cyprian on the heresy of ecclesiastical disobedience 

Disobedience is a doorway to more sins. We can call it rebellion or secession or nonconformity, but it brings in scheming, deception, and rivalry. Scripture and Tradition warned repeatedly against such things.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


3 Responses to “St Cyprian on the heresy of ecclesiastical disobedience ”
  1. Tom McCann says

    “To end their concord with their own Bishop, and not to hold fast to ecclesiastical discipline”

    If anyone in the UMC, lay or ordained, refuses to submit to the prescribed disciplinary process, they should be removed from the rolls of the church.

    • Scott Fritzsche says

      That is four Annual Conferences gone then.

      • My first response was “good”. Split. End of whining on both sides.

        Then, after some reflection on “Who Wrote the Bible”, Friedman; history repeats itself.

        UMC, 12 administrative organizations:
        5 Jurisdictions
        7 Central Conferences.

        Sounds familiar:
        Twelve tribes split into the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

        Centralized control of all tribes from the South. Tribal authority dismantled by Solomon.

        Injustice perceived by North (unfair treatment, missim system, North’s chief priest, Abiathar, removed from his job).

        South felt it was better than the North, morally and ethically (in terms of fidelity to Yahweh).

        Practical result:
        Both sides thought they were right.
        Both sides had their own King, priests, prophets, name for God, and places of worship.
        Both sides weakened with the split.
        Both sides were eventually destroyed (although the South can take comforted that they lasted a little longer). 🙁

        J (South) and E (North) versions of scripture modified to reflect their own perspective. The hardliners (P), even got their two cents in.

        Then, miraculously, a guy by the name of Jesus, who was born in the South, but was really from the North, tried to put the pieces (singular, peace) back together again.

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