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What is your opinion on the Church disfellowshipping a member because of pregnancy outside of marriage?

From a personal standpoint, all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God and to disfellowship a member because of pregnancy is throwing them back into the world instead of loving them and encouraging them in their spiritual life and recommitting themselves back to the Lord. Don't take me wrong, I am not encouraging the sin!!!

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Ezra

 

Your argument is on thin ice at this point. G  You are mixing apples and oranges, which may taste good, but it does not wash. 

 

First of all, I was not aware that Mercedez had said she was sorry for what she had done.  Her comments seem to display an entirely different attitude.  I.e. that the church was wrong for taking such a hard stand on something so innocent.  If I have misunderstood her position in that area, I stand to be corrected.

 

Your use of the illustration of the woman caught in adultery is not used correctly here.  In modern terminology, that was a rape case, not consensual sex.  Not even today do we condemn the rape victim, that is if it is a genuine rape case.  While not in all situations, there are some who bring the rape on themselves.  I know this is not popular, but it is true.  Women flaunt themselves at men and attempt to get them worked up, much like a bird teasing a cat.  Then when the "cat" pounces, the "bird" is the looser.

 

Now we are seeing an even worse situation.  It is no secret that both men and women have hormones and are driven to seek someone of the opposite sex as a companion.  That is built into all of us and is what populates the earth.  When held under the control of the Holy Spirit, it is a wonderful experience.  When it is not controled by the Holy Spirit, it can be a disaster.

 

However, today on the various visual media, the female body is displayed so extensively. Programs depict the sex act so glamerously, or suggestivly that only someone who is hormone dead or under the full contol of the HOly Spirit can avoid responding as Satan wants us to.  But, here is the really bad part.

 

Let's say that Joe has been watching what should be "X-rated" commercials or programing.  I'm not eliminating porn, but that is not necessary any more.  Much of what is on Western TV is the pornography of yesteryear.  So, our fictitious Joe gets his hormones all worked up.  Then as he is driving home, he sees a teeny booper with a skirt so short that nothing is left to the imagination, or short shorts, etc.  That  trigger can set off his hormones and an "innocent" child is raped and often killed.  OR even someone who is dressed properly but who is in a situation of opportunity, triggers all of those pent up emotions and he releases them on her.  In that case she would indeed be the innocent victim, like the woman Jesus was dealing with.

 

Sure, the man in guilty.  Sure he should not have been looking at those things.  Sure, he should have allowed the Holy Spirit to control him.  That is all true.  But the visual media has a very strong blame in many of these rape situations.  Add to that the suggestive music and adds for that music and you have a most potent drive towards just this type of activity. 

 

Some of these adds and programs I have just stumbled on and they have left me agast at the brazen, suggestive; no it goes far over the line of suggestive, to out right plainly asking for fornication, that is going on today.  The only way a person can hope to survive is to allow the Holy Spirit to guard the avenues of our mind.  Without that, this entire world will soon be one vast brothel.  I most certainly do not envy the youth of today being bombarded with all of those temptations and suggestions. 

 

So, Ezra, while I have gone astray from the original remark, while I agree in principle, I do not go along with the rational.

 

Back to the situation with Mercedez.  I for one do not have any idea of the ramifications of her situation, nor do I want to know, as my comments are not aimed at her, but the situation that was set up.  But, assuming she is in the best light, I agree that the church is weak in dealing with such people.  I'll not go into more detail, but it is a real problem in the church today and I'm afraid that we have not held up the standards, the standards of forgiveness and helping that we should have maintained.


Maranatha :)
Ray

 

 

 

First of all, I was not aware that Mercedez had said she was sorry for what she had done.

Perhaps that is the problem, she said a while back that she took it up with God. That is all that is reaquired from her. She does not need to address it with us.While I agree that there was nothing innocent in what she did, it could have been handled with compassion instead of condemnation.

I disagree with you that it was rape, if it was Christ would not have said to her "go and sin no more". We know that under the law a woman that is raped is blameless in Gods eyes. Deu 22:26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; [there is] in the damsel no sin [worthy] of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so [is] this matter:

That is how God looks at rape, so in order for Christ to have forgiven her it means that she sinned and needed forgiveness.

Ezra

 

Rape is the closest short way of addressing the incident.  No, she was not dragged in a house and sexually assulted.  However, her uncle, Simon, who had gotten her in trouble to start with, who was a church official in Jerusalem, agreed with the priests to seduce Mary and they would catch them and use this to embarrass Jesus and put Him in a bad light with the people.

 

Now, tell me, just what part of the scenario that Mary played would be considered to be sin?  Mary was the closest female friend He had on earth.  Can one imagine that she would be a willing player in such an effort to discredit Jesus?  I hardly beleive so.

 

This phrase: "Go and sin no more" is not well understood in today's parlance.  Like the one where Jesus said to His mother: "Woman, what have I to do with you?"  So, we need to look at the context and discover just what Jesus was really saying.

 

The way I understand what Jesus said would be like this modern statement.  "OK, you were trapped this time, don't get into that situation again."  For Jesus will not cover sin.  If Jesus did not consider it as a sin, should we?  While He will forgive, that is not brought into this story.  Jesus did not say: "I forgive you, go and sin no more."  No, He said that He did not condemn her and not to sin again.

Let's take a look at some other times where Jesus used the same phrase.

"Those who choose to be presumptuous, saying, "The Lord has healed me, and I need not restrict my diet; I can eat and drink as I please," will erelong need, in body and soul, the restoring power of God. Because the Lord has graciously healed you, you must not think you can link yourselves up with the self-indulgent practices of the world. Do as Christ commanded after His work of healing,--"go, and sin no more." John 8:11. Appetite must not be your god."  {CD 25.3}

"The woman had stood before Jesus, cowering with fear. His words, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone," had come to her as a death sentence. She dared not lift her eyes to the Saviour's face, but silently awaited her doom. In astonishment she saw her accusers depart speechless and confounded; then those words of hope fell upon her ear, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." Her heart was melted, and she cast herself at the feet of Jesus, sobbing out her grateful love, and with bitter tears confessing her sins.  {DA 462.1} 
     "This was to her the beginning of a new life, a life of purity and peace, devoted to the service of God. In the uplifting of this fallen soul, Jesus performed a greater miracle than in healing the most grievous physical disease; He cured the spiritual malady which is unto death everlasting. This penitent woman became one of His most steadfast followers. With self-sacrificing love and devotion she repaid His forgiving mercy."  {DA 462.2}

 "It is not Christ's follower that, with averted eyes, turns from the erring, leaving them unhindered to pursue their downward course. Those who are forward in accusing others, and zealous in bringing them to justice, are often in their own lives more guilty than they. Men hate the sinner, while they love the sin. Christ hates the sin, but loves the sinner. This will be the spirit of all who follow Him. Christian love is slow to censure, quick to discern penitence, ready to forgive, to encourage, to set the wanderer in the path of holiness, and to stay his feet therein."  {DA 462.4} 

See, sin is the wilful choice to go contrary to God's revealed will.  Sin is excluding God from our choices and doing what we feel is the best.  In that sense, yes, Mary had sinned, but she was not condemned for it.  WHY?  Becasue it was not something she planned or was a willing participant.  In short, she was used and Jesus knew that.  In any other situation, Mary would have been guilty of sin.  But, to lay the condemnation of sin at her feet in this situation sets a precident that I, for one, am not willing to start.  For then every victim of any crime becomes guilty of that crime and I can not go there.

 

Read the commentary on this in Ministry of Healing, starting on page 87 and onward.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

 

PS

"There was not one of her accusers but was more guilty than the conscience-stricken woman who stood trembling with shame before him. After the Pharisees had hastily left the presence of Christ, in their guilty consternation, he arose and looked upon the woman, saying, "Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee. Go, and sin no more."  {2SP 351.1}  
     Jesus did not palliate sin nor lessen the sense of crime; but he came not to condemn; he came to lead the sinner to eternal life. The world looked upon this erring woman as one to be slighted and scorned; but the pure and holy Jesus stooped to address her with words of comfort, encouraging her to reform her life. Instead of to condemn the guilty, his work was to reach into the very depths of human woe and degradation, lift up the debased and sinful, and bid the trembling penitent to "sin no more." When the woman stood before Jesus, cowering under the accusation of the Pharisees and a sense of the enormity of her crime, she knew that her life was
trembling in the balance, and that a word from Jesus would add fuel to the indignation of the crowd, so that they would immediately stone her to death."  {2SP 351.2} 

 

 

First of all, who is this Simon and how do you know that this is Mary? I am not sure how to respond to this post without more information on where you are getting your source. Have I missed something?

Ezra

 

The references were given.  Ellen White tells us that Simon, her uncle, the same one who threw the feast for Jesus because he had been healed of leprosy, lead Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, into sin as a young woman.  As a result, she had to move out of town, so she went to the seacoast town of Magdalla.  As a result, she became known as Mary Magdalene.  Jesus went there (at Martha's request???) and found Mary and helped her to break free from her life of prostitution.  She became the closest female friend Jesus had on this earth.  Secular accounts even claim they had a "love child," but that is pure slander. 

 

Then as the priest and rulers wanted to discredit Jesus, they got Simon to again use his position and influence to again entice Mary into bed, knowing that the priest would break in on them and drag her out of bed to bring her to Jesus. 

 

Imagine the level of embarrasment this would bring to Jesus, as well as hurt and sorrow!  However, what Mary had done and even what Simon had done, as dispicable as it was, palled in comparison to the guilt the Jewish leaders were guilty of.  In comparision, Mary was angelic.  Yes, she made a mistake.  Yes, she fell back into her old habits that Simon had started in her life.  But, that is not what brought the Savior's condemnation.  What brought His condemnation was the spiritual leaders and their coniving.  In comparision the rest was nothing.

 

You can find the accounts in Desire of Ages, Spirit of Prophecy, and Ministry of Healing, etc.  References I have shared in earlier post. 

 

The situation of  Mary and Jesus is an example of the great love God has for all who have fallen into this trap of Satan.  I realize that Mercedez has become angry with me for answering her questions.  But, far from condeming her, I only attempted to point out the way to find a better life.  These things do have consequences, however, they are not fatal unless we allow them to be.  Jesus, as with Mary, is always standing there ready to accpet us back when we recoginze our shortfall, confess our sins and then He will cleanse us of all unrighteousness, even sexual failing, one of the most common.

 

There are three areas that Satan attacks the human race on the most stridently. 

  1. The first is the Sabbath.  For this is the sign that God is making us good.
  2. The second is procreation.  For this is a privilege that not even the angels can enjoy.  To see humans giving live to other free moral agents; makes Satan furious, so he has attempted to confuse and destroy in this area with a vengence.
  3. The third is social order.  God established a social order in Genesis 3 as a rebuke to Satan's attempt to change it by decieveing Eve.  Satanis still angry becasue God did not allow the order he set up to stand and has worked ever since to change it. 

The roots of these are found in Eden.  The three primary privileges that God had given to the first couple, raised Satan's emity and they have been the lines of battle ever since.

 

Of course Satan has many other areas where he attempts to lead us away from God, too numerous to catalog.  However, those three areas seem to be where he vents his most violent attacks.  For in attacking those areas, he brings great pain to our loving Father in Heaven by destroying that which God established.

 

Happy Sabbath!

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

 

 

 

MsMS

 

Had Elder Weiland read more in the writtings of Ellen White, he would not have come to those conclusions.  Ellen White paints quite a different picture.

"As did Nathan with David, Christ concealed His home thrust under the veil of a parable. He threw upon His host the burden of pronouncing sentence upon himself. Simon had led into sin the woman he now despised. She had been deeply wronged by him. . . . But Simon felt himself more righteous than Mary, and Jesus desired him to see how great his guilt really was. He would show him that his sin was greater than hers, as much greater as a debt of five hundred pence exceeds a debt of fifty pence. . . .  {CC 308.4}  
     "Simon's coldness and neglect toward the Saviour showed how little he appreciated the mercy he had received. He had thought he honored Jesus by inviting Him to his house. But he now saw himself as he really was. . . . His religion had been a robe of Pharisaism. . . . While Mary was a sinner pardoned, he was a sinner unpardoned. The rigid rule of justice he had desired to enforce against her condemned him.  {CC 308.5} 
     "Simon was touched by the kindness of Jesus is not openly rebuking him before the guests. He had not been treated as he desired Mary to be treated. . . . Stern denunciation would have hardened Simon against repentance, but patient admonition convinced him of his error. He saw the magnitude of the debt which he owed his Lord. His pride was humbled, he repented, and the proud Pharisee became a lowly, self-sacrificing disciple.  {CC 308.6} 

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

 

See these references:

Adventist Home 204.2; Conflict and Courage 305.3; Daughters of God, 60.3, 195.2,  238.3; Desire of Ages. pages 566 ff; Vol 4 Redemption 108.2, 112 ff; Reflecting Christ, 170.5; Signs of the Times, Aug. 20, 1902, October 9, 1879 par. 16, October 25, 1905 par. 10;  Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings. 129.2;  Vol. 2 Spirit of Prophesy 374 ff, 380 ff; etc.

 

 

 

 

Mercedez ... disfellowshipping is not the end of the world either.

Those being disfellowshipped are in good company ...

Ellen White was disfellowshipped.

 

 

One can  be disfellowshipped for a variety of reasons. Some are far less severe than what  you did.

 

"Christians who form the habit of using abusive language are to be excluded from fellowship with the church." 6 BC p. 693 
Exactly. But it's just the way Christians treat Christians. It doesn't matter what denomination. It seems to be a sickness that does not know bounds. Ellen's father tried hard to stay and not be disfellowshipped. But to no avail.

Thanks Alex. As is your personal perspective. It is just yours and that's all you have.

 

Praise God we are not saved by the correct knowledge we have on such issues.

 

God is Good

what if a pastor was a killer before becoming a pastor? what if some of your human authorities was a great sinner? in this case the sin is visible, most of sins are invisible, and nobody is holy except God. who are we do judge who has the rights to fellowship or whatever, and who - not? what i know is this - many SDA-s leave the church, because people whose sins are invisible make them think that they are not worthy to be at church etc. but actually they are those who admit that they are sinners. who was blessed more and who might be saved - the proud pharisee or the humble tax-man? also, see what kind of people Jesus had around Him.

if a person has the smallest wish to follow God at any moment of his life, no matter what he's done, God will accept him. He accepted the sinner at the cross, right?

we should be careful not to lead any soul away from God. only God knows our hearts and has seen our struggles, thank God, He is God and not like humans. thank God, He forgives..

Yes, bringing legal matters to the church to decide might possibly be a good thing ... but the church does not operate like that in today's society.
Wow!! My church is so loving that it is shocking to me that others have had to face (possibly) being thrown out!

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