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Archive for July, 2011

Various Changes in the NFOG

July 13th, 2011 No comments

I thought I would note some of the changes I’ve run across as we begin operating under the NFOG. I may update this post as I find other items worth mentioning.

  • There’s no longer a requirement for deacons to meet annually with session. (The old G-6.0405.)
  • The category of “inactive member” has been eliminated: G-1.0401. (Amen.)
  • Congregations decide their own rules for the minimum notification time preceding a congregational meeting: G-1.0502.
  • Congregations also set their own quorum to conduct business: G-1.0501.
  • Robert’s Rules is no longer mandated (old G-7.0302c).
  • The composition of the nominating committee is defined by the congregation, except it has to have (in addition to the ex-officio pastor) three active members and at least one currently-serving ruling elder: G-2.0401.
  • After the election of new officers, session examines them, and, if they pass, session decides when they get ordained and/or installed: G-2.0402.
  • Sessions decide their own quorum: G-3.0203.
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Stumbling and Stumbling Blocks

July 13th, 2011 No comments

Here’s an encouraging thought:

It is difficult, I admit, not to stumble frequently, and even sometimes to fall, when stumbling-blocks without number lie across our path. But our minds ought to be fortified with confidence; for the Son of God, who commands his followers to walk in the midst of stumbling-blocks, will unquestionably give us strength to overcome them all.

This from Calvin’s commentary on Matthew 13:41, part of the Parable of the Tares.

(The history of this parable’s interpretation may be nearly as interesting as the parable itself. What people seem to do is to read “the field is the world” as meaning “the field is the church. Then they read “let both of them grow together” to mean “go ahead and root out the tares immediately.” And I’m not talking about theological lightweights, either. I mean people like Augustine, Calvin, and Wesley.)

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Blog Problems

July 5th, 2011 No comments

I tried to upgrade this blog to WordPress 3.2 and ran into various difficulties. After a little bit of effort, it seems to be back up and running again. If history is any guide, however, there will be glitches I’ll need to iron out over the next few days. So be patient. Thanks.

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Truly Dead

July 4th, 2011 No comments

Usually when I read the crucifixion and resurrection accounts in the Bible, I notice how they are at pains to show how the risen Lord Jesus was truly alive and not a phantasm. Today, however, these verses leapt out at me:

When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.Luke 24:48-49.

What are they there for? To be sure, they allows us to share in the pain and loss of the people who grieved, particularly the women. But is that the only reason Luke told us that those who stood at the cross were “all who knew him”? I doubt it. Those verses remind us it was truly Jesus who was crucified, not someone else. Then the crowd left as soon as the spectacle was over. But the eyewitnesses, who knew him well stayed longer — long enough to eliminate any idea that he might have “fainted” or “swooned” or any such nonsense.

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