Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 41 (7th Commandment)

The Seventh Commandment

108. Question: What does the seventh commandment teach us?

Answer: That all unchastity is cursed by God.[1] We must therefore detest it from the heart[2] and live chaste and disciplined lives, both within and outside of holy marriage.[3]

[1] Lev. 18:30; Eph. 5:3-5. [2] Jude 22, 23. [3] I Cor. 7:1-9; I Thess. 4:3-8; Heb. 13:4.

109. Question: Does God in this commandment forbid nothing more than adultery and similar shameful sins?

Answer: Since we, body and soul, are temples of the Holy Spirit, it is God’s will that we keep ourselves pure and holy. Therefore He forbids all unchaste acts, gestures, words, thoughts, desires,[1] and whatever may entice us to unchastity.[2]

[1] Matt. 5:27-29; I Cor. 6:18-20; Eph. 5:3, 4. [2] I Cor. 15:33; Eph. 5:18.


New Marriage Study

Good Morning Brothers,

This week we begin our new Fall study on MARRIAGE. Not that any of us need to work on marriage. I know we’re all batting a thousand. But I bet you know someone who knows that they need work. Or, if they’re not married right now, they are planning on it one day and deeply desire to have a God-honoring marriage.

So, for the next few weeks we will be be watching videos, praying prayers, discussing Scripture, and talking with one another about marriage… and how we can become the godly husbands that God has created, redeemed, and called us to be.

There is no study guide for this. The only homework we’ll have is to put the  stuff we talk about into practice. So plan on coming this week… and invite a friend… or two…  or three… to join us.

I’m looking forward to learning from you. This is certainly a study where we very much need each other. The accumulated wisdom that we’ll have each week (that we’ve gained from our own successes and failures) is just bound to be a blessing to us all.

See you this week.

Your Brother,

United Methodist Pastors Call on Council of Bishops

The following is from Good News Magazine. Used with permission. I encourage you to check this out and sign the statement.

UM Pastors Call Upon Council of Bishops to Issue Statement on Same-Sex Unions

United Methodist pastors of large and strategic congregations from across the nation are calling upon the Council of Bishops to issue a clear statement of support for the denomination’s standards regarding marriage and homosexuality. Good News applauds the leadership of the Revs. Tom Harrison, Charles Kyker, Edmund Robb III, Ken Werlein, and Steve Wood in spearheading the communication to the United Methodist bishops. An additional 54 pastors joined the effort.

“The United Methodist Church needs clear and prophetic leadership right now,” says the Rev. Ed Robb III, senior pastor of the 9,200-member Woodlands United Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas. “As clergy, we are asking the Council of Bishops to make a clear and concise statement supporting our denomination’s stance on marriage and human sexuality.”

The signers are responding to the news that more than 900 United Methodist clergy have pledged to break the denomination’s prohibition against conducting same-sex unions. In response, these pastors of some of United Methodism’s largest churches have asked that the Council of Bishops “issue a public statement that you … stand together in your commitment to defend and enforce The Book of Discipline.”

“We love God and we love all people. We honor and respect scriptural authority,” says the Rev. Steve Wood, senior pastor of Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. “Our issue as UM clergy is the covenant that binds us together and keeps us united as stated in The Book of Discipline. The willful violation of that covenant by hundreds of UM clergy will fracture our unity.”

Good News encourages your support of this important stand by visiting WWW.FaithfulUMC.org and reading the letter and adding your name to the list of concerned clergy and laity.

“The response from our episcopal leaders will either hold together our United Methodist Faith and Practice or it will be the death blow which begins the demise of our church,” says the Rev. Charles C. Kyker, lead pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Hickory, North Carolina.

“As we approach the 2012 General Conference, United Methodists in the pulpits and the pews need to hear that their leaders are in touch with the mainstream and grassroots of the church,” says the Rev. Ken Werlein, senior pastor of Faithbridge United Methodist Church in Spring, Texas.

These pastors are reminding the members of the Council of Bishops that United Methodists in the pews do not comprehend how actions so clearly prohibited by The Book of Discipline can be acceptable within the denomination. “Even if such acts of disobedience are dealt with appropriately, if they occur in large numbers, the members of our church will simply not understand how such actions are possible,” the pastors write.

As the Call to Action Committee pointed out in its report, there is a chasm of trust between the people in the pews and the leadership of the denomination. The pastors’ statement suggests that if the bishops fail to act it will become more difficult, perhaps impossible, to convince their churches to pay their apportionments in full.

Very Important: Good News encourages you to forward this issue of Perspective to members of your Sunday school class, as well as your congregation, so that they too can have their voices heard. A signature form can also be printed from the FaithfulUMC.com website and passed around at your church to gain more signatures.