For all those that don't know I'm state side at Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute for their fifth term. Here's some of my homework; a discussion synopsis's.
The topic discussed was in reference to Rules verses Freedom
in relation to church structure and authority. Does Church leadership have
authority to establish rules to govern within a congregation or group of
congregations? Is it extra biblical? And do these principles violate our
“Freedoms” in Christ?I personally think that great care should be taken in this area so as not to quench the guiding principles of the Christian life. Rules stem from principles that are laid out for us by Christ in the New Testament. In the time of the Jews they had the law and then they built a system of rules around the Law. The rules were not “sin” but they bread generations of hypocrites by taking the focus away from the personal relationship with God, and putting it on the rules. In using the word freedom the meaning is twofold. First in Christ we have freedom from sin. But the meaning inferred here is freedom from a binding system that is hindering one from serving God according the principles of Christ. Thus we must ask ourselves, does our rules rob biblical principles of their vitality by taking people’s attention away from the heart of God and turning it to a mortal religious system. Thus in all instances we must look introspectively to see the fruit of these rules. Do they direct one into a closer more intimate relationship with God or do they merely improve one’s personal piety? Are they put in place to fulfill God’s will for man or to preserve biblical convictions? We must also consider the fact that there is a difference between convictions and standards. Convictions are spiritual truths based off of the principles of Christ. Whereas standards are personal guidelines to keep ones flesh in check so as not to violate his/her convictions. These “standards” should be based off of both ones personal weaknesses and the principles of one’s culture, so as not to fall personally and also not to offend a brother. Thus there are standards that apply to one personally and standards that affect a group or society.