Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Antioch - Canon 18

If any bishop ordained to a parish shall not proceed to the parish to which he has been ordained, not through any fault of his own, but either because of the rejection of the people, or for any other reason not arising from himself, let him enjoy his rank and ministry; only he shall not disturb the affairs of the Church which he joins; and he shall abide by whatever the full synod of the province shall determine, after judging the case.

If the ordained overseer is unable to accept appointment for reasons outside of his control, he may join in fellowship at a church wherever suited until a full synod might be convened to determine his situation and future.  Until then, he may maintain the privileges of his office but not interfere with the affairs of this temporary church home.

Today, there are a times when a church leader may not be in a position of authority in a local group for a variety of reasons.  A furlough will likely find him visiting and sitting under the teaching of another leader.  There may be a tendency in those cases for the furloughed leader to become enmeshed in affairs because of a desire to be productive again or because of the prodding from those established in the new church to get him involved.  In both cases the proper course of action is to stop and back away, recognizing that premature involvement is reckless and potentially damaging to both him and those he hopes to assist.  The leader is on furlough for a reason.  If the Lord so indicates through patient waiting and wise council that he should be fully involved with the new group, the first church should review what has happened and send him on with their blessing.

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