Thinking of the Church: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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78 Responses

  1. Richard says:

    Amen and amen.
    I was reminded of Mark 8:33, where Jesus tells Peter that he is setting his mind on man’s interests, not God’s.
    Many churches have appeared to become money-making business ventures instead of what God intended.

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Indeed. As a “for instance” the Willow Creek Leadership conferences and the “corporate model” for the church. I could be wrong, but this reminds me of books published in the 1950s in which Jesus was a model for salesmen. For lack a a better term, we might do well to “stay in our lane”…

  3. Jean says:

    Regarding point #1:

    “What if, instead of arguing about same-sex marriages, we simply withdrew from being functionaries for the state? ”

    Who is the “we” in that statement? Are you addressing church denominations? Pastors? Christians” Other or all three?

  4. Duane Arnold says:


    Churches, denominations… a process similar to France. The reason I bring this up is that we’ve lost (or are rapidly losing) the Christian definition of marriage in identifying, I think, with the state’s definition of marriage which, as we can see, is changeable. The church, on the other hand, views marriage as being based upon something different than secular jurisprudence…

  5. Jean says:

    Marriage is an estate of mankind that is clearly defined, blessed and very important in God’s creative order of the world. In fact, it is picture of Christ’s relationship to the Church.

    This estate benefits not only Christians but society in general. Christians for love and protection of their families, but also for the love of their neighbors and even enemies should support God’s revelation of the estate of marriage. Same sex marriage is not blessed by God and support of same sex marriage does not love the neighbor who struggles with same sex attraction.

    Christians, in the exercise of their voting rights, as well as in the teaching of their churches, should no less oppose same-sex marriage than they oppose the murder of the unborn.

    Not arguing, just offering my opinion in a matter where we have a clear word from God.

  6. Duane Arnold says:


    Yes, I know the Lutheran view of the civil/social estate of marriage. I think, however, we’ve arrived at that caveat that Luther provided for when the State legislates something that is contrary to a Christian view… namely, conscience. In all candor, Luther’s view of marriage never envisioned what we are facing in 2018 in a post-Christian society.

  7. Michael says:

    Culturally, the same sex marriage argument has been settled.
    We can spend another 10 years fighting it and all that will happen is that the church will become further defined by a single position.
    In our church plant people can go to the state for state recognition.
    They can come to the church if they desire a sacramental union afterward.
    I won’t officiate or “bless’ a same sex marriage…nor will I allow myself to be drawn in to endless arguments about it.
    If the current movements in sexuality and morality are as damaging as we believe then to be then the fruit produced will bear witness to our position.
    In the meantime, we have our own issues…

  8. Jean says:

    Thank you for the ability to share deferring POVs here.

  9. Jean says:

    One last thought:

    “Culturally, the same sex marriage argument has been settled.
    We can spend another 10 years fighting it and all that will happen is that the church will become further defined by a single position.”

    I agree with Duane’s first assertion: “Firstly, I should state that I believe that the Church is different from secular society as a whole.”

    As such, Christ’s Church does not operate, regulate or modify itself to suit or conform to culture, regardless of how it might define her. That is a remnant of church growth philosophy infiltrating the thought process. We listen to Christ, plant and water, and Christ gives the growth.

  10. Michael says:


    I’m utterly weary of the topic.
    During a lectionary year the “opportunity” to address the matter may arise a couple of times.
    I may or may not avail myself of those “opportunities”.
    I have never been a part of the dreaded “church growth” crap and have not been influenced by it one iota.

  11. Michael says:

    The result of all the political battles and the culture wars is that when I say to someone that I’m a Christian they immediately think of me in terms of political issues and morality wars.

    What I want people to think is that I’m self identifying as a follower of Jesus and to wonder what that means.

    Part of that may mean that I believe in traditional marriage, but there is a vastly more important set of things to talk about before we get to that…

  12. Duane Arnold says:


    My largest concern is that we spend too much time as the church “playing in the sandbox” of secular society with dubious results. We end up with churches that look like night clubs, theology that is two miles wide and an inch deep and the claim that we can solve the ills of the world, when we cannot even keep our own house in order. John Stott in his exposition of the Sermon on the Mount claimed that it was simply counter-cultural. We don’t take that observation seriously. Unfortunately, we want to fit in… we want a seat at the table… we want to be part of the culture. There’s the problem…

  13. Michael says:

    Let me also note that I believe the Sunday morning service is for worship and the edification of believers,not a missionary outreach or a voting seminar…

  14. Em says:

    I think withdrawing from performing the civil aspect of marriage vows makes all the sense in the world… I recall Pastor Dread making the same observation
    For the sake of smaller churches a $500,000 total accrued tax deduction in any one city might make sense…. ?
    Since the confessional is not part of my Christianity i can’t pontificate on reporting abuse except as it pertains to outside the confessional – a hearty amen to that ! ! !
    Great post – sound food for thot – IMHO

  15. Michael says:


    We are called to be a peculiar people, a defined society outside common society.
    I have a natural affinity for that… 🙂

  16. Jean says:

    “My largest concern is that we spend too much time as the church “playing in the sandbox” of secular society with dubious results.”

    I’m glad my church doesn’t do that. Yet, it teaches its members what the Word of God says about the social issues of the day, because pastors and laity cannot avoid them. They come into the church or into our families, and Christians need to know what is right and wrong, good and evil. People ask for membership, marriage, baptism, communion, advice, get invited to marriage ceremonies, get asked their opinion or for advice. Therefore, a church should be prepared for addressing contemporary social issues, even while not fixating on them. They are important issues. Christians need to know what sin is, what grace is, what repentance is, etc.

  17. Duane Arnold says:


    I’m sure your church is perfect. Mine is simply filled with saints and sinners trying our best to walk with
    Christ… Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail.

  18. Michael says:

    The Word of God speaks exponentially more about loving our neighbors and caring for the stranger among us, the poor and the oppressed, than the sexual proclivities of a small segment of the population.
    I will go and do likewise…

  19. Jean says:

    Never said it was perfect. Just not afflicted with the concern you identified. That is the beauty of the Lutheran tradition, that we endeavor to adhere to the Word of God and properly distinguish between Law and Gospel.

  20. Jean says:

    If one were to examine the Decalogue, for example, one would find commandments addressing:

    1. Children honoring your mother and father, not two mothers or two fathers.
    2. Adultery in the marriage of a man and a woman.
    3. Coveting your neighbor’s wife.

    In addition, the Bible is replete with law addressing human sexuality. It’s not a small topic by any means. Again, as I said above, the estate of marriage, beginning in Genesis 1, is blessed and a part of God’s creative plan for not only filling and subduing the earth, but Jesus was born and raised in a household with a mother and a father.

  21. Duane Arnold says:


    I hate to break the news to you, but many LCMS churches have embraced political agendas – mainly leaning to the right. As to your fixation with same-sex marriage, I’ve not heard anyone here arguing with you…

  22. Jean says:

    It’s not a fixation. I don’t recall ever writing on the topic myself. I only commented on the topic because it was in the article.

    I assume you wrote about it to invite conversation.

  23. Duane Arnold says:


    Yes, and the point was -” What if, instead of arguing about same-sex marriages, we simply withdrew from being functionaries for the state? “

  24. Jean says:

    Yes, but, no, that doesn’t actually end the argument, because the issue has many touch points with the church besides officiating at a marriage ceremony. A church needs a doctrine of human sexuality, based on the Bible, which deals with all the related issues.

  25. Michael says:


    As Duane said, no one here is arguing for same sex marriage.
    In my view, by continuing to engage the issue constantly we are capitulating to culture.
    In my almost 30 years of pastoral ministry, it’s never been an issue I had to confront…but dealing with grotesque abuses of heterosexual marriage has been a constant…

  26. Duane Arnold says:


    I kind of think that doctrine has been worked out over the last couple of thousand years… you know, Scripture, Augustine, Aquinas…

  27. Michael says:

    Doctrines are good for general guidelines, not always for pastoral ministry.

    Let me give an example…or two..

    An elderly couple (both widowed) want to get married.
    They are both devout Christians.
    However, if they get married they will lose the necessary income and medical insurance to live above a bare subsistance level.
    They ask if God would be angry if they lived together without the benefit of state approval…what would you tell them?

    A young woman was sexually brutalized for years by her father.
    She believes she is gay…she is repulsed by the thought of intimacy with a man.
    What would you tell her?

  28. Linnea says:

    Duane…love your list of what if’s. The Church is primarily for edification of the saints. It is not a shield for sinners, it is not a political bludgeon, it is for the encouragement of believers. How we need this today. How we suffer when the church is turned into something else. Thank you.

  29. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks…

  30. Em says:

    Michael @ 1:03.. first example is easy, take your vows before God and forget the civil … unless there’s a problem with common law rules?
    second example harder… i hope the father is in jail or hell, unless he has repented flat on his face before God … but, what to tell the poor victim… dunno… “Get thee to a nunnery?” Or a good psychiatrist?

  31. Em says:

    Linnea. ? ? ?

  32. Michael says:


    You solved the first one just as I did…

  33. Jean says:

    Situational ethics is unbiblical. I hope no one here is advocating it.

  34. Em says:

    Jean, there is a vast difference between common sense grace within the boundaries of God’s norms and standards and “situational ethic”
    Remember David and his hungry men?

  35. Jean says:

    Thank you for the common sense. However, your application of the. mercy given to David and his hungry men, in accordance with “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” to a couple considering defrauding the taxpayers and living as a married couple not in accordance with the laws the state for marriage is the very worst eisegesis. But, that is just nonsense speaking.

  36. Jean says:

    These lines of thought drive the church on the same path that was tread by the mainline ELCA, Presbyterian and Episcopal denominations. We are not something greater than the temple. We cannot understand what love looks like without reference to the Word of God’s Law. They cannot be separated.

  37. Duane Arnold says:


    I take it you have read Joe Fletcher?

  38. Michael says:

    I’m very into situational mercy…like Rahab or the Hebrew midwives.
    As the state doesn’t define marriage for the church I have no issue with my older couple being able to eat something other than dog food while having companionship in their last years.

  39. Em says:

    Well, Jean would the elderly couple then be allowed to live under the same roof as roommates ? … Keeping their pensions or soc. secur. or whatever? Would that be the Lutheran way?
    Their benefits do represent a lifetime contract of which, i assume, they contributed and kept their side of the agreement

  40. Michael says:


    What would your pastoral counsel be in those situations?

  41. Jean says:

    Case #2

    “A young woman was sexually brutalized for years by her father.
    She believes she is gay…she is repulsed by the thought of intimacy with a man.
    What would you tell her?”

    She needs pastoral and possibly psychological care. The pastor should use the keys to lift her burden. And I have no training whatsoever in pastoral care, but she would need a lot of it.

    However, in no uncertain terms is there any God-honoring or love for this woman in a solution that includes a homosexual union with another woman. This would just heap sin on top of sin, pain and suffering.

  42. Jean says:

    Case #1

    “An elderly couple (both widowed) want to get married.
    They are both devout Christians.
    However, if they get married they will lose the necessary income and medical insurance to live above a bare subsistance level.
    They ask if God would be angry if they lived together without the benefit of state approval…what would you tell them?”

    The state does not define marriage for the church, but the state does define marriage for its citizens.

    If this relationship would involve (1) any type of sexual activity, (2) the holding out by the couple of a marriage between them or a church ceremony recognizing the relationship as a marriage, (3) sleeping in the same bed, or (4) availing themselves of any state or federal right or benefit accorded to married couples, such as the right to make healthcare decisions, or otherwise, then in any of those cases, the couple should marry in accordance with the law of their state. Otherwise, they are living in sin. This is not even a matter of mercy.

  43. Jean says:

    For the record, I wouldn’t buy the dog food excuse without proof of such a tax outcome. However, in any event if somewhere out there, there is a tax benefit for a single survivor, which pursuant to its terms it goes away if the person re-marries, then working around the law while acting as married is the sin of theft.

  44. Duane Arnold says:


    I fear that you love the State more than you love people. That fills me with sadness as I believe you are a good man.

  45. Jean says:

    It’s not so much a matter of love of State, but of rendering to it what is owed. And trust me, I render my fair share.

    But frankly, this idea God had, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,” has served the citizens of this great country, myself and my family and my church and my friends, very well.

    The United States of America, it’s Constitution, its Tripartite system of governance, its Democratic Republic, and its welcoming of the immigrant, has made this country the greatest nation in the history of mankind by the grace of God.

    I am not as concerned about the external enemy as I am about the internal forces at play in America, which would destroy the fabric which has served her citizens very well. We have anarchists, racists, nationalists, traders in conspiracy theories, xenophobes, which if given the upper hand, will destroy from within what has made us a great nation.

    So, yes, I confess, I am a rule of law person, I am for just laws, and I am for the democratic process to change laws which are not effective or working for the American people. That is citizen Jean speaking. We are citizens of this great nation and have a stewardship responsibility to leave the nation healthy, both environmentally as well as economically, financially and socially, to our posterity.

    As Christians we have a stewardship of the Gospel and of the church to remain faithful to our Head and leave it to the next generation of Christians who follow us. We don’t do that by adjusting sound and biblical doctrine in search of a man made higher principle of love. God’s Word defines the love of neighbor. We just need to believe that God knows what he is doing.

  46. Em says:

    I am not convinced that Jean’s arguments regarding the old couple are airtight … too many variables
    I recall breaking a traffic law, being pulled over and arguing with the officer that i’d done so for safety’s sake – i did not get a ticket…
    I am aware of a couple, not married (retired). The husband after a long marriage left her for a younger (much younger) woman. In the divorce settlement she received half of his generous pension. She will lose it, if she remarries. Her companion has a very slim retirement. Are they wrong to not enter into a civil contract? Situation ethic? Black and white? Not sure, not sure at all

    I think one could argue that the elderly couple in question, have paid their dues and the companionship deserved leniency. ☺
    Now, if they are young folk who simply want to exploit the system…. Dunno, God may not approve….

  47. Duane Arnold says:


    You sound like a “German Church” Christian… I’ll take my stand with the Confessing Church….

  48. Michael says:

    I’m willing to stand in front of God guilty of having erred in the name of grace and love as humans actually experience and understand it.

    It’s the times when I haven’t that scare me…

  49. Jean says:

    The last two comments are astonishing. Good evening.

  50. Em says:

    Jean, you are an attorney, are you not? I can understand why the letter of the law is of prime importance to you and situational ethics or playing loose with grace should be of concern to us all…
    That said, i just cannot see our Lord telling the old couple in question here to go their separate ways or give up their income gained from a lifetime of honest labor…
    For the record, speaking as an old female person, i cannot see keeping house for another old person… but, as my grandmother was fond of saying, i guess circumstances alter cases. ?
    God keep

  51. D. Alan Hawkins says:

    My church stopped doing secular weddings three years ago. Couples get a state marriage and come have a Christian ceremony.

    We’ve had no problem navigating that.

  52. Duane Arnold says:


    I suspect that more and more churches will be conducting marriages in this manner as we go along…

  53. j2theperson says:

    ***Couples get a state marriage and come have a Christian ceremony.***

    It’s unclear by what you wrote: Do you perform a Christian ceremony even if they didn’t get a state marriage?

  54. Jean says:

    The scenarios Michael raised above are beneficial for thinking about one beliefs in three core Christian doctrines: Of God; of man; and of the Scriptures.

    1. Starting with the Scriptures, if one believes that the Scriptures are the infallable, inerrant, sufficient and effective words of God, then one may trust with certainty that what he or she hears and learns in the Scriptures is from God. This is a most salutary doctrine for providing assurance in the Gospel message, that those who confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead will be saved.

    2. If one believes that God is almighty, holy, immutable, just and love, then one may fear the wrath of God against sin and turn to Christ for consolation in God’s promised mercy for His sake, with the full assurance that God is trustworthy and that his promises are unthwartable. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. It is written: “Therefore, whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    God’s mercy is not abstract, it is not what we imagine is fair or just under the circumstances. God’s mercy seat is Jesus Christ. God’s mercy is the forgiveness of your sins, paid for by the suffering and death of God’s Son. Sin is real and it was not swept under the rug or ignored. Jesus bore our sins in his body on the tree. Jesus procured God’s forgiveness of your sins by paying for them with His precious blood.

    3. If you believe that man is conceived in sin and is infected with original sin, then you will not trust in your own wisdom in matters before God, but will trust God’s wisdom. Attempting to trust in your own wisdom in matters pertaining to God will only cause doubt, because you know that you are a fallible creature. However, if you trust in God’s wisdom, you can be assured that you are walking in the Light.

    Even if we were able (which no man or woman is in this life) to be fully renewed in the Spirit so that sin no longer infected our minds, even then, we are mere creatures. We do not have the perspective of omniscience nor eternity that God has. Therefore, in matters of “What is loving?” “What is the right thing to do?” or “What is merciful?” we can be fully confident that following the Word revealed in the Scriptures is the correct course of action, trusting that God is working all things for the good of those who love him.

    In summary, these three doctrines correctly understood provide assurance for our consciences in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Incorrectly understood, they remove that assurance from our consciences. I believe God desires for us to rest in His Son with full assurance that Jesus is our mercy seat.

  55. Duane Arnold says:


    A very nice explication of a Confessional Lutheran view point. As with most arguments, it only works if one accepts the premise “If one believes…” in the way and manner in which you believe. Some here view things differently…

  56. Jean says:

    Thanks Duane. I understand that people here view things differently. I just wanted to say what I believe and why. There may be readers wrestling personally with their faith and what underlies it.

  57. Duane Arnold says:


    It might help to say this is your view and not an “absolute”… even if you think it is an “absolute”…

  58. j2theperson says:

    I share some of Jean’s concerns–though not necessarily as strongly has he does–regarding the scenario of the old couple who wants to be married in they eyes of God but not in the eyes of the state. In my line of business, I’ve seen a lot of people claim that they’re barely making it and such-and-such will put them over the edge, but, when you look at the numbers, it doesn’t actually add up. Yes, sometimes it’s true, but a lot of times it isn’t. I would need some actual figures and details of their situation before I could arrive at a definite conclusion. Until further elaboration, my rule of thumb is to err on not fully believing people when they make those kinds of claims.

    Also, the rules surrounding Social Security and Medicare exist for a reason. In general, the programs pay out to beneficiaries much more than the beneficiaries paid in, and there are major sustainability issues given the way they are funded. It’s not unreasonable for Jean to view beneficiaries getting married but not actually getting married for tax purposes as a type of fraud.

  59. Duane Arnold says:


    I will simply add that I have occasionally run into similar scenarios. The worst were in NYC, owing to high rents, rent control in spouses names, some pensions from corporations that had certain stipulations and then social security rules, etc. Many clergy that I have talked to through the years – Anglicans, RC, Evangelicals – have also encountered this. Each case is unique, but they are real…

  60. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Jean and others.

    Re civil marriage, I believe your representation of the government’s interest fails to fully address that the government’s interest in marriage is found by its exercise of its right to legislate common law marriage if it so elects, and by the common law right of its judiciary to recognize common law marriage in its jurisdiction. With these actions available to the state to express its governmental and secular interests, why are you seemingly conflicted? To me, it seems you are expressing almost a position that the church as a matter of conscience, or out of fairness, and so as to not partake in a ruse, should not marry an elderly couple under the hypothetical Michael issued. Wouldn’t you agree the state is fully entitled to and is empowered to best protect and exercise its own interests in the matter and therefore, if it fails to recognize common law marriage, then it effectively has spoken for its interests? As such, no ensuing obligation need be born on the church morally or scriptually and it is consequentially “owed” nothing?”

  61. j2theperson says:

    Like I said, I do know that situations like that do sometimes happen. I just need some proof before I believe any given claim, and there may be other options than not getting legally married.

  62. Jeff Sheckstein says:

    Sorry. Age overtakes my faculties

    The government is consequentially “owed” nothing.

  63. Duane Arnold says:


    An interesting point to ponder….

  64. Michael says:

    Back in the day before marijuana was legal here it was used “illegally” by cancer patients to overcome the side effects of chemotherapy.
    Theology without mercy condemned those people under the law.
    Pastoral theology helped them acquire what they needed.

    Doctrinal statements will keep your hands clean and your path “holy”…pastoring living souls will leave you stained and scarred and often unsure of what is really righteous…

  65. j2theperson says:

    Out of curiosity, if someone gets married by the church and then splits up, how does/should the church respond?

  66. Duane Arnold says:


    How do most churches deal with divorce under normal circumstances? In my limited experience, one of them usually “gets the church” in the settlement…

  67. Jean says:

    “Theology without mercy condemned those people under the law.
    Pastoral theology helped them acquire what they needed.

    Doctrinal statements will keep your hands clean and your path “holy”…pastoring living souls will leave you stained and scarred and often unsure of what is really righteous…”

    It is a false dichotomy to divorce God from His mercy. Is the objection that God’s Word is not practical in the real world? Or that God is a tyrant who can be ignored by hurting people? I can’t fathom how theology and mercy are not bound together. God’s mercy is superabundant. What is lacking in his mercy?

    Should we opt for the appearance of mercy in this life, against the Word of God, only to condemn the victim to eternal condemnation?

  68. j2theperson says:

    Duane, that’s how it works now when church’s are agents of the state re: marriage. In that situation it kind of makes sense to just let things play out in the court and for the couple to figure things out on their own.

    But, if the church does separate itself from state marriage and only performs religious ceremonies, it seems like they would have a greater responsibility to have an appropriate religious response when a couple splits up. It seems like there are moral implications, and in some respects it’s a greater responsibility, to only represent God when officiating a marriage and not God and the state.

  69. Michael says:


    We have radically different ways of thinking about God and Scripture.
    I’m making none of the arguments you’re making because I don’t think under your paradigm.

    I’ve never advocated anyone do anything that would lead to eternal condemnation…as the only thing that could do so is to advocate that they deny Christ.

  70. Jean says:

    Regarding marriage, In Iowa, and I assume in many other states, it is illegal for any person to perform a marriage ceremony without the production of a valid marriage license issued by a county clerk. Is anyone here advocating that a minister or pastor may violate the law of their state in certain cases, such as the hypothetical Michael raised above?

  71. Em says:

    Regarding the elderly couple… maybe “elderly” should be defined? I’ve assumed they are too old to work at WalMart. ?
    Jean’s argument that God takes sin seriously is valid as is the question, how poor are they?
    Would one question two or more straight old folk of the same sex pooling their resources, living in one dwelling and sharing expenses? There are those who do so….
    Also, just what are the Soc. Secur. laws? I inherited half my husband’s pension, it would continue if i remarried and, if memory serves, we chose my husband’s Soc. Secur. as it was way more than what i could have claimed separately. It went down by about 1/3 when he passed. In this State and in some others, if your income is low, you get a big reduction in property taxes… BUT…
    What if you don’t own a home, your Soc. Secur. is so low that you qualify for food stamps and your town has no rent subsidised elderly housing?
    In the days of the writing of the New Testament it seems the economy left a widow financially destitute and families and churches were expected to care for them if they were “elderly.” I assume that was true for feeble old men akso?
    In today’s economy i would think that common sense and piety can agree, if one is honest before God… I don’t think the elderly couple is a sin issue. I don’t think, to be pleasing to God, Harry has to sit in a rented room and eat at the food kitchen,
    nor does old Betty…
    Perhaps, however, if one thinks it is a sin, it is a sin?
    Now, this line of thinking does not apply to the younger, working majority of us… IMNSHO. ?

  72. D. Alan Hawkins says:

    Weddings: We have separated the civil and the religious
    1. Couples request a wedding
    2. Couples process marriage preparation with a pastor
    3. Couples get a civil marriage at the clerk’s office or from a judge, bringing proof of legal marriage to us
    4. The church celebrates Christian marriage with a formal ceremony.

    The civil precedes the religious, the role of the state is to manage the legal contractual aspects of a marriage our role is to solemnize the marital covenant before the LORD. First, the contractual then the covenantal all things in their order all parties in their role.

  73. Michael says:


    If state law defines “marriage” then here in Oregon that includes gay marriages.

    The church defines marriage as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman and God.
    I am a representative of the church, not the state.

    In the vast majority of circumstances people need to follow the legal requirements for marriage.
    That’s not even a debate.
    My point is that at times mercy demands another way…your mileage may vary.

  74. Michael says:


    This was a real case for me.
    They were both in their late 80’s and in poor health.
    He passed away before we actually went forward with this…

  75. Michael says:


    That’s how we’ll do it too…

  76. Duane Arnold says:


    “Is anyone here advocating that a minister or pastor may violate the law of their state in certain cases, such as the hypothetical Michael raised above?”

    As a lawyer, you are an officer of the court… so I doubt that anyone would respond to your seeking out of lawbreakers and/or clergy who think differently from yourself. Of course, clergy are not officers of the court… except when they perform a marriage by the state’s authority…?

  77. Jean says:

    Thanks, Duane. I will continue to be transparent about what and why I believe. The mileage of others may vary.

    I will continue to advocate for a faith that comes from the outside, from the Word of God, and urge people to not trust in the the doctrines of the world, of which there are many, or in the individual doctrines of man. I know only One who does not lie and who is almighty to bring to fruition what He promises. I will rest in Him.

    God’s peace be yours, in the name of Jesus.

  78. Duane Arnold says:


    I’m sure you will continue…

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