Saturday, January 14, 2006

more interesting thoughts on ecclesiocentricity

Someone suggested I read these interesting thoughts on the concept of "ecclesiocentricity" after my initial posting so I did and am posting the links here for consideration. While I certainly do not endorse everything at these particular sites, there is much with which I agree in the articles and thought they might be helpful to others.

the church according to John Dewey

wife ministers

what do ecclesiocentrists say?

officers and liturgists of the synagogue

the evils of medievalism


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto your site today and liked what you had to say. I just started a Web ring for Presbyterians and I thought that you might be interested in joining. If you have a minute check it out.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger kristen said...

Hmmm... I think *some* of the ecclesiocentrists are dangerous (when it leads to spiritual abuse, etc.) but I see just as much danger, if not more, on average, in the family-first crowd. I have visited churches where the men serve their families communion -- seems sweet at first, but who controls the elements? The dad. What about when Jr. has a sorry attitude and he decides to pass him over to teach him a lesson. He has effectively excommunicated him. I am uncomfortable with giving that power to every head of household. These churches have "men's meetings" where church business is decided. Wives, teenagers, etc. don't have a voice or a vote. I asked one elder of such a church who represented a single young woman teacher in the congregation (whose parents lived across the country) and he told me, "she just trusts the leadership of the church." So, EVERY male head of household is a church leader with a voice and vote and EVERY female head of household has none. We're not talking elders here (that's a completely different ballgame).

Both sides have their errors when taken to extremes. I've seen godly men and women "burned" by bad churches and bad sessions in good reformed denominations. But at the least, in ecclesiocentric circles, there's a higher authority (presbytery, the judicial committee, even GA) and most of the time, justice prevails. A wrongly excommunicated friend had a sentence overturned by presbytery last year and the session admonished for their wrongdoing. Another friend represented a woman before the judicial committee who was wrongly treated by both session and presbytery and the judical committee ruled in her favor. In our fallen world, it doesn't always work out, but it CAN> In family-first circles, who is the higher authority?

At 3:47 AM, Blogger college girl said...


You make some good points. I would agree that the secret to this is balance. I remember hearing this phrase and I think it applies:

"Truth out of balance is heresy."

I have experienced both types of churches and believe the problems and abuses come from the same source...a failure to maintain a plurality of elders, thus bringing accountability to everyone and usually in these situations there will be the one elder or the pastor who are "greatest among the equals" as I heard one pastor refer to himself.

There also needs to be much congregational input and an adherence to a church constitution that requires such. In my own experience I saw an elderly man threatened with church discipline and charges of contumacy for attempting to organize a group of people to request a congregational meeting to discuss a controversial decision the elders had made. This man was acting within the peramaters of his church constitution which requried 20 members to sign a petition to request such a meeting. The elders were so threatened by this and so desirous of shutting down discussion that they threatened from the pulpit that no one was "allowed" to speak about their decision with another person. Outrageous!

I agree with you that the "heads of household" voting and meetings is also one of the main problems in the family-centered churches. I have lots of thoughts on this and want to write about it in a blog entry in a couple weeks when I will feel free to talk about it. My thoughts have come from my current experience of sitting on a jury this week and next and seeing the interesting parallels between our civil laws and church laws. And the input of men vs women in these situations. Stay tuned!

And thanks for your comments... they are worthy of good discussion.

At 3:48 AM, Blogger prairie girl said...

oops, I signed in as the other me.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You appear to appeal to the PCUSA crowd.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger prairie girl said...

I have some dear friends who are in the PCUSA, one of which is a pastor. As he has said to us many times, there are wonderful, born again believers in the denomination and he preaches the Word to them because they need the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them as much as any of us do.

I hope you won't be offended if your heavenly mansion is next door to someone other than your own brand of presbyterian or whatever you are.


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