Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My petition to General Conference

Well, I was able to get it together before the deadline! I'll be interested to see if it registers a blip on the radar at GC next year, or if it is quickly swept under the rug. I went to the last GC as an observer, and monitored the committee process for part of a class I took on the GC. It was pretty entertaining. More on that later perhaps, as I've been neglecting the blog and have probably lost a few readers. Sorry for the inconsistency folks--I've just been under the gun, sick, tired, and weighed down. But with no further ado---The GC petition that will strike one "explanatory footnote" from the Methodist General Rules (not a constitutional amendment, since the footnote is not part of the constititution.) I'll leave it as it will be printed in the DCA, so that I can get an idea of how effectively I was able to communicate the purpose of the petition. If you can comment on why you think I wrote it, do so, and I'll weigh in later. I couldn't figure out how to do strikethrough on blogger (you probably could do it on wordpress--I'm having blogger envy of my friend Matt ) so the stuff that I'm proposing to delete is in italics, mmmkay?

“Delete ‘Of the Duty of Christians to Civil Authority’ footnote to Articles of Confession” Discipline no. 103 (p. 66), Financial Implications: none.

Delete the footnote on page 66 of the 2004 book of Discipline (¶103) that is titled “Of the Duty of Christians to the Civil Authority: "It is the duty of Christians, and especially of all Christian Ministers, to observe and obey the laws and commands of the governing or the supreme authority of the country of which they are citizens or subjects or in which they reside, and to use all laudable means to encourage and enjoin obedience to the powers that be.”

(The explanation for the footnote, immediately preceding it, would obviously also be deleted.) [The following provision was adopted by the Uniting Conference (1939). This statement seeks to interpret to our churches in foreign lands Article XXIII of the Articles of Religion. It is a legislative enactment but is not part of the Constitution. (See Judicial Council Decisions 41, 176, and Decision 6, Interim Judicial Council.)]

Rationale: This footnote is superfluous, given the inclusion of Article XVI of the E.U.B., which states more clearly and eloquently the sentiment of the footnote, without using problematic language such as “commands of the governing or supreme authority,” and “encourage and enjoin obedience to the powers that be.”
October 22, 2007
Signed, Rev. M. Nathan Mattox
Probationary Elder, Oklahoma Conference

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