The United Church’s Ethical Standards
The main reason this is on the page is for comic relief and as a warning to clergy. It is a clear example of the classic church dictum that says:’ do as we say not as we do’ law. All churches in my opinion have always been hypocritical in that they preach a do as I say not as I do message.
In case you are from a more evangelical church don’t feel superior. Bad as they seem the United Church is light years ahead of other denominations. This is no consolation to those clergy caught in the UC’s conflict ‘mismanagement’ process.
If you are a UC clergy and reading this look for statements in the ‘standards’ that you can quote back to ‘them’ and their committees. Remember these standards work both ways and so hold the Church to them! Good luck.
The UC proclaims in its Manual that the purpose of law is to resolve differences and thus achieve ‘order and justice’.
What bull! There has been more harm done to it’s clergy by this word ‘ORDER’ than any other word in the UCs repertoire of hurtful terms. As for justice inside the church it’s an unknown commodity.
I say this because the Church’s methods of trying to maintain order only succeeds in their clergy telling me that real justice is not to be found in conflict situations. This especially true when the Church loads their correspondence to a cleric with words like ‘order’ or ‘justice’. The end result is that the poor clergy very soon experiences a 363,C,ii situation as outlined in the Manual. Fired!
This section contains those career destroying words that strike fear in the hearts of clergy when they hear ‘ you’re fired because you failed to keep the peace and welfare of your pastoral charge or the Church blah blah blah’ Your life in the Church as you know and dreamed about is over comrade! And you are on your way to the churches version of the leper colony.
It is important to note that these soul destroying words to a clergy’s call apply whether the cleric is the author of the disorder or not. It could be any conflict that breaks out not of the ministers making. The end game is the same. The minister is canned anyway. In the eyes of church bureaucrats and fellow insiders there must be peace and welfare or the cash flow stops running up to church headquarters . You can be sure no matter how unjust it is for the innocent local pastor its sayonara pastor.
From a theological perspective at the point of contact in conflict situations, denomination staff and representatives, know nothing about demonstrating grace, openness, love , caring etc. These words while abounding in the conflict process are just platitudes when it comes to church fights.
All the churches know is their bureaucratic law and how to manipulate it. This leads them to blame the victim and get rid of the minister whether the minister is guilty or innocent. One must do this at all times use caring Christian language and making sure you throw in the word love and justice as often as you can.
When one examines the outcome of a Church fight it is always the cleric who pays and it becomes crystal clear that the Church’s supreme good is their bureaucratic process as it protects the Church and harms a cleric .That is their summum bonum. Nothing else. No God, no caring, no grace just law as they understand it. In most cases the law is made up on the fly or interpreted to suit those applying it.
To fail to recognize this in a conflict situation is to go like a lamb among the wolves. So wake up clergy your screwed.
One more thing. The UC in their Manual section 006 says: ‘Discipline. Discipline is an exercise of that spiritual authority which the Lord Jesus Christ has appointed in his holy church.’ Ya right. Just remember Jesus did not rite this guff and he certainly wasn’t asked for his opinion about it. Its all about covering their ass. I guess his holy church has lost their way…again.