IS THERE JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST?

January 26, 2018

The Scattered Flock

We members of the Body of Christ, have become so enamored with our leaders, we have contributed to their deception as many of them believe they are the reason ministries flourish. The shepherds now think they are the most important creatures in the sheep fold.

Many of those who are members of the flock no longer like to be referred to as sheep because of the negative connotations associated with being sheep. Perhaps they view sheep as being dumb and weak. A member of the General Board has even referred to the people as “dumb sheep”. Sheep are not dumb, they know there is strength in numbers and they flee from danger. They know when they are separated from the rest of the flock they are vulnerable to predators.

Both shepherds and the sheep have lost sight of the Chief Shepherd.

The under shepherds have forgotten, it is not the shepherd who increases the number in the flock, sheep begat sheep. They only reproduce when they are protected, since running and banding together is their only form of defense. Some of those charged with protecting the flocks have become predators. They gnash at the sheep with their words, instead of leading they try to drive them.  They use a few selected guard dogs to “keep the sheep in line” because the sheep are afraid of the dogs. They view them as a predator which is why they band together and run away.

The shepherd experiences increase only when the sheep increase. A well fed, protected and healthy flock produces wool which the shepherd can gather, sell and then purchase things which benefit the shepherd. When sheep are protected, fed, healthy, and have their wounds healed they produce wool as well as increase their numbers which is how the shepherd experiences increase.

Jesus said “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Feeding and nourishment in the life giving Word of God cause sheep to increase in numbers and freely give of their wool. As the Chief Shepherd, Jesus has given the under shepherd the right to live off what sheep produce. If you as a shepherd are experiencing lack it is not the fault of a well-protected, nourished and loved flock. It is because they are not protected, they sense a predator in their midst. GOD said;

“… “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”—therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”” (Ezekiel 34:8–10, NKJV)

In many cases the shepherd themselves have become the predator. When your flock is getting smaller, they are not being nourished; they have become prey or as GOD said in Jerimiah 10:21,”…the shepherd has become dull- hearted…” GOD also said;

A voice of the cry of the shepherds, And a wailing of the leaders to the flock will be heard. For the Lord has plundered their pasture,” (Jeremiah 25:36, NKJV)

You say the people are not coming, the people are not giving, I ask is GOD plundering your pasture because you have made his flock prey for yourself and other predators

Elder R. E. Stidham

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May 11, 2017

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM:

Many of you may not be aware of a situation in the Texas Southeast One Jurisdiction in Houston, Texas.  In an effort to appear tough on clergy sexual misconduct, the Board of Bishops has chosen to violate the very document they vowed to uphold.  They then turn around and virtually tell another bishop in New Mexico go and sin no more.  I have obtained a letter written to Moses Tyson by a superintendent in the Houston area.  One of the paragraphs he wrote was so profound, I thought I would quote it here, I will then post the entire letter.

When a body of Believers keeps changing the rules to meet their needs then they lose their God and then it becomes their body and not the Body of Christ or can I say if we were to act like him, be like him and look like him is this what he would act like, be like, and look like,…”


Good Morning Elder Tyson,

 

On Monday May 08, 2017, I decided to contact Bishop Kirk Thompson to see if it was ok to attend one of the meetings. Because on our website it stated if we had an interest in one of the new jurisdictions we may attend as an observer. So, I called Bishop Thompson and he informed me that it would be in my best interest and that I should attend that meeting to hear what Bishop Tate had to offer. When I arrived at the meeting, they had an area to sign in as an observer.  As the meeting got underway, they ask all of the observers to sit towards the rear of the building and those who were committed in following Bishop Tate to come up front. Of course, I sat in the back because I was an observer. Bishop Tate began to share about the direction of Texas Southeast 1 and the status of his proposed jurisdiction. He continued to share and Bishop Kobe walked in with his group and they introduce themselves explaining to us who they were and why they were there. As Bishop Kobe begins to speak, he wanted to verify that everyone there planned to follow Bishop Tate’s leadership; Bishop Tate told him he might want to verify if everyone attending was in support of this. Then he asked the question. Everyone in support of and following Bishop Tate about 57 out of 58 stood, I was the only one still sitting along with an elder right next to me.

He asked me who I was and I stated, “My name is Superintendent Grayling Alexander of the Rosenberg District of Texas Southeast One”. He asked me if I planned to support Bishop Tate. I told him no, and responded that what he had to share he only wanted to share with those men who are signing on with Tate and then he asked me to excuse myself. 

I explained to him that the jurisdictional website stated that if we had an interest in attending the meeting, we could attend as an observer. He replied by saying that things are progressing or something to that effect, asked me to excuse myself again, and told me I should pray.

 

I walked outside with the other elder that was sitting next to me in the meeting; we chatted for five to ten minutes.  After I was on the road home, I received a text that I could come back to the meeting because it was explained to Bishop Kobe that I am a superintendent and pastor. Later on, I noticed I received a couple of missed calls from Sister Banks and I believe Bishop Tate requesting that I returned because Bishop Kobe assumed I was an elder and not a pastor.

Here is my confusion and hopefully some of your contacts can help explain:

First of all, I am sitting in the back and when ask to speak I believe every one heard me when I said my name is Superintendent Grayling Alexander–even if he did not at least most of them in the room hear and knew my position in the church.

 Is it standard operating procedure to have closed door meeting of this nature and exclude credential holders who may have an interest in supporting that movement since it is not a fellowship or jurisdiction yet?

How can Pastors call for a vote of their membership and make application to leave one jurisdiction for another that does not exist or better yet, how can someone receive Pastors from a jurisdiction if they are not a jurisdictional bishop themselves?

When will someone comes down and meet with those who are still carrying the banner for Texas Southeast #1 and give us a status update?

I know Bishop Kyles is on suspension until he is reinstated or dismissed, but should he not have the right to attend these meeting as an observer in the event he is reinstated so he can be kept informed. He is a still a bishop credential holder and innocence until found guilty.

Last but least, where is Bishop Charles Blake, he came down to preach to us received offerings for his mission work in Africa, where is he when we are confused, scattered, and discourage. We need a Spiritual father that comes down and minsters to us and feed us with knowledge and wisdom and not through a letter or representative.

I am a fourth-generation Church of God in Christ child, my great grandmother, grandmother, and mother all supported this church.  I have had family members who served as Bishops and State Supervisors.  I am from a family of nine with three Missionaries one who is a District Missionary and three brothers who served as pastors and two as evangelist.  Needless to say, that Texas Southeast First was launched from my home church in Port Arthur, Texas.

Elder Tyson, it seems we have fallen into the “Trump syndrome” (because I am in power I can do whatever I want to whom I want to) as it appears.  I am trying and praying to make some since out of this three-year fiasco or least seeking an understanding if our leaders are truly led by God the Holy Spirit or cash or friendship or favors owed to others or flesh, or self-will and last their own standard of righteousness.   

Please don’t take this the wrong way as if I am judging our leaders but considering the facts and the decisions they are making they leave me baffle about their God. Do we really have to destroy the Kingdom to get rid of a leader (it’s like burning a barn to kill a rat) and trying to convince others it’s okay. Again, I am not calling Bishop Kyles or anyone else a rat just using this as an analogy.

When a body of Believers keeps changing the rules to meet their needs then they lose their God and then it becomes their body and not the Body of Christ or can I say if we were to act like him, be like him and look like him is this what he would act like, be like, and look like, wow

Please try to get some answer for me

Thanks, and May God bless

 

P.S. the above statements are solely my statements and they do not represent my office of a pastor or superintendent nor are they in support of anyone but out concern for my church body COGIC; they are the concerns of my heart that I chose to share with you my brother Tyson. Again, I am the least one that should question our leaders.

 

September 13, 2016

PACIFIC MOUNT OLIVE COGIC, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

WHO OWNS THE LOCAL CHURCH, LOCAL MEMBERS OR THE NATIONAL CHURCH?

This is a question that is being asked across the country in the Church of God in Christ.  Bishops seem to believe the National Church owns the property and because they are the National Church’s representative, they manage these so called ownership rights.

Local churches and, pastors are leaving the Church of God in Christ.  They are leaving because they see no benefit in laboring to develop a strong congregation whose assets are vulnerable to the intrusion of those who have contributed nothing to its well being, or  establishment. Can we validly insist on authority without any investment, withdrawals without any deposits?” (Why I Stood For The Defense In Orlando; Bishop Charles E Blake)

In the Church of God in Christ, many of the local members believe ownership of the local church rest with them.  They believe, they purchased, repair, and pay all the bills means ownership.  That is not what the leaders of COGIC believe.  We are still asking the question;Can we validly insist on authority without any investment, withdrawals without any deposits?”

Here is a list of churches where the people are in civil court because the National Officials believe (in the words of Bishop Blake)   the trust creates ownership rights for COGIC, Inc. which they can exert and manage [Read Letter].

  • Greater First Knoxville, Tennessee– By using deception and half-truths Bishop James Scott with assistance from Bishop Blake is trying to take over this church. It is all about the Benjamin’s ($100 dollar bills).
  • Pacific Mount Olive Los Angeles, CA – Bishop Hackworth and Bishop Blake , with the use of deception, half-truths are trying to oust these members from their Church and all PMO property. [Read Chronology]
  • Bishop Brandon Porter– At Williams Temple Houston, Texas, Bishop Brandon Porter, in violation of Texas statutes has held a bogus vote and removed the duly elected Board of Trustees, refused to perform a count and is trying to steam roll over the people.  A letter was sent to Bishop Blake and other COGIC official which fell on deaf ears.[Read Letter]
  • Bishop David Hall – Bishop Hall sued a church there in Memphis seeking control over the church’s real and personal property.  His suit was dismissed, Bishop Hall appealed and the dismissal was affirmed. [Read Order]
  • Bishop Matthew Williams – Is suing the Remnant Church in Tampa, Florida which wants to leave COGIC.  This story was reported by the Tampa ABC affiliate TV News.

In the April 2014 General Assembly meeting the Constitution Committee presented and read an amendment which would end all of this madness.  The amendment which is included in Attachment H, calls for the local church to have exclusive control and ownership of the local church.  It does not change or modify in any way the appointment of the Pastor.  For whatever reason, this amendment has not been allowed to come forward anymore.  It is not known if that is because Bishop David A. Hall is now the chairman of that committee or not.  This amendment would eliminate most of the lawsuits such as the ones listed above.  If the local people build it, pay for it, maintain it, it is only logical that they should own it.  Again this amendment has been read once, do not allow it to be weakened.

From the April 2014 General Assembly Minutes Attachment H

September 22, 2014

WHEN SHEEP ARE NOT VALUED, JUSTICE IS DENIED!

Justice out of BalanceBy Ronald Stidham

HOW IS JUSTICE DENIED?

When the scales of Justice are no longer balanced, and the wolf is valued more than the sheep, justice is denied.

Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. (Ezekiel 22:27, NKJV)

In the Judicial System of the Church of God in Christ, it is almost impossible to receive Justice from the Board of Bishops, unless you are a Bishop, and have not “fought leadership”. If you are a Bishop and have offended the leadership, you are treated worse than an infidel. The fear, and stigma of this treatment, paralyzes and prevents most from speaking out against it.

When you have been wronged, you take comfort when you discover you may file charges against a Bishop if he has committed any of the offenses found in Article VIII, Section D of the Official Manual of the Church of God in Christ. You believe the National Church must not know about this behavior, there is no way it would tolerate this type of behavior, especially when the Word of God calls some of the things sin.

You soon realize the scales of justice are not balanced. There is the appearance of justice, but make no mistake, if the offender has “friend in high places”, the scales of justice are not balanced. The system rewards the Bishop for “obeying leadership” by placing him in something similar to what I will call, the “Bishop Protection Program” in which some of the leaders make the charges go away by ignoring them or intimidating those who file them.  That Bishop is then in debt, and because of fear, he will go along to get along.

One man makes the decision to move forward, dismiss, or ignore cases when they are presented.  Even when the Grievance Committee recommends sanctions and or trials, his is the final voice, and he has been known to show favoritism. This is a corruption of the process and makes the favored ones almost untouchable. The majority of people become frustrated and say just forget it with many of them leaving, wounded, hurt, and offended.

It is exactly this type of thing, which the Word of GOD condemns, and calls sin;

“As I live,” says the Lord GOD “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”—therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.” (Ezekiel 34:8–10, NKJV)

sheep running from

WHO PROTECTS THE SHEEP?

April 13, 2014

COGIC, A HIERARICHICAL CHURCH?

The other day I heard someone say, the Church of God in Christ is a “hierarchical church”.   The word “hierarchical” is used in more than one way.

One meaning is as the person said, the power is vertical, meaning the Presiding Bishop is over the Jurisdictional Bishop, who is over the Superintendent and the Pastor.

The other and most devastating usage is that used by the civil court.  The civil court does not care about the leadership structure.  They deal with property ownership.  To the civil court, in a hierarchical church, the National or parent organization OWNS the property and the local people purchase it and maintain it as a gift to the National Church.  The US Supreme Court used the labels Congregational and Hierarchical for the first time in the infamous case WATSON Vs JONES, and since it benefits the National Church, they all said Amen.

A Hybrid would use parts of both systems.  For property ownership, it could use aspects of the Congregational system.  Combining the two systems would give you the HYBRID

The General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ can define itself.  You can say what type of Government or as a lawyer would  say “polity” your church has.

Concerning property ownership, The Church of God in Christ lets it’s members believe the local church owns the property: (Congregational).  Concerning the leadership structure, I think Bishop Blake in his wisdom said it best

“Thus, the structure is not a pure hierarchy; it is a “hybrid structure”   in which power flows both upwards and downwards. Power flows upwards (not downwards like a hierarchy) from the delegates of the General Assembly to the General Board and Presiding Bishop. And then it flows downwards (as in a hierarchy) to the bishops and to those under their charge. It is episcopal in that it affirms the authority of the bishops who are those above. At the same time, it is governed by a constitution, and thus the constitutional rights of the pastors and congregations, who are those who are below, must not be abused or alienated from them.”  (page 4,  paragraph 2, of the book “WHY I STOOD FOR THE DEFENSE IN ORLANDO” )  Click this link to read the complete book by Bishop Charles E. Blake.

To see how the court views this word click this link THE HIERARCHICAL CHURCH.

For additional information or if you have questions contact me by using the contact form shown below.  No question or information will be posted from this contact form.

In case you think this can’t be true, here is a copy of the opinion of the Kansas Appeals court.   KANSAS COURT CASE involving a church in Liberal, Kansas

July 20, 2013

PLEASE RESET YOUR CLOCK

Reset Your ClockRead this stunning article written by Dr. Lenard Lovett.  The subtitle is “A response to the Trayvon Martin verdict”.  Click on the image to read the Ebook.  Click here to read the PDF. Please Do Not Forget to Reset Your Clock

July 18, 2013

JOURNEY TO JUSTICE: THE STRUGGLE OF THE ORLANDO INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH IN 1999

07-18-2013 02;12;18PM The struggle for justice is not a new one.  Here is a struggle over church property the courts in Florida got right.  If someone with the clout of say a General Board Member had come to Wichita, Kansas to dispute the testimony of former General Counsel Bishop Enoch Perry the outcome would have been different.  Click on the picture to the left to read this book written by Bishop Charles E. Blake when Supt. Derrick Hutchins was at the Orlando Institutional Church of God in Christ?

Here is an account of the story written in the O.I.C. NEWS.  Bishop Blake showed a willingness to fight for the underdog, to go against the system to correct an injustice.  What has happened to that?   He did not show up in Wichita, Kansas.

Click on the image below to read the story

Web button

June 20, 2013

TROUBLE IN TEXAS NORTHEAST #1

Here is another case of injustice.  The members of Forest Hill Church of God in Christ in Fort Worth have been experiencing oppression. The definition of oppression is;

op·pres·sion  (-prshn)n.1. a. The act of oppressing; arbitrary and cruel exercise of power: “There can be no really pervasive system of oppression . . . without the consent of the oppressed” (Florynce R. Kennedy).b. The state of being oppressed.2. Something that oppresses.3. A feeling of being heavily weighed down in mind or body.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

oppressor noun persecutor, tyrant, bully, scourge, tormentor, despot, autocrat, taskmaster, iron hand, slave-driver, harrier, intimidator, subjugator .Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

Leviticus 25:17 (AV)

17 Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.

Micah 2:2 (AV)

2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

Whose report do you believe?

In this case, the oppression seems to come the  Auxiliary Bishop of Texas Northeast #1,  Bishop Reginald L Williams.  What Bishop Williams is doing to the members of Forest Hill Church of God in Christ, appears to fit the definition of being an oppressor;

Here are two letters written by members of Forest Hill, one Deacon Adrian Winston and the other by Sister Martha Kelly.  Deacon Winston wrote a letter of complaint to Bishop Sheard, Sister Kelly authored a letter to the General Board.

The average member of COGIC is in the dark when it comes to filing a complaint.  Many times for fear of retaliation they send in an unsigned complaint.  Not realizing an unsigned complaint will not be acted on.  Deacon Winston and Sister Kelly, I commend your courage.   When it comes time to stand up and fight, even God sends those who are afraid home.

Judges 7:3 (AV)

3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

Click on these links to read the letter to Bishop Sheard written by Deacon Adrian Winston and the letter to the General Board authored by Sister Martha Kelly for the members of Forest Hill COGIC.  The phone numbers have been redacted.

February 11, 2013

Whose Report Do You Believe?

I have raised the question, “Is there Justice in the Church of God in Christ.  I will present to you some of the facts and let you answer that question.  Here are 5 pages from a 27 page letter Bishop Nesbitt addressed to Bishop Blake (click here to read the complete letter ).   You will find copies of two affidavits mentioned in paragraph 11, page 8 and a copy of the letter mentioned in paragraph 15, page 8.  I again ask the question Is there Justice in the Church of God in Christ?  I now add another question, If there is Justice in the Church of God in Christ, to whom is it extended?

The answer is yes, when we esteem the WORD OF GOD above that of men, when we esteem the wisdom of GOD above the wisdom of men, then we can do as GOD requires;

Micah 6:8 (AV)

8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Affidavits

Bishop Nesbitt April 3,2011_on kansas1

Bishop Nesbitt April 3,2011_on kansas2

 Bishop Nesbitt April 3,2011_on kansas3

Bishop Nesbitt April 3,2011_on kansas4

Bishop Nesbitt April 3,2011_on kansas5

Enoch Perry Affadavit3

Enoch Perry Affadavit4

Enoch Perry Affadavit5

Enoch Perry Affadavit6

9_27_2009 Bisop blake1

9_27_2009 Bisop blake2

February 10, 2013

RESTITUTION: A Biblical Mandate

One of the principles we seem to forget is that of restitution.  In the Old Testament, the sin offering followed the act of restitution.  In the New Testament, Zacchaeus said to Jesus in Luke 19:8 “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” (AV) .   Jesus replied to him in Luke 19:9–10;  9 “…This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (AV)

Jesus validated the principle of restoration.

  What is “false accusation”, is it merely the obvious or does it include any manipulation of the facts in a deceitful manner?  How many actions  of our leaders that may be based on a false sense of entitlement has been brought about by “false accusation”?  Isn’t that what Haman did in the book of Ester.  He was angry because Mordecai would not bow down  to him.  Is the spirit of Mordecai alive and operating?

RESTITUTION Act of returning what has wrongfully been taken or replacing what has been lost or damaged and the divine restoration of all things to their original order.

The people who were members of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, Wichita, Kansas before my father, Elder Joshua Stidham died October 28, 2004 were defrauded by the leaders of the Church of God in Christ.   This has been chronicled on this blog.  As has been previously stated, the civil case where the Church of God in Christ, Inc. sued a local church, with guile and deceit forced those who had literally built the church out is over.  The people at Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ, Muncie , Indiana have been defrauded.  The people at St. Paul Church of God in Christ, Emporia, Virginia have been defrauded. However, just as John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness, I cry out as David did in Psalm 94:1–4; 1 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. 2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. 3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? 4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves? (AV)

  The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 5:20 ; Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (AV)   There are two ways to govern a body of believers God’s governmental system, or the World’s governmental system.  Whose report do you believe.

Restoration and Restitution

Restitution, a biblical concept closely related to the idea of restoration. Both, of course, are involved with sins committed against persons and/or property, either deliberately or inadvertently.     Restoration, appears to indicate replacement for whatever was taken or destroyed, whereas restitution seems to be repayment over and above the actual loss, analogous to what is today called ‘punitive’ damages (e.g., Exod. 22:1-15; Lev. 6:1-7; Num. 5:5-7). For example, the ancient law found in Exod. 22:1, 4 clearly stipulates that anyone who steals an ox or a sheep must pay restitution to the owner of the animal(s). If the thief kills or sells the ox, he is required to pay restitution of five oxen; if he kills or sells the sheep, he is required to pay restitution of four sheep (cf. also 2 Sam. 12:6). If, however, the animal has not been harmed and is found safe in the possession of the thief, the culprit is required to pay double. Interestingly enough, if the thief has no means to pay this fine, he is to be sold for his theft.

In Leviticus, it is commanded that if someone robs or cheats a neighbor, that person is to restore the amount in full and add a fifth to it (Lev. 6:1-7). In addition, the guilty party was required to offer a guilt offering. This principle is reflected in the nt story of Zacchaeus, who, as a tax collector, had cheated and ‘gouged’ the people from whom he had collected the taxes (Luke 19:1-10). After his encounter with Jesus, he voluntarily agreed to give half of his goods to the poor and to restore fourfold to anyone he had defrauded. The principle of restitution is clearly part of this episode, but Zacchaeus went far beyond the requirement of the law in this matter.

In most of the nt writings, the word group used to designate the idea of restitution or restoration has a rather different meaning, namely, that of restoring in the sense of reestablishing (Matt. 17:11; Mark 9:12; Acts 1:6; 3:21) or even healing (Matt. 12:13; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:10; Mark 8:25; but cf. Heb. 13:19, where it is somewhat closer to the ot idea but not in any ‘legal’ sense). This probably is a result of the nt movement away from legalism. Clearly, however, the notion of restitution is continued, as was seen in the Zacchaeus story (the verb translated ‘restore’ in this story is elsewhere used, however, to refer in a much more general sense to ‘paying,’ ‘repaying,’ or simply ‘giving back’). Such a principle would be an integral feature of a new community founded upon the idea of loving one’s neighbor as oneself. J.M.E.[1]


J.M.E. James M. Efird, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of Biblical Languages and Interpretation; Divinity School; Duke University; Durham, North Carolina

[1] Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row, & Society of Biblical Literature. (1985). Harper’s Bible dictionary (1st ed.) (863–864). San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Repentance becomes a hollow, feigned act, without restitution.

How very many indeed do we daily see dying, groaning deeply, reproaching themselves greatly for usuries, plunderings, oppressions of the poor, and all kinds of injuries which they have committed, and consulting a priest to free them from these faults. If, as is proper, the first advice given to them is this, that selling all they have, they restore to others what they have taken—in accordance with Augustine: “If something which belongs to another is not returned when it can be returned, repentance is not done but is feigned”—instantly by their reply they declare how hollow is their repentance for these things. (Abelard, Ethics, pp. 79, 81)

Isaiah 58:1 (AV)

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

[Oden, T. C. (1989). Ministry Through Word and Sacrament. Classic Pastoral Care. New York: Crossroad.
Exported from Logos Bible Software 4]

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