Petition 81155

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Deletion (81155-FO-¶103)

    Delete the provision 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 provision, 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 provision is superfluous, given the inclusion of Article XVI of the E.U.B., which states more clearly and eloquently the sentiment of the provision, without using problematic language such as “commands of the governing or supreme authority,” and “encourage and enjoin obedience to the powers that be.”