Paul Sharp - TVs and Divorce and Remarriage
Paul Sharp's email about TVs and divorce and remarriage.
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Email from Paul Sharp
It was at one of our Western Elders Mtgs that we made the decision about TV. Even though far worse material is available on computers, and computers are a must for many people, we felt that our stand regarding TV would not change because TV is not essential to anybodys livelihood, and we hated to think of TV in the living room (or any other room) in many of our friends homes. Computers must be left pretty much to self policing as to what is watched.
In 1935 a Mtg. was convened in England to decide what stand to tak on the issue of Divorce and Re-marriage. It was world wide in terms of involving all the countries where there were workers at that time. That included North and South America (Argentina &?), England, Scotland and Ireland, India and Australia and probably at least France, in Western Europe. They decided that professing people who took that step should not be permitted to come to fellowship Mtgs, but that those who wer ein that situation before they heard the Gospel would not be asked to part, but would be admitted to full privileges of Fellowship as they were. In the West, we have held to that. In Eastern USA some years ago it was decided that Divorce and Re-marriage would be permitted in certain cases. Over the years the practice became much more widespread. The original limitations were fairly stringent.
We cannot pretend that applying that 1935 decision involves no problems. What to do about children e.g. who profess and soon are outside and years later want to profess again and come to mtgs. Should they be barred from mtgs if they had been baptized before they left the mtgs? Some children ask to be baptized without any real conviction behind it -- they just think its the thing to do, and at least some of them are baptized. Therefore, many cases must be settled on an individual basis. Far from simple, but we feel very strongly that God was with those men in 1935, and that it is well worthwhile to hold fast to their Spirit guided decision.
I hope this will provide some of the answers you wanted.
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