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STARING AT A JUDGMENT CALL

You wish issues were clear-cut. But sometimes you're torn between two druthers. Then what?

Should I take the wedding for the engaged couple on the fringe of the congregation? Baptize the infant of irregular attenders? Allow an exception to an established church policy?

LEADERSHIP readers tell us they struggle with requests like these. When is saying yes a show of compassion, and when is it more the weakening of pastor and church? Where do you draw the line?

This article and the one following form a pair, presenting two approaches to these knotty questions. In the first Rick McKinniss, a Baptist pastor, outlines how he determines whether to say yes or no. In the second, "Holding Your Ground," Methodist minister John Wetherwax tells of his struggle to hold his ground when people want him to give in.

I hoped he would say yes. The young marrieds' Sunday school class wanted someone to lead a unit of study on legal and financial issues for young families. Jim was expertly qualified, able to provide sound guidance from a Christian perspective.

I asked him if he would. A few days later, ...

May/June
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