And as a first step...you need to define things before you can think about them...reason about them...or explain them to others.
And on this site we use an Aristotle quote still respected today in science philosophy law and art
On our homepage weve used Aristotles rule to define both ministry and boundaries and here well define infidelity.
Then well give an example and apply all three definitions to evaluate the ministers actions.
Heres the example .
Father Vince offered spiritual direction to a woman who came to him because...she said...she was unhappily married.
"In what way?" Father Vince asked her.
"I don't love my husband...you know...that way anymore". That is she did not feel romantic or sexual about her husband anymore.
The priest and the wife began to see each other regularly for spiritual direction.
When they were seen in public at parties...sometimes in outdoor hot tubs sipping wine...the woman's husband objected.
The priest told him not to worry...that his wife was 'spiritually talented' and had gone places she had never gone before.
Indeed she had...she went into marriage infidelity...spiritual adultery to her marriage contract...and conceived a child with the priest.
The woman's family was devastated. And when the story hit the local papers and television stations...the woman and the priest calmly faced a press conference and declared
God wants this for us!
Father vince counseled adultery because it was God's will! Hmmmm...
However, God's will in such matters has been clear for millenia...
"If you love me you will keep my Commandments."
You can see immediately that by defining ministry as... religious activity that bring both minister and people closer to God ...adultery can never be a ministerial action...
Because God says twice in the Ten Commandments that it is sinful and therefore...adultery cannot be a ministry action that brings minister and people closer to God.
If adultery were a religious action God's word would contradict itself and ...there is no truth in contradictions...they are always false.
However Father Vince was one of those ministers who have two fatal thought viruses
The first thought virus is that Fr. Vince believed everything is ministry. This thought virus gave him license to intervene in any aspect of a parishioner's life ...even when he had no qualifications for doing so.
Although qualifications were not necessary in Father Vince's thinking because...
He could rely on the second thought virus which convinced him that any skill he needed to minister to others was mystically infused with the laying on of hands at ordination.
However...he never noticed that four years of theology was not infused ...two years of philosophy was not infused...and knowledge of the Scriptures was not infused.And knowledge of the spiritual needs of people in a marriage contract was not infused either.
Nonetheless...he felt divinely licensed to be a spiritual director to people of his choosing.
There are many boundary problems in this example...on the priest's part and also on the woman's part.
In this case the woman's family was broken apart by her infidelity and adultery... and the woman's children learned some painful lessons about their mother.
And the priest's diocese was rocked with scandal by his unjustified breach of his ordination covenant.
When things are properly and adequately defined...they become an immediate standard against which to judge any ministry action and a safeguard for ministry against thought viruses...and the devastation that can come from them.
In the example the lack of definition leads to the contradiction...adultery is ministry and ministry is adultery.
One cannot be in their right mind and believe such a contradiction.
Make sure your ministry is safe and spiritually sound.
Or you can...