• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • YouTube
Thinking Out Loud

A Case Study in Mutual Forbearance

by User Not Found | Aug 09, 2011
This blog post was written by Jonathan Yarboro.

The Rev. Jonathan Yarboro has served as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Wetumpka, Alabama, since graduating from Louisville Seminary in 2006.

The Form of Government section of the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), old and new versions, features a powerful term: mutual forbearance. The actual citation reads:

“…we also believe that there are truths and forms with respect to which [people] of good characters and principles may differ. And in all these we think it the duty both of private Christians and societies to exercise mutual forbearance toward each other” (G-1.0305 or F-3.0105).

This historic principle of church order is rooted in the understanding that unity is best exercised in diversity. Scripture clearly supports this understanding, but Western culture often does not. Examples of mutual forbearance do not make good headlines. As a matter of fact, I would argue that anyone wishing to define mutual forbearance in contemporary media would be hard pressed to find resource material. Much of today’s media paints a very different picture of how we live in relationship with others.

Some scholars have highlighted the significance of mutual forbearance in living one’s faith. All of my seminary professors in some way embodied what I have come to appreciate as one of the key elements of a faithful Church. Still, even religious headlines, especially within the Presbyterian denomination, underscore the difficulty human beings have in fully embracing the concept. How can we as “the church” begin to live in to what Scripture clearly calls us to do: to treat one another with respect and dignity, especially in the face of theological difference?

Since 2006, I have served as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Wetumpka, Alabama. This congregation of 160 members is nestled in the beautiful Coosa River basin of Central Alabama, the buckle of the Bible belt! First Church is a middle class congregation and has been, for the most part, since its founding in 1836. For 175 years, believers willing to call themselves Presbyterians have gathered here to worship, work, and witness. The history of this congregation is fascinating and multi-faceted. Allow me to share one crucial piece of it with you.

Over the years, each time a potentially divisive decision has been placed before this congregation, someone in the church has stood, just before the vote, and proclaimed in some manner, “No matter how this vote turns out, we will not split. If we split, we die.” Consider, briefly, the implications of this statement.

Each time this statement has been shared, it has come from a different person. At times, it has come from an Elder, but not always. It has never come from the same person twice, and never from the pastor. What this says to me is that the main reason First Presbyterian Church of Wetumpka continues as a thriving community of believers is its commitment to mutual forbearance. This congregation has persevered through civil wars, world wars, racial wars, denominational splits and unions, and more.

In his book, God’s Tapestry: Reading the Bible in a World of Religious Diversity, Gene March, A.B. Rhodes Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Louisville Seminary, explains why this principle is so hard to embody. He says the stakes are higher the more common our ground becomes. [1] In other words, we may find it easier to practice mutual forbearance with those in other churches than we do within our own. Recent tensions over changes in Presbyterian church polity certainly support this notion, but they do not have to.

Perhaps we should look for guidance from the faith communities that have weathered the storms of living together as the people of God. What would we find? I am willing to bet we would find expressions of deep faith and piety, great joy and intense pain, and humility above all else. Sounds like mutual forbearance and a productive excursion of faith to me. How about you?


[1] W. Eugene March, God’s Tapestry: Reading the Bible in a World of Religious Diversity (Louisville, Westminster John Knox, 2009) 103.


Leave a comment
  1. rakesh1015 rakesh1015 | Mar 26, 2017
    Watch the Best Indian Porn Video from our blog.
  2. rakesh1015 rakesh1015 | Mar 26, 2017
    Watch the [url=http://indiansexmms.co]Best Indian Porn Video[/url] from our blog.
  3. rakesh1015 rakesh1015 | Mar 26, 2017
    Watch the <a href="http://indiansexmms.co">Best Indian Porn Video</a> from our blog.
  4. Mangungur | Mar 21, 2017
  5. apa saja | Mar 19, 2017
  6. cindyolivia096 | Mar 07, 2017
    minimal deposit Rp15.000Minimal Withdraw Rp15.000Kami juga Menyediakan Promo Menarik-BONUS REFERRAL 20% (SEUMUR HIDUP ) -BONUS TUROVER 0.5 % ( SETIAP HARI )-Custemer Service Dijamin 100% Memuaskan-NO ROBOT,NO ADMIT -DiLayanin Dengan 5 banks :BCA,BNI,BRI,DANAMON,MANDIRIUntuk Info Contact Dan Customer Service Kami, Anda Bisa Menghubungi Kami Di :WEBSITE : www.cumapoker.comPIN BBM : KEZIA - (2BE3DCA9)
  7. sara | Feb 15, 2017
  8. Connie | Feb 04, 2017
  9. Stella | Feb 02, 2017
  10. daphne | Jan 21, 2017
  11. StellaJovira | Jan 19, 2017
  12. laval daniel | Jan 19, 2017
  13. Vinit | Jan 18, 2017
  14. SA | Jan 14, 2017
    <a href="http://saudidos.com" rel="nofollow">شات سعودي دوس , سعودي دوس</a><br />
    <a href="http://dmarcam.com" rel="nofollow">شات دمار كام , دمار كام </a><br />
    <a href="http://f5r.us" rel="nofollow">شات فخر , فخر , دردشة فخر</a><br />
    <a href="http://4rb.us" rel="nofollow">شات ذرب , دردشة ذرب , ذرب</a><br />
    <a href="http://rzhcam.com" rel="nofollow">شات رزه كام , رزه كام</a><br />
    <a href="http://saudidx.org" rel="nofollow">شات سعودي اكس , سعودي اكس</a><br />
  15. Anamika | Jan 13, 2017
  16. Harshika | Jan 13, 2017
  17. jasawebb.com | Dec 30, 2016
    You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here.his is a really good post. Must admit that you are among the best bloggers I have read. Thanks for posting this informative article of cara menggugurkan kandungan. You may havce a lot of jual obat aborsi and obat aborsi
    I was reading the provided article with a great interest! This post is useful and informative cara menggugurkan kandungan.Thanks for sharing obat telat datang bulan and also obat telat bulan. You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for obat telat datang bulan info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here.his is a really good post. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on jasa website blogs I stumbleupon every day.It will always be exciting to read content from other writers and use a  jual obat aborsi and obat aborsi little something from their jasa pembuatan website
    I would once again praise to god about this amazing post. Thank you so much for the detailed information. I love to read tips from cara menggugurkan kandungan who are really successful with what they do. It inspires me an I learn a lot witch helps me to grow my business obat penggugur kandungan faster.Well, Thanks a lot for such a wonderful post of obat aborsi, the stuff posted were really interesting and useful jual obat aborsi. The quality of the content was good and clear.
  18. Friendship Day | Dec 29, 2016
  19. sdsdsd | Dec 28, 2016
  20. Create short url موقع اختصار الروابط | Dec 24, 2016
    paste your long url below to shorten. Enter one or more long urls below. Short Url Domain:  Agree with our terms. create url  Create short url موقع اختصار الروابط http://www.3nwan.net/vbhttp://www.sheikhmaghreb.com/
  21. silica | Dec 24, 2016
  22. Jangkrik | Dec 15, 2016
  23. YOYO | Dec 14, 2016
  24. Ross | Dec 07, 2016
  25. Daphne | Dec 07, 2016
  26. tracy | Dec 07, 2016
  27. Jangkrik | Dec 06, 2016
  28. HIGH | Dec 05, 2016
    On the internet media checking services take advantage of programmed software program called bumblebees or bots to mechanically take notice of the content associated with free on the internet news resources that includes the 4th Estate, publications, trade information, TV train station and information syndication providers. Media monitoring service

    For companies, customer service actually is putting about the customers' footwear. It is really a practice which ensures clients experience distinctive and personalized hitting the ground with the manufacturer from starting till the finish of each and every transaction. Customer Service

    That's why a company online support that completes work with people is actually such the better plan. It's a great idea for that person supplying the service and the better plan for the individual benefiting from the support. online Service

    Using your baby carrier causes it to be much simpler for parents to transport and maintain their infant while performing simple daily tasks. The actual practice associated with baby putting on is hundreds of years old, and the current baby company designs possess evolved in the historic designs in the past. Baby

    Happiness simply because they will turn out to be parents as well as fear that they need to not be considered a good 1. Most almost daily, women can adapt towards the changes introduced by pregnancy within their lives. However, it might take a small longer for his or her partners to sit in the scenario. Parenting & Pregnancy

    This article mentions the responsibilities of the mother throughout motherhood such as the several ideas to make this particular stage efficient. Every lady dreams to become a mom once within their lives Motherhood

    There isn't any 100% trick proof correct way. However, there is actually help available if you would like! I'm the parenting mentor and I am writing this to provide you with a small insight towards the various kinds of Parenting applications available available right now. Parenting Programs

    They tend to be however generally worth the force and time that you simply put into them and also you are bound to comprehend the end result. A house improvements is simply altering as well as changing the house. Home Improvment

    The correct light within the right location makes kitchen area more huge and less of the chore. It may even lower the danger of mishaps. Here at for the home want to offer a person few info and good data to create the very best and useful kitchen illumination ideas. Lighting

    Patio decks could be placed any place in the outdoor so long as it nevertheless effectively functions being an extension with regard to family actions. Their areas would vary based on the design from the backyard or even garden in which the patio is actually adjacent or even near. Patio Deck

    If you have trouble with rats, wasps, bedbugs or every other pernicious infestations, you need a specialist in infestation control. London has a multitude of pest manage professionals, so make use of our to the point guide to obtain the best vermin manage suppliers to your requirements. Pest Control

    The lessons out of this true tale are apparent. The lesson which is not so apparent is which greed is actually never factored in to decisions especially when buying old binoculars. It is really a base attribute which undoubtedly distorts a number of our choices Antiques

    Despite the actual technologically advanced health concerns, the natural danger associated with high-speed car racing won't be overcome. There are a lot of accessories with regard to auto rushing safety. However, there isn't any better solution to avoid mishaps than generating with focus and concentrate. Auto Racing

    Ball associated with foot pain could be the result of number associated with conditions, however the common leads to are metatarsalgia, neuroma as well as 2nd metatarsal surcharge syndrome. This short article describes the problem, the typical causes as well as recommended remedies for metatarsalgia, a typical cause associated with ball associated with foot discomfort. Foot Ball

    The easiest way to manage a football is the side of the foot. Throughout a game you are able to control the actual ball along with any a part of your entire body, except together with your arm in the shoulders lower. The the majority of affective method to control the actual ball is while using side of the foot Football

    Consequently, it is actually imperative that using the rising curiosity of ladies in sports activities, the desire for women's sportswear can also be increasing. Besides, there has been an enormous transformation from the kind of clothes that girls were requested to put on previously and the type of sports-wear that they're exhibiting right now. Women’s Sport

    The discussion on regardless of whether bodybuilding ought to be an Olympic sport may be raging for a long time. This post discusses bodybuilding and also the Olympics, outlining the down sides surrounding the actual controversy. Olympics

    Auto fruit laws possess played a significant part in aiding consumers declare their rights in regards to defective automobiles. All states in the usa have handed the fruit laws and they are operational with regard to over twenty five years. Auto Law

    A challenging child legal care case is actually stressful for that parents and hard about the children. If you're currently inside a custody fight, take time to think about your kid's feelings. Child Custody

    Criminal regulation is a couple of regulations which indicate what the culture disapproves. The criminal incorrect differs through civil incorrect. Criminal regulation regulations within Cyprus reflect to some great extend the primary principles as well as major offenses from the English Typical Law Criminal Law

    The work laws within India give to labor proper rights and control terms associated with employment. Usually, labor laws and regulations are laws regarding employer-employee associations. They assure few protection under the law to the actual workers. Additional, they make an effort to promote interests from the workers. Labor Law

    Although it might be frustrating traveling through building zones, you should follow the actual traffic laws since it protects additional motorists and also the construction workers too. Traffic Law

    Nevertheless just how much do all of us actually learn about with regards to photography? Below are a few of the different types of photography that will assist us find out more about the significance from the different method of taking photos. Photography

    What is actually Wedding Pictures? For the majority of wedding partners, this might sound a good odd query to request, most might answer which wedding pictures is the type of photography carried out during wedding ceremonies. Wedding

    Picking one from many style jobs generally is definitely an overwhelming problem. There are lot of opportunities within the fashion industry which you may not make sure which the first is best for you personally. Fashion

    Vintage gowns are enduringly well-liked for a great reason. The traditional cuts as well as elegant silhouettes associated with vintage gowns have banded the test of your time, flattering the figures 10 years after 10 years. dresses

    And when the accessory 's got some power value after that its make use of becomes the cult. Consider the instance of bags and handbags. These 2 similar add-ons are well-liked for each utility values in addition to for as being a fashion declaration. Bags & Purses

    This might be anything that may be easily shipped to your house or workplace. So do you know the benefits associated with online buying? There are a number of and lots of people make the most of these benefits on world. Benefits of Online Shopping

    Certain kinds of shoes are created to reduce or even eliminate feet problems as well as pain, while additional shoes may bring about discomfort. Follow together in this short article to find out more about the greatest shoes for the feet if you wish to avoid feet pain. Best Shoe

    You need to be used seriously at the office, so you're planning your company wear appropriately. Take selling point of color analysis to become fashionable, while still being dedicated to the gown code at the workplace. Business Wear

  29. Al | Nov 28, 2016
  30. DIMAS MARENDA | Nov 26, 2016

    Well, very good post with informative information. I really appreciate the fact that you approach these topics from a stand point of knowledge and information. This is the first time, I visited at your site and became your fan. You are bookmarked. Please keep on posting.




  31. DominoOnline | Nov 19, 2016

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

    KONTES SEO SejarahQQ.net
    Bandar kiu

  32. Nisha Sharma | Nov 19, 2016
    Nice Article and i really amazed to be here and to gather this interesting article which i need to know. Thanks a for providing this info to me. Breast Massage
  33. rianda mimi | Nov 19, 2016
  34. AgenQQ | Nov 17, 2016
  35. Jangkrik | Nov 16, 2016
  36. Domino Poker | Nov 15, 2016
    How do you think about <a href="http://99dominopoker.biz/">Domino Poker</a> ..???
  37. bandarasia99 | Nov 15, 2016
  38. Jangkrik | Nov 13, 2016
  39. vre | Nov 07, 2016
    Software mxf converter free download to convert HD camcorder files. avchd converter convert avchd video files to avi, mp4, wmv, mov mts to avi mp4 mov mkv iMovie, FCP/FCE with mts converter, so to convert mts files for your PC and mobiles. mod converter and convert tod files just free download mod video converter.
  40. B | Nov 06, 2016
  41. Ginna Kelly | Nov 06, 2016



    bandar domino

    agen poker


  42. wingsioplay | Nov 06, 2016

    Great article, I was very impressed about it, wish you would have stayed next share

    wingsio game | supermechs | wingsio playwings.io | super mechswings.io | | supermechs | wingsio

  43. rangga | Nov 05, 2016
  44. wingsioplay | Nov 04, 2016
    Nice information. Thanks for sharing this article. It helps me much :) Please keep sharing us the latest information atari breakout | supermechs| wingsio |  wings.io | super mechs
  45. Ginna Kelly | Oct 30, 2016
  46. shimra | Oct 25, 2016
  47. anonym | Oct 24, 2016
  48. shimra | Oct 24, 2016
  49. Agen Poker | Oct 20, 2016
  50. Lound Rrment | Oct 15, 2016
    Pakistan picked up the tennis World Title four situations. At this 1984 Are generally Olympics, the males hockey contest was won because of the nation with the third time period, having also been champion with Rome'60 in addition to Mexico Location '68. With Rome'60, Pakistan was the one Asia's workforce to gain an Olympic silver medal. national sport of Pakistan

    Leave a comment

    • 1044 Alta Vista Road |
    • Louisville, KY 40205 |
    • 800.264.1839 |
    • Fax: 502.895.1096 |
    • Site Map
    © Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary