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Comparative Theology, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
56- Church authority in organizing worship
The Church has regulated the fasts and has laid down for them spiritual rules and set times based on spiritual grounds. Thus the Church maintains the fasts and they have remained essential and indispensable spiritual practices.
The Church has the right, or rather the obligation, to organise for the benefit of her members various spiritual practices so they may worship the Lord together in one spirit, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. Here the Church implementís Lord's commission to her leaders: "...whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matt.18: 18). Thus Church discipline is biblically based.
Our Protestant brethren, in adopting an individualistic and congregational approach, made their congregation lose the benefits of fasting, which is regrettably, almost extinct from the evangelical churches.
Discipline is generally useful for the individual; it does not hinder his freedom but rather regulates its usage.
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