8. Obedience (C9)

  1. The brothers and sisters are bound to obedience to the leadership of the community in all areas referred to in the Scripture Rule, Constitutions, General Directory, and Particular Directories of the Companions of Christ, when it does not go against the teaching of the church in matters of faith and morality, and does not conflict with one's conscience.

  2. If a brother or sister finds cos conscience at variance with either the teaching authority of the church in matters of faith and morality, or the directives of their leaders in matters regarding the Scripture Rule, Constitutions, General Directory and the Particular Directories, they are free to follow their conscience, but must be willing to bear the consequences of their action, either within or without either the church or the community. They must also humbly and seriously consider the position of the leader with a docile spirit, and be willing to let go of the old self through mediated authority, in light of their profession of obedience.

  3. If a leader commands contrary to the directives of the Rule, Constitutions, or Directory, or of the teachings of the church on matters of faith and morality, the brothers and sisters are not under obligation to obey, even though in these circumstances they do not spurn the authority of the leader. These situations must be serious and habitual in nature. If this situation becomes habitual, the brother or sister are free to recourse to higher authority for the good of the community. If the leader commands in compliance with the Rule, Constitutions and Directories, and the teaching authority of the church regarding matters of faith and morality, but the brother or sister disagrees with the wisdom of their particular command and if this is of major consequence or habitual, they are to make this known to the leader through loving and respectful dialogue. But they are still to obey and fulfill the command with a willing and ready heart.