Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 1, 2008 Expanding Special GA Edition

Expanding Special GA Edition
4th RSV
(PCUSA - R.I.P.)

Well, friends, it's gettin' fast and furious; and some folks just aren't liberal enough
to entertain, uh, the diversity of opinion in our franchise (and related ones).

Even a friend got real nasty with me because, as he said,
"Our churches don't need to know what's going on."


Then a renewal group apologist tried to learn the identity of the gal/guy who took 'em on.


Read John 3:19-21!

If you've got nothing to hide, you don't need to hide it.

So here's a letter from a friend who is remaining to be faithful
in my own presbytery
his, I mean His, congregation:

Dear Bob,

Here's a letter which I just sent out to my congregation about GA; and thanks for your humor in these awful denominational days:

To state the obvious - living my faith is a lot tougher than talking about faith. This is no great surprise to anyone! Jesus said, "So do not worry about tomorrow..." But over the last several days, I have found myself plenty worried about tomorrow.

The PCUSA seems intent on imploding! The Lord Jesus who reigns on high desires the beauty and purity of His church. But we Presbyterians seem lustfully giddy at the opportunity to dive into the adulterous mud of unfaithfulness and sin.

Lord Jesus, I am worried!

GA, our highest governing body, met last week in San Jose. I am told that people like you and me comprise our GA, common believers from faithful churches, elected to discern and follow the leading of God's Holy Spirit. However, based upon the decisions of GA, I am not convinced of the former statement. GA voted in three separate decisions to make it easier for Presbyterian churches to ordain gays and lesbians. GA suggested that the God of Jesus Christ is no different than the God of Islam. Those who support such decisions are urging people like me who are troubled by these decisions to be patient and see what God is doing.

40 years of debating and waiting is not long enough?

Lord Jesus, I am worried!

Presbyterians seem endlessly preoccupied with gay sex. Many evangelical churches have left the denomination. I have always felt a call to stay, and be the proverbial "voice in the wilderness." I may not have been the loudest voice, but neither have I ignored the apostasy within our denomination. But, I assumed that faithful witness to Jesus would overcome unfaithfulness.

Lord Jesus, I am worried!

I have listened, encouraged, and prayed.

Today, Lord Jesus, I am worried!

While GA playfully wallowed in the mud of accommodation, churches like ours struggles to be faithful in a consumer culture of self. Attendance is down. Giving is down. Visitors seem far and few. Does GA know this? Is it me? Do we take the simplistic Christian consumer approach to reverse these trends? People are anxious about these days of economic uncertainty. Cancer and other diseases are ever-present. Families are stressed. Relationships are strained. Real community is being overwhelmed by virtual social networking.

Lord Jesus, I am worried!

Maybe all of this is simply the frustrated ramblings of a man now in his 50s, growing hair in the wrong places, and wondering if his golf game...[Like this guy!]...has seen its best days...[Never!]. What happened to the optimism of that young Jesus freak?

Lord Jesus, I am worried!

But then, I hear the voice of Jesus, "But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all..."

By Your grace and only in Your grace, Jesus, I will strive at home, in the church, in our community, and, yes, even in the denomination.

But at least for this day, Lord Jesus, I am worried!

Lord, have mercy on the PCUSA and all who remain to be faithful!

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