Driving home from the 219th General Assembly of the PCUSA in Minneapolis with my wife, two youngest, and the Executive Director of Presbyterian Elders in Prayer, we wondered how we could/should/would ever explain what's happening to our franchise.
A big clue to what just happened and what's gonna happen before LeBron adds NBA championships to his not-in-Cleveland legacy was the election of the Moderator who sets the tone and appoints kin to important decision-making positions.
Elder Cynthia Bolbach was elected for the two-year term; which means she can commit/omit about as much in the PCUSA as BBPBHO has committed/omitted in the USA over the past two years.
She was endorsed for the office by National Capital Presbytery (DC area) which is just left of, uh, just about everybody else in the franchise; and pseudo-prophesied why she wanted the job: "I feel called to stand for Moderator to help our church - proud inheritor of the Reformed tradition - discern how best to proclaim the timeless Gospel message to a 21st century world that is multi-cultural and religiously pluralistic."
Of the six candidates running for office, only she expressed unqualified support for same-sex marriage.
She's a lawyer who decided to balance her leadership by picking pastor Landon Whitsett of Liberty, Missouri as her Vice-moderator.
He's from Heartland Presbytery which has devolved into an aggressive advocate for everything fearful to franchise members who still believe Jesus is who the New Testament says He is as upheld by our constitution.
In other words, it's time to congratulate the PCUSA's left.
Always a leader among the losers in the mainline, the PCUSA's left is in position to advance its agenda with minimal resistance.
Matthew 23:15 comes to mind.
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Director of Interfaith Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and I spent some time together; lamenting the devolution of the PCUSA from Christianity as personified in Jesus, prescribed in Holy Scripture, and upheld by its constitution to a navel-gazing religion.
He was there to help derail the PCUSA's increasingly rabid anti-Israel agenda.
Parenthetically, I almost forgot to tell you to go to www.pcusa.org (for the good/sanitized news), www.layman.org (for the bad news), and www.ChurchandWorld.com (for balanced reporting) for the specifics about what happened as harbinger to what's around the corner.
Anyway, I seemed to have more in common with him - like the desire/prayer to honor the one and only God of the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament - than...
Well, he interviewed me on camera; and though I don't know what went wherever it went, here's the gist: "I tell people who tell me about the bad behaviors of Christians that they shouldn't blame Jesus for some Christians who need more of Jesus in their lives. In the same way, don't blame Presbyterians for General Assembly. This meeting does not represent the majority of Presbyterians in America. This meeting is an anomaly."
Yeah, GAs are usually embarrassing to folks in the franchise's particular churches; but God knows we wish everybody knew GAs only represent the cast of characters whenever they get together.
Sure, GAs accelerate the decline/demise of the franchise; but there are still some very faithful folks in the trenches.
Speaking of faithful folks, a really smart one in California encouraged the faithful minority at GA, "We inhabit a broken world which contains a broken denomination run by broken pretenders of the faith. Knowing that, may you stand in the shower of God's grace, radiating His presence and throwing light onto their darkness."
Getting personal with me in reference to the last KD (scroll down), a friend in Florida commended/cautioned, "I have never considered you to be normal nor moderate...If you were normal, you'd still be a tall steeple muckidy muck defending the status quo of the PCUSA as a former moderator driving a BMW to your Lake Michigan summer home for some rest prior to flying into GA for the usual 'all is good in the PCUSA' sing-a-long."
Another faithful fellah in Texas wrote, "Presbyterian evangelist Charles Finney was once reported to have said, 'Every time there's a Presbyterian General Assembly, there's a jubilee in hell!'...There is only one, holy, catholic, apostolic CHURCH. You don't get into it by leaving the PCUSA; nor are you excluded from it by staying in the PCUSA...Denominations aren't Biblical, nor are they 'working' anymore...I will not run and leave the camp, and the lambs, to the Philistines..."
A seminarian at PTS (Pittsburgh): "What does the world see when it looks at the church today? I am afraid it sees us as just another special interest group...The world sees infighting...We imitate the world more than the Word...Even the command given to us to love one another can be trashed if it gets in the way of our need to win...The evil one has now brought Christ's church to the place where it may fall because of its divisions...We need God's intervention. God alone can lift our eyes out of the mud pit where we have become content to dwell...If the church is to recover, we need to repent and seek God's grace now. The world that Jesus died to save needs us now more than ever. We must be healed by God. Then we must extend those healed and healing hands to our hurting neighbors. Let the church become a place of love, hope, and joy for such a time as this.
Our van broke down just outside of Madison, Wisconsin.
$450.31 later, we re-connected to the battery and...
That kinda explains what/what's happened/happening...
BTW, except for a song or two that friends/family know I want included when my day comes, the preceding selections will be played at the memorial service.
Why mention that?
I just got back from GA.
I'm feeling funereal.
Blessings and Love!
Post a Comment