This motion was seconded and prevailed by an overwhelming majority at Blackhawk Presbytery's stated meeting on 11/11/14 at Oregon, Illinois' Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center: "Acknowledging same-sex nuptials are legal in Illinois and the PCUSA affords discretion to its teaching elders by the authoritative interpretation of the 221st General Assembly to preside or not preside at such rituals+ceremonies=rites and particular churches may host or not host such ordinances upon session approval subject to the review of higher judicatories, Blackhawk Presbytery will honor the consciences of teaching elders and particular churches within its bounds; noting its members are divided among those who embrace the authoritative interpretation as witness to progressive theology and those who reject it according to traditional Christianity. Presiding/participating teaching elders and hosting churches may exercise their consciences as permitted by the authoritative interpretation. No efforts to force teaching elders and sessions who decline to preside/participate/host will be encouraged, enabled, or condoned. Those who embrace and those who decline do not need to fear ministerial infringements or vocational reprisals in Blackhawk Presbytery."
Practically, Blackhawk Presbytery has become a you-don't-bother-us-and-we-won't-bother-you oasis for progressives and traditionalists in a denomination reflecting its host country's increasingly divisive and ultimately destructive my-way-or-the-highway partisans.
Indeed, I hope that floor debate about the aforementioned motion was recorded.
I think others could benefit from BP's increasingly uncommon civility; as the PCUSA, sister franchises, America, and rest of the world betray their collective thanatos libido.
Having said that and praised God for that, we're going to be voting on making same-sex nuptials a part of our denominational constitution throughout the rest of 2014 and into the first half of 2015.
Essentially, the PCUSA may/will, uh, evolve from allowing 'em to advocating 'em by allowing/advocating/ordering 'em in its rule book with decreasing correspondence to you know who based on you know what.
Specifically, everybody's gonna be voting to approve or reject the recommended change to the constitution from marriage being "between one man and one woman" to "between two people."
Our family's dog Kopper, fondly referred to as "our gay dog" because he's so sweet on me while assuming he's human not canine, is hopeful.
C'mon, folks on the hard left and right, lighten up!
Anyway, to become a part of the constitution, all that's needed is a simple majority of 86 out of 171 presbyteries.
If it doesn't pass, I predict Crazy Joe or Texas Teddy will be our next President.
I asked several folks who are really into this with much more litigious interest/sophistication than moi to address three questions.
If it prevails, what will it mean?
If it does not prevail, what will it mean?
If it fails, what happens to the nuptials that were performed since the authoritative interpretation of the 221st General Assembly?
A common general response: "The authoritative interpretation is not a part of the constitution. It remains an authoritative interpretation of the constitution regardless of the vote on the amendment to the constitution."
Precisely addressing the three questions, here are the collective responses as summarized as simply as possible by moi.
Q. If it prevails, what will it mean?
A. Freedom...without bounds!
Q. If it does not prevail, what will it mean?
A. Nothing! The authoritative interpretation remains/applies no matter how the vote goes.
Q. If it fails, what happens to the nuptials already performed?
A. Nothing! That's the, uh, genius of the 221's GA. The AI supercedes the amendment.
Sooooooo, mes amis, folks who wanna get hitched to someone from the same gender can, uh, do it in the PCUSA because it's always gonna be allowed and maybe advocated yet, at minimum, always allowed.
The train has left the station.
Uh, score one for the, uh, hard left!
Getting back to Blackhawk Presbytery, we get to vote on advocating it even though it will be allowed no matter how the vote ends up/down on 2/10/15 at Rochelle, Illinois' First Presbyterian Church.
Sooooooo how do non-progressive traditional theologians like moi remain faithfully?
Well, I think/pray this will maintain integrity despite not pacifying spirit, intellect, or gut.
Knowing anyone who hasn't made up her/his mind on this since the topic's been raging in the franchise for, ooooooohhhhhhh, 40+ years must be living in the ozone layer of reality with an indecisiveness only matched by BBPBHO on most moral/national/global matters, I'm gonna get in line as soon as the debate starts; and when my lips hit the mic, I'm gonna move the previous question. Again, ya gotta wonder what the anything but heaven folks have not been thinkin' if they haven't already made up their minds on this one. Reeeeeeeaaaaaaaly, are we inclined to keep the floor open for a few hours more of venting, pontificating, advocating, antagonizing, bantering, and moaning?
Assuming the vote to amend the constitution will prevail in BP, I'm gonna ask the stated clerk aka ecclesiastical secretary to record me as dissenting from both the AI and the amendment just so I'm covered on both at the same time in an exercise of time/emotions stewardship: "I ask the stated clerk to indulge my constitutional right to be recorded in the minutes by name and church as dissenting from the authoritative interpretation of the 221st General Assembly and our presbytery's vote to amend the constitution from marriage being 'between one man and one woman' to 'between two people' as categorically contradictory to over two thousand years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, historical, traditional, and common sense Christianity."
If the vote prevails in our presbytery, I hope other presbyters will dissent; using the suggested wording or, probably, something much better to express this amendment as an abomination and insult to Jesus by the book.
If the vote prevails in other presbyteries, I hope presbyters will dissent; using the...
Jesus never said it would be easy to be part of the remnant.
Read Matthew 10 for more on that.
It's like our administrative assistant aka my boss in Belvidere said as we discussed the folks who have left over the years because they picked up their marbles and walked away because of their my-way-or-the-highway weltanschauung, "We're sure glad Jesus never gave up on us every time we disappointed Him."
She's so much wiser than me; even if only a year older.
Blessings and Love!
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