Thursday, April 7, 2016
Blackhawk Presbytery at the Crossroads
Blackhawk Presbytery at the Crossroads
“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who
do His just commands; seek righteousness;
seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden
on the day of the anger of the Lord.”
“Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you will live…at
least for a while. And dying in your beds, many
years from now, would you be willing to trade
all the days, from this day to that, for one
chance, just one chance, to come back
here and tell our enemies that they
may take our lives, but they’ll
never take our freedom!!!!!!!”
“Ride steel ponies, play, love the one you’re with,
and buy ammo; but, most of all, trust Jesus!”
Do you remember Erich Segal’s syrupy-sentimental-barf-me-with-a-spoon romantic/gothic novel Love Story?
He wrote the book and screenplay for the movie starring Ryan O’Neal as “preppy” Harvard law student Oliver Barrett IV and Ali MacGraw as the frigidly snarky wouldn’t-date-her-if-you-dragged-me-through-the-desert-by-my-tongue Radcliffe music major Jenny Cavalleri who fall nauseatingly in love and…
Blah. Blah. Blah.
I told chicks that I liked it so I could…
There’s a little, uh, whore in all of us.
Most famous line in the book/movie: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Fortunately, O’Neal came back two years later in 1972’s What’s Up Doc? with Barbra Streisand as two more star-crossed lovers; but with an exchange that kinda validated opinions like mine about Segal’s book/movie:
Judy (Streisand): “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Howard (O’Neal): “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”
Those two confusing episodes came to mind as I heard about the PCUSA, the ecclesiastical franchise that includes Blackhawk Presbytery, getting ready to start an apology tour – Can you say Obama and the Islamofascistnutballs? – about the meanness of homophobic, heterocentric, and Neanderthal pewsitting and pulpiteering fundies in not esteeming, heralding, enabling, and celebrating gay, bi, transgender, transsexual, and every other Heinz 57 varieties of extra-Biblical-Pauline-Freudian-ecological-mammal-breeding-rest-of-the-world human sexuality.
I won’t go into the details.
You can read more about it via www.churchandworld.com, www.pcusa.org, www.layman.org, or any rag covering the thanatos libido of mainline denominations featuring the PCUSA as their poster child.
Or just google Overture 11-05 to this year’s General Assembly (June 18-25 in Portland).
Simply, the “alternative” - as in extra-Biblical-Pauline-Freudian-ecological-mammal-breeding-rest-of-the-world – human sexuality lobby in the PCUSA, supported by its accomplices in secular government/media/entertainment/education, has decided it’s time to apologize to ‘em because we’ve been so nasty to ‘em for so long.
Specifically, people like me who still think it’s better to follow Jesus by the book than our, uh, loins and libido have not been, you know, inviting, welcoming, including, and sloppy agapeing self-affirming, avowed, unrepentant gays as clergywomen/men and, uh, same-sex brides/grooms/whatevers.
Yes, lots of us have not been nice to everybody including gays and…
Yes, if we’re going to follow Jesus, it includes agape to everybody.
No, it doesn’t mean affirming, advocating, accommodating, and enabling all behaviors antithetical to Jesus by the book as upheld by over 2K years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, historical, traditional, and common sense Christianity.
Let me put it this way.
I’m not going to ordain or preside at a wedding or affirm, advocate, accommodate, and enable the bad behaviors of self-affirming, avowed, unrepentant gossipers, liars, thieves, idolaters, haters, cheapskates, pricks, dicks, and others whose behavior is obviously/blatantly/flamboyantly antithetical to Jesus by the book as upheld by over 2K years of…
I have nothing against gays.
I’ve employed ‘em.
I’ve got great gay friends and relatives.
But just as my past/present/future sins – Call and I’ll tell ya! – or rejections of God’s revealed will in Jesus by the book as upheld by over 2K years of…cannot be rationalized into righteousness apart from reimagining Jesus by the book as upheld by over 2K years of…, I’m not about to be so audaciously arrogant to claim I know more than God has revealed in Jesus by the book as upheld by over 2K years of…and ignore/defy God: “I know that’s what Jesus and the Bible say, but I think…”
Talk about blasphemy…which we don’t anymore because anybody’s word is as good as anybody else’s word on anything anymore in the PCUSA…including God’s as revealed in Jesus by the book as upheld by over 2K years of…
What does this have to do with Blackhawk Presbytery?
Simply, Blackhawk Presbytery voted overwhelmingly on November 11, 2014 to adopt this statement to honor/respect the consciences of both sides of the same-sex marriage issue:
“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.”
That’s a mouthful.
Concisely, Blackhawk Presbytery is on record as recognizing faithful women and men can disagree on the issue, exercise their consciences, and not fear some kinda inquisition about their exercised preference.
The problem with voting for the apology overture is those who disagree with what is now permitted are demonized while those who agree are lionized.
Moreover, many envision the next step of the relentless gay and more lobby will be to Kenyonize pastors who will not preside/participate in same-sex nuptials, the ordination of self-affirming/avowed/unrepentant gays, and the like.
Parenthetically, and please check out the aforementioned rags plus www.koppdisclosure.com for background on the whole Kenyonesque-exclusion-of-pastors-and-churches-who-still affirm Jesus by the book as upheld by over…, to Kenyonize means to defrock and kick out anybody who disagrees with the current ideological “policy” antithetical to Jesus by the book as upheld by over…
Practically, in a personal word to Blackhawk Presbytery with a caution for the franchise and sister franchises, if you think you can’t pay the bills now, just wait and see what happens if you affirm the apology and its subsequently supportive overtures.
Three churches in the last few years have left our presbytery, a few more are about to bolt, and several more are holding their breath over, uh, stuff like this.
While we’re rearranging the deck chairs (restructuring), which I think is necessary because we’ve got less horses for the courses, and debating fossil fuels, which I think is O.K. but know nobody outside of our constituency really cares what we think anymore, and…, we have churches that can’t pay their pastors and bills, churches cannibalizing themselves, a wonderful camp/conference center in jeopardy, and…
So here’s the deal.
While I may be wrong, I think we can get some positive inertia going by recommitting ourselves to what we declared back in 2014, further declare we will ignore/defy anybody or any sustained overture that threatens the consciences of anybody about almost anything in recognition of our irretrievably diverse ideologies/theologies, and commit ourselves to pray at every meeting for fresh peace, unity, and purity that can be incarnated through increased intimacy with our God who is not as double-minded as we have become.
If we can’t do that, “Turn out the lights! The party’s over!”
That’s not a threat.
One more analogous thought.
U.S. Representative Lou Barletta (Hazelton, Pennsylvania) recently endorsed Donald Trump for President saying it’s time for the GOP establishment to stop trying to figure out a way to stop him but, instead, listen to why he has become so popular.
Surely, the same could be said to the DNC establishment juxtaposed to folks in their party who are feelin’ the Bern.
While I still like Carson, I’m listening to the folks who like Trump and Sanders.
They’re a part of America too.
If we stop listening to people of differing opinions, churches will become as divided as America.
Blessings and Love!
Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!