Monday, July 21, 2008

A Hosea Relationship? -- What's Up with the Presbyterian Church USA - Part 5

When your denomination does something that you don't agree with, you have to make some decisions. Conservatives have been pushed and pushed in mainline denominations for years, having policies that they see as directly contradicting Scripture pushed on us.

It's ironic that so many scream that we shove religion down their throats. In fact, it is those who wish to change Christianity into what they want it to be that are continually pushing their religion down our throats.


Many of us know in our minds and our hearts--everything that is in us--that these liberal-minded leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA) are leading this denomination away from the LORD. They can present their arguments and do their mental gymnastics to arrive at some translation of the original language to support their position, but they are wrong. They are being unfaithful to the LORD, and they are leading (or trying to lead) the denomination in unfaithfulness to Him.

So what do we as individual members of a mainline denomination do? And what do we as a local church do?

That day in our home church when our Pastor told us what had taken place at the 218th General Assembly of the PC (USA), he suggested some options. One, of course, was to consider leaving the denomination. Another was to stay in. He reminded us of the story of Hosea, whom God called to marry an adulterous wife. Of course the story's metaphor is to show how God the husband remained faithful to Israel the wife when Israel failed to remain faithful to Him.

It may be that we are called to stay in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in order to influence it from the inside. We cannot make any difference in the denomination by leaving. I think many leave denominations or a local church (for any reason) thinking their absence will make a statement. Sadly, most aren't missed--or at least not for very long. Only by staying in can we influence anything. That is, in fact, how the liberal-minded people who embrace homosexuals as leaders in the church got it done.

Only by staying in the denomination can we take back our denomination from the grasp of those who are leading it astray.

My gut feeling is conservatives are about to push back. Or maybe that feeling in my gut is only my hope. But if you feel alone, don't forget about how discouraged and alone Elijah felt after he battled the priests of Baal (and won!):

"'...I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.'

"The LORD said to him...'Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him."

1 Kings 19:14, 15, 18

We are not alone.

For every one of us, I pray there are seven thousand more. And for every one of them, I pray there are seven thousand more. And for every one of them, I pray there are seven thousand more...

Part 6 Bad-mouthing denominations


Cynthia said...

Dear Dianne,
I hope your gut feeling is correct and the conservatives do start to fight back. I was amazed at reading your blog since I am seeing the same scenario in the United Methodist churches. I am not a Methodist so it doesn't affect me in my own church life. But I do work for a Methodist church and the gay/lesbian organizations are constantly trying to infiltrate and convince everyone to embrace what is sinful.
I am definitely conservative and scriptural in my beliefs. I have debated this issue with people here (carefully...!) because some get confused and feel like they are not "welcoming." However, we can welcome all without condoning the sin. I feel terrible that in pretending to love and accept everything they are in fact hurting the people they claim to love. It is like welcoming an alcoholic and supplying them with drinks. Makes no sense. If we truly care about people, we will help them to draw close to Christ and turn away from things that are wrong and evil.
I would encourage you to hold fast to the Word of God. It sounds like your pastor wants to follow what is right. Encourage him to do so. I can feel your frustration and I understand since it is the same story here. My prayers are with you.
Oh, I was checking out some writer blogs and found yours. Your topic caught my attention!

Dianne E. Butts said...

Thanks, Cyndy, for your comments and encouragement. I think this is happening in all the denominations. I'll be blogging about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Episcopal Church next week. We can make a difference if we stand strong and together.