Monday, July 7, 2008

What's Up with the Presbyterian Church USA - Part 1

You may know that many of the large denominations of the Christian church are declining in membership. There are probably plenty of reasons -- or at least plenty of opinions as to the reasons.

I can't speak for all the denominations, but as a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I believe I have a right to talk about (and criticize) this denomination.

The Presbyterian Church has a representative type of government. The individual churches, or groups of churches called presbyteries, aren't told want to do, but have a vote. Every two years, the Presbyterian Church (USA) hold its "General Assembly," that meeting where the business of the denomination is conducted. Delegates are sent from each presbytery.

General Assembly is in June, and in recent years every time you could pretty much count on there being a headliner in the newspapers about something that went on there. Usually it has had to do with the ordaining of (or the refusal to ordain) homosexuals as leaders in the church.

This year, General Assembly came and went and the newspapers seemed suspiciously quiet.

We were able to make a trip to our home church to hear what our Pastor had to say about the goings on at the 218th General Assembly of the PC (USA), which took place June 21-28. I'm grateful for his interpretations--it made sense of some of the complicated stuff I read on the denomination's web site:

I'm no expert in all this stuff, but what I plan to blog about in the next several posts is my understanding of what's up in the Presbyterian Church (USA). (And, of course, my opinion of it all.) (Well, um, that's what a blog is for, right?)

There were three points of concern our Pastor mentioned that Sunday, June 29th. I'll take one at a time.

Part 1: The definition of marriage:

The good news is that the definition that marriage being between one man and one woman stands. The bad news is that it made it out of committee to be voted on.

This should be a no-brainer. Why in the world wouldn't the committee kill this before it ever made it out of committee?! That's disturbing. Those who want to redefine marriage will no doubt keep chipping away at it...hoping to get their way...when this should, in fact, be put down decisively once and for all time. And shame on the leaders of this denomination for not doing so.

Coming up in future posts:
Part 2: Communicating and worshipping (?!) with Muslims
Part 3: Overnight Change: Homosexuality and the PC (USA)'s "Authoritative Interpretation"

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