The odd thing is that the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination, Presbyterian Church USA, is already the most liberal of the Presbyterians and is bleeding members and churches to more conservative denominations. This hard swing to the left isn’t surprising if you watched the last General Assembly in 2012 nearly pass these resolutions. Like so many organizations these days, the administration and leadership is far more radical than its membership.
Since 2012, the activists and activist presbyteries have worked to control local Sessions, to manipulate voting, such as moving liberal activist interim pastors into conservative churches, and control the 2014 General Assembly. Speakers at the Detroit meeting included Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin and Big Green AGW-er Bill McKibben, with no balance to more moderate and conservative voices from the outside, although there were lobbyists both for/against the Israel vote and there’s a denominational pro-life group that held meetings during the assembly.
One of the least-noticed but most radical resolutions was the continuing war on 2nd Amendment rights. It’s pretty easy to venture that most of the voters were urban residents who didn’t grow up around guns or hunters, and regurgitate today’s radical gun control groups. My gun-hunting SIL has ranted for a couple of years about how the gun control nuts will go after ammunition next. He’s been stocking up on ammo and frankly, I thought he sounded a little over the top. He was right. Not only did the GA reinforce their stance on gun control but they flat-out promoted a much higher tax on ammo as a back-door approach to gun control, thus proving the accuracy of NRA warnings.
The vote of gay marriage by PCUSA pastors in consenting presbyteries was no surprise but I still find all of this a little sudden. No church or politician was discussing this 15 years ago, and this is a huge change for churches to embrace. I don’t think a lot of people appreciate what’s happening. Let me illustrate. More than 40 years ago, I married a recently-divorced man. We asked an Episcopal priest who was a mutual friend to marry us but he refused because we weren’t members and even members were required to wait a year and undergo counseling. The church I grew up in, a fundamentalist Baptist, forbids marriage under nearly all circumstances when one partner is divorced. Was I offended? Not at all. This was the theology of those churches. You don’t change theology for friends. Radical changes within a church should come from long-standing members who respect the church theology, and the changes should come after a considerable time of prayer and study, not merely to convenience me. We did find a couple of churches who could perform our marriage but we decided to have a civil ceremony with a few friends present. We’re just as married as if we had a big whoop-di-do in a huge cathedral.
When “Ahnold” was a popular Cali governor, Hollywood liberals wanted to change the US Constitution to allow the Austrian-born celebrity to run for President. Isn’t that silly? Not only is it unwise to casually tinker with one of our founding documents but it’s insane to do that for a specific person. If we someday decide to make a change like that, it would have to take effect in the distant future, disqualifying any living candidates.
The question that kept nagging me as I read the news stories and the official and unofficial releases from the PC-USA was this: Where were the Bible references, the Bible basis for these changes? These aren’t secular United Nations resolutions. This is a Christian church. While it doesn’t follow literal adherence to the Word, it supposedly follows the Bible as its foundation. And please don’t try the feeble ‘Jesus made Peter lay down his sword’ and ‘Jesus tells us to love one another.’ Yes, dear. Selectively grasping at a Bible quote without context or understanding is at least as irritating as fundamentalists who literally interpret the Bible. Churches do change, and sometimes painfully so, but those changes can’t be done overnight and they can’t be for secular reasons, such as popular television shows or because Anderson Cooper calls you names. This change isn’t about religion or about the Bible, it’s about politics. The same liberals who roundly condemn churches for speaking out against abortion and despise the concept of ‘Christian Soldier’ as war-mongering, are delighted with this political posturing.
This is where we are today in America. If you disagree with Obama on any policy, you’re racist. If you disagree with Hillary, you’re sexist. If you want NASA to be about space instead of Muslim self-esteem, you’re Islamaphobic. If you don’t want religious gay marriager within your church, you’re homophobic. Liberal America, it allows no dissension from a leftist agenda. Like this:
Here’s a view that recognizes the contributions Presbyterians have made to this nation in the past while claiming the new contributions won’t help America or the church itself. http://spectator.org/articles/59722/presbyterians-become-silly-church
Mainline Protestantism, at least in its official curia, has been liberal for nearly 100 years. But for most of that century it was a thoughtful, dignified liberalism that still roughly adhered to historic Christianity’s moral architecture, even if it no longer upheld the core doctrine. But the yonder years of stately Protestantism, at least in the old Mainline, are largely over. And this week, the 1.7 million member PCUSA suffered a meltdown, authorizing clergy to conduct same sex unions, reaffirming its commitment to largely unrestricted abortion rights, and voting to divest from three firms doing business with Israel.