I just sat through a 2 hour presentation on the Task Force for Peace Unity Purity in the Presbyterian Church.
There is way too much to digest and way too much controversy to adequately post my thoughts on here. As you can tell I prefer more interesting things such as football, running, poker, and art than the controversial issues in the Presbyterian Church regarding ordination standards.
However, this meeting has allowed for me to come to a conclusion regarding ordination standards. If you are interested in my perspective then we need to get a cup of coffee because I do not want to be yet another blog posting yet another individual perspective with an air of authority.
What I will say is that the Authorative Interpretation (A.I.) feature of the Task Force’s Final Report, recommendation #5, is an intriguing move. I believe that it helps the PC(USA) church embrace the current cultural tensions of modernity and postmodernity. It suggests that there are normative factors in the Christian Faith (modernity), while also acknowledging that any list of essential standards for ordination would be inadequate (postmodernity).
I guess we will have to wait and see…
Here is an important statement I think the PC(USA) church members need to hear:
“• Those of us who identify our views as liberal came to understand how alienating it is for conservatives and evangelicals when their passionate commitment to holy living and upright conduct are labeled rigid and judgmental.
• Those of us who identify our views as conservative came to understand how alienating it is for liberals when their passionate commitment to justice and compassion are labeled unbiblical.
• Those of us who identify our views as moderate came to understand how alienating it is when those with passionate concerns on either end of the theological spectrum are labeled extreme and divisive.
• Many of us came to understand how alienating it is for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons to be so regularly identified as a major threat to the peace, unity, and purity of the church.
• Many of us also came to understand how alienating it is for those who support a ban on the ordination of non-celibate gay and lesbian persons to be accused of prejudice, and how alienating it is for those who oppose such a ban to be accused of moral laxity.
• All of us came to see that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in its current factionalized state that we have all created together by our mutual stereotyping and misuse of power, fails to offer a suffering world a sign of the peace, unity, and purity that is God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ.”