Monday, July 6, 2009

A letter written by Carmen Fowler

Carmen Fowler of the Layman has written a pastoral letter that is excellent, "'War,’ ‘Go Fish’ ‘Manipulation’ in the PCUSA." Here is an excerpt:

"A pastoral letter to congregations in presbyteries that switched their vote on ordination standards:

Greetings, my Presbyterian brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. To the churches in Arkansas, Charlotte, Cimmaron, Detroit, Eastminster, East Tennessee, Grace, Great Rivers, Greater Atlanta, Lake Huron, Lehigh, Mackinac, Maumee Valley, Minnesota Valleys, Missouri River Valley, New Hope, Newark, Ohio Valley, Pacific, Philadelphia, Salem, Scioto Valley, Sheppards & Lapsley, Southeastern Illinois, Transylvania, Tres Rios, Utah, Wabash Valley, West Jersey, West Virginia, Western North Carolina, Western New York, Whitewater Valley and Yellowstone presbyteries: Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, to whom be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Do you know how to play “Go Fish,” “Manipulation,” or “War?” In life, as in cards, in order to play the hand you’re dealt, you have to know what game is being played. This letter is to let you know how the game has changed in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and to help prepare you to play the hand we have been dealt."


Mac said...

Russ Stevenson's book is excellent!

St. Blogwen said...

Great article by Carmen-- thanks for the link. But I question whether our foremost object as the Church is to make disciples. Rather, the making of disciples and the salvation of humankind is the divinely designated means towards a greater and higher end: That the Triune God might be worshipped and glorifed in His saints as He deserves.

I admit that what we do on Sunday mornings here on earth is only a pale reflection of what will be in heaven at the consummation of all things. But if the intent and content of what we do here focusses us on God's majesty, holiness, grace, love, and power, it is certainly a picture of what that ultimate heavenly worship is like.

It may seem that "making disciples" includes our acceptable worship. But I've noticed lately a tendency for evangelical churches to feel the Great Commission has been satisfied if only we've achieved more bodies in the pews, and for worship to be labelled just one more church program.

No. The glorification of God is the primary end of the Church/redeemed mankind (Westminster Catechism!), and all our other Great Ends are merely tributary to that goal.

Kathy Horstman
Beaver, PA

Viola Larson said...

I agree with you about the higher and greater end,"That the Triune God might be worshipped and glorifed in His saints as He deserves."
But I do think making disciples is our calling and while Evangelical might make to much of it the liberal church makes nothing of it. But I like and agree with everything you said.

Kattie W. Coon said...

Aric Clark wrote a wonderful critique of Carmen's letter. You can see it here:

I agree with him.

Huntsville, Al

Kattie W. Coon said...

Viola writes:

"Is Aric referring to salvation-until all are in the kingdom or is he referring to just a point in time until all, no matter who can be ordained."

Personally, I don't think he is referring to either one of those.

I think you severely and fairly consistently misinterpret him, but of course that war is between you and him. I'm not a part of that.

If you would like to know why >>I<< still agree with >>my<< interpretation of his argument then let me know.

Huntsville, Al