Monday, June 27, 2011

Jack Haberer's "Memo to the Grieving"

My response to Jack Haberer’s “Memo to the Grieving.”

You are right I am grieving alongside all of the orthodox in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I am so deeply in grief that I sometimes find it hard to write.

But I have been in grief in this denomination before.

I grieve over our careless disregard for unborn babies.

I grieve over our failure to stop the anti-Semitism of the Israel Palestine Mission Network.

I grieve that we fail to discipline those who are ruling elders and elders of word and sacrament who do not believe in the deity of Jesus, the bodily resurrection, the work of Christ on the cross or even God.

I grieve over unconverted pastors and heretical seminary professors.

I grieve over my own self; my own coldness and carelessness, my desire to run to some safe place, my failure to weep over a dying denomination.

You sound rather harsh but perhaps we/I deserve it.


Craig said...

"at worst taking one behavior off the sins-that-disqualify list, and adding it to the sins-we-indulge list."

I just love this line. Do you really think the pro 10a crowd think this?

Twin Cities, MN

Viola Larson said...

No Craig, I don't.

Anonymous said...

Certainly not all the "pro 10A crowd" think that way, but I know many who do.

From what I have seen, there are a variety of reasons why some presbyters supported 10A, and this is one of them. The "pro 10A crowd" doesn't appear to me to be monolithic in reasoning at all.

Viola Larson said...

You are probably right too, about it not being monolithic in reasoning.

However, if you write here again please leave your name, city and state.

will spotts said...

I would agree that it is far from monolithic. But I find it more than a little disturbing that arguments designed to appeal to one constituency flat out contradict arguments advanced in other circumstances. For instance, the one arguing "justice love" is not the same as the one arguing "unequal enforcement"; and that is distinct from the one arguing grace, or the oone arguing local authority - i.e. the fidelity chastity clause was an innovation and an intrusion into the responsibilities of the ordaining body, or the one arguing this is non-essential.

Sometimes the same person might advance several of these. Usually only when that person is seeking any and all possible support for their pre-determined position. But the same person cannot at the same time believe all of these because their underlying rationales contradict each other.

Will Spotts
North East, MD

Anonymous said...

Will, in introducing universalism into the mix, our new form of government asks us to hold diametrically opposed points of view simultaneously. One cannot hold to both the Confessions and the polity of the church. In a discussion with our presbytery's stated clerk today, I came to the conclusion that the Foundations section of the new form of government actually contradicts the government itself in at least one place. Yet we are to be governed by it. With all that blatant contradiction as part and parcel of the denomination's structure, is it any wonder that people would argue inconsistent points of view to support their views on who should be ordained?

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm Jason Huff, Macomb Township, MI.

will spotts said...

Jason - good point.

They did the same thing by introducing the Book of Confessions - though most of us didn't understand this at the time. They contradict one another - especially C67 being the odd man out.

It becomes impossible for those ordained as elders to fulfill their vows taken in good faith. Because these agree that they sincerely receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and to do ....

The problem is, if there are points of contrast between the confessions and they involve essential tenets - then the vow is unfillable. (The interpretation of the view of Scripture, for instance is vastly different between WCF and C67.)