Tuesday, October 29, 2013
At the PC (U.S.A.) General Assembly or anywhere: true peace, true justice
Since October of 2012 More Light Presbyterians have provided a space where teaching elders and ruling elders can sign a commitment to preform same sex marriage in those states where it is legal. With this, they are not only bypassing Presbyterian polity but are also standing against the authority of Scripture. While many Presbyterian churches, orthodox in their beliefs, are struggling within their presbyteries to reach a place of safety for their people, one which includes their church property, MLP, in an article, “Seeking a Positive Peace in Detroit,” are suggesting that the real positive peace at the coming General Assembly would be to pass both an authoritative interpretation and an amendment to the Constitution allowing same sex marriage.
Tying their hopes to the words of Martin Luther King Jr. who believed that racial problems were not solved because of white moderates who wanted peace without tension which also meant without justice, the MLP author quotes King, “The great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.” (Bold MLP)
After referring to the same attempt to bypass polity in the United Methodist Church the author states:
"We believe Stand for Love prefigures the presence of justice for LGBTQ people and teaching elders in the Presbyterian Church (USA). More Light Presbyterians and Covenant Network’s pursuit of both an A.I. and an amendment at the 221st General Assembly seeks to make the presence of justice a holistic reality for LGBTQ people and the entire church.
This is the positive peace we seek in Detroit and in our daily living." (Italics authors)
So if the Covenant Network fails in passing an AI and the MLP fail in passing an amendment to the Presbyterian Constitution there will be no real peace at the General Assembly?
On the contrary “Stand for Love” prefigures the presence of judgment on those who name the name of Christ while rejecting Christ's call to holiness and obedience. The passing of such an AI and/or an amendment to the constitution prepares the church for unending conflict and pain. And the pain will mostly be dumped on the head of precious individuals whose brokenness could be healed by the redeeming love of Jesus. But they will not hear that proclamation in the midst of a sexually compromised denomination.
Justice is a matter of the good news. But it is the justice of God, not human justice, which matters. The cross is God's answer to all of our sin. The blood of Jesus Christ is God's curative to our brokenness. And true justice, godly justice sets those in bondage free. It matters not whether it is the sin of greed, idolatry, homosexuality, corporate sin or individual sin, justice comes through the cross and turns the sinner around toward discipleship.
We are all like blind Bartimaeus calling to Jesus for healing. His is the true justice and the true peace.
Picture by Stephen Larson