Sitting in the Middle East Committee watching all of the manipulation by staff and resource people and hearing all of the misunderstandings and lies offered by the same, I found my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) slipping away from me. Sitting in plenary as an illegitimate Authoritative Interpretation was passed because various leaders and committee members would not admit that it was not interpretive but redefining the constitutional definition of marriage, I once again found my denomination slipping away from me.It was like a movie screen fading to a blur. There was and is nothing left between us. If there is a silver cord of life that holds all members in connection with one another mine was destroyed during General Assembly.
Except, there are those who love Jesus and in that loving, are faithful, honest and truthful. It is the faithful loving commitment to the Lord of the Church and submission to his word, the Bible, that hold the orthodox together. Those inside the PC (U.S.A.) and those outside.
And they are held together in the universal Church, not just in the PC (U.S.A.). While the denomination is constantly seeking ecumenical partners, the orthodox are already a part of the huge universal body of Christ. They do not need to dialogue, their connections are in Christ; they find joy in the fellowship of the saints.
So some will stay in the denomination, a few, and some will go. But either way we are in the world, and as the world invades the denomination both those in the PC (U.S.A) and those who have left will experience the same trauma. In either case the orthodox need to be in churches that uphold the word of God and the Lordship of Christ. There are times when one is alone in their faith. Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about that in his book, Life Together. But as he also points out, Christian fellowship is a gracious gift of God.
The trauma in the PC (U.S.A,) is knowing that God’s word is being broken. Christology is shattered as the denomination ignores or refuses the redemptive and transformative work of Jesus on the cross. The many symptoms of our sinful nature come at once. Lack of pity for the baby aborted live, failure to uphold the holiness of Christ in our lives, calling sin no sin, greed. And in the world? Darker days while the tolerant become intolerant.
In the last several days I have listened to a City Council meeting in Nanaimo British Colombia where a conference on leadership was rejected at the last moment because it was partly sponsored by Chick-Fil-A and because one of the speakers was Dr. Henry Cloud, a Christian psychiatrist, who believes homosexuality can be cured through therapy. (He has also written many books including Boundaries which I found very helpful.) It didn’t seem to matter that Laura Bush and Desmond Tutu were also speakers.
The words coming from these city council members display the world Western Christians are beginning to face. I care little anymore for a denomination that has opened the door to worldly lifestyles and that in a deceitful manner. But I do care for the people left in the bondage of sin, and those who want to be faithful to Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the body of Christ.