Monday, October 5, 2015

We are chasing them away: Presbyterian Koreans looking for a faithful place

Capital Korean Presbyterian Church, Sacramento
We are chasing them away with our heretical ideals. (Jesus is not the only Lord, the Bible is not his word and sexual immorality is acceptable.) And there is so much control and disregard for Christian graciousness in our new “gracious” dismissal policy that they are willing to go without their property. They are too busy with the gospel to be bothered with fighting such a time consuming process, so they are leaving all behind to follow Jesus in the way they believe he is leading. They are Koreans but the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has forgotten their true mission and so they are going away.

The Presbytery of Sacramento has called a special meeting because of what will potentially be empty buildings. (At least that is my thought.) These are the two motions to be voted on:

1.              With the determination of the Presbytery Engagement Team (PET) appointed to the Capital Korean Presbyterian Church, El Dorado Hills, determining that there is a schism pursuant to the Book of Order (G-4.0207), that the presbytery take immediate action and appoint an administrative commission with original jurisdiction of the Capital Korean church, and continue the relationship with the PC(USA) in all means of its ministries.

The explanation is: “The Presbytery Engagement Team of Capital Korean Presbyterian Church has become aware of members, pastor and session who are departing the church, and others who request maintaining their membership with the PC(USA).

The other:

2.             Whereas Zion Presbyterian Church announces its departure from the PCUSA, the Committee on Ministry requests that presbytery take immediate action and appoint an administrative commission with original jurisdiction of the church, including, but not limited to determining and completing the next steps of the church. 

The explanation for this is: “Leadership and members of Zion Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, have declared their departure from the PC(USA) and from the property on 9501 Folsom Blvd.”

There is one more motion that may or may not be addressed having to do with filling empty positions before the November presbytery meeting.

Some of this loss is of course the General Assembly’s and the denomination’s fault. Unfaithfulness always leads to confusion and demands a reaction by those who wish to stand as faithful as possible. And the unfaithfulness simply continues in all kinds of ways including the recent appointment of a gay ruling elder, Luis Antonio (Tony) De La Rosas (who has a partner) as interim executive director over the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

It is also the fault of the Presbytery of Sacramento’s recently rewritten Gracious Policy for Reconciliation or Dismissal of Congregations . It is totalitarian in many of its decrees. I can imagine how hard this must be for those whose first and main language is not English. The first part of the policy is gracious in language but the second and larger part seems to be written by a lawyer who cares little for the language of grace. It is bureaucratic, complicated and self-serving in tone.

Presbyterians, especially those who are progressive, love to quote Micah 6:8. “He has told you O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Well, I and many others, who are not progressive love it too. It is after all God’s words as is all of the Scriptures. And all of us, myself in particular, have a long ways to go as far as walking humbly with our God. But God does call for kindness, humbleness and justice. What a move of the Holy Spirit it would be to see these two congregations move to the denomination they desire and at the same time still possess the buildings they have used for faithful ministry.


Walter L. Taylor said...

No one can "walk humbly with your God," who routinely rejects his Word, makes as one way among others the way of salvation that he has provided, and replaces his truth with "truths" of their own making (which are not truths at all). In the liberals quoting from Micah already God's judgment is being pronounced by their own mouths.

Anonymous said...

Small correction Viola: I believe Mr. de la Rosa is an Elder, not a Pastor.

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Viola Larson said...

Thanks John I fixed it.

stjones said...

The PCUSA's attitude toward African Presbyterians who disagree with the denomination's apostasy is pure white man's burden: “They [African Christians] are kind of in their adolescence/young-adult stage of moving out into their own independence, yet still figuring out how to be in relationship with us as their parent church.” (--Susan R. Andrews, Moderator, 215th GA) Perhaps this racist, condescending attitude is being applied to Korean Presbyterians as well.

Anonymous said...

"Gracious dismissal" is typical libral newspeak to hide the mailed fist beneath the velvet glove. Dispicable! But then, summing column 8 in the "Discernment..." spreadsheet one comes up with a "tribute" of $40.2 million. As usual, its ll about the money.

Anonymous said...

An African churchman responds to the PCUSA's apostasy.

Viola Larson said...

Anonymous you must leave your name and state and city if you wish to comment. Actually the good idea of gracious dismissal was an overture created by a teaching elder friend of mine. It is simply being misused by some presbyteries such as Sacramento. I am not sure what you mean by "But then, summing column 8 in the "Discernment..." spreadsheet one comes up with a "tribute" of $40.2 million."

Jodie said...

Mr Jones, I doubt very seriously that African Presbyterians can claim the moral high ground. As one Presbyterian pastor's wife once told me, they have their hands full just trying to convince their men to abstain from polygamy (she being one of two wives of her husband, him being proud he didn't have a dozen as was the local custom).

As far as Susan Andrews is concerned, if memory serves me right, she did not last more than a couple of days as moderator. Hardly representative of the PCUSA.

The point being that in my experience and observation, it seems that those who throw that word "apostasy" around seem to do so only because they appear to live in houses that have no mirrors.

Jodie Gallo
Los Angeles, CA

Viola Larson said...

Jodie, Susan Andrews was moderator for the year she was voted in. And she is very representative of the PC (U.S.A). Yes, polygamy is wrong but most Christians in Africa do not practice polygamy. One sin does not make another right. The PC (U.S.A.) needs to care more for all of those who are Christian. They tend to exclude their more conservative sisters and brothers.

Anonymous said...

stjones' phrase "disagree with apostacy" sounds reasonable until you read what African Presbyterians are actually doing.

From (hardly a hotbed of liberalism): "The East Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has praised the National Assembly of Nigeria for enacting a law that prohibits the performance of same-sex marriage ceremonies in any church or mosque in Nigeria ... Same sex couples who marry may face up to fourteen years in prison. Any person found guilty of assisting the couple—including clergy—may be imprisoned for up to ten years."

That seems reasonable. 14 years in a Nigerian jail for same sex marriage. I bet that's quite a treat. Just out of curiosity, which of you support such a law?

However, at least it is more reasonable than the African Christians who have been pushing for laws demanding the death penalty for homosexuality for years, particularly in Uganda.

Let's follow the lead of African Christians who are "denying apostacy" with prison sentences and the death penalty for homosexuality.. They really seem to have it all figured out.

New Brunswick

Viola Larson said...

Ron I have searched for the quote on the Juicy Ecumenism site through more than forty pages and have not found it. Perhaps you would like to leave the full address of the quote. Also your last name. And please do not forget that this is about the loss of Koreans to the PC (U.S.A.).

Jodie said...


I must have mis-remembered the controversy around Rev Andrews. It was a very long time ago. But my point is that it is not that one sin makes another right. And you should know this by now. The argument is that being guilty of one sin makes you guilty of them all. Our answer - the Gospel answer - to sin is not condemnation. Our answer to sin is Grace. It is inconceivable to me that as a response to Grace one can pay anything forward other than more Grace.

But I get the concern with the past Paternalism of the Board of Missions. It is probably the second biggest reason we now carry less than 1% of the missionaries we used to have at the start of the 60s. Schools, hospitals, churches, ... all gone with the wind. I have no idea why we even have a Board of Missions anymore anyway. But while it was the view of some of the executive wanabes in the board of missions that the churches in Latin America and Africa were struggling daughters, nobody who had any idea at all about the suffering of the Korean Presbyterian Church during the Korean War would ever think of them as a "daughter" church still trying to find her way. Completely out of context.

Finally we need to get straight what it means to be "representative". The ruling councils of the PCUSA above church sessions are not representative of the vast majority of the congregations or active pastors of the PCUSA. They exist in their own bubbles, and that is the real reason the denomination has become so dysfunctional. The "denomination" will fall by its own weight. And for that reason alone, congregations that try to listen to them and don't like what they hear should just ignore them, and keep doing what they are doing.

If they want to remain healthy.

Jodie Gallo
Los Angeles, CA

Anonymous said...

Anglican "Christians", Presbyterian "Christians" and Roman Catholic "Christians" in Africa have been pretty overwhelming from Kenya to Uganda to Nigeria in their support for these laws supporting long criminal sentences for homosexuality, and even the death penalty Viola. there are so many instances of this, it would be easy for anyone to find lots of them if you just google it.
Mr StJones, Viola, its not racist or condescending to point out the very real flaws, bigotry and prejudice in these cultures and societies, and sadly, many (not all) of the churches in Africa.