Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Christopher, Mark, Allan, Rick, Tim, Bob, Doug, Mateen, Rich, Richard, Dan, Jim, Jim, Jerry, John, Jim, Jack, Don, Doug, Bill, Ronald, David, Paul, Bob, Kevin, John, Jeff, Douglas, Paul, Mike, Steve, David, Douglas, Patrick, George, Peter, Baron, Vic, John, David, Jim, David, Rick and Mark

I am responding to the invitation offered

in what has become known as the "Deathly Ill" letter

issued by The Fellowship PC(USA).

That the church is "deathly ill" is an issue not so black and white....

and this, in my opinion, is what seems to be the difficulty of our day...

the desire to make everything black and white.

Is this unique to our era?


Black and White.

Male and Female.

Gentile and Jew.

Free and Slave.

All of these debates

have challenged the church to her core.

"Numerical growth, financial stability, viability in our communities."

These are the first things you mention in your letter?

As a pastor I know the reality and angst of these losses

but I also know the cost involved when patiently waiting for...

and speaking with courage for...


The kind of justice Jesus taught and lived.

What does it mean to be Reformed?

Some of you who wrote this letter are old enough

to have taught me what it means to be Reformed.

I'm a child of the church.

I've continually listened through the years.

And unlike the majority of my generation I remained in the church.

I learned that being Reformed has everything to do with

God's calling,

God's loving.

The church,

and yes, some of you,

taught me to have the courage and the compassion

to live what we say we believe....

that Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Along the journey of faith

we did what other churches refused to do

and continue to refuse.

We changed our Biblical and theological claims concerning African Americans

and had courage to renounce our racist past.

We changed our Biblical and theological claims concerning Women

and had the courage to renounce our sexist past.

And here we are again.

You want us to believe that waiting and speaking for justice

for GLBT brothers and sisters

is not the same,

that this time the Bible won't budge,

won't allow light for any other perspective

than the one you all hold.

(And yes, this is really what this angst is all about.

You all have made that very, very clear.)

And yet, scholarship has been offered

just as it was in the past

shedding grace enough

and light enough

to once again

move us into the direction of justice.

You say you want the very things

people who have been long silenced want,

and yet you continue to bolster walls

designed to segregate and silence.

(Where are the women who have signed your letter?

Even after clarification they do not appear. )

Like mindedness,


and pension?

I'll hold out for justice.

Others before me have.

It's in our Reformed blood to do so.

Here is my RSVP,

I'll not take you up on your invitation.

I'll wait and speak for justice

knowing all the while

it comes at a cost.

1 comment:

Lil said...

Thank you Blake! This is a beautiful response. I am with you, my friend!