Monday, February 28, 2011

"This is a vote not on rights but a vote on righteousness... This vote is on whether we are true to the Christ we follow or chose the path of willful decent into amoral paganism."

These are the words I read

when I opened my email
on my cell phone.
I regret doing so.

Or perhaps
because I did
a conversation
might take place...
the sharing of stories might occur
to bring the healing we seek
in a denomination
stuck in debate
in the midst of voting.

The vote?

It refers to the current vote taking place
in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)...
in particular the vote to adopt Amendment 10-A which states:

Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (G-1.000). The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation (G-14.0240; G-14.0450) shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003). Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.

The adoption of Amendment 10-A would replace the current language
of the church book of order in paragraph G-60106 b. which states:

Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

The current wording
found in the Book of Order

was added in 1997.

For this moment

I'll let the wording of the proposed amendment

speak for itself.

For the moment

I'll let the words I received in an email

sit side by side
with the words we wrestle with as a denomination.

For the moment
I'll hold
all these words in prayer

as painful as some of them are to me....

For the moment.

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