Thursday, June 26, 2008


Why is faithfulness so hard? I got wind of the fact that the "fidelity & chastity" requirement has been recommended to be removed from the PC(USA) Book of Order, you can read about it here. Now, the way I understand it, is that the committee that overseas this area at the General Assembly, has reviewed an overture, heard from people for and against, voted on it, and then passes it to the floor of the GA, where everyone in attendance votes. If it passes there, it will, once again, go out to each and every Presbytery in the denomination to vote on it. Whatever the majority of presbyteries decide, that will be the final outcome. So, it's far from being a finished deal.

That aside, my question remains - why is faithfulness, or better yet, why is DETERMINING faithfulness so hard? Each side of this argument believes they are being faithful to God. On one hand you have those who believe that Scripture is clear in the requirement for the ordaining of elders and deacons (and ministers of Word and Sacrament - although technically, we made that office up...) to remain faithful in the covenant of marriage between 1 man and 1 woman, or chaste outside of marriage. They believe that holding to these standards is being faithful to God in how God has called us to live. On the other hand, others believe that God is moving in a new direction, that the Holy Spirit is calling for a greater inclusion - to include those that cannot conform (or will not, that debate is separate) to these standards - mainly because of their sexual orientation. They believe that they are being faithful to God's call here & now and not being bound by outdated interpretations of Scripture which conform to the letter of the law and not the spirit of a loving God.

Personally, it breaks my heart, no matter what side this ends up on. I can't bring myself to be on either "side". My heart breaks for those who have been marginalized for their sexual orientation - but it's a tough road to hoe around Scripture which is fairly explicit. I also wonder if there is not some other way? Sexuality is such a tough subject and the church has done poorly in addressing it for 2000 years. But when it comes down to it, I just wish we could determine what faithfulness in this area really is. Because it's killing the church, and I'm pretty certain that God's not excited about that...

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