Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Advisory Opinion on PUP released

Quotidian Grace has a posting concerning the release Saturday of an advisory opinion from the State Clerk of our denomination

The opinion confirms that the outcome is subject to review, but goes on to ask that we give deference to the deliberations of ordaining bodies. What it ultimately boils down to is whether PJCs have the moral courage to do their jobs.

Does it clarify things? No. It leaves things pretty much where they have been. We have a long history of paying lip service to connectionalism, but only when we get our way.

Can we live with it? Why not? We have been living with it for many years. Sessions and presbyteries that have found connectionalism inconvenient will continue to ignore the constitution, regardless of the outcome of the PUP report. Permanent Judicial Commissions that have been disinclined to uphold the Book of Order will continue to be so. But the Church goes on -- and there are many PC(USA) congregations and presbyteries that provide a welcome for those with orthodox beliefs.

On a personal note, I have already made it clear that my threshhold for "peaceably withdrawing" is nowhere near being reached, and if that even became an issue for me there is one thing that would make it very difficult -- I cannot be a part of a denomination that tells women that their gifts for teaching, preaching, and leadership are not wanted. And, sad to say, in the Presbyterian tradition outside the PC(USA), women's gifts are denied with few exceptions. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church has local option, but the one in my community chooses not to excercise the option. We have no Cumberland Presbyterian Church where I live. So my choice is to stay.

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kairos said...

Just a note of greeting and general thanks for your reflections. I commented about these thoughts over at kairosblog, in case you might be interested...

Denis Hancock said...

Thanks for dropping by.

With respect to one of your comments on kairosblog, I have no real issues with most of the "renewal" groups. I have a major issue with one of them, and that is largely due to style.

kairos said...

*nod* I didn't want to infer that you had any connection, pro or con, with these groups. I simply didn't know, and since I was commenting about both their actions and your comments, I just wanted to be clear as to that distinction.

May God continue to bless your ministry and your blogging!