Wednesday, June 11, 2008

General Assembly Top 10 Issues--Part 2.

Did you know that the Stated Clerk of the PCUSA copies David Letterman? Each night Letterman goes through his top ten list--at times the list is funny, other times it is dumb. other times it is just plain stupid. Before each meeting of the Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly meeting the Stated Clerk offers his/her top ten list—the top ten issues coming before the Assembly. The PCUSA web site offers the list—in no particular order. Look at it here.

Another of the top ten issues deals with “PC(USA) ecumenical stance and covenants.” The Stated Clerk said,

“The 218th General Assembly will take action on a number of ecumenical items, including a proposed new policy on the ecumenical stance of the PC(USA) and covenant agreements with four different churches: the Korean Presbyterian Church in America, the Episcopal Church, the Catholic Church and the Moravian Church.”

As a “denomination” these may be important issues. In the local church these are not an issue. We work cooperatively with these denomination—and others. It is crazy that we have to take “official” action to affirm that these groups are Christian churches we are willing to work with.

What the State Clerk does not say is that the General Assembly will seek to slap the wrist of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (overtures on the EPC are listed under the topic of ecumenical and interfaith relations).

I have struggles in the ecumenical interfaith area facing the Assembly. The world-wide Anglican community is in the process of disciplining the Episcopal Church in the United States. Why is the PCUSA trying to affirm the actions of the Episcopal Church at a time when members of the Anglican Communion are distancing themselves from the Episcopal Church? And yet, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church has not been sanctioned by any Reformed oversight “body” and yet the PCUSA is trying to punish the EPC. I don’t get it? If the PCUSA seeks to discipline the EPC then the PCUSA should affirm the discipline that the Anglican Communion is dishing out to the Episcopal Church.

I guess that what we are saying is: “A denomination can believe and do what ever it wants as long as PCUSA congregations do not seek join that other denomination.” Pretty self serving.


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