Help me understand this.
We have a pastor in our Presbytery who has made it known that if the vote doesn't go as he wishes at our next General Assembly, he will leave the denomination. I doubt this is just puffing on his part. He's a serious guy.
I can't imagine why he holds positions of authority in our Presbytery now. Why should he be participating as a leader if he doesn't have the loyalty to maintain a relationship with us? It's like dating someone rather than being married. I thought he made his commitment when he took his ordination vows. Are his decisions on our behalf made through the lens of a temporary relationship with us? Isn't this like when a pastor decides to leave a congregation and sloughs off what he doesn't care to do anymore because he's a lame duck?
I am dancing with the one who brought me. This old saying makes sense to me as I was educated by Presbyterians, nurtured through the Presbyterian Church and my ethnic background is Presbyterian.
I gave up on the Church as a perfect place years ago. I believe in what I understand to be God's vision of and for the church but since all human institutions are inherently sinful, I don't expect the church to be perfect. Rather, I understand my participation in the Body of Christ, the Church, as God's discipline for me. Not punishment, but discipline to seek, praise, worship, work and pray within the confines of the Church.
It gets on my nerves that we Presbyterians are so cantankerous. Wish I'd paid attention to the droll fights of the past in my Seminary textbooks. I'm not cantankerous so being a part of a denomination which fights over everything disturbs me. And, we are a wicked witness to the World with our ambushes, disagreements, territorial battles and general crabbiness with one another.
As a girl, I was part of Big City Church's Confirmation Class. The Rev. Mr. Soft Hands taught us.
This was long ago before confirmands were asked, "How do you feel about Jesus?" We were told about Jesus. I suppose Mr. Soft Hands should have looked us straight in the eye and announced,
"Young people, Presbyterians fight over most things. Our history from John Calvin who
had to flee Geneva more than once to save his life, began a chapter in acrimony which
Christians have seldom seen. We didn't invent church conflict but we've refined it. Be
prepared to watch your church schism, shake and scatter over all sorts of issues. Thank
goodness none of you young women wish to be pastors. It would be too rough for your
delicate feminine constitutions. Now, let's all turn to page 16 of our book...."
I love the Presbyterian Church because I first learned of Jesus from the Presbyies.
I like our form of government which should work to ease some of the conflict by being orderly but somehow every class of elders and often the preachers, don't know our Book of Order. I like our worship, which while not unique to us, is dignified and allows me to worship mind and spirit.
I like our ethos (despite the historical historonics) which values education, justice, and engagement with the larger world.
So, help me understand why this guy is still in charge of stuff when he plans to bolt if the vote doesn't turn out as he wishes?