Presbyterians Reject Same Sex Marriage

Yesterday, at their General Assembly, the PC(USA) followed the United Methodists and rejected a proposal to change the definition of marriage in their official book. According to the responses I got on Twitter, some see it at the last stand of older and more conservative Presbyterians, while others think it was a last ditch effort to keep large, white, conservative congregations from leaving for the new ECO denomination. It seems that the oldy-but-goody pedophilia argument came up.

By Associated Press, Published: July 6

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) narrowly rejected a proposal to revise the traditional definition of marriage on Friday, a year after it struck down a barrier to ordaining gays.

The Presbyterian General Assembly, meeting in Pittsburgh, voted 338-308 against changing how marriage was defined in the church constitution from a “civil contract between a woman and a man” to a “covenant between two people.” The assembly also rejected measures that would have affirmed a traditional definition of marriage or sought more theological study of the issue.

The AP adds this little dig to the story:

[Read more...]

Good Morning from the White House

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What, did you think I got an audience with POTUS?!?

Watching Denominations Implode

It’s summertime, which means it’s the time for denominations to have their annual clusterf meetings.

The United Methodists already had theirs. At the 11th hour, a deal for new governance, allowing increased participation in denominational affairs for younger clergy, unraveled. They also reaffirmed their stance against gay clergy and gay marriage.

The Presbyterians are currently meeting (for 8 days — seriously, 8 days?!? — over the 4th of July(!)). They don’t seem to want young delegates, and the vice moderator resigned just a few days after her election, citing “pervasive, poisonous activity” in the PC(USA). You see, she solemnized the marriage between two women, in Washington, D.C., where that kind of thing is legal.

And now the Episcopalians have begun their meetings, and they’re arguing about the way that they come up with the budget. The same sex issues are on the agenda for later in the week. Steve Pankey has a valuable post on the generational divide that vexes his denomination, and I think the rest as well.

I’m watching all of this from afar, via the tweets, blogs, and Facebook posts of many dear friends — friends who are committed to these bureaucracies in spite of their sins. I don’t begrudge my friends their loyalties, and I take no joy in the inevitable in-fighting that these denominational meetings engender.

Honestly, I think it’s all pretty sad, and I know it really hurts many people involved. It also costs millions of dollars to have these meetings — money given by earnest church members. Money that could be spent on the mission of the gospel.

The Rainbow that Is America

This was our view last night -- only from the other side.

I’m in Washington, D.C., with the family for a week of vacation (and some work) (and a great big and ravenous dog is watching our house!). Last night, after hours a Smithsonian museums, we sat with tens of thousands of Americans and watched Tom Bergeron host “A Capitol Fourth,” culminating with an amazing fireworks show over the Washington Monument.

Here’s what both Courtney and I remarked on during the show: The large number of immigrant families around us on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, dancing and singing and waving American flags.

With all of the (largely white) Tea Party fervor in recent years about getting back to the “real America” and the “true America,” it was refreshing to see that some of the most passionate Americans on Capitol steps have different skin color than I, and speak English with a thick accent.

Many of us post-evangelicals have an ambivalent feeling about our country — coming from the history of genocide of Native peoples to the current drone strikes that hit innocent civilians — yet seeing a recent immigrant dance with his three-year-old daughter last night, both of them waving flags and singing the National Anthem, was enough to renew my faith in America.


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