Monday, February 11, 2019

Pastor Judy

There was a controversy in the Evangelical Covenant Church last year, when two pastors each performed a marriage for a gay couple. One was a retired pastor who performed the service for his son; the second was the chaplain at North Park University in Chicago, the denominational college, much beloved (I hear) and a frequent speaker at retreats and conferences. There was a disciplinary action and she was relieved of duties for a year.  She is now back and has put out a statement.

Update: The denomination's response is here.


james said...

Her letter had no surprises, just the usual assumption of sinlessness. The reply struck an oddly wishy-washy note: "communally discerned position." Maybe that's just a way of saying "we all disagree with you," but I'd have expected something a little more emphatic.

Old Curmudgeon said...

I did not read the whole thing; it seemed to go on forever. What I read seemed very nasty at the center; she was so good and those who disagreed were siding with evil, not just mistaken. Very self satisfied and self righteous. As events have unfolded, I have lost much of my sympathy for the whole alphabetical mess.
Persecution of those who do not agree is nasty and rather scary to me; bakers who do not wish to make special cakes are not an example of denial of public accommodation. Weddings are typically planned well in advance.
I suspect that much that has been written about homosexuality is baseless; so far as I am aware, there is no test for it. The plea that no one would be so if not forced seems laughable; when a possible change is suggested, too many are adamantly against it. Were they to say, we've been disappointed before, get back to us with a track record and some idea of where it works and where not, I would be less skeptical.
For me, the elephant in the room is the obvious benefits of homosexuality and the obvious patting on their own back of so many so-called liberals.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I made it to the bottom of page three myself. Which is only two pages of text.

Brad said...

This was the most telling sentence to me.
"Oh, that we would return to such a gracious way of gathering around the scriptures, where “Where is it written?” would become once again, “What do you see that I might have missed?”"
As long as you assume that homosexual behavior (not just attraction) is not a sin, or even that Jesus didn't mean to be exclusive when he said marriage is "a man and a woman", then everything else she says makes perfect sense.
Conveniently, she does not say what principles are inviolate, since she also states "Friends, don’t you believe that we are still yet being guided into all truth? Won’t you leave open the possibility that God might do a new work? Perhaps God might come again wrapped in a vulnerable life whom the authorities find threatening."
My final point, she equates "full" membership in her church must include all sacraments to anyone for any reason. Yet actual "full" membership in the Body of Christ means full forgiveness and full acceptance into relationship with God DESPITE our sins, not ignoring them.
As has been said by other commenters, she decries the self-righteousness of her church, but cannot see the log of self righteousness in her own eye.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The idea of "new truth" being revealed is key. It is the real dividing point, I think. Other changes have been more along the lines of "the Bible really teaches this, we just haven't understood it well," or "the Scriptures teach A, but our church has slipped to A1, A2, A3, and finally all the way to B, which must stop."

I acknowledge that this itself is a matter of interpretation and degree. But I think this is the central general idea that divides.

james said...

"The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone."

"Love" is separated from knowledge, and its meaning broadened beyond recognition.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

That sounds familiar. Chesterton?