Monday, May 17, 2010

The Sniping Season has begun.

Normally in May, we think of new growth, trees turning green, flowers blooming, and the fullness of Spring appearing on the Earth.

However, to Presbyterians (at least since 1998 when I joined a PCUSA congregation) I've found that May in the years of a General Assembly (annually at the beginning, biannual now) we see the birth of Sniping Season.

The left snipes at the right, and the right snipes at the left. There are those who will agree to disagree amicably, but then there are those who will take pot shots at the beliefs of those they disagree with, then throw in an ad hominem attack.

This year it has started over the discussion of the Belhar Confession by Viola Larson at her blog. Instead of just disagreeing with Viola on her blog, this person had to send an email to Church & World (Presbyweb) to have it published to the world.

Now Viola doesn't need me to defend her, there are others who did it much better than I could here and here, but if you're going to disagree with someone, disagree with the content, not the person. As one person put it, it was a vitriolic response to her. Hardly something that we were taught to do as Christians.

Of course, the Belhar Confession won't be the only area of disagreement between those on the left and right, but already its being pushed as something that will be used by those on the left to push against the standards that are in place in our Constitution.

I'm taking my old 1950's training to heart, that is, I'm going to duck and cover because I hate being sniped at.

And so it goes ....


  1. As the senior pastor at our church observed recently, "every other year in the spring the PCUSA goes to war."

    It's so dispiriting, isn't it?

  2. Makes one envious of the PCA, where they have a small Assembly, and can actually interact with each other.

    Sure the PCUSA is 6 times as large, but our Assembly has 10 or 12 times the number of commissioners.

  3. Yes, and our commissioners are chosen in ways that ensure they are NOT representative of the average member in the pew.


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