As I try to follow what is going on at the GA, while trying to enjoy a brief R&R away from home, I keep seeing what appears to be the major disconnect between what the average PCUSA member believes, and what the GA votes on.
What I find interesting is that while a majority of presbyteries defeated the last overture trying to amend the Fidelity and Chastity amendment, a majority of members in the committee voted to approve the latest attempt to remove it, sending it to the Plenary session with its concurrance.
Even if you remove the 17 TAAD votes (grrrrrr) it still would show a majority of around 5 to 6 yea votes over the 17 nay. Why is this happening ??
Aa I was riding in a car in the N.C. mountains with my father-in-law (a Presbyterian elder) and his wife, along with my wife, we were talking about this, and I postulated the following:
As we all know, most of the elders who attend presbytery meetings are those saints of the church who are usually retired and female. This is not being stereotypical, just stating a fact that I have seen for myself at a few Presbytery meetings at Plodding Presbytery. This, coupled with the fact that many meetings are scheduled for weekdays when most men and women have to work, results in the majority of those attending being those who are: 1. Retired and can get to the meetings, and 2. specialized clergy who don't have pastoral duties that tie them to a church.
So, the resulting makeup of the meeting are those with a liberal leaning agenda, elders who want to be 'kind' and not hurt anyone, or those who really do not have a good grasp of the biblical/theological underpinnings of much of the Book of Order.
Am I stereotyping the 'specialized' clergy, not really, a read of the Presbyterian Panel results on some issues show that most specialized clergy lean to the left on issues, and most pastors lean to the right. As far as my opinion of the elders that attend Presbytery, that is my opinion based on the meetings I attended in what is considered a conservative presbytery.
So how does that result in the commissioners we get at GA? Again, many times its done because the person is available to take a week off, not because they are the best person for the job or that they will represent the views of the majority in the presbytery. In many cases, the kindly saint who has attended every Presbytery meeting for the past 8 years is selected as a 'reward' for her faithful attendance or service.
And when they get to GA they vote because they believe that the committee who wrote the report put a lot of time into it, and it should be approved; or that they are swayed by the passionate view of one of the TAADs, who knows that the Jesus I know would not do that .. (see my previous post's rant about TAADs).
Then, how are people assigned to the different committees ?? Are the assignments done in order, that is, pick a name, fill a position on committee 1, then the next goes on committee 2, and so on; or is there a pick and choosing of who goes where??
A few posts ago, I talked about how I felt that that Presbyterians Today had injected itself into the controversy about the Belhar Confession when it printed a glowing review in the edition prior to the GA. I'm sure a free copy of the issue or a reprint made it into the hands of many commissioners.
At that time, I said I believed the 'fix was in'. Looking at how the many votes against Biblical faithfulness happening in the committees, can anyone show me where I'm wrong??