Friday, August 6, 2010

Anonymity Redux!

My last post dealt with why I maintain my identity behind my pseudonym. Then I was asked by Church and World if they could link to that post. I was surprised, and flattered that something I wrote would actually have made that compilation of Presbyterian news and opinion.

What I wasn't surprised about was that only two people actually commented on that post. It appears that either people don't care, or just don't believe that there could be discrimination against conservatives in the PCUSA. Yet there is a first person account written by the Rev. Hector Reynoso, who along with being a Commissioner to the GA, was also running as a Vice-Moderator candidate.

I quote:
The time of the plenary came and one by one pretty much all items supported by the GLBT community were approved: continuing with an inclusive translation of the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belhar Confession, new form of Government, the removal of the famous Amendment B, redefining marriage (this one did not pass), Board of Pensions (BoP) benefits for same-sex couples, etc. I was witnessing the church of Christ losing all votes by a landslide. I was compelled to speak at the plenary during the debate for ordination standards for I could no longer remain silent. Speaking at plenary immediately made me receive the cold shoulder from many, but also the love and support of a few Biblically-faithful, Christ-centered Presbyterians.

He goes on to state that during the next plenary session, he twice rose to speak, and both times someone called the question. Was there a coordinated effort to stifle debate, to block conservative speakers from stating their views ??

Amidst all the talk of proper representation on committees and commissions, the one commissioner overture that would require proper theological representation was not even debated (as far as I can tell).

Could this be the newest elephant in the room, that the vaunted social justice machine of the PCUSA, will not even give justice to those who want to point out that the church was given the task to conform the world to the Word, not the other way around ??

... and so it goes !!


  1. Okay Reformed Catholic you got me. I should have commented before, I know. And you are right.

    Two things, maybe more. First if you want to know what our past moderator really thought of me and you and others go to,

    Second I was an Advocate for Sacramento's overture not to adopt Belhar. Our presenter for advocacy training was Mark Tennam (sp)of the famous Louisville papers. He only scolded us and warned us about not bothering our committee moderator or our overture would not pass. He did not tell us the standing rules for General Assembly advocates.

    Next about the Commissioners resolution , I was a part of that. It was debated in committee. But I have to say that I sat by one of the leaders of the ACWC who coached another member who became one of the experts for the committee to listen to. There is more to this story than I can write here. Such as I testified on the spur of the moment for this RC because the committee moderator put it off several times and did not say that people would be allowed to testify. I just happened to be there when testimony was allowed. There IS an effort to shut evangelicals down.

  2. Please don't infer lack of caring (or disbelief) with lack of comments. It probably has more to do with either lack of time.

    God bless,

  3. Reformed Catholic, as the comissioner that led the effort to debate the commissoner's resolution that would allow different theological perspective, let me assure you that it was debated. The commissioner's resolution was disapproved in the GA Procedure's committee, but when it came up on the floor of GA, I, as a white, evangelical male pastor, led the debate for inclusivity with a white, female liberal theological student, an ethnic minority male pastor, a white liberal male pastor, and a white female evangelical pastor all speaking for the overture. On the other side, the debate to disallow theological perspective on committees was led by an all white liberal chorus of voices that unrepentantly said NO to more conservative, evangelical voices. I submit this to correct your statement that the resolution was not debated at all. It was, however, it was roundly defeated. Bob Titus

  4. Reformed Catholic - The only theological inclusivity currently available to most G.A. committees and to the body itself seems to be the inclusion of a so called "progressive" perspective. Why would those currently a part of that want to hear any other voices. The unwillingness to seek dialogue was made clear with the embarrassingly shame-filled "parade of rainbow stoles."

    Having followed GA meetings for 25 years and having watched this parade of "progressive" trends, I fear you are right, but that's okay. G.A. pronouncements change neither God's word nor God's will. His will has been made known and it is crystal clear for those with eyes to see and ears to hear... Councils CAN'T change that reality. They can only live in light of it or try to "progress" around it to their ultimate shame and humiliation.

  5. If you are a true presbyter, trust the system. I have been in 7 presbyteries and never mistrusted the EP. If you have evidence show it. If not, then go away. Anonymous is not the same as courageous. I know of no retaliations against those who call to accounts. Can you cite some?

    Art Seaman,HR
    Kittanning, Pa

  6. Reformed Catholic and Robert,
    I had something to do with the CR-but here is more information. In committee the moderator left the commissioner sponsoring it setting far too long as she was in another committee. It was put off for later. When she came back I and another lady came with her. We still had to sit for almost another hour before it came to the floor of the committee.

    But as we sat there one of the members of the ACWC was sitting one chair away. The whole time she was giving information to another member of ACWC who was then used as one of the experts for the committee to ask questions of.

    Remember the ACWC is the Presbyterian organization that placed this on a marriage overture:

    "The practice of excluding people who are gay and lesbian from marriage has its roots in the persistence of patriarchal standards for the lives of women and men. The notion that men and maleness is superior dictates that men and women behave in particular ways that abide by the rules their sex dictates. For this reason, same-gender loving women and men are perceived as a direct threat to the norms that patriarchy lays out, as they, in their loving, challenge the models of prescribed masculinity and femininity that patriarchy determines. Gay men are a threat as they are perceived as “too feminine,” and lesbian women are perceived as “too masculine.”

    In withholding the right to marry from same-gender loving people, the church is upholding this patriarchal standard for humanity. As a group committed to standing against patriarchy and its effects within the world and the church, ACWC advocates that same-gender loving women and men be allowed to participate in the commitment of marriage. The ACWC draws particular attention to the vulnerability of lesbian women in this exclusion, as these particular members of the body of Christ find themselves excluded and marginalized both for their gender identity and sexual orientation."

    This group in the past has been notorious for keeping evangelical women either down to one or none on their committee.
    One of the women who came with me to the committee has applied twice now and not been accepted. And yet one of the complaints was that Evangelicals do not apply for positions on committees.

    If this had been treated fairly in committee it might have done better on the floor.

  7. @Robert,
    thanks, I wasn't sure since trying to keep up with live feed was often daunting, and PC-Biz was not always up to date.

    Art, you've not read my previous post, where there was a definite retaliation shown by the EP, which is why I make my comments anonymous.

    FWIW .. if trusting the system as you have in 7 different presbyteries means that the PCUSA has become what we have today, then thanks, I'm not going to trust the system, because the system is flawed.

  8. @Viola,

    that's for that update, again that just proves my point.

    So much for trusting the system, eh Art ??


I'm not one to moderate comments, as I try to moderate my own at other blogs. That said, I will remove offensive, defaming and otherwise inappropriate comments when needed.