Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Severed Dreams

OK ... the title looks interesting, and it does have some background behind it. It is the title of a Babylon 5 episode where the commander of the Babylon 5 station declares its independence from Earthgov. Earthgov, directed by its power hungry president, has brutally suppressed any dissent from what the president, and his allies (both on Earth and in space) have decided. Capt. John Sheridan, commander of Babylon 5 has had enough, and declares B5 independent of Earthgov.

There are parallels within the PC(USA). Evangelicals are being repressed from speaking of Scriptural truth by those who label such beliefs as fundamentalist, bigoted and homophobic. The liberals, using the rallying cry of 'justice', year after year introduced proposed changes to the Book of Order in order to allow a practice what Scriptures call sin, to be allowable for ruling and teaching elders. All the while, slowly getting those who agree with them into positions on local presbytery committees, on synods and at GA.

The consistent pressure from those within, and from those outside the denomination to view sexual sin as natural, or given by God wore down many evangelicals to the point where they either withdrew in place, or left for a more Scriptural denomination. Those who were left proclaiming the truth of the Gospel were shouted down as old fashioned, bigots, or worse.

Finally, the passing of amendment 10A, and the uncertainty of nFOG has finally severed the dreams of many evangelicals for a Spiritual revival in the PC(USA). Groups on the left are already calling for a change in the Book of Order to call marriage a union of 'two persons' rather than one of a 'man and a woman'.

Its time to declare independence from the PC(USA). I hope many know of the Fellowship gathering occurring in Minneapolis on August 25th and 26th. It started as a gathering to try to do 'church' outside of the way it was being done. There was much distrust in the denomination at the beginning of the year, and this group decided to sit and figure a way evangelicals could work together outside of the denominational structures.

Since the votes on 10A and nFOG, it has turned into a gathering of evangelical Presbyterians looking for guidance in this new reality, and a way to declare their independence from the PC(USA); whether staying within the denomination, or moving outside of it.

There are over 2,000 people signed up. To give you an idea of the numbers that are attending, only 1,900 people were signed up for the biggest PC(USA) event this year, the Big Tent in Indianapolis. (H/T to the GAJunkie who has a few ideas about the gathering on his blog).

The total number attending, however, sounds like a drop in the bucket in a denomination of 2,016,091 members; but there are 800 churches being represented in a denomination of 10,560 congregations. That's close to 8% of congregations in the PC(USA). You can assume that perhaps another 2 or 3 hundred other churches couldn't send a representative, so lets assume that 1 in 10 PC(USA) churches are in support of the Minneapolis event.

That number of churches can make a definite change to the PC(USA). I'm praying that those who attend continuously ask the Spirit to guide them; that they deal with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ; that they can individually disagree on the specifics of the way forward, but all agree on the need to move forward.

I pray that our severed dreams are made whole.


  1. I am in total agreement. Thanks for writing this.

  2. Ok-- never would have put Babylon 5 together with our mess... but it works. Thanks for the insights...

  3. I'm praying for the folks who gather in Minneapolis. The outcome of another such meeting surely enriched our faith journey.

  4. Mac,

    I'm certain that you'll be seeing a few of our PC(USA) brethren moving to join you in the EPC within the next few months.

  5. The Babylon 5 idea works and the good news is that they don't have a Psi Corp waiting in reserve... I think.

    I too will be praying for the gathering and waiting to see what comes out of it.

    Portland, OR.


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