Friday, August 19, 2011

Well .. duh !!!!

The Presbyterian Outlook today posted an article about the Mexican Presbyterian Church's (INPM) voting to end its partnership with the PC(USA) after 139 years. It seems that, along with evangelical Presbyterian in the PC(USA), the INPM is upset with the recent change to the ordination standards in the Book of Order.

The Outlook reported
"The PC(USA) representatives asked their Mexican partners to agree to a time of discernment, in part to see how they could continue to work together in mission despite differing views over issues such as ordaining gays and lesbians, or women’s ordination."

“Despite the significant theological differences that 10-A puts between our churches, the mission context of increasing violence on our borders, the precarious situation of the poor in both nations, and our own church's need for the INPM's help in sharing the Gospel with Spanish-speakers in the U.S. cries out for prayerful strategizing and increased mission collaboration,” Farrell (Editor's Note: - Hunter Farrell, director of PC(USA)World Mission) wrote after that meeting. “The truth is we need each other now more than ever.”

OK ... there are some differences over women's ordination, not a major issue as many orthodox, Reformed bodies share these differences. Some ordain women as TEs & REs, and others don't. However, most do agree that there is a tension between some passages in Scripture that that can support or deny women's ordination.

I don't call that a significant theological difference, if it really was significant, the INPM would have probably broke it off long ago.

No, the significant theological difference was the changes brought about by amendment 10A. It is a significant change in the covenant relationship between the denominations that the INPM could not ignore.

Yet the director of World Missions for the PC(USA) thinks that the social justice aspects of the relationship should keep us working as partners. In the above quote he says
... (PCUSA's) ... need for the INPM's help in sharing the Gospel with Spanish-speakers in the U.S. cries out for prayerful strategizing and increased mission collaboration

The problem as I believe the INPM saw it was which Gospel?? The one the INPM believes is true where we're told to be in the world, not of the world, the one where God labels sin as sin; or the one now being espoused by the PC(USA) wherein the church conforms to the world and sin is what we say it is.

Many of our partners around the world are re-evaluating their relationship with the PC(USA) because of 10A, and this comes as a surprise to many in Louisville? Didn't the prophetic testimony of Archpriest Siarhei Hardun at the 2010 GA give anyone on the left pause?

And so it goes ....

Update: after reading some information about Hunter both online, and elsewhere, my kneejerk reaction was rather harsh. Going back to the Outlook article, I realize that the talk about differences that included women's ordination as one of the issues was not a direct quote from Hunter Farrell, and I do apologize for that mistake.

That said, whomever made that remark wasn't thinking.

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