Saturday, June 18, 2005

Misappropriating the Word

"We face a clear choice. We can decide that fighting over issues related to homosexuality is our most important task, and proceed down that road. Or we can keep the main thing the main thing, while agreeing to an honest and discerning dialogue over differing perspectives."

"This alternative can best keep our energy and resources focused on our call to God's mission. And it also can make all the room necessary for the ongoing dialogue and debate over the presence and participation of gay and lesbian people in our congregations.

"The Reformed Church in America has the opportunity to model a different way for a denomination to address the controversies in the church over gay and lesbian people. It would be a gift to ourselves and others in the body of Christ to do so."
RCA General Secretary Wesley Granberg-Michaelson
General Synod, June 17, 2005, Schenectady, NY

Yesterday, two American soldiers were killed in Iraq, bring the total American lives lost in that war to 1,718.

Meanwhile, the Reformed Church in America has stripped a pastor of his right to minister because he officiated at the wedding of his daughter to another woman in Massachussets.

The governing body of a Christian church spent nearly a full day trying Dr. Norman Kansfield, the former President of New Brunswick Seminary. His accusers alleged that his actions were ‘contrary to RCA beliefs, contradicted his ordination vows, and violated his promises made when installed into the office of professor of theology.’

Meanwhile, America invaded a Muslim country, on phony premises, and thousands of people have lost their lives. How many people were harmed by the relationship between the two women who Dr. Kansfield married last summer?

The Synod should spend more hours praying and debating the Christian reaction to a questionable war, and the deeper issues of cultural and religious overtones inherent in this war.

What is it we fear? Why the hatred of individuals based upon their sexual orientation? Why the mistrust of individuals of Islamic faith? These are the more germaine questions for debate and discourse.

The RCA has now chastised and isolated one man, and tainted two women (both of whom attended the same Seminary), over a fear of homosexuality. They have raised sexual orientation above the importance of Christian faith, and condemned them for the former over the power and grace of the latter. A total misappropriation of God’s love, if there ever was one.

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