Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Layman's Gone to Meddlin'

Several people asked me if I'd seen the Layman's ad in the Wall Street Journal at Monday's session meeting. Well, no, I hadn't because I read the WSJ on my IPad and don't see the ads, just the text. 

Then during the meeting the Moderator, Dave Peterson, told us that the same ad was going to run in Wednesday's Houston Chronicle and that he had already contacted the Layman with his objections. An FAQ sheet was distributed to the elders and to the staff in anticipation of questions from the congregation that might be prompted by the Houston area ad. 

The session then passed a motion that MDPC "continue to hold to and abide by the standards for ordination in the 2010 edition of the Book of Order, Form of Government G-6.106b for its elders and pastors." We also passed a motion stating that the first priority of the church continues to be the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I've been taking a blogging break because I have nothing constructive or original to add to the commentary about the adoption of Amendment 10A. I've been thinking about writing a response to these Layman ads because--as we say down here in Texas--they've stopped preaching and gone to meddlin'.

But then I saw that the perfect response has already been written by Steve Oglesbee, pastor at Clear Lake Presbyterian Church, Houston. Thank you, Steve! I couldn't agree with you more.

And now QG is going on hiatus until mid-June while El Jefe and I are on tour in Israel with our church group. We should return physically tired and spiritually refreshed.


stinuksuk said...

May you enjoy a safe and very spiritually meaningful trip to Israel.

Robin said...

Since finishing seminary, I'd happily forgotten all about The Layman. I'm now about to forget again.

I like your friend Steve, though.

I hope that your trip is amazing on every possible level.

Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks, Robin.

One of my other evangelical pastor friends said that he was expecting to have to correct misstatements from the general media about 10-A, but the Houston Chronicle report was an accurate and fair account of its effect. He never dreamed he'd have to correct misstatements in ads from a presbyterian group!

Color us not amused.

Mac said...

Travel safely and enjoy the trip. I'll keep ya'll in my prayers.

I would love to see the Holy land, but the closest I ever came to Israel was in 1970 when we cut slow circles in the eastern Med for 6 weeks, waiting for the word to land in Jordan to rescue the folks in an AFSC hospital during the "Black September" crisis. The call never came.

Take good pix.

Anonymous said...

Can someone point out a miss-statement in the Layman ad? I don't always like what they do or how they go about things but I think people sometimes like to show others their open-mindedness by bashing the Layman. (How many of you have had your dad and yourself mis-represented in an article in the Layman as I have had? So I know it is easy to have a negative view of the publication.) But I read the ad---wouldn't pay to have it placed it in my local paper---but I don't see any miss-statements. We have lost 1/2 of our membership. We have opened the door for churches / presbyteries to ordain folks in same gender sexual relationships (among other sexual relationships outside of marriage). That action does abandon the teaching in scripture that has been around throughout church history. The denomination does not speak for many who hold to orthodox beliefs in this matter yet it will seem to do so because we rae connectional in nature. And many have wondered how long a house divided can stand. So help me out by pointing out the mistakes.

David said...

Anonymous should know by now that the Layman is a big part of the problem within the decline of the PCUSA and has never done anything to "build up the Kingdom" within the church. This is just the latest stunt by Parker Williamson who is nothing more than an ecclesiastical jihadist.

Reformed Catholic said...

Back about 6 or 7 years ago, when the Confessing Church movement had begun in the PC(USA), many evangelical congregations decided to join the movement and declare themselves as Confessing Churches.

Then the Layman got involved, and everything stalled. Its unfortunate that this occurred, as that movement actually had a chance of doing something within the denomination. However, the Layman gives the impression for being so far to the right, that it even turns off some conservatives.

That reputation may or may not be justified, but this advertisement will not help to correct it.

Its sad, as it had appeared that under the new director, the Layman was becoming more reasonable in its reporting and commentary.

Marlene said...

The reason we are in the mess we are in is because too many of our PCUSA pastors have been silent about this issue (unlike your church). I just got home from having dinner with my sister-in-law who is on the Search Committee for an Associate Pastor at her PCUSA church and is the secretary at another PCUSA church. NEITHER church's pastor has had any discussion about what is happening in the denomination. The Layman hasn't had an ad in our town but it would be an eye opener for many.

Mac said...

I had the same experience as Marlene after we published the New Wineskins Strategy Report. At least 30 elders from different churches would call, and the call seemed almost scripted:

"Uh, Mr. McCarty, I'm an elder at East Overshoe Presbyterian Church. A friend of mine is an elder at West Overshoe Pres. He gave me a book you helped write. I read it. Then the rest of the Session read it. We went to the pastor and asked 'Is this right? Did you know about it?" He replied, 'Oh, yeah, I know all about that. Don't worry about it. If there is anything for you to worry about, I'll let you know.' Now, we're worried!"

Too many pastors are just trying to keep the lid on and avoid any kind of disruption with the status quo.

Mimi said...

Have a safe trip. I agree with you on so many issues facing our church and enjoy your book reviews - have missed your blog.