Grace and peace be with you through our Lord Jesus Christ. I wish to thank all of you for voting against this amendment. The finally tally is 121-48 with 2 not taking any action (Dakota and Western Kentucky). An inaction by presbyteries automatically defaults to a No vote. For a measure to pass, a yes vote must be enacted followed by its preponderance.The passage of this amendment now changes the definition of marriage in the PCUSA constitution from between “a man and a woman” to “a UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP between TWO PEOPLE, traditionally a man and a woman.” The percentage of no votes comes out to a 29%. I will now refer to you as the 29 %’ers.
I now wish to discuss the concept of the term “remnant.” The definition of remnant is as follows: a small part, member, or trace remaining; a part of something left after the other parts are gone; a trace or vestige when other are gone. In the Old Testament, the Jews returning from the Babylonian Captivity are referred to as the remnant. The New Testament that refer to the faithful include Romans 11:5 (“So, too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.”) May I add, “To the praise of His glory.” A remnant is chosen by God to be a witness to the world. God has never at any time left His creation without some type of witness as to how to come to know Him, and to be reconciled to Him, and experience His forgiveness. God chooses these remnants and reserves and brings them unto Himself.
As you recall, Elijah had a contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1Kings 18). He was really concerned with the spiritual condition of the Land. God spoke to him after the wind, earthquake, and fire. A still small voice came to him. In a nutshell he complained to the Lord that he was the only one around that was concerned with keeping his covenant. All others seem to have fled. God told Elijah that there was a remnant of 7000 that have not bowed the knees to Baal nor kissed him.
To the 29%’ers, you have not bowed your knees to Amendment 14F, but instead chosen to keep the definition of marriage to 1 man-1 woman FOR LIFE (emphasis mine). None of you (or me) deserve being a remnant, but it is by God’s choosing. There is nothing that you or I did to earn this, but is only by God’s grace.
Friendship with the world is enmity with God. It is not a popular thing to speak out against same-sex behavior, and Jesus never promised us that as His followers, we would be popular. It is not a politically correct thing to say same-sex marriage is an abomination in the sight of God. There will be the start of persecutions as a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v Hodges. It was the judiciary that approved the wholesale slaughter of unborn babies (Roe v Wade), and it was the judiciary that legalized wholesale perversion upon this land. Amendment 14F was finalized on 6/21/15, and 5 days later received its Supreme Court blessing on 6/26/15.
I believe the battle lines have been drawn in the sand and that God is speaking to His people to make a decision. The key operative verse is Joshua 24:15 that states, “Choose you today whom you will serve, whether the gods of your fathers or the gods of theAmorites, but for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Blessings to all the 29%’ers.
Elder Tadashi Agari (7-21-15)
(a member of) Calvary Presbyterian Church, Stockton, Ca
Formerly of the Presbytery of Stockton and now a member of ECO
Disclaimer: The views written in this article does not necessary represent the views of my church or current presbytery.
It also must be remembered that in those presbyteries who did vote to approve the amendment, close to 30-45%, and in some cases 49-51% voted against. So the final tally is far closer when the cumulative vote of electors is factored in.
Being a minority in an uber-liberal presbytery I further counsel the employment of the same tools the liberals have used for generations to undermine traditional culture and faith. Economic boycott or non-
participation in their process, withholding financial enabling, and passive as well as active resistance to their propaganda and over all messaging.
As those of faith are actively persecuted, put under pressure by the dominate majority, denied due process and more or less shunned in their counsels, we are a people of exile, a people of the shadows.
But we all know how the story ends, good triumphs over evil, truth over lies and falsehoods, God and faith over none. God is indeed Good and Faithful. Amen
@ Tadashi – so, your advice is for people to make a “decision” to leave the PCUSA and go to ECO, just because you did? if you left, why so much energy in looking back and are you withholding your blessings from the other 71% – sour grapes?
wish I had an ECO church to go to.
The right decision is to leave the PCUSA, as they are not a Christian church by what they believe and by the actions they support. There isn’t any real dispute about that. OPC, PCA, EPC< ECO, ARP are all among the various Presbyterian options that would be better than the PCUSA. ECO is the option of choice, mostly, for those churches that are leaving now.
I think you mis-read the letter. Mr. Agari doesn’t call for the remnant to leave. He calls for the remnant to commit itself completely and unconditionally to God regardless of ones decision to stay or leave. I think it also says that those of us who choose to stay need to recognize that our ministry to our PCUSA sisters and brothers is going to be a ministry of remonstration.
@ Doug, thank you jury and judge – No “real dispute” that the PCUSA is not a “Christian Church” – really?
About 60 years ago I asked my mother why we went to church. We were praying at home and reading the Bible. Mother answered, “It is a lot more fun to be with people who believe in God just like you” or words to that effect.
A lot more fun . . . Ah, the wisdom of a young mother.
Unfortunately, the fun ended about 35 years ago. Not all Presbyterians believe the same things, or assign importance to the same things, but there was always a glimmer of hope that the Church would eventually find common ground. Not now. The differences between us now cut to the heart of the foundation of our reformed faith. It is delusional to think that a split congregation can ever worship in harmony.
For the sake of harmony, Presbyterians of all stripes must now self-select and find a home and, maybe, just maybe, some fun.
My perspective is different from yours Jack. I remember my Mom teaching me that we go to church to hear things and meet people that we might not otherwise encounter… and that was God’s grace at work. Parker Palmer wrote something similar: “In true community we will not choose our companions. For our choices are so often limited by self-serving motives.Instead our companions will be given to us by grace. Often they will be persons who will upset our settled view of self and the world.
In fact, we might define true community as that place
Where the person you least want to live with lives.”
Sometimes, we have to “draw a line in the sand”. Now, we have reached that moment.
Your reply seems to fit gambling houses, houses of ill-repute, and other related places as well as church. Did you mother encourage you to visit these establishments to broaden your perspective? If you seek to save the lost, it may a worthwhile journey but if you just want to see if you like their perspective better, I think we’re missing the point.
Pres-person….why on earth do you get on here and do this? What is your point? Why on earth would you pick on this guy for sending “blessings” to those he feels are upholding true Biblical standards??!!….Do you want to go look at all the arrogant, condescending, and hateful things some of your 71% have directed at those 29%ers?!…they were NOT blessings…and I really don’t think you have any blessings for us either, do you? ….perhaps a little growing up is in order….
Praying you will find a fellowship that brings Spiritual growth.
Know that there are many of us who share your desire.
We will look back on this time and see what God has done
to bring about His plan. Where ever you are, I will join you in praying
for new worship communities to spring up for this remnant
of which we are a part.
@ Tater – why do you get on here? Seems to me just to direct arrogant, condescending, and hateful things toward the PCUSA or anyone who disagrees with your skewed and myopic perspectives – you are the one who needs to grow up and think a little more critically about your holier than thou views of “true Biblical standards.” This is an open forum – who appointed you as the thought police here?
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8
@ Common Tater,
Please don’t feed the trolls. You are wasting your time and effort on those who have no ears to hear. Let us keep our “skewed and myopic prospective” focused on our LORD and Savior; remembering the world hated HIM first, so why should we expect anything different? When the world belittles, name calls, makes fun, even threatens me I take to my Bible and like the apostles in ACTS 5: 40-41, “rejoice because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for His name.” No man made sophistry will EVER take the place of God’s Holy Word. Jesus has already overcome the world!
(preparing myself for the inevitable hate filled response)
Pres-person, yes unfortunately really. Not an opinion, fact. If you define Christian from a scriptural view, they are no longer Christian. Why do you think they voted down officially listing the Tenets of the Faith? Because they don’t believe them!
“And of all arts sagacious dupes invent,
to cheat themselves and gain the world’s assent,
the worst is–Scripture warped from its intent.”
William Cowper, The Progress of Error
The essentials tenets of Bruce: Anyone who disagrees with me is a: heathen, troll, sophist, unhearing, etc. – I don’t hate you – I just disagree with you, and you certainly seem to hate that, how does calling me out as a troll demonstrate the love of Christ?
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Your subjective definition of a “Christian church” is not a fact, it is an opinion. The bluring of distinctions between objectivity and subjectivity, between opinion and fact; when people believe that their opinions are facts and that their opinions are (necessarily) God’s opinions is what led conservatives in the denomination to get us into this mess in the first place.
Add to that arrogance the fact (heh) that so many conservatives like Bruce cleaerly don’t understand history. The PCUSA (and it’s predessessor denominations) did not vote down the notion of a list of fundamentals a few years ago, they did so back in the 1920’s during the fundamentalist/modernist controversy. Bruce, your opinion might be that any denomination that does not subscribe to The Fundamentals is not a Christian denomination is your opinion to hold, but if you think this is some new phenomenon, then whenever you joined the PCUSA, you joined a denomination that you clearly didn’t understand. And really, that isn’t anyone else’s fault but yours, Bruce.
I don’t believe you have ever read or considered one thing I have ever posted on here if you actually believe what you just posted! You have indeed answered what I asked of you however…you just do this to cause upheaval and anger…you have absolutely nothing to contribute to the discussion that in any way represents sincere thought and discernment about issues discussed. Amazing little stuff.
Becoming increasingly clear that you are correct about this one. He/she claims not to “hate”, yet everthing written would lead one to believe otherwise.
And that response was of course to you, Boris.
Wow Tom, for someone trying to define fact you sure injected a lot of your opinion about what you wrongly think I was saying. I put no dates on anything I mentioned. I merely stated that at the last GA they voted down listing the tenets. I made no statement as to when the denomination fell away. I cannot understand how anyone can state as opinion the situation where more then half of the pastors and elders do not believe Jesus is the only way to heaven and the Bible is not the Word of God, is not a Christian denomination. Really????? Just what does your opinion define as Christian.
Thank you, Elder Agari, for encouraging us to stand firm on the essentials
of faith upon which we first believed. Thank you for helping us be attentive to God in the midst of change. Thank you for uniting the “remnant” and
reminding us of the great plan our God can and will and is now unfolding
before us. Who can stop God from bringing about His will for His people
who turn to Him alone. I am convinced that God is doing something
great and we are part of that mission.
Dear observers, keep watch, be diligent in prayer, submit in humbleness to God.
Please put aside these petty verbal assaults. Can you stop God from acting in our time and place, by putting each other down?
Now is a time to realize how great God is and, in spite of the churches
imperfection, God is bringing about His will. Let your frustration be turned to praise at how ready God is to act where our feeble wills fail.
Praise be to God!
My point stands, whether you think I misinterpreted you or not: regardless of when you think the PCUSA originally decided not to define essentials (Wikipedia has a nice article on the Auburn Affirmation, which was circulated in 1924 that you might find useful to read), you still joined a denomination that made that decision almost 100 years ago and only now do you seem annoyed by it. If having a list of essentials is important to you, why join a denomination that has actively refused to make such a list for nearly a century? There are other Presbyterian denominations that embraced fundamentalism (or “essentials” is, I guess, the PC term these days.)
This is one of my fundamental (heh) beefs with conservatives. It doesn’t annoy me that we disagree. It annoys me that most of them joined a denomination about which they seem ignorant of the history, the theology, and the polity and then they make claims about the denomination that are not grounded in the history, theology, and polity of the denomination. (Other prime examples are the frequently stated opinion in comments on this site and elsewhere that marriage is a sacrament (it isn’t, according to Reformed theology) and that commissioners to presbytery or GA are supposed to be representatives (they’re not, according to Presbyterian polity.)
So your opinion is that because the PCUSA will not agree to a list of essentials, it is not a Christian denomination. Fine. But based on your definition, it wasn’t when you joined in the first place, so whose fault was that?
No offense to anyone but by the reasoning I see herein, we should all be practicing Roman Catholics. You say no one should leave the PCUSA? Well, I’ll bet the reasoning was the same when we broke away as Protestants. People have been breaking away and re-grouping for centuries. We don’t have to get nasty or call each other names.
Amen! to that Donna C.
(Former Catholic, Nazarene, United Methodist, Reformed, Nazarene-ish again, …and then? –do call me a Christian!)
Since you seem to know everything about me – enlighten me on your motives – why are you on here, Tater
@ Donna – I for one, have no problem AT ALL with people leaving a congregation or denomination if the Spirit so moves them to do so – I disagree with the seeming essential tenet of the Layman crowd that a sub-group of the congregation and leaders should get together and try to switch a congregation that was chartered by the PCUSA – lock, stock, and steeple to another denomination and just re-locate anyone wishing to StayPCUSA to another congregation…
Why of course….to speak with like minded people…and occasionally with folks on here soley to cause what you do.
Robert – speak for yourself, We?
He IS speaking for many of us here.