By Mateen Elass, on his personal blog.
It’s a Brave New World. No longer will the members of Presbyterian Church (USA) have to seek out God’s will together to know the mission of the Church. Instead, the Stated Clerk Search Committee has nominated a “priest and prophet” to lead the denomination to utopia.
I will reserve personal judgment as to whether J. Herbert Nelson will serve the people of the PCUSA well or not until we have enough experience with him in that office to make an educated assessment. But from what has been released by official PCUSA news outlets so far, and especially the Vimeo announcement by Rev. Carol McDonald (moderator of the Stated Clerk Search Committee), things do not look at all promising.
Having spoken side by side with J. Herbert at a Wee Kirk Conference, and having interacted with him a few times subsequently, I find him to be a warmhearted, engaging, high energy person, committed above all to social justice causes. I like him personally. Our understandings of the gospel are very different. But that is not at the heart of what bothers me about his nomination to become Stated Clerk.
My deep concern is that Rev. Nelson has no background or skill set to actually do the job detailed in the official job description of “Stated Clerk.” The qualifications which he is touted for having in fact have little relevance to the work of that office.