Leadership, by its most basic definition, includes the ability to see beyond what those following cannot yet see. Vision, foresight, planning and protecting your organization from avoidable pitfalls are part of being a leader. Good leaders generally want to make decisions that result in organizational health and growth — and avoid catastrophe. All of which makes the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board’s appointment of Tony de la Rosa so curious, especially in light of the moderator’s “call to the church” for immediate action.
It all happened in a matter of 30 minutes on Wednesday.
To understand what transpired requires a brief survey of the players. The Presbyterian Church (USA) is a body with many parts and several heads. The three heads in this narrative are:
- the Stated Clerk, who is the head of the Office of the General Assembly,
- the Moderator, who is the head of the General Assembly, and
- the Executive Director, who is the head of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
These are the three people who “speak” for the denomination. It is over their signatures that letters are sent to the President of the United States, Congress, the media and other denominations. One of those heads, Linda Valentine, resigned from the position of Executive Director in June. The Stated Clerk, Gradye Parsons, is now a lame duck following his announcement that he will not seek another term. Which leaves the Moderator, Heath Rada, who is mid-way through his two year term and still confident that the bridges he promised to build in a divided denomination are possible.
Rada ran for moderator on a platform of bridge-building. I believe he sincerely desires for the denomination to find peace and move beyond its current intractable problem: divergent understandings of the Gospel, divergent understandings of Biblical authority, divergent understandings of moral and ethical behavior, divergent understandings of the relative freedom of conscience, and divergent understandings of the right role of the church in politically partisan advocacy. Bridging those chasms takes more than the will of one man, even when that man is the Moderator.
Which is why Rada’s heartfelt “Call to the Church” is so important. He is right in his observations that this is a critical time in the life of the PCUSA. The decisions and actions made in the coming months will either turn the proverbial tide or accelerate the current slide into irrelevance.
Rada’s message was received with a standing ovation from all who heard it at the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board’s meeting. But what happened next? Did the chair suspend the agenda and create space for the consideration of the moderator’s proposal? No. Did someone rise to make a motion that would actually produce some action? No. What happened instead was more like a gut punch for those who might have been hoping for the PMAB to “get it.”
Couched in the language of hope, the Chair of the PMAB, Marilyn Gamm, announced the appointment of Interim Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency: Tony de la Rosa.
Toward the end of four hours of Cultural Humility Training on the day following the announcement, PMAB member Marcella (Marci) Auld Glass of Boise, Idaho said “When Tony was being introduced it never crossed my mind that he was gay … in the materials that have been released announcing his appointment that has been lifted up.” She continued that it is “still important to claim things that are good and important, even in churches that will not be happy about it. There’s no need to keep that news quiet.”
From what I’m already hearing, she’s right: churches are not happy. It is one thing for individual clergy to have the right to perform or not perform same-sex marriages and for local church sessions to retain the right to authorize the use of specific church property. But when the Presbyterian Mission Agency allows the denomination’s Chapel to be used for a gay wedding and then turns right around and appoints a married gay man to the highest corporate post in the church, little room remains for those who want to argue that the PCUSA has not demonstrably taken a pro-LGBTQ position.
Ears to hear for those who follow this cadre of leaders
How does the appointment of de la Rosa line up with the Moderator’s call to the church for radical reformation? Which depends on how you choose to hear what the what he said.
What did you hear when the Moderator said, “Not having a permanent current CEO in our Presbyterian Mission Agency, and having a Stated Clerk who is not going to seek reelection, has offered us a Kairos moment which is unique”?
The appointment of de la Rosa indicates that the PMAB intends to fill the vacuum of leadership with strong advocacy in one direction.
And what did you hear when he said, “We are indeed facing a crisis where there is lack of trust across the church. This is manifested in many ways but includes – departing congregations, confused members concerning who we are as the PCUSA…”?
The PMAB’s action in appointing de la Rosa gave those confused members great clarity about who the PCUSA is at the national corporate level.
Rada rightly observed that “there is a disconnect between what members feel is happening at the national and even the Middle Judicatory levels.” He astutely observed that “many people across the Church … believe that ‘Louisville’ is out of touch with them and that there is not an effective system in place for us to ‘be the church.'” That disconnect and that sense of Louisville being out of touch just widened significantly on Wednesday.
Bridging chasms that grew wider Wednesday
The challenge of bridge-building was hard when Rada took the job of moderator in 2014. It has gotten more difficult since. And now, well, without God it would be impossible. But that’s where God does His best His work.
So, Mr. Moderator, we’re “in” with you on this one. If there’s a hope-filled future for the PCUSA that’s faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and glorifies God, I for one will fan the flame of that reformation.
How you can be “in” with these decisions is beyond me. It is for these reasons I am going to investigate having my name removed from the role of elders of the PCUSA.
I’m as puzzled as David Roser is how you can be “in” with these decisions.
Carmen, I agree. Sadly, though, I don’t hold out much hope for the Moderator’s point of view. The current GA agenda is full steam ahead. Never mind the dwindling congregations, the decline in giving, EVEN THE MODERATORS APPEAL. Whatever hope I had of a future of “O.K., you made your point LBGTQ proponents, now let’s all get along” has vanished amid the continuing, unceasing, steamroller approach of that movement.
Forty years ago, the PJC of the UPCUSA issued a ruling in the Kenyon case, saying, “Neither a synod nor the General Assembly has any power to allow a presbytery to grant an exception to an explicit constitutional provision. A candidate who chooses not to subscribe to the polity of this church may be a more useful servant of our Lord in some other fellowship whose polity is in harmony with the candidate’s conscience.”
Now the polity of the UPCUSA’s successor denomination, the PC(USA), allows the ordination of practicing adulterers, fornicators, and homosexuals and has redefined marriage to be between two people of indiscriminate gender. On that basis, the message of the PC(USA) to Evangelicals, who disagree with these polity changes as a matter of conscience, is crystal clear: YOU ARE NOT WANTED HERE.
Forget about the PCUSA’s summer BIG TENT nomenclature. Going forward (just based on the recent past) PCUSA will be one of a niche, boutique branch of Presbyterianism.
Wow! The opposite of trust is dis-trust. That is what you have done. What did Jesus say we shoukd do and be like. It’s not judging, condemning, austracising, rejecting, critical. It’s not to stand against love. He didn’t seem to care enough about the same sex subject to even address it. God didn’t even address it in the big 10. If it were a matter worthy of spitting churches over, doesn’t it seem that they would have? It’s hardly new a new thing. Do you suppose they kept it a secret from God? Do you think somebody forgot to write tgat one down? Opps, no more space left on the tabtet for number 11? Let God deal with what is God’s. The entire matter has no argument within the church. If you want rail about something, get busy feeding and clothing the poor. Comforting the sick and others in need, visiting the imprisoned, forgiving your enemies and all else that Jesus did comment on. The people of the Layman are merely paid attack dogs that make fine livings by constantly undermining the sanctity of the PCUSA. That’s about as sinful as it gets. Using and twisting God’s word to attack others that are working to be in God’s service. You aren’t even of that body. You’re the self righteous, self promoting destroyers and for money! You would have been on the Temple steps exchaging coins. You would have been on the San Hedron council that conspired for our Lord’s execution. I pity you and wilo forget, perhaps the Lord can forgive you? That will be known when your real heart is seen. Good luck with your hateful, condemning, undermining, deceitful, critical and selfish heart. Why wouldn’t a loving, forgiving God want to embrace that?
Incest is not in the Ten Commandments, nor did the Lord Jesus speak against it during His earthly ministry. Yet it is forbidden in the same chapter of the OT Law as homosexuality (Lev. 18), and Paul expressly told the Corinthian Church to excommunicate a man who had his father’s wife (I Cor. 5), one of the sins expressly forbidden in Lev. 18.
As the Westminster Larger Catechism points out, homosexuality and incest are both sexual sins prohibited under the rubric of the Seventh Commandment. Moreover, the Lord Jesus said that He came not to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill them, and that anyone who relaxed the least of these commandments would be least in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. 5.17-20). Likewise, the Apostle Paul listed homosexuality among the sins for which those who commit it will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven unless they repent of it (I Cor. 6.9-11).
God regards homosexuality as a very serious sin, on par with idolatry, and yes, its acceptance in the Church as something permitted by God and not a sin from which we must be saved is something over which the Church should be rightly split.
Carmen, it’s funny that you end your letter with a commitment to fan the flames of reformation butyou really only seem to fan the flames of dissent and dis-trust. I find you to be an insincere fraud. A rabble rouser to solicit distress and anger, why? Follow the mone….baby.
The causes of dissagreement within the church has always been the human will and ego disguisedbas being for God. The biggest of these has been hunan rights issues like allowing women to have authority in church. Not focusing on worship and service to God, not the love and obedience to Christ and his generally simple teachings. Change always seems to come at the expense of those currently in charge so it tends to be begrudging, not loving at all. That’s the sinful stubborn human part. We have an account of God’s changing relationship with mankind. God’s love for us. Jesus was pretty straight forward about his lessons and they weren’t at all like yours. Perhaps you should really work on that? -Of course you should!
The only way for reformation to happen is for leaders to repent and lead all of the church to repentance. Heath Radda sees the lack TRUST, lack of unity, lack of peace brought on by a lack of purity. He gets part of the problem. He is giving the warning!!
The PMA and above, does’t get anything.
Repentance on the part of those who are acting in their own conscience outside God’s Word and promoting such within the PCUSA is necessary!
To have repentance, these leaders need to admit their part in the demise of the denomination: the chaos, Disunity, churches leaving, muddles theology. The evidence is clear, Heath Radda sees it, he just doesn’t get the antidote right.
Until there is a call from within this enclave of leaders for their part in
moving away from God’s will, God’s Word and creating great stress in the churches there cannot be reformation.
But God is on the move and we shall see what God will do despite our feeble efforts. All praise to God!
Nicely stated but how do you jusity your greater dissobedience to Christ? How do you pick and choose and assume an underlying matrix, subtext, fine print but then live ignoring so many other biblical rules? He came to fulfill and not replace, so, you are a Jew? You are non-reformed? You live in keeping with the Torah? That must get awkward? No shrimp, no bacon or pork chops or pork tenderloin? No mixed fibers in your clothing, all blessed kosher foods? So much else and it goes way beyond dietary for the truely compiant? I don’t recall that many suggestions in there. They are do’s and don’ts.
God accepted us, loved and forgave us, provided us with a new way in Jesus. Can God not simply do what is God’s? Why must you assume the unspecific is assumed to be some sub-text implications and yours to comply with when you ignore so many very clear directives that never said ‘unless’ in fine print.? Various men gave us most of those words. Not from God to man which always seems much clearer. Not from the one whom our very faith is named.
Seems we did largely replace the old with the new. You to and to your liking. Made in your own image. Well, God makes homosexual people too. It’s not just a choice for the real homosexuals. Perhaps it’s a sin to delve into that if you’re not? If the bible was perfectly clear, if Jesus said; ‘follow your heart and sexual being where it takes you, love who you can’. Would you then feel better about it? I still find the subject of gay sex to be distasteful and prefer to just not think of it but I won’t hestate to defend their right to be as they are made by God
They are not pedophies and not incestuous. They are mostly in very committed loving relationships that their God given bio-chemistry dictates. The very same as mine with girls at puberty and beyond, age appropriate of course. Many try to deny their homo-sexuality selves but they can’t deny nature. Why would anybody want to suffer the slings and arrows our society has long confronted gays with if it wasn’t real? Many have lost all to just become what God made them. Through not in a crucification instead of a tortured suicide and yes, it bears some resemblance to Christ’s tortured misunderstood final time. Recall that he was a largely itinerantzealot that challenged the standing church authority and hung out with a large group of sinners and men, all the time. So, does God make accidents? I don’t think so. That’s a man made doing, our doing. Do what Jesus said and it all gets better. Love to you.
Perhaps you are new to Presbyterianism, and therefore have never read our historic Confession of Faith, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and excuse your ignorance. I would direct your attention to Chapter 19 on the Law of God, particularly to sections 3 (on the ceremonial law) and 5 (on the moral law), together with their proof texts.
The food laws to which you refer were forbidden under the Old Testament dispensation of the Covenant of Grace in Lev. 11. They, along with the laws in Lev. 12-15 and the proscription against mixed fibers in one’s apparel (Lev. 19.19), were intended to give the Ancient Israelites a tangible example of the holiness that God requires of His people. These and similar such laws served as “our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3.24) But these laws passed away with the coming of the New Testament dispensation of the Covenant of Grace. The Lord Jesus said, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. … Whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” (Mt. 15.11,17-20) Likewise in Peter’s vision, the Lord let down a great sheet filled with all manner of ceremonially unclean foods and told him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Peter protested, saying, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean,” to which the Lord answered, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” (Acts 10.9-16) To be sure, the immediate context of this passage applies to the opening of the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 11), but it also means that the Old Testament dietary food restrictions no longer apply. This is the freedom we have in Christ, that laws intended for teaching us holiness only, and which have no bearing on moral behavior, are passed away and no longer apply to us under the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood.
It is a much different situation with our sexual behavior, however. Sexual intercourse outside of a marriage between one man and one woman is expressly forbidden under the rubric of the Seventh Commandment. And yes, that includes the Old and New Testament proscriptions against homosexuality. Look at the context in which the Lord proscribed male homosexuality in Lev. 182: It was forbidden along with incest, engaging in sexual intercourse with a woman during her menstrual period, adultery, child sacrifice, and bestiality—all of them, save child sacrifice, sexual sins. Moreover, the Lord stated both at the beginning of this chapter and again at the end that it was because the Canaanites “did all of these abominations” that He was driving them from the Promised Land; he wasn’t driving them out because they ate pork or because they wore garments made from two different kinds of fabrics. These laws are moral in content, and they are expressly restated in the New Testament (e.g., I Cor. 6.9-11, I Tim. 1.9-10).
And no, God does not “make” people to be homosexual any more than he “makes” people to be drunkards or gossips. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.” (Jas. 1.13-16)
I admit to not being formally trained in biblical study but have fully read the bible and working on a second time. You sound quite well versed so I will refrain from further challenge until I have sourced your statements. Thank you for taking the time to help me understand your rationale. I thought I was more familiar with the reformed presbyterian faith than I may be? I need to investigate your points.
I hope you will reconsider the nature of being homosexual from a perspective that allows that they are chemically different inside. They didn’t choose to be that way. They simply are different than a typical male or female. Call it a birth defect if you like. It can’t be a sin to simply be yourself. It’s simply far more than an urge or crush attraction. It’s as real as any heterosexual attraction. It’s built into their beings. That has to be the maker’s doing. Would God make tens millions of humans to merely challenge them to be something they’re biologicaly not? That doesn’t fit God’s loving pattern with us. Nor does it fit with the savoir’s insructions to love, give, comfort, forgive and not judge. Why try to dig up some sub-text fine print exclusions when it is so simple and clear that the ignorant and little children can understand?
Please respond to my ‘what if’ about how you would feel if the Lord had been perfectly clear about homosexual love and said it was just fine. What about the same loving relationship without intercourse,just kisses and hugs and hand holding like many older married hetero sexuals come to practice.
I’ll be back after study of your cited scripture and church materials. Book of order? Thanks again for the peaceful exchange.-Robert
Robert berry, amen to that.
Supposing that one is “chemically different inside” does not excuse sinful behavior. It has been observed that certain people are born with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism; but that does not justify drunkenness.
We are all (save the Lord Jesus Christ alone) born with a natural predisposition to sin; this is the human condition this side of Eden. As David wrote, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Ps. 51.5) Likewise Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17.9) And Paul’s description in Rom. 3.9-18 is downright depressing. That one has a natural predisposition to commit homosexual acts no more justifies those acts than the fact that I have a natural predisposition to look at pictures of naked women on the internet justifies my doing so, when such is sin (Mt. 5.27-28). Likewise Paul confesses, “I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
“God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” (Eccl. 7.29) God did, indeed, make man without sin; but man did not stay in his sinless condition, but fell into sin (Gen. 3). “Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. … But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. … Therefore, as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Rom. 5.12-19) And again, “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15.21-22)
As the Lord through Paul enjoins us, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Rom. 13.12-14)
But as for your “what if” question, it is pointless. God in the beginning made man male and female in order that they should be joined in exclusive monogamous marriage and that they should bring forth children (Gen. 1.26-31, 2.18-25, Mt. 19.4-6), for such is what He desires from marriage (Mal. 2.15). Yet no child was ever born of a same-sex coupling. Moreover, just as the things on earth “serve (as) a copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (Heb. 8.5), so too is marriage “a copy and shadow” of the relationship of Christ and His Church, where the husband, not the wife, represents Christ, and the wife, not the husband, represents the Church (II Cor. 11.2, Eph. 5.22-33, Rev. 19.7, 21.2,9-11). Yet same-gender “marriage” perverts this revelation as well, so that the glory and wisdom of God are obscured. So then, it is not without reason that God through Moses and Paul declared sexual intercourse between two people of the same gender to be a sin.
Are you for real, Robert Berry….or are you someobody’s demonstration of how far one can be gone?….if you actually think Carmen is an “insincere fraud”, then what on earth do you think these folks she is talking about are??!!!! You have completely lost grip of reality and objectivity. Also…as one trained in animal science, I have no doubt a genetic correllation can and will be found for virtually every human behavior from horrifically vile to altruistic, but that has no bearing on the fact we have free will and that each and every day, every single one of us makes hundreds of choices…what will control my thoughts and desires today…will it be greed, and hate, and selfishness, envy, sexual immorallity of any kind, or will it be the fruits of the spirit which we want to control our thoughts and lives? We are not puppets, subject to every desire, from within or without that enters our head….and we do no favors to others to make them think they have no control over what they are. Thanks for listening.
Loren, you’ve given me much to review, study and consider or even reconsider. Your time and words are not wasted on me. Your specific quotes of scripture seem quite impressive. Since you referred to apostle Paul, can I ask for your input on the subject of women in tbe church? Of women elders and clergy, of women having spirtual authority over men? Perhaps I’m confused on my conclusions there as well? It was a very divisive issue in our church at one time and many seem to still hold to it. Thanks very much and happy Sunday!
Certainly sounds well stated but I must do more study before I can reconclude my belief. I do want to believe, practice and support what is God’s will for us. I find it very difficult to separate theloving, accepting, forgiving tenets of Christ from the seemingly man made words, opinions of so many of the others including the gospels. Humans are just so political and userous by nature plus all the collective documents making the bible were pulled together by more men, scholars, politicians and kings. Did they pull together the right parts? Did they keep their egos and opinions out of the process? It’s rather difficult to imagine that they would have, no matter how well intentioned. The KJV was quite clearly redone at King James’s command in order to reflect more favorably on the collective monarchy. That’s a very clear intervention by man’s will and whim. That kind of knowledge is what makes me want to stick to Christ’s works and words for guidance and commitment to Christian faith. Remedial? Perhaps? Or maybe I choose to not dig through the pepper looking for fly specks? He said not to judge, he said to forgive, to give, provide care and love. He spent his time with the sick, the needy and the wicked. Not with the well healed, nor with just his family. He didn’t travel about condemning, nor accusing or aleinating. That’s the example I have always worked to embrace. Yours seems to be some other individual and God?
For my position on the ordination of women to office in the church, you can visit my blog by clicking on my name, above, and reading my post on the subject.
It is rather sad that politics continues to trump theology in the PCUSA. And that really is core to the disease which is killing this denomination. One faction has ‘won’ the political battle and taken over the government. And now they are surprised when individuals and congregations vote with their feet, since Scripture and their voices have been silenced. We aren’t slaves, and you neither own nor control us. You may steal our property and call it ‘gracious dismissal’, however, this will not slow the death spiral of the denomination. I suspect that the PCUSA is facing a +/- 100,000 annual loss of members for the foreseeable future, the closure of hundreds of churches which don’t depart, and a diminishing voice.
Mr Berry … your criticism of the KJV is warranted, but examine other translations (NIV, ESV, RSV) the differences are very very minute.
You cite the word ‘change’ often. I can’t find where God’s Almighty Word changes in my Bible New Testament. In other words, you’re just making stuff up.
Also sounds like Obama’s slogan ‘Hope and change’ which has morphed into ‘Little Hope and spare change.’
We’re all born with a sinful nature, with sinful desires of this ‘world.’ Those sinful nature traits remain with us throughout our journey on earth–in ‘this world.’ We must hear, read, speak and share the word of God to protect ourselves and loved ones, according to scripture. In other words, I don’t buy the argument, ‘homosexuals were born that way.’ We’re all born that way; we’re sinful creatures that must be born again. Yes, there’s setbacks, suffering, etc., but those moments can be overcome with the Lord’s help (and through other Godly persons) and we become more blessed and wiser, more spiritually informed.
Thanks for taking time and effort to discuss Holy Scripture in detail. It’s informative and just like going to church. God speaks to us through, among other things, his ‘words.’ Your posts are an enriching blessing to those who take the time to read.
Thank-you for the encouraging note.
Uh, I think you may be wrong there, you poor tender hearted thing. Chuck isn’t crying, and they didn’t lose their property.
Well, God did say Do Not Lie. I first received a copy of the Layman over 25 years ago. They were being accused of being divisive, spreading lies, etc…back then. The thing is, the Layman merely reporting what was actually happening in the denomination, things which people in the pews would never have had the opportunity to know otherwise. If anything, powerful interest groups within the bureaucracy of the PCUSA was lying and withholding information from members.
As far as I can determine, the objective of the Layman hasn’t changed…bring about renewal and reformation in the PCUSA. If the Layman had not existed back then I suspect that the denomination would have fractured more completely and shrunk more rapidly than it has. Many members and congregations have lost any hope of that occurring and have left the denomination. And yet the Layman labors on in the hope that change is still possible. That is what I call ‘Faith in what can not be seen.”
Excelent discussion in the comments, much of which is probably sermon-worthy. Given that the article is about Trust, that’s where the discussion must focus. Mr. Rada is to be commended for promoting something to try to (re)develop trust in the denomination. If lead by Heath Rada, the project will fail. Though the moderator and not really supposed to allow his opinions to enter into discussions, his left leanings are evident when he speaks.
Moreover, there has been a tendency to spin the statistics to make things look not quite so ominous for the denomination. In his talks, he notes that while 300 congregations have severed ties, there are still 10,000 congregations out there. What is not mentioned is that the size of the congregations that have left, that the denomination is now 1/3 smaller and the impact this is beginning to have on the footings of the organization.
I commend his efforts and appreciate his concern. He has not shown, however, that he can walk the talk. In fact, some might say he walked right up to it and then just stepped in it.
I’ve just read my posting and am embarrassed over the typos and omissions. Passion must have gotten the best of me.
Excellent discussion in the comments, much of which is probably sermon-worthy. Given that the article is about Trust, that’s where the discussion must focus. Mr. Rada is to be commended for promoting something to try to (re)develop trust in the denomination. If led by Heath Rada, the project will fail. Though the moderator is not really supposed to allow his opinions to enter into discussions, his left leanings are clearly evident when he speaks no matter if the topic is the direction of the church or global warming.
Moreover, there has been a tendency to spin the statistics to make things look not quite so ominous for the denomination. In his talks, he notes that while 300 congregations have severed ties, there are still 10,000 congregations out there. What is not discussed are the sizes of the congregations that have left, that the denomination is now at least 1/3 smaller and the impact this is beginning to have on the footings of the organization.
I commend Mr. Rada’s efforts and appreciate his concern. He has not shown, however, that he can actually walk the talk. In fact, some might say he walked right up to it and then just stepped in it.