Archive for June, 2008

PCUSA: "Transformative power"

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Once again, the commissioners to the General Assembly of the PC(USA) have elected a moderator who is opposed to the denomination’s constitution. And once again the selection will encourage continuation of the progressives’ endless struggle to sever ordination standards from their Biblical foundations.

The new moderator, Bruce Reyes-Chow is being hailed as some sort of hip, connected electronic pastor, in part because he blogs. Former moderator Rick Ufford-Chase actually set the precedent several years ago. I applaud this trend because sometimes the blogging wolves forget to don their sheep’s clothing.

U-C, for example, revealed in his blog that he doesn’t seem to know much about Jesus. According U-C, Jesus is nothing more than a “radical” solution to the suffering that exists in this world. Crucifixion? Atoning sacrifice? Fully God, fully human? Salvation? Justification? A mansion in his Father’s house? Nope. Just a temporal fix for the human physical condition.

Reyes-Chow – according to the blogosphere – seems to have an equally truncated understanding of who Jesus is and what he accomplished. I have spent some time searching his and other blogs for R-C’s understanding of Jesus. Probably the most succinct answer I found was his response to Presbyweb’s simple question “What is the gospel?

R-C’s answer was “The gospel is the Christ-centered reality of being a presence of peace in a time of anxiety.” The heart of the gospel seems not to be found in Christ’s death and resurrection or in his deity or in reconciliation with God the Father or in salvation. No, R-C began his answer to “what is the gospel?” with Luke 8:24-25: The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

R-C – who obviously has the heart of a peacemaker – does appreciate the “transformative power of Christ.” No problem there. But he and other progressives who see in Jesus little more than an answer to today’s woes have a gaping hole in their theology. Jesus was holy and sinless. He calls us to be holy and sinless. The “transformative power of Christ” is his Holy Spirit indwelling us and enabling us to have hope for a sinless life when we trust in the Spirit to deliver us from temptation to sin.

Jesus does not empower us to live in sin. So my question to the progressives is this: If you believe in the “transformative power of Christ”, why don’t you believe that very power can deliver a homosexual person from behavior that the Bible condemns?

Never mind; I know the answer. The Bible doesn’t mean what it says; it means what progressives believe it would say if only God were as progressive as they. These folks remind me of the bumbling Nazis in the first and third Indiana Jones movies who thought they could harness God’s power (i.e. the Ark and Holy Grail, respectively) to propel their own earthly ends. Likewise, progressives like U-C and R-C seem to think they can harness the “transformative power of Christ” to bring about their social objectives.

That’s one reason the dear old PC(USA) lost more than 57,000 members last year.

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