Editorial Nonsense

I enjoy reading our paper’s “Letters to the Editor.” It provides a snapshot of what’s going on out there—a window into society’s soul. But one of this morning’s editorials (TNT, 2-29) provided a window into the soul of a local, mainline church. And I, for one, did not enjoy the view.

The editorial was entitled: “Religion: Not all Presbyterians unhappy.” It was in response to last Sunday’s front page article entitled “Dividing Point” (TNT, 2-26). That article chronicled some of the local Presbyterian Church (USA) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America church’s response to their denomination’s ordaining of gay and lesbian pastors. The article mainly focused on a handful of congregations in the area who have either left their denominational affiliation or are in the process of doing so.

Which prompted this morning’s editorial from a Presbyterian minister who wanted Tacoma to know that he and the church he pastors feel much differently. He writes, “Several Presbyterian churches in Tacoma, including the one I serve, applaud the change which allows the ordination of GLBTQ folks called by God to ministry.” If you are not up on that acronym, it stands for “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer.” I don’t recall the apostle Paul, when giving qualifications for an elder (pastor) in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, using that acronym. I do know that he insists in both passages that the pastor is “the husband of but one wife.” The Apostle Peter doesn’t list GLBTQ sexual “options” for a pastor in his list of qualifications (1 Peter 5:2-4), either.

It is an amazing thing to watch churches self-destruct. They are so proud to be inclusive, diverse, and welcoming. The pastor’s editorial ended this way: “[We have] experienced significant numerical growth over the past two years, in part due to our inclusive and welcoming attitude.” I remind the pastor that free beer and topless dancers probably would draw a crowd, too.

I wished to know more about their inclusive and growing “church.” Their website talks about fighting hunger, working for justice, and improving the environment. They say they are a place that “blends spirituality with thoughtful reflection on what tradition and experience mean.” I think that means “we have fun and are at liberty to come up with our own truth”—but I’m not sure. If you detect sarcasm, you are correct.

If anybody over at the “GLBTQ Hunger, Justice, and Environment Church” ever stumbles across this blog, I just want you to know that I’m not homophobic, nor am I a “hater,” or a cross-eyed fundamentalist. I’m just a pastor of a local church who believes the Bible, the Gospel, and loves His church; I’m a sinner who gets things wrong and not for a moment thinks he’s figured everything out.

But I’m pretty confident about this one. You might be happy about the direction of your “church”–but God isn’t.

Pastor Rich Hamlin

February 29, 2012  

1 comment

  1. Lynn and I had a visit this week from a couple that had attended ERC one Sunday with us. She said that they had enjoyed their “visit” with our church, but after reading our home site did not agree with some of the “political” ideas. (I’d wondered if she ment to say doctrine). However, we were glad to see this artical posted by you. I’vd been listening to “Cross & the Crescent” CD by R.C. Sproul and this is exactly what this is on.

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