Presbytery of Long Island: Authoritative Interpretation

The Presbytery of Long Island provides important insight into postmodern Christianity.

Out of our established commitment to peace and justice, we reflected that as Jesus taught us to fight for the oppressed, in our time there is perhaps no better example of what Jesus meant than the one before us now. It seemed to us unimaginable to think that Jesus would deny two people who seek to live their lives in union, with him and with each other, the ability to do so. Recognizing our duty as Christians to fight for justice for all of god’s people, we realized that in this case, if we do not make a change in the church, we are not only refusing to fight for the oppressed, we are in fact the oppressors.

Here we may be approaching the center of postmodern Christian thought. With the Scriptures and our Confessions easily at hand, these authors chose to draw only upon their own reflections and imaginings about Jesus and His teachings as the basis for their conclusions. Note that this Presbytery did not even once use the words Bible, Scripture(s) or Confession(s) in their Rationale. Reading the entire Rationale does nothing to change these observations.

What this window into the postmodern Christian mind reveals is truly shocking. Jesus Christ and His actual teaching, along with the entire testimony of the Scriptures, are irrelevant. What is relevant is what the authors conclude based on their internal reflection and imaginings. That is, the authoritative truth that should guide the PSUSA’s official decisions exists within these people, carriers, as they appear to believe, of a special, authoritative knowledge.

That somehow a small group of authors, likely all teaching or ruling elders, could come to write such a Rationale is difficult enough to fathom. That the majority of a Presbytery Assembly would choose to endorse such an argument beggars the imagination. We have apparently entered a “through the looking glass” world, in which the PCUSA’s policies are based on the internal authority of an elite group, utterly independent of Scripture’s teaching and our Confessions’ testimony.

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