As has been discussed in Parts 1 and 2, I and others are deeply concerned about the current drive for “unity” under the proposed Belhar Confession. My primary concerns are that:
- “Unity” will not be a consequence of the truth as taught by Scripture, but rather will be a consequence of the “church” deciding on specific policies, regardless of their demonstrable adherence to Scripture
- The “church” will include only those denominations who have demonstrated that they are part of a progressive “prophetic” movement
I have already spoken at length about point 1. With regard to point 2, consider the following figure.
This figure begs the question of how the PCUSA leadership views “unity” with regard to other Christian denominations. Clearly, only a small minority of Christians are members of denominations who approve of same gender marriage (the minority would be even tinyer were this a world wide accounting) . However, there appears to be little interest in the PCUSA leadership for unity with this church universal. No, “unity” means that small minority of denominations who have accepted same gender marriage be “unified” it their demand that all other denominations succumb.
So, in furtherance of this “unity of the tiny prophetic minority,” under a newly approved Belhar Confession, we have every reason to wonder:
- Will some Presbyteries decide that rejection of same gender marriage is a disqualifying belief for candidate Teaching Elders?
- Will some Presbyteries pressure member churches who deviate from post modern “orthodoxy” on issues such as same gender marriage to fall into line?
- Will the now minority of those in opposition to the PCUSA’s current direction be pressured to remain silent, so as to advance the pretense that there is “unity” within our denomination?
- To what future theological and political positions will the demands of “unity” be applied, and how?
I understand that the current PCUSA policy is to allow pastors and churches to abide by their Christian consciences. However, the clear trajectory of secular radical progressives is to demand not tolerance, but public support and affirmation. Perhaps the PCUSA will be a bulwark for religious tolerance, including of orthodox views on marriage. However, this hope must be informed by the fact that hundreds of thousands of members were driven out of the denomination, Scripture was distorted and ignored, motives were impugned and pleas for an explanation were ignored to achieve our current policy. I will continue to place my hope in the Lord, but the PCUSA has a long way to go to to earn my trust. I will vote NO on the Belhar Confession.