Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Monday, November 08, 2010

PresbyMEME: Why I am voting yes on Amendment 10a

Former moderator the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, has started a PresbyMEME regarding the new Amendment 10a which if passed would remove discriminatory barriers to gay and lesbian folks seeking ordination in the church.

Even if you know you will not be voting in the presbyteries, you can get in on this meme action via blog or facebook so those who will be voting can know what you are thinking.

Bruce, I am ready to take the challenge. Bring it.

Here is your challenge.
  1. Answer the following questions in a few sentences, keeping in mind the attention span of most blog readers.
  2. Post somewhere on facebook or your blog with the title "PresbyMEME: Why I am voting yes on Amendment 10a" and be sure there is a link back to this post.
  3. Post a link here or send me a reply via twitter and I'll try to keep a running list here.
  4. Track other responses and pass them along!
I am ready to answer the questions.

Questions for the PresbyMEME:

  1. Name, City, State John Shuck, Elizabethton, Tennessee
  2. Twitter and Facebook profiles Twitter: @shuckandjive Facebook: John Shuck
  3. Presbytery and 10a voting date Holston Presbytery, December 7, 2010
  4. Reason ONE that you are voting "yes" on 10a is... We need to tell the truth. Imagine the healing that could happen if the church were to tell the truth! What if the church were to say clearly:

    We were wrong and we are sorry. We realize now that being gay is not a sin. The sin is prejudice. The sin is not telling the truth about people. The sin is turning our sacred texts into weapons that are used to bully our own children. We are not going to do that anymore.

  5. Reason TWO that you are voting "yes" on 10a is... We need good ministers and good leaders. It is dumb to refuse them service in the church because of superstition and ignorance.
  6. Reason THREE that you are voting "yes" on 10a is... It is the Presbyterian way. It respects freedom of conscience and the freedom to examine and choose leaders who are most suited to the needs of a particular ministry.
  7. What are your greatest hopes for the 10a debate that will take place on the floor of your Presbytery? That Amendment 10a passes.
  8. How would you respond to those that say that if we pass 10a individuals and congregations will leave the PC(USA)? That question fosters co-dependence and bullying. We need to treat people like adults and expect adult behavior. If folks cannot in good conscience stay in the church, then I guess they will go. No one is forcing them to stay or to go. However, many people have already left the church because of our discriminatory policy. Some even have been defrocked. You do the right thing and let the chips fall. I think once the church passes 10a we will become stronger. We certainly will be more in the spirit of Jesus.
  9. What should the Presbyterian Church focus on after Amendment 10a passes? Peak Oil.
  10. How does your understanding of Scripture frame your position on 10a? "Do justice. Love kindness. Walk humbly with your God." "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
Those are my answers. By the way, here is the actual proposed change. Amendment 10a would change the text of G-6.0106b in the Book of Order.

AMENDMENT LANGUAGE IS AS FOLLOWS:

Shall G-6.0106b be amended by striking the current text and inserting new text in its place as follows:

STRIKING: “Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

AND INSERTING: Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (G-1.0000). The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation (G.14.0240; G-14.0450) shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003). Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.”

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