Shuck and Jive

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

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lisa Larges and Her Scruple

If you have a few moments, you should read Lisa Larges' statement of faith, her journey, and her statement of departure (scruple) regarding G-6.0106b.

This was all printed
in the agenda (pdf) for the meeting at which she was approved for ordination by the presbytery of San Francisco.

This whole process gives you a sense of what it takes to be ordained, "the trials of ordination," and how subjective the whole business is. Of course, anyone perceived different from the mainstream in any way is especially "noted."

This is from her scruple regarding G-6.0106b. She demonstrates--one bullet point after another--why G-6.0106busybody is bad news for the church:

The text of G-6.0106b continues by singling out one particular derived standard from the historic confessional standards, namely, “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.” By my conscience, faith and theology I cannot and will not accept the terms of this standard.
  • It deliberately and intentionally denies the dignity and lived experience of same gender loving people.
  • In so doing it raises one category of persons, heterosexual persons, above all others and thereby makes an idol of heterosexuality.
  • Its formulation is based on a certain interpretation of Scripture to the exclusion of other interpretations, which are as sound, held by faithful Christians within our church.
  • It imposes a false and impossible choice upon same gender loving persons by not recognizing faithful covenanted relationships between two persons of the same gender.
  • It puts the church and its officers in an untenable position by failing to acknowledge the expanded definition of legal marriage as a “contract between two persons,” as held at this writing, in the jurisdictions of six U.S. states.
  • By elevating this standard above any others it has caused our church to be mired in inappropriate and scandalous inquiries into the sexual acts of persons seeking Ordained office.
  • It removes sex from the context of intimacy and covenantal relationship and denies the fullness and richness of committed loving relationships between persons of the same gender.
  • It denies the full humanity of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender persons by focusing solely and exclusively on one part of their lives.
  • It distracts the church from seeking a deeper understanding of sexual ethics, so that sexual misconduct by officers of this church continues at an alarming rate.
  • It puts upon the door of the church an “Unwelcome” sign for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families.
  • It props up and provides religious cover for acts of violence committed against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.
  • It has caused schism within our church by driving out gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons who cannot fellowship within a church which regards them categorically as inferior.
  • It is a scandal to the Gospel and destroys the peace, unity and purity of the church.
In my own life, while I affirm the moral values of fidelity and chastity, I will not and can not claim chastity in singleness unless and until fidelity between two persons of the same gender within a covenantal relationship is recognized.

I will not submit in any way to a reduction of who I am as a Lesbian to language about “practice,” nor will I participate in perpetrating such a false and demeaning dichotomy upon any other member of this church.
Declaring a "scruple" is not enough. We need to remove this blight on the church.