Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Living as a Minority

The hue and cry of anguish in this time for those of us who are evangelical inside the PC(USA) is that the world is coming to an end. And, in a way, it is. The facts are simple: ordination of Ministers of Word and Sacrament who are openly homosexual is a fact in a few presbyteries across the country. Candidates have been approved in others, and ordinations have been restored on the basis of "scrupling" sexual standards of behavior.

This is not something that will happen if 08B passes-- this is happening already, and it has the approval of General Assembly without the vote of the presbyteries. Western North Carolina has massively reversed course, and other presbyteries with thin margins in 2001 may do the same. If the world is defined as the place where evangelical positions hold the high ground, then that world truly is coming to an end in the PC(USA). Being an evangelical now in the PC(USA) means that one must embrace minority status, or leave.

There are some amazing gifts that come with being the pastor of OCPC. One of the best is this: when I came into the office today, I was explaining all this, and my beloved older brother Crumpton had the patience to listen. Crumpton rose in the world through the only institution that would let him rise: the U.S. Army. He and his family were the second neighbors who crossed a lot of barriers to open the doors of OCPC to African-Americans in 1975.

Crumpton looked at me and said, "some of us know all about being a minority. It's not the end of the world." So, for Black History Month, I'm going to let them do the teaching. We who hold to the faith as handed down from the saints have much to learn about being a minority from them.

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