Occasionally my wife drags me into these little gift-craft stores, whose aroma’s tickle the nose. Usually I find myself over by the card rack looking at these, “If you were born in the Year ****, then, *****” cards. Finding my birth year is fun, but looking for my parents year, now that’s interesting.
On that same line of thought; If You Were Born in 1967, then you should know that, that was the year that the Presbyterian Church, USA, rewrote their theology. Presbyterian’s base their theology on a set of standards called Confessions, which were written through the ages, clarifying various biblical concerns.
There were two items that occurred where you saw the definite shift in Presbyterian membership, into losses. First was the fact that the Presbyterian Church USA paid the legal defenses of Angela Davis, Leader of the Communist Party USA, Black Panther member, winner of the Lenin Peace Award by the USSR and accused of purchasing and donating guns used in a court room escape that killed the presiding judge and some jurors, 1971.
Leading up to the decision to fund the Angela Davis’ defense was the publication of the Confession of 1967. The Confession dealt less with theological controversy and more with social change. The main change clause was it’s “INCLUSIVENESS”. It separated the church from it’s Calvinist roots, diminished the Westminster Confession, promoted the reading of the bible from an HISTORICAL viewpoint rather than literal position. Additionally the Confession ignored the virgin birth, and the resurrection of Christ. It recommended identification with social issues, opening the church up to directed unbelief.
The Christian Standard
1. Everyone coming into the church is a sinner, NO ONE is perfect. (We lost our perfection when we were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.) \
2. Everyone inside the church is a sinner, trying to reform.
3. The question becomes, “What to do with a (boastful) sinner in the church, that refuses to reform or work toward reform?”
Two years after authorizing practicing homosexuals ordination as Elders, Deacons and Ministers, the Presbyterians decided it was time recognize and authorize the marriage of homosexuals in the church, this year 2014.
I recognize that the Episcopalians already support this position, the word on the street is that the Methodists will make this change next year and members of the Reformed Church in America have this position again under consideration.
What needs to be realized, in our simple minded country, is that these social issues are resulting in the Americanization of Christianity.
The Americanized (Social Activists) Christian leverages their position by asking the unknowing public, the question, “What would Jesus Do?”. Most Americans have a simple minded, uninformed understanding of Christianity. Reading in John 8, Jesus, charges the sinless to cast the first stone upon the adulteress, when none do, he forgives her but warns her to go and sin no more. It would seem the picture is that the sinful can’t test God, and God recommends that you give up your sin.
Americanized Christians reverse that scripture, first they believe that no one can identify them as sinners and second, God’s so loving nature relieves the necessity to turn away from sin, in short , “go and do what you want”.
The RCA church as addressed this issue seven times since 1978. Their studies have begun to soften the churches’ position with each publication.
I could suggest a stringent, strict reading of Romans Chapter 1, but the Americanized Christian has accepted that the bible is NOT biblical, it’s only historical, and therefore not instructional. Churches who want to minister to the sinful, in whatever sin, have to overcome this biblical bias. Ministering to the public in anything other than a social outreach is and will be a daunting task.