We hear a lot these days about the polarization that has hobbled the political process in Washington. Sad to say, the same is true of the larger Church of which St. Giles is a part: the Presbyterian Church (USA). I’m heading to Minneapolis in a couple of days to participate in its biennial General Assembly, our highest governing body, and I expect to see that polarization play out in spades.
The Presbyterian Church has always been diverse, and that’s a good thing – God’s gift. But, to borrow an astronomical picture, the diversity the scripture describes as God’s gift to the Church presumes a center with the gravitas to hold that diversity together, like the sun’s gravity holds its diverse planets in orbit. And our larger Church is losing its center.
A generation ago, when the Presbyterian Church (USA) had a more unified understanding of Jesus Christ, scriptural authority, and what our mission is, we had a “center” with the gravitas to hold us together. But now, with the center itself debated, the “planets” of our diversity are wobbling in their orbits, and it looks to me like they will indeed fly apart at some point.
It’s a bit hard to see a “solar system” clearly when you’re in an orbit yourself, so I offer my take on the state of our orbits with that caveat. But there is One who does see clearly, and as surely as his hand set the stars in their courses, so he is guiding the course of the Presbyterian Church – both through us and in spite of us! The polarization in our Church will be easy to see this week. One of my prayers is that we’ll also glimpse the Lord’s guiding hand. May he make himself and his will plain!
If you want to keep up with the news details of the Assembly, you might check out these sites:
I’ll leave the news reporting to them. But I will write a few blogs with an eye out for the hand of God at work in our midst! Thanks be to God…
It’s all his,