Oldline Protestant denominations are hemorrhaging members ever more rapidly as they move away from traditional Christian teachings. So the prescription for an evangelical congregation desiring membership growth would be to ditch its oldline affiliation and join a more conservative denomination. Right? Not so fast, says Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) official Tom Cole.
It seems as if the National Security Agency (NSA) is out of control. Every week, thanks to Edward Snowden and his fellow leakers, we learn of new programs to monitor more channels of communication and eavesdrop on more people. Phone calls, emails, Google, Yahoo. When it was just the presidents of Mexico and Brazil whose phones had been tapped, people outside those countries didn’t seem so upset. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, now that’s a woman we shouldn’t mess with!
Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson believes he has found the culprit in the current standoff regarding the federal budget and debt ceiling. “The curse of U.S. politics is that it’s become less about interests and more about ideologies,” Samuelson avers. He charges that “ideologies breed moral absolutes, rigid agendas and strong emotions.” Hence the paralysis as the Republican House of Representatives and the Democratic Senate and White House seem unable or unwilling to reach any compromise.
A study process under way in the Presbyterian Church (USA) asks church members to “[s]eek clarity as to God’s call to the church to embrace nonviolence as its fundamental response to the challenges of violence, terror, and war.”
By Alan F.H. Wisdom (@AFHWISDOM) An initiative of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Hunger Program is organizing U.S. and overseas activists to oppose free trade agreements and resist corporate investments in developing countries. This “Joining Hands” initiative was featured in a workshop at an April 5 PCUSA-sponsored conference on “food justice.” Joining Hands describes itself as […]
By Alan Wisdom The position of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding the modern State of Israel is not determined by the denomination’s theology. The PCUSA holds to a Reformed theology that emphasizes continuities between God’s covenant with ancient Israel and God’s covenant with the Church. The status of the Jewish people, modern Israel, and the […]
Alan Wisdom June 17, 2011 Since May 10, when Twin Cities became the decisive 87th presbytery to ratify deletion of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s “fidelity and chastity” standard, I have heard among my PCUSA friends many discussions of the urgent question: “Should I stay or should I go” from the denomination? As our May 11 press release made […]
Additional commentary: Laying the Groundwork – The Politics of Consensus “What is the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community? The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) cannot agree.” Therefore, Presbyterians must “exercise mutual tolerance and forbearance in those places where we, people of good faith, do differ.” This was the conclusion of the PCUSA […]
Alan F.H. Wisdom June 5, 2008 On May 14, 1948, as Great Britain relinquished its mandate over Palestine, Jewish leaders there proclaimed the modern state of Israel. U.S President Harry Truman, overruling many of his top advisers, was the first to recognize the new nation. Israel’s Arab neighbors immediately launched a war to destroy […]