Thinking Out Loud

November 8, 2013

When a Whole Denomination is Put on Hold

Put on Hold

I love reading denominational periodicals, though it has to be said that some are better than others. This week I got my hands on one that I always find interesting, and though I was disappointed to discover I was reading a July edition; I still found myself enjoying many different articles

In this particular one, the question arises at a meeting of the Synod as to the party denominational position on homosexuality, last affirmed in 2002. The conclusion was that, “When delegates voted, the majority agreed to appoint a study committee that will examine how to loving communicate (not re-examine) the [denomination’s] position on homosexuality.”

In other words, they didn’t feel it was necessary to reopen the issue, but felt they instead needed to better communicate the policy and position they already have.

Okay; let’s give that the benefit of the doubt. Here’s the focus of my writing today: The article concluded with a sentence that is probably quite normative in reporting of these types of meetings but which I found rather damning —

The study committee will report to Synod in 2016.

2016? Really? Seriously? In three years? On an issue where the landscape is rapidly changing? When churches are bleeding a generation of members over the handling of this issue?

Sorry, but three months would have been more appropriate.

We touched on something similar here almost exactly a year ago. It was a response to a comment made during the U.S. election coverage: “The Republican Party needs to realize that the country is changing faster than they are.”

When you’re in a sprint to keep up with where the culture is heading, you don’t take a three lap water break, or take three years to produce a study on one of the toughest issues the church has faced in much time. Your study is out of date by the time it’s released.

Oddly enough, the article was titled, “A Generation’s Defining Struggle.” Too bad the people in the story it covered didn’t have the same sense of urgency.

 

July 24, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Greater New Light Baptist Church, Los Angeles

Welcome to another installment of random links from Thinking Out Loud.  If you’ve been on summer holidays, the list has become the victim of a corporate takeover. We’re now at Out of Ur on Wednesdays, the blog of Leadership Journal, a division of Christianity Today. We’ve asked our Chicago-based new bosses to aim for 8:00 AM EDT !!

Check the list also for an explanation as to the above Church photo, aka “Fruitcake as building material.” 

Finally, since Out of Ur is borrowing from us today, we thought we’d return the favor with a link to this post:

Ultimate Christian LogoTwentyonehundred Productions is the InterVarsity multi-media team. They post an infographic like this each week on their Facebook page.  Normally, that would be the end of things here, but since historically, the Wednesday Link List began or ended with a cartoon, I couldn’t resist stealing borrowing one more graphic from them…

Oh Yes He Did - Intervarsity Infographic

June 16, 2013

We Don’t…

Not AllowedAs someone who has spent a lifetime in and around Christian music, whenever I visit a church I often make my way to the front after the service and converse with the worship team, especially when I know one or two of the musicians.

A few weeks ago I did just that, and we started talking about songs that have the possibility of two parts being sung at the same time. Then we talked about ‘call and response’ songs where the worship leader sings a line and then the congregation repeats it. Then we talked about songs that parts for men and women.

At that point someone on the team said, “We don’t do men’s and women’s parts here.”

Days later, I was sharing this story with someone who knew exactly where I had been and they made an interesting comment, “I wonder how many times in the course of a week someone at that church begins a sentence with ‘We don’t?’

So true. So sad. Some Christian institutions have policy after policy; operating guidelines carved in stone for no particular reason. My feeling is, if you don’t have worship songs that offer something where women’s voices and men’s voices can highlight their unique giftedness, then next week would be a good week to start.

I hope the place where you worship isn’t characterized by a spirit of ‘We don’t…’

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