Give me fundamental honesty
But don't expect it if you ask a leader of a mainline denomination. You ask a direct question, and you get indistinct verbal ooze.
Presbyterian example: In a newly released FAQ sheet about the recent adoption of the PUP report, the fact-sheet writers dance around their own question!
Well, that pretty well does it, except for answering the question of whether gays and lesbians will now be ordained! Just answer the question, Stated Clerk! Pastors everywhere have had to come up with a real answer for their parishioners. You can do it, too.
Will gays and lesbians now be ordained?
Presbyteries and sessions have been reminded of their historical responsibility to examine candidates for ordination and decide, on a case-by-case basis, about a person’s qualifications for ministry. The constitutional standard in the Book of Order (G-6.0106b) requiring “fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman” or “chastity in singleness” remains in place.
Each governing body will be required to decide if a departure from a standard of faith or practice represents a violation of an “essential” of the faith. Governing bodies have been encouraged to strive to honor one another’s ordination decisions. Still, these decisions continue to be subject to review by higher governing bodies.
United Methodist example: A pastor in Tacoma, Washington, Monty Smith, has opened First United Methodist Church as a sanctuary to military personnel who refuse to go to war. He was interviewed on the Fox Network's "Hannity and Colmes" show, and when pressed with direct questions became absolutely elusive. Rich Lowry had to interrupt and ask and ask again the most basic questions to get him simply to answer. Click here for a video of the frustrating interview--frustrating if you think Christians ought to be honest.
Episcopalian example: Probably the reigning champion of elusive babble has to be Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (U.S.A.). Recently Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, floated a plan that would create two tiers of relationship to the Anglican Communion. It was obviously a necessary move to counter the determined rebellion of the Episcopal Church, and it was timed shortly after the election of the woman who would succeed Griswold--a woman whose theology slops over the boundaries acceptable to most Anglicans. So would Griswold acknowledge the obvious relationship between Episcopal actions and Williams's plan, which would demote American Episcopalians basically out of the Anglican Communion? Does Griswold name the concern and speak to it? No. Read his elliptical ramble here. Griswold appears unable to speak without fundamental deception, refusing to acknowledge the rhinocerous that is not only in the room but at the moment is sitting on him.
These are Christian leaders. Wouldn't you expect a little refreshing honesty, plain-spoken and clear? Sad.