Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Presbyterians and controversy

I'm writing a brief article on Presbyterians of Jewish descent. Doing research, I've come to the conclusion that once again, the church has it wrong. In trying to straddle the fence between conservatives and liberals, it has made both sides angry. For as long as I can remember, this is what the church has done.

The denomination has sought to please evangelicals by funding an outreach that will seek to convert Jews. It has tried to appease liberals by condemning Israel's incursions into what should be, could be, a Palestinian homeland. This is the kind of dual response Presbyterians have aimed for over the past decades. And, in its tradition of postponing a final decision, it has decided to "study" these questions.

I wonder how long the Presbyterian church can continue. Sooner or later it will have to decide a course. Each Sunday, as I look over a sea of gray and white heads (like mine), I wonder how long this denomination will continue to function. I personally have reasons to stay in the denomination, but I wonder how long even this historical connection I have to the church will keep me there.

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