I’m reminded of the Monty Python skit in which a pet shop customer returns to complain that the parrot he recently bought was merely a stuffed bird, wired to a perch in a cage. It continues hilariously until the customer bangs the bird upon the shop counter shouting “This bird is dead.” in counterposed cadence to the shop owner who repeats “It is not. It’s merely sleeping.”
Debating demise of the Presbyterian Church (USA) seems similar, though not so humorous. Some, like me, say it is spiritually dead and ought to be buried promptly, for it stinks. Others still cling to hope of raising the corpse through just one more attempt at reconciling the apostate with the sentimentally blind side of the split carcass. And a few will hang on until the body is eaten up entirely by the bacteria of spiritual decay.
Numbers aside; dear Carmen, it’s over, dead and done! There’s nothing left worth saving in the PCUSA. It’s not even worth quibbling over the scraps of worldly matter which remain on patches of property and in bank accounts. The once bold church, which was strong in the heritage of the Reformation, has been hollowed by internal malignancy for too long.
Psalm 4:2 (ESV)O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?
There is no longer but a shell of religion remaining. Once a week the zombie march proceeds to moan churchianity’s dirge and proclaim “peace where there is no peace.”
I retired, after 40 years serving Christ, in the increasingly arid Presbyterian desert. Now, I only look back when a copy of The Layman arrives. I preach and serve the Lord’s Supper occasionally for a non-denominational congregation that retains the Westminster Confession and considers the Bible the absolute go-to reference for all matters of faith and life in Christ. I counsel troubled people according to Scripture and teach the truth of the Gospel (TULIP or FAITH, whichever acronym you prefer). I’m happily serving the Lord and no longer need the denomination which never gave me aught but pain and pension.
The later I receive as from the hand of God, deferred compensation for the former. I hope to yet honor my Lord and Savior, continuing a form of ministry so long discouraged by the PCUSA. I no longer have to attend presbytery meetings as an unwelcome intruder, or abide by the arbitrary rule of godless politicians skilled in parliamentary procedure. “Free at last! Thank God! I’m free at last!”
I pray the same joy for all who still labor to lug along the dead weight of the PCUSA.
Dr. James G. Cramer
Natrona Heights, Pa.
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