I discovered this sermon by The Reverend Dr. Craig Barnes, President of Princeton Theological Seminary on the Presbytery of Los Ranchos’ “discern” blog. Give yourself 17 1/2 minutes to watch the entire sermon. It’s beautiful, it’s winsome and it will draw you closer to Christ Jesus.
The sermon is most powerful in its whole but here are the closing words…
“All things hold together in the center that is Christ Jesus. All of it, it all holds. Our lives hold not by building walls around them that will protect us from evil. The Church holds not by its exterior walls, because as he (Paul) says in verse 14 (Ephesians, chapter 2) these walls only divide us. They only create hostility…These walls only divide and they are completely unnecessary to the Church because the Church holds by its center. If you define the Church at the center you don’t have to worry about the walls any more. You can give up worrying about who’s in and who’s out of the Church. We have no business talking about these boundary issues any more of who’s in or who’s out. Your life will hold together by the center, the God who dwells with us, Jesus Christ. The Church will hold by its one center, Jesus Christ. We’re free to dismantle the walls anytime we want.”
Our leadership at Trinity is making it clear that Trinity is not becoming narrower in its theology if we move to ECO.
A set of “Frequently Asked Questions” issued by the leadership and dated May 18, 2013 says, “Trinity continues to affirm the essential tenets of the Reformed faith spelled out in our Confessions and Creeds. The session also continues to affirm the Confessing Church principles which the session adopted in 2001 and reaffirmed in 2004 and 2006. The three principles are: ‘Jesus Christ alone is Lord of all and the only way of salvation; Holy Scripture is the triune God’s revealed Word, the Church’s only infallible rule of faith and life; and that God’s people are called to holiness in all aspects of life. This includes honoring the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, the only relationship within which sexual activity is appropriate.'”
In the congregational meeting a couple weeks ago we were told again Trinity is not “narrowing its positions, it’s clarifying them.”
I agree that being dismissed from the PC(USA) and joining ECO will not change or narrow these positions at Trinity, but, it will do more than clarify them. It will build a wall around them.
If we define the Church by the center we don’t have to worry about the walls anymore.
Trinity, let’s stay PC(USA)