The statesman’s duty is to bridge the gap between his nation’s experience and his vision”
― Henry A. Kissinger
As Christians we are called to participate in God’s ongoing work of reconciliation, but it is important to realize in a fallen world unity may not always be a healthy option. Because we are fallen there are times when unity can break us down. But because we are redeemed there are times when unity can build us up in Christ and further God’s kingdom on earth.
The question facing Trinity is whether unity with the PC(USA) will build us up or break us down.
The consensus view of session (no one has ever said unanimous view) is that it will break Trinity down. But I am certain staying with the PC(USA) will build me up, and I trust it will build the denomination up in return.
I strongly believe it is possible to benefit from a relationship with theological differences. Two of our denomination’s prominent leaders, Dr. Richard Mouw, retired president of Fuller Theological Seminary, and Dr. Barbara Wheeler, retired president of Auburn Seminary, model this possibility in their relationship with each other.
An article titled “Purple Church,” published online in The Presbyterian Outlook, said that even though Richard and Barbara come from very different theological places and “have serious differences about serious matters, they count themselves blessed by the collegiality and mutual respect through which the Holy Spirit moves, enabling them to become better people and better Christians because of what each has learned from the other.”
Richard and Barbara wrote companion articles for Sojourners magazine, each writing from their own theological position and bridging the gap between our experience of discord and their vision of unity.
I encourage you to read each article.
- “Why the Evangelical Church Needs the Liberal Church” by Richard Mouw
- “Why the Liberal Church Needs the Evangelical Church” by Barbara Wheeler
Trinity, and our denomination, needs to hear reconciling voices from statesmen and women like these.
It is possible for Trinity to remain true to its core beliefs and remain in the PC(USA). Our denomination needs a balance of beliefs, centered on the gospel. The presbytery and PC(USA) are better with Trinity, and Trinity is better as part of the presbytery and PC(USA).
In his article above Richard said,
“I genuinely believe that a Presbyterian split would be a serious setback for the cause that I care deeply about, namely, the cause of Reformed orthodoxy.”
Trinity, I see a vision of unity shared by Richard and Barbara that will build us up in Christ. It is a unity I feel called to live into. I pray you can see it too.
Trinity, let’s stay PC(USA)