Fighting has existed in the church since its earliest days. We can even detect a conflict at one point between Peter and Paul, two of the most important first century Christians in the Bible. Sometimes principle trumps peace and unity.
Internal fighting is nothing new to Presbyterians in the U.S. You can see by the number of Presbyterian denominations within the U.S. alone evidence, like a black eye on both sides, of fighting that resulted in a divorce of sorts. And voices on the right and left warn of further splintering if “the other side” doesn’t begin going along with their side.
Do we really feel that this is what Jesus would be doing if he were here? Do we really think we need more Presbyterian denominations or that moving between Presbyterian denominations is going to advance the cause of Christ? Are our worst enemies (the ones that we really need to focus our time, energy, money, and thoughts against) really other Presbyterians? Is our only answer to divorce ourselves from those with whom we disagree?
We love to be gracious and pastoral to everyone, but sometimes when folks are bent and determined to break others apart, being nice isn’t necessarily the best option. Christ wasn’t always nice to those on the wrong path.
What image does the PC(USA) need today? If we care for our denomination and our future, we are going to need to be more than nice. We are going to need to fight to reconcile it. And fight for it in a way to “win back over the other side” rather than to “defeat” or “separate ourselves” from them.
Although I don’t like cigarettes, this expresses the sentiment perfectly.
Let’s fight instead of switching. The answer isn’t elsewhere. God brought us all together for a reason.
All the best and until next time,