The PCA’s New Strategic Plan (IV)
Creating a Perspective for Planning (IV)
It’s getting close to time for the PCA’s 38th General Assembly in
On a more positive—sort of—note, the document does speak of “Perspectival Divides” in the PCA and contains an admission that we are made up of “cynical progressives,” “Emergents,” “Transformationists,” and “Planters” who are entrepreneurs and innovators (p. 13.). Two other groups are worthy of note: “Aggressive TRs,” who are out to eradicate unReformed people, and “Doctrinalists,” who constitute the “theological-erosion policemen.” I would add to this list the “Euphemists.” They are those in the PCA who refuse to call illegal aliens, illegal aliens. They prefer the euphemism, “undocumented workers.” I am not certain why some in PCA headquarters insist on calling felons, who are in gangs, “workers,” unless, of course, they’re selling the drugs that American drug dealers just will not sell. The felons are probably categorized with the rest of the illegal population so that we can sound compassionate. Personally, I believe there is something dreadfully wrong about not calling a spade a spade.
For instance, there were—and probably still are—two brothers at PCA headquarters who admired a great deal in the “
Back to the spade issue: Something goes “bump” and “crash” in the night. Your wife says, “Honey, I think there’s a burglar in the house,” and you reply, “Nah. It’s probably just an undocumented hurting soul.” But I digress. I’m skipping ahead to page 17 of the plan (VI. Questions to Address in Making Strategic Plans for the PCA). The “introduction” reads this way: “The questions below identify issues that should be addressed by a Strategic Plan for the PCA in light of the preceding analysis.
Most questions were suggested by the 2008 Cooperative Ministries Committee after reviewing the analysis. Additional questions were added by 2008 General Assembly commissioners who attended its Strategic Planning Seminar and also reviewed the preceding analysis. The questions are not arranged in any priority order.” Okay. Let’s take a look at some of these “questions.”
Providing Safe Places
Number 1 (in no particular order, mind you) reads, “How to Provide Safe Places to Talk about New Ideas to Advance the PCA’s Faithfulness to Biblical Belief, Ministry, and Mission.” What jumps off the page for me on this one (in no particular order) are the words “Safe Places.” I mentioned in the previous installment that this document suffers horribly from a lack of precision and definition. This first “question” (in no particular order. I cannot help but wonder what the psychological effect would have been if this first question had been shoved to number 12, which is the last one. I’m just wonderin’.) begs the question: What constitutes a “
So, for example, let’s say that Jennifer Knapp, the Christian singer, dove award winner, and lesbian wants a “
The same drill would be followed by questions regarding abortion on demand, adultery, fornication, kleptomania, murder, foul language, and the like. I contend that by being so vague and supplying virtually no parameters regarding what a “
.More Seats at the Table
Number 2 (in no particular order, mind you) asks how “to Provide More Seats at the Table,” (especially younger leaders, women, and ethnic leaders) for PCA Ministry Direction and Development. Where are we heading with this one? The older I get, the younger everyone else begins to look. It seems to me that the average age of the lion’s share of today’s PCA pastors is “young.” Just how young are we talking about here? If the idea is to get 15-18 year olds at the table, I might pass. Don’t get me wrong: I love that age group and personally have a lot of fun with them. I can relate to them well, I think, but I don’t want them setting “PCA Ministry Direction and Development.”
Hey, I got it! This is a “New Idea”! Depending on what it means, it could be a very bad new idea. Besides, it’s not really new. I came to faith in a liberal PCUS congregation in
Moreover, what role would women serve “at ‘the’ table,” wherever “the table” is. Does anyone know where to find “the table”? Where should we start looking? Does this mean the Session table? The Presbytery table? The GA table? None of the above? All of the above? What role will the women serve? Will it be in an authoritative capacity? Will their place at “the table” mean that what they decide must be considered settled and binding? Why or why not? As far as “ethnic leaders” are concerned, we’re all PCA colleagues. While we can all learn from one another, I am very hesitant to start dividing up and separating our “ethnic leaders.” One of the great joys in my congregation is the diversity represented there. We are Christians. I tend not to think about Christians in terms of their ethnic backgrounds, but rather in terms of who they are as Christian people.
Corporate and Global Missions
This one really disturbs me for a number of reasons, not least of which is the progressive (meant as a political movement) and PC tone of the wording. Apart from finding the phrase “How to Do Mission Corporately and Globally” (this includes learning from the
Most recently, we have heard very liberal politicians and pastors speaking more and more about global-this and global-that. The liberals speak frequently these days about “Global Governance.” If you haven’t heard that, you’ve been watching too much CNN. Everyone from President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Al Gore, and virtually every “czar” in the current administration drops the phrase “Global Governance” with a high degree of regularity. In terms of number 4 (no particular order, mind you), where do I find “the
If this question is referring to the universal Church of Jesus Christ, then it begs the question: Haven’t we been doing this all along in the PCA? What has MTW been trying to accomplish, if not this very thing? I am hesitant to adopt the language of the secularists on this and the so-called “undocumented worker” plane, but it appears that our headquarters has less trouble with it than I do. As negative as this plan is towards NAPARC, are we now going to go the route of a quasi-Reformed (we still haven’t figured out what Reformed is) World Council of Churches? I suspect not, but some clarification would be helpful. Once we get out our ecclesiastical GPS devices, we’ll probably have more success locating “the
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