Nate:

You are right that as culture changes, the way we act out our life of faith can (and should) change. I guess that’s what being “relevant” is all about. However, we still need to reflect on what motivates our particular views on certain subjects: tithing, worship, women in leadership, homosexuality, the environment, etc. If we are not acting out of Christ’s Love, then we can assume that our cultural prejudices are getting in the way.

To me, that’s not being a “Cafeteria Christian.” My job, as I understand the Shorter Westminster Catechism is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” I am not sure I can adequately and faithfully accomplish this with prejudice in my heart.

So, I guess I have to ask the hard question: does my faith influence how I live in my particular cultural moment, or does my cultural moment dictate my faith? That’s a complex question, and I will constantly set myself up for ridicule if I say that my faith should always trump my culutral moment. But this is what I want for my life of faith–this is what I think Jesus says when he asks us to take up our cross . . .or, to “die to self.”

One last thing on the “women in church leadership” issue. The following passage comes from the “Brief Statement of Faith” of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It was created in the mid-80s and it can be used for public proclamation:

“We trust in God the Holy Spirit . . . the same spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles / rules our fatih and life in Christ through Scripture, / engages us through the Word proclaimed, / claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, / and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.”

That’s reconciliation. Amen.

the elder.

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