As of this writing, my denomination is holding its biennial General Assembly meeting in Detroit.
This meeting, comprising 500-plus elected pastors and elders from across the country, makes decisions for the whole denomination to live by or vote upon by regions.
I love being a Presbyterian, but it does not mean I like everything my denomination decides. This denomination has made decisions with which I have totally agreed, and decisions with which I have totally disagreed.
This year will be no different.
When I look at decisions made with which I disagree, it is because I find some matters go beyond what I believe a denomination should be doing — like becoming involved in international political affairs. Such matters are far too complex for the average church member to completely understand, let alone make an educated decision.
Manipulating scripture's interpretation to be more “politically correct” is another matter with which I disagree. There is a growing demand to interpret scripture in such a way that it will not be offensive to anyone. (This is not unique to Presbyterians.)
In essence, the tail is wagging the dog.
Society — including a small but very vocal, persuasive minority within my denomination — want to interpret scripture to coincide with current trends of permissiveness and political correctness. This causes one to wonder where the line will be drawn when it comes to understanding what God requires of his children.
God is loving, without question. God is compassionate, without question. At the same time, God has set boundaries within which we are expected to live.
Some find those boundaries too confining when it comes to their personal pursuits and pleasures, but at some point, someone has to put their foot down and say, “Enough is enough!”
And Jesus already did.
Being compassionate does not mean being permissive. Sometimes, “No!” is the most compassionate response.
Just as people don't like some this nation's laws, the laws still must be obeyed.
Though some people may not like God's expectations for humanity, His word still must be followed.
Remember, God is loving and compassionate. God is also just and holy.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s pastor.