Friday, May 12, 2006

"God's Heart is Broken" by PSW Decision Declares Dr. Medley; Wishes PSW Well as It Leaves


VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS)—The Board of Directors of the American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest (ABCPSW) voted at a meeting on May 11, 2006 to withdraw from the Covenant of Relationships and Agreements with the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA).

"PSW had been moving in this direction for some time over theological differences, " said Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of ABCUSA. "God's heart is broken when sisters and brothers in Christ divide over matters of scriptural interpretation. We pray God's blessing on PSW as they go their way from the ABC family." Medley added that "this parting of the ways will not diminish our passion, commitment and undaunted spirit to move forward in mission and ministry."

I always wonder when church leaders baldly declare the Lord's opposition to separation over issues of scriptural interpretation. Surely Dr. Medley does not believe what he writes? If divison over matters of biblical interpretation breaks God's heart, does not that imply that we ought to undo all such organizational heartaches? And, if so, why does Dr. Medley devote so much time to defending "Baptist" polity anyhow?

Isn't it a matter of "scriptural interpretation" that causes us to have a Valley Forge headquarters instead of simply joining with the Presbyterians, Methodists, or Lutherans? If all such organizational distinctions are hurtful to the Lord and, therefore, ipso facto, wrong, let us encourage Dr. Medley to move with all dispatch to propose union with all professing Christians, regardless of their various "interpretations" of the Bible (including the LDS).

Perhaps we should immediately discard Baptist distinctives in favor of organizational union that would presumably go a long way toward mending the broken heart of God. Matters such as "soul liberty" would become not only insignificant differences of "interpretation," but irrelevant once we unite with all professing Christians and accept the role of the Holy Father in Rome.

And, if differences of scriptural understanding and core beliefs are not sufficient grounds for separation, what on earth would be? Indeed, every ecumenical council of the early church involved delineating differences "in scriptural interpretation." Dr. Medley's words resonate on the rhetorical and affective levels but prove meaningless when subjected to analysis.

["His Barking Dog" takes some differences of interpretation as justifiable grounds for organizational separation even though I still have no authority to speak for the hierarchy of the new Transformation Ministries (aka ABCPSW)]


C.Stephen said...

Dennis, that was a softball but you hit it out of the park.
Keep barking. Good dog.

Italian-Swamp-Yankee said...

My Italian side would applaud your efforts to encourage VF to repent and reunify with the Church of England; and after that, return to Rome. My Wonder-Bread Baptist side would hold their hearts at the thought of undoing hundreds of years of "taking a stand" in Protest(antism) -- and worse of all for the sake of theological flippancies of the "unity-at-any-cost" crowd.

I will lovingly tell both sides of the family you were being facetious for a point.
Like Steve said, "Keep barking. Good dog." You get a big Ole Scooby-snack

Kudos to the PSW’ites for taking a stand. Shame, shame, shame to the Neo-Baptists for their unbalanced Baptistic polity. Your heavy weighted autonomy/soul liberty emphasis has tipped the ABC ship where it’s sinking innocent people. Only a returning the sails of biblical authority will balance your ship to restore to the grand, fast-moving denomination you once were. It’s not too late captain(s).

revdrron said...

Bro Dennis have you noticed how your picture on this blog and that of Mr. Medley’s on this post appear hauntingly alike? Try the little rapid eye exercise of darting back & forth between the two. Not only are they remarkably similar photo shots but I find this eye- work-out mildly hypnotic. Stuff like, where you go I will go and your God will be my God come to mind.

enjoy, ron