Touché April 15, 2016
Posted on April 15, 2016 by under Touché,


I Must Be Crazy!

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Jesus)

I must be crazy!  That is what I thought this week as I left Wednesday at the Well.  Why would I be so foolish as to step into the homosexuality debate in our own church while it rages everywhere else I go?  I was reminded of 1999 when I stood in almost the same place and tried to navigate through the same issue with HRC when a former choir director wrote a letter to the entire church in which he described not being re-considered for employment because of his sexuality.  This past Wednesday night some people, who have been a part of this church for a long time, are concerned with what was said on Sunday and what this means for our congregation.  Why would I step back into that place again sixteen years later?

I’m not crazy!  I realized that on Thursday morning as I went to a meeting of our Regional Synod.  The President and Vice President of the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America were there to talk about any issues we wanted to raise.  Guess what we talked about? Most every question was about the “Jerusalem Council” that is meeting right now in Chicago. The council’s task is to find a way forward for the RCA on the issue of homosexuality.  Those on the left and the right are saying there is no way we can continue to live together with those who have opposing views.  Evan and Dan (the President and V.P.) both confessed that after nine months of  listening to people on this topic they see little hope for compromise.  They are looking for a miracle and they say that it is what it will take.

Therefore, in God’s providence, we are dealing with this issue in a way that sets us up for a more significant decision that we may need to make as a church.  We will hear from the Reverend Jen Bendelius in two Wednesdays as she returns from the Jerusalem Council.  That council is supposed to bring a definitive recommendation to the General Synod in June.  I am glad that Hopewell will have some time together to process what all this means.

Just on another crazy note, I opened Facebook today to see a post from Higher Educational Chronicle that said: “Hostile Takeover at Hope College: Students and faculty members fear the president they admire, who has focused on liberal arts and moved away from hostility toward gay people, may be ousted.”  I am on the board in the midst of confidential conversations that get interpreted this way.  Further down on the feed is the headline: “T.D. Jakes Comes Out for “Gay Rights” and “LGBT Churches,” Says Position is “Evolving”.  Jakes is a famous African-American preacher who will be featured at the Willow Creek Summit this year.

Our only hope is to return to the Bible and the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount as he calls his followers to live with the spirit of the kingdom of God in our hearts reflected in our actions.  The only thing that is not crazy are the words of Jesus to us.  May we live into those as we hear them again on Sunday and may we love as Jesus loved.

In Him,