- We are against homelessness.
- We are against hunger.
- We like apple pie. Note: This is not really one of our official stands, because some of us like pecan or coconut cream more than apple.
In a recent meeting of Presbyterians, we were debating drones. Some people pointed out that drones cause so much collateral damage that they are immoral. Others stated that they are less dangerous than having boots on the ground. One faithful man asked, “Are all of us willing to send our sons and daughters instead of a drone?”
My son was at the meeting but he’d left the room to get some water. When he returned and heard that people were debating drones, he leaned over to me and asked, “How many drones do the Presbyterians really have?”
He was half serious. Why in the world were the Presbyterians taking a stand on drones when 1) nobody really cares what Presbyterians think about drones and 2) do we really think we can come up with a stand on drones that every Presbyterian might agree on?
We can’t even agree on who gets to be an elder or deacon.
On the one hand, I understand that we want to have serious theological conversations about real life issues, but where do we begin and end?
- What’s our policy on twerking?
- What about plastic surgery?
- Do we have a common opinion about letting our kids play football?
- Are we taking a stand about Viagra?
I could make a case that each of those “issues” have spiritual ramifications and moral consequences.
The truth is that we Presbyterian Christians don’t all agree about war and peace, health care and diet, and smoking and drinking. Heck, we don’t agree about these things in my own little family.
So why do denominations take such stands that often divide us and exclude us? Anybody have wise answers on this?
Note: I’ve edited this a bit since it first went out this morning, mostly because I felt my first version was too flippant. Global issues are important and are not to be taken lightly, and I don’t want to give the impression that they are. Nevertheless, I still wonder about the pros and cons of taking stances on complex issues as if we have one voice. (This is also why we have Minority Reports at General Assemblies, but if few people understand our official stands, fewer still understand minority reports.)