A recent editorial in the Washington Post argues that the Presbyterian church should not have issued a resolution condemning the war in Iraq becuase he "feared it would have a polarizing effect. It was a divider, not a uniter."
I don't know if I would have been interested in this topic if it wasn't for a recent post on Larry's blog.
The editorial is interesting, I think, but I don't agree with it. Perhaps I'm more black and white than shades of gray, but I get frustrated with the idea that you can't say anything unless most people agree with it (though I can see why majority rule for a denominational resolution might be a good idea; if the denomination makes a resolution, shouldn't most of the denomination agree with it?). If the invasion of Iraq was "unwise, immoral and illegal" whatever the majority says does not matter.
In some ways, I have little sympathy for the Presbyterian church, in large part because of all the troubles the Episcopal church is having over the issue of consecrating a gay bishop. Then again, that was a majority decision -- but was it right? I don't know, but the pain it has caused is very real and it is continuing. I'm not saying they shouldn't have done it, though.
What is the function of clergy anyway? To speak the truth? To facilitate discussion? To save our souls? To guide us to mental health? To manage a church?