A conversation with Wes, our General Secretary.
Actually it's a selection from his report tonight with a few [responses of mine] thrown in...
Where are we going as the RCA? Commitment to follow Jesus can change everything. When the church gets settled and seeks to preserve the status quo, vitality is lost and life is boring.
Our confessions are dated.
[WRONG - we just won't listen to them.]
Election often produces closed communities that don't evangelize.
[This is an unnecessary distortion of good doctrine].
But positively, relationships are revelatory.
[what does THAT mean? In a secondary sense, yes, we can learn things from others about God's will, but never over the revelation of Scripture].
We must be reformed and missional. This is the vision; we need the strategy of Our Call (10-year plan for growth: 2003-2013). Pastor networks are the best denominational development of Wes' 12 years as general secretary. Congregational revival begins with ministerial revival. Are our structures impeding our mission?
[Does this include presbyterian polity? Already we are moving to table discussions as more missional and cooperative than Robert's Rules of Order (too debate/decide/argue oriented). I don't like this direction.]
Rejecting racism isn't a politically correct agenda, but faithfulness to Jesus' Lordship.
[Why can't he see that declaring homosexual behavior sinful, with Scripture, also is faithful to Jesus' Lordship?]
Congregations are focusing on local mission to the detriment of global connectedness and mission.
[Amen to that.]
There is a new reformed presence in Myanmar (Burma) after they visited our website and then our seminaries. Global links are fragile, due to many options for mission dollars. RCA congregations give twice as much to non-RCA missions as to RCA missions.
[This is likely due to a suspicion that the liberal leadership is producing an equally liberal social gospel mission identity. Whether it is or not I'm not very qualified to say. Not in some cases, like Words of Hope.]
Congregations get easily wrapped up in themselves: their vision is bigger and better parking, better choir or better church dinners.
[Again, Amen to this! He who seeks to save his life/congregation/denomination will lose it.]
We are not about the institutional survival of the RCA. We are about meeting needs outside our walls.
[Then why did the homosexual dialogue facilitator say that the goal is to keep us together? This doesn't jive.]
God has given each of us unique gifts and skills, but also purposes in our hearts that line up with His mission. Line up your skills and purpose with God's mission.
Neal Plantinga (Calvin Seminary president): God's mission is about affections of the heart more than ideas of the head.
[This is dangerous ground: putting feelings above truth.]
Well, that's my conversation. More tomorrow.