No More Tiers in Heaven


The Fellowship Gathering in Minneapolis last month has elicited much deserved praise.  What a joy to be among 2000 like-minded Christians certain that they were worshiping the same God together!  How uplifting to join voices in unfettered honor of our Lord and King!  I deeply appreciated the leadership given to thoughtful, inspirational and Christ-centered worship.

Also praiseworthy was the radically profound teaching from Scripture presented by Ken Bailey — for me, it was the highlight of a tightly-packed two days.  I wish we had had more opportunity for wisely chosen, biblical input in pursuit of divine guidance.

I’m grateful as well for the carefully crafted structures to involve all participants in small group discussions, which resulted in some new insights and some promising friendships.

And of course, running into old friends and fellow evangelicals proved to be a spiritual oasis in a denomination which for me appears increasingly as a desert.

I am grateful for all these blessings — indeed the emotional and spiritual enthusiasm I experienced along with many others was so powerful that I fear it may have short-circuited our critical faculties.  While the experience of being together in worship and fellowship was so exquisite and profound, I wonder if our assessments of the options offered by the Fellowship may be inordinately colored by those positive emotions.

At this point, I am not enamored with the “tiered” approach offered by the Fellowship for four reasons:

1) Although there has been much talk of seeking the mind of Christ, I found little evidence that we were gathered in Minneapolis for that reason.  Instead, our admittedly limited time was crammed with the best of human plans, all geared to offer as much help as possible to people and churches in a wide variety of settings.  The watchwords of the meeting were “context” and “situation.”  The four major tiers were presented as options among which we could choose depending on what was best for us in our context.  By the standards of wordly reason and human logic this made good sense.  We, however, are Christians who claim that our desire is to walk according to the will of our Master.  Not once was the question addressed: “What does Jesus Christ will us to do as an evangelical community in response to the direction of the PCUSA?”  It seems to me that since the mind of Christ is not divided, He must have one intention for us.  Yet we were not willing to wrestle with that question.  Instead, we were given a number of options sanctioned by our unofficial leaders, and told that we could rightly choose among them depending on “what worked best for us in our context.”  Wouldn’t the more biblical approach be to decide what Christ is calling us together to do, and then figure out from our own individual contexts what it is going to take for us to get where he is calling us to go?  I fear we have been listening more in this process to the Zeitgeist of American entrepreneurial individualism than to the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

2) The Fellowship leadership has offered these options as if they are achievable goals.  Yet much is outside our control as far as denominational approval of alternate structures.  If such approval is given, whether to form overlay presbyteries or parallel ordaining and installing structures within presbyteries or even to recognize a “New Reformed Body” so that churches so wishing could be transfered out of the PCUSA into it, all of this will take time.  And time is precisely what those most aggrieved with the present realities of this denomination feel they do not have.  Given the lack of graciousness in the actions of many presbyteries to date, I wonder why we should believe that future decisions from those bodies and upcoming General Assemblies would approve Fellowship-inspired structures that could undermine or derail the present trajectories of the liberal wing of the church.  Despite what the Fellowship is presently saying, even after a New Reformed Body is constitutionally created in January no PCUSA congregation would be able to transfer out of the PCUSA into the NRB, if I read my polity correctly.  That New Reformed Body (NRB) would first have to be recognized officially by the PCUSA, something which could only be done by a legally convened GA.  Since the denomination is not going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to call a special meeting of the last GA, the earliest this could be taken up would be next summer at the 2012 GA in Pittsburgh.  My guess is the most likely outcome would be to refer the motion to a task force for a report and decision at the 2014 GA.  Since churches can only be dismissed to other recognized Reformed bodies (I’m assuming this is still the case in our new Form of Government), the NRB would remain essentially an empty warehouse at least till then.  No PCUSA churches could be dismissed to it — to the EPC, CRC, RCA, etc., yes; to the NRB, no.  Who among the disenfranchised is going to wait around so long to sunder ties with a denomination they have lost faith in?

3) The Fellowship movement has put the cart before the horse ecclesiologically.  According to our Reformed understanding, it is a serious sin to bring division into the body of Christ.  It is wrong to create one more denomination unless one can argue persuasively that the body to which we presently belong has become apostate.  Yet at the August Gathering, the Fellowship leaders almost tripped over themselves to get to the microphone first to declare that “Louisville is not the problem”, that “we have established good friendships with members of Covenant Network,” that “we are not here to denigrate the denomination….”  If we are not willing to declare the PCUSA apostate, then we have no business planning a new denomination, no matter how many friendly ties we say we want to maintain with the PCUSA.  Either we remain and seek to reform, because the PCUSA is still part of the true church, or we shake the dust off our feet and leave, because it has become apostate.  But we cannot affirm the legitimacy of the PCUSA and affirm the rightness of a decision to create a new denomination at the same time.

4) It seems to me that all of the tiered options end up “damning the PCUSA with faint praise.”  In the process we demonstrate that we are not all that committed to the unity of the body.  In option 1, we argue that since the stench of the larger denomination has not yet invaded the relatively evangelical presbytery to which we happen to belong, we are content to stay and minister in our own little sandbox.  Who cares about the health of the whole body as long as things still work fine in the little finger of which we are a part?  In option 2, we argue that if we evangelical churches can band together regionally to form our own presbyteries so that we can sweep clean the stench from our geographical region, then again we can pretend that all is well, even as the rest of the body to which we are attached continues to rot away.  In option 3 we look for an intervention which will give us some say in how our little body part will function, while sharing that function with an alien mind which will sometimes have it do the opposite of what we want.  In option 4, we say the whole body is basically okay, but we would rather be grafted on to a new body.  We’re awfully sorry that the old body will have to do without its big toe on one foot, but we would like to start fresh on a new foot.  The problem with each of these tiers is that we demonstrate that we really do not love our denomination enough to fight for its return to health — we are only concerned with preserving our contentment or agenda as long as we can.  What kind of ecclesiology is that?  We are not being honest with the rest of the church.  Either we are committed to the whole denomination, or we are not.  If we are not, we must ask why, and if the reasons are not good enough we must deal with our sinfulness before the Lord in not committing our full support to His church.  But let’s end the game-playing of saying we have no axe to grind with the denomination while at the same time sharpening our axes to sever ties.

My biggest disappointment with the Gathering’s tiers is that there was no consideration of the possibility that Jesus’ purpose for us might be that we band together and use the formidable resources He has given us to reclaim the denomination for its original biblical and Christ-centered mandate.  I’ve made no secret of my conclusion that the PCUSA as an institution is presently apostate.  Departure to a faithful wing of the true church is a legitimate option. But staying to wrest the denomination back from those who are tearing it from its moorings is also a faithful option, and the one which I believe Jesus calls us to follow.

I wish the Gathering had been called to debate and decide this fundamental issue, and that as an evangelical body we had fused our minds and hearts around one unified purpose, convinced that this was Jesus’ command for us with regard to the PCUSA.  If the consensus was to pick up and leave en masse, I would have joined obediently.  If the consensus was to stay and reclaim, I would have joined with joyful obedience.  But instead we got tiers — tiers so we could pursue whatever “works best in our own context.”

I’m consoled by the truth that the Lord Jesus remains head of His church, and that in the end all will be well.  There will be no more tiers in heaven.  Till then, let’s continue to pray and engage in the daily battle.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to No More Tiers in Heaven

  1. presbyrista says:

    Thank you for this analysis – I was there and I understand what you meant by the power of worship together with like-minded people; it was quite overwhelming, in a positive way. I also heard some folks express their frustration with not having an opportunity to seek the mind of God together – or perhaps the organizers thought if we were there, we’d already “done that.” As for being in a hurry with no place to go or way to get there, I think there were a lot of pastors who would go, but whose churches weren’t ready for one reason or another; I ran into a couple of pastors whose churches were in a hurry to go, but whose pastors were more cautious about the rocky road ahead. My congregation has a long learning curve.

    Like

  2. Once again, Mateen, in your blog you have distilled an experience down to its essence. I wonder…was this a missed opportunity to join in a lengthy time of prayer, seeking to know the will of God in this matter? With so many potential prayer warriors present, surely discernment would arise.

    I am reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:15-16: The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

    Thank you for sharing your heart on this crucial matter.

    Like

  3. Matreen, I, too, have doubts re the ‘tiers’ offered at the Gathering and reported by various participants. “How in the world,” I have asked myself, “would such splintering into contextual avenues resolve the deeply seated problems in the PCUSA?” You have focused the concerns for us — for me at least. My opinion: there is no way this multi-tiered approach will work in a manner that will produce peace; rather, it will further splinter the church. I think you are absolutely correct: either (1) stay in the church and work for reform or (2) leave. A major issue in ‘leaving” is the unwillingness of many evangelical leaders to give up $$$, pension and power. Thus, if a New Reformed Body is constituted, you can bet your next pay check that their $$$, pension and power issues will be protected. “Seek ye first…etc…?”

    Like

  4. Alan Wisdom says:

    Thanks so much, Mateen. It’s a great title, but also a probing reflection on our situation. We evangelicals, too, can often focus on utilitarian calculations rather than biblical faithfulness. I do believe, however, that it is possible that God could be calling some churches and church officers to go in one direction ecclesiastically and others to go in a different direction, depending upon their contexts. For instance, if you’re a pastor and you have a strong call from the LORD to care for your flock (to which you have taken vows), and it’s clear that your flock is not going to be able or willing to leave the PCUSA, God might be call you to stay by that flock even in what you are convinced is an apostate denomination.
    On the other hand, I do agree with you about the disjunction between the promises of “no stinky talk” and the preparations to differentiate from the PCUSA. In the end, it will come down to a hard binary choice: Either you’re all in with the PCUSA, or you’re all out. I would be a little more indulgent than you of the Fellowship leaders’ desire to avoid or postpone such a choice; however, someday they will each have to seek the LORD’s will to make that choice wisely. That day may come sooner rather than later.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Alan, you always bring so much grace to the equation. Thank you for tempering my thoughts. Yet I still think it is vital to ask the question, “Does following the will of Christ mean making hard decisions which will perhaps set father against son, mother against daughter, etc., so that even in a local church a pastor and his/her flock must make potentially divisive decisions?” If the choice is inevitable, what good does it do to avoid or postpone it? Help me understand this further.

      Like

      • Jake Horner says:

        I believe that the will of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is One. Yet I also believe that His will could be more nuanced than “you’re either on the bus, or off the bus.” His picture is much bigger than ours, and His purpose more subtle. For these reasons I personally am hesitant to act too fast. There is room for applying differing degrees of pressure to the PCUSA through the tier system in graduated fashion. I hope that every evangelically minded congregation would find some place they could fit comfortably for a season.

        I don’t think the PCUSA can continue on as it has fiscally, She is going to run out of money sooner than later. And when that happens the faithful remnant will be there to pick up the pieces. And in the meantime we are the voice crying out in the wilderness make smooth the way of the LORD.

        I believe that in our unity with Christ that His Holiness is ours, His righteousness is ours, His purity is ours, just as our unrighteousness, unholiness, and impurity is His by grace. We have no need to bolt for the door immediately, lest we be soiled by the muck coming out of the PCUSA. We can’t be soiled, because the holiness, righteousness, and purity are not ours to begin with, they are Christ’s and we participate in His attributes in union with Him through the power of the Holy Spirit.

        I also consider the parable of the wheat and tares. The parable makes clear that at the end of the age the Farmer will separate wheat from tares, but until then we are to co-exist in the same field. The initiative to separate belongs with the Farmer, not with the wheat of the field. (Or with the tares of the field).

        Because of our union with Christ, a congregation’s holiness is intact, for it it Christ’s and not hers. It is the Farmer’s will that wheat and tares rub ears until such time as the Farmer judges it to be harvest time.

        But that doesn’t mean we sit tight and don’t make our displeasure known. I am all in favor of withholding per capita. I am in favor of stinky prophetic talk that challenges the hermeneutical morass we are in, that calls people out when they try and lay some leftist claptrap on Jesus’ bride. Yet even in this let us remember that “The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes” (Deu 1:30 ESV). Jesus is the one who goes before us, He Himself will fight the battle, and He will prevail. It is my prayer that we will discern the will of Jesus and in the obedience of love follow Him where He is going.

        Like

  5. Peter Larson says:

    Thanks, Mateen, for providing clarity amid so much confusion, ambiguity and theological contradiction. If you read the critique I posted on the “Together” site after Minneapolis I made many of the same points. I think we are exactly on the same page. I think the problem is we are seeking some political fix to this crisis, rather than a spiritual, theological and Biblical response. Our first duty is to defend the truth of the Gospel – everything else is secondary. It reminds me of the young Christian who was having great difficulty obeying one of the commands of Christ and complained, “I have to live, don’t I?” Tertullian replied: “Do you?” Our life, property, careers and survival are of no impotance whatsoever and as Jesus warned, he or she who tries to save his life will surely lose it.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Peter, I need to read your comments. Your mind seems especially geared to strategy and tactics, in addition to theological musings. I’m not very strong on answering the question, “How do we gather like-minded evangelicals to rally and reclaim the PCUSA?” Where do we begin? I want to be of help, if someone can provide the practical steps!

      Like

  6. Leon says:

    B/c of the hostility from several in our presbytery, I am not comfortable using my full name to reply here. I was not able to attend the Fellowship Gathering; were any results of the Fellowship leaders’ conversations w/ Louisville shared with the body? -esp regarding the separate but under the pcusa umbrella options?

    “I’ve made no secret of my conclusion that the PCUSA as an institution is presently apostate.” I tend to agree but would add that each presbytery I’ve been in, has had some faithful Christ- followers. In one presbytery, the majority voted evangelical consistently. However, w/ the recent change in ordination standards, those presbyteries are now the minority.

    My fear for the future is that w/ some evangelicals leaving, that the PCUSA will gradually shift even more to the left, making it harder for the remaining remnant.
    Mateen, thanks for your insight & perspective. I will continue to seek the Master’s direction for myself & those around me. I continue to pray for u & the Fellowship leaders.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Leon, to say that an institution itself is apostate does not negate the truth that there are still signficant numbers of true believers in its midst. It simply means that the trajectory of the institution is toward increasing darkness and it has in practice (if not in word) rejected truths essential to the orthodox faith. At least, that’s my working definition….

      Like

  7. Alan Wisdom says:

    I think, Mateen, that it might be justified to postpone a decision in this situation. A pastor sees clearly that he must leave the denomination, but his congregation and other like-minded congregations have not yet reached that point. They need to go through a process of prayer and study and discussion to make this difficult decision. (There may be a particular need for information if the pastor has not kept his congregation informed about the situation in the denomination, as sadly has been the case in many instances, thus weakening the efforts for its reform.) If he forced a decision now, it would split his congregation in a way that would be both painful and damaging to its ministries. In that situation, the pastor might be wise to postpone the decision. But he should move toward it by initiating the process of discernment.
    I sense that this is precisely the situation of a number of the pastors who are leading the Fellowship, and I’m willing to give them time. In meantime, however, I agree with you that they might have used the Minneapolis meeting to engage the attendees in the process of discernment that must go before the hard choices that lie ahead. The refusal to speak hard truths (in love) about the PCUSA did not aid that process.
    On the other hand, those of us who are committed to staying in the PCUSA and trying to speak and act amidst its confusion in ways that are biblically faithful have no need to delay decisions. We can declare our intentions, as I have done. I don’t believe the PCUSA is apostate, but it has fallen into “pernicious error” that has grave consequences.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Alan, you’ve laid out a very convincing scenario. I agree that time needed to bring the flock to the point of an informed decision must be given. Discernment in the end, however, as you note, must lead to a decision.

      When does pernicious error with its grave consequences cross the line into apostasy? I guess that’s the $64 question.

      Like

  8. Greg Wiest says:

    Thanks for your analysis. I would agree that there are really only two choices. Stay and affiliate with the Fellowship or leave the denomination and join the NRB. My understanding is that the NRB will join the World Association of Reformed Churches and will thus be “in fellowship” with the NRB. This does not take a move of the GA. If the denomination were to be turned around, its not for lack of evangelicals who have tried over the last 30 years. It appears that God has withdrawn his favor from the PCUSA judging by the numbers alone. The majority has chosen to drop Biblical traditional ordination standards. This is not the only area where we have erred. I agree that a more definitive decision as to what God would have us do would be helpful.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Greg, if you are right about the linkage through the World Communion of Reformed Churches meaning that the PCUSA automatically recognizes it as a legitimate Reformed body, then that would solve a significant procedural problem for churches wanting to be dismissed. Do you know this for sure?

      As far as evangelicals working to change the PCUSA over the last 30+ years, I agree with you that over time many small groups have made Herculean efforts, but never has the evangelical community as a whole banded together with a strategy to utilize all its resources and energies to reclaim the whole denomination. Instead, we’ve fought small battles over particular issues, and fragmented over strategies, and allowed our resources to be drained by extraneous matters. Were we to unite with one vision — not two (some stay, some go) — I think God would honor such a vision with success.

      Like

      • Greg Wiest says:

        Amen!! I am all for a united front. My hope is that the FOP will be such a vehicle for this. The WARC membership for the NRB is what I have heard as the vehicle for the fellowship with the PCUSA from a number of folks who attended the gathering. I was not at the gathering so my information is secondhand.

        Like

  9. As usual, Mateen, an excellent summary. Thank you for your clarity. You are a blessing to many of us who have grown tired of politically-correct double-talk.
    Like many others, I enjoyed the fellowship and worship in Minneapolis. It was wonderful, and most refreshing, not to have to parse what everyone was saying. It’s very tiring having to decode messages hidden in key words and phrases. We seemed, by and large, to be on the same page theologically.
    We were not on the same page in terms of our context. That’s presumably why the condemnation of error was muted. In order to maintain relationships with those who will say “yea” or “nay” on the release of churches with property, the leaders of the Fellowship decided to be as “wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.” In human terms, it makes perfect sense to refrain from invective in order to win the greater prize of liberty with property. However, we’re not called to operate on the basis of human calculations, but in obedience to divine will. You’re right – the only justifiable reason for setting up a new Reformed body is that the old body is, in some sense, falling into disobedience. If you don’t make the case for apostasy (however it is defined) then it is difficult to issue a rallying call to something new. I can see why the leaders of the Fellowship would be hesitant, but that condition cannot continue for long. The constitutional documents for the new Reformed body must state, clearly and carefully, the rationale for such a body. And they absolutely must differentiate between the old body and the new. For me, the most worrying language in Minneapolis concerned a “permeable barrier” between the two. Many of us do not want a permeable barrier, (except in as much as wounded comrades would continue to be able to slip away from a compromised denomination to a community of like-minded believers). Many of us would prefer a wall. And if, in the end, that separation costs us dearly, then that will be the price our conscience will require us to pay.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Alan, I agree with you completely on the Fellowship leadership seeking to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves with regard to the denominational leadership and liberal wing of the church. In terms of the permeable barrier, they present it as permeable in both directions, but I think in reality they believe the osmosis will occur only in one direction. Since churches in the NRB will own their own property, however, they will be free to come and go as they please. Thanks for sharing your insights with me!

      Like

  10. Dave Moody says:

    Thanks again Mateen. A trenchant analysis, very helpful. And anytime one can reference both our Lord and Clapton in the title, its gotta be good. You’re a blessing brother.

    Like

  11. Thank you for an excellent analysis of the recent Fellowship Gathering. I was there and enjoyed the event immensely, but I went hoping there would be a “Thus saith the Lord” moment to speak clearly to the state of denomination. Your Evangelical Declaration was an excellent model for the type of statement that was needed. It never happened, nor was it even considered. There were lots of statements like “how a line has been crossed” and “the landscape is drastically altered,” but nothing definitive to state to our brothers and sisters in the PCUSA that the denomination is now embracing biblical and theological error and that IT is schismatic, not its constituent evangelical congregations. The original Open Letter and White Paper from the leaders of the Fellowship served this purpose somewhat, but an additional statement is also needed post the approval of 10-A. Whatever else is going on, I believe the first obligation of ordained officers of the denomination is to define biblical truth and call the rest of the body to repentance and joyful reconciliation. Evangelicals need to be banding together as one voice to call the body to health, or to get expelled for the effort if the body proves impervious to reform.

    My own reading of the state of denomination comes from the Letter to the Churches in Revelation 2. Like Thyatira, we are doing some great things, but we tolerate (the NT doesn’t use that word as a positive trait) grievous sexual and other deviations, and Jesus is not pleased. Likewise with Ephesus, we are doing some good things, but we have lost our first love, which includes love for the gospel and biblical truth, and the overall evaluation from the Risen Lord is therefore negative. In fact Jesus threatens to “remove the lampstand” of the church (the biblical equivalent to “pulling the plug”) if it does not repent and change its ways. I believe Jesus is doing just that with the PCUSA and its rapid decline. If He did not spare the church in Ephesus, which is now an historic artifact, He won’t spare the PCUSA either.

    Though some ecclesiastical dithering with various “tiers” may be momentarily helpful, it does not address the main issue, which is the spiritual health of the larger body. If we have the love of Jesus in our hearts, we must call our brothers and sisters in our little branch of the Church Universal back to historic theological and moral orthodoxy. If the larger body can be reclaimed, we have no need for new structures. If it cannot be reformed, then it new structures are not the ultimate solution.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Michael, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Of course I am in full agreement with you. The big question then becomes, “How do we rally the troops to the work of reclaiming this denomination for Christ?” Whatever ideas you have, I am all ears!

      Like

  12. Mateen,
    As usual, you are thinking clearly about these things, in the light of revealed truth, and stating them clearly, too. Thanks so much. I agree with you in a lot of your analysis; but I’m more sanguine about the traction (are there “tires,” at least, in heaven?) that the NRB can get, and more hopeful that it will. There was much, indeed, to celebrate in Minneapolis. Not least for me was the fresh vision (like that with which I came away from the first PGF gathering in Atlanta some years back) of the immense liberation – for worship, for fellowship, for service – that’s waiting for us in a new connectionalism rooted in singleness of mind and spirit (I prefer that to “like-mindedness”), evangelical unity, and missional partnership. But I was disappointed, too, I confess, that we didn’t – at a minimum – fashion a simple Barmen-like statement, to make explicit what is now non-negotiable for us in the PCUSA’s current crisis. We owed that, in my judgment, to ourselves, to our (for now, at least) co-religionists in the PCUSA, and to the world. I would have wanted one with both affirmations and renunciations; I can think of three such pairs, one Christological/soteriological, one bibliological, one anthropological – along the lines of those crafted in the so-called ‘Confessing Movement’ one or two volleys back in the ordination standards trench-warfare. Is that anywhere close to the risky articulation of “the mind of Christ” in all this for which you were hoping, too?
    But I do not smell anything like “the Zeitgeist of American entrepreneurial individualism” that you fear is lurking in, if not driving, the Fellowship’s strategic choices. On the contrary – and this may stem, in part, from (I’m almost ashamed to remember) my early years in ministry as a quasi-Marxist, Alinsky-type community organizer – I rather like the recognition that the task before us is inherently political, that, given the reality that any rebirth of the connectionalism we long for must begin at the “grass roots,” context is everything here.
    It seems to me, in other words, that you want to think still too much in terms of “denominations,” when – if I’m not daft, and if I’m hearing the Fellowship’s leaders agreeing with me (am I?) – that way now lies a dead end. If it is, indeed, a “post-denominational age” that we’ve entered, then there is no ‘denominational fix’ for us, whether you would seek it in “the renewal of the PCUSA” (as, in the classic and continuing sense, a denomination) or departure to some other Reformed denomination. Think, instead, I would counsel, in terms of presbyteries: of living, breathing, missionally-fired, Spirit-united, “grass roots” collectives, of worshipping, fellowshipping, learning, growing, collaborating, and replicating Presbyterian congregations. There is no way ahead now that does not pass through the work we all have to do, right where we are, where you are, where I am, to build them. Whether you’re in a nearly-homogeneously evangelical presbytery (like, say, Santa Barbara or San Diego) or in a lonely evangelical outpost (like the one I just left in Santa Fe), there’s no substitute for getting on with building the kind of connectionalism that alone fits us for service to Christ in the 21st century, and from which we’ve allowed ourselves, God forgive us, to be for so long distracted. (This, by the way, is another argument for charity in our posture toward the PCUSA: we have met the enemy, and he is we!)
    The denomination is, indeed, in my judgment, apostate: I agree with you entirely, and see nothing to gain in mincing words about it. But what difference does it make? The PCUSA, like her old-line counterparts, is, if not dead already, mortally ill. This is not to say that she might not bite us still, like a back-broken rattler! But why not simply get on with the urgent task at hand, building, from the ground up, a genuine connectionalism that will alone be adequate for the Lord’s service in the 21st century, and will alone satisfy our hungry, Presbyterian hearts, inside the shell of the dead/dying institution? “Tiers,” it seems to me, is an altogether inapt description of what it will take to get after it; “Tactical Avenues,” or the like, where they’re matched to the different contexts that confront us close to home, might better serve.
    I say: by all means, build the NRB, as long as it’s from the ground up. Claim the liberty that we have – under “relief of conscience,” and under a reading of the NFoG that grants a lot of local latitude for the sake of missional faithfulness – to withhold or deny what we must, to absent ourselves and our resources from every now-meaningless or theologically compromised participation in the PCUSA or her adjuncts, and to bend every Spiritual and material resource, every sinew, every dollar, every brain cell, to a new collaboration in the Lord, with one another, with other Reformed bodies, brothers, and sisters, and with the partners who are waiting for us in the global church. There may certainly be a price to pay for the ecclesial resistance and subversion; on the other hand, the more of us who commit to it, the less ugly, I suspect, the backlash will be. And if this be treason, let us make the most of it!
    Warmly, in our Lord,
    Harry Chronis

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Harry, I really like the tenor and practicality of what you envision. But if this is really now a post-denominational age (which I don’t believe), then why should we retain the title or connection with the PCUSA? Only because to dissociate would mean property battles? If the PCUSA is truly apostate, and denominations are dinosaurs anyway, shouldn’t we try to hasten her downfall, so that we are then freed up to align ourselves with more mobile, life-giving, organic groupings (I like your vision of presbyteries)? But if denominations will continue for the foreseeable future, and the PCUSA could be reclaimed, wouldn’t it be worth the effort? How do we discern our Lord’s will in this matter?

      Together with you I yearned for a “risky articulation of the mind of Christ” at the Gathering, something Barmen-like. Forging a document like that would have been unifying, I believe.

      Tires in heaven? I like that. There may be — but one thing’s for sure, there won’t be any made by Firestone. As their name indicates, they have cornered the market in eternity’s other location…..

      Like

      • Mateen,
        I certainly agree that, technically, it can’t be a “post-denominational age” until the last adherent in the last of these decrepit institutions gives up the ghost; and we probably toss the term around far too carelessly (as if any of us, rarely around for even a century, can get a long view of the culture). But the term is tossed around, quite a bit actually, and not just by me. Moreover, I was merely suggesting that we’ve “entered” a post-denominational age (I think that’s what I said, in fact), and I bet that you’d concede this as, at least, a possibility. There’s plenty aggressivley corroding them now, to be sure, the decentralizing effects of space-age mobility and digital telecommunications among the most-often cited. But I reckon the collapse of Christian culture to be the chief driver: against a mostly Christian background, we had to pick theological nits to define ourselves over against one another (once we stopped following Cain, and literally braining one another); but who imagines that these old identifiers matter much with barbarians at the gates? Truth is, you and I have more Biblical and theological kinship with the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant readers of a journal like Touchstone than we do with a great many “colleagues” in the PCUSA. And that has to mean something, to you, too, I would think.
        Remember, too, that the dinosaurs probably all died in a fortnight (well, it might have been a little longer than that). The old-line denominations – and let’s take the PCUSA as an illustration – are more like your Aunt Hilda, sleeping a lot later these days, and often forgetting who you are: there’s no telling how long she might hang on, but, for all practical purposes, it’s a “post-Aunt Hilda” world you’re living in now, much as that may sadden and disorient you.
        My point: The proper hope for the PCUSA, it seems to me, is not that she will somehow “get well.” She cannot – not in her current form, not as an aged, atrophied, apostate old-line denomination, for whom there is no going back to the glory days of the 1950’s. Accordingly, if what you want us to do is to wait with her, faithfully and dutifully, while she dies the death that she must die, I am with you all the way; I don’t intend to leave. But the proper hope for her now is resurrection: she must emerge transformed into a vibrant, lean, Scripture-formed, Spirit-filled, mission-fired connectionalism. And you don’t get that from the top down; you only get it from the bottom up. So, if you want to shoot new life into what is now not much more than an empty shell, you do it precisely by posturing yourself toward the “denomination,” such that you’re “connecting where you can [think of Aunt Hilda, having a good day] and differentiating where you cannot [think of her believing she’s fine driving her old Mercury];” by eschewing polity battles (so long as there is no evangelical unity, or even mutual submission in the Lord), ignoring bureaucratic jazz, and refusing theological and/or moral compromise; and by getting on with building the authentic “grass roots” connectionalism that alone, in time, might transform her. Are there truly no tires in heaven to give this traction? Surely, there are!

        Like

      • By the way, Mateen – I forgot to mention this, which may actually lend it some credence (!) – I couldn’t care less about property. I was a “house-church” kind of guy, early on, so I’m probably still pretty much deaf to that old “American entrepreneurial individualistic Zeitgeist” – you know the one I’m talking about?
        Fondly, in our Lord,
        Harry

        Like

      • Jake Horner says:

        How about an age in which denominations are in for some much needed transformation? or Reformation? or Adaptive change?

        Like

      • Mateen,
        I’m noticing that Michael Armistead (9/17 post) seems to share your rosier-than-my view of the PCUSA’s viability and usability, and your disinclination toward calling this a “post-denominational” ecclesial age: “On paper it is a good system (or it was until our latest votes). In reality it has become spiritually and psychologically dysfunctional. The only thing the PCUSA needed to become a flourishing system was leadership that would enforce the standards the church voted into place over generations, most recently Fidelity and Chastity.”
        And now Jake Horner (10/1 post) chimes in, clearly seeing more future for the denomination than I: “How about an age in which denominations are in for some much needed transformation? or Reformation? or Adaptive change?”
        I continue to be less sanguine – which is why I like the talk, in the F of P, about something, in the NRB, other than what we’ve traditionally known as a “denomination.” In my judgment (as I’ve already stated), the PCUSA has been missionally dysfunctional for more than a generation, a failure only exacerbated by our trench warfare over human sexuality and ordination standards. We’ve needed something far leaner and meaner in our connectionalism than even we, in the orthodox and evangelical camp, envisioned; and we need it even more urgently today if we’re going to find our way out of the tacit congregationalism into which we’ve sunk. Learning what makes for, and then actually growing, a more vital, spiritual, evangelical, and missional connectionalism doesn’t need a “national” body to make it happen (I think, though you probably don’t, that that, actually, can only impede it): it can only start closer to home – for us Calvinists and Presbyterians, in what will be a new kind of presbytery. You get to a new national body from the ground up, as it were, lean-and-mean presbytery by lean-and-mean presbytery.
        I just cite, once more, these salient features of our ecclesial landscape:
        It’s been a long time since the membership of any of our churches included even a majority of born-and-bred Presbyterians; denominational loyalty is a vestige of the past, particularly for our younger members (e.g.: of the 55 folks who attended our info session on the F of P last Sunday night, only one couple was under the age of 40!) – and I mean the ones that have their heads screwed on right about the very matters afflicting the PCUSA right now. There’s no going BACK to find denominational loyalty, not in what’s left of the PCUSA today: we’ll have to build that all over again, the old-fashioned way.
        Also, what conceivable difference does clinging to denominational distinctives make when the culture is hell-bent on destruction? I know that we used to spill blood over whether or not Christ was “really present” in the elements; but if we aren’t way over that by now, we’re done for. There is more unity in Christ and His gospel between me and countless non-Presbyterian colleagues all around me here in Knoxville than between me and a good half of my denomination. And this is true, too, for our orthodox and evangelical counterparts in the UMC, the ELCA, the ECUSA, and the UCC who haven’t departed their denominations either. So why don’t all sorts of collaborations – in mission, in theological education, in the stewardship of ordination, and in the discernment of truth from error – make more sense than struggling on ad infinitum with our stubborn, stiff-necked, and unrepentent co-religionists in the other half of the PCUSA today?
        I say again: let’s by all means attend her dutifully and faithfully while she dies, the old whore; but as me may let’s be about building something different, new, and better, something to gladden John Calvin’s heart, and even more our Lord’s.
        So fondly, in Him,
        Harry Chronis

        Like

  13. Chuck says:

    I understand your concerns re: the Tiers presented at the Gathering. My ‘group’ rejected the “Ecclesiastical Orders” option as both unworkable from a organizational standpoint, as well as failing to address the underlying Theological conflict at the heart of our problems with the PCUSA. Staying in place didn’t work for most of us either. One question from the Gathering is still bouncing around in my head is. “How do we remain faithful to Jesus and chose anything other than immediate departure?”

    I believe the answer was given to us several times. The Congregation is the highest worth in the Church/Denomination, above property, pensions, and foundations. If a congregation is of one mind and is ready to leave, great. I’d love for a more orderly departure process be followed (+500 at one time), so as not to leave the small congregations behind to either sink or swim on their own. That is only one ‘context’ a congregation might be living in.

    My belief is that there are too many congregations who, if they took a vote today, would find that they are split 50-50 or 60-40. There are many reasons for this. We have allowed culture to inform the church rather than being a counter-cultural voice for God to the world. We have not addressed ‘uncomfortable’ subjects from the pulpit because we haven’t wanted to offend others. We have been more interested in filling pews and offering plates than converting people to Scripture (a quote from the Gathering). Maybe we have turned Church Membership into ‘cheap membership’ and Grace into ‘cheap grace’.

    Hence the need for each of us to address the problems of the PCUSA in a holistic manner. As Evangelicals we have failed to act as our Lord Jesus would have us. Our churches aren’t bursting at the seams and our members aren’t as Scripturally fluent as they should be. If we don’t fix our own house, it won’t matter which town we live in.

    If a NRB is indeed formed, I pray that it will place its focus on the “Ends of the Church” and not on a command and control structure. I think the only reason to leave the PCUSA is that, for some of us at least, it has become an apostate body. That doesn’t mean I need to shout that at the Progressives. I would prefer to shake the dust off of my cloak and follow Jesus.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Chuck, I understand the pathos behind the question, “How do we remain faithful to Jesus and choose anything other than immediate departure?” I feel it myself. But I am also haunted by the question, “How do we remain faithful to Jesus and choose anything other than working to reclaim His church?” Which is the faithfulness to which Christ calls evangelicals in the PCUSA today? How do we discern that? How do we rally together to live it out?

      Like

      • Chuck says:

        “Together” is the operative word. Evangelicals have not been able to do anything together, although perhaps the Gathering was a move in that direction. If we can move from fear to hope, and from parlimentary manuvers to the study of and reliance on Scripture, we might have a chance. I sensed hope and the presence of the Holy Spirit in worship at the Gathering. So all is not lost, as some might believe.

        My guess is that we have a 2-4 year window to work on discernment. Is the FOP or anyone else thinking about what a discernment process might look like for +/- 1000 congregations united in such a quest? Could we study, pray, meet, etc…as Evangelicals, looking to discover God’s will, rather than jumping off a sinking ship (current PCUSA) one rat at a time?

        Like

  14. Al Sandalow says:

    To re-phrase Churchill’s famous quip about Capitalism, my thoughts about the PF’s ideas and strategies are that they have problems, but they are better than all the other options.

    I do think the PCUSA is lost, at least for a season. The dramatic change of voting on changing the ordination standards showed that. I have been a part of the “stay, fight, win” group for 25 years. We have steadily lost allies and lost ground and I am done with this direction. It has produced more heat than light and at times has made both sides lesser people.

    I think the PF folks have look at the landscape of the congregations and presbyteries and tried to come up with a solution that could work. It will be a work in progress. There will be mistakes, dead ends, and false starts. No reformation is without them. It will probably take more time than they think. That is always the case.

    But I don’t think there is another more realistic solution on the table. Sometimes you drive down a bumpy road, not because you enjoy the ride, but because you want to get to where it leads.

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Al, I’d rather take a plane. I don’t believe the FP tiers are the only or best options. Already, the FP organizers and Louisville have apparently come to the shared conclusion that Tiers 2 and 3 are out of the question, and are now off the table. That leaves us with 1 and 4 — stay a part of your presbytery and continue as you have, or join the NRB with some status. Or option 5, which they don’t speak much of, join the EPC. I’m not enamored with these options if the PCUSA can still be salvaged.

      Like

      • Drew says:

        I just received a message from a colleague that Mission Presbytery is having meeting on Saturday to hear from 13 churches about dismissal or overlay requests. Please keep in prayer.

        Like

  15. Drew says:

    Thanks for helpful interaction around what was for me a very positive event. To be honest I attended thinking it would be chaos but came away with some clarity and a real hint of direction.
    A couple items to address from my experience:
    Spiritual discernment – I definitely came to this event seeking the Lord’s direction. Before the event I fasted one day a week for about 3 months. I’ve appreciated Scott McKnight’s recent work on fasting. A time comes of such grave concern and momentous possibilities that eating becomes unimportant in comparison – so we don’t eat in order to bring this significant moment before God. I came to not just think but to listen, feel, and discern the movement of the Spirit. No Emmaus Road experience no denominational acronym came down in a sheet 3 times either. But I did sense what many of you have said – a oneness of Spirit and mission. I will continue to seek God’s leading via Presbytery, session, and personal interaction like this to explore how God may be leading us today.
    Apostasy – can someone give me a Biblical definition of apostasy? The best I have comes from I John – the moral, doctrinal, and social tests which are really hard in some ways to apply to a denomination. Granted the doctrinal isn’t with the official doctrine of the church. At this point I can’t say that the denomination is officially denying the unique divinity of Jesus Christ. The social and moral tests are more difficult for me to apply to the denomination. Even the recent change is simply weak but not even wrong. We all agree to the joyful submission to Christ but we sure don’t agree on what that means.
    I must admit that I have not done the hard work of theologically developing a working system for apostasy. So I have some questions. What is the difference between apostasy and being wrong? in what areas of life is being wrong the same as apostasy? What I understand with 10A is that we have clear distinct differences about the Biblical teaching about God’s will for human sexuality. Is that an apostate issue and if so at what point in the continuum. What if someone would say their understanding of Biblical sexuality requires monogamy but it could be hetero or homosexual? Is that apostate or wrong.
    Here’s my problem – I have been so much in the sexuality debate that I really have not done the work on what truly is apostasy. What I heard from the front at the fellowship was that the PCUSA is not apostate but wrong so therefore we are working for ways to stay and differentiate so that in time God will work through this mess (similar to slavery in the old split only took about what 130 years) without a split but with a decent and in order differentiation. Thanks for your comments.

    Like

  16. Paul B. says:

    Mateen, near the end, you speak about the need for consensus to depart from or to reclaim the PCUSA. I believe that you would agree that this level of consensus is secondary. The primary level of consensus needs to be rooted in a declaration of apostasy. On this point, Evangelicals equivocate and I think that fear shrouds our faith.

    What people need to realize is that a declaration of apostacy is not the sole partner of separation. It is also the partner of reclamation. Without it, there will be no conviction to stand together for Jesus in the assemblies and courts of the PCUSA. And so we sit in the dark and choose to sleep while our Lord agonizes at a distance.

    We say that God alone is Lord of the conscience. What this means is that each person must turn to the Father in prayer as Jesus did. It is in this personal attitude that fear and anguish will be displaced. It is in this attitude that a movement can be born. Evangelicals are living a Gethsemane moment. How shall we each arise in this darkness to face the trial to come?

    Like

    • mateenelass says:

      Paul, I agree with you that in order for us to depart the PCUSA and create a new denomination, we need to come to a consensus that the PCUSA is apostate. I don’t believe such a conclusion is necessary to reach a consensus that we must reclaim the denomination for Christ. (Persistent pernicious evil would be enough.) Of course, if the institution is apostate, it becomes easier to rally folks to such a consensus. Either way, to sit by passively is to condone such evil, and to commit a further evil of cowardice or apathy. Would you not agree?

      Like

      • Paul B says:

        Mateen, l still beg to differ. Consensus on apostasy is needed to reclaim the PCUSA. My observation is that persistent pernicious evil is in every institution and is always to be sought out and resisted. This way of conceptualizing our opposition is too amorphous; like a big giant amoeba that we will always be pushing against. I believe that what we are facing has evolved and has the leverage of bone and muscle. It is a beast that has a name… and it is “apostacy.”

        How one is prepared to do battle will be based – in large part- on what is being battled.

        If I’m prepared to go out to defeat a beast, I don’t think that my “amoeba fighting” friends will be very helpful nor will they be at the front for very long my dear Beast Master 😉

        Like

  17. Confusion At All Levels
    Since the PCUSA’s deletion of its “fidelity and chastity” requirement for ordination, confusion reigns at most every level of the denomination. I know, the Fellowship of Presbyterians offered four alternatives for congregations to ponder: stay and seek reform, leave and fight in court for your property, form a new denomination or presbyeries within presbyteries, etc. But those choices only lead, at this point, to more spintering and more confusion. Just read the numerous blogs and subsequent post/responses and you easily see how confusion reigns.

    Small congregations with severely limited resources have little choice but to stay in the PCUSA. They don’t have the funds to fight in court for their property and the large churches aren’t going to ‘fund’ them. Medium size congregations dont’ want to exhaust the funds they might have to engage in court fights. Hostile presbyteries, who care only for protecting their boundaries and funds, will make life miserable for any congregation with limited resources that seeks to leave. Congregations of all sizes have at least a percentage of members who favor the ‘progressive’ wing and will vote NOT to leave, thus splintering the local church and producing ill-will at home. More overtures will land in the General Assembly’s 2012 agenda seeking to overturn the 2010 vote on the 10-A amendment, or create presbyteries within presbyteries, etc.

    Pastors of congregations with limited resources will fear loss of or drastically reduced income. Pastors of congregations with great resources will make sure they are protected in any new venture, thus leaving the smaller church pastors on their own and ‘out on a limb’. Presbytery executives will “kiss up” to the power-brokers in their presbytery and allow the attacks on smaller churches considering leaving the PCUSA.

    Meanwhile, higher judicatores will face increasingly shrinking dollars. (The only action that got the attention of the hierarchy was the massive designating of benevolent dollars.) Mission dollars will be increasingly directed to para-church or independent mission organizations, thus straining our already strapped international missions ministries.

    It’s just a mess! And the immediate future promises a greater mess church-wide.

    For many, at present, there ares no clear-cut choices, only to leave and give up property and shelve local history, leave and fight court battles, wait for the Fellowship to propose even more options and wait to see if a new denomination is formed and what options/choices that offers.

    I was birthed, nurtured, educated and ordained by the PCUS/PCUSA. I have no plans nor desire to leave the PCUSA. I grieve over the present state and the ill-advised decisions that brought us this mess. Now retired, I have little influence other than encouraging those pastors under stress and praying for the Holy Spirit to raise up some wise, courageous voices to lead us out of this ‘mess’ that is quickly becoming messier.

    Do I have hope? Of course I do, yet I believe it will be DECADES before clarity and resolution is achieved. By then I will be in the Church Triumphant. Thanks be to God.

    Like

  18. I think we need to clarify our terms here. My understanding of apostasy is that it is a total renunciation of the faith. Whatever faults the PCUSA may have, it has not done this. It is still Trinitarian, still talks about Jesus as Lord of all and head of the church, and scripture is technically the final authority. The proper term to describe the PCUSA is heretical – it is mired in theological, moral, and spiritual error.

    The frustrating thing about the PCUSA is not that it is irretrievably broken, but that it is incorrigibly corrupt. On paper it is a good system (or it was until our latest votes). In reality it has become spiritually and psychologically dysfunctional. The only thing the PCUSA needed to become a flourishing system was leadership that would enforce the standards the church voted into place over generations, most recently Fidelity and Chastity. There was, in my opinion, a decision by the leadership to not enforce obvious theological and moral standards in favor of creating some vague, broad, indistinct inclusive community. Our previous Stated Clerk seemed to embody this approach in particular, and encouraged that ethos throughout the institutional structure. As such, the PCUSA became an unappealing and indistinct quasi-Christian social service agency. What drove us Evangelicals crazy is that everything was in place for the denomination to function as a true church, but the hierarchy did not want to hurt the feelings of liberal peers, and therefore would never pull the trigger on enforcing church discipline as the Book of Order demands. Members left in droves because of this malpractice.

    At what point does the denomination become so heretical and psychologically dysfunctional that the end result becomes the same as apostasy? I don’t have an answer to that. My hunch is that in a fast-paced, constantly morphing modern technological society, the answer is sooner rather than later. Too many souls and too much mission are at stake to waste too much time in institutional dithering.

    Another way to describe the pathology of the mainline denominations like the PCUSA is that they have AIDS and have lost the ability to ward off the infections that can and will kill the body. Their immune system no longer works. Can you save the body (broader church) when the brain (leadership) likes having cancer and heart disease and worse in its midst and turns off the immune system (church discipline)? We are all struggling with that question right now in the PCUSA.

    Like

    • Michael,
      Thanks for this. You and I agree at least in the “disease theory” of what’s wrong with the PCUSA – only I prefer the dementias (see my reply, above, to Mateen, likening the denomination to his “Aunt Hilda”), on account of our average age and because the rest of the Christian world thinks we’ve lost our minds, while you like immune-system failures such as AIDS, on account of the collapse, in both the making and enforcing of polity, of that most crucial function of (now we call them) “councils;” declaring truth from error. I wouldn’t want to quarrel over this. Would you?
      But I think that you’re not quite correct on a couple of things. The first is a little one: that “apostasy,” because it requires one actually to renounce the faith, doesn’t quite (yet, at least) apply to the PCUSA. Historically, however, “apostasy” has been a judgment of the church’s authority that the degree to which one has “departed from” (the literal meaning of the term) the faith requires breaking fellowship. And, frankly, I have no trouble declaring that we’ve arrived just there in the denomination. The non-departures you list are nominal, at best (similar to those that my Mormon friends embrace), and it takes less and less time to discover that we don’t really follow and obey the same Jesus, that we preach different gospels and entertain increasingly diverse understandings of God’s nature (I take pretty seriously progressive unwillingness to pronounce and celebrate the Triune name, for example).
      The other is more significant. I think that it has been a long time, in fact – way too long – since one might have regarded “the system” as basically sound. How long has it been since our “connectionalism” was something besides a paper veneer over our de facto congregationalism, since presbytery was something we earnestly sought, deeply prized, and eagerly awaited, because it was in the assembly of the elders there that God reliably spoke, that our worship was renewed, that we were put in our right minds theologically, that we found the partnership through which alone we might fulfill the missional mandate laid on us all? Maybe you’ve been traveling in a diffeent ecclesial world than I; but I’ve never seen anything like that in my 35+ years now of ministry in the denomination. And, for me, it’s high time that we got on with it…alongside YOU, I’m sure. What do you say?
      Warmly,
      Harry Chronis

      Like

  19. J. Michael Urton says:

    In response to Drew on 9/14/11, I too believe a definitive answer as to whether the PCUSA is actually apostate is in order. Mateen obviously feels this way and I look forward to his clarification. In the meantime, John MacArthur has a sermon series on apostasy where he cites Hebrews 10:19-39, sinning willfully after learning the truth. Seems to me the PCUSA has de-facto admitted losing the scriptural battle on sexual purity. Vice Moderator Landon Whitsitt has commented publicly that “Sola Scriptural is dead.” I also agree with Mateen that we have but two choices: Reform, or leave. Given the exodus of reformed thinkers already from our denomination, I doubt we have the numbers to reform.

    Like

  20. LG Parkhurst, Jr. says:

    Thank you for your analysis; furthermore, all the comments were well stated. My guess is that some of the PCUSA problems go back further than noted in some comments. Dr. Machen was defrocked in the 1930’s and the authority of the Bible was a primary issue as well as independant missions. Belief in the infallibilty of the Bible was of crucial importance to Machen and others and led to founding a new seminary. What the PCUSA faces today goes at least back to the 1930’s, and we see today how the upholding or not upholding the Bible as the infallible rule of faith and practice was as a watershed for the PCUSA and the mainline churches. As Christ-centered and Bible-centered
    faith has eroded and trust in the Bible has been destroyed by much of our teaching in seminaries and churches many mainline churches find themselves in places that are a natural consequence of liberal theology. More than 50 years ago, some in the Presbyterian churches thought that after the liberals had taken over the denominatinal leadership and seminaries that there was no hope of reforming the church, and so they left. Maybe they were proven correct. Again, thank you for your careful, prayerful blog.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s