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February 21, 2002

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Dear Editor:

It is good to have a person with intellect and scholarship comment on the affairs of the church. Mr. Tenke's arguments fail, however, as they become just another sad attempt to reframe the debate. He writes, "It [G.60106B] ignores a person's talents, their faithfulness, their dedication, and their call to serve because we have prioritized sex over the spirit as our lowest common denominator."

Mr. Tenke, ordination is a call, not an honorary degree. Many people of talent, faithfulness, and dedication are not called -- even when they seek to enter the process of ordination -- and that applies to men and women of heterosexual orientation.

Mr. Tenke goes on: "It's not about faith - people with the deepest faith disagree passionately about this issue. It's not about scriptural authority - advocates of both sides hold fast to the authority of scripture. It's not even about Biblical inerrancy - proponents of either view may or may not be inerrantists. So what is it that we disagree about, anyway?"

We disagree precisely about scriptural authority! Where have you been? If it were only an argument based on some subtle issue of authority or "inerrancy", it would be a truly sad and sorrowful situation, indeed; but that is not the case. This debate has everything to do with an exaggerated difference between trust in scriptural authority and a compulsion to "improve" (revise) it.

It reminds me of the old U.P. motto: "Reformed and Reforming". The thrust of which was meant to be "Reformed and continuing to be [that] Reformed faith". Most often, now, it is used to excuse deviations from the scriptures and confessions. As often as I hear it repeated, it now only seems to mean: "Deformed and Deforming". Mr. Tenke's arguments take on this nuance.

David Freehling
Pastor, United Presbyterian Ch.
Canon City, CO

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