Originally Posted by u-dog
The ONLY way forward for the Church is to ACTUALLY CHANGE what the book of Order says and to make provision for GLBT people to live with one another in covenant relationships.
Essentially, that was what I was talking about when I said:
Originally Posted by andrewlittle
Many of us where concerned all along that this was not the way to deal with the issue. It will take a constitutional amendment to overcome the judicial decision, I think.
The approach to take to finally put this to bed would be to change the constitution - the Book of Order.
That being said, however, the wording that says:
"c. Ordaining and installing bodies, acting as corporate expressions of the church, have the responsibility to determine their membership by applying these standards to those elected to office. These determinations include:
(1) Whether a candidate being examined for ordination and/or installation as elder, deacon, or minister of Word and Sacrament has departed from scriptural and constitutional standards for fitness for office
(2) Whether any departure constitutes a failure
to adhere to the essentials of Reformed faith and polity under G-6.0108 of the Book of Order, thus barring the candidate from ordination and/or installation."
... does not make a distinction between belief and behavior.
The court decided that a "scruple" only describes a belief - not a bahavior. The AI actually says, however, a "departure" not a "scruple". The reference to "scruples" was included in the rationale for the PUP's recommendation. The rationale, however, was not made part of the AI. Hence, the court made a determination of the AI on a concept that was not included in the AI.
A departure is not clearly defined, while a "scruple" is defined by previous practice dating back to the early 20th century. The court, in its decision, basically ruled on the basis of "scruples", even though that is not included, in word or concept, in the AI.
It seems that a "departure" could not limited either a belief or behavioral departure, and no language made any attempt to do so.
Now, when you were ordained (me too), you did not claim a "departure" from the "essential tenets", so we have to live up to our vows. The vows of someone who did claim a "departure", however, would be absent a pledge to that particular tenet, and they would not be breaking their vow.
OK Andy! Tell me why I'm wrong about this!
That I can't do, since we all knew this was a bullshit way to go about it in the first place. It was a cheesy way of making a decision without making a decision. It was also predictable, I suppose, that the court decision used the exact language that was printed in a Presbyterian Layman article about the AI that dates back to late 2006.
We shall see how this affects Lisa and Paul in the months to come.