Local Presbyterians moving past gay debate

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The Post and Courier — which seems to have a quiet, but dedicated interest in the Presbyterian Church's internal debate over gays — provides an interesting local perspective in today's paper.

Basically, two local church leaders say please stop asking me about this issue that has little to do with my local church.

"Not that it's not an important issue," said the Rev. Spike Coleman of St. Andrew's Presbyterian. "For some people it's very important, I realize that, but for most members they're worried about their jobs and families and children."

The Rev. Cress Darwin, of Second Presbyterian Church downtown, called the debate disingenuous.

"Often it's about property, local power, about not wanting to be told what to do, not wanting to surrender to something you're not totally comfortable with," Darwin said. "A lot has to do more with personal fears than it has to do with what's right."

"There is nothing on Earth we as Christians cannot reconcile with the grace of God," he said. The goal must be love and forbearance. "We're given a template for that through Jesus Christ."

I think there's a good chicken and egg debate here. The local men suggest a real debate is necessary on the ground instead of the politics playing out at the highest levels of the church. But I'm not sure many churches would have that debate unless it was forced upon them.

As Rev. Coleman mentioned, there are daily issues that guide the local church and the acceptance of gays and lesbians as equal members of the church usually isn't one of them.

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