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From The Pastor's Pen
"What About some Critical Issues of Our Day?"
Rev. David Bierschwale

God tells us in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Therefore, we trust in the one God, The Trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ("three persons in one substance"). Not three different gods, but one God. Of course, we recognize that Scripture employs a variety of metaphors for God, and that mere human words cannot express the fullness of God's nature. We place great weight, though, in the fact that our Lord Jesus referred to God as Father. We reject the way the New Age and Neo-pagan movements offer some other gods, goddesses, or "Christs". Jesus, savior and Lord, is the only path to God--"I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me" (John14:6)

Another key issue is that of "inclusiveness" and "diversity". God's way for this is indeed to reconcile the races, ethnic groups, and genders (males and females) in His forgiveness and love. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). We know that we all have much we can do to improve in the area of reaching out to our brothers and sisters of different colors and cultures.

Yet, inclusiveness and diversity does not include celebrating sinful lifestyles such as those promoted by homosexuals. All ARE welcome to worship with us--no sin is beyond the reach of our Savior's loving arms! We sinners who sit in the pews each Sunday know that well! "For God SO LOVED the world, that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life"(John 3:16).

Indeed, God welcomes all who repent of all kinds of sin. Those who repent signify privately in counsel with the pastor or publicly that their sin(whether homosexuals, those practicing greed, gossip, covetousness, jealousy, etc...) was wrong and that they will seek God's strength to live the "new creation" life (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Recently the PCUSA made this more clear with this policy: "Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage of a man and a woman (W-4.9001) or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the Confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament." (G 6.0403)