Two faces of orthodoxy | Bleader

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Two faces of orthodoxy

Posted By on 09.02.06 at 09:27 AM

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The Institute on Religion and Democracy says it's only trying to help: 

"The IRD has found it necessary to be a prophetic voice in the churches. We propose a turning back to the Gospel of Christ crucified. In the words of theologian and IRD board member Thomas Oden, we 'are not presuming to create new doctrine but hold firmly to apostolic teaching in ways especially pertinent to current circumstances. The theology is orthodox, reliable, stable, beautiful, familiar, and glorious' . . .

"We help church members work for renewal within their denominations - giving them the facts, helping them to network with like-minded members, and teaching them how to work effectively within their denominational systems. The IRD drafts resolutions for church assemblies and sponsors educational events seeking to mobilize grassroots support for church reform. We do this through our denominational programs:  UMAction, Presbyterian Action, and Episcopal Action. . . .

"Marriage between a man and a woman is God's plan for the human family." 

Talk to Action's John Dorhauer says IRD is helping like a wolf helps a shepherd:

"On the website of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, in their very own mission statement, they talk about training activists. [I don't find that precise word--HH] It is the role of these activists to show up in churches and dismantle them. Trained by others in the art of dissent, they are clever manipulators of thought and action who know the things that make for unrest. Sent from another place with a particular mission, they first appear as eager new members who are gladly received into the life of their new target. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. . . .

"Once on boards, they . . . try out motions intended to curtail the liberality of thought . . . . For example, a known infiltrator at one of our area churches--Vice Chair of the church's council after only two years in the church--brought a motion to the council limiting what a Sunday School teacher could talk about in an adult Bible Study.  . . .

"It should also become the standard practice of every church that they do a new-members class before taking in new members. If folk are going to join a particular church and denomination, they should . . . . know that there will always be an atmosphere of open and mutual respect. And no one should be asked to join the church unless and until they can demonstrate their appreciation for and comfort with this openness."

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