Shuck and Jive

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lisa Larges and Her Scruple

If you have a few moments, you should read Lisa Larges' statement of faith, her journey, and her statement of departure (scruple) regarding G-6.0106b.

This was all printed
in the agenda (pdf) for the meeting at which she was approved for ordination by the presbytery of San Francisco.

This whole process gives you a sense of what it takes to be ordained, "the trials of ordination," and how subjective the whole business is. Of course, anyone perceived different from the mainstream in any way is especially "noted."

This is from her scruple regarding G-6.0106b. She demonstrates--one bullet point after another--why G-6.0106busybody is bad news for the church:

The text of G-6.0106b continues by singling out one particular derived standard from the historic confessional standards, namely, “the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness.” By my conscience, faith and theology I cannot and will not accept the terms of this standard.
  • It deliberately and intentionally denies the dignity and lived experience of same gender loving people.
  • In so doing it raises one category of persons, heterosexual persons, above all others and thereby makes an idol of heterosexuality.
  • Its formulation is based on a certain interpretation of Scripture to the exclusion of other interpretations, which are as sound, held by faithful Christians within our church.
  • It imposes a false and impossible choice upon same gender loving persons by not recognizing faithful covenanted relationships between two persons of the same gender.
  • It puts the church and its officers in an untenable position by failing to acknowledge the expanded definition of legal marriage as a “contract between two persons,” as held at this writing, in the jurisdictions of six U.S. states.
  • By elevating this standard above any others it has caused our church to be mired in inappropriate and scandalous inquiries into the sexual acts of persons seeking Ordained office.
  • It removes sex from the context of intimacy and covenantal relationship and denies the fullness and richness of committed loving relationships between persons of the same gender.
  • It denies the full humanity of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender persons by focusing solely and exclusively on one part of their lives.
  • It distracts the church from seeking a deeper understanding of sexual ethics, so that sexual misconduct by officers of this church continues at an alarming rate.
  • It puts upon the door of the church an “Unwelcome” sign for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families.
  • It props up and provides religious cover for acts of violence committed against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.
  • It has caused schism within our church by driving out gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons who cannot fellowship within a church which regards them categorically as inferior.
  • It is a scandal to the Gospel and destroys the peace, unity and purity of the church.
In my own life, while I affirm the moral values of fidelity and chastity, I will not and can not claim chastity in singleness unless and until fidelity between two persons of the same gender within a covenantal relationship is recognized.

I will not submit in any way to a reduction of who I am as a Lesbian to language about “practice,” nor will I participate in perpetrating such a false and demeaning dichotomy upon any other member of this church.
Declaring a "scruple" is not enough. We need to remove this blight on the church.


  1. Amen, amen, amen. Thank you for publishing this John.

  2. Lisa's scruple is touchingly and selflessly expressed. Nice work.

  3. Thanks, good sir. We met at the MLP conference a few months ago (my name is Riley), and I've been slack in following up. No longer! Anyway, thanks for this post and all of the news about Lisa. She's an amazing lady, and the Church (holy and catholic as it is) will be much better off with her ordination than without it.

  4. Hey Riley! Thanks for connecting!

    @Cecilia and @Snad

    Lisa's the tops...

  5. Hi, Riley! It was wonderful singing with you at the MLP conference. I'm glad you've connected, too!

  6. You will know them by their fruits.

    Grace-filled ministry vs. busybodies with their cheap political tactics destined to fail.

    I think it's pretty obvious which one God blesses.

  7. At the risk of sounding catty (okay, I am being catty) I'm going to avoid the issue at hand and speak to another issue. Great picture of Lisa. I love her suit but what's up with the hat?

    As to the rest you all know what I think so why bother?

  8. It's the look that says,

    I'm gay and I'm on the way to ordination day.

  9. I would totally wear that hat to MY ordination!

  10. This lady is definitely scrupulous. As opposed of course to those who have no scruples at all.

    I too wondered about the hat. It looks like a combination yarmulke and . . . what? But it definitely made me think she is making a statement. The hat makes me think, "taking the veil," or the cap that nurses get when they graduate.

    Who cares what any one wears? Lilies of the field and all that.

    The point is, the church has to either change or die.

  11. BTW, off topic, but if you have not read the most recent editorial in the Layman regarding Rev. Mark Achtemeier's recent talk at the CovNet conference, you should. The editorial is by Carmen Fowler, entitled "Time for a millstone?"

    Yes, the editor of the Layman is publicly suggesting that we tie a millstone around Achtemeier's neck and throw him into the sea. Gotta love her statement, "Oh it's not me who says we should do that, but Jesus!" Yet she titles her piece "Time for a millstone?"

    And naturally the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales and scolds applaud in the comments.

    Remember, that's what you get in this denomination *not for being gay* but for just having the guts to suggest that we love and support LGBT people.


  12. Yes, I saw that and linked to it on my Facebook. You know just because something is in the Bible doesn't give people the freedom to quote and apply it to someone we don't agree with, does it? We could probably find some juicy images from Hosea and Revelation and apply them to Miss Carmen and others.

    "Millstone" is a pretty violent image...

  13. In most political organizations if someone wrote something that was implying vigilantism and/or violence against someone they'd be canned on the spot, escorted out of the building, and sent their personal belongings in a little brown box.

    For the Layman, writing such disgusting anti-Christian crap gets you applause and probably a raise.

    I've been posting elsewhere a warning to another minister that even seeming to agree with a more progressive stance can get you into hot water. Apparently it not only gets you into hot water, but it seems that they'd prefer you were weighted down and drowning.

    (BTW, what's truly ironic about her Jesus quote is who Jesus was actually talking about.)

    What's sad is that 1) I'm not even surprised they published it, and 2) I'm not even surprised that the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales and scolds applauded it. They've sunk so low and are so clearly without any sense of decency, it was just a matter of time before they started showing their true colors.

    But don't forget, they *love* us.

  14. But don't forget, they *love* us.

    When they aren't accusing you of using "hate speech", that is...

    It props up and provides religious cover for acts of violence committed against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.

    This one should be enough to convince any person with half a conscience...