Shuck and Jive

Friday, August 19, 2011


Saw this in today's LayMAN, Retired Pastor Risks Ordination in Opposition to Change in Standards:


During a regular meeting in July, the Rev. Steve Moss of Salisbury, N.C. told Salem Presbytery that, while he will continue to be governed by the polity of the Presbyterian Church (USA), he will refuse to affirm the ordination or installation of “any officer of the church who refuses to repent of the sin of choosing to live sexually outside of the bonds of holy matrimony between a man and a woman.”

Moss said the recent change of ordination standards sparked his decision. Amendment 10A removed the chastity/fidelity clause from the PCUSA Book of Order.

In April, Salem voted in favor of the amendment by a 186-107 vote. The amendment effectively permits presbyteries to ordain gay or lesbian candidates as deacons, elders and pastors.

Moss, a member of the presbytery for 19 years and a three-term past moderator, said he believes the presbytery could choose to remove his ordination status due to his claim of conscience. Moss is currently retired but occasionally preaches at area churches.

As much as Rev. Moss thinks he is doing something grand, I doubt anyone in the presbytery will even care.

Most of the time, the only ones who even show up for ordination and/or installation services are on the commission. If someone doesn't want to "affirm" the ordination of someone, so what? Don't "affirm" them then. But if it makes you feel better to make a statement, have at it.

This too shall pass.


  1. But, but, but.... How can he be a victim if no one cares enough to persecute him?!?! It just isn't fair! And that makes him a victim of non-victimization!

  2. What straight folks seem to not realize is that the fidelity/chastity requirement also applied to co-habiting straight couples. The repeal has freed more than just oppressed LGBTs.

    As always, the struggle fought by the most oppressed benefits everyone in the end.

    Which is why we should all sign on.

  3. Only someone who is seriously delusional, on the level of thinking that they're Napoleon Bonaparte could believe in this ridiculous, bizarre and pathological persecution complex the fundies all seem to ascribe to these days. The fact that a retired minister thinks he's risking anything by making this statement seems more evidence of delusion.

    Or maybe it isn't delusion, but arrogance. After all, it takes some major stones to be part of the group that has perpetrated years of persecution against LGBT folks and their allies through hundreds of witch hunts in our denominational courts and yet at the same time claim to be the victim.

    Or perhaps it is ignorance. After all, anyone who can go through the last 30 years of arguments and still believe that homophobic crap can't be the brightest bulb in the box.

    Or maybe it's just another example of total depravity.

    But why choose? More likely it is delusion brought about by sinful arrogance and stupidity.

    Memo to Rev Ross: No one cares. You may find that gardening is a more useful and fulfilling hobby than tilting at windmills.

  4. Not only co-habitating straight couples, but singles as well, SR. I've asked the question before: what kind of test do you have in place in your church to make sure single Elders maintain their vows?

  5. Alan - there's my favorite quote from either Dolly Parton or Tom Waite (no need to pick one over the other) to apply to people like the Rev. Ross:
    "Come down from the cross, honey.
    We could use the wood."