The witness of Christ's church gets the shaft...
(Tim, w/thanks to Kamilla) The memorial service for funk singer and musician Isaac Hayes, a longtime advocate of that particular idolatry called Scientology, will be held in Memphis' Hope Presbyterian Church. Hope is a congregation holding membership in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a small presbyterian denomination whose reason to exist is primarily defined by being halfway between David's and my own denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, and the apostate Presbyterian Church (USA).
Many churches have left the PC(USA) this past year because of various acts of heresy and moral shipwreck on the part of the denomination's leaders, and almost all those congregations have jumped into the arms of the EPC rather than the PCA. The EPC allows them to continue to have women exercise authority over men in their church life, serving as deacons, pastors, and elders.
So now, the EPC is in the news through its megachurch, Hope Presbyterian Church, as many people have joined together to protest Hope hosting a memorial service for a Scientologist. Here's an article from Memphis' Commercial Appeal detailing the controversy and here's the church's response to the complaints...
About twenty-three years ago, my friend, Dick de Witt, asked me to come down to the church he was currently serving, Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, and interview for a position on his pastoral staff. Dick's chief of staff at the time was the Rev. Dr. Craig Strickland. We had a sit-down with him then, and now I note that the Rev. Dr. Strickland is the founding pastor and current senior minister of Hope Presbyterian Church.
Apparently, the Rev. Dr. Strickland has built a very cutting edge and successful church. Or should we call it a church at all? Does it have the right preaching of the Word of God, the right administration of the Sacraments, and the right exercise of discipline?
Impertinent questions, right?