Have you ever ended up at a party and felt as if you didn’t really belong? It may be that you had a right to attend that party. You had an invitation of sorts, but you didn’t really feel welcome and you didn’t really fit in. Things happened that seem to be guided by some unseen hand. Maybe people were dancing, but you knew none of the steps. You were at the party, but somehow not of the party. It’s almost as if there was a party behind the party.
To be honest, this is a bit how it feels for the ruling elder or small church pastor who finds himself at the big party-event known as the annual Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly. He comes ready to deliberate and vote, but something seems off, predetermined, stage-managed. The moderator (a powerful position) seems to have been preselected, for instance, often without opposition. An elite group appears to control things.
Maybe the elder tries to write off the sensation, chalking it up to his own inexperience, but the nagging feeling persists. He’s heard of shadowy groups who communicate by Facebook Messenger and marshal votes and voters. Commissioners stream in right before important votes as if by magic. How, he wonders, can they have an opinion on how to vote if they have not heard the debate? Is the General Assembly really a deliberative assembly as it’s supposed to be… like the local session and presbytery with which he’s familiar?
Now imagine that lowly elder’s reaction when he learns that rumors of a powerful party behind the party are true. The National Partnership is now out in the open, though not by its own design or on its own terms.
However one feels about the way the email cache (dubbed #PresbyLeaks) of the “confidential” group was revealed and distributed, it must be admitted that these emails (now surely viewed by thousands) contain troubling information. Read more»
Brad Isbell “Smells Like Party Spirit” | November 4, 2021
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