11 June 2008

a silver presbyterian anniversary

Yesterday, the PC(USA) became 25 years old. It was formed at the General Assembly in Atlanta in June 1983, when the so-called "northern" and "southern" branches reunited. At the time, I had just finished my first year of college, and I really had no interest in church, Presbyterian or otherwise. But my life was about to undergo some big changes.

Politically, my admiration for Ronald Reagan quickly waned, and I became enamored with the Libertarian Party. For a brief while, I was a member of NORML. (As you might guess, their brand of libertarianism was one I embraced.) That "mind expanding" position had spiritual results. I surrendered my too-intellectual approach and accepted, for lack of a better term, more of a "mystical" approach to life. In time, I realized that the chemical path to spiritual growth was, indeed, no growth at all. The love of Christ led me into the church.

At the same time, I continued my political evolution into a more progressive and green position. I don't mind being called "liberal." I just find that the term carries with it many assumptions, and it's important to say what we mean. (Of course, the same thing is true with "conservative.")

I joined the Presbyterian Church on 10 December 1991, while I was at Eastern Baptist Seminary (now Palmer Seminary), just outside of Philly. I like the fact that it was International Human Rights Day when I joined the church. I didn't plan it that way; it just turned out that way!

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