From: Charles Mylander [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]I entitled today's note "mixed messages" but maybe I really mean "mixed agendas." Or maybe the agenda isn't mixed at all, but I'm not yet that cynical. There is much I agree with in the statement, but...
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 1:05 PM
Subject: EFI Election statement
Dear praying friends,
This excellent statement was just issued from the EFI Superintendents. (John Williams, Jr. was the primary author with input from some of the other Superintendents leaders). We encourage you to forward it to everyone who prays, and all who vote!
Our witness on marriage and sexual integrity
As we approach our national elections next week, our nation faces some of the most significant moral and spiritual issues in our history. Not only will we elect a President, we will be making decisions that directly affect the appointments of future judges and the direction our country will take regarding the most primary of our social institutions, marriage itself.
As Evangelical Friends, we affirm the clear message of Scripture that God has created and blessed marriage to be the union between one man and one woman and that same sex marriage violates God's purpose and plan for marriage and families.
We acknowledge that in our fallen and broken world, men and women may struggle with issues of sexual identity and sexual integrity. We issue a call to holy living, empowered by the Spirit of God, for fidelity in marriage and abstinence from sexual relations outside the bonds of marrage. Sexual purity in all of life sets us free to see the highest and best in one another.
Although none of us can fully embody Christ's perfect fullness of truth and grace, we desire to minister with clarity and compassion in the name of Christ to those - both heterosexual and homosesxual - who wrestle with issues such as sexual temptation, pornography, marital faithfulness and personal purity.
In this moment of moral cloudiness in America, we would open our eyes and our hearts to the testimony of God's word: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." (Proverbs 14:34) May we humbly and gratefully seek to live as witnesses to our Lord's redeeming and transforming grace, aware of our own fallibility and His infinite power to re-shape in his image those who fully rely upon Him.
- What does this have to do with the election? Am I supposed to be making a connection between the the difficult ideals, fairly tenderly expressed, and particular candidates? In other words, is there something I'm supposed to be reading between the lines? Or, more positively, does the raising of certain issues of morality in the context of the election simply give the EFM superintendents a logical time to insert teaching into the Quaker consciousness? I want to believe the latter, but the behavior of many evangelicals this election season (as documented in that highly flawed CNN program, The Fight for Faith last week) has been very different.
- "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." AMEN! If this election season provokes Friends leaders to speak out on national righteousness, I would hope that the imperial behavior of our country on the international stage, our complete abandonment of any pretense to global moral authority, might be part of that teaching.