About Rev. Chris Warren

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So far Rev. Chris Warren has created 3 blog entries.

Rev. Chris Warren: “We are All Part of the Same Church”

By Rev. Chris Warren Like many in our denomination, I am grieving the division that is threatening our very existence. I have not always been Cumberland Presbyterian. I was called as a musician to serve a Cumberland Presbyterian church when I was 19. I had no expectation of being called to ministry in that same church years later. I start here because I deeply love the Confession of Faith. I read that document, and it is the reason I became Cumberland Presbyterian. At that time, I was just developing my faith, my understanding of scripture, and my place in God’s world. The beauty of the language in our Confession-- the ability we have as Cumberland Presbyterians to be a part of the same church even though we may understand some things about scripture differently--was one of the most important reasons I had for choosing this church as my home. I have never wavered from my commitment to the Confession of Faith. I imagine any of us can look at any written word and see something a little different from each other. I may read those words the same way you do, or I may read them in a different way than you do, but I want to be clear that I revere the words in the Confession. In many ways I feel that the division in our church has been created intentionally. I have read recently that this division has only been revealed, not created, and it seems natural that as a diverse group, we may experience some differences in understanding of scripture and the meaning of at least some parts of the Confession of Faith. But I don’t think the division needs to be as gaping as some claim. In fact, I think that whatever crack existed has been

By |2024-03-25T00:11:57-05:00March 24th, 2024|Comments Off on Rev. Chris Warren: “We are All Part of the Same Church”

From Where I Stand: Limiting God?

Language is important. The way we think and talk about people and ideas affects our perception and understanding of them. When my daughter was a baby, she didn't have much hair. Joy and I would take her out somewhere, and people would come up to see the beautiful new baby (she was and is beautiful). It didn't matter that she was dressed in a frilly pink dress with a pink bow on her head. People regularly referred to her as a good looking young boy. The perception of who they thought our daughter was didn't change who she was, but it did limit their vision and their ability to see her. That is one of the ways that we limit God. Our language about God is often gendered. I think most people would agree that God is neither male nor female, but calling God "he" all of the time overtly and covertly limits our vision of who God really is. If God is primarily male, then God is only secondarily female. If we persist in that line of thinking, it is easy to see how we might become mired in patterns of sexist thought. The same types of problems arise when we think of God as being of a particular ethnicity, color, or any purely human attribute. If God is more like one kind of people (usually with whom we identify), then God is less like another kind of people. The way we think and speak about God doesn't really limit God, but it limits our ability to see God in all of their fullness. There's another limiting factor that we place on God--the ability for God to call whomever God chooses to do God’s work. In the United Methodist Church, a recent ruling was passed denying members of the

By |2021-06-21T14:21:06-05:00June 22nd, 2021|Comments Off on From Where I Stand: Limiting God?

A Theology for Inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ Community

A Theology for Inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ Community in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church (CPC) by Rev. Chris Warren The inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community in Christian Churches is an important topic for the Church of the early 21st century. Many have chosen a “side” and have become entrenched. Something like a battle line has been drawn. For the traditionalist, a common sense reading of scripture is clearly against same-sex relationships. For the progressive the whole arc of scripture is clear about inclusion. A careful, culturally-sensitive reading of scripture, sensitive to the culture when scripture was written and the cultural meaning given to similar words in modern usage, must be taken into account before excluding an entire community of people. This paper supports the inclusion of the LGBTQIA community in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Its purpose is to introduce readers who may be unfamiliar with cultural and biblical studies to alternate understandings of passages that have been used to exclude this community from full fellowship in the Church. Examples from the Church’s History The Cumberland Presbyterian Confession of Faith (COF) reads in section 1.07: “In order to understand God’s word spoken in and through the scriptures, persons must have the illumination of God’s own Spirit. Moreover, they should study the writings of the Bible in their historical settings, compare scripture with scripture, listen to the witness of the church throughout the centuries, and share insights with others in the covenant community.” The Introduction to the 1883 Confession of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the first independent confession of faith created by the church reads, “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it unfettered by the doctrines and commandments of men [sic] which are in any thing contrary to his word. The right of private judgment, therefore, in respect to

By |2024-03-13T23:48:13-05:00June 21st, 2021|Comments Off on A Theology for Inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ Community
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