Sometimes the question is a lie, or at least very misleading. There are at least two other choices besides “A, B, or None of the Above:” the choice not to choose, and A and B. Were I to attempt to defend the church’s position, I would most definitely contest the statement, “They can’t both be right….” as inapplicable to their BSA position. In support, there are a variety of tacks possible, including:
- “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
- “Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s.” (Matthew 22:21)
- “…The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works….” (Matthew 23:2–3).
- “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
I won’t belabor the point by detailing the supporting logic for each of these directions. In the end, regardless of the rationale, the question still reduces to: “A, B, or None of the Above,” where A (for example) is to accept the supporting logic and therefore the position.
Ultimately, if one chooses B, then one had an entirely different dilemma: how can one claim to “sustain” (“an oath-like indication“) the leadership of a church and less than assiduously support a decision which appears to be in conflict with the beliefs of said church and/or their own personal beliefs? Can such an one truly sustain as a passive-aggressive? Or, if they attempt to “fly under the radar?” Or, if they sacrifice their integrity?
According to the previously linked talk, “You and I do not ‘vote’ on Church leaders at any level. We do, though, have the privilege of sustaining them.” Others have written at length about this topic and how this position may appear to violate both scripture, and prior practice. While interesting reading, this dilemma stands generally independent.
We have the opportunity and responsibility in the next couple of weeks to sustain in response to words similar to “Those in favor may manifest it. …pause… Those opposed, if any, may manifest it.” Doesn’t that sound a bit like: “1 a : a usually formal expression of opinion or will in response to a proposed decision; especially : one given as an indication of approval or disapproval of a proposal, motion, or candidate for office?” Call it what you will.
So, presuming one believes B, how should one “manifest” one’s convictions? Sustain (believe B but say A), Abstain (hide), or Publicly violate a sacred shibboleth? Well, Adam…?