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Laborare Est Orare

08/08/2013

Recently, I blogged about the Calvinistic roots of the Presbyterian Church and explained why that church is often considered “pro-business.”  To my surprise, I received some criticism for that generalization and also learned that “pro-business” is not necessarily a compliment.

Full Disclosure Time:  The family church of the Flinchums was the venerable, old Indian Valley Presbyterian Church, so deep in the backwoods of rural Virginia that a GPS would get a headache looking for it.  In that church was a wonderful hundred-year-old stained-glass window from England, placed there in honor of my grandmother, Hallie.  Written in pieces of stained-glass was the Latin phrase Laborare Est Orare, which means “To Work Is To Love.”  That is so consistent with Calvinism, and I make no apology for my pro-business Presbyterian roots.
The tragedy is that the old family church was recently euthanized and no longer exists.  It seems the national Presbyterian organization authorized the ordination of gay ministers.  In a panic that some gay preacher might have a burning desire to lead a hostile congregation deep in the backwoods of rural Virginia, the congregation aborted itself by seceding from the national organization.  So, the old Flinchum church no longer exists.

It was a victim of its own anti-gay rhetoric.  To the congregation, they were pro-Bible, not anti-gay.  I guess that’s a good reason to euthanize a church . . . ?

Calvin was right to be pro-business, but there is no indication he was homophobic.  There are so many divisive issues, demanding our time and our emotions, that I simply cannot care about all of them.  I care about being pro-business (and even served as president of the local Chamber of Commerce.)  But, I don’t have the time or emotion to care about gays.  I wish them well and don’t understand why people think I should care more.  I don’t have time . . . because I work . . . like any good existential Calvinist . . .    

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