Friday, October 31st, 2014
The Layman Online > 2014 General Assembly (PCUSA) > Conservatives react to GA marriage decision

Conservatives react to GA marriage decision

2014 GA-DetroitDETROIT, Mich. — Reactions to the decisions by the 221st General Assembly to allow pastors to conduct same-sex ceremonies in the Presbyterian Church (USA) are pouring in from denominations, and renewal organizations. Excerpts from the various statements include:

The Presbyterian Lay Committee: “The 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has approved both an Authoritative Interpretation of the Constitution and an amendment to redefine marriage. In the name of 1.8 million Presbyterians nationwide, the General Assembly has committed an express repudiation of the Bible, the mutually agreed upon Confessions of the PCUSA, thousands of years of faithfulness to God’s clear commands and the denominational ordination vows of each concurring commissioner. This is an abomination.”

The Presbyterian Coalition: “Today the Presbyterian Church (USA) took two illegitimate actions that may prove in future years to be the death knell to the church as we have known it. … As a result of these actions, the Presbyterian Church now abandons its Reformed heritage as to its organization, its belief, and its unity. To conservatives like us, the PCUSA is no longer the denomination in which we took our ordination vows or were baptized. …  We grieve for the church called the PCUSA. We call upon the orthodox/evangelical wing of the church to have courage to protest this action by living freely and radically within the biblical framework for marriage and sexuality, by refusing to conduct same-sex marriages, by remaining faithful teachers of the Word of God, and by defeating the constitutional amendment in your presbytery.”

Institute on Religion and Democracy President Mark Tooley: By overturning natural marriage the PCUSA is only accelerating its already fast-paced demise. It will become even smaller, whiter and older.Only declining denominations reject historic Christian standards and in nearly every case that rejection reinforces the decline. Who respects a church that only echoes the secular world?”

Theology Matters, Alan Wisdom, Fellow for Marriage Issues, Theology Matters: “It is astonishing that proponents of redefining marriage hardly bothered to justify their innovation from the Scriptures or the confessions. How far we have come from a denomination that affirmed that “all [its] decisions should be founded upon the revealed will of God” in Scripture! That affirmation still appears in the PCUSA Book of Order, but it seems widely to be forgotten. Amidst the sexual confusion and brokenness of our society, we Presbyterians desperately need to recover the Biblical vision of marriage. Even more, we need to recover the deep-seated Reformed conviction that it is to the Scriptures we must go to discover that vision—and all else that is necessary for Christian faith and practice. Otherwise, we are lost at sea.”

Presbyterians for Renewal and the Fellowship of Presbyterians: “We grieve these actions by the General Assembly. We believe we will look back on this day and see the error of these decisions. But an Assembly of our denomination has spoken, and now we must move ahead without compromising compassion or conviction. … Proponents of these two actions have made great effort to invite and welcome those who hold unwaveringly to a traditional interpretation of marriage to remain engaged in the mission and ministry of the PCUSA with full integrity. Some will resolve to do this-others may not. Those of us who do remain in the PCUSA will, no doubt, encounter other decisions and actions with which we will disagree. We are not here to fight and divide, but to continue to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to testify to the transforming power of his love that is available to everyone. We urge you in the strongest possible way to refrain from actions, attitudes, and language that would mar the image of Christ in your response to the Assembly’s actions.”

Viola Larson, Naming His Grace blog: “The Scripture is filled with admonitions against sexual immorality which afflicted the Biblical church. The book of Jude gives warning, using Sodom and Gomorrah as examples stating that those who were pushing licentiousness so hard in the church ‘indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh.’ In the book of Revelation, in the letter to the church of Thyatira, the church is warned about Jezebel, she calls herself a prophetess, and she leads Christians astray, causing them to commit sexual sin and idolatry…. And then there is God’s promise. He keeps us from stumbling, He doesn’t just allow us, He ‘makes’ us stand in the presence of His glory. We are there blameless and have great joy. Through all of this tragedy we will stand in the presence of Jesus and the fellowship of each other. And may we bring the broken hurting members of our denomination with us, out of their bondage to stand before His glory. To dwell in love in God’s kingdom.”

The Presbyterian Church in America: There are several Presbyterian denominations in America. Sometimes people mistakenly attribute the views or actions of one Presbyterian denomination to another. The “Presbyterian Church in America”  (PCA) is an evangelical denomination in the Reformed  theological tradition. The PCA, like other Evangelical, Conservative, Orthodox, and Traditional Christians from many denominations, believes that, from creation, God ordained the marriage covenant to be a bond between one man and one woman, and that understanding is what the Church  has always believed, taught, and confessed. Therefore, we believe that the divinely sanctioned standard for sexual activity is fidelity within a marriage between one man and one woman or chastity outside of such a marriage. Throughout history, there has often been a conflict between the unchanging standards of biblical ethics that the Church seeks to maintain and the changing social practices of the culture. The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has not redefined marriage nor does it intend to do so. – L.  Roy Taylor, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America.

A response from a pastor of a PCUSA congregation:  “Our elders remain steadfast in declaring, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’  While our denomination increasingly drifts from Jesus by the book, we will, depending upon God’s grace, order our life and ministry with prayer, proclamation, and passion for Jesus — by the book.  While confessing our sins against our Lord and each other, we will not affirm, condone, or cooperate with any actions of our denomination that insult God’s holiness as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.  When we are wrong about Jesus — by the book, we will confess and repent.  When we are right about Jesus — by the book, we will remain steadfast.  Please join us in praying for the knowledge, wisdom, strength, and courage to look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Jesus alone as above all others.”

 

 

About the author: admin

28 comments

  1. Scott says:

    James:

    “Paul is a man of his times and is God’s missionary to people living in the first century Roman world. He is moving about in a specific culture and age. We must understand that the text assumes various social rules and norms in operation in order to interpret correctly the deeper truths of God’s Word for us today….

    …The text in 1 Timothy 3 does not say being male is a requirement to hold office, but Paul is laying out polity appropriate to first century expectations, he infers an office holder will be male, otherwise his message will be dismissed. ”

    Live by “Paul wrote for a specific culture and age”, die by “Paul wrote for a specific culture and age”. Every liberal uses that exact same claim whenever you want something applied literally and they don’t.

  2. Jim Calvin says:

    All of your comments are disgusting. It is Christians (though I hate to use that term for you) like you that fail to represent the Christ you claim to serve. You are whitewashed tombs. You are vile hypocrites who scream about specks when your eyes are full of planks.

  3. Kay Barry says:

    We were involved, for many years, in the lay renewal movement in the PCUSA. What will these renewal movements do now? What is left? I’m not sure there is anything left worth re-newing. Best to leave, shake the dust off your feet, and find a church and/or demonination that honors God and holds up the authority of Scripture. #apostatePCUSAhaslostitsveryfoundation

  4. Kay Barry says:

    MANY of us were forced out of the PCUSA in years past for our stance on homosexuality. (MANY is indeed an understatement) These faithful folks & their stories will now surface, as we all shake our heads and bid a sad farewell to a denomination that has betrayed its roots.

  5. FL says:

    Oh, was this article about women’s ordination? I thought it was about same sex marriage.
    Right now I’m more concerned about my little PCUSA congregation, which probably won’t have the energy or fortitude to leave the denomination, no matter how much Friday’s vote sickens us (especially since we currently have a dyed-in-the-wool liberal as interim pastor).

  6. John Calvin says:

    To be an Elder, a husband of 1 wife, and since the PCUSA has redefined marriage, a wife now can be a man, a wife now can be a woman, and one day a sheep, humm which is it?? How many women pastors who started churches and their numbers is in the thousands, such as the 9 Presbyterian Church, somewhere in the USA. I would like to know how successful woman pastors are in the USA, by the numbers??? I know the answer, but I want someone to let me know how successful these women are in the USA or world???ow

    How many women elders starting Bible studies became churches??? I know the number, just want again, someone to let me know the success rate???

  7. John Calvin says:

    A response from a pastor of a PCUSA congregation: “Our elders remain steadfast in declaring, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ While our denomination increasingly drifts from Jesus by the book, we will, depending upon God’s grace, order our life and ministry with prayer, proclamation, and passion for Jesus — by the book. While confessing our sins against our Lord and each other, we will not affirm, condone, or cooperate with any actions of our denomination that insult God’s holiness as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture. When we are wrong about Jesus — by the book, we will confess and repent. When we are right about Jesus — by the book, we will remain steadfast. Please join us in praying for the knowledge, wisdom, strength, and courage to look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Jesus alone as above all others.”

    I would say to that pastor, make certain your church and others of like conviction withhold your per capita income not only from Babylon, but from your Presbyteries since Presbyteries give a portion of of money to Babylon.

    Let the Presbyteries and Babylon raise their own money, and not from congregations, and to both Presbyteries and Babylon to make up the short fall, get a job, an honest job.

  8. John Calvin says:

    The perverts running the PCUSA could care less what conservatives think because in the eyes of the PCUSA, you can kiss me where the sun does not shine since I(Babylon) am always right, and shut up since you conservatives are wrong on marriage. When a denomination is run from Babylon making policy, their policy by executive orders, does that sound familiar, Babylon from Louisville, KY cares less again what we think, and we are to love like Jesus which I am for, however, we are at war, a spiritual war against the evil coming out of Babylon, Louisville, KY, and we demand unconditional surrender which is the lovely request to do.

  9. Larry Brown says:

    Ask yourself, why are “mainline” denominations sinking like a rock in numbers, while cults like Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Scientology are growing? It’s because the cults are exclusive rather than inclusive (ever notice that the more inclusive the PCUSA becomes, the smaller it gets?), they hold fast to their doctrine, and they impose discipline upon their members. These have been characteristics of growing religions since the beginning of time. The PCUSA’s ad hoc approach to theology – who do we wanna be today? – is a certain recipe for eventual extinction.

  10. labsteramerica@yahoo.com says:

    I am still trying to figure out why this would be surprising to anyone. Frankly, I thought that they already allowed this. What in the past 40 years would make anyone but the most absurdly naive person think that the downward trajectory of the PCUSA is in doubt? LEAVE! I cannot imagine spending precious ministry time in-fighting over things that would be foundational to any orthodox body of believers, Presbyterian or otherwise. Join the PCA. Join the EPC. Join the OPC. Join Billy Bob’s Community Church. You could throw a rock out of a window and probably hit a better home for your soul and your family. Walk away. LEAVE!

  11. Pastor Bob says:

    You decry the actions and yet you remain. How are you different from those whose actions you deplore? Accomplice or accessory after the fact come to mind!

    • Traditional Presbyterian says:

      Thanks for rubbing salt in our wounds.

      • Eric Wells says:

        Dear Traditional Presbyterian,
        I can safely say that the intent is not to rub salt in the wounds of people who have decided to fight for reform within the PCUSA. The intent is clearly to alert you to the reality that your resolve to defend traditional presuppositionalism would be better received, respected and applied in a Biblical, confessional and reformational denominational home. The Presbyterian Church USA has become irretrievably apostate at the molecular level and no amount of resolve or initiative on the part of the evangelical remnants will bear any fruit at all. If you hold to traditional Biblical truths and believe the Bible to be the only authority(as will as inerrant), then a denomination within NAPARC is where you want and need to be.
        Those who call for revival must accept the fact that God has already provided numerous repositories to and for this end, like the OPC, PCA, RPCNA and so on. The apostate mainline has fallen under the Fatherly displeasure of God. So much so that, in His unquestionable Providence, He has given them over to their own shameful lusts (as per Romans 1).
        ………………… The time is long overdue for the real Presbyterian remnant in the mainline to do as the Bible instructs. That is cut their losses and vote with their feet, it’s a simple as that.

  12. Jean Grimm says:

    We left the pcusa several years ago as it drifted from biblical teachings and became literally obsessed with progressive secular politics.Leaving our church, whose direction felt errant to us, we like a death. We read the bible continuously, not attending any other churches. This was a cleansing period literally for us. Reading the disturbing actions of the PCUSA today, however, fills our souls with the knowledge that God Holy Spirit led us away for this confusing organization. For that is what the PCUSA has became, just an organization. If you are in despair, read your bible and let The Lord speak to you and lead you elsewhere. Love, peace , most of all, grace to those who are seeking a new church to worship

  13. R KELLY says:

    The nefarious extortionists at the PC(USA) care not about building God’s Kingdom – they only want the millions they can wrest from our good Christian brothers and sisters by perverting the unbelievably naive gift to the PC(USA), trustingly granted by each individual congregation, of their church real property at the formation of the denomination. It is obvious that these extremists will stop at nothing to further their destructive progressivist causes.

    We must trust in God’s judgement. These vermin will know His wrath.

  14. blake spencer says:

    Nor does the Presbyterian Church in America ORDAIN WOMEN which makes the Ptesbyterian Layman and frankly every other group and individual on this post unbiblical and heretical. That is unless the PCA decides to ordain women this week.

    • Jim says:

      Maybe you should read 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy.

    • P. J. Southam says:

      I am not embarrassed by Hulda, Anna, or the daughters of Phillip. I am not ashamed of Phoebe or Priscilla.

    • Soren Frederiksen says:

      On what basis can it be said that I am a heretic for not only opposing women’s ordination, but for also teaching others that such a practice is unbiblical? As a heretic, is my salvation in danger for teaching against women’s ordination? Moreover, who decides who is a heretic and who is not?

      If opposing women’s ordination makes me a heretic, then such a practice must be central to the gospel. On what basis can one affirm that this is so? What biblical passages mandate the ordination of women and it’s centrality to the Christian faith?

      What should I teach about I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9? If these chapters do not teach that only men are to hold the ordinary offices in the church, what do they teach? If Genesis 2 does not teach man’s headship in the created order, what does it teach? How should Ephesians 5:22-33 be interpreted? If the relationship between man and woman does not reflect the relationship between Christ and the church, with Christ as the head, what is Paul saying?

      • Please don’t hijack the thread. All of the split “P”s have similar theology, but differ in the application. There are those that ordain women, and those that don’t. However, not all denominations that ordain women, are as liberal as the PC(USA), nor are they as conforming to culture as the PC(USA) is now.

        We already knew that most of those in the “boy/girl” network gave a wink and a nudge to those Teaching Elders who were gay and living with their partners before the Book of Order was changed. Same with those who performed a SS marriage; some were brought up on charges, most were given a slap on the wrist, with a ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’ ruling that was upset more with the BOO than with the TE.

        The thread was on the overtures that were passed at the GA, one of which should have never gotten past the constitutional check.

        • Soren Frederiksen says:

          It is interesting that I am accused of “hijacking” the thread. Not one of my questions was answered. Might this represent an inability to answer the questions I posed? Is calling everyone who disagrees with women’s ordination not hijacking the thread?

          • James says:

            It may be that no one has answered your questions because most people sleep at night or it may be that people are not convinced you particularly care to hear their answers…your tone seems strident which is usually a pretty good indicator that this is more of a contest than it is a reasonable exchange of ideas.

            Paul is a man of his times and is God’s missionary to people living in the first century Roman world. He is moving about in a specific culture and age. We must understand that the text assumes various social rules and norms in operation in order to interpret correctly the deeper truths of God’s Word for us today.

            By the way, how many slaves do you or your neighbors have? I ask the question because in addition to teaching on the Christian household or the qualifications for elder…you must certainly accept as appropriate for us in the 21st century the teaching on how slaves are to obey their masters, right?

            The text in 1 Timothy 3 does not say being male is a requirement to hold office, but Paul is laying out polity appropriate to first century expectations, he infers an office holder will be male, otherwise his message will be dismissed. What text does say is that, “whoever aspires to the office…desires a noble task.”

            Likewise in Ephesians, there is nothing in ch. 5 that precludes women from holding a teaching office. In fact, the key to the whole passage is v. 21, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

            The church in Ephesus, like the one in Corinth was experiencing some disruption, most likely due to active pagan influence at work among members. Paul’s teaching to these two churches was a necessary remedy to produce a more mature, growing community coming more and more into knowledge of the truth.

            There are many women elsewhere in scripture that Paul commends for their leadership and service to the growing Christian community and he calls them “co-workers.” They were equipped by God with same gifts as he was for the church because ultimately, he taught that there is neither “male or female” in Christ.

      • blake spencer says:

        My question wasn’t to you but the Layman. How have those at the Layman made this journey to the ordination of women? Im not attacking you or them. Im simply curious? If the Bible was reexamined and the church was reformed concerning womens ordination can it happen with other issues?

      • Soren Frederiksen says:

        Obviously, James knows nothing about the Bible. Ad hominem arguments are always a sign of weakness.

Leave a comment

Comment form

All fields marked (*) are required