Friday, October 31st, 2014
The Layman Online > 2014 General Assembly (PCUSA) > GA approves same-sex marriages in PCUSA — updated

GA approves same-sex marriages in PCUSA — updated

gaymarriage

DETROIT, Mich. — The 221st General Assembly passed two measures on Thursday afternoon to allow same-sex marriages in the Presbyterian Church (USA), one of which goes into effect immediately.

The General Assembly voted first to approve an Authoritative Interpretation (AI) of the constitution that would give Presbyterian pastors discretion to conduct same-sex ceremonies in states where the practice is legal. The vote on business item 10-03 was 61 percent (371) in favor and 39 percent (238) against. It goes into effect immediately.

Not long after, the assembly also voted to approve an amendment to the Book of Order that would change the definition of marriage from “a woman and a man” to “two people.” The vote on business item 10-02 was 429 (71 percent) to 175 (29 percent).

It will now be sent to the denomination’s 172 presbyteries for ratification, and if approved by 87 of the presbyteries, it could be part of the PCUSA constitution by this time next year (2015).

IMG_1377The assembly did approve an amendment to the first paragraph of the proposed change to the definition of marriage so that what will be sent to the presbyteries for approval reads — “Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people (traditionally between a man and a woman) to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The sacrificial love that unites the couple sustains them as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community.”

PLC: An abomination

The board of directors of the Presbyterian Lay Committee (PLC) were quick to respond the General Assembly’s actions, calling the actions an “abomination.”

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 PLC statement read.

The PLC called Presbyterians to not only resist, but protest. “You should tell your pastor and the members of your session that you disapprove of these actions.  You should refuse to fund the General Assembly, your synod, your presbytery and even your local church if those bodies have not explicitly and publicly repudiated these unbiblical actions.”

Lastly the PLC called the PCUSA to “repentance and reform: Repentance of those who have clearly erred at this General Assembly and reform of the PCUSA according to the Word of God.”

Reconciliation

The final piece of business from the Civil Unions and Marriage Issues committee was a request for some kind of reconciliation process.

The motion, which was overwhelmingly approved (521-31) by the General Assembly, read:

“Direct the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly to establish a way to bring reconciliation to the church that would involve visiting each presbytery and serving as a resource for each presbytery’s discussion of these actions in congregations and the presbytery at-large and present voices of reconciliation for the unity of the church.”

In introducing the item, Committee Chairman Jeffrey Bridgeman from the Presbytery of Santa Barbara, passionately spoke about the need for reconciliation.

“These issues have caused deep fissures and the exodus of churches and individuals,” he said, “Both the church I grew up in and the community of faith of my first call have graciously left our community in the last six months. … Far too many friends and family have broken fellowship to continue their ministries in other places … My heart is broken.”

“Our committee knew that something other than polity action needed to happen, that is why this new piece of business is before you,” he said. “As a denomination we cannot continue to take steps to be more inclusive and ignore the exclusion of others. … There must be a deliberate and concerted effort to find ways to heal this increasingly broken and fragile relationship. We need reconcilation.”

The press conference

Following the vote, a press conference was held with PCUSA leadership including General Assembly Moderator Heath K. Rada, Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons and the vice-moderator of the committee on Civil Unions and Marriage Issues Rebecca Tollefson, from Scioto Valley Presbytery.

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The press conference.

During the assembly debate on the issues, concerns were raised about having an Authoritative Interpretation of the denomination’s constitution that was in direct conflict with the document, especially if the amendment to change the definition of marriage does not get ratified by the presbyteries.

Carmen Fowler LaBerge, president of the PLC, asked the leadership what happened if the presbyteries did not vote in favor of the change? “What happens to the AI and with the new tensions that would  be created?”

“The tension that was created in the assembly will be there until the tension is resolved,” said Parsons.

When asked about the potential losses of members and churches because of the denomination’s decision, Parsons said he had no crystal ball but he hoped for no losses.

The assembly’s request for a reconciliation process, he said, was “a serious request,” that the leadership will try to make happen.

Rada also spoke of the reconciliation process, saying “a significant amount of my time, especially in during my first year, will be doing [reconciliation]. … I feel that if we focus on issues of what holds us together instead of what drags us apart” that would help.

“We have the same faith in Jesus,” he said, “and from that we can recognize how we might move forward and be different.”

Questions were also asked about comments made by Hunter Farrell, director of Presbyterian World Mission, who told commissioners that based conversations he had with the denominations; 54 global mission partners, at 17 would break relationships with the PCUSA if same-sex marriage is approved.

Another 25 global partners said that the change would cause damage to their relationship with the PCUSA, but the partner would not completely break ties with the denomination.

“We aren’t going to joyfully say that we are sorry you want to break our relationship,” said Rada. “In my heart I want to believe that they have made strong statements, but we may have ongoing communication that may alter that.”

 

About the author: Paula R. Kincaid

Paula R. Kincaid is the editor of The Layman and The Layman Online. She has been employed by the Presbyterian Lay Committee since March 3, 1998. She lives in Hudson, N.C.

181 comments

  1. Paul Samson says:

    Some of us would rather REFORM PCUSA than abandon it.
    http://savepcusa.blogspot.com/

  2. Kermit says:

    Two years ago, we left the PCUSA after 48 years of membership and joined Mount Calvary Lutheran MS. No more of that gay marriage stuff for us.

  3. Richard Holsomback says:

    We still have “local control”; i.e., we can still call our pastors and the session can still call and ordain the elders and the congregation gets a vote – right?;

    The pastor may perform the ceremony, but only in jurisdictions that allow it – and they are not compelled;

    marriage is defined as “between two people, but traditional, between one man and one woman”;

    AND

    The national vote has not yet been taken.

    SO

    The big deal must have to do with property and money – right??

    Yep the devil is at work here I would say and it’s all about the money honey!!

    • P. J. Southam says:

      Richard,
      I hope I can clear up somethings about the call process in the Presbyterian Church (USA). I don’t know how it is in other denominations, though I do know it is slightly different in the Bible Presbyterian Church.
      When a PCUSA church calls a pastor, there are FOUR parties involved in the call: The pastor, the congregation, the presbytery, and the Holy Spirit. While a congregation may issue a call, the Holy Spirit should be moving in the process all along. The pastor answers the call and the presbytery ratifies/confirms/validates the call. So, no, for pastors it is not local control.
      Again, the congregation selects, votes, ordains and installs who will be their Ruling Elders and Deacons. Other Ruling Elders may be on the nominating committee, but it is the congregation not the elders who select the other elders. Again, the Holy Spirit should ideally be involved in this. Thus, the entire process for both pastors and elders should involve A LOT of prayer and discernment.
      This is a brief explanation. If you have questions ask your pastor to sit down with you and go through the process. (And since I am typing this up off the top of my head without a Book of Order or Book of Confessions in front of me, if I have made an inadvertent error I will be glad for other clarification.)

      Sincerely, P.J. Southam

  4. Richard Holsomback says:

    The devil is doing a great job on dividing us I would say.

  5. Scott Olsen says:

    Thanks Andrew, it’s nice to know I am right on occasion :). However, I was simply using my own analogy of a high bar. I was glad to re-read the passage you highlighted. There are many ways the Evangelical church could choose to respond Biblically to the LBGT community. It is a shame that they have not chosen one.

  6. andrew fincke says:

    Curt,
    You’re confusing two matters that have nothing to do with each other. On the one hand you say, “in fact He told her to go and sin no more.” That’s John 8:11: “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” – the parting tip to the adulterous woman. But then you jump to a “bar no higher,” which comes from John 4:5-6: “Then cometh he to a city of Samaria (Hebrew: lookout mountain), which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.” We all know what happened at this “high (mountaintop) bar” (King James: well): He was propositioned by a waitress, who was on her way to her evening employment – prostitution (verse 18; King James: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband). Declining her services, the Lord sent her off to the city, where she picked up two more men. John 4:28: “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the (two) men.” Verse 30: “Then they went out of the city, and came unto him” in the bar, where he shared with them the gospel (verse 39). Scott is right: “The person can even get divorced for any reason and be welcomed by the ECO denomination. The church blesses their marriage or second or third marriage and provides a significant number of services and support.” The Lord accepted the woman and her clients/husbands with open arms and helped them overcome their problem of sexual dysfunction. See Mark 12:22: “And the seven had her, and left no seed.” Gen. 2:24: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” He (the denomination) shall leave his father (the Westminster Confession) and his mother (the Shorter Catechism), and shall cleave unto his wife (the Confession of 1967): and they (the Confession of 1967 and the Belhar Confession) shall be one flesh (gospel).” In Hebrew “flesh” (בָּשָׂר, basar) and “gospel, good news” (בְּשֹׂרָה, bᵊsora) are the same word. John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh.” 1 Corinthians 7:15: ” But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”

  7. Scott Olsen says:

    Jesus did say he who has not sinned should throw the first stone and the crowd dispersed. The Evangelical. church’s decision to take a hard line here falls into the realm of throwing stones rather than responding in a loving and patient manner. The church’s decision, in my opinion, has alienated a significant number of our brothers and sisters, has led to bullying, depression and worse. It is hard to argue against the fact that Biblical scripture has set a very high bar for the LGBT community. Can you imagine the mature faith it would take to ignore your sexual attraction and live a life of celibacy and alone? The church has not stepped up to this challenge by providing a safe place for the LGBT to explore their faith and learn to follow Jesus, but instead has made them second class citizens, drastically reducing the chance they will find salvation. The church has not met them half way but insist they come fully transformed. This has resulted in an alternative lifestyle that is not healthy. I can not imagine that Jesus is applauding the church here when the fate of souls both on this earth and eternal is at stake.

    • Curt Russell says:

      Scott… by your first comment, you are admitting that homosexuality is a sin. Jesus did not reject the woman NOR did He dismiss the sin of the woman, in fact He told her to go and sin no more. Likewise, evangelical churches are not rejecting homosexuals… neither are they accepting homosexual behavior any more than any other sin. The bar is no higher for the LGBT community than any other community… sin is sin and when we choose to follow Christ, we are called to live holy lives. The express purpose of the church is to encourage one another to live holy lives. Yes we fail… but in failure, the solution is not to throw in the towel and call sin ok. Rather, we walk side by side as encouragers, yet calling sin sin. Scripture, the highest authority in the PCUSA denomination, calls homosexuality an abomination. That’s pretty strong language. Do we just ignore Scripture and follow pop culture? I’m thinking that Jesus might have a problem with that as well.

      • Scott Olsen says:

        Unfortunately that reply does not address any of my concerns. Yes Jesus said go and sin no more, but that was Jesus. That is His territory, not yours. Yours is to love your neighbor. By saying the bar is no higher for LGBT confirms you have not thought this through very carefully.. A heterosexual is free to marry someone who they have a natural attraction towards. The person can even get divorced for any reason and be welcomed by the ECO denomination. The church blesses their marriage or second or third marriage and provides a significant number of services and support. On the other hand, a LGBT individual is required to deny their same sex attraction, to live a life alone without the support of their church, and in many cases their family and friends. If they still attend an ECO church, they are not allowed to advance in their faith journey by becoming deacons, elders or teaching elders. I am in no way suggesting anyone ignore scripture. If our job is to save souls, the Evangelical’s response has a very poor track record. To act in a Biblical manner, and not one where “we fail” as you say, we need to acknowledge our failure and take steps to make changes to improve. I am suggesting love, patience and withholding judgement. No one said being a Christian was supposed to be easy.

  8. andrew fincke says:

    My sincere apologies, George!
    Gen. 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” is not a renunciation of same-sex marriages but rather an espousal of them. A man shall “leave his father and his mother” by rejecting the parents’ fascination with procreation and seeking another recourse to marital fulfillment. The unconverted Paul/Saul’s hauling of “men and women” to prison (Acts 8:3) was a reaction to frustration over the early church’s renunciation of intersex marriage. He saw confinement in a (curtained) cell as the only hope for getting the couple to procreate and repopulate the chosen race. After his conversion – seeing the light – he accepted his apostolic destiny and embarked on missionary trips with Barnabas as consort.

  9. George75 says:

    It is difficult to understand the sudden wailing and gnashing of teeth over what has happened in Detroit. This has been in the works for many years and should surprise no one.

    My congregation saw the handwriting on the wall and left six years ago after an overwhelming vote to leave. We have been blessed with membership in a new denomination.

    The PCUSA has lost 10 percent of its membership over the past two years. If this rate of loss continues, the last member will leave in 2034. I hope he or she will turn out the lights.

  10. andrew fincke says:

    I’m in agreement with Carmen that same-sex marriages are a “shame” and not a “sin.” We know that from her daily briefing of June 19, in which she hailed “an authoritative interpretation allowing pastors to perform same-sex marriages.” From 1 Corinthians 14:35 we know that “it is a shame for women to speak in the church” and none of her other remarks arouse suspicion. That the scripture is not a blanket prohibition of feminine utterances in church is clear. “Wake up, honey! The sermon’s almost over” and “Put the nickel in the plate, Johnny!” are endemic to any worship service. Rhe “shame” in what Carmen gave us from the General Assembly (Greek “church”) is the phrase “same-sex marriage.” It’s not the act itself that is sin but rather the inclusion of it in the sacraments. See Ephesians 5:3: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.” The naming of “same-sex marriagew” is the offense and not the ceremony itself, which we know to be legitimate from Acts 8:3: “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling (sic!) men and women committed them to prison.” As bad a Jew Saul was, he knew his Bible and respected the Christian doctrine of inerrancy. Honoring Genesis 2:24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” he left married couples alone and concentrated on “men and women,” i.e. men with their same-sex conjugal mates and women with their same-sex conjugal mates. Celibate married couples were left in peace.

  11. Mike says:

    A LAST CALL FROM THE CARPATHIA*
    When the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage in April, 1912, neither the passengers nor crew recognized at first how serious the collision was. It was not visible to those on deck. But severe damage had been done, out of sight, below the waterline. The hull plates were buckled and pierced in several locations on the starboard side. Five of her sixteen watertight compartments had been opened to the sea, and the water was pouring in.
    Those still in the PCUSA who love the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to obey His Word, need to understand that this denomination, like the Titanic, is pierced below the waterline. False doctrine and heresy have been pouring in for years and you now see the result.
    After this General Assembly, it should be even more obvious that it is time to take a stand for righteousness and depart. For those who still think things may yet change, consider these words from Psalm 81:10 -12:
    “I am the LORD your God,
    Who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
    Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
    “But My people would not heed My voice,
    And Israel would have none of Me.
    So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart,
    To walk in their own counsels.”

    The band may be playing on deck, with all the lights on, and many people busily rushing to and fro, but this vessel — like the Titanic — is going down, sinking into the cold, dark waters of apostasy.
    There are rescue ships standing by with their lights burning brightly. But you have to take action and get yourself into a lifeboat.
    It is time to leave this ship, as many have already done. God holds us responsible for our allegiances when we align ourselves with those who are walking contrary to God’s Word. Do you want to be a survivor or one of the casualties? Step into a lifeboat and cast off.

    * The Carpathia was one of the ships that received the distress message from the Titanic, and raced all night to its position. While the Titanic had already sunk by the time she arrived, the Carpathia rescued more than 700 passengers. With acknowledgement also to the Rev. Dr. Paul Zahl

    • guest says:

      we are called to stay and try to turn the ship around, then leave if that doesn’t work. the problem appears to be some still find this leaky ship to be salvageable, while many of us consider it to be beyond all human hope and prayer, i am in the later group. only time will tell who is correct. we’re all wasting precious little time here trying to get those remaining on board to jump ship, including my best friend and my only sibling. i get the impression these folks would rather go down with the ship than admit they’re wrong. in a nutshell that’s the problem in the first place, a satanic level of pride.

  12. Andrew Hilla says:

    The PCUSA has sold its sold to the devil by rejecting the authority of God’s Word, rejecting Jesus Christ as the ONLY WAY to be saved, and now by embracing the depravity of those who are devoid of God’s Truth. The Holy Scriptures bear witness to the Truth and sadly, the Scriptures are being rejected and rewritten by the PCUSA.

    From Timothy 3…
    “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. 10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

  13. B.R. Sanders says:

    The strength and beauty of our denomination resides at the congregtional level; not the General Assembly who is funded through Per Capital congregational contributions given.

    Each church session now has an opportunity to decide and vote on what is in the best interest for them, individual both spiritually and financially.

    We Presbyterians need to get out of GA politics and back to work and spread the news of the Gospel in our own communities as expressed so wonderfully through The Six Great Ends of The Church.

    Presbyterians throughout America should be proud of our many and significant mission – focused contributions made over the last 300+ years that were based upon love, not hate or exclusion.

    My favorite saying that expresses this belief comes from a Dr. Rev. Harold Fredsell; a Detroit Minister in the 1950′s, who wrote : “the church exists for those who do not yet belong to.”

    My hope is we can get back to the business at hand of loving and welcoming all people in the name of Jesus Christ who not only loved us but never did judge us.

    • Faith says:

      Sadly, PCUSA is just an extension of the progessive democratic party. Political correctness and culture have replaced the authority of scripture. No religion based in God can support abortion, gay marriage and multiple paths to redemption. Let the PCUSA runs it’s course on it’s current path. It will take time, but it will deslove just like every other pagan religion.

      • Kay Hill says:

        Faith, you are so right about the PCUSA being an extension of the Democrat Party. Liberals have taken over, and there is no regard for the unborn or the institution of marriage.

    • Elder Ralph says:

      A problem occurs when a congregation, a Session, an individual member believes that what happens at a higher level does not effect them. One cannot belong to an organization without overtly or tacitly supporting their policies. Congregations that believe in the Word of God now have the AI hanging over hem. Should the same sex amendment pass that will be the policy that all those who stay as members will be saying they support. The only option available right now is to send letters of protest and then WORK in every possible way to defeat this abomination at the Presbytery level.

  14. Larry May says:

    No matter how much conversation, Presbyterian voting, judicial decisions, etc., a union of two of the same sex will never constitute a marriage! The Queer Nation has invaded our denomination, and has quickly moved to drag it down to their perverted level!

  15. Marty says:

    I greave for the Exodus that is inevitable due to the action taken by the GA. We are surrendering the Presbyterian Church to those who choose to ignore the Holy Scriptures, and attempt to force all Christians to accept, and approve of sin. The scriptures tell us to love the sinner, but hate the sin. There will be many who read this, and accuse me of hate, which is not the intention of my comments. I try to follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray for those who have unforgiven sin in their life, repentance must be evident in our life, in order to be born again. As for me, I have been a Presbyterian minister for 17 years, and I have encouraged our members to remain faithful to the old book of order, but I can no longer be unequally yoked. I will ask the Church to vote, if they choose to remain PCUSA, I will resign and trust that God will lead me to minister in a God fearing, Bible believing Church, where we can serve Him without being ashamed.
    My decision is based on the fact that the Presbyterys will without doubt approve this amendment.

    • Rosa says:

      Yes, ignore the Bible abomination.

    • John Knox's distant daughter says:

      As a former member of PCUSA, but born into generations of Scot’s Presbyterians, PCA, and Huguenots, it is with dismay that I read that many think that PCUSA is “the ‘true’ church.” It is not. Conservative Presbyterian churches have been in this country since the beginning. In fact, ARP, or Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church is older than PCA. I think both are the ‘true church,” as they base their faith on the Bible and not on the secular demands of the present to be accepted.

      I take much comfort and defend Presbyterians, as it is not the PCUSA, thankfully, who define us.

      Pray. Reform is in our blood. God has a plan. Do not grieve, just leave. I say that without a church home, but know I did the right thing in standing on faith and standing up to the PCUSA when I did. May God bless you all, even those who confuse secular matters vs The Word of God.

      • John Knox's distant daughter says:

        Replying to self: ECO is also abiding in God’s Word, and I am thankful to know many who have joined this branch of Presbyterians. Sorry to leave them and Orthodox Presbyterians off my list. Reform is strong. Look for it, as it varies depending on where you live. May God bless you and keep you and may His light shine upon you as you find a new church home.

        • Todd says:

          Less than 1 percent of PCUSA churches have joined ECO and the great majority are under 500 members. That is in no way a mandate.. With 50,000 denominations in the world, what’s one more that is sure to split again if history proves correct.

    • Kay Hill says:

      Marty, I agree with your comments. Just wondering how difficult the process is to become a pastor in another denomination…

  16. Steven says:

    I guess it’s only appropriate that this year’s GA be held in Detroit, a city which has seen it’s better days and has deteriorated because of bad policies which have resulted urban decay and flight. I can only see the PCUSA’s continued abandonment of biblical precepts leading to the decimation of a once great denomination.

    • Ron Stewart says:

      What is your point? PCUSA should ignore troubled areas? PCUSA should turn their back on people who clearly have a steeper path?

      • Faith says:

        I’ll see if I can help…

        The irony of not recognizing the result of poor decisions while being surrounded by the result of poor decisions.

        • Ron Stewart says:

          No, that didn’t help. What is the harm of holding a conference in Detroit, the center of the country. May help, and couldn’t hurt.

  17. Luke says:

    One must wonder…..If an action by the General Assembly requires church-wide “reconciliation”, was there wisdom in taking the action in the first place?

  18. Jim says:

    It’s sundown on the system…
    it’s hay day for bolting the once grand old PCUSA…

  19. Bob W. says:

    Finding verses in the Bible that say homosexuality is a sin is not difficult, accepting them as truth is the hard part.

    Where in the Bible does it say homosexuality is NOT a sin? I must have missed it. I only see reference to ‘man laying with man’ and ‘men exchanging unnatural relations with other men’ as detestable to God.

    Should people who have same-sex attractions attend church…by all means yes. But should the church celebrate this relationship with the sacrament of marriage? By all means no. I think the church would be loving people with same-sex attractions by telling them their behavior is against the Word of God. I think it is that simple.

    Those who have stayed with PCUSA up to this point (like myself) have tried to be the ‘light’ with regard to this issue. The darkness is so think now that any light now remaining will be extinguished. I am one of those lights who will be going away I am sad to say. This has been my church home for 32 years.

  20. Sheldon says:

    And, on top of all that has happened in Detroit, it must be a full moon…

  21. Albert Buckley says:

    It is fitting that the PCUSA General Assembly met in DETROIT to vote for homosexual marriage. The PCUSA is doomed to the same failure as the once great city of Detroit.

  22. andrew fincke says:

    The reformed position on marriage is clear. When the pastor asks the bride to express her assent to the question “Do you take this man as your lawful wedded husband?” she remains silent in compliance with 1 Corinthian 14:35: “it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”. The pastor looks at her long hair vibrating and assumes her acquiescence in the ritual. 1 Corinthians 11:15: “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” When a man marries another man, neither has a covering. See 1 Corinbthians 11:14: “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” Thus we get the prohibition against homosexual marriage in Matthew 19:10: “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry (men).” If the betrothal of a man and a woman transpires under a veil of hair, it is best to avoid the betrothal of two men. 1 Samuel 20:17: “And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.”

  23. Frank says:

    It’s like watching a tragic comedy unfold.

    Folks like those over at Covenant Network have been tenaciously punching the church for gay recognition for years. Oh, the tears shed, the dark nights of anguish, the loneliness, the exclusion…finally, the church has yielded to the infallible authority of their experience as gay people. Hallelujah! God is good! God is love! I can be gay in my church now. God has finally spoken, the debate is over. We must begin the hard work of reconciliation. My, how we now have the high road, we are made righteous.

    …”And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

    Now that is foundationally frightening and tragic. Repent.

  24. Lee Jensen says:

    More sheep will leave for the more Biblical denominations. I already have. It really surprises me that they are unaware of the consequences.

    • Jim says:

      true…GA blunders again into uncharted and ill advised waters…

      • Frankly, I do not think most of them care. The clarion call of culture is simply too strong to resist. But the end is near for the once liberal but no apostate denominations.
        I think it was Dean Inge who observed: “Church that marries the culture in one age will discover it is a widow in the next age.” [My Inge comment is a paraphrase.]
        I will continue in the PCUSA, of course, but recognize
        that the long term spiritual health of the denomination
        is not sustainable without renewal, revival, a new covenant, and reliance on the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit.
        We, as a denomination, often invoke the Holy Spirit but the fruit of the Spirit is often absent in our offical
        gatherings and among our congregations [so far as I can tell].
        I am sad, very sad about the state of the church.

  25. Shelby says:

    ONE WORD: APOSTATE

  26. James says:

    I pray the Presbyteries will vote against this change. If it passes the membership of PCUSA will simply accelerate it’s demise.
    This seems to be a natural process for modern Presbyterian denominations. Rather than sincere belief in the Word, they follow the whims of society and twist the Word to their liking. Of course, the bible gives us numerous examples of this occurring, and of course, in every case those twisting the Word were destroyed. But, the GA thinks they are different, that they possess true wisdom, fools.

    • John Knox's distant daughter says:

      Even if they manage a majority vote, it will not matter, as it will be voted upon again. And again. Until, like the past ten years, it is finally a victory…as many churches who originally voted against this are already gone. Pray for them. Pray for us all.

  27. Rod says:

    1 Timothy 2, 9-15. Similarly, women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God with good deeds. A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I don not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

    Churches have been allowing women to speak and teach for years. If folks are really so concerned with the Bible they would have railed against this heresy long ago. If you’re not following everything you have no credibility.

    • Dale says:

      “Churches have been allowing women to speak and teach for years. If folks are really so concerned with the Bible they would have railed against this heresy long ago. If you’re not following everything you have no credibility.”

      And the PCUSA, which claims to follow scripture, but doesn’t when its culturally uncomfortable, is preferable how? The ministers and elders who pledged to follow the PCUSA church constitutions on sexuality while intentionally violating and subverting them are credible how? Because they agree with you, so it’s O.K. for them to deceive until they have enough power to be honest about their true intentions?

      I’m always amazed at people who have no interest in biblical ethics think they have any business

    • James says:

      There are only two places in the NT where Paul prohibits women in this way, at the churches in Corinth and Ephesus and understanding the context of Paul’s remarks is crucial. Both churches were experiencing disruption and still had strong ties to paganism. Note that the teaching is from Paul himself as a matter of local polity, he says ” I ” do not permit, not that God does not permit. On the contrary, in the full context of both old and new testaments, many women have been placed in positions of leadership where they brought God’s word to God’s people. Consider Deborah, one of the mighty judges of ancient Israel, she was a strong leader and often prophesied to the Israelites. In the NT, women such as Prisca, Phoebe, and Nympha were teaching leaders in the Jesus movement whom Paul called co-workers blessed with the same gifts by God as he was for the service of the church.

      Neither has scripture ever condoned forced slavery or slave trading, neither has it providing any grounds for prohibiting interracial marriage but on the subject of homosexuality, the scripture gives a declarative unified witness to God’s condemnation of it. His moral character does not change. He is truth itself and in him there is no change or variation of shadow. This…in spite of what some by their own lights and experience would twist his words to make them say what the ears desired to hear.

      The pcusa wears the guise of godliness but denies its power. They have become corrupt in their teaching and opposed to truth.

      We live in distressing times and signs around us point to the fact that we are nearing the conclusion of the age. God is not a puppet master. He allows those who choose rebellion to be given over to the consequences of their rebellion.

      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demo sin your name, and do mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

      Those words are directed as a warning to all of us, but never so cogent a warning as now to the leadership of the pcusa with their claims of “deep discernment and prayer” over the actions they took yesterday.

      Christ came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. His work is finished. We no longer have to worry about making sacrifices in Jerusalem, or wearing cloth of two materials, or about eating pork…But we should be very concerned about honoring God’s unchanging and eternal moral law. It is a reflection of his very nature, his character, and we as his people are to be a reflection of him to the world…but we can’t do that when we follow the lights of the world instead.

      “Enter by the narrow gate…for the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Doesn’t sound very inclusive.

      • Exile in MD says:

        Thanks for providing an excellent rebuttal to the woman teaching and slavery arguments…very well stated and helpful.

      • Mike says:

        That is an excellent post!

      • Scott says:

        Hermeneutics gymnastics at its finest.

      • Rob says:

        There are certainly extremely strong counter-arguments to your post whch emphatically reject your points on women’s ordination, and place women and men in complementary roles (I was raised on them, but I long ago gave up on “winning” such arguments). Churches which deny women’s ordination ave a much stronger theological basis for arguing against same-sex marriage. The larger point is that there is profound differences of opinion on that issue (which has split the church only a short time ago), and one side or the other is certainly guilty of apostasy (or not).

        • James says:

          “There are certainly extremely strong counter-arguments to your post whch emphatically reject your points on women’s ordination.”

          Yes…I concede this point…if we were living in a patriarchal society or the first century. The bible assumes the oppression of women as it does slavery and Paul taught “slaves obey your masters.” Yet, no one is arguing a return to slavery.

          Women called to leadership in the church does no damage to the complimentary roles of the sexes or the witness of God’s order in creation. I’m not trying to win an argument…only saying that, as Paul ultimately taught…”We are all one in Christ.” In him there is neither male or female.

      • Deborah says:

        And all God’s people shouted, “AMEN!!!”

    • Jim says:

      this understanding of the Word is very lacking

  28. Andrew Hilla says:

    I am utterly disgusted with the PCUSA and the direction they have chosen to take. I can honestly say that I am ASHAMED to be a minister member of the PCUSA. The denomination has sold its soul to the devil. There is no turning back for this denomination. How can ANYONE be so deceived into thinking that this action (approval of same sex marriage in the church) can add to the PURITY of the Church of Jesus Christ? Show me ONE VERSE of the Bible that condones homosexuality! There are MANY verses that call it what it is… sin!

    “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20

  29. Jim Yearsley says:

    RECONCILIATION? NO THANK YOU. I will not reconcile with a church council and functionaries which/who have embraced apostasy. This GA chose culture over the sovereignty of God and the Authority of his word. Hear me clearly Louisville — and all of your apostate minions. Do not send me ‘pastoral’ letters on this subject. Do not dispatch propagandists to sit down and ‘reason’ with me or my congregation. Stay away. If you voted in favor of this apostasy, you are not a colleague and friend in ministry, you have abandoned the faithful remnant.

    • Paul Roberts says:

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,
      There is no doubt that the PCUSA is apostate. It has been for awhile and I have been clear about that for some time. We have given up on Biblical authority, or being lead by our Confessions. This GA only substantiates that the PCUSA battle is over. The Church has become a political organization and not a Jesus centered faith community. I feel like I have been at a Democratic National Platform meeting. The question has always been what to do. I look at the Old Testament prophets for guidance. The people of Israel were many times idolaters and were evil in God’s sight. The prophets were called to call out the sin but not to leave. They were to stay with the idolatries nation. I am called to stand and call out the sinful apostate denomination I am in. I will stay knowing that in a few short years they will demand for me to leave if my Biblical understanding of Leadership and Holiness. Paul Roberts

      • Truly says:

        Why would you stay? Are you going to pay tithe to them? So your tithe will now go to advancing their apostasy? You should rethink your decision to stay, this isn’t some small disagreement of doctrine

      • Bruce Thompson says:

        If you are an ordained leader in the PCUSA you had better review the oath you took at ordination. In it you swear to uphold the constitution and governance of the PCUSA. The book of order calls you to submit it, quietly abstain, or leave. If you believe PCUSA is on the wrong track there is no wiggle room to “change” it from the inside. Leave, stay and follow your oath, or stay and break your oath!

        • John Knox's distant daughter says:

          Breaking your “oath” to PCUSA is, one would think, less troublesome than breaking your belief in the Word of God. I know a few good men who broke this “oath” and they stand on belief of the Bible first before men/women in the GA.

          While some choose to stay and fight the good fight, I pray for you. While some choose to leave PCUSA, as I did, I pray for you. While some choose to stay as they believe secular matters and modern faith outweighs the faith of their fathers, I pray for you. We all have choices to make. I am thankful PCUSA revealed their true colors after a decade of near misses.

          Stand by your faith and beliefs. In the end you answer to God.

      • Dan Bee says:

        I believe you err in taking guidance from the relationship between the prophets of God and His chosen people. You do not hold the office of a prophet, and the PCUSA is not the chosen people of God (although undoubtedly there are chosen within the PCUSA). I would suggest another passage, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” (Rev. 18:4-5).

        May God grant you wisdom.

      • Deborah says:

        My husband and I were both elders in the PCUSA. We left our local PCUSA church in Murfreesboro, TN, in 2010, not because the local church was in agreement to what was occurring at GA. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of the congregation was appalled by what GA was doing! Our thought was that the local church had an option to change its affiliation.
        Previously, we had been members of Southport Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. They left PCUSA (at a cost of $300,000+ !!!) in 2009. The congregation at Southport found a home in EPC. We figured the local church in TN would elect to do the same. When it showed no signs of addressing the issue, and when the associate pastor compared our views on homosexuality to our views of slavery in the 1800s, we decided it was time to move!
        The second week we attended a new church, the pastor, in his sermon, reminded us that one day Jesus would return and separate the sheep from the goats. And he added, “So, if you are standing in a line, and you smell goat, it’s time to move!”
        >What you are smelling now is goat. Move.<
        The way my husband and I see it is: We didn't leave the PCUSA; the PCUSA left us.

    • A Calvinist says:

      so leave and take your attitude with you.

    • Whitey Bird says:

      Jim I don’t disagree with your statements but you actually sound surprised that this has come about. I would have been surprised if it wouldn’t have come out like it did.
      The apostasy started a long time ago and the work is about done in the pcusa. The “propagandists’ that you mention still have some work to do in the United Methodist denomination and I think they can now put their total efforts that direction now as they have won the pusa.

  30. Ryan says:

    If we’re going to go this far, why even limit marriage to two people? There is far greater reference to polygamist marriage in the bible than gay marriage.

    • Robbie says:

      Only a matter of time, Ryan. No one on either side of this debate actually believes that the activists who have taken over the PCUSA will stop with this one issue. And that is the problem–now that they have thrown Scripture out the window as the true guiding force of the denomination, they will be subject to being thrown around to and fro on the winds of culture. As culture continues to decay, so will the PCUSA.

      So what is next? My guess is that the activists will first start with making what is now discretionary mandatory–pastors will not have any choice on the issue of gay marriage, regardless of their conscience. After that, it really just depends on how far culture has shifted. All you need is love, right? Sigh…

  31. Kermit says:

    After allowing Gay ministers, we cancelled our membership after 48 years. Now the gay marriage is just another nail in the coffin. We are now members of the Lutheran Church MS, where they believe in marriage as it is written in the Bible.

  32. Young James says:

    I dare not to judge about this action of GA. Neither willing to blame anyone in the denomination. But I can say this. It is ture fact that PCUSA lost a lot of its members last 5-6 years. Someone even calculated or predicted that with current rate of decline the denomination would not exist after 17 years from today. Well, this decision certainly will accelerate the speed of exodus.

  33. Gayle says:

    We don’t need to be worrying about offending people…WE NEED TO WORRY ABOUT OFFENDING GOD!!! Going against his Word is most certainly offending to Him!

  34. Pastor Bob says:

    In response to “Young One” it appears, with all due respect {to quote Ricky Bobby}, that you are all over the place. I think I hear you affirming my point that for some, it’s about name brand and building. But guess what? You can find what’s most important about being the Body of Christ in other places.

  35. Jeff says:

    Pay close attention …I have no doubt this decision has angered our God…it shows that many no longer listen for his voice but only pray prayers and do then only as they please..Our God is not to be mocked and PCUSA did just that and now those must repent or face judgement from God. It’s time bible believing Christians stand up and say enough is enough…I will stand on the Holy scriptures as the true word of God and do my best daily to live by them because in those I find eternal life with God…Man’s rules that have been written will only lead to hurt and destruction. May PCUSA find their way before it’s to late.

    • John Knox's distant daughter says:

      I agree. And, had I not been aware of years of back and fort regarding, not just gay marriage and gays in the pulpit—-which is the focus of the matter, as it is a popular stance (note: popular!) of disagreement amongst society…the fact that the GA determined that belief in Jesus Christ is not the pathway to salvation (a biggie in the Christian faith), being wishy-washy on abortion and late-term abortion and not taking a stand as, “need to be popular and non-exclusive!”, as well as their dissing Israel, well, lots of nails in this coffin. I pray for the GA, and their confusion in that it has always been difficult to take a stand for God’s Eternal Word. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, was not even “popular” with his own family or in his village! Nor were the apostles. But the PCUSA does not appear to recognize this fact.

      Those of you who are leaving PCUSA, be happy. Be blessed. Stand on the side of the scripture you read, not on meetings in Detroit. I repeat, in the end you answer to God, not men. Listen to the inner voice if you are told to leave PCUSA, and be thankful, as that is what we are supposed to do. It is ok to be sad, and I have been there, but listen to what you need to do. There are other Presbyterian churches, and, yes, other denominations or non-denominational church families to join. May God bless you all. My prayers are with you tonight as it is a very difficult time. Always remember that God has a plan for us all.

  36. McDuff says:

    Flee…

  37. Pastor Bob says:

    I have a hard time understanding all the whining comments. Just walk away. Nobody is forcing you to remain in the PCUSA. It’s been two years since the first apostasy, and yet you stayed. You didn’t think things would get better, did you? I’m wondering if there’s a deeper issue of idolatry for a building and a cherished heritage from the past? I think you have two choices…either step out boldly in faith, start a new church, and serve Jesus Christ, or sit around wringing your hands, complaining about how horrible things are in the PCUSA. Which choice sounds Biblical?

    P.S. – For those of you who remain, there will be a “next big thing” and you will start the reactive process all over again!

    • The Young One says:

      “Just walk away”?> From the church where I met my wife, where my children were baptized, where we poured 25 years of our time and our resources. Over those 25 years I didn’t change, my local congregation didn’t change and most importantly GOD didn’t change. The denomination changed. This isn’t about human sexuality, marriage equality or any other issue: For me this is about a group of people who have turned the denomination into a political action committee. The focus of GA should be about Jesus: Not about international politics, rewriting tax codes, gun control and registration of ammunition–Those are opinions that all are free to hold and express individually, but when they kidnap the focus of the church from “Christ and Christ alone” I have a problem. I’m not going to leave. One of my favorite things about a “big tent church”, where people are free to differ in viewpoints is that it makes me stronger in my convictions as I explore others beliefs; but it is possible Pastor Bob, that the poles supporting the tent can be moved our so far that they no longer support the roof–and that is what has happened to the PCUSA.

      • Scott says:

        “From the church where I met my wife, where my children were baptized, where we poured 25 years of our time and our resources.”

        Yep. You’d be happy to see your opponents leave the same church w/ their own similar relationship if they didn’t like your opinions and you won the day.

        • Dale says:

          The difference, of course, is The Young One didn’t deceitfully pledge to honor the constitutions of the PCUSA while intentionally violating and subverting them. Why should he be the one to leave?

          But I do encourage him to leave. The PCUSA leadership will continue to use any relationships and sentimental attachments of its members as financial resources for their left-wing political activism, often disguised as “mission” and “Christian education”. Frankly, PCUSA leadership share the bigoted stereotypes of their progressive brethren and play evangelicals for fools; they do not respect you or your theology and they never will. They only want your resources, and if that means attempting an empty “reconciliation”, so be it.

          Do not let them exploit you any more. Leave.

        • The Young One says:

          Your inference is incorrect Scott. I would not be happy to see them leave.

      • Jenilyn says:

        Yes, walk away, I to was a member of the PCUSA, born, baptized, married and raise 4 children in, supported my husband through seminary, and 2 pastorates, and we walked away 18 months ago. Was it easy, NO… has it gotten any easier, NO…. but I still feel that I did not leave the PCUSA, but the PCUSA has left me.

        • Carol says:

          Amen. My parents met in a youth group in 1937, I have always been a member. In 1968, I met my husband who was a student at Louisville Seminary. He retired after 34 years as a pastor. I was proud to support him and help with anything. The church that I am a member left the PCUSA last year and my husband moved his ordination. The hymn says Who is on the Lords side, this makes me feel closer to me God.

      • Bruce Thompson says:

        Young one,,,,, if God didn’t change them, what makes you think you can? Scripture clearly states that He will turn them over to the depravity of their minds.Your story is very similar to mine. I left 1 1/2 years ago after 25 years in my congregation. It was the toughest decision I have ever made. I renounced their jurisdiction and surrendered my ordination as a Ruling Elder. If you stay, “to make a difference” you still are following a denomination that many people believe, (including myself), is apostate. PCUSA does not even follow the “Essentials of the faith” anymore. They won’t even officially declare what the are. By definition, they are no longer a Christian denomination. Spare yourself the heartache, find a Bible believing and following church and get back to performing the Great Commission! I doubt that God cares as much about you keeping the building and “programs” as He does about your soul.

      • Doug says:

        You won’t be leaving the PCUSA. The PCUSA has already left you.

      • Deborah says:

        My husband and I were elders in the PCUSA. We raised our children in the church. (They are all in their 30s now.) My father was a deacon (this, of course, would have been before the two churches, PCA and PCUS, merged & became PCUSA). I understand the conflict you feel about leaving this heritage. But your true heritage is your belief in the one true God. PCUSA denies that there is only one true God.
        “The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me; I stand alone on the Word of God . . . and Sofia and Mohammed and whatever else comes floating down the river.”
        Your anchor is dragging. Time to seek a more secure anchorage, dear heart!

    • Luke says:

      Walk away? I did. This was not only the denomination I was baptized in, it is the denomination of my ancestors going back 7 generations. When the denomination was founded in 1799, my family was there. It was a part of my DNA.

      My DNA didn’t change, the DNA of the PCUSA did. So, four years ago I walked away. I grieve for the passing of my denomination. I grieve for the pain my fellow evangelicals now suffer. But I have NO regrets in leaving. Not. One.

      • John Knox's distant daughter says:

        And your ancestors would rejoice in your decision, I would think.

        I have been a member of both PCA and PCUSA. Not sure where I will land next, but in my heart I will always be a Presbyterian with my own ancestors (PCA). I left PCUSA with a written letter, but they left me and my church prior to my decision. If you have not yet gone through the “dismissal” then you will find out, quickly, it is not often “gracious.” And when you see the “process” it in action, there will be no doubt if you decide to leave PCUSA. I am thankful to have witnessed what this is about, and it is not about God’s Word. My prayers are with you all.

  38. Peter Gregory says:

    Paganism is as paganism does, to paraphrase Forrest Gump. And pagans also do two other things, they lie, and then they believe their lies as the truth. All in Detroit was a forgone conclusion well before the assembly. The AI proves that even the godless liberals not trust or believe in their polity anymore or process. Why should anybody else? My counsel is to resist, resist by noncooperation with the pagan entity, economic isolation and denial of resources for them to function, And when possible, function to husband resources and assets for the struggle when they send their presbyerty thugs to your front door demanding your obedience to the golden calf of their lusts and vanity.

  39. Kevin R says:

    The GA’s coupling of high-handedness with “Reconciliation” seems delusional. The wording of the motion that passed, 521-31, is telling:

    “Direct the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly to establish a way to bring reconciliation to the church…”

    Such wishful thinking–expressed in a vote–is amazing. The GA first votes for sentimental lawlessness–and then immediately votes to have a Board clean up the mess. But no board has any real means to “establish a way” (other than to follow “The Way”) of real reconciliation. For the unity of the church is not the product of dialogical techniques and public relations campaigns.

    Short of broken and contrite hearts that turn more fully to God, what hope is there,in this matter? The PCUSA can chant, “Peace! Peace” and “Unity, Unity,” but there is neither peace nor unity in the wide way of destruction. Both Jesus (in Matt 18) and Paul (I Cor 5) instruct the church in dealing with a member devoted to sin. We face, however, a situation in which a network of hireling shepherds–as well as a great many members–have either spearheaded or tolerated offenses to Christ and his body. I, for one, at times, openly resisted. At other times, I slipped into a sad amazement.

    Lord, forgive us for the mess to which we’ve contributed or yielded–for any way in which we have played into the wiles of those who would mock Your name and twist Your way. Shield and equip us, Lord, that we may do all that we should, standing in You, come what may. Deliver us, Lord, individually and together, from false prophets and strange shepherds, as well as from despair and from anger. Grant us, we pray, that we may have and share–in purity of heart–the merciful, transforming love that flows forever from Your holiness, righteousness, and glory. Worthy! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hath redeemed us to God by His blood.

  40. Peggy B. says:

    It is a time to grieve.

  41. Bruce Becker says:

    Since Romans 1 is getting a lot of play I thought I would offer a helpful guide to Romans 1:23.

    “…the image of corruptible man…” is the substitution of altruistic humanism and philosophy for the gospel of the crucified and living Lord Jesus Christ. This was the gospel of Harry Emerson Fosdick. And many Presbyterians believed this eighty years ago. This is the first stage of the devolution of the gospel.

    “…of birds…” is the substitution of civil religion of the right or left and the worship of political/military might (the Roman aquilae) in exchange for the power of God. Many Presbyterians of all stripes continue to believe that political change is the litmus test of the power of God.

    “…four-footed animals…” Stage three in the downward spiral of broken idolatry is the animal life. The glandular life is the good life. The satisfaction of our appetites is the pressing goal of life. Our sense of want justifies whatever we need. Presbyterians! The Presbyterian bus officially stopped here today. Lots of us have been here to visit. But today the bus officially arrived.

    The last stop is ahead. “…reptiles…” Paul alludes to the worship of perverse sexual rites which came from Asia and Egypt to garner a wide following in first century Rome. Breaking sexual taboos and forging new sexual frontiers is a stretch, you say? Have we forgotten “Justice-Love” a free-for-all recommended to GA in 1990 and a document still recommended for Presbyterian study? Or cross dressing worship, a transvestite liturgy/fashion show conducted during chapel service at the trend setting Union Seminary (NYC) and boasted about in the student newspaper in May 2012?

    Just wanted you to know what direction the bus travels after you exchange the power of God which is the Word of God (1 Thess. 2.13) for the power of a committee.

  42. will says:

    How many years will it be until PCUSA is non-existent?

    • Susannah says:

      The estimates are, if current downward rates continue, about twenty years, at which time what’s left of the PCUSA will merge with the Church of Christ.

  43. Bob says:

    I am so glad we don’t do this nonsense in the PCA. I am glad I left the PCUSA 10 years ago. The handwriting was on the wall even then, and the idea of staying to fight is frankly now choosing to consort with the devil. The battle has been lost and has been lost for a long time. Let Satan have his “church.” Scripture is extremely clear on this issue, and it’s amazing how shortsighted the left is, comparing it to slavery etc.

  44. Bob says:

    It’s time to come out of this apostate servant of Satan. Anybody who remains at this point is part of the problem. I am sorry, but restoration of this whore is not going to happen. It is not possible. Each vote every GA gets only more and more liberal. It’s over. Be separate. It’s time.

  45. Michael_SC says:

    But once you absorb the insights of historical and critical scholarship and realize that the Bible is simply the speculations, thoughts, hopes, and beliefs of pre-modern people, it seems implausible to regard that 2000-3000 year old text as the last word on anything when it comes to specific cases; and instead we should focus on broad concept of “Seek the well being of your neighbor as yourself”. Promoting equality in that great civilizing institution, marriage, does just that, it seems to me. Hence, the General Assembly’s decision was quite wise and progressive.

    • Michael Zorn says:

      Even setting the Bible aside as a guide to this issue, there is the 10,000-year recorded history of humankind, in which marriage is just that,

      Even the variants, like polygamy, were not there so the wives could cuddle.

    • Geoff says:

      Critical scholarship hasn’t come to grips with the scholarship of the last 15 years which backs orthodoxy: http://youtu.be/r5Ylt1pBMm8

    • Jon says:

      As the original comment by Michael_SC is in “left-speak”, I provide a translation of the major vocabulary variants …

      “Historical and critical scholarship” = “Desperate unbelief”.
      “Speculations, thoughts, hopes, and beliefs” = “Beliefs and experiences that I fear and despise”.
      “Pre-modern people” = “People who aren’t as ‘corrupted’ as me”.
      “Implausible” = “Unacceptable”.
      “Equality” = “Modern secular dogma”.
      “Wise” = “Agreeable to me”.
      “Progressive” = “Arrogant, sanctimonious and corrupt”.

      Now reread the original comment, and it all makes very sad sense.

      • Donald Marshall says:

        I think “progressive” means “allergic to anything Biblical.”

        • John Knox's distant daughter says:

          I am going to steal this statement for future conversations. Amen.

          There is more fear of “appearance and popularity” than the fear of God’s judgement for your choices in the GA, or, at least, the majority who rule without Robert’s Rule or any compass. I would rather stand alone to face this judgement, which we all will have as none of us is going to escape death.

          The GA has done a lot of damage in the last decade, not just in Detroit. Had I not known some things about their decisions, thanks to the Internet, just seeing the youtube of their “Solo Cup” moment at the last GA might have been enough for me to realize they do not take this seriously. They are there, many of them, and yes! I am judging based on what I have seen, to have a fun time, to go against the flow, be edgy, be “popular” and serve man. Or, that is how I see it, but I have to think the Solo Cup moment was not their greatest for respect and taking the issues and their office seriously.

    • Deborah says:

      To Michael_SC: Why would someone as enlightened as you even bother attending such an antiquated institution as a church? And why would you call marriage civilized if it was instituted by these knuckle-dragging Neanderthal Christians from the “pre-modern” era? “But the Lord laughs at the wicked, for He sees that his day is coming.” Psalm 37:13

  46. Barry Gruver says:

    “They created a wasteland and called it ‘victory’”.

  47. Bruce Becker says:

    Genesis 2. 23-24

    “And the man said,
    ‘THIS ONE IS THE ONE! She has absolutely the best flesh and the best bones I have ever seen! She will be called “woman” because she was taken out of man. THIS ONE IS THE ONE!’

    (Note the double use of the Hebrew exclamation, “Zeh!” “This one!” The second use is left out of most English translations.)

    24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

    And a Presbyterian interrupted the story and said, “Hold on a second! Not so hasty! Aren’t we being a little heterosexist here? Isn’t this a little too exclusive? Isn’t this sexist and judgmental? Aren’t we leaving out a whole lot of people who have a right to marry a person of any gender their heart desires? We must be more inclusive. Such heterosexist sentiments are divisive. We should not suggest such a misleading and prejudiced understanding! We should say, ‘A person will leave his/her parent and parent and be united to his/her person, and they will become one flesh.’”

    And Adam said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Presbyterian. I just got swept away by the passion and wonder of the moment I first experienced complementary sexuality. I mistakenly thought that this was the third greatest gift to humanity, following creation and redemption, which I won’t learn about until later. Gee, I thought that saying, ‘Zeh!’ twice was especially appropriate for a moment like this.”

    And God said, “That’s okay, Adam. It’s not your fault. It’s my bad! I should have offered you another person like you with interchangeable parts. I should not have presumed upon my own wisdom and ingenuity and come up with the idea of ‘woman’ all by myself. That was rather judgmental of me. I just thought that complementary sexes was an exceptionally ingenious idea of mine. But now I see that I was just forcing my good idea on you. Let’s try it again. I’ll just supply you with the parts and let you put ‘Person’ together yourself. Then when you create what you want, you can say, ‘Zeh!’ again just like before.”

    And God turned to the Presbyterian and said, “Thank you, Mr. Presbyterian, for helping me to be more inclusive. I almost made a big mistake by suggesting that complementary sexuality is a wonderful and exceptional, creative and procreative gift that could be enjoyed by practically everybody. Adam was so lonely by himself that I had no idea that he would want to be romantically, sexually, emotionally and genetically completed by somebody exactly like himself. I had no idea that Adam would feel bad if I suggested that my way is the best way. Thanks for saving me from myself, Mr. Presbyterian.”

    “Well, that’s what I’m here for,” said Mr. Presbyterian in all humility. “And don’t worry. I’ll be back in 2014 when you’ll need some help again.”

    EDITOR- A famous agnostic once commented upon the religion of mainline denominations, “Seems to me that the more God grows up the more he becomes like a liberal Democrat. A God who continues to learn from his creation is not worth worshiping.”

  48. Rus Howard says:

    If the leadership of the PCUSA were serious about reconciliation then it would:
    1. Return every penny it collected from churches that left the PCUSA;
    2. Drop every lawsuit which the denomination (or any entity affiliated with it) has filed against congregations, and the pastors and elders named in these lawsuits;
    3. Reimburse congregations and individuals for their legal expenses.
    4. Apologize for the lies and broken promises they have tossed about freely against individuals who have left the denomination and who tried to leave graciously according to processes established by various presbyteries, yet when all was said and done the denomination through it’s presbyteries did not keep their promises.

    If Gradye Parsons is serious about reconciliation, he will call me to apologize for the lies spoken about me and the promises made to me, but which were broken. If he is really serious about reconciliation, he’ll drop the lawsuits in which I am named. Mr. Parsons knows how to get in touch with me. I’ll let you know if he calls.

    Rus Howard
    Former PCUSA Pastor

    • Michael Zorn says:

      The evidence suggests that Rev Parsons (among others) is not interested in reconciliation. Their stance is “you will be assimilated”,

  49. Scott Olson says:

    Folks, like it or not, 2 years from now, same sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states. 15 years from now, the notion of discriminating against same sex marriage or homosexuals holding leadership positions in the church will be outdated by a super majority. The faith is moving on in the same way it moved on from slavery, multi-racial marriage, women in leadership. There is a growing tide of Evangelicals who realize they better learn how to change their opinion of the traditional, historical interpretation of Scripture on this subject so they do not lose their Biblical foundation. Just ask your kids. If you haven’t, watch Andrew Vines youTube videos. Don’t get left behind if you are making decisions that impact the future of your congregation.

    • Rene says:

      Do you mean Matthew Vines? (Couldn’t find Andrew, but have read much about Matthew)

      Either way – The very,very LEAST compelling reason for accepting the Church’s stance that anything goes…. is that “everyone” thinks or believes that way. I though most of us learned that at an early age.
      Being a faithful Christian has never promised popularity.

      • Scott Olson says:

        I don’t think anyone is saying anything goes. My question to you is WWJD? Would he tell you to tell others to go and sin no more? That is his job. He would tell you to judge not, lest you be judged. People are born with same sex attraction. The Evangelicals will tell them that they need to pick up their cross, go through life without a partner, without support from their friends and family and definitely without the support of the church. Wouldn’t this take quite a mature faith? Wouldn’t Jesus ask you to go the extra mile, love them, and provide a safe haven for them to explore the beginnings of their faith. We have seen the alternative lifestyle and it isn’t pretty.

        • Tom says:

          WWJD? Would he want Christians telling each other go to and sin no more? Yes, I think he would. Christians are supposed to guide and nurture each other, and that includes guiding each other away from sin.
          Yes evangelicals tell gay Christians that they should pick up their cross, and go through life without a romantic partner. But “without support from their friends and family and definitely without the support of the church”? Huh? Of course celibate gay christians should have the support of their friends and family.

          • Scott Olsen says:

            I do appreciate your choice of the words guiding and nurturing. Jesus did say he who has not sinned should throw the first stone and the crowd dispersed. The church is not nurturing but rather throwing stones. The church’s decision to take a hard line on this sin in my opinion has alienated a significant number of our brothers and sisters, has led to bulling, depression and worse. I also believe that the Evangelical church has done a very poor job teaching members the importance of guiding and nurturing their family, friends and neighbors who were born with same sex attraction. Biblical teachings have set a very high bar for the LGBTQ community. Can you imagine the mature faith it would take to ignore your sexual attraction and live a life in celibacy and alone? The church has not stepped up to this challenge by providing a safe place for the LGBTQ to explore their faith and learn scripture. The result is an alternative lifestyle that is not healthy. I can not imagine that Jesus is applauding the church here when the fate of souls both on this earth and eternal is at stake.

    • Michael Zorn says:

      The faith – at least the Presbyterian (which I now call the Church of Loiuisville) is not moving on, it is moving way from the Biblical teaching.

      If they want to do that, that’s fine with me. I can watch them leave.

      It’s disingenuous to conflate multi-racial marriage with same-sex marriage.

      As I said in the reply to Rus Howard, “you will be assimilated”.

      But not me. ECO beckons.

    • Eustace says:

      Get behind me Satan.

    • Deborah says:

      Scott, dude, when my husband and I left the PCUSA, we didn’t feel the need to “ask our kids” or hold our finger in the air to find out which way the wind was >currently< blowing. However, in a later discussion about the moral crisis in the PCUSA with one of our kids, he said, "Well, Mom, now you know what the "PC" in PCUSA stands for." [PC=Politically Correct.] He left the church before we did! Not all children have lost their moral compass!
      A remnant will remain true to God's Word, Scott. It's all right there in Scripture. Perhaps you missed that part? And I'd rather be left behind by the apostate masses than left behind when Christ returns to claim His own people.
      "For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." I Corinthians 1: 22-25.
      "Help us to see that it is better to fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail . . ." Peter Marshall
      I'm praying for you, Scot. The Truth will make you free!

    • Deborah says:

      P.S. Scott: I’m not sure where this “super majority” in the church is going to be coming from when the PCUSA is dropping in population like a rock. Check out the numbers. PCUSA is on the decline big time. Watch for that stubborn remnant, Scott. It will remain. Hope you’ll join us!

      • Scott says:

        Karen, Regarding the super majority, 80% of the population under 30 today has a different view from you and the traditional interpretation. In 10 years 90% of those 40 and under will be the super majority. Your views are out dated in the same way as Bible based pro slavery views.

  50. GQ says:

    The “Authoritative Interpretation” is basically saying “EVERYONE CAN DO WHAT IS RIGHT IN THEIR OWN EYES.” Whenever that was the case in the Bible, that was NEVER a good thing!

  51. Jim says:

    A doomed demonization. My family an I will be leaving now and we will revel in its ultimate demise.

    • Jeremy says:

      Because reveling in the demise of a church is totally Christlike.

    • Tim says:

      In reality, PCUSA is setting itself up quite well for the future. It’s ECO that will be extinct in 10 years. I know the guys who started it and the sole reason – to leave PCUSA with their property. Once they have their property, they will leave ECO too.

  52. James J. Grimes says:

    These people are idiots.

  53. Karen says:

    Romans 1:
    21. They knew God. But they didn’t honor him as God. They didn’t thank him. Their thinking became worthless. Their foolish hearts became dark.
    22. They claimed to be wise. But they made fools of themselves.
    24. So God let them go. He allowed them to do what their sinful hearts wanted to.
    25. They chose a lie instead of God’s truth. They worshiped and served created things.
    26. So God let them go. They were filled with shameful longings.
    28. They didn’t think it was important to know God. So God let them go.
    31. They are foolish. They can’t be trusted.
    32. They know that God’s commands are right. They know that those who do evil things should die. But they continue to do those very things. They also approve of others who do them.

    Do Not Be Joined to Unbelievers
    Bible believers cannot and should not try to be united “as one”, with Bible non-believers.

    2 Corinthians 6:14-18
    14. Do not be joined to unbelievers. What do right and wrong have in common? Can light and darkness be friends?
    15. How can Christ and Satan agree? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
    16. How can the temple of the true God and the statues of other gods agree? We are the temple of the living God. God has said, “I will live with them. I will walk among them. I will be their God. And they will be my people.”
    17. “So come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch anything that is not pure and clean. Then I will receive you.”
    18. “I will be your Father. You will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord who rules over all.”

    • Rod says:

      1 Timothy 2. A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet.

      Guess what, Karen? As a woman you have no authority to say anything regarding the Bible. Be silent and let the men debate this issue.

  54. Rick says:

    Great news, and I was surprised at the over 70% approval rate. This issue was narrowly defeated at GA 220. It just shows that the fullness of our Lord’s love has changed many hardened hearts in just 2 years time. God is good!

    • Dale says:

      No, it just shows that certain manipulations of Presbyterian polity were successful in getting the desired result. As for “hardened hearts”, I think that is more aptly shown in the hermeneutical gymnastics performed by the homosexual marriage advocates. They will not hear what they do not want to hear. “No” means “yes”, because I Want It.

      The slow death of PCUSA will continue, not because anyone wishes it, but because that is the natural result of its actions.

      • Bill says:

        Amen brother. I was raised in UMC and left many years ago because I saw the writing on the wall so to speak. They are next I fear.

        • Dale says:

          Bill–

          From what I’m reading, that’s not likely. The presence of orthodox Methodists from overseas prevents the liberals from forcing through the changes they want. If they want same-sex marriage approval, they’ll have to form a new denomination. Which is what the “More Light” Presbyterians should have done, if they had any integrity. Instead, they swore to uphold the Church constitutions on marriage, which they intended to violate and subvert, until they had the power to change it.

    • Mark says:

      Actually it shows that the King of the World is alive and well and deeply rooted within society and apparently the leadership of the PC(USA)

      • John Knox's distant daughter says:

        Mark, the issue, for me, was when the GA determined that belief in the King of the World, as, I assume, you refer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was not the only route to salvation. This sealed the deal for me, not the gay issue (which I do not agree with today, nor the divestment of Israel support). I am not sure that showed leadership but appeasement. Just my thoughts on the matter. In my own church no one cared if you were gay and worshipped in that church. It was not something the congregation focused on, as, prior to the vote, we were focused on God. The Bible trumps the Confession of Faith and other documents to some of us. It certainly trumps the decisions of man in Detroit.

        However, if you had to explain to your three year old why Pastor whoever was “gay” I think you might feel a little hypocritical while teaching that same 3 yr old that the Bible is God’s Word and the Ten Commandments.

        In the same vein of thought, I would not belong to any church where gays were married, as, per the Bible (not me) marriage is “between a man and a woman.” We all have choices where to worship, so far, in this country.

        I wish you well, but this is not the only Presbyterian denomination. And this is going to be the straw that broke the injured camel’s back as many more will leave and leave empty buildings.

    • Mteo says:

      Doesn’t it really just mean that you finally ran off enough evangelicals to get the vote passed? Can you really, with all intellectual honesty, say that people’s hearts have changed? That seems to me the height of the arrogance of the PCUSA…you don’t even realize that you’ve “won” by running out people in the name of tolerance. Congratulations – you got what you wanted.

    • Michael Zorn says:

      It’s not so much that God is good (He is), but the agenda-driven activists have been coming back GA after GA, hammering away, until congregations couldn’t take it any more and started leaving PC(USA).

      How many congregations have left over the past five years?

      If it were only one or two, we could dismiss them as cranks and crackpots.

      But there have been far too many.

    • The Young One says:

      It just shows how many conservative members have either given up on the PCUSA or left.

    • Deborah says:

      No. What it really shows is that PCUSA has been hemorrhaging membership for years now, and what is left are people who have compromised their conscience to such a degree that they no longer can see the Truth. Hearts haven’t changed; they’ve vacated apostasy!

  55. Sharon M. Clay says:

    Romans 1:18-32 (NIV) reads:

    “18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

    The 221st General Assembly HAS LOST ITS MIND.

    • Sam A says:

      Doesnt surprise me. If you want the full truth, come home to Rome. Matt 16:18. Not because of what I said, but what Christ said. Its not an accident that the ancient and apostolic Churches (Orthodox, Catholic, Oriental) haven’t succumbed to this. This is just the logical fruit of Presbyterianism. Ruled by presbyters not by the Word of God.

    • Michael Zorn says:

      It’s not their minds they’ve lost – it’s their faith.

      They would rather build their own golden calf than listen to the Word.

    • Rod says:

      1 Timothy 2: 11-12. A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet.

      Sorry, Sharon, you have no place here. Be silent and let the men debate.

  56. Will says:

    I’m so proud of the PCUSA. This was a courageous and principled decision, fully in keeping with the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Of course, for me personally it means some hardship, as I’m called to up my own giving to the church to help counteract the mean-spirited spitefulness of those (very few) who would listen to the Layman’s unhelpful suggestions…but that’s the price we pay for a moral church.

    • Mteo says:

      So, you’re willing to tell me that if you lost the vote and the PCUSA said, “We will never, ever ordain homosexuals or allow for homosexual marriages” you would be gracious in defeat and stay and continue to give joyfully to a denomination you felt was unbiblical? That’s pretty easy to say as the victor – but I’m guessing it’s not quite true.

    • Dale says:

      Actually, the PCUSA will demand ransom from the congregations who want to leave, so you probably won’t have to up your giving until the PCUSA runs through that money pushing whatever “social justice” is fashionable at the moment. Enjoy it while it lasts.

    • Michael Zorn says:

      “those (very few)”????????

      PC(USA) has lost at least half its membership over the years, since the liberals have taken over.

  57. National Jester says:

    The only reconciliation process I would be interested in or be part of, would be one where the bureaucracy of the PCUSA seeks our forgiveness, repents of their sinful actions, and then reforms our denomination so that it once again adheres to Scripture AS WRITTEN.

  58. Jim West says:

    I encourage all who feel strongly opposed to the GA’s decision to quietly move on. Sitting here in the EPC General Assembly that is full of prayer, humility, and good humor is nothing short of awesome…there are still many elder-led churches that are flourishing and focused on the Gospel and the transformation that comes in Christ. Move on, and allow the PCUSA to go their way without your curse or anger…such expressions are unbecoming for followers of Jesus. Your condemnation will only be used against you (and all evangelicals) as a wedge between the Gospel and the homosexual community we so long to reach in Christ. Go in peace.

    • Ricky says:

      Jim, how do we leave when they are holding us hostage with the property?

      • Jon says:

        Abandon the property.

        Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and keep yourselves from all covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

      • John Smith says:

        It is easy – just go out the back door. Did you not know about the property issue? Does not the property belong to the PC USA? I get so tired of hearing that, as if people did not know that. If you have a problem with the PC USA – leave and find somewhere else to go that aligns better with your system of beliefs. I have no problem with it at all and I have no problem with people wanting to stay, as well. They should be respected as well.

      • Geoff says:

        Like Lot’s wife, I would advise to leave everything and don’t look back.

      • John Knox's distant daughter says:

        You just leave. It is just a building in the end. It is the people who occupy it that matter. Some of my former congregation found churches as a group of friends. Many are scattered with the wind to other churches here and out of state. You remain the Body of Christ wherever you worship. While it is sad, as I was in a church raising a family for decades, I walked away with sadness but knowing, in my heart and with the support of like-minded Christians, that I did the right thing. It is just a building. I could not, as recommended by the Presbytery, “worship in place” knowing my tithes went to Planned Parenthood and the GA.

    • Michael Zorn says:

      “Go in peace.”

      Excellent advice; would that we could. Many – very many – have done just that. But many cannot afford to pay the extortion required to leave.

      If a church can ignore what’s going on in the Church of Louisville, so much the better.

      But there will come a time when a pastor is confronted by a demand to perform a service that his conscience will not allow.

      • John Smith says:

        And ———– that pastor can decide in their own conscience – right? Sessions still have control over the building use – right? So what is the big deal? You know the more I think about all of this mess, the more I think that it is all about property and money. Wow – Jesus never spoke about that – right? If one cannot be a Southern Baptist, then walk. If one cannot be a United Methodist, then walk. There are churches on every corner in my hown town. They would gladly take anyone in, I am sure. The church is changing – maybe for the better – maybe for the worse, but change is the only constant right now. Just be respectful of eveyone’s views, and love one another as Jesus comanded us all to do. If one has probelms with the PC USA, then there is EPC and OPC and a host of others out there, as well. But, they have their challenges too. We just all want an easy out, or an easy in. We do not want to work hard anymore to build up our churches. We just want to go and feel good about it all. Well, just my 2-cents and my sermonette. No pastor is compelled and no session is compelled – so – there you go!!

    • John Knox's distant daughter says:

      Agree. I really think “they know not what they do.” They have no idea the damage they have done to this denomination of Presbyterians. They only see things in one dimension.

      It is hard not to be angry. Our church voted with a clear majority to leave, but not what was needed. And it was not worth it to me or others to fight more or go to court. It will be interesting to see, for those who stayed, many elderly with no access to the Internet, and who were influenced, heavily, by leadership, will understand, now, why many left. They felt the same way, this was their church home and all they knew. There was a lot of denial of the issues. A lot of focus on the “gay” issue which was not the main one, at all, of why many of us left. As I have said before, reading that a former GA determined, in a weak tea appeal to the masses, that belief in Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life and no man cometh to the Father but through Him, is not the route to salvation. That is the big issue. That one. Yet the GA, the media and the minions made it a gay vs not gay issue.

      Go in peace. Pray for those who stay, for clarity of the issues before them. Pray for those who left the church and are still seeking a church home, for peace and happiness. Pray for us all. Be thankful for having the rare opportunity to stand by your faith, as I never thought I would have to make this stand in my lifetime as an American. Be thankful for your faith and belief in God’s Word.

  59. Jim Yearsley says:

    Notice this as well. These cowardly accommodators of culture have not even the courage of their convictions to send this apostasy to the presbyteries for ratification. They had to weasel it through by the underhanded AI pathway. I denounce every single person who voted for this as apostate. They are not colleague(s) in ministry. They are neither Reformed, orthodox or faithful and frankly have become nothing more than Unitarian-Universalist Lite. Shame on each of them.

    How long do you believe that it will take before “may” becomes “Shall”? Anyone remember the name Kenyon?

    • Ken Ironside says:

      PCUSA has worked very hard to accommodate the culture. In the end, the culture will spurn them anyway.

  60. Earl H. Tilford says:

    So glad I left for the PCA last year.

    • Kevin says:

      I agree, Earl. I’m just sorry it took me 24 years to realize what was happening and another 2 to finally leave. As this GA began, I suspected that the PCUSA might be too afraid of an accelerated loss of members and congregations (i.e.: money) to go this far with marriage. But in reality, those of us without a vested interest to remain in the denomination have followed Biblical teaching and moved on long before now. With this issue now resolved, officially condemning Israel will be easy. Look for a future merger with the UCC when the PCUSA can no longer afford its bloated infrastructure.

      I pray for everyone in the Presbyterian Lay Committee. They have performed an invaluable service all these years, and I trust that God has something greater in store for these servants when the PCUSA is gone.

      • Sertorius says:

        The bloated infrastructure will sadly likely live on a long time, funded by the “gracious dismissal” funds extorted from churches who leave.

  61. Jeff & Bev Harris says:

    Remember us? We warned you 3 years ago. No one listened. Our letter to Beaver Butler Presbytery in May of 2011 was posted in the same month. “We renounce our Jurisdiction.” The judgment to the PCUSA is now here. We warned ever member, participant, Elder and Pastor. We were the first to depart from Beaver Butler Presbytery because of the New Form of Government and Amendment 10A. Even the presbytery leadership called the practice of homosexuality as “a mere cultural issue.” We were criticized relentlessly by many in the presbytery. Their own leadership are still hiding the truth and facts. Here it is now. Watch Beaver Butler Presbytery approve the change in definition too. This denomination is under a curse now. How do you reconcile that?

  62. Moor says:

    Thank God they added that parenthetical statement about traditional marriage, for a minute there I thought they had lost their way. /sarc

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