Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

It’s time to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Dr. Michael L. Brown  - Guest Columnist, One News Now

holybible_queenjamesbibleIf you are a Jesus-loving, Bible-based member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – unless God has called you to stand as a prophetic voice of rebuke to the denomination or unless your ministry commitments to individuals make it impossible for you to leave – now is the time to make your exit.

The PCUSA has made its rejection of the Word of God official.

According to the denomination’s statement, on Thursday, June 19, “the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a recommendation from its Civil Union and Marriage Issues Committee allowing for pastoral discretion to perform ‘any such marriage they believe the Holy Spirit calls then to perform,’ where legal by state law.”

In other words, regardless of what the Scriptures plainly say, as a PCUSA minister, if you feel called to violate God’s Word and perform a same-sex “marriage,” follow your conscience, not the Bible.

This is a recipe for disaster and is nothing less than rebellion against the authority of the Word.

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55 comments

  1. This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Best wishes!
    Where are your contact details though?

  2. Frank Padia says:

    Every position taken by this General Assembly is in lock step with the White House and the Democratic Party. If you read our new position on the prevention of gun violence, it is word for word those heard from Congressional Democrats and the White House. ALL of what was approved by the General Assembly is the political platform of the DNC. The stance on marriage, guns and the blatantly anti Semitic position on Israel and the Palestinians could be speeches from President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid or the other left wing loons of the Democratic party. When the Democratic party went hard left in the early 1980s, many solid Democratic states like my home state of Texas entered the GOP. With this action by the General Assembly I believe there is about to be another mass exodus only this time from PCUSA. Clearly this is a denomination that no longer cares to represent all of us, only those in the Blue states.

    • Jean says:

      You are exactly correct. The PCUSA has become a political action committee rather than a church that is governed by Bible. It is a man made group! And not governed by a very wise group at that.

  3. Kevin says:

    It was with much agreement that I read Michael Brown’s article, last week. Continuing to agree with his negative evaluations of the PCUSA’s bent and distorted positions, I would nevertheless encourage those who are able to plumb a little deeper, to pause and consider perhaps what options God may yet hold before some of His servants..

    Dr. Brown suggested that, “unless God has called you to stand as a prophetic voice of rebuke to the denomination or unless your ministry commitments to individuals make it impossible for you to leave – now is the time to make your exit.” While most of us may not feel called to be “a prophetic voice of rebuke to the denomination,” surely even we members in the pews have some deep and serious “ministry commitments to individuals,” as well as to the worshiping body. Surely, in this moment of crisis, we must warn, counsel, encourage, and act to rescue our local congregations (or as many of the members as possible) from the present circumstances.

    I do not want the weak or the weary to put themselves in harm’s way. I also do not want the parents of vulnerably impressionable children to put their children at risk. But, if your own trust and discipline in Christ have some depth, and if you have established already a basis for your children to understand the faith, wisdom, and hope in which you would reach out to endangered fellow believers, then don’t abandon the ship prematurely.

    Can your congregation be rightly persuaded to act? At the very least, test the waters. (The PLC’s sample letter may give you some initial idea about how to begin to go about this.) If you see that you will need to depart from the congregation, then surely you should consider articulating why–and in what Spirit–you are leaving. While the GA’s position on same sex marriage is wrong, it may be wise (and helpful) to note to others that this terrible error is in concert with other errors into which the PCUSA is fast falling. (Dr. Brown also spoke this way.) From the Belhar Confession, to divestment, to same-sex marriage, to abandonment of pre-born (and even post-born) children, and, finally, to the phobic avoidance of referring to persons of other religions as “non-Christians,” the GA has shown itself not merely to have lost its anchor, but to have turned against the Author of the faith. The point, in this, is to help others to see the general identity that the PCUSA is choosing with terrible consistency.

    May God help us each to speak with self-control, love, and wisdom. As allowed to us, may we rightly let others know our intentions and their reasons. May we note that congregations have good options–but only in Christ.. And, where it is true, may we truly call to self-awareness those congregations and their pastors that are already so utterly out of “harmony” and “unity” with the PCUSA that it is vain to pretend that there is any true alliance or allegiance.

  4. Anon says:

    I left years ago and became Catholic. I invite anyone interested to check out the Catholic Church.

  5. Bruce Woods says:

    Last weekend our PC (USA) church had a guest pastor & seminary dean preside over a Saturday evening gathering of elders & deacons as well as present the message for Sunday worship. Her message was basically the metaphor of two different type of local churches: The Rowboat Church – designed to be propelled by the power of the members rowing diligently. The Sailboat Church – designed to be blown by the wind (The Holy Spirit), powered & directed by the wind. It was a beautifully presented contrast of two visions of what a local church might be. Likely most churches are Rowboat churches. It was inspiring to imagine letting the Holy Spirit take over and be both the power source and director of the church.

    Unfortunately, within the PC (USA), even if the ship is redesigned with sails instead of oars and the Holy Spirit is invited to be our power source, the PC (USA) cabal running our church has its hands firmly on the tiller. They think they are best to determine the direction regardless of what direction the wind is from. Their map? Once upon a time it was only the Bible and its plain admonitions for what a church should be about and how followers of Christ should behave. No longer! That map has been supplemented by (or sometimes traded for) the left-wing political agenda. Pity the political independent or conservative who might suggest that they are steering in the wrong direction or using the wrong map. The ought to consider themselves lucky that they’re not shouted down or cast overboard. IF the PC (USA) continues to utilize a left-wing political agenda as a map for the church (even if a Sailboat Church), it is likely to end up beached or sunk by hidden rocks the political agenda could not foretell.

  6. James says:

    I am the pastor of a small PCUSA church that is mostly traditional. I suggested leaving after the gay ordination passed 3 yrs ago. The elders disagreed w/ gay ordination but didn’t want to rock the boat or pay for our property again. So I’m torn, but committed to this group.

    Please note, that this author, Michael Brown, is jewish & is partly responding to the divestment decision.

    • Jean Grimm says:

      Your comment as a pastor is indicative of insensitive comments regarding jewish brothers. We live in a multicultural community where comments like these are considered offensive. Consider this irony: While Christians ar being slaughtered last week my Muslims, the pcusa takes the ridiculous step of divestment, when the survival of the state of Israel is paramount .

      • Kay Hill says:

        Why would a young person even want to become a pastor in the PCUSA? The fact that this denomination is pro-choice and anti-Isreal will turn off many. Recent statistics show that young people are becoming more pro-life. Good for them.

      • Ryan says:

        Jean, I don’t feel that his comment was slamming Jews at all. I’ve seen many, many “time to leave” articles and I have often wondered if the author was even a member of a PC(USA) church. James answered that question. It’s a bit dubious for someone to write an article calling for mutiny when they aren’t even in the boat to begin with. I have no problem with him writing this, but I feel that’s relevant. I’d feel the exact same if he was a Mormon, Buddhist, Baptist,…..

        • Jean Grimm says:

          I have attended 3 prominent pcusa churches in cincinnati, oh and all f the ministers have been virulently and proudly anti Israel.

          • Jean Grimm says:

            To continue, pcusa ministers have abandoned the teachings of the bible for progressive liberal politics. They have lead their congregations astray. why. They receive huge salaries and are motivated to stay w the pcusa.

  7. Andrew Hilla says:

    I wonder how PCUSA congregations (and individual members) feel about the fact that a portion of the money they place in the offering baskets on Sunday morning goes to pay the benefits for same sex partners working in the PCUSA through the Board of Pensions?

    • John Calvin says:

      I no longer give to the Apostate PCUSA, not 1 penny, and they can starve first, than get a real job rather than live off the people in the pews.

    • John Calvin says:

      “”II wonder how PCUSA congregations (and individual members) feel about the fact that a portion of the money they place in the offering baskets on Sunday morning goes to pay the benefits for same sex partners working in the PCUSA through the Board of Pensions””

      Wonder no more, I do not, and will not give 1 penny any more to this apostate church, pcusa. They can starve, and better yet, for those living off the funds of the congregations, get a job, you will need it.

    • Gene says:

      very proud, for justice and equality for the families of those who work in the Presbyterian Church was long overdue

  8. GQ says:

    How timely was the lectionary passage this Sunday, the first after the GA, Mat 10: 24-39. Jesus did not come to bring peace, but a sword. He said he would divide families, those who followed him & those who would not. The speakers at my church service drew a connection with the passage and how the PC(USA) is our extended church family with the GA being a wonderful family reunion. According to them everything was lovely and beautiful, a great big group hug. They are both young and the future of the PC(USA).

  9. Dan says:

    PCUSA is not immune to left wing fascism…they have chosen to glorify sin rather than help the sinner.

  10. Kay Hill says:

    I grew up in the Presbyterian Church and left in 2000 when I discovered that pastors were getting abortion coverage in their medical plans. We became members of the Wesleyan denomination, which is conservative and Bible believing. It’s thriving with young families. After the recent votes of the PCUSA, I’m grateful I left when I did because this denomination will never change. It continues to get more liberal and more radical. They will use your tithes and offerings for things that may distress you and keep you awake at night. If you want peace in your mind and heart, move on.

    • Jean Grimm says:

      Agreed. You are brave. God bless you

      • Kay Hill says:

        God bless you too. I tried talking to my pastor before I left the church I grew up in. He was a newcomer to the church where I spent over 40 yrs. He didn’t understand why I was so upset about pastors getting abortion coverage.
        I was confirmed there, married there, my kids were baptized there, my father’s funeral was there, and my daughter was married there. I learned right from wrong there, and I knew it was wrong for pastors to get abortion coverage.
        Actually, I didn’t leave that church. It left me. I’m very happy in my conservative Wesleyan denomination, and not just because the people are very friendly. I’m happy because they believe in the Bible.

        • Karen Madison says:

          Kay it is so sad that this denomination has been hijacked by liberals who have no fear of God and His Holy Word! I believe this denomination has left a lot of us! Now we need to decide what to do about it!

  11. Dan says:

    As I read the news of the GA this verse kept coming up.

    “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

    As I watched the “homosexual” parades celebrating depravity I was wondering “Why are you celebrating – see Bible verse above.”

  12. Jean Grimm says:

    Here is a new twist to this conundrum : I am dillusioned that our minister made us feel like there was something bad about us because we believed marriage is between a man and a woman. And also that we are pro state of Israel. What is a congregation member to do when the pastor and the session ostracize and criticize traditional adhering congregants?

    • will spotts says:

      The only thing you can do is call them on it. Usually people manipulate like that because we tend to respond to ‘authority figures’ deferentially. We back down. But when they are in the wrong, they can easily abuse this ‘power’. It won’t be pleasant – but when the king has got no clothes, somebody’s got to say it. Does the rest of the congregation agree with them?

    • Kay Hill says:

      Jean, you’re dealing with liberals, and it’s not possible for you to change their way of thinking.

      • John Calvin says:

        Jean, you’re dealing with liberals, and it’s not possible for you to change their way of thinking.

        Mentally disordered apostates.

    • Martha Leatherman says:

      Jean, Many of us are in your situation. You should try to find another church. Until you do, you must speak out against the false teaching you see in your local congregation. There are very likely others in the congregation who agree with you, but need courage to speak out. You must provide them with encouragement. Study your Bible, be well equipped, and speak out!

  13. The Rev'd Neal Humphrey` says:

    I returned last night from attending my first General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Among several of the remarkable features of this EPC GA was that, out of the scores of commissioners I met during breaks, meals, chatting between meetings, etc., only one was a long-time member of the EPC. All the rest were former PCUSA folks who had made the transition in the past few years.

    And the EPC is bracing for another wave of incoming PCUSA congregations.

  14. McDuff says:

    This denomination should not be viewed as the mission field; rather, the denomination should be equipping the saints to do the work of ministry. By staying in a denomination where there is no sin, no need for an atonement, a dismissive view of the authority of scripture, and a twisted definition of the gospel, believers are ill-equipped to be the salt and light of the earth. Believers will need to decide are they going to be faithful to Christ, or will they continue to play Don Quixote, trying to save the denomination.

    At this point, what is the difference between the PCUSA and any number of far-left organizations? This denomination should add opinions of Rachel Maddow to its Book of Confessions to make the transition complete.

    Why would any faithful follower of Christ remain in the God-forsaken wasteland?

    • Kay Hill says:

      The answer is that members don’t want to let go, They grieve for their church of long ago, but it’s time to move on. It’s also time to take the church out of your will.

    • John Calvin says:

      You mean the city of Sodom which was destroyed by fire.

  15. John Calvin says:

    **So the answer to your hypothetical would be unclear, at least from the perspective of the discipline that PCUSA would levy upon the pastor.**

    So abomination is unclear??? The PCUSA officially now is Totally Depraved, Apostate, a ship without a rudder headed for the deep depths of Perdition. Homosexuality=Abomination.

  16. wx says:

    Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

  17. George Waite says:

    Religion is so boring.

  18. Little by litter, vote by vote, the once Mainline Denominations vote to put the train on a line to nowhere in particular. And line to nowhere
    ends up in a cultural cul d sac.
    When the culture changes, the train to nowhere has nowhere to go, because whatever witness or vitality is expended, used up.
    Social experiments in 19th century America began as communistic experiments. In due course, most failed and Charles Nordhoff catalogues the history of each in his “The Communistic Societies of North America.”
    Some future church historian will write the history of American Reformed and Presbyterian decline and virtual disappearance from
    the nation’s life.
    I find instructive that the major denomination that is growing is the
    “Assemblies of God.” Charismatic and holding the Bible up as
    the Word of God.
    I wonder if the next GA might include a learned presentation on why does some churches [not just Presbyterian congregation] grow. What do these churches do well. And also invite Os Guinness, an Evangelical Anglican, who lives in Virginia, to give
    a presentation on “Can Freedom Last?”
    About half of the GA commissioners would hate the truths they would have go face because their allegiance is to the culture, not
    the Christian faith or Faith in Christ.
    Longdrycreek Ranch – Texs Panhandle

  19. Bob Kopp says:

    For a view of how one church has responded thus far, go to http://www.belvpresbyterian.org or http://www.koppdisclosure.com.

    Don’t hide, run away, or quit.

    Salt and shine!

    • Tony says:

      I am a member of the Summerville, SC Presbyterian Church, the Church here has adopted the General Assembly’s new Demonic wisdom.

      But Let us Stay True to Jesus Christ and His Holy Word above all things.

      The Lord will continue to bless us as we stand Strong in His Word.

  20. Scott says:

    Question: A hypothetical pastor, married w/ kids, is caught cheating on his wife. Is he to be held publicly accountable for his behavior, even if that means his kids hear about it, or is he allowed to resign w/ some cover story and remain a pastor with his denomination, free to take another church call later?

    I ask because that also touches on marriage and pastor sexual behavior, just like what the GA is doing w/ marriage and ordination standards.

    • grace says:

      No way is he allowed to remain a pastor until he repentsand then he could be reinstated. All sins are forgivable. But no he should not be protected.

      • Scott says:

        Repents to who (other than God – as a practical matter human beings have to do the reinstating)? The session, the congregation, Louisville?

        • Doug says:

          It would depend on the specifics of the Book of Discipline (or Book of Order) if the discipline sections are combined. Most likely it would be the Session and probably Presbytery. If it were made public to the congregation, then the congregation would have to be involved as well. If there was genuine repentance and confession, all three of those entities would have to be involved. There would be no actual stoning involved. A lack of repentance would mean his removal as pastor, which would need session, congregational, an presbytery involvement. It would probably not involve Louisville unless there were an appeal of Presbytery’s action.

    • Eric Wells says:

      Scott,
      Don’t get it twisted. It’s not the conservatives or evangelicals that are playing hermeneutical gymnastics and moralizing like it’s going out of style. Legitimate evangelicals consistently demonstrate a call for sinners to repent; which is in accordance with the Bible and the Westminster standards. Regardless of what the sin is, murder, adultery, rape… You name it. You used an interesting phrase “public accountability”. That verbiage, quite frankly, tacitly supports the heretical supposition that forgiveness and/or redemption is accessible by way of consensus. This is the same calculus that has led to the descent of the Presbyterian Church USA to the morally hideous abyss it is now.

      • Scott says:

        “That verbiage, quite frankly, tacitly supports the heretical supposition that forgiveness and/or redemption is accessible by way of consensus.”

        No, not consensus, just a public confession to the flock he would have necessarily betrayed when he cheated. Are you’re saying only God can forgive, and the opinion of anyone you may have hurt is therefore irrelevant because they are mere humans?

        “hermeneutical gymnastics and moralizing like it’s going out of style”

        Deuteronomy 22:22 says both offenders “shall die” when adultery happens. I’m assuming that would involve some sort of public explanation to the congregation when their pastor is stoned to death by the session, wouldn’t it?

    • Milton says:

      The difference is that your hypothetical pastor has betrayed and lied to his family and close friends, so he knows he has deeply hurt other people even without Scripture.

      On the other hand, a gay pastor can now enter into a committed, monogamous relationship, be completely sincere and open about it, then proceed to live his/her life in an otherwise Christlike manner: unselfish, quick to aid those in need or defend those unfairly persecuted, utterly faithful to family, friends, community.

      Will people forget that such a pastor is an abomination? Will they want to follow this pastor’s example instead of holding to time-honored interpretations of the Word? Will children grow up to demand faithful, fair and compassionate leadership in the Church, while not even caring about propriety or the Law of Moses?

      Dr. Brown is correct, Scott. The Presbyterian Church will soon be a completely different institution, utterly removed from traditional Christian values.

    • Maunalani says:

      In order to legitimize homosexual behavior, the prior General Assembly removed the requirements that a pastor be “faithful in marriage or chaste in singleness.” In other words, adultery and fornication are no longer bars to serving as a pastor in PCUSA. So the answer to your hypothetical would be unclear, at least from the perspective of the discipline that PCUSA would levy upon the pastor.

    • Tony says:

      A Pastor must Remain Faithful to God and his wife other wise he is unfit to lead the church.

      • John Calvin says:

        A Pastor must Remain Faithful to God and his wife other wise he is unfit to lead the church.

        Not anymore according to the PCUA, you could do what you want, when you want, and how you want, since the PCUSA is no longer guided by the Holy Bible, and are you not surprised???

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