Contemplating the future of this apostate denomination is like watching sand fall in an hour glass.
… It is possible that, “Will the tax-exempt status of our congregation be affected by our decision not to open the building to same-gendered marriage? It means there’s hope for them yet. Scripture, our Essential Tenets, and confessions all speak with one unified voice on the subject of marriage.”. In the meantime, our would-be friends at ECO are stuck, as it were, inartfully singing along with the Cowardly Lion: I’m sure I could show my prowess / Be a lion, not a mouse / If I only had the nerve.

“It saddens me that they are deciding to leave us,” Parsons said. The Spirit of God never moves His church away from the clear teaching of Scripture. ), Please also opt me in for Exclusive Offers from Patheos’s Partners, God, Tim Tebow, and the Ultimate Reality Show, "Triggered? You’ll learn of ECO’s desire to “unite around a shared theological core.”, But beyond that kind of babbling and fuzzy happy-talk, nary a mention will you find of the true and actual reason ECO exists. The Office of the General Assembly, which is the constitutional/legal arm of the PCUSA, posted a document to answer questions about how the ruling will affect clergy and congregations.

Is there any significance to the fact that the PC(USA) statement refers to “same-gender” marriage rather than “same-sex” marriage?

However, for the non-believers whom we hope to draw into our community of faith, such a reputation functions effectively as a “non-believer repellant.” A typical resident of our neighborhood would be unlikely to give the Gospel a fair hearing from the pulpit or from individual testimony if he or she thought that homophobia was in any way connected to what we are advocating through our church. It’s certainly their right to take their ball and go off in a corner somewhere to play with just themselves. In lifting its ban on gay clergy, the Presbyterian Church joined the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “There is still disagreement, and I don’t mean to minimize that, but I think we are learning that we can disagree and still be church together.”. Uka is from Presbyterian Church of Nigeria. Mark Hawke, a minister at First Presbyterian Church in Olathe, Kansas, said “the underlying issue is how you interpret scripture.”. ECO reports that 60 congregations so far have formally joined its ranks, with more either in discernment or on the way. Right now I am covenanting with some good Free Methodists. This is a headline I’ve been dreading ever since my church began the discernment process to determine whether we should leave our denomination. Perhaps orthodox members of the congregation thought, “Well, that doesn’t affect our congregation”. Their day of choosing between faithfulness to the Word, and feelings of attachment to their congregation, has arrived. In my first write up the word intende is “task” and not tasj. ECO will allow churches to commit exclusively to the new denomination, as well as affiliate with ECO without dropping its membership in the Presbyterian Church. The departures, mostly for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, have been ongoing for some time now, but the cumulative impact is …

I don’t believe it’s wise to soft-pedal Jesus’ radical call to discipleship to committed Christians. Fortunately, as time has passed, those conversations are getting increasingly rare and I am able to make reference to my church home without feeling that I may be prejudicing anyone against me. The Office of the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has received numerous inquiries regarding the position of the PCA on this issue. “The (needed) tent pole is biblical authority understood in the orthodox community and that has implications for all sexuality.”. The departures, mostly for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, have been ongoing for some time now, but the cumulative impact is adding up. There was a wave of departures in and after 2011, when the presbyteries ratified a decision to ordain gays and lesbians as pastors, elders and deacons, and that may have cleared the way for Tuesday’s vote. Just say that you’ve formed because you believe that gays shouldn’t be ordained!

The PCA, like other evangelical, conservative, orthodox, and traditional Christians from many denominations, believes that from creation God ordained the marriage covenant to be a bond only between one man and one woman. Province approved ordaining homosexuals. It follows a majority vote by the 173 presbyteries (district governing bodies) on Tuesday to change the body’s constitution in order to allow openly gay people in same-sex relationships to be ordained as ministers, elders and deacons. What is even more notable is that now that we are in a denomination that has taken a more clear and consistent stance on sexuality issues, I haven’t mentioned homosexuality from the pulpit once. I do believe the nature of God is sexual. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. As you may know, this past summer the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) decided to allow the ordination of gay clergy. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. … The Supreme Court recognized that religious individuals and institutions may continue to teach and practice sincerely held religious beliefs, “What does this mean for congregations? Additionally, a brief admonition against homosexuality in the context of a worship service can be extremely discouraging to someone who is struggling with same-sex attraction. He also has taught as an Adjunct Professor at both Regent College in British Columbia and Fuller Theological Seminary in California, where he received his Ph.D. Eric is married to Liz Jacobsen, an elementary school teacher who brings her extensive theater background as well as her love for children to the classroom. In 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States legalized abortion. Why require PCUSA pastors to attend seminary if PCUSA leadership can produce this drivel. God created them male and female. And that congregation has at least one pastor willing and ready to officiate a same-sex marriage. While I felt it was important enough to prevent our members being misinformed about this vitally important topic, I was keenly aware of how this message would sound to various people who were in our worship services when the announcement was made. However, it is only the faithful denominations that might consider this option. We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. This vote was a foregone conclusion, given that the conservative opposition has largely pulled out, clearing the way for domination by church liberals. I grew up in a White Christian... United Methodists vote in ways pollsters hate. They will accept those things that they believe in and reject those things that they don’t believe in. 5638 Hollister Ave. Suite 210, Goleta, CA 93117. If you are a PCUSA teaching elder, you may currently have protection under the denomination’s constitution but it does not sound as if the denomination is prepared to defend you in civil court should the state determine to compel you.”. EXPOSED: The True Dangers of Progressive... Trumpism IS white evangelical witness, the... What’s the Appropriate Christian Response to... 'Originalism' = Garrison's Constitution, a Covenant... Christians shouldn't get depressed? The PCA, he said, “believes that from creation God ordained the marriage covenant to be a bond only between one man and one woman. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. While I feel that our decision to leave our denomination and join ECO has been an extremely positive and life-giving move for our congregation, I also feel the process was somewhat costly from a missional and pastoral perspective. Some of the potential departures have been low on drama, particularly in presbyteries with gracious separation policies. It’s not only totally unorthodox, but so intellectually weak-minded.

There may come a time in which I will talk about sexuality when preaching on a text that calls for it, but in that case, I hope to do so in a way that is pastorally-sensitive and loving to those who struggle with this topic.