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Presbyterians Today - Go Figure - Same-sex marriage

October 2012

Support is growing among Presbyterians to legalize same-sex marriage.

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  1. This totally against the Bible,we have reached a point that has allowed Liberals to make decisions and change our book of order .Being an Elder you are wrong with this decision .I am ashamed to be a part of the Presbyterian Church. Our church does not support this action.All I can do is to pray for all of you LIBERALS who voted for this.You really need to pray and examine your relationship with Jesus Christ.

    by steve wilson

    March 20, 2015

  2. I recently commented on the state of this denomination and have been following the comments left by distraught members. The one sentence that caught my attention was "what bible are they reading from?" When I was a little boy, I was taught that God's Holy Word was the final authority. Fascinated by this I can remember visiting the many churches in the area where we lived, riding up on my bicycle to the front door of each church to see for myself if this was true. Churches were not locked in those days as parishioners were often seen coming and going to pray. Imagine if you will a small boy examining pew bibles and finding them to be almost all King James Versions. There were some exceptions I noted. Presbyterians used a new bible called the Revised Std Version. I think the Episcopal Church did also, but at the time the only thing I found in that church was a Common Book of Prayer. I know most were alike because I took note of the language and asked my mom. She said that when God spoke you could always recognize him that way. I took that to mean that God's Word was very special. When things started to go wrong in this country, I noticed a lot of finger pointing and blame stating and sharing, however, things continued to get worse until I once again found myself examining the church as a child seeking answers. What I found were many different bibles. Many different versions and to my recent knowledge, none of the King James Bibles I remember, dominating once, being found. What happened? This put me into an investigating mode that lasted two years. An exhaustive search for God and the truth. To my astonishment, I found that the churches had given in to the Scholar's decree that although we have copies of the originals, we don't have the originals. Therefore the truth could be interpreted in different ways. What??? No wonder so many students feeling the call of God in their lives came away from Seminary discouraged, betrayed, and yes, some of them given over to agnostic interpretations and even atheistic thought. Where is that firm foundation? I will leave you with the words of Jeremiah the prophet, "Thus saith the LORD.Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." And there my brethren is where the problem lies. We have abandoned the pure word of God for man's interpretation. The deceitfulness of man has made merchandise of us all. It is the Holy Spirit that teacheth with the only profit intended was the ability to rise above sin, day by day, trusting His divine word interpreted once beautifully by God for all mankind. God never intended for us to rewrite it. REVELATION 22:18

    by steve v.

    March 19, 2015

  3. Well, its been a little over 40 years now. I've noticed with disdain, the replacement of almost all mainline denominational church bibles with the Alexandrian type of bible. These are bibles rewritten with the thoughts of men ('let God be true and every man a liar'). Copy write laws require at least 10% change in order to reprint. No problem for these guys, who change the Word of God into a lie. Many a preacher boy has been ruined by these "Alexandrian Scholars" in our Seminaries. A pox on you all............

    by steve v.

    March 19, 2015

  4. Good luck ... sad to see that yet another denomination has given into secularism. The devil is having happy as a clam. Ordaining openly gay clergy was the beginning of the slippery slope. FYI, there are still other denomination that haven't given in and are willing and able to accept new members. After all, I'm sure LGBT community will be flocking to Presbyterian churches... you'll need them to replace the faithful you once had

    by Tom B

    March 19, 2015

  5. I don't want to come across as an ass but... As a Christ follower with several homosexual friends & relatives that I love and care for, this is an area I have thought allot about. I am no better than anyone. When I was young I had several homosexual experiences and at times have wrestled with pornography and drugs and feel, at least from a personal perspective, I empathize with anyone that struggles in areas of addiction or issues of sexuality. The "church" as a whole has done a poor job of addressing its own personal sins...greed, pornography, adultery, abusiveness, divorce, ignoring poverty, injustice, etc. and seemed to have zeroed in on homosexuality almost uniquely as a mortal sin. Instead of adding to the list of sins we ignore, we should be taking a good long look at the current state of our hearts and asking God to reveal areas we are falling short and need his guidance. In the church there are two groups of people; those that are Christ's followers and those that are not--it's not a matter of value, it's a matter of identity and location. Both are made in the image of God and are loved. Forgiveness is a free gift to anyone in a relationship with Jesus. The issue here is that, if one is a follower of Christ then they should follow him, and if they refuse to follow him they should ask themselves if they are really Christians or not. There is a difference between regretting a choice to sin and asking for forgiveness, vs. stubbornly choosing to engage in any sin, being proud of that sin, and rationalizing ones actions. Homosexuality is immensely complicated socially, emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically. The act of homosexuality itself won't prevent anyone from being loved by God. No one gets right, then gets God; God gets us and works on our hearts, and if we choose to follow him he continues that work on our hearts and character. If one is not a Christian, it's not any one particular sin that is keeping them from receiving forgiveness; it's a lack of relationship with Jesus and that is free to anyone who wants it. It would appear that the leaders of PCUSA would rather have a have the approval of man than follow their Lord. The issue here is, will this denomination choose to follow man, or will it follow what it presupposes to be God's word. At the end of the day the church's obligation is to follow Christ who did a pretty good job of both befriending and loving prostitutes, drunks, liars and thieves, while at the same time addressing sin as sin and calling people to follow him and rise above the chains, burdens, and self destruction where sin desires to keep us. PCUSA is dangerously close to loosing it's lampstand.

    by C. Council

    March 12, 2015

  6. I am a life-long Presbyterian . . . and now I find to my horror that the "church" has betrayed me, the second betrayal "locking down" the first: 1. The unconscionable infidelity on same-sex "marriage," an in-your-face defiance of the God of Love, of Truth, of Righteousness, of Justice, of Integrity, of Peace, of Reconciliation, of Faithfulness, of Principle, of every other authentic attribute of the divine One. It's one thing to tolerate homosexuality as one of the sins and diseases of the world of the perishable; it's quite another to CONSECRATE this relationship -- which violates the foundational principle of God's creation -- as a marriage! 2. I learned of this disgraceful move on the part of PC-USA only through public media! Not a peep about it my local church. I then sent correspondence to the GA, with copies to the Session and others of my local church, demanding an accounting. Repeated this demand at church. TO THIS DAY NO RESPONSE FROM ANYONE!! And I cannot find anything on the current status -- I had thought it was supposed to be susbmitted for approval at the local level. As it is written, "Why, when I called, was there no answer?" Isa. 50:1-2, 65:12, Jer. 7:13-15, 27-30. PC-USA, right down to the local congregations that have cowardly caved to this disgrace, have stepped forward as heirs to these indictments of the Word.

    by KACalder

    March 8, 2015

  7. The "Church" is the hospital for the sick, all are welcome! Jesus did not come to change the law, but to fulfill the law. My hope is the Presbyterian Church will stand for God's truth. The inspired word of God is the Bible. This is the truth, and God's authority. Please do not cave to the worlds standards PCUSA!

    by Andrew Savage

    February 16, 2015

  8. Understanding, compassion and forgiveness are the elements of God's love for us, as shown through the life of Jesus Christ. Breaking the boundaries that God has set before us through the Ten Commandments constitutes disobedience and willfulness and brings death not life to our well being. We must love God and love one another, each according to eternal truth.

    by Martha Godsey

    January 29, 2015

  9. I think the Pope said it best, "if two people want to stand before God in his house and ask for his blessing and guidance in their relationship, who am I to say no,".

    by William Smith

    December 16, 2014

  10. These are very useful and constructive study materials that PC(USA) is posting.

    by Arthur Burditt

    November 19, 2014

  11. The denomination provides a helpful six-week study on marriage that I highly recommend. You may download it for free at this webpage: http://www.presbyterianmission.org/media/uploads/theologyandworship/pdfs/christianmarriagestudy.pdf. I also picked up an interesting book (which I have not yet finished reading, so I cannot tell you what I think of it, but it is interesting) called "God and the Gay Christian" by Matthew Vine, a Presbyterian, who has apparently done some scholarly research about the scriptures that directly or indirectly address homosexuality. For those who feel that pastors who wish to marry same-sex couples are ignoring scripture, this book presents an argument that they are not ignoring the scriptures, but they are interpreting it in a way that is different than the way others interpret it. Again, please do not take this as an endorsement of that view; I'm just pointing out that there are materials written that may be useful in understanding why a majority of Presbyterian commissioners voted to allow same-sex marriages. The actions of the 221st General Assembly in 2014 allow for these different interpretations of scripture and do not force anyone to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies against their will. Likewise, if a congregation's session is opposed to having same-sex weddings held in their churches, they have a right to set a policy that does not allow them. I highly recommend ongoing conversations which present both viewpoints in your congregations, so that everyone understands that both sides of this controversy are citing a scriptural perspective. In that way, the conversation can become more focused on scripture and less focused on distrust and frustration. I am a researcher, not a theologian, so I do not feel qualified to speak to this issue; I only wish to point out that there are resources out there to include in the conversation. Thanks to those of you who have written comments. I hope that we all may come to respect and perhaps learn from both perspectives on this very important and timely issue.

    by Deb Coe

    November 3, 2014

  12. This makes me sad.. will there be any Christian places of worship in the usa soon that are Biblical? :((

    by cmw

    November 2, 2014

  13. In the Bible in multiple places homsexuality is called an abomination by God. It's not my opinion that matters, it's God's word and what God says. I do not think people even read it, or maybe they think it means something else. THis is unbiblical and goes against what God says. I will not stay a regular in my local pcusa if this is made manditory, or letting them be pastors. Idk about what's going on with that, but shwing love and telling the gospel inviting them to church are great, but leting them be pastors, or making pastors marry homosexuals is wrong. How'd you feel if your pastor was sleeping with various women whenever he felt like it? Sin is not right. Cmw Ps I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I want to do what he says and keep his word because I believe it is all God breathed, infallible word of God.

    by Christine

    November 2, 2014

  14. The horrible acts of hate committed against gays in the name of God will not be healed by this decision. Turning our backs on God's word to show love is NOT what He intended or what is taught in the scriptures. This is a foolish decision, one the church should be ashamed of. LOVE all, yes! Accept all, yes! Endorse all behaviors... NO! Marriage, at it's core, is a symbol of Christ's love for the Church, his bride. God speaks of it in depth. How can the Presbyterian community justify this action? Civil liberties should be granted to all people; but, in this country, we still have the right to practice religious freedom. I have gay friends who are mocking the PC's decision; they know what the scriptures teach. My heart is broken for the American church.

    by Dawn

    August 10, 2014

  15. I didn't leave the Presbyterian Church - the church left me! PCA, Orthodox Presb, or even my wife's Orthodox Church are looking better and better.....

    by Joe

    July 9, 2014

  16. Please share you reasons to keep illegal a Dad-Son marriage: ___________

    by Janus VI

    July 1, 2014

  17. Once the Presbyterian church taught that Jesus Christ was the way. On June 19 the Presbyterian Church changed that doctrine to, Jesus Christ is in the way. How long will it be before the Southern Baptist Convention votes similar with the Presbyterians? Not surprising though, one world government and a one world church.

    by Ken Nielsen

    June 23, 2014

  18. First of all, I don't hate homosexuals. I have friends and family who are homosexuals; however, I do hate the sin in me and all of us whether it is cheating on your spouse, lying, stealing, murder, homosexuality, etc. Second, I can only say that homosexuality is a sin because the bible says it is a sin: 1 Corinthians 6:9"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 12“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”b 17But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Timothy 1:8"We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me." Any church or denomination that does not preach and practice ONLY the Word of God, is no longer part of God's church by their very action of accepting the world's view instead of God's view. Christians we have to make sure we aren't just stating out opinions, instead we need to state the scriptures.

    by Brian Foxworth

    June 22, 2014

  19. I`m so disappointed. What Bible are they using? Please follow the scriptures! If God says No how can it be ok???

    by Catherine

    June 20, 2014

  20. Hate the sin and not the sinner. Right? But when we sin, do we feel convicted? Allowing same-sex marriage in the church is perpetuating sin and does not allow for repentance. Can a gay couple lay with each other and ask for forgiveness just to do it again another day? A liar can stop lying but when the liar lies, the liar can ask forgiveness and be repentant. We must think about who we serve. Do we serve ourselves and the numbers in attendance or do we serve God? Is God pleased with us? We are all sinners and we must repent. How can the church say it's OK when it is not? Am I wrong? If I am, I'm in need of enlightenment.

    by V. Bly

    June 1, 2014

  21. The study materials on marriage have been available for a few weeks and are found here: http://www.presbyterianmission.org/media/uploads/theologyandworship/pdfs/christianmarriagestudy.pdf

    by Jack Marcum

    June 11, 2013

  22. The 2012 GA voted to have a study guide and/or other study materials prepared by GA on the subject of Gay Marriage and published for use by congregations and presbyteries. When will these materials be published? Will we be notified in some manner? By when should the study be completed?

    by Graham Wightman

    June 10, 2013

  23. We need to accomodate varied views. There are many shadings. For example, I know Presbyterians who want ALL the rights of marriage to be given same sex couples but are reluctant to call same sex pairs a MARRIAGE. I know Presbyterians who object more to non-marital intercourse by heterosexuals than they do to same sex marriage. Cannot our church adopt a "local option" trusting our fellow Presbyterians to seek AGAPE decisions about who marries and the place of sexuality?

    by Jay Pence

    November 6, 2012

  24. Just to clarify, re: R. Matthews' comment. The Pew data are for the United States generally. The Presbyterian data come from surveys conducted by the PC(USA) through the Presbyterian Panel.

    by Jack Marcum

    October 23, 2012

  25. If Pew is right in its research (and I'm certain they are not) then nearly half (49%) of the pastors in this body agree with same sex marriage. I say the church has enough trouble keeping itself pure and battling sin than to have to worry about 49% of its pastors leading the flock astray.

    by R. Matthews

    October 22, 2012

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