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,".
These are very useful and constructive study materials that PC(USA) is posting.
The denomination provides a helpful six-week study on marriage that I highly recommend. You may download it for free at this webpage:
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.
This makes me sad.. will there be any Christian places of worship in the usa soon that are Biblical? :((
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.
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.
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.....
Please share you reasons to keep illegal a Dad-Son marriage: ___________
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.
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.
I`m so disappointed. What Bible are they using? Please follow the scriptures! If God says No how can it be ok???
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.
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
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?
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?
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.
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.