PC(USA) relaxes constitutional prohibition of gay and lesbian ordination

Change reaffirms historical practice of ordaining bodies determining fitness for office

May 11, 2011


A majority of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 173 presbyteries have ratified an amendment to the church’s constitution that removes a provision flatly prohibiting the ordination of sexually active unmarried Presbyterians as church officers.

The 87th vote in favor of the measure ― dubbed Amendment 10-A after it was approved by the PC(USA)’s 219th General Assembly last summer ― was cast today (May 10) by the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area.

The unofficial tally now stands at 87-62, with 24 presbyteries still to vote. The change takes effect July 10 ― one year from the adjournment of the 219th Assembly.

The action replaces the current G-6.0106b in The Book of Order with new language. That provision, which was placed in the constitution following the 1996 Assembly, requires of church officers “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness.”

As a result of the vote, ordaining bodies ― local church sessions for elders and deacons and presbyteries for ministers ― will have more flexibility in determining individual candidates’ fitness for ordained office in the denomination.

“Clearly what has changed is that persons in a same-gender relationship can be considered for ordination,” General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons told the Presbyterian News Service. “The gist of our ordination standards is that officers submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and ordaining bodies (presbyteries for ministers and sessions for elders and deacons) have the responsibility to examine each candidate individually to ensure that all candidates do so with no blanket judgments.”

In its entirety, the former G-6.0106b states: “Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders or ministers of the Word and Sacrament.”

The new G-6.0106b states: “Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all the requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation. Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.”

All other ordination standards are unchanged, Parsons said. Specifically, he noted, “the questions asked of all candidates at the time of their ordination remain the same.”

The presbyteries have previously voted three times on proposed amendments to G-6.0106b. They retained the “fidelity and chastity” language by votes of 114-57 following the 1997 Assembly, 127-46 following the 2001 Assembly and 95-78 following the 2008 Assembly.

To date, 19 presbyteries have “switched” their votes from “no” last time to “yes” this year. Two presbyteries switched from “yes” to “no.”

Parsons offered four possible factors that led to the passage of the amendment this time around:

  • Some congregations have left the denomination ― including large congregations in some presbyteries ― thus changing the “balance” of voting in some presbyteries.
  • Some Presbyterians and presbyteries “are ready to get past this argument, which has been going on since at least 1978” (when policy prohibiting gay/lesbian ordination was first adopted).
  • American society has become more tolerant of same-gender relationships, evidenced, for instance, by a number of states legalizing same-sex marriage.
  • “The wording of this particular amendment is more acceptable to more Presbyterians than previous proposals.”

The Office of the General Assembly has a variety of resources on its Web site, including a press release, “Frequently Asked Questions” about the amendment and its implications, liturgical resources for congregations and a churchwide letter from Parsons, General Assembly Moderator Cynthia Bolbach and Vice-Moderator Landon Whitsitt and General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) Executive Director Linda Valentine.

The letter to the church acknowledges that “some will rejoice while others will weep” at the voting results. “However, as Presbyterians, we believe that the only way we will find God’s will for the church is by seeking it together ― worshiping, praying, thinking, and serving alongside one another,” the four leaders wrote.

“We are neighbors and colleagues, friends and family. Most importantly, we are all children of God, saved and taught by Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit.”

The GAMC’s World Mission staff “continue to be in honest conversation with our partners about the proposed change,” particularly in countries where church leaders have expressed the most concern.

The vote tally, as of May 10:

Presbyeries voting “Yes” (87): Albany, Arkansas, Baltimore, Blackhawk, Boston, Cascades, Cayuga-Syracuse, Central Nebraska, Chicago, Cimarron, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Donegal, East Iowa, East Tennessee, Eastern Oklahoma, Eastern Oregon, Eastern Virginia, Eastminster, Elizabeth, Florida, Genesee Valley, Geneva, Giddings-Lovejoy, Grace, Grand Canyon, Great Rivers, Greater Atlanta, Heartland, Hudson River, Indian Nations, John Knox, Lake Michigan, Lehigh, Long Island, Mackinac, Maumee Valley, Miami Valley, Mid-Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Milwaukee, Mission, Missouri River Valley, Monmouth, National Capital, New Brunswick, New Castle, New Hope, Newark, Newton, North Alabama, Northern Kansas, Northern New England, Northern New York, Northern Waters, Ohio Valley, Palisades, Philadelphia, Plains and Peaks, Redwoods, Riverside, Sacramento, St. Augustine, Salem, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Fe, Savannah, Scioto Valley, South Alabama, South Louisiana, Southeastern Illinois, Southern New England, Susquehanna Valley, Transylvania, Tres Rios, Twin Cities Area, Utah, Utica, Wabash Valley, West Virginia, Western North Carolina, Western Reserve, Whitewater Valley, Winnebago, Yellowstone.

Presbyteries voting “No” (62): Abingdon, Alaska, Atlantic Korean-American, Beaver-Butler, Carlisle, Central Florida, Central Washington, Charleston-Atlantic, Cherokee, Coastal Carolina, de Cristo (tie), Eastern Korean, Flint River, Foothills, Glacier, Holston, Huntingdon, Inland Northwest, James (tie), John Calvin, Kendall, Lackawanna, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Mid-South, Minnesota Valleys, Mississippi, Muskingum Valley, Nevada, New Covenant, Noroeste, North Central Iowa, North Puget Sound, Northeast Georgia, Northern Plains, Northumberland, Olympia, Palo Duro, Peaks, Pines, Pittsburgh, Pueblo, Redstone, San Diego, San Fernando, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Shenandoah, Sierra Blanca, South Dakota, Southern Kansas, St. Andrew, Stockton, Tampa Bay, Trinity, Tropical Florida, Upper Ohio Valley, Washington, Western Colorado, Wyoming, Yukon.

Presbyteries still to vote: Boise, Charlotte, Dakota, Des Moines, Hanmi, Homestead, Kiskiminetas, Los Ranchos, Midwest Hanmi, Missouri Union, New Harmony, New York City, Pacific, Peace River, Prospect Hill, Providence, San Gabriel, San Juan, Shenango, Sheppards & Lapsley, Suroeste, West Jersey, Western Kentucky, Western New York.

Presbyteries that voted “No” last time and “Yes” this time (19): Blackhawk, Central Nebraska, Cincinnati, Donegal, Eastern Oklahoma, Eastern Virginia, Florida, Indian Nations, Middle Tennessee, Mission, North Alabama, Plains and Peaks, Riverside, Sacramento, St. Augustine, San Francisco, Savannah, South Alabama, South Louisiana.

Presbyteries that voted “Yes” last time and “No” this time (3): de Cristo, Lake Huron, Minnesota Valleys.

See the PC(USA) News & Announcements comment policy.

  1. 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 Bill Smith

    December 16, 2014

  2. I came to this site to do some research. I am startled at the ugliness of most of these comments. I actually believe that most of the commenters are not members of the Presbyterian Church (USA), for in my congregation we are not as nasty and self-righteous as most of the commenters reveal themselves to be. Most of us think that the gospel of love means that we accept our gay friends and neighbors just as God made them.

    by Jay

    August 17, 2013

  3. Going to my Presbyterian Church became like going to a political meeting. It became devoid of spiritually and study of the Bible. So, for that reason, I left.

    by nancy

    February 23, 2013

  4. The terms Homosexual or Gay describe a sexual lifestyle. This lifestyle's centerpiece is the depraved behavior of sodomy. Please look up the act of sodomy and what it means. The word of God is very specific when it comes to Sodomy. The homosexual agenda has brainwashed America into believing their movement is a civil rights issue; which is far from the truth. This is a conscious decision to engage in a lifestyle of sodomy. The church has caved into Secular thinking and now believes Political Correctness trumps the Almighty. God have Mercy on us. Those who are conflicted should follow what the Holy Spirit is telling them. Leave the Church and go with a body of believers who follow the Holy Bible in it's entirety.

    by Paul Erickson

    January 22, 2013

  5. As a devout Protestant Christian with a Reformed, Evangelical, Catholic theology — I believe that this is a radically inexcusable move that only exposes PCUSA's growing liberal theology. I pray that Church Elders will open their eyes and see the blatant heresy they're promoting!

    by Keanu Heydari

    June 24, 2012

  6. As an Atheist and I study Religion so I have basis for being able to make statements based on scientific as well as philosophic knowledge. I believe the bible is not true and most of the content was created by men, for men, and against anyone who disagrees with the teachings. The literal absurdity of the bible is beyond comprehension. I cannot understand why people believe in God. God was invented by men. God is supposed to be a representation of what man is to resemble. A white old angry bearded soul who sits up in heavens and casts judgement and death and misery upon those who don't believe or commit grave acts against "Him". People, you need to get over yourselves about us gay people. Keep your hate to yourselves and your judgements to yourselves. No god is going to judge you nor is any god going to kill all who disagree of "his" existence. Man created laws, man broke laws, man created the Christian Church. I don't understand why is it any of your business to judge someone who is gay in the first place. No one should say anything. If you don't like us, get a life and do something about preventing poverty, overpopulation, learn about the Christian religion in a more open minded point of view and check out right wing Christianity web sites and that itself will scare you about the reality of how Christianity has and still is towards gays.

    by Robbie

    April 22, 2012

  7. i don't go by what man say, God gave us a book called the bible, if you are worldley and not seperate from the world and if man created themselfs than they can rewrite Gods laws and do as you please but as for me i truly love God and believe in his word. we suppose to put God first in our lives love one another not judge each other, God will do that sooner than later as this world keep growing in sin and blindness, as for me i believe that God created man and he knows best if you want the truth just read his book.

    by elder sandra humphrey

    March 22, 2012

  8. If they tried to pass this 20 years ago, it would've got shut down. This is a societal issue and the only reason that this has passed now is because allowing gay marriage is the way society is going. If we are going to deny the blatantly clear meaning of 1 Cor 6 9-10, then who is to say that I cannot ignore passages that gay ppl are presenting for their case. You cannot pick and choose Bible verses that you like and live your life by those ones, but ignore ones that ask you to change or are difficult for you. The Bible is the eternally truth and is here for us because we are too blind to know what is good for us. As it says there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. You can either agree with ppl who have in some way convinced themselves in their mind that this is good or you can agree with the all knowing creator of the universe. I think I'll take the latter.

    by ptmiked15

    March 7, 2012

  9. I would like to amend my previous post. I will not be returning to the PC(USA). In recent classes I have taken I have found the truth to be that being a homosexual is not a sin. The sin is sodomy. Sex is a gift from God to be shared in the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. This allows for the sexual act to join with God in the process of creation in the possibility of creating new life and the sharing of self in the complemantary way which God intended when He created us. I want to go to where the truth is revealed like this. The One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

    by Matthew Ferguson

    March 3, 2012

  10. Does anyone ever consider this point? Say for the sake of agreement, we say homosexuality is a sin. Anyone who is unrepentant is in sin. So, what do we do with the PCUSA pastors now in the pulpit who gossip, lie, are alcoholics, and refuse to reconcile with parishioners who disagree with him/her and are unrepentant? Still sinful. We are all sinners and thank God that scripture says, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for you." Can someone explain the difference? Pam Reich

    by jpam reich

    January 20, 2012

  11. The sad thing is that in its rush to validate homosexual sex acts, the PCUSA has completely thrown out the requirement for ordained members to not engage in sexual immorality. This means that pastors can now engage in adultery, youth ministers can pray on young women in the youth group, etc. Once you open the door to sexual immorality in a church, you cannot close it and the church will be destroyed. And the Holy Spirit will flee, because the Holy Spirit cannot be where there is sexual immorality. It is against His nature.

    by Kaehu

    January 13, 2012

  12. I personally believe we should love the sinner and hate the sin. People who are homosexuals are still people deserving of our love as christians. But this amendment goes to far. It supports unrepentant lifestyles that lead a christian into sin. How can we change a standard that is clearly holy [fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness] to what has come to be. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has stepped to far. The New Testament exhibits a tension between two aspects of grace: the idea that grace is from God and sufficient to cover any sin (except the Unforgivable sin), and the idea that grace does not free Man from his responsibility to behave morally. This changing of standards is clearly not moral. I think the PC(USA) needs to ponder this issue more and I think our leaders have failed us in their offices to be good shepards to their flocks. They have become the theives in the night who would seek to devour the flock and sow sin. I love my church. I grew up in it, was baptised in it, brought my wife to it and our child, I am also an elder in the church. But until this is set right I must leave the church of my home. I love her members, her fellowship, her teachings...everything. It sits heavy on my heart but I can no longer be a part of her. I will always have faith in Christ my Savior and pray that one day I may return, after this is set right. Personally, I would ask everyone to sign the Manhattan Declaration which upholds the institution of marriage and life. May God be with us all.

    by Matthew Ferguson

    November 23, 2011

  13. Let me know when the last time is that the previous posters asked minister, elders and deacons about 1 Timothy 3:2-3

    by Mike

    October 27, 2011

  14. Since I cannot get an Answer from my own leadership on this issue, I will ask the experts here. It just seams to me a double standard. Gays now have a separate policy than heterosexuals. I tried looking it up on the PCUSA site here, but all I get is the change of words in the BOO, and the recorded of the vote. So I guess as a heterosexual male I still have to follow scripture No sex outside of marriage (this as been the teaching in the church and synagogue for over 2000 years and then taught in the Hebrew culture for over 4000 years before that. That is 6000 years of teaching now irrelevant. However, for gays its like Burger King "you can have it your own way" I’m not leaving over Gays getting ordained I am leaving over the Hypocritical policy.

    by Robert Parker

    October 13, 2011

  15. In Isaiah 5:20-21 the Lord says: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness..." (NIV) That is what the Presbyterian Church (USA) has done by ordaining a homosexual minister. The Lord God calls it sin, He calls people to repent of their sins and change. PC(USA) has effectively said that what God calls evil, sin, is not evil or a sin. They are not calling on gays within the church to repent and change. PC(USA) says that those who oppose gays in the church should repent, yet it is God Himself who calls sinners to repent. And the homosexual lifestyle is a sin as much as murder, lying, stealing, fornication, adultery, etc. PC(USA) can change their rules but God's Word stand firm regardless of how they try to reinterpret it. What is next for the church? Maybe you should ordain a known pedophile or a Buddhist. The Bible doesn't say much about them, not nearly to the level of the condemnation of homosexuality. Even a simpleton can see that men and women are designed to fit together physically where as men are not designed to fit each other. Nor are women designed to fit each other. May God call you to account for your honoring the sin and sinner, rather then honoring HIM.

    by Mark

    October 11, 2011

  16. I'm all for "hate the sin, love the sinner," but allowing homosexuals to be ordained goes against more than one passage of scripture. Even though I just recently became a member of my congregation I will no longer call myself a Presbyterian. Another denomination falls to modern liberalism and "tolerance"

    by Zach

    October 11, 2011

  17. It's love thy neighber, but hate their sin. We as christains are to teach the sinner the right from wrong. Not the sinner to teach the christains thatall sin is right with God. It is beginning to look like people are worshiping more what ok with the world then what is writtenin the HOLY BIBLE

    by Elaine

    October 10, 2011

  18. I have left the Presbyterian Church that I have belonged to my whole life. I will be joining an Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I don't understand how a pastor can have sexual relations with a man on Saturday night and preach the gospel on Sunday morning. If he was an alcohol and not trying to stop drinking would that be ok? The problem is not that he sinned...it is the fact that he continues without guilt or repenting. It is correct that we are all sinners, but we are called to turn away from sin and follow Christ.

    by kathy

    September 21, 2011

  19. I have always felt the church was a safe place for me and my family. No more!

    by Doris

    July 14, 2011

  20. I am disheartened by the direction we have taken. What saddens me the most is the "manipulation for justification" of the scriptures. There are clear references in the Bible that unequivocably explain homosexuality (i.e. Leviticus 18:22, 1 Cor. 6: 9-10, etc.). Although I disagree with the practice of homosexuality, I believe in inclusion and I feel that the church should welcome all people; however, we should not be afraid to assert the teachings of the Bible -- regardless of the changing winds of societal opinion. Society needs the Church. Since when does mankind get to interpret the teachings of the Bible? I guess you could argue that John Calvin is a good example or any other Protestant reformer. Man does make mistakes and, ultimately, we do have to "interpret" the Bible; however, there are bedrock principles between ALL Christian denominations that are biblically non-negotiable. Homosexuality is one of them and we should not waver. How should a church, and it's congregation, respond? If you are a part of the PCUSA, you directly or indirectly are a member of a denomination that supports that provision. I think it's wrong to be a part of a denomination where one presbytery decides one way and another decides something different (on issues of this magnitude). You can't say "Yes, I'm a part of the PCUSA, but I don't believe in Homosexuality thing" "My church doesn't believe in that and we'll never have a gay minister. . " "My church has a gay minister and it's o.k. . . ." etc. etc. The Presbyterian Church cannot be ambiguous on this matter - especially, within it's laws. Chaos has been created. Respectfully, If you support the language of PCUSA you should stay -- If you support the language of the old way, we should form another Presbyterian denomination or join the Presbyterian Church of America.

    by Bill

    July 10, 2011

  21. Thats the reason i leave the presbiterian churc, and if you are son of God, you have to take a decision to follow God of follow Satan, God bless you

    by Willy

    July 9, 2011

  22. Are you going to follow the word of God, the bible, or are you going to follow the changing winds of culture? Homosexuality is considered wicked by the bible, and the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Follow the culture and you will unwittingly be following false idols, Satan. Follow Jesus Christ our Savior and be assured of your Salvation and a place in heaven for eternity. It is that simple. No more, no less.

    by Harriet

    July 6, 2011

  23. It seems that in our attempt to struggle with this issue we have lost sight to who are authority is. I would suggest that not to have empathy for those who feel they were made by their Creator to be a certain sexual persuasion is a very difficult place to be in, yet I have to come back to what God's design seems to indicate in scripture. No where in scripture do I see any indication of having choices in sexual practice. As a radical, Jesus had many an opportunity to bring clarity, and the only clarity I see is His commitment to marriage between a man and a woman and sex to be reserved for that commitment alone. He did not care about the mores or religious practices of His day in speaking forthright about the Kingdom of God, so if He sought to stir things up and change the viewpoints of this sacred institution, He would have done so honestly and defiantly. Yet, He speaks only of marriage between a man and a woman, and speaks against a number of sinful sexual practices. Thus, the only authority that can bring clarity to us as sinners is God's authority, and as difficult as it is to surrender and humbly submit to God's authority, that is who we should desperately seek to serve. If the PCUSA can show any change to God's authority through the power of His Word, let them define how they came to make this decision. If not, then I submit, that we seek first, the Kingdom of God and attempt to strive to become slaves to His authority alone and live by the implications of what servanthood demands of each of us to bring glory to God, alone.

    by phil

    July 6, 2011

  24. The Holy Word of God is the Holy Word of God! PCUSA Presbyteries, what are you thinking? I really don't buy the reasoning that you all just got tired of fighting the social agenda that 10-A supports. The word of God is timeless. Christ told us to 'be in the world and not of it'. Looks like PCUSA is now both. John Calvin, John Knox, and all those who shaped and died for our Reformed faith must be spinning in their graves!

    by Susan

    June 23, 2011

  25. I'm sorry, Doug, but you have completely missed the point... Sinners are certainly allowed to hold office in the Church, because otherwise there would simply be no church officers! However, people who are actively and defiantly living a sinful lifestyle in public are clearly disqualified from service by Scripture in multiple passages. Redefining fornication does not make it any less sinful - in fact, Satan usually starts off with: "Hath God really said...?" Woe unto them who call evil good, and good evil.

    by Barabbas

    June 10, 2011

  26. How sad in this discussion to see no middle ground! "cast the first stone" played against "go and sin no more". BOTH say to worry about yourself first and foremost! Is there a traditional (or any) congregation that is so right with God that they need to focus on what other congregations are doing? Is it impossible to accept that fellow Christians might read the (relatively few) passages used against homosexuals in the same light that we realize that "thou shalt not kill" is really "thou shalt not murder" and that one must interpret what murder means? Was a loving, supportive and committed homosexual relationship common 2000 years ago? Can we condemn Sodom (whether we are gay or straight) wihout casting aside those whose loving relationships differ from ours? Seems to me Jesus was not fond of those who quoted the law but did ignored the unloving consequences. We have better NT grounds for excluding elders who fail to tithe than worry about the sex of their committed, loving partners. I doubt most churches could maintain a Session over time if we enforced that! I am glad that congregations retain their discernment over whom they ordain. I hope "traditional" pastors will still preach from their understanding of the Bible to "traditional" congregations. But I hope all Christians question what they hear from their pastors, read the Bible for themselves and judge, as Paul asked, on the works and fruits (no pun intended-smile).

    by Doug

    June 6, 2011

  27. The falling away of the church....

    by LC

    May 29, 2011

  28. Explain to me how this is correct as your vote tally dated 5-23-11 records 86 for and 68 against 10-A

    by Rev. Richard j Byerly

    May 26, 2011

  29. I feel deep grief. I wonder if the PCUSA will now split like the Lutherans & Episcopalians. I'm a traditional pastor in a presbytery that voted in favor of 10-A. Will my feelings matter to the majority? Will I be outcast if I speak my mind? Recently, a progressive pastor told me his progressive congregation was better equipped to minister to people; I didn't realize we were competing, since we serve several hours apart. Two large church pastors have already signed the Fellowship letter; if they end up leaving, I'll be part of a discouraged minority. Now that the progressives are running things here, will my views be INCLUDED? I've felt tolerated as long as I accept my limited role in presbytery. But if more traditionalists leave, which seems likely, my fellow traditionalists & I will be at the mercy of progressives.

    by Randall L

    May 25, 2011

  30. I see my original comment got deleted. Can the thread only hold so many entries? Just how far is the PCUSA going to turn from the Bible? Jude 1:4 (KJV) - For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. That's what you are doing with this "inclusiveness" - telling us lasciviousness equals righteousness. What is wrong with you? The PCUSA is seriously rebelling from God's word.

    by Rick R.

    May 22, 2011

  31. Instead of me leaving the Presbyterian Church I was baptized in and going to for years why not the leaders who voted yes leave...afterall they are trying to "alter" the Bible. THE BIBLE IS WHAT IT IS..shame on the leaders of our church... Just like our crooked politicians trying to change our constitution. Its no wonder people have their own devotions @ home etc. Guess I head off to the Evangelical Church. I'm glad I have my Bibles @ home which is more comfortable then the new Presbyterian church!

    by julie

    May 20, 2011

  32. I am still waiting on someone to tell me where in the Bible that it said to sin and not repent is ok. Not seeing anything on this blog I decided to see if anyone posted something on YouTube. I saw a good bit of very touching arguments why homosexual should be in church office but not one place had a Bible reference to show why someone should hold office with out repenting from there sins. I do believe that the church should embrace the homosexual community and teach them Gods word. I really hate that so much of this debate is about homosexual relations because there is other type of sexual sins that heterosexual and don’t stop and repent. Those people should not be able to hold church office either.

    by Carl Adams

    May 19, 2011

  33. lynn....yes the bible says " you that are without sin cast the first stone"...the problem with the PCUSA is they stop there.....the next thing the Lord said was "go and sin no more".....why are we afraid of the scriptures?...why did the reformation happen? we could have saved a lot of trouble by just trusting a pope to tell us what the words meant....we have a general assembly now to act as our inerrant speakers of truth...Luther found the Truth in the book of romans and was dumbfounded....the PCUSA has thrown the book of romans out of the scriptures , as well as the rest of the word......oh for a man to say " here I stand , I can do no other"

    by charles sinatra

    May 19, 2011

  34. I asked a dear friend why he did not attend church. He said, "God is good, God loves all, God accepts all. It's at the point you enter the doors of a church that exclusion begins." After being Presbyterian for 50 plus years, I never realized we were so self-righteous, and that we know better than God who should be allowed to lead us. Maybe God called for this controversial vote in PCUSA to open our hearts and our eyes. Are God's callings only those things we perceive as good by our own standards? Lynn said it best in her comments. I don't know about the rest of the people who have commented, but I'm pretty busy trying to keep my own life right with God. Apparently many others have already taken care of this and are ready to judge others. I won't leave the Presbyterian Church regardless of what happens with this vote. I do hope we can reconcile our differences and move forward to do the good things I believe God has planned for us. My prayers go to all those current leaders who are dealing with this issue as we speak. Your vote will not make everybody happy, but I pray you are at peace with God when you cast your vote.

    by Jim

    May 18, 2011

  35. This is a wicked decision. It is wrong to simultaneously say the church desires to "joyfully submit to the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life" and then, in the same clause, to purposefully refuse to submit in the area of sexual immorality. To imply that you can simultaneously have Christ as Lord, and also unapologetically live in open unrepentant sin, is not just a distortion of the truth, it is a removal of it. And think of how irresponsible it is: homosexuality is not the only issue at stake! When we essentially take away any censure against church leadership in the area of sexual immorality, we leave them open to do as they please! Do you want a pastor who feels free to sleep with 18 year olds in the congregation as long as they are willing? No? Well how will you win a courtcase to remove him if the church officially endorses immorality? This decision was a spineless, near-sighted, wicked attempt to coddle popular belief, and it was a reckless departure from God's wisdom.

    by Pastor Aaron

    May 18, 2011

  36. It's really an unfortunate decision. Worse than that, its a wicked decision, because it claims it's intent is to "joyfully submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all areas of life", and yet it fully ignores what the Old and New testament BOTH say about sexual immorality. This decision pretends that it is possible at the same time to legitimately call Christ LORD, and to live in open unapologetic sin. Yes, there is grace for the sinner, but the sinner who knows grace lives in a lifestyle of repentance, not rebellion. People haven't thought this through well enough, either; in days where the whole world is still reeling from the backlash of the giant sexual scandal with the Roman Catholic church, NOW we're going to take a stand and say that a pastor's sexual behavior is his own business, and not even God can say anything about it!? Absurd, spineless and reprehensible.

    by Aaron Bartmess

    May 18, 2011

  37. First off, let's not judge one another by our individual viewpoints and, instead, let God reveal our errors. The Presbyterian church has simply followed suit in the quest for more members and the lack of courage to make a stand. Why do we have to re-invent morality which has been around for thousands of years? What changed? Our leaders have in their attitude of "I'm ok, you're ok" and we really don't want to look bad. It's PC. Look at how our creeds have changed over the years, since the Nicene, so we won't hurt anyones feelings. I also know first hand, as a past Elder, that no one wanted to debate this issue, but stay silent as it slowly was accepted, simply reflecting our society's mores. I was once informed that the acceptance of homosexuals into the leadership of the Church would enable them to turn around their lives but I have not seen any evidence of this but would happily love to be corrected if I am mistaken. I shudder to think what the next relational constitution change will be...

    by Will

    May 18, 2011

  38. I am astonished at the Spin in the title of this news article as opposed to the much more honest name in the URL. The rest of the article is fairly objective, but the title takes a side. For those of us opposed to this change, that's an unnecessary, gratuitous kick in the pants. I am among the mourners, but if I can stay in the PCUSA I will. Re a comment below, yes, those on the no side of this vote need to examine ourselves and our own hearts as rigorously as we wish to examine others, and I am working on it as an ongoing part of my spiritual journey.

    by Rev. Tim Woodruff

    May 17, 2011

  39. Gee, it seems like my comment from last week is the only one that mysteriously disappeared. Could it be that's because mine was the only comment that heartily embraced the full enclusion of gays in the PCUSA but suggested that 10-A is a horrible embarrassment for your church? The Lutherans showed Biblical, moral and intellectual rigor when they revised their ordination standards embracing "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same gender relationships." That rigor is totally absent from 10-A which is completely silent on the issue of sex. C'mon PCUSA, after 15 years that's the really the best you can do?

    by Jim Caraher

    May 17, 2011

  40. hmmm...let those who are without sin cast the first stone. Where have I read that?...Oh wait ...I think it 's the Bible. If we were only as willing to examine ourselves as we are willing to judge others I suppose then we could judge rightly....because we would be too busy falling on our knees ansd asking God to forgive us and so never getting around to judging others. We are invited to live a Holy life, I don't think we are invited to critique others attempts to do so....

    by lynn

    May 16, 2011

  41. It's disappointing and beyond comprehension that the Presbyterian Church didn't learn anything from the failure of the Episcopal Church in this policy. You should anticipate a loss in members and churches leaving. This is just another attack on the values and character of our Nation.

    by Paul Julian

    May 16, 2011

  42. I have switched churches recently. I left Catholics 35 years ago, and now I have left Church of Christ. I am saddened that the main church here has obviously choosen sin over rightousness. If you want a decent Presb. church truly upholding the bible, give me a buzz. 4806005928

    by bob

    May 16, 2011

  43. OMG, God forgive these people. these leaders remind me of how easy it is for us to return to our own VOMIT! Good Kings are hard to come by. No one seeks, no one understand. Father Forgive them, may we cast out these IDOLS: TOLERANCE AND PLURISM, We can know the truth, the truth can set you free from this non-sense.

    by bob

    May 16, 2011

  44. For those that are glad that 10A passed PLEASE PLEASE tell me where in the Bible it says that homosexual relations or heterosexual relations outside marriage is ok. I can’t find anything which makes 10A so troubling to me. Please don't try to read anything in to the word. Just look up Leviticus 18 which God told Moses about sexual sin, Deuteronomy 5 which states "You shall not commit adultery.", and Matthew 5:27 Jesus speaks about adultery. The 3 passages I pointed out God and Jesus are setting the rules not PCUSA. Which side would you want to be on God’s or PCUSA? I choose God. There are much more Bible passages that plainly states what should not be done sexually. You don't have to interpret what the Bible is saying it is written plan and simple. So again for those who are rejoicing please show me some Bible passages that plainly state it is just fine for homosexual behavior or heterosexual sex outside of marriage. If you can’t find anything please pray about it. For those on either side of the issue please remember that God loves you and will forgive your sins no matter what they are, if you repent and ask. That is what is so Great about My God.

    by Carl Adams

    May 14, 2011

  45. although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. It is sad that a demonination that once claimed to preach and follow the word now endorses leadership that openly disregards what the Bible teaches.

    by Fred Moore

    May 14, 2011

  46. The PC(USA) now says that it is possible to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ without submitting to the authority of the scriptures. Somebody please explain how that works.

    by Rose Santos

    May 14, 2011

  47. I believe that God is gracious, inclusive not exclusive, and loves all of us. We are not the judge. Congratulations PCUSA, it has been a long time coming!

    by Becky

    May 14, 2011

  48. As the 3rd generation of one o PCUSA's pastor and founder overseas we decided that our kids will not endorse this NEW vision that will surely TURN AROUND the Church. We had a family meeting and explained them the decision that the PCUSA has done. They were surprised and furthermore, confused. As the 4th generation of our grandfather, they didn't agreed neither on this PCUSA's NEW MOVE. So, YES we are moving on! I do clarify that we do love people as they are, because we follow Jesus example in our lives. But to follow a WRONG AGENDA, against Gods NEVER CHANGING Word, its not the example for a new generation of CONFUSED people. We NEED to teach our kids THE LIGHT and the TRUTH of Jesus so, in the future they will follow our grand commission. Sad, very SAD day for the PCUSA. We accept all sinners inside the Church, WE ALL ARE! But... to put them as leaders to guide an ALREADY CONFUSED HUMMANITY without genuine repentment, does not guide anyone to light, but right to the shadows of disobedience, division and violence. It's the same like now trying to change the Bible's truth by saying that when Jesus forgave the repentant woman told her: "I forgive your sin, GO AHEAD AND SIN SOME MORE". No, no, NOT! We pray, every night in our daily family prayers, which YES, we do practice: that you can really re-think and re-focus on what you are trying to do. May Gods light guide you all to the REAL TRUTH and a very thin PATH OF OBEDIENCE!

    by Sarah Barnes

    May 13, 2011

  49. Can someone explain how this action follows Romans 1: 21 - 27? This is a sad day for me. Even Jesus overturned the money changer's tables at the temple. He did not just stand back and ignore them because he "loves" everyone. I guess now, we could accept them to fill our pulpits and ignore their tables. I do not like the way this action makes me feel.

    by Joe Novobilski

    May 13, 2011

  50. In looking for a church there are options. People will vote with "their feet" and their "pocketbooks." Some will applaud this discision. Others will be sad. Regardless of where you stand on the issue have the courage to "vote." I am not Presbyterian but I have felt "abandoned" by my denomination where I have been in ministry for over 22 years so I am willing to look elsewhere. I have found a small Orthodox Presbyterian Church which I like. I never thought I would say that! Pray about whether you should stay or go but GO if you must.

    by jane

    May 13, 2011

  51. Sad, sad, sad day! I wonder what Bible those who voted "yes" have been reading?

    by Lacy

    May 13, 2011

  52. seek the truth read:"They Shall Not Inherit The Kingdom of God" 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, see if you can translate the words to mean something different. this is what this approval has done. Lord be Merciful. no excuses now.

    by lisa

    May 12, 2011

  53. One thing that seems to be left out of the discussion is that the Bible sets different behavioral standards for teachers of the law than other believers. It is frustrating to hear so many people use this as a moment for the church to prove they love those who live with sexual sin, when it is one thing to love a person and another to ordain them as the spiritual leader of a congregation. It disturbs me deeply that those who fear the Lord in their dealings with Scripture have been drowned out by those to whom the church has become be a social club that does not need to answer to God's will.

    by Dawn

    May 12, 2011

  54. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that y0u should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor..." 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 I would love to actually have someone post a verse in the bible that shows where God is in agreement with homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality etc... if we say we are followers of CHRIST, then where did Christ speak of those things as being okay? Where did Jesus say He would approve of these lifestyles? He does not go against Himself. Where are the scriptures to back up this lifestyle as being okay with Him? Yes, God is love and loves us all, but He does not accept or love our lifestyle when it goes against His character, the very essence of who He is and against the way He commanded us to live. God is not confused, He is holy and commands us to be Holy and He is Holy.

    by Charise Christianson

    May 12, 2011

  55. Historically, the Church has always chosen its sin - its sin to dominate, its sin to wink-at, its sin to ignore. In the whole scheme of things, the PC(usa) has just chosen to do what it has always done. Biblical sin is still sin and sin understood through the lenses of the Reformed Tradition's historical confessions is still sin. When the rubber hits the road, I can not see much difference between 6.0106b and 10A. Local option has always been the way of the Presbyterian Church whether or not it was codified in the Book of Order or not. The local congregation will always choose its own custom and tradition regardless of what the BoO says in print or what any presbytery, synod, or GA judicial commission attempts to dictate. Life goes on and God is good.

    by Henry Gower

    May 12, 2011

  56. Cameras in public school cafeterias to make sure our children are eating their broccoli, which is all about preventing obesity and the medical expense that follows the disease ...now, this leads me to wonder the "in-your-face" homosexual lifestyle that is known to have HIV and SIDS and early death due to cancer. Makes no sense. Old Testament dietary and lifestyle law clearly clashes with the direction PCUSA is bound for. The denomination is shrinking!!!

    by mhf in Burgaw

    May 12, 2011

  57. The bible is very clear on this matter. Gays and adulters were present during Christ rein on earth and he addressed the sin involved with this ungoldy lifestlye. The only thing that has changed is people wanting to live openly ungodly lifes and be accepted as christens. Christen should not live in grace only the teaching of Christ must be followed. We should live a Christ like life. The book of order as written is correct and the change is of.satan. PSUSA is doomed to contiued failure by these very actions.

    by jerry hyman

    May 12, 2011

  58. I teach bible study in our denomination. To stand up and teach PCUSA is adhering to biblical doctrines and attempt to defend the new standards for ordination scripturally is nothing short of ecclesiastical gymnastics. Those defending this the most, seem to be doing most of the lengthy discussion.


    May 12, 2011

  59. if a person believe in Christ as his/her Savior, he/she will not do the sexual-disoriented..Homosexual is CHOICE..u want to do it or not, it depends on yourself..not because others, don't blame your situation/problem which make you being gay/lesbian, that's your own choice to do it..remember...sin is your choice, not coincidence.

    by Pianist

    May 12, 2011

  60. I saddened by the passage of this amendment, but this vote is just another step in a long line of steps that has driven the PCUSA closer and closer to the prevailing culture, and away from God's call to holiness. I am surprised that people have gotten so upset over this issue, when the PCUSA has already crossed the line by supporting abortion, the view that there are many paths to salvation, the dumbing down of Scripture's teachings on heaven and hell, and the involvement in peripheral political issues that cheapen the Church's authority instead of focusing on the call of the great commission. It used to be the case that we could deal with the hard teachings of Scripture with integrity, instead of picking and choosing the parts we want to keep and those we want to discard. The Bible is an equal opportunity offender - every culture has something that the Bible claims as Sin that that culture venerates. For us in America, that issue is sexual integrity, and it's not just in terms of gay relationships but heterosexual relationships as well. How many Presbyterians live together outside the bond of marriage and no one in the church is willing to call that out as sin? That line was crossed in the PCUSA long before 10-A was passed. Those in leadership are held to a high calling. Read Ezekial 3:16-21. How much blood is on our hands because we have refused to confront our members (and ourselves!) over sin? I pray that God would show mercy to the leadership of the PCUSA, and to those who have advocated this and other departures from the Scripture. God's commands are always good - we are only fooling ourselves to think that we are modern and know better. No one is beyond the ability of God to rescue them from the bondage of sin. We should be exposing that hope to those who are entangled in sin, and not encouraging them to embrace what they know at their core is wrong. We are a church that serves the living God who intervenes in our lives! Freedom from sin is available to all who repent and call on the name of Christ. If we don't really believe that, then we should fold up shop and watch football games on Sunday morning. America deserves better than this from God's church. And God will have His way in the end, whether it's through the PCUSA or in spite of it. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    by Arnold T

    May 12, 2011

  61. The one common denominator I have noticed when you look back on the issues that have divided our denomination and our religion since its founding is that the issues are all MAN MADE issues...they are not of GOD. Slavery, Civil Rights, and now the sexual orientation of leaders....at what point will we stop dividing ourselves over issues that WE as humans create? Even Henry VIII divided the English over his right to divorce.....a man made desire. The answer to these issues are clear...slavery is wrong, all men are created equal, and god made man for woman and woman for man. Jesus calls us to love all people...but he does not want us to have sex with everyone we are smitten with.. I can't side with PCUSA on this one.....What's next.....can we ordain a known drunkard...the poor devil was born that way and it is genetic....a liar.....a thief..... What if I have two wives....is that OK....who says we are limited to loving just one person? I bet in 40 years.....We will be astounded at what is considered biblical truth and permitted among our leaders. As Christians, we are called be outside of this world...and with this decision we remain right in the middle of fighting these ridiculous man made wars...these wars of human creation....these wars of our failings. Let the world deal with the world, let the secular politicians fight these issues, while the church shows its truth and strength to rise above the failings of man.

    by Eric

    May 11, 2011

  62. 2 TIMOTHY 3;15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    by Mike mcmahon

    May 11, 2011

  63. How do you tell 3 teenage children it is ok to have sex outside of marriage. My children are very confused now...so am I.

    by Christi

    May 11, 2011

  64. All I know is back in 2005 I was attending different church -- I broke up with my husband and went to church the first Sunday afterwards -- the hatred they had towards homosexuals made me realize that if the hated this type of sin and all sin is sin then me leaving my husband was just has equally wrong and that that church was the last place I belonged as they did not want sinners in their church. I left and did not come back for a few month -- luckily my husband and I made up and are currently expecting #3 -- Our first child was the only one around when we split up. I still believe that hatred for homosexuals is also a sin and who are we to judge one sin from another. In 2007 I became a Presbyterian and it was the best thing that could have happened to our family. I didn't have people judging others like so many churches out there do. However, reading these comments makes me realize that there will always be people who commit the sin of JUDGING others. Remember the only way we can reach sinners is if the feel welcome in our church and as they listen to Jesus and come closer and closer to him then and only then can the Holy Spirit make changes in anyones life. If we push any sinner out the door as so many Churches do by their hatred for homosexuals then we will never get them to grow closer to Jesus.

    by Julie

    May 11, 2011

  65. God's grace is freely given, God does not blame, Ps 84:11, Barnabas was glad, Acts 11:23 & Paul with Barnabas urged followers to continue in His grace, Acts 13:43. Can His Church do no less for the peace of His creation?

    by Jim Tennyson

    May 11, 2011

  66. what has happened, we continue to water down the teaching of our lord and savior, and applying just the morals that keep us comfortable. a gay pastor, for the bible says clearly who willnot enter the gates in the new jerusalem. we pray a difficult time.

    by lisa

    May 11, 2011

  67. Congratulations, Presbyterians! I'm proud of you and of the courage of the yes votes.

    by Sally Woods

    May 11, 2011

  68. Sadly, this issue was resolved 2000 years ago. Please read (again). Romans 1:21-27 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.

    by Doug Hancock

    May 11, 2011

  69. I am not on bound with either camp here. On one hand we are turning our back on scripture. On the other hand, we really have not dealt with people who have same sex attraction other then tell them to keep it all in. And that does not seem healthy. But this whole "love is all you need" is nebulous. What bothers me most is we essentially have decided we have no standards for ordination.

    by David

    May 11, 2011

  70. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can not say that because SOCIETY accepts it, the church should as well. We live in a fallen world. I grew up in an Episcopal church where most people were gay. I felt God would allow it because of what I saw in my church. I was openly gay for over a year before I was taught the truth of the Gospel. I put my hope in God and now I am healed, completely straight. I feel like the Church today has tried to follow the will of society more than the will of God. It says in so many places in the bible sexual sin is not permissible, and also we are not to live in sin any longer when we turn to God. It saddens me when I read Revelation 3 and see that ENTIRE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES GET SPAT OUT INTO HELL. People who thought they were going to heaven, rejected by God. More and more churches are falling. We don't need any more.

    by Kristen

    May 11, 2011

  71. While I am saddened by this caving-in to cultural pressures, I have never been further from leaving the church in which I grew up and have grown in faith. To run away in protest only removes from the PCUSA the strength of resolve which remains, and enables the influence of culture to become stronger. Our session has already affirmed the "fidelity and chastity" standard and resolved to continue upholding it. I implore all with one foot out the door: step back inside, and stand with those of us who believe and know that we are where we belong.

    by John H in Alabama

    May 11, 2011

  72. Congratulations on what I know has been a soul-searching discussion and decision.As an active lay member of the United Church of Canada, I offer you support and prayerful counsel from the fire storm this is going to create. Funny that all this is happening so close to Pentecost. Well THAT fire brought great joy and hope so hold on to that in the coming struggles. Now the hard work really begins.

    by David Creelman

    May 11, 2011

  73. Before 10-A a male pastor would (most likely) not be ordained if they were living with (i.e. not married) with a female. What was that not based upon Bibical truth? So now, a male paster living with a male partner is somehow o.k.? How did this magically become accepted? Oh, I forgot, PC(USA) will be redefining marriage soon.

    by Bob

    May 11, 2011

  74. Below somebody observed that ordination is now open to single men and women that are sexually active. Unfortunately it also opens the door to MARRIED men and women that are not loyal in marriage. So, in order to include homosexuals in ordination, we are spitting on the basic message of one of the original 10 commandments? AND THE LORD SAID "THOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY" Being a basic tenant of followers of Christ, how can we, consciously celebrate passage of an ammendment that will allow ordination of members based on the repeal of one of the original rules delivered directly by God? Yes we should be inclusive. The homosexual argument means nothing to me compared to the issue of fidelity. What's next, the ordination of murderers and thieves? ANYONE can be a member of God's family, when they repent their sins, but that doesn't immediately Qualify them for leadership in our churches.

    by TJ Evans

    May 11, 2011

  75. Drew totally misinterpreted MARK 12:18-27. Note that Jesus responded that his questioners did not know the Scriptures. The same is true for those choosing to approve homosexual behavior as legitimate. God's love and offer of salvation are open to all, but His love is misinterpreted by those who claim homosexual behavior is approved. What has happened in this decision is the repudiation of Biblical authority. The end result will be the gradual conversion of all of PCUSA to apostasy, and the departure to other places of those who still uphold Biblical authority. ECUSA has already demonstrated what happens. From now on marks the beginning of a steady decline in PCUSA membership.

    by J

    May 11, 2011

  76. My comment has to do with the many other comments I have read in response to this article. It is almost like reliving the debate that has been raging since 1972; the same arguments, the same Scripture references, the same "I'm right and you're wrong," passionate pleas that result in conversation bookends. I have trouble with black and white interpretations of scripture and anyone who claims to have 'the only right answer' and/or to "know what Jesus would say or do." To disregard interpretations of scripture that take into account historical context is troublesome to say the least. To not look at scripture through the lens of what we learn about God through Jesus is also disconcerting. When I read these responses I see people lashing out in anger, confusion, sadness while others do so with joy and celebration. Emotions are running high at the end of this long contentious theological struggle that I daresay is not close to being over. It is my hope that we will not let one theological issue where there is disagreement detract us away from our mission as a church. We are a family, and like a family we do not always agree or get along, but let us embrace each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and say in a loud voice we've got a mission to do and it requires us to work together.

    by Adam Smith

    May 11, 2011

  77. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin. We are to repent & turn from our sins. Why is the Presbyterian Church USA condoning sin?

    by Andy

    May 11, 2011

  78. When folks leave the church, budgets are reduced, not enough money to pay ministers salaries, I hope they have a secondary profession. When we make decisions there are always consequences. I trust those who voted yes still have the same convictions when they suffer economically with a drastic pay cut or no call at all. Its called REALITY folks.

    by Bob Wilson

    May 11, 2011

  79. I don't understand why some of you think Jesus would be dissapointed today. There are only about 6 or 7 mentions of gays, not all of them negative (most of the negatives ones are in Leviticus). However, nearby some of those are lines like. LEVITICUS 18:19 The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman's period. If they disobey, both shall be executed. Or MARK 12:18-27 If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir. Look, the truth is as great as a book as the bible is, society and standards are very different today then they were then, and so we can't take everything as truth. Jesus never comes close to mentioning anything in favor or against Gay Marriage or homosexulaity at all. So open your hearts and rejoice. Christianity is a religion thats founded on values of acceptance and equality, and if we turn our back on our gay brothers, then we forsake our religion.

    by James

    May 11, 2011

  80. I cryed....with pure joy when I read this news. We teach love and acceptance in our home and now to be apart of a church that is moving in the same directly gives me hope for the future of this church and our society as a whole. Hate and injustice will not last forever, I have faith that God and the love that Jesus Christ taught us will always prevail and today we can rejoice that the love of God prevailed! I do not understand why whom certain people love is even an issue and no one has been able to give me an argument that makes any sense. I am follower of Christ and his teachings, not the hateful comments in the Bible that have been abused and taken out of context.

    by Christy

    May 11, 2011

  81. Acts 3:19 "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" To repent means to turn from, not to be submitted to your sin. We are all sinners, yet the difference here is that some sinners confess, are forgiven and repent from their sin, which is the proper action according to the Word. Some sinners accept their sin as part of them and not something they must turn from. Read the scriptures about sexual sin. HOw can you preach to your congregation when you are living in opposition to God's word?

    by erin g

    May 11, 2011

  82. Jerry...I apologize for my mistake...I know that the congregation elects and appoints, and I also know that it is the session which selects the nominating committee to present their considerations for nominees, and also that the congregation can request others. I must say your prompt attention to my error in statement was a great way to dodge the matter of which my concern lies. My concern and dispute is that according to the guildelines, regulations, constitution of PCUSA, it is now acceptable to allow a person who seeks no refuge from their sin, is not sorry, and has no intent to leave their sin or even TRY and change themselves to conform to the Word of God, to to lead in the churches thereby teaching others that it is perfectly fine to continue to sin, when there is no repentance. How is it that someone who knows the scripture, and is capable of teaching it to others, or leading others, can seriously feel as if it's ok to continue in their sin? I am a sinner, however I constantly seek forgiveness and strive to NOT SIN again, and when I do sin again, my heart feels the conviction and my soul weeps in regret, I repent, I am forgiven and my goal thereon is to NOT do that thing again. Am I doing this wrong? Should I not try to change my sinful ways-and as a matter of fact I am free to lead others to believe that?

    by Hope

    May 11, 2011

  83. Though I am now Catholic, I attended and was married in a PCUSA church. My Presbyterian days were happy ones. This makes me sad. The funny thing is, what I am more hung up on is what the implications of this change will be for HETEROSEXUALS. Will you ordain heterosexuals who are living with a partner outside of marriage? What about someone who has mistresses? This doesn't make any sense to me. I don't believe homosexuals should be discriminated against. But a non-celibate homosexual should not be ordained just as a non-celibate (outside of marriage) heterosexual should not be.

    by Jacqueline

    May 11, 2011

  84. This is a great day for our faith. Thank the true and rightous God for opening the hearts of our faith to ALL people. Jesus would not have it any other way. To all on this post that are using their bible verses to speak against this, you are picking and choosing what you follow of God's word. Any true believer understands that the bible is a beacon of hope not a lightning rod to segregrate people from his word. If God was against homosexuality he would have addressed it in the ten commandments. To pick and choose verses that deny people access to God is blasphemy. Those that use scripture that rails against homosexualty must also be the ones that follow "MARK 12:18-27 that states if a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir." Surely they must agree with this verse just like they do with the few about homosexuality, right? Christianity is about love and acceptance, not hate and bigotry. PCUSA is clearly following Christ with this decision.

    by Drew

    May 11, 2011

  85. YEAH!!!!! Now the wonderful young man who grew up in my church can be ordained by the church he loves! He's so very talented , blessed with the gift of preaching. You should hear him, he's amazing, that man can preach it! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!!

    by Dawn

    May 11, 2011

  86. I am deeply saddened with this news. There are many scriptures that I know folks can find several perspectives on, but there is only one way to interpret the Word of God concerning this matter. I will be seeking membership in a place that embraces all into the family of God, but does not allow persons who clearly do not seek to change the sin in their life. When we sin and we confess our sins, and we ask forgiveness, we are to move on strive to leave those forgiven sins behind us. I don't understand God's forgiveness to be one that says ...well ok.....I'll forgive you, and you can live however you choose-you can continue to commit that sin in the future with no trouble from me...oh and by the way- you can teach other peoples children to commit that same sin and the PCUSA will make a point to ensure that you can do that. Seriously- I've been in my church for 20 years-raised my 3 children there, watched my oldest son marry in that church, bring my grandchildren there, and now I have to be concerned about who the session appoints as leaders for my family. This is repulsive, and an outward smack in the face of God's word.

    by Hope

    May 11, 2011

  87. Aren't we all sinners saved by grace? If it weren't for Jesus Christ death on a cross, none of us would have a chance at salvation. Who is perfect...except for Christ? If only the sinless could serve God, there would be no pastors, no Sunday School teachers, no congregations. Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality. When the adulteress was brought before Him, His response was 'he who is without sin can cast the first stone'. As a sinner - saved by grace - I refuse to cast stones. Jesus did teach us to love others (even our enemies). He told us that God will judge us in the same manner we judge others. I remember the first time I read the following verses from Matthew 7:3-5, how I could not believe Jesus could possibly be talking about me - but He was. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Think about it.

    by Susan

    May 11, 2011

  88. Your headline confirms and feeds the fears of those who have been dreading this day. I would like to recommend this article to those people, but the first thing that they see fuels their fear even more. So I am not sending them to this link because of the misleading headline; Cynthia Bolbach and Gradye Parsons are more compassionate. I wish you could help us out here. I live in conservative north Texas and this doesn't help the 10-A cause at all; in fact, it makes it much worse. Please reconsider your headline.

    by Susan Osoinach

    May 11, 2011

  89. I am sincerely grieved by this news. I have been a Presbyterian all of my 62 years, but this decision may end that status. May God bring us to repentence and a renewed spirit that WILL follow HIM and no other.

    by Peggy

    May 11, 2011

  90. Who are we to judge who can and cannot preach the Word of God? "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"--which is none of us! Very proud to be a part of PCUSA! There should have never been a G-6.0106b.

    by Katherine

    May 11, 2011

  91. AMEN Chris Anderson for your comment below: This is a blessing for anyone who believes that God is about love for all his children. There can be NO room for hatred or bigotry in any true believer of Christ. The Episcopal church has accepted gay in the church and clergy for many years. Most Christian churches are losing followers and much of that decline has to do with the bad name so many so-called "Christians" use their religion to justify their bigotry and hatred for gay people. This is slowly changing. Christ never said anything against same-sex unions, but he had plenty to say about other sins. Thank God the church is waking up on the side of what is right. God bless all of His children! For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and whosoever believeth in him shall not parish but have everlasting life! The above does not say whosoever except the gays and lesbians...it just says whosoever. Remember that God is love and to live like him is to love like him.

    by Sara Sullivan

    May 11, 2011

  92. As a gay woman who currently is a practicing United Methodist, I applaud the PC(USA) for making this very difficult but necessary change. Along with the ELCA, PC(USA) is discerning what is truly spoken in the Bible about love and acceptance through Jesus Christ's mission on earth. It is a well known fact that we, as Christians, continue to use specific Bible verses to discriminate against the GLBT community. Bible interpretation varies in denominations all over the world. In looking at the entire context of Jesus' teachings, it is evident that He indeed preached love and acceptance. There were many times when Jesus himself chose to be in community with the marginalized and often oppressed people of His time. He never, ever spoke out against homosexuality nor even made mention of it. I believe there was reason for this, and that goes back to His general teachings of love and acceptance. "Love your neighbor as yourself". Jesus is one with God and the Spirit, and He knows ALL things past present and future. I believe if Jesus felt that "gay" love was any different than "straight" love He would have addressed it. But His general statements about love were always just that...general. In other words, to love and accept ALL. Here again, we must allow Bible interpretation to be different for all. No one person and no one denomination reads, interprets and understands the Bible the same way. Homosexuality in the Bible in general referred to cases of incest, rape, and pedophilia, not cases of loving partnerships between 2 consenting adults, equal in kind to loving relationships between 2 consenting heterosexual adults. There is much to be learned about the understandings of Jesus teachings. Bible scholars all over the world disagree about a vast majority of things written in this very sacred book. It only confirms that in 2000 + years, there has never been complete agreement, and I doubt there ever will. The same can be said for world religions. The primary concept to remember here is that, even if we disagree, we must learn love and acceptance and tolerance....THIS was Jesus most valuable teaching of all. As a gay woman, I am proud that my United Methodist denomination is also looking at this very issue at their general conference next year. I, myself, have felt "called" into ministry or chaplaincy, and I truly believe that call comes from God, not from human desire. My relationship with God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit all comes from believing in Jesus' basic teachings....."Love one another as I have loved you". I allow many to disagree with who I am and I accept that, and continue to love all humankind regardless. We need to allow churches all over the world to do the same.

    by Shelly

    May 11, 2011

  93. From the beginnings of the church, the standard for inclusion was "those who have received the Holy Spirit as have we" -- Acts 10. Therefore α θεος εκαθαρισεν συ μη κοινου. Good for us for finally living into this.

    by Margaret Aymer Oget

    May 11, 2011

  94. Wha I see, especially in the commets section much less the article itself, is that those in favor of the change do not back up their decision with anything from the Book, but from "feelings" and "equality" and "incluciveness." These are societal issues, not biblical ones. Thereare many issues within the church that can certainly be left open to interpretation. But on sexual immorality it is cut and dried. Here is the kicker, God loves everyone of us, but he also asks us to repent. Openly living in any relationship outisde of marriage is only flaunting your sin. How can this be acceptable?

    by Cameron Rhodes

    May 11, 2011

  95. Based on what the first paragraph of this article said, it appears that ordingation is also open to single heterosexual people who are sexually active.

    by John

    May 11, 2011

  96. Wonderful News! I worked in a More Light Presbyterian Church for almost 10 years and watched a lot of the struggle. Congratulations on sticking to the social justice Focus of the Presbyterian church, and prayers for those who are afraid because of this change. God is doing a new thing!

    by D Cooper

    May 11, 2011

  97. Someone must be reading THEIR bible upside down & sideways if they think God condones gays! Never cared for presby-now I know why-what bothers me is they have to waste tp $'s to agrue out obvious non biblical followings to seek their agendas

    by wg

    May 11, 2011

  98. God have mercy on us for what we have done.

    by Magie

    May 11, 2011

  99. Having been a part of the PCUS as a child, with parents and grandparents who were active in the ministry in what was formerly a solid Christian denomination, I thank the Lord for the churches that have decided to leave for the PCA, EPC, OP or other groups that seek to follow God's word rather than the heretical and sinful ways of the PCUSA

    by David Hopper

    May 11, 2011

  100. We wonder why the PCUSA is losing so many members.

    by Linda

    May 11, 2011

  101. The Good Shepherd loves His sheep too much to lead them into denominations that call evil good and good evil. Christ will lead His sheep into other churches where they can go in and find green pasture. The significant decline of membership in the PCUSA is no accident. Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery and did not condemn her, but then He added, "Go your way. From now on sin no more." (John 8:11) Even Jesus did not place Himself above the law. Repentance is basic Christianity. Jesus did not need to speak against every possibility for human depravity. He clearly gave God's intention with these words, "Have you not read, that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh'? Consequently they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man seperate." God has joined together men and women in marriage or chastity in singleness. How much more clear could He have been? "But if they will not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded should one rise from the dead!"

    by earl

    May 11, 2011

  102. GAY CLERGY = AGAINST GOD, AGAINST SCRIPTURE! This is blasphemy, apostacy, in bed with the devil. This is not about getting modern, or getting past old arguments.....this is simply a case of dumping God and the Bible in favor of pleasing men and flesh. If you are a Presbyterian and against homosexual marriage, LEAVE! I quit my United Church of Christ for this very reason. If you stay, that would not please God.

    by Carolyn DeVries

    May 11, 2011

  103. It is, indeed, a watershed moment for the Presbyterian Church. For a time, it will cause some devastation in the landscape like recent Mississippi floodwaters. But in time all will recede, and life will return to normal. God will have been present with all through the storm--whatever one's vote--and God's people will rebound, rebuild, and renew faith in the promise that nothing shall prevail against the grace, mercy, and love of God for all!

    by Lonnie Darnell

    May 11, 2011

  104. Wait, are we Sodom, or Gromorah? I get confused.

    by Rob

    May 11, 2011

  105. This is a blessing for anyone who believes that God is about love for all his children. There can be NO room for hatred or bigotry in any true believer of Christ. The Episcopal church has accepted gay in the church and clergy for many years. Most Christian churches are losing followers and much of that decline has to do with the bad name so many so-called "Christians" use their religion to justify their bigotry and hatred for gay people. This is slowly changing. Christ never said anything against same-sex unions, but he had plenty to say about other sins. Thank God the church is waking up on the side of what is right. God bless all of His children!

    by Chris Anderson

    May 11, 2011

  106. What a wonderful day for the Presbyterian Church (USA).

    by Mary Gene Boteler

    May 11, 2011

  107. Praise God and the wisdom exercised in this debate. I have seen and continue to see talented and committed Presbyterians denied opportunities to serve their Church and the Greater Church. Now, let us move forward "Trusting God". Elder First Presbyterian Church Ann Arbor, MI

    by Henry Johnson Elder Ann Arbor First Pres

    May 11, 2011

  108. if we as a denomination believe that the Holy Spirit has guided us to this conclusion, then I must question our interpretation. There is one and only one explicit and true guide to our Reformed Faith and as such, the Bible should be the backbone of our denominational basis. On this particular topic, I feel as though the Bible is being usurped to pander to societal pressures. I pray that this is not the case and will continue to look to the Lord and his unequivocal Word for my guidance because the PC (USA) is misguided right now.

    by Christopher Simpson

    May 11, 2011

  109. This is not just a constitutional law, this is a law from God. All scripture is God breathed. Lev. 18:22 , "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them." 1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,1 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper." The PCUSA is not following the Word of God anymore?

    by Mike Trotter

    May 11, 2011

  110. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths," (2 Tim. 4:3-4). In contemporary culture, homosexuality is gaining ground and acceptance. This should never bleed over into the Christian church. The fact that homosexuality is even in question in some denominations is a definite sign of apostasy since homosexuality clearly contradicts the plain teaching of scripture that homosexuality is a sin: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God," (1 Cor. 6:9-10). Unfortunately, the PC denomination leaders are listening to the false gospel of the world and becoming secularized. They need to repent and stand on God's word, whether it is popular or not.

    by Mike Trotter

    May 11, 2011

  111. God doesn't create hate, people do. Do not hate others for who they are, it is evil to do so. With love everything is clearer. This is wonderful news!

    by Rob

    May 11, 2011

  112. I fear that this "window of opportunity" will become a door inviting devastation towards the ordained; not that homosexuals are allowed, but that the lack of "fidelity" and "chastity" will be used by legalists to allow for any sexual acts, promiscuity, and lack of accountability among the ordained. I fear, yet pray that God will not be removed as the center of our lives by the politics surrounding this decision.

    by Kevin Gates

    May 11, 2011

  113. Note, this is a long response, so I just cut and pasted a few sentences below from the blog. POINT: In order to LOVE someone, you have to have two (2) separate persons. One person doing the Loving, and the Other Person, "being the one, loved, by the first person". Ultimately, (even with the all the medical breakthroughs) it still basically takes a Man and a Woman to create "Persons" in the first place, BEFORE they can "love" each other. SECOND POINT: You have to have LIFE, before you can actually LOVE, correct? And if you really want to promote "LOVE", you have got to promote "LIFE". And "LIFE" comes from heterosexuality, a man and a woman. Not homosexuality. ... ... ... see full article at http://ahc504.blogspot.com or ahc504 DOT blogspot DOT com

    by ahc405

    May 11, 2011

  114. In order to LOVE someone, you have to have two (2) separate persons. One person doing the Loving, and the Other Person, "being the one Loved by the first person". Ultimately, (even with the all the medical breakthroughs) it still basically takes a Man and a Women to create "Persons" in the first place BEFORE they can "love" each other. You have to have LIFE before you can actually LOVE, correct? By the way, Homo Sexuality can be though as like a an attention deficit disorder, except in this case, the attention is focused in the wrong direction or wrong sex. If you can have drugs developed for A.D.D., why can you not have one for Homo Sexuality?

    by Anon

    May 11, 2011

  115. This is very sad and frankly, illogical. To say that the church is"...to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life" and then allow practicing homosexuals to serve as officers of the church is completely contrary to Scripture. This is pure heresy at best and/or veiled apostacy. Pray for these leaders.

    by Carolyn

    May 10, 2011

  116. the Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.” -if we go by our Father's Words (aka Scripture) does this statement make sense for what it wants to achieve? I am confused....

    by Lori

    May 10, 2011

  117. It appears that the PCUSA has officially removed all doubt that it is now an apostate institution that has ceased to be a "church" in the Biblical sense of the word. This is a very sad day and will no doubt result in untold decline in the denomination as scores of people hurriedly exit.

    by Dan

    May 10, 2011

  118. I rejoice that our denomination allows for the novement of the Spirit and we now will welcome our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters into ministry with and beside us! Praise God!

    by Amy C. Howe

    May 10, 2011

  119. What a great day for PC(USA)! As true followers of Christ it is our duty to stand on the side of justice and equality!

    by Jason Conner

    May 10, 2011

  120. When are we as CHRISTIANS.... stand firm on the faith and declare No! is No! We do need to fear GOD not human...

    by David Lim

    May 10, 2011

  121. This ruling makes me sad.

    by Penni Laverty

    May 10, 2011

  122. God is love. This change is long overdue.

    by Amanda

    May 10, 2011

  123. This is a very sad day for those who take Gods Word deeply serious. If I were to continually commit adultry, would I be allowed to become a minister? A human being that does not confess and repent from their sins should not hold office. We will be held responsible for our actions and I pray God will have mercy on all our souls. I think I can hear angels crying. My heart aches today.

    by Mark Stone

    May 10, 2011

  124. I grew up in PC(USA), where I was taught to love all people equally, as Jesus did. I'm thrilled to see this change happening in PC(USA). This kind of progressive, inclusive change can only strengthen ties among our community. For those who would rather stand by and judge, I hope you can look beyond your initial reactions and open to the grace of God in ALL people.

    by Jill

    May 10, 2011

  125. James - I'm pretty sure that these "millions" of people who disagree with this change are more like a few hundred thousand who will soon die of old age in the next 10-15 years. Then, Christianity can once again be a religion of love and grace, not hatred and division as people of your mindset have turned it into. I'm pretty sure that Sodom and Gomorrah is a story about hospitality - apparently, you've been reading your Bible upside-down or something.

    by Tim

    May 10, 2011

  126. Why does your headline state that "The PCUSA relaxes constitutional prohibition of gay and lesbian ordination"? The BOO does not it state that gays and lesbians cannot be ordained. The standard in B had to do with sexual relationships, not sexual orientation. Please do not feed the media things that are not true.

    by Susan Osoinach

    May 10, 2011

  127. It is a sad day when we abandon scripture to be "of the world" and not just in it. Fidelity and chastity isn't just about homosexual relationships either; it also calls for fidelity in marriage....so I guess with this change, a local congregation could choose to ignore adultery and promiscuity as they choose their leadership as well.....the road to Hell is truly paved by those of us who should be trying harder to demolish it instead of smoothing it.

    by Kellye Self

    May 10, 2011

  128. I and millions of God fearing people totally disagree withs constitutional change. God ceated Man and Woman and placed together in the Garden of Eden. Again, God created Man and Woman and mated them, not Adam and Adam. Remember "Sodom and Gromorah, why must we repeat history agan.

    by James Kiser

    May 10, 2011