Tag Archives: gay marriage

True to form, Presbyterians find a moderate way

Yesterday, the 219th General Assembly of the PC(USA) pass on 2 bits of legislation for approval by local bodies.

First, ordination standards. Fidelity in marriage or celibacy has been removed. Homosexuals in committed relationships are now allowed to become ordained elders, deacons, and ministers. Passed by a fairly large margin.

Almost as a footnote to the above, however, is another vote to maintain the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. This also must be sent to the local presbyteries for a final vote.

Well, I honestly think I am done thinking about these issues. I know for some, these are the ONLY issues that matter, but for my part, I will stand in unity with the PC(USA). Whereas I disagree with some decisions and agree with others, it really doesn’t matter. I could leave the church, but what would be the point? Division? Meh. Faithful christians could stay a part of the church when Augustine came up with his just war theory, there wasn’t a mass exodus from the church. And as a result, many years later, there is now a burgeoning awareness that the church and war shouldn’t mix. If all the faithful split off in the 4th century, things would be different. I will remain in unity. Messy unity to be sure. Gay or straight, married or civilly united, lets fight injustice without violence. Lets bring sight to the blind, food to the hungry, gospel to the despairing.

Fidelity and Chastity

The 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is going on this week.

One particular issue that many of us are watching closely is a phrase that is in its Book of Order, in regards to ordination. Currently, the policy is that the PC(USA) only supports ordination for those who practice either fidelity to their marriage or chastity. Of course, many of us will immediately notice that this excludes openly homosexual persons from ordination.

It has been proposed to change the words “fidelity” and “chastity” with the following language:

“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 ordaining or installing a candidate “shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office,” and determine the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill the requirements presented in the constitutional questions for those being ordained and installed.

To be completely honest, I think this is a bad move. What this reflects is complete cultural accommodation. While I have been criticized before as being someone who has accommodated to culture, the beliefs I hold are rooted in my interpretation of scripture. That is why I believe that this is a bad move for the PC(USA) to make.

If the Presbyterians believe that they ought to ordain homosexuals, they should be honest and say that. Instead, what we have here is throwing out the baby with the bath water. In the interest of being inclusive, we have lowered the bar for ministry too low.

While it could be argued that homosexuality is/isn’t ok according to scripture, what equivocally cannot be argued from scripture is that it is ok to not have fidelity to one’s spouse. The scripture does not seem to be neutral about sexual love outside a covenantal  relationship.

If the PC(USA) wants to extend covenantal relationships to include homosexual union/marriage, then own that and make THAT proposal. Please reserve the sacredness of marriage and the blessings of sex within it instead of equating homosexual ordination with a lack of standards.

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Wisdom Wording of the Day!

Comes from Scotteriology:

Prejean’s fallen humanity is a good example of the gradation of sin in evangelicalism; it’s like a pyramid with homosexuality at the top, and as long as you’re not doing that then you’re OK. The separation of orthodoxy and orthopraxy in some cases becomes nothing more than what I commonly identify as modern evangelical neognosticism: I don’t have to practice anything I believe as  a standard that I would demand from others because I believe in the right standard. I can be freak and have all sorts of illicit sex, but as long as it’s not gay sex, and I believe I shouldn’t be having illicit sex… then I’m good. Build my mansion next to Jesus.

A timely quote, given my latest post.

Truth and Peace,
Rod