Presbyterians Vote to Ordain Gay Clergy

Last night, the Presbyterian Church (USA) amended its constitution to allow practicing homosexuals to be ordained as ministers. Before the amendment, the constitution required clergy to live “in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” The amendment instead requires ministers to “submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life.”

This is sad news indeed. Somehow the PCUSA has decided that homosexual conduct is consistent with submission “to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life.” Even though the Bible unambiguously prohibits homosexual behavior, the PCUSA is now claiming to submit to Christ’s Lordship while setting aside Christ’s teaching as revealed in scripture (Rom 1:26–27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10). This shows that the real issue here is biblical authority—something that was set aside a long time ago in many churches of the PCUSA.

The PCUSA is not the only denomination that has argued against the Bible in favor of accepting homosexual practice. The other mainlines have already moved in this direction, and unfortunately some so-called “evangelicals” have moved as well. For those who are interested, I wrote an article for Themelios about what the evangelical response should be to arguments that attempt to sideline the Bible’s clear teaching on this issue. You can read it here.

Pray for the Bible-believing churches that remain in the PCUSA. I expect that they will have some difficult waters to navigate in the days ahead.

36 Responses to Presbyterians Vote to Ordain Gay Clergy

  1. Scott Buchanan May 11, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    It’s a worrying sign indeed.

    In Australia, where I am, many denominations are having similar debates over the normativeness of homosexuality. Apparently, these churches still accord some kind of authority to the Bible (it’s hard to advocate joyful submission to the Lordship of Jesus in all aspects of life without some biblical detail fleshing that out), but there’s very little engagement with the passages you’ve cited that deal with the issue of homosexuality.

    At first, I thought it was just a few isolated churches that were moving in this direction. But more and more, it seems that the western church is failing to obey Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:2 en masse. Society is making the church in it’s own image – and we’re letting them.

    We’re seeing a seismic cultural and theological shift that is robbing the church of its distinctiveness, and leading people down moral and spiritual cul de sac.

  2. henrybish May 11, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    I wonder if it is right for bible-believing churches to even remain in the PCUSA?

    If they stay are they not just funding it and preventing a quicker death of the PCUSA?

  3. Dillon May 11, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Farewell PCUSA

  4. John May 11, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    My only surprise is that it has taken them this long.

  5. henrybish May 11, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    I have not read Grudem’s book ‘Evangelical Feminism: The New Path to Liberalism?’ yet but it sounds like it will need to be updated.

  6. Kelley Kimble May 11, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Anticipating a split like what happened with the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches. This is a really a tragedy of epic proportions. Dillon said it very well. They’ve changed the message; when people in churches turn away from the truth, how must that look to the world?

  7. yankeegospelgirl May 11, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Just sickening…

  8. Corey Sosebee May 11, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Very sad. Why do so many churches opt to leave the teaching of the Bible in favor of conforming to and following the teaching of the world? Tragic.

  9. Dillon May 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I’m suuuuure it’s just a coincidence but as in the ELCA conference in Minneapolis a few years ago, bad weather was the order of the evening as downtown Minneapolis, where the meetings were held, was hit by golf ball size hail.

    See the view at Target Field:

    http://twitpic.com/4w2u0j

  10. Christianes May 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Do I detect a whiff of ‘Pharisee’ on the premises ?

  11. Aaron May 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    I couldn’t help but notice that the main article on the PCUSA website was about “modern slavery” and “human trafficking.” Doesn’t 1 Timothy 1:10 include both homosexuality AND slave trading in that vice list?

    http://wp.me/ZXgV

  12. henrybish May 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Do I detect a whiff of ‘Pharisee’ on the premises ?

    Is that really necessary? Does that really advance the cause of unity?

  13. Mitch May 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Be scared! Get under the bed! The gays are coming to get you and they have big sharp teeth and claws!!!

  14. Kelley Kimble May 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    I take it the “Pharisee” thing is being directed at those who subscribe to Biblical teaching about sexuality, rather than to those who believe that gays don’t need to repent of their sexual sin. Oh, the irony of it.

  15. yankeegospelgirl May 11, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    I detect a whiff of “Pharisee,” but I don’t think it’s coming from the same place some people think it’s coming from.

  16. Kelley Kimble May 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    That’s another of those words that has become subject to abuse, YGG. We now have a situation where some people want to deny that their behavior is sin, and they want all of the trappings of church membership without repentance. Yes, that sounds like a Pharisee, all right. If a minister kicked his wife out and moved another woman into his home in her place, and demanded that his actions be accepted, no one would have any trouble calling it sin.

  17. Scott Buchanan May 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Yes, the “Pharisee” comment is unwarranted. Just because one decides to speak out on a certain moral or theological issue, arguing that someone is wrong, does not make them a Pharisee.

    A very good way to stop someone from speaking their mind – even if that mind is steeped in biblical truth.

  18. Ali May 12, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    It’s interesting to note that Albert Mohler quotes Grayde Parsons Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) General Assembly as attributing the success of this revision to the exodus of more conservative congregations.

    It makes one think that perhaps the abandoning of a denomination should not be done lightly.

  19. Gene May 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    The use of Pharisee above fit Kelley.

    And the lot of you should not be so smuugly secure about this issue. Any of you talked to a LOT of your 20 something members lately?

    The Presbyterians were decades and a couple of generations ahead of you on the issue of racial minority rights, and the same thing with gay ordination.
    Give it a few dacades, and you will ordain gay pastors to.

    And, some of you, just like some of the then very old Baptists I knew back in the 90’s when the SBC made its appropriate statement on slavery and racism, will, like the old southern gentlemen Baptists did in the 90’s will go “Oh, but the Bible even gives directions on how to buy and sell slaves!”

    etc. etc.

    As per membership loss, have you seen your own denominations numbers in the last few years?

    Look at your own membership stats, look at your own theological educational standards compared to those of the mainliners, and take a good long look at the attitudes of your younger members concerning GLBT issues, look at your own past….

    and see your future.

    You live in glass houses folks, and considering the holier than thou attitude towards the Presbyterians with all the problems you have, well, yeah, the word Pharisee fits pretty well indeed.

    I will leave you all to your little judgementfest.

    Bye

  20. Andy May 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    “If a minister kicked his wife out and moved another woman into his home in her place, and demanded that his actions be accepted, no one would have any trouble calling it sin.”

    I don’t know KellyKimble. I can honestly say that while I certainly agree that this action would be sinful, I think there are plenty who would have no problem with it.

  21. henrybish May 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I will leave you all to your little judgementfest.

    The irony is delicious.

  22. henrybish May 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Gene,

    no hard feelings, but we don’t share the same view of the Bible as you. For us it is binding and woe to us when we start playing fast and loose with it. I hope you can understand where we are coming from, it is not about being ‘holier than thou’.

  23. yankeegospelgirl May 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    henrybish, don’t feed the trolls…

  24. Kelley Kimble May 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    People in England resisted the abolitionist movement too, and none of them were Southern Baptists. If you recall, the Pharisees of Jesus’s time rejected Him as their Messiah, thereby rejecting His authority and relying upon their own righteousness, which only existed in their own minds. THAT fits the description of people who refuse to repent and turn away from their sin.

  25. henrybish May 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    yankeegospelgirl,

    It’s heartening to have a good debate every now and then.

    But aside from that, I do wonder when reading some of Paul’s admonitions – at what point I am to dismiss someone as an unregenerate rebel.

  26. yankeegospelgirl May 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Good question. I think right about now would be a good time for some people. :-D

  27. Ron Henzel May 13, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    This is first I heard of this was on the Stand to Reason blog, which links to this post. Apparently this kind of story is no longer considered newsworthy by the major Web news outlets. My search for this story on Google News produced only local links.

  28. donsands May 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    “..allow practicing homosexuals to be ordained as ministers.”

    Sad.

    “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” 1st Timothy 1:8-11

    Those who pratice homosexuality must repent, and seek to be reconciled to our Lord, and to His Church. The Church needs to help any repentant fornicator to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we minister to them in love with God’s truth.

    If they don’t repent, then they need to be avoided.

    Very clear in Scripture.

    have a terrific Lord’s day in his grace, truth, and godliness.

  29. Mark May 18, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    In the OT and the NT, there will always be a remnant of truly saved people in a body that calls itself “God’s people.”

    Jesus made this clear in Matthew 7:21-23.

  30. Tommy May 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    The greatest strength that the “true” church will ever have is Biblical support. That should be the end-all for anything. If you make your case for a particular position, and you have to resort to ignoring, belittling, or reinterpreting passages, you cut out your foundation with an axe.

    I can say this and remain mute on the issue, and you’ll know where I stand, just by the lone fact that I have a Bible I cherish, and I trust in its words more than the words I try to shove in there.

  31. David May 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    Tragic decision making in the Presbyterian church by men and women who rebelled against God and then circumvented the word of God for their own ambitions.

    The body of PCUSA church effectively removed God as the head of their church and promoted themselves to become the new head of their church. Unfaithfulness and disobedience seems to be there new agenda.

    David

  32. Bunnie May 27, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    That is right….hate, intolerance, judging people while professing Christ as your savior. That is what Jesus is all about. Right? Bet you also would cut social services that help the poor, and disadvantage too. We all know how Jesus did not like the poor. Right? The Prebyterian Church is one the oldest protestant churches in history, and if no one had rethought the bible or religion your sorry selves would not have a church. You seem to ignore his message while only thinking of your own salvation. Another thing Jesus was big on…..self centeredness. The only ones hurting christianity are people like you. You are not practicing a religion, and you are certainly not practicing Christianity. You sound like a cult. When you cry of Lord Lord Lord….I did this in your name, and tell him you did these great things for him….what are you going to do when he tells you to get thee from me? You sound no better then the fanatics who use Islam in the same way. And, if you think otherwise…..you are a hypocrit. I am very proud of my church. And, very few have left. And, if they do…..good riddance! I am sick of people using Chritianity for extremism, intolerance, and hate. That is no better than anyother extremists in other faiths. That is using the Lords name in vain!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Run, don’t walk, from the Presbyterian Church USA « Eternity Matters - May 11, 2011

    […] to Reason Blog: What the Bible Teaches about Homosexuality: The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) has voted to ordain practicing homosexuals.Before the amendment, the constitution required clergy to live […]

  2. Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) approves gay ordination « - May 12, 2011

    […] Burk has a short blog post about it here which links to a longer article he wrote for […]

  3. » The Hermeneutics of Gender | Denny Burk - May 17, 2011

    […] was a lot of discussion last week of the Presbyterian Church’s (USA) decision to allow for the ordination of […]

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes