Editor Comments – By Dr H.L Champion
One by one Church groups are manipulated by social trends of sexual perversion. The Presbyterian USA Denomination has for decades shifted to the far left of Biblical guidelines and sensible morality. This Associated Press release is uncut and does not fully represent the positions of Baptist.Org. It is just the news. The implications are numerous.
It goes without saying, “That it needs to be said”; America is going straight to hell in a church offering plate. Good people in so many Church groups have supported the very antithesis of their beliefs. But, no more.
PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Leaders of the Presbyterian church have voted to allow non-celibate gays in committed relationships to serve as clergy.
Thursday’s vote isn’t a final stamp of approval for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) or its more than 2 million members. But it’s a step that could make the church one of the most gay-friendly major Christian denominations in the country.
Delegates voted during the church’s general assembly in Minneapolis, with 53 percent approving the more liberal policy. A separate vote is expected later Thursday on whether to change the church’s definition of marriage from between “a man and a woman” to between “two people.”
But such changes would take effect only if approved by a majority of the church’s 173 regional presbyteries and its more than 2 million members.
The assembly voted two years ago to liberalize the gay clergy policy, but it died last year when 94 of the presbyteries voted against it.
Still, the proposed changes “have the potential to be historic,” said Cindy Bolbach, an elder at National Capital Presbytery in Washington and the assembly’s elected moderator.
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is ranked the 10th-largest church in the U.S. with 2.8 million members, according to the National Council of Churches’ 2010 “Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.” But its own media materials tout 2.1 million members.
Earlier this week, both proposed constitutional changes were approved by assembly committees. The gay clergy change passed 36-16, and the definition of marriage cleared on a vote of 34-18.
“There are still big steps ahead, but I’m feeling better about this than I ever have before,” said the Rev. Ray Bagnuolo, the openly gay pastor of Janhus Presbyterian Church in New York City.
Some conservative-minded Presbyterians tried to rally opposition to the changes.
“Blurring or obscuring the clear teaching of God’s Word in order to keep in step with secular laws and changing personal morals only confuses our witness and causes innumerable problems for the future,” Presbyterians for Renewal, a group opposed to the changes, wrote on its website.
“Our church is divided and actions we take today at general assembly can split it even further,” Donna Rivett, an elder at the Presbytery of Tropical Florida, said during assembly debate on the gay clergy policy.
Under current church policy, Presbyterians are only eligible to become clergy, deacons or elders if they are married or celibate. The new policy would strike references to sexuality altogether in favor of candidates committed to “joyful submission to worship of Christ.”
A number of major Christian denominations have voted in recent years to allow non-celibate gays to serve as clergy if they are in committed relationships. Among them are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the U.S. Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.
“For the Presbyterian Church to stay current and enter the next generation, they really need to let go of this debate,” said the Rev. Cindi Love, executive director of SoulForce, a gay Christian group.
Love said she also believed that if the Presbyterians approve the redefinition of marriage, the church would become the largest U.S. Christian denomination to recognize marriage between same-sex couples.
A separate measure, which would also require regional ratification, would remove the threat of punishment for clergy who perform same-sex marriages in states that allow it.
June 10/2014 AP
Editor’s Post comments –
The Homosexual agenda is not to be accepted but to intrusive. There is no choice in the matter societally. If not included in all areas of church matters it will be considered a “Hate Crime”. That day is upon the Churches of our land, including Baptists.