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Following Jesus While Rejecting the Bible? Yet Another Tragedy in Mainline Protestantism
AlbertMohler.com ^ | 5/11/11 | Albert Mohler

Posted on 05/14/2011 7:34:47 PM PDT by rhema

Yet another denomination has voted to ordain openly homosexual candidates to its ministry. Yesterday, the Presbyterian Church (USA) presbytery of the Twin Cities in Minnesota voted to approve a change to the church’s constitution that will allow the denomination’s 173 presbyteries to ordain persons without regard to sexual orientation.

The Twin Cities presbytery cast the deciding vote in what is now a 33-year effort to remove all restrictions on homosexuals serving in the church’s ordained ministry. It became the 87th presbytery to affirm the action of the church’s 219th assembly last summer authorizing the constitutional change. The action not only concludes over three decades of controversy over the ordination standards; it also reverses actions taken in 1997, 2001, and 2008, when similar efforts failed.

In 1996, the denomination restated its ordination requirements to include “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness.” That policy had also required that candidates “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.”

“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 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 references to marriage and chastity are gone, along with the language about refusal to repent of sin. The new language speaks instead of submission to the Lordship of Christ and being guided by Scripture and confessions. In any other context, that language might not seem revolutionary, but in this case, it means the denomination’s surrender to those pushing for the normalization of homosexuality.

Put another way, this church has now decided that “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness” is just too restrictive.

Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) General Assembly, explained the meaning of the change: “Clearly what has changed is that persons in a same-gender relationship can be considered for ordination . . . . 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.”

Why now? Parsons suggested that the victory by proponents of the ordination of homosexuals has come because of the exodus of larger conservative congregations from the denomination (approximately 100 over the last five years), the fact that many Presbyterians seemed “ready to get past this argument,” the growing acceptance of homosexuality in the larger culture, and the less controversial wording of this revision. He, along with others, expressed some measure of surprise and relief that the decision was made.

He told The New York Times, “We’ve been having this conversation for 33 years, and some people are ready to get to the other side of this decision. . . . Some people are going to celebrate this day because they’ve worked for it for a long time, and some people will mourn this day because they think it’s a totally different understanding of Scripture than they have.”

The Presbyterian Church (USA) now joins the Episcopal Church (US), the United Church of Christ, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in ordaining openly homosexual candidates to the ministry.

Both sides in this controversy understand the meaning of the decision. While this action deals specifically with ordination standards, it is really about the larger issue of homosexuality. Most observers expect that the decision to allow same-sex marriages will follow closely.

But even beyond the specific issue of homosexuality, the church faced two of the most fundamental questions of Christian theology — the authority of the Bible and the Lordship of Christ. In making this change, the church clearly affirms that one may submit to the Lordship of Christ without submitting to the clear teachings of Scripture.

That is a fundamental error that leaves this denomination now in the implausible position of claiming to affirm the Lordship of Christ while subverting the authority of Scripture. The removal of the constitutional language about marriage and chastity, coupled with the removal of the language about repentance from what Scripture identifies as sin, effectively means that candidates and presbyteries may defy Scripture while claiming to follow Christ.

Clearly, this action could not have happened without this denomination having abandoned any required belief in the full authority, inspiration, and truthfulness of the Bible long ago. This most recent decision sets the stage for the total capitulation of this church to the normalization of homosexuality — an act of open defiance against the Scriptures.

In a “churchwide letter” to the denomination, PC(USA) leaders stated:

Reactions to this change will span a wide spectrum. Some will rejoice, while others will weep. Those who rejoice will see the change as an action, long in coming, that makes the PCUSA an inclusive church that recognizes and receives the gifts for ministry of all those who feel called to ordained office. Those who weep will consider this change one that compromises biblical authority and acquiesces to present culture. The feelings on both sides run deep.

Well, the feelings no doubt run deep, but the injury to this church runs far deeper than feelings. This is yet another tragedy in the sad history of mainline Protestantism’s race toward total theological disaster.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: elca; episcopal; homosexualagenda; pcusa; ucc

1 posted on 05/14/2011 7:34:52 PM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema

“Sniveling Presbyters!”


2 posted on 05/14/2011 7:38:48 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (Some minds are like cement; thoroughly mixed up and permanently set...)
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To: Celtic Cross
“Sniveling Presbyters!” And the difference between sleeping with a someone of the same sex and sleeping with someone of the same sex that is a minor ? *cough*
The WORD tells us where that behavior comes from

Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

3 posted on 05/14/2011 7:51:02 PM PDT by Lera
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To: rhema

So predictable. Our heavenly Father told us there would be days like this.


4 posted on 05/14/2011 8:25:38 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: rhema

Trying to pass off branches of Protestant churches that accept Sin as Mainline churches is deceitful


5 posted on 05/14/2011 8:32:35 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
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To: SoConPubbie

Ah, Dr. Albert Moholer is a Southern Baptist.


6 posted on 05/14/2011 8:54:54 PM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (Go Egypt on 0bama)
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To: rhema

Such ugly, filthy demeaning actions being embraced by the church? Wow. Evil will become good? Unbelievable—they not only dump the Word of God....they dump Natural Law Theory and biology.

Only perverted people who want to eliminate sexual sin, so they can openly molest boys, do this. The leaders of this church are sexual perverts....homosexuality is all about pederasty since it is a learned behavior and has to be learned in childhood—that is why this overwhelming need for homosexuals to molest children...it is the age when they were first molested and groomed into the “lifestyle”. Pederasty was rampant in all societies which glorified homosexuality. Afghanistan is an example of a homosexual society in today’s world where little boys are paraded and become the sexual objects of the men. All homosexual societies hate women and treat them as slaves. Women who condone homosexual behavior are self-loathing.


7 posted on 05/14/2011 8:57:11 PM PDT by savagesusie
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To: anniegetyourgun
The Presbyterian Church (USA) now joins the Episcopal Church (US), the United Church of Christ, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in ordaining openly homosexual candidates to the ministry.

..and then we wonder why God appears to be slowly withdrawing His blessings on our nation. We think we can have it both ways.....time and tide will prove otherwise.

8 posted on 05/14/2011 8:58:05 PM PDT by caww
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To: rhema
When people deny His Word and teach that His One True Church is wrong they're eventually given over to a reprobate mind both collectively and individually. Make no mistake, people who wallow in the slough with the hogs who claim the earth is god, enjoy the same pass times as those who are lost, and reward heretics and atheists by purchasing their “art” aren't spared the effects of their own actions because they go to church a few times a week. Nor will their own interpretation of Scripture spare them the ultimate consequence of their own refusal to hear the Truth as it has been taught for two thousand years.
9 posted on 05/14/2011 9:02:31 PM PDT by Rashputin (Obama is insane but kept medicated and on golf courses to hide it)
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To: rhema
We go to a First Evangelical Presbyterian Church which broke away from the main stream Presbyterians back in the 1980’s because of the left turn the church took. The FEPC has been a great church for us, and it is still very much conservative in its doctoring and judging by the political bumper stickers in the parking lot in 2008, politically conservative as well.
10 posted on 05/14/2011 9:27:38 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: rhema
This wasn't an out-of-the-blue decision. This sect has been wallowing in false theology and notions of God for many decade; this is just the logical conclusion, if, in fact, it is a conclusion.

Give any of these heretics even a cursory, honest questioning on even the very basic precepts of the Gospel, even of God himself, and you will find that they are more like Unitarian Universalist in view - anything goes as far as believe (or unbelief.) Most of these adherents are actually atheists or agnostics, denying God, Jesus' Divinity, the virgin birth, the existence of any divine miracle, or Christ's resurrection. They don't believe in the afterlife, heaven, hell, or a Devil, not to mention angels or demons. I'm talking about the church clergy and leaders here.

It is a make-it-up-as-you-go-along "religion." False to the core. It will make good kindling for Hell.

11 posted on 05/14/2011 9:57:08 PM PDT by fwdude (Prosser wins, Goonions lose.)
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To: rhema
But even beyond the specific issue of homosexuality, the church faced two of the most fundamental questions of Christian theology — the authority of the Bible and the Lordship of Christ. In making this change, the church clearly affirms that one may submit to the Lordship of Christ without submitting to the clear teachings of Scripture.

No true Christian can separate Jesus from his word. He is the head of his church, his body, and his holy word - the Scriptures - are the maintenance manual he left us so that we would know truth from error. It is sad to see so many churches rejecting God's word, but, as everyone should know, it is those who do not hold to the authority of Scripture that fall into such error. We will be seeing more of this in all areas of our culture and we will reap the whirlwind of judgment because of it.

12 posted on 05/14/2011 10:08:40 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.)
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To: fwdude

This sect has been wallowing in false theology and notions of God for many decade;

Indeed! My father-in-law broke from his Presbyterian church in the '60's, and as a Elder, wrote a scathing letter to all the fellow members, explaining why.

13 posted on 05/15/2011 1:41:38 AM PDT by norge (The amiable dunce is back, wearing a skirt and high heels.)
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To: NavyCanDo
First Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Isn't that the PCA?

14 posted on 05/15/2011 2:15:39 AM PDT by Cronos (Libspeak: "Yes there is proof. And no, for the sake of privacy I am not posting it here.")
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To: caww

True. It’s all part of the strong delusion.


15 posted on 05/15/2011 6:06:52 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: rhema

Peculiar how none of the protestants are here defending their actions.


16 posted on 05/15/2011 8:04:10 AM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
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To: Cronos

“First Evangelical Presbyterian Church”

“Isn’t that the PCA?”

No. This is an exceprt from the “Who we are” section of our church web site.

“in 1987 a seven-year struggle came to an end when we decided to leave the PC-USA denomination and form an independent fellowship. It was a difficult process. Every member of the staff, every Elder, every Deacon, every Trustee, every Sunday school teacher, and choir member, all but a handful of the congregation resigned from membership. We soon joined the EPC denomination.”


17 posted on 05/15/2011 7:30:27 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: jacknhoo

That’s because as Protestants, we find the actions reported to be heretical and not keeping with the the Word of God.

Furthermore, those who have promoted such thinking are not in fellowship with God, nor in faith with Christ.

They are as anti-christian as the most heinous unbeliever attacking His Will.


18 posted on 05/15/2011 7:35:19 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: NavyCanDo

Thank you for that explanation


19 posted on 05/16/2011 7:02:32 AM PDT by Cronos (Libspeak: "Yes there is proof. And no, for the sake of privacy I am not posting it here.")
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To: Rashputin; lightman; SmithL; Honorary Serb
And over in ELCA Wonderland,

Is God still Father?
blog post by Pastor Eric

I received an Advent devotional booklet published jointly by Luther Seminary and Pacific Lutheran Seminary. Not once, in 28 days' worth of readings, is God ever referred to as Father. I guess I don't have to tell you that the personal pronouns He and His are never used to refer to God either. Similarly, the Advent Prayers published by the Gettysburg Seminary also never call God Father. We are, however reminded that God loves us like a mother.

You would think that at least once in Advent, while we are praying to the Cleansing God and the Spirit of Swirling Darkness (that's what it says, I am not making this up - sounds more like Darth Vader to me than God), we might occasionally call God Father. Jesus is every now and then called Son, but whose Son? Why the God who "tip-toed into our world on holy feet..." of course! (Again, I am not making this up!)

Has anyone ever read Matthew 28:16-20?

The prize for not using a pronoun for God has to go to Bishop Mark Hanson, who recently said in a statement to the ELCA News Service, "You can bet your life that God will be faithful to God's promise, because God bet the life of Jesus on God's faithfulness..." It seem to me that Bishop Hanson should use a pronoun when Bishop Hanson speaks about God or Bishop Hanson might confuse Bishop Hanson's listeners.

20 posted on 05/26/2011 3:05:14 AM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema; lightman

Matthew 28:16-20 (the Great Commission) is in the cycle of Resurrection Matins Gospels in the Orthodox Church. We hear it every several weeks, just like clockwork!

And, of course, there are no “pronoun problems” in the Orthodox Divine Liturgy whatsoever!!!!


21 posted on 05/26/2011 6:15:24 AM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: rhema; lightman

The Presbyterians were Warned [against “gay” ordination] by the Orthodox in 2010

http://www.monomakhos.com/2011/05/the-presbyterians-were-warned-by-the-orthodox-in-2010/


22 posted on 05/26/2011 6:18:05 AM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Honorary Serb
And, of course, there are no “pronoun problems” in the Orthodox Divine Liturgy whatsoever!!!!

Aye, "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!"

During Eastertide we use LBW Setting One with the fullest Eucharistic Prayer...the dreaded F-word is said three times in the Eucharistic Canon, plus again in the Creed and the Lord's Prayer.

23 posted on 05/26/2011 12:11:08 PM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini)
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To: Honorary Serb
And, of course, there are no “pronoun problems” in the Orthodox Divine Liturgy whatsoever!!!!

"Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers..."

24 posted on 05/26/2011 2:03:51 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory; and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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