Skip to comments.Following Jesus While Rejecting the Bible? Yet Another Tragedy in Mainline Protestantism
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 churchs constitution that will allow the denominations 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 churchs ordained ministry. It became the 87th presbytery to affirm the action of the churchs 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 churchs 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 candidates calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidates 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 denominations 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, Weve 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 theyve worked for it for a long time, and some people will mourn this day because they think its 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 Protestantisms race toward total theological disaster.
So predictable. Our heavenly Father told us there would be days like this.
Trying to pass off branches of Protestant churches that accept Sin as Mainline churches is deceitful
Ah, Dr. Albert Moholer is a Southern Baptist.
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.
..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.
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.
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.
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.
Isn't that the PCA?
True. It’s all part of the strong delusion.
Peculiar how none of the protestants are here defending their actions.
“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.”
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.
Thank you for that explanation
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.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.