Skip to comments.PCA [Presbyterian Church in America] Statements on Homosexuality
Posted on 11/07/2011 4:00:48 PM PST by Alex Murphy
Editors note: In light of recent decisions by other denominations to approve openly homosexual individuals for ministry, to sanction the blessing of same-sex unions, and because of the public debate on legalizing same-sex marriages, it is appropriate to publish the position of the Presbyterian Church in America on these issues. Here is a brief overview of actions of past General Assemblies and summaries of these actions:
In 1977 the following was adopted:
That the Fifth General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America affirms the biblical position for our denomination which states that:
1. The act of homosexuality is a sin according to God's Word;
2. Churches should actively seek to lead the homosexual person to confession and repentance that he might find justification and sanctification in Jesus Christ, according to I Corinthians 6:11; and
3. In light of the biblical view of its sinfulness, a practicing homosexual continuing in this sin would not be a fit candidate for ordination or membership in the Presbyterian Church in America.
The 21st General Assembly (1993) adopted a Declaration of Conscience that was sent to the President of the United States of America (with copies to the leadership of the United States House of Representatives and Senate and to the governors of the several states and any other interested parties), and read in part:
Mr. President, in this Declaration the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America humbly declares its conscience concerning the moral legitimacy of homosexuality. God has spoken without equivocation through his Word declaring homosexuality to be a perversion of his created order, his moral law, and the foundations of society...
Please note: in condemning homosexual practice we claim no self-righteousness. The Bible we cite also teaches that all particular sins flow from one rebellious disposition of heart .The Apostle reminds the Corinthian believers, "And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God." (To read the entire letter go to http://www.pcanet.org/history/pca/2-399.html )
In an action titled: "In Opposition to Disney's Promotion of Homosexual Lifestyle," the 1996 General Assembly said, "We abhor what Disney and other corporations do to promote the homosexual lifestyle." In 1997 the PCA General Assembly took the following action with regard to the boycott of Disney:
In response to the boycott of Disney enterprises by Christian groups including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian Church in America reiterated its position on homosexual issues adopted in 1996.
We affirm the Bible's teaching that promotion of homosexual conduct and relationships by any society, including action by the governments to sanction and legitimize homosexual relationships by the legalization of homosexual marriages, is an abominable sin calling for God's judgment upon any such society (Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:18-32).
We also affirm our belief in the transforming power of God's grace and our commitment to "speaking the truth in love" to those in the homosexual community.
The 1999 General Assembly declared that homosexual activity is sin and not an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Moreover, PCA churches were warned about the aggressive homosexual agenda.
The following is found in a PCA publication "Twenty Questions and Answers about the Presbyterian Church in America:"
Position on Homosexuality?
It is sin. But just as with any other sin, the PCA deals with these people in a pastoral way, seeking to transform their lifestyle through the power of the gospel as applied by the Holy Spirit.
The Westminster Larger Catechism states the following:
Q. 139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections, all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews (old English word meaning houses of prostitution), and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage, having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.
In 1980, the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod (RPCES), which joined the PCA in 1982, adopted a Report of the Study Committee on Homosexuality. To read this report go to: http://www.pcanet.org/history/findingaids/rpces/docsynod/301.html
Here are summaries of the various statements taken by past General Assemblies of the PCA that are sent to the media when requesting the PCA position on homosexuality:
Homosexual practice is sin. The Bible teaches that all particular sins flow from our rebellious disposition of heart. Just as with any other sin, the PCA deals with people in a pastoral way, seeking to transform their lifestyle through the power of the gospel as applied by the Holy Spirit. Hence, in condemning homosexual practice we claim no self-righteousness, but recognize that any and all sin is equally heinous in the sight of a holy God.
The PCA is committed to the sanctity of human sexual relationships. We believe Gods intent and design in creation was that male and female would be complementary, that the privilege of sexual expression would be between a male and female only, and this expression would be only in the context of marriage. Therefore, any heterosexual or homosexual behavior or relationship that does not conform to Gods design does violence to the human spirit and distorts Gods intent for men and women.
What exactly is a "regenerate" Pastor and how is Apostolic succession achieved? Is there a Scriptural or Traditional precedent for it?
A Pastor indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
"Is there a Scriptural or Traditional precedent for it?"
There is scriptural support which makes tradition totally irrelvant.
I do not dispute that there are inspired non-Catholic clergy. I have know quite a few. I just don't see how the laying on of the hands is optional for true Apostolic Succession.
Although I'm not convinced it is necessary, many Protestant congregations have the elders lay hands on new Pastors they ordain.
What is the difference between the PCA and these guys, who embrace gay-ism and out-of-wedlock 'activity'?
I'm not up on Presbyterianism, so I apologize.
Presbyterianism in the United State is complicated, historically. I linked to a big chart a few posts back in my personal timeline.
PCA is a conservative spinoff from the southern mainline church. The current PCUSA is the result of a merger between what the PCA split from, and the northern mainline Presbyterians. See the chart.