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Alabama Presbyterians vote to drop fidelity, chastity rules designed to ban gay clergy
The Birmingham News ^ | 2/20/2009 | Greg Garrison

Posted on 02/20/2009 11:55:25 AM PST by SonnyBubba

Alabama mainline Presbyterians meeting Thursday voted 77-75 in favor of dropping long-controversial language requiring clergy to abide by fidelity in marriage and chastity in singleness. The Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, a regional body of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in north-central Alabama, met at First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. The presbytery is one of 173 regional bodies in the 2.3 million-member denomination that will be voting on the issue this year. If passed by a majority, new language would allow more leeway to local presbyteries on ordaining clergy, who still must "declare their fidelity to the standards of the church."

The fidelity and chastity clause was passed in 1997 in an effort to bar active homosexuals from the clergy. It has been debated and challenged almost nonstop since then. At the general assembly in Birmingham in 2006, the denomination passed an authoritative interpretation of the constitution that allowed more leeway for presbyteries in ordaining practicing homosexuals. A church court ruled against that interpretation, and the national general assembly in 2008 again proposed changing the constitution to amend the "fidelity and chastity" standard. It's the denomination's fourth referendum on the "fidelity and chastity" requirement in the Book of Order. So far, the national vote is 39-24 against changing the language, according to a running count of presbytery votes kept by the conservative publication The Presbyterian Layman at www.layman.org. The Rev. Shannon Webster, pastor of Birmingham's First Presbyterian, spoke in favor of the proposed change. "It gets rid of awful language," Webster said. "There's no mention of homosexuality, although a lot of people came thinking they were going to be arguing about ordaining homosexuals. Nobody got hostile or hot. It was good Presbyterian decorum." The Rev. Ed Hurley, pastor of South Highland Presbyterian Church, voted against the change. "Obviously it's a very divided church," he said. "I regret that. It undermines what we've been trying to do to hold the church together." Hurley said many would interpret the change in the constitution, if it passes, as allowing active homosexuals in the clergy. "I don't think it automatically does, but it does open possibilities up," Hurley said. "It removes the clear constitutional language. We tried to send a message, `Please, don't do this.'"


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda

1 posted on 02/20/2009 11:55:25 AM PST by SonnyBubba
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To: SonnyBubba

They appear to be “main-lining” something, but I don’t think it’s Presbyterianism.


2 posted on 02/20/2009 11:56:38 AM PST by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: SonnyBubba; OrthodoxPresbyterian

PCUSA has lost its frickkin’ mind.


3 posted on 02/20/2009 11:57:18 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: SonnyBubba; Charles Henrickson
"There's no mention of homosexuality, although a lot of people came thinking they were going to be arguing about ordaining homosexuals. Nobody got hostile or hot. It was good Presbyterian decorum."

Somebody should have.

4 posted on 02/20/2009 11:58:58 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: SonnyBubba
Did you lose your link?

Alabama Presbyterians vote to drop fidelity, chastity rules designed to ban gay clergy

5 posted on 02/20/2009 11:59:29 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: SonnyBubba

Another reason why PCA is growing by leaps and bounds.


6 posted on 02/20/2009 11:59:50 AM PST by Rockitz (This isn't rocket science- follow the money and you'll find truth.)
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To: SonnyBubba

Now why in the world would you want your minister to abide by Christian sexual morality? Some people are just way too old-fashioned.


7 posted on 02/20/2009 12:00:24 PM PST by all the best
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To: SonnyBubba

Part of the Great Apostasy that directly precedes the return of Christ.


8 posted on 02/20/2009 12:00:39 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: DJ MacWoW

Yeah. Thanks.


9 posted on 02/20/2009 12:00:43 PM PST by SonnyBubba
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To: martin_fierro

They did that quite some time ago. Google Erik/Erin Swenson. Just absolutely nuts.


10 posted on 02/20/2009 12:02:04 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: SonnyBubba

You’re welcome. :-)


11 posted on 02/20/2009 12:02:37 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

2 Timothy 3
Godlessness in the Last Days

1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.


12 posted on 02/20/2009 12:03:35 PM PST by donna (We live in this fog of political correctness, where everything is perpetual deception.-John Hagee)
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To: donna

And these are the last days....this (along with so many other) apostate church will be needed and used by the lawless man....


13 posted on 02/20/2009 12:07:47 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: anniegetyourgun

PCUSA did this nationally years ago. It only took this long in Alabama because ‘Bama is more conservtive.

I occassionly visit Brimingham. There is a fairly conservative (and very traditional) Baptist chruch that sits right next to a PCUSA church. The Baptist church is hugh (not a mega church, but big, I’ve been in it and I would guess it holds 2,000.) They are packed on Sundays.

The PCUSA church is small by any standards. To say their parking lot is 1/2 full on Sundays would be stretching it. If 100 people were attending I’d be surprised.

The point is PCUSA has shrunk to little more than a small, fringe denomination. This move will not help them grow.


14 posted on 02/20/2009 12:16:44 PM PST by Brookhaven (Until the three traitors are removed from the Republican Party, I am no longer a Republican.)
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To: SonnyBubba

The way things are going in some of these churches, pretty soon being actively gay won’t just be not disqualifying for the clergy, it’ll be mandatory.

BTW, when Cortez and his Spaniards first encountered the Aztec religion, they were outraged not just by the human sacrifice and other evidence of devil worship, but also by the fact that so many of the pagan priests practiced a kind of ritual sodomy on young boys. How times have changed.


15 posted on 02/20/2009 12:20:20 PM PST by Argus (We've gone downtown to Clown Town, and that's where we'll be living from now on..)
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To: Brookhaven

Actually the PCUSA has not done this. The fidelity and chastity standard is currently the law of the PCUSA. The vote in Alabama is part of determining whether the PCUSA will drop the standard as a whole. It has come up for a vote every few years and has always failed.


16 posted on 02/20/2009 12:20:41 PM PST by rhetorica
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To: Brookhaven

Yes, as a former PCUSA elder, I’m well aware of their decline...and their rejection of the whole counsel of God.


17 posted on 02/20/2009 12:21:55 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: SonnyBubba

So I guess the liberals also want to take adultery and fornication from the Bible’s list of sexual sins as well. I seem to recall that adultery is in fact specifically mentioned in the Ten Commandments, but what the hey — the Zeitgeist trumps divine revelation everytime.


18 posted on 02/20/2009 12:32:55 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: SonnyBubba

“...come out from among them...”-St. Paul


19 posted on 02/20/2009 12:40:16 PM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: SonnyBubba

Glad I go to a Southern Baptist Church. Other denominations have gone off the deep end.


20 posted on 02/20/2009 12:41:54 PM PST by MamaB (Heb.13:2)
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To: donna

That has been happening for decades if not longer. Maybe it just wasn’t in instant news like it is now. Something happens today and we know about it as soon as it happens. This once great country is going downhill so fast it isn’t funny. People today do not care about morals or anything else except do what feels good and don’t worry about tomorrow.


21 posted on 02/20/2009 12:45:10 PM PST by MamaB (Heb.13:2)
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To: SonnyBubba

Hmmm. Seems like that whole reformation thing is working well.


22 posted on 02/20/2009 1:06:36 PM PST by festus (Politics makes for strange bedfellows)
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To: SonnyBubba

They do not need the Bible anymore either.

Just make it up as you go.


23 posted on 02/20/2009 1:53:55 PM PST by BillT (New Executive Order to abolish the WS Constitution to be signed to save the US Constitution)
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