“The new “authoritative interpretation” of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Book of Order gives individual pastors discretion to perform same-sex ceremonies where the practice is legal. The addition, which passed a general assembly vote 317–238, states:
teaching elders may conduct a marriage service for any such couple in the place where the community gathers for worship, so long as it is approved by the session; or in such other place as may be suitable for a service of Christian worship. In no case shall any teaching elder’s conscience be bound to conduct any marriage service for any couple except by his or her understanding of the Word, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The assembly also voted to change the definition of marriage in the Book of Order, the denomination’s governing constitution. The proposal changes language referring to marriage as a “civil contract between a man and a woman” to marriage as “a unique commitment between two people.”
The new definition, which must be approved by the PC(USA)’s 172 prebysteries, says in part:
Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The sacrificial love that unites the couple sustains them as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community.
The same paragraph in the old definition reads:
Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage is a civil contract between a woman and a man. For Christian marriage is a covenant through which a man and a woman are called to live out together before God their lives of discipleship. In a service of Christian marriage a lifelong commitment is made by a woman and a man to each other, publicly witnessed and acknowledged by the community of faith.
That motion, which passed 429–175, must be approved by 87 of the denomination’s 172 presbyteries in order to be incorporated into the Book of Order in 2015.” End Quote
Source CNN. for article click above.
Naturally a schism would ensue.
I read through the General Assembly’s documents over this recent vote to allow “Teaching Elders” to perform same sex weddings where it is civil law to do so. I would encourage you to read through this link and discern the terminology, the rationales presented by varying Presbyteries.
It is clear upon reading through that these so called Christians are legislating their church based on their own flesh, not on the Word of God. They are appeasing man by succumbing to the culture around them. They are justifying their actions by stating they have been a “Church” whose focus is on social justice. There is a continual theme that Jesus loved all people and was inclusive in his teaching and living. Men always refer to the breaking of bread among the heathen as justification for their acceptance and allowance of sin. The varying presbyters also clearly and repeatedly state that God’s word is left to INTERPRETATION. This is typical of the ignorant and hedonistic church of today isn’t it? It’s all about “how you believe the word ministers to you.” Excuse me, no it’s not, God’s Word teaches God’s Word. He is clear and has spoken plainly through his prophets in the Old Testament and through his Disciples and Apostles in the New Testament. There is no grey area with God Almighty. The word of God is clearly against homosexuality and its perversion, so how then do these institutions of men justify marriage between same sex couples? You literally have to throw the bible out of your church to justify these actions, and that is exactly what they have done by scripting their own set of rules: The Book of Order, the Book of Confessions, and the Book of Common Worship. Then they make assemblies of men (and women) who meet and vote and decide to change their own rules anytime they see fit, to better coalesce with the modern society.
The PC USA has a committee that meets and determines the “Doctrinal soundness” of an issue, guess what? They see nothing Doctrinally wrong with marriage between to loving committed same sex couples. Never mind what God says will happen to these loving law abiding citizens for partaking in their homosexual lifestyle, remember the Word of God has no authority in the PC USA any more. It’s all about how you feel about what God means because He is a wishy washy God who’s led by emotions and doesn’t have any sense of Righteousness or Holiness for that matter…(this is what they are doing by governing themselves by themselves).
Gay marriage is not a “right” and it’s not a matter of civil liberties. If it were so the LGBT community would be peachy over the 19 states (and counting) that have legitimized their sin. This has been and always be a moral issue. If it were not a moral issue then why have an entire organized religious institution make such proclamations? This assault on marriage “equality” is an assault on God’s word and His truth. The decapitation of the church body, whether it be the PC USA or any other and all other denominations, is akin to the Great Apostasy. It’s a falling away from God’s truth. There are those who would argue that these people who call themselves Christian are unregenerate, not truly born again, “Christians,” so this massive exodus of people who are falling away into false teaching were never really “from us” so they go out and don’t return. Or, one can consider that they were at some point followers of Christ and adherent to the solid gospel truths, but rather than stay true, they chose to leave the truth for a lie, and hence are heaping on for themselves false teachers and false doctrines and further teaching it to others. The truth is no longer in them and they are being turned over to reprobate minds. God himself will srnd strong delusion to those who choose the lie. Not long ago the porn industry was the only place you would see same sex acts. Now it’s on normal every day TV. Kids in elementary school are encouraged to challenge their gender identity and try on other sexualities as though it’s a new outfit. This issue of same sex marriage may be ordained right now by men and women; and sanctioned by a church, albeit a false church, however, their sanctification of sin doesn’t change God’s truth and His word about homosexuality.
This is the “Pastoral Letter” from the General Assembly out to the individual Presbyters