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Presbyterian Church USA Close to Approving Gay Marriage

By    |   Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:31 PM

Just seven votes stand between approval or disapproval of same-sex marriage by the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), in a controversy which threatens to shatter the 1.7 million member Protestant denomination.

Amendment 14-F was approved last year by PCUSA's general assembly, and changes the Presbyterian Book of Order definition of marriage from being between "a man and a woman" to being between "two people, traditionally a man and a woman," the Christian Post reports.

Carmen Fowler LaBerge, leader of the conservative Presbyterian Lay Committee, said the assembly's action was "tragic, but not surprising" and told the Christian Post, "As more and more Presbyterians in the pews wake up to the reality that their denomination has abandoned the Bible in exchange for the accommodation of sexual immorality, many of them will leave.

"PCUSA has been actively undermining her own theological foundations for generations. This vote is simply the result of a hundred years of progressive deviation from the truth."

South Alabama Presbyterians already have voted against the change, Al.com reports, with the Rev. Chris Bullock of the Central Presbyterian Church in Mobile commenting, "We stopped trusting the (ruling) session and pastors to make the right call."

Some Texas Presbyterian congregations are considering leaving the PCUSA, not merely over the same-sex controversy, but also because PCUSA has voted to stop investment in companies which they feel profit from the Israeli "occupation" of Palestine, and may drop investments in fossil fuel companies because of concerns about climate change, the Houston Chronicle reported. PCUSA has about $21 million invested in such
companies.

The Memorial Drive Presbyterian's Denominational Task Force, in a letter to church members, said, "After careful reflection and consideration, the Session has decided that it must voice its opposition to the continued direction of the General Assembly, which seems to disregard Scripture, the confessions and our ordination vows," the Chronicle reported.

So far, in the vote which will continue until May, 79 regional presbyteries have voted for the amendment, while 37 have opposed it. To be approved, it must earn a simple majority, or 86 bodies, Al.com reports.

Mary Burns, elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairhope, Alabama, told Al.com, "A lot of us are tired of this because it's pulling the church apart. The church should lead the culture and not be part of the culture. There is a time when the church needs to say no."

If passed, it will take effect on June 21, the Christian Post reports.

To date, about 150 Presbyterian churches, most former members of PCUSA, the nation's largest group, have joined the more conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, the Chronicle reports.


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Just seven votes stand between approval or disapproval of same-sex marriage by the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), in a controversy which threatens to shatter the 1.7 million member Protestant denomination. Amendment 14-F was approved last year by PCUSA's general assembly,...
Presbyterian Church, gay marriage, vote, close, majority, divisions, same-sex
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2015-31-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:31 PM
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