In a June 28 Associated Press story entitled “Presbyterian Assembly votes to drop homosexual clergy ban,” Ed Gorski reports that
The denomination’s General Assembly, meeting in San Jose, Calif., voted 54 percent to 46 percent Friday to drop the requirement that would-be ministers, deacons and elders live in ‘fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.’ The proposed change to the church constitution requires approval from a majority the nation’s 173 presbyteries, or regional church bodies — a yearlong process that has proven to be a barrier to similar efforts in the past.
As if that were not enough, a second vote entrenched the denomination in its depravity:
Of equal importance to advocates on both side[s] of the debate, the assembly also voted to allow gay and lesbian candidates for ordination to conscientiously object to the existing standard. Local presbyteries and church councils that approve ordinations would consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. That vote was an ‘an authoritative interpretation’ of the church constitution rather than a change to it, so it goes into effect immediately. The interpretation supersedes a ruling from the church’s high court, issued in February, that said there were no exceptions to the so-called ‘fidelity and chastity’ requirement.
Surely the time for Christians to separate from the PCUSA has come. By its actions, the PCUSA has shown that, as a national body, it is no longer a Christian denomination. Indeed, it is apostate. While Christians may differ over doctrine and the interpretation of portions of Scripture, Christians do not reject that which is clear in the Bible. No Christian will support homosexuality as a union blessed by God because the Scriptures are clear. Homosexuality represents the bottom of human depravity: “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27, ESV).
Those who claim to follow Christ and yet practice homosexuality worship a Christ of their imagination, a Christ fashioned by the deception of their own hearts. And yes, those of us who call attention to their rebellion against God will be castigated as “unloving” and “uncaring” and “pharisaical” and other such less-than-charitable epithets. The bottom line is this: One cannot be a Christian while condoning that which the Scriptures condemn.
Homosexuality is a sin, just as a host of others are. The apostle Paul provides quite a list: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21, ESV).
None of us is without sin, and all of us who are indeed Christians are followers of Christ by God’s grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Nevertheless, a true Christian will not endorse the practice of that which the Bible prohibits.
This is indeed a sad day for Bible-believing congregations which have remained in the PCUSA. The PCUSA has shown itself to be an apostate denomination, and it is time for local churches comprised of true believers to separate from it. May God give them the discernment and the courage to do so.