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 PCUSA Assembly: No Gay Ordination

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) legislative assembly narrowly rejected a measure Friday to allow regional governing bodies to ordain gay clergy and lay officers.

Under the 259-255 vote, the current interpretation of church law forbidding the ordination of gay clergy will remain binding on the church, including on the regional bodies, known as presbyteries.

Conservative Presbyterians had warned that a vote for gay ordination at the denomination's national meeting could cause the largest split in the church since the Civil War, when slavery split the church into Northern and Southern factions.

Opponents of the proposal said a network of 1,300 congregations with 450,000 members was poised to break away. The network, called the Confessing Church Movement, holds as a central doctrine the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.

Also on Friday, Presbyterians overwhelmingly elected the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick


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 2004/7/3 22:04Profile
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 Re: PCUSA Assembly: No Gay Ordination

I guess this can be considered good news but with such a close vote of [b]259-255[/b] sadly this shows the condition of the American Presbyterian Church to allow such a blatant sin into the pulpit.

Here are the resolutions for the group 'Confessing Church Movement' in the American Presbyterian Church: The resolutions approved by sessions focus on the three main themes of the Confessing Church Movement: that Jesus Christ alone is Lord and Savior; that Scripture is the infallible rule of faith and life; and that [b]God's timeless standards for holy life[/b] have [u]not[/u] been negated by political, cultural and social changes.

"To date, the membership of those Confessing Churches is 433,660, with the average size of a Confessing Church being 333 members. Confessing Churches are located in 46 states and Puerto Rico."


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 2004/7/3 22:08Profile
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Here are some letters to the editors of the 'Confessing Church Movement' from various Presbyterian Churches:

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[b]Stand together or fail[/b]

March 21, 2001
I am very sad for the Presbyterian Church. It seems to have forsaken the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures plainly give us the commands for righteous living. Same-sex unions are not righteous in the eyes of our Holy God.

I cannot and will not accept it. God is for me. I must stand for Him. I think we need to legally take our church back and make it a House of God once again instead of an institution of sin and immorality.

Christians across the world must stand with their God together or fail.

Geraldine Walker
Elder
Weirton, W.Va.

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[b]We must corporately say, 'Here I Stand!'[/b]

I am Robby McBride, senior minister at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church in Lexington, S.C., with some 3,400 members.
I say, "amen" to Steven Bryant's letter. Our session has taken the 'three point' stance as well, which we, too, feel and believe is foundational to the Christian faith and practice. We have communicated this to our membership and this position has been applauded.

We, too, stand in opposition to the direction of our General Assembly and will not support their (GA) issues - we can't. I believe our church will join the Confessing Church Movement very soon (basically, we already have in our hearts).

I, too, will not leave our denomination, but will remain (as hard as it will be) and work for renewal. I will not walk away, but will remain and face those who say, "Damn them..."

Many of our churches struggle with the issue of separation of church and state, I believe our denomination is struggling with the issue of "separation of church and Jesus Christ." We are losing our denominational minds.

Just one week ago, I had the privilege of speaking with the vice moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan (a guest in our presbytery and in our church). I asked him what he thought of these issues since he was present at this year's General Assembly. His remarks were short and concise: "We do not struggle with these issues. We are guided by the Scriptures - God's Word - and God's Word is very clear about His inspired Word, very clear about marriage between a man and a woman, very clear about homosexual behavior, very clear about chastity in singleness, very clear about sin ... therefore, we do not struggle with these things." Then he asked me a question, "How can you debate these things which are prohibited in God's word?"

We (those of us who align with the Confessing Church Movement) must corporately say, "Here I stand!"

May God bless us.

Rev. Dr. Robert McBride
Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church
Lexington, S.C.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/7/3 22:13Profile
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 Re: PCUSA Assembly: No Gay Ordination

I feel overwhelmed with sorrow and weeping over all of this. Having it be an issue at all, yet alone being such a close vote... just saddens my heart. All I know of to do is pray.


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Daniel

 2004/7/4 9:39Profile





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