Presbyterian assembly OKs gay marriage

The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted by large margins Thursday to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of "two people," not just "a man and a woman."
AP Wire
Jun 22, 2014

 

The amendment approved by the Presbyterian General Assembly requires approval from a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries, which will vote on the change over the next year.

But in a separate policy change that takes effect at the end of this week's meeting, delegates voted to allow ministers to preside at gay weddings in states where the unions are legal and local congregational leaders approve. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

The votes, during a national meeting in Detroit, were a sweeping victory for Presbyterian gay-rights advocates. The denomination in 2011 eliminated barriers to ordaining clergy with same-sex partners, but ministers were still barred from celebrating gay marriages and risked church penalties for doing so.

Alex McNeill, executive director of More Light Presbyterians, a gay advocacy group, said the decisions Thursday were "an answer to many prayers."

The Rev. Krystin Granberg of the New York Presbytery, where the state recognizes gay marriage, said she receives requests "all the time" from friends and parishioners to preside at their weddings.

"They want to be married in the church they love and they want me to do it," Granberg said during the debate. "I want pastoral relief."

But Bill Norton, of the Presbytery de Cristo, which covers parts of Arizona and New Mexico, urged the assembly to delay any changes.

"We are laying hands on something that is holy, that God has given us, so we need to be sure any changes we make are in accord with God's will revealed in Scripture," Norton said.

Since the 2011 gay ordination vote, 428 of the denomination's more than 10,000 churches have left for other more conservative denominations or have dissolved, though some theological conservatives have remained within the denomination as they decide how to move forward. The church now has about 1.8 million members.

The conservative Presbyterian Lay Committee decried the votes in Detroit as an "abomination." The assembly voted 371-238 to allow ministers to celebrate same-sex marriages, and 429-175 in favor of amending the definition of marriage in the constitution.

"The General Assembly has committed an express repudiation of the Bible, the mutually agreed upon Confessions of the PCUSA, thousands of years of faithfulness to God's clear commands and the denominational ordination vows of each concurring commissioner," the Presbyterian Lay Committee said in a statement.

Of the mainline Protestant denominations, only the United Church of Christ supports gay marriage outright. The Episcopal Church has approved a prayer service for blessing same-sex unions. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has eliminated barriers for gay clergy, but allows regional and local church officials to decide their own policies on ordination and blessings for same-sex couples.

The largest mainline group, the United Methodist Church, with about 7.8 million U.S. members, bars ordaining people in same-sex relationships. However, church members have been debating whether to split over their different views of the Bible and marriage. Gay marriage supporters have been recruiting clergy to openly officiate at same-sex ceremonies in protest of church policy.

 

Comments

happycamper

Aw, how cute !!!!

Wolverine49457

Next the PA's goal is to finally make time to read the Bible and figure out waz up with all the thou and thee stuff. We are to love each other, but validating sin with phony and unscriptural blessing does not speak love for anyone. As a church if you openly agree and take part in sin such as this or any other sin you are a dead church. If an alcoholic is happier drunk than sober do you think its ok for them to come to church and drink because that is what they want? If a married church member who also is open about having a lover outside of marriage should we expect the church to condone his behavior in Gods House a wink and nod from the pulpit because God must have made him the lover of many?
Don’t fool yourselves, marry if you want but to say it is Gods will us just wrong.

Interestedreader

Can;t one justify anything in the bible if you dig deep enough?

Wolverine49457

Not really but to your point if one is attempting to absolve themselves of guilt and sin or pretend they are living the Christian life by the Word one could one could re-interpret Scripture to suit needs or sins they are not strong enough to give up. In the case of this story the Bible clearly states homosexuality is a sin and is as blasphemy (an abomination). It seems the church is too often a money heavy business that must fill venues in order to stay in business. They support ministries and missions and other things that sound good and maybe are a calling but when a church allows sin or condones behavior outside of Scripture in order to fill the pews it’s time to reset and renew for should a church allow open sin within its doors it is no longer a church but a Sunday morning club with a common theme as a talking points. I sometimes wonder if God is exposing the churches failures in order to tear them down to reestablish the small open churches of long ago, no building or music committees, no potlucks and rummage sales to keep the lights on, only believers gathering to fellowship in worship, if you find you are compromising in order to feed the grounds and building machine it is time to shed that distraction, you cannot serve two masters.

SLNativeSince1864

Well said sir!

SLNativeSince1864

I'm sorry for saying "Sir." Right after I clicked 'save' I realized there is no way to tell if you're a male or female. Now I am blocked because of spam.

skyking007

you have a edit option, don't you?

SLNativeSince1864

Yes, that's when it happened. I edited my post and then it gave me a SPAM notice.

Ole

Song of Songs/Solomon says: "the little foxes ruin the vines"
That is to say it is the small things that creep in little by little that will destroy the vineyard, that would be the "Church" today.
As our spiritual leaders slowly, little by little take away from the solid truth of the Word of God, the Body is slowly weakened and dumbed down on Gods Truth. Whatever the reason, the end result is loss.
However we should not be surprised as the Word in II Tim. 4:3-4 says exactly what we see happening today: "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."

SpellCheck

Ok Trib, you have a P.C.U.S.A church just blocks from you, now it's time to go to their lead pastor and get some comments. THAT article is sure to strike a nerve with the community.

VanX

That would be a compelling story with a direct local link.

gordbzz231

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gordbzz231

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ghmomma

This silly little war against gay marriage is over. A few more battles to fight and it's in the history books. It will be the law of the land.....as it should. The federal government recognizes it. The military recognizes it. Even here in 'lil 'ol Grand Haven.....a major Midwest employer that has a business here let's same sex couples who are married to be covered under an employees health insurance..... Oh, the tragedy of it all!

gordbzz231

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gordbzz231

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ghmomma

Oh I hate the cavalierly!

gordbzz231

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Lanivan

According to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Center in an interview last month, pro-gay Christians are not 'real Christians' and are not protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution as are conservative Christians. We're not even talking actual gay people here, but those people who are pro-gay. So apparently, based on Tonys' alleged direct line to God, the only real Christians who are actually protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution and have a chance to get to Heaven are....conservatives. But how conservative do we have to be? Must we be both socially and fiscally conservative? Must we promote war, the death penalty, and the gutting of programs to help poor, sick children, while stoking our obsession with money, power, greed, lust, and gluttony?

Can you imagine what Tony aka God says about actual gay people?

gordbzz231

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happycamper

I think someone left mad ?

Zegota

Still not acceptable under God, and this is the same denomination that is pulling there financial interest out of Israel and asking for the public to also boycott Israel products.
I think it is time for honest, sincere Christians to boycott these so called churches, they have fallen away from the Holy Scriptures. His Will, will be done.

 

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