IT WAS A TOUGH WEEK TO BE A PRESBYTERIAN, IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE BIBLE MEANS WHAT IT SAYS
by David Sisler
The Dallas Morning News featured three articles last week about two very different Christian churches, each called Presbyterian: the 300,000 member Presbyterian Church in America and the 2.5 million member Presbyterian Church (USA). I have selected portions of the pieces, all by Susan Hogan/Albach, for this personal commentary. Ms. Hogan/Albach's words are italicized (the only changes I have made are to insert proper nouns for clarity's sake where pronouns where originally used).
Noncelibate gays and lesbians have moved a step closer to ordination as pastors, elders and deacons in the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination. By a 60 percent majority, the governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted Friday to strike a standard requiring clergy to live in fidelity in marriage or chastity in singleness.
"By this action, the church is saying, ‘We're not going to buy into a homophobic culture,'" said Dr. Michael Adee of More Light Presbyterians, a pro-gay organization.
Someone wiser than I pointed out to me recently the ridiculousness of the word "homophobic." It is a word coined by those who support and embrace homosexuality as moral and proper. It is a word coined to be used as a scare-tactic weapon against those who support and embrace the Biblical declaration that the habitual practice of homosexuality excludes those practitioners from the Kingdom of God. Supporters of homosexuality say that homophobic means those who support the Biblical teachings fear homosexuals. On the contrary, homophobic means, by simply dissecting its two parts, fear of the same.
Homosexual men are not the same, sexually, as heterosexual men. Homosexual women are not the same, sexually, as heterosexual women. Homosexual men have sex with men. Homosexual women have sex with women. Heterosexual men are not put off by the sexual practices of heterosexual men. They are put off by men who have sex with men. Heterosexual women are not put off by the sexual practices of heterosexual women. They are put off by women who have sex with women. Fear of the same? Hardly!
The day may not be far behind when proponents of homosexual ordination and the homosexual lifestyle within the Presbyterian Church (USA) align themselves with groups like GLEE Project (Gay and Lesbian Education Equity Project), which teaches that any objections to homosexuality – moral or otherwise – are "hate."
Opponents denounced the vote and said the church wasn't following Scripture. Some predicted an exodus of members from the 2.5 million-member denomination.
"In front of us is an emotional bomb," said the Rev. Paul Nelson of the San Diego Presbytery. "It's not time to divide the church."
Rev. Nelson, if the church is not following the Word of God, it has already divided itself from the historic faith "once entrusted to the saints," and here the Apostle Paul speaks to the denomination:
"Don't be teamed with those who do not love the Lord, for what do the people of God have in common with the people of sin? How can light live with darkness? And what harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a Christian be a partner with one who doesn't believe? And what union can there be between God's temple and idols?
"For you are God's temple, the home of the living God, and God has said of you, ‘I will live in them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.' That is why the Lord has said, ‘Leave them; separate yourselves from them; don't touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you and be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:14-18 – The Living Bible).'"
Amos asked, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" It should be obvious by now that there is no agreement and the walk is in separate directions.
Tomorrow, the reason to make the split permanent.
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