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June 24, 2005

Presbyterians (PCUSA) face possible split

From the South Mississippi Sun-Herald:

While the Episcopal and United Methodist churches have struggled over homosexuality, another mainline Protestant denomination -the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - has been relatively quiet. But that's changing.

Since 2001, Presbyterians have been awaiting recommendations from a special task force on "Peace, Unity and Purity," charged with seeking a way to overcome severe disagreements on gay relationships and other issues. Now that task force is close to completing its work, with the group preparing its final report at meetings in Dallas next month and Chicago in August.

Some aren't even waiting to read the fine print: 85 conservative congregations sent delegates to a convocation in Edina, Minn., that concluded last weekend.

There, representatives endorsed platforms that laid out essential doctrines and "ethical imperatives," including the Bible as infallible, salvation through Jesus Christ alone, the necessity of world evangelism and rejection of gay sex and abortion.

The group - which calls itself the New Wineskins Initiative - also proposed a radically reorganized, mission-minded denomination to halt decades of decline in the Presbyterian church, which has a current membership of 2.4 million.

Since a Conservative Presbyterian denomination already exists, I wonder what the fuss is about. Leave the PCUSA (the Liberal denomination) and join the PCA (the Conservative denomination). I know that the PCUSA is organized in such a way that an individual congregation can not simple decide to be a different denomination, the building, equipment, supplies, etc. are all owned by the denomination (as opposed to denominations like Southern Baptists where the members of the local church won the building, etc.) But those are just things. Which is more important: buildings or obedience? Maybe the way they answer that question is the real problem.

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 24, 2005 09:31 AM

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Comments

The problem with your conclusion is this: The PCUSA denomination has held firm in our written standards. The liberals have lost these battles, time and again and they just don't know it yet. If ever the time should come to split, the PCA won't work for us. They don't ordain women and PCUSA people see that Scripture does encourage this. That makes for an impassable rift between us. There would have to be a new structure to house fleeing PCUSA dissdents that would be two things: Explicitly Reformed and affirming of the biblical mandate to equality of men and women in the Kingdom of God.
--Toby

Posted by: Toby Brown at July 19, 2005 11:07 AM

If you believe the Bible encourages the ordination of women, then it's obvious the Liberals have won. Do you guys just rip verses like Ephesians 5:23, 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 2:12 out of the Bible or just pretend they're not there?

Posted by: Danny Carlton at July 19, 2005 01:55 PM

"Do you guys just rip verses like Ephesians 5:23, 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 2:12 out of the Bible or just pretend they're not there?"

No we don't. But Paul was addressing a particular type of misbehavior by a particular group of women who tended to chatter in worship. Paul's own ministry very obviously included women as his own equals, and lest we not forget, the gospels raise up the women who went to the tomb as being the very first genuine preachers of the gospel following the Resurrection of Christ, and that should trump everything else.

Posted by: Jack Spragg at July 16, 2006 01:20 AM

"Do you guys just rip verses like Ephesians 5:23, 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 2:12 out of the Bible or just pretend they're not there?"

No we don't. But Paul was addressing a particular type of misbehavior by a particular group of women who tended to chatter in worship.

How convenient! If you find a verse that you don't want to follow, simply claim it was only meant for some "other" group, and not for you. That's the same exact rational homosexuals use to claim their sin is okay. Slave owners used to use it as well. You're in some fine company there.

Paul's own ministry very obviously included women as his own equals, and lest we not forget, the gospels raise up the women who went to the tomb as being the very first genuine preachers of the gospel following the Resurrection of Christ, and that should trump everything else.

Sorry, Paul never treated women as equals in authority within the church or the family. In both those places there was and is a specific hierarchy, that is there to show us the need for our own submission to God. Paul acknowledged their contribution, but never as being in the same position as himself.

As long as you're trashing scripture to allow for whatever's convenient, why not claim that having strippers, prostitutes, booze and drugs in your Sunday service are all part of "outreach"? It would make as much sense.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at July 16, 2006 06:54 AM

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