PCUSA

June 19, 2014

Presbyterians Redefine Marriage

Institute on Religion and Democracy Press Release
June 19, 2014
Contact:  Jeff Walton office: 202-682-4131, cell: 202-413-5639, e-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org


“Only declining denominations reject historic Christian standards and in nearly every case that rejection reinforces the decline. Who respects a church that only echoes the secular world?”
-IRD President Mark Tooley

 

Washington, DC—Presbyterians have voted to allow their pastors to preside over marriages between people of the same sex in states where it is legal. The move follows a 2010 vote in which the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) removed a clause requiring pastors to practice fidelity in marriage or chastity in singleness, triggering a mass exodus of traditionalists from the denomination.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), whose General Assembly starts this week in Detroit, has mirrored the decline of other oldline Protestant denominations. The latest membership statistics show a loss of 89,296 in 2013, preceded by a loss of 102,791 in 2012. PCUSA membership is now down to 1,760,200, and at the current rate it could have no members in less than 20 years.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

“By overturning natural marriage the PCUSA is only accelerating its already fast-paced demise. It will become even smaller, whiter and older.

“Only declining denominations reject historic Christian standards and in nearly every case that rejection reinforces the decline. Who respects a church that only echoes the secular world?

“Many faithful have already quit the PCUSA and many more now will. But some faithful will remain. May the Holy Spirit bless their witness and lay the groundwork for the PCUSA’s return some day to the teachings of the global church.”

www.TheIRD.org


82 Responses to Presbyterians Redefine Marriage

  1. Nick Porter says:

    How sad that they didn’t learn from the Episcopal Church of what happens when you pander to certain interest groups.

    • MarcoPolo says:

      Perhaps the “new” Church that evolves from this transition will gain more members who, in the past, had no church to attend, because the “old” church couldn’t understand the variations in human beings.
      I think gigi4747 has it figured out!

      • Nick Porter says:

        What I can’t figure out is why you post here yet you don’t visit the blogs that would agree with your views. Makes no sense. Whatever new members they gain won’t make up for the members they lose from going against God’s Word. So hey, let’s see if those “new members” can fit the bill to keep the doors open,shall we?

        • MarcoPolo says:

          I will check out the GLADD site soon, but then,wouldn’t I just be “singing to the choir”?

          My sincere interest in this whole human- sexual- identity issue, is to see how it plays out, through History.

          • Nick Porter says:

            Well, most Christians (I hope but partially in vain) don’t care so much about how history will judge them but how God will. I rather be on the, as the homosexual activists and supporters say, “the wrong side of history” than be on the wrong side of eternity. Go where your views are supported. You being here would be the equivalent of me trying to talk to MCC members.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            I’m not familiar with the MCC, so perhaps you’ll enlighten me.
            As for History. It is the one thing that is confirmed to be real.
            Heaven, not so real, so you can choose whichever makes sense to you.

          • Nick Porter says:

            “Heaven, not so real, so you can choose whichever makes sense to you.”

            So why are you posting on a blog with a conservative Christian view on the issues of the day? As for what the MCC is, Google them. It further shows you have no idea who and what you’re supporting. At LEAST know who you’re supporting and be informed instead of lurking around conservative sites trying to start fires. You’re looking foolish,Marco, and you’re wasting your and everyone else’s time.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            I see that MCC might stand for Metropolitan Community Churches, and if so, I agree with their mission statement. Hallalujah!
            As for my position on this page…I have every right to post my questions, and responses.

            That’s the way to grow, by exchanging ideas.
            Namaste, Nick!

          • Nick Porter says:

            Looking at your comment history, since you love bringing up history,Marco, you have a history of just looking to bait and get under posters skin. And going by that history, you’re nothing more than a troll. You have no interest in learning from Christian conservatives.But you’re right, you do have the right (until whoever runs the blog catches on and bans you and deletes your comments), to post here. You have the absolute God given right to be an idiot. Good day to you!

          • MarcoPolo says:

            I’d say I am more a provocateur, than a troll.

            I have to be careful describing my tact as “Devil’s Advocate” when conversing with Evangelicals.

            I truly do appreciate the exchanges, and I’m not here to irritate, I’m simply trying to understand how the mind of an Evangelical operates. It is
            Interesting indeed!

          • Ray Bannister says:

            Odd that homosexuals, nudists, and other flakes take such a perverse interest in religion at all. Obviously their so-called “lives” re not all that fulfilling or they would be too buy to troll religious blogs.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            Hey Ray! How would you know?!

            And why shouldn’t those of us who differ in lifestyle, be interested in critical thinking exchanges?

            If your opinion of “us” is set in stone, how are you ever going to be open to knowledge outside your comfort zone?

          • Jonathan Kuperberg says:

            We believe in absolutes, orthodoxy/morality and heterodoxy/immorality. We reject the relativistic, secular, psycho-babble approach of seeing these divisions as a matter of “comfort” where “healthy” people have the widest “comfort zone” (that is to say, the least willingness to hold to firm standards in spite of challenges from those whose beliefs and/or actions lay outside those standards)#

            So if you want to see it that way, go right ahead but do not try to impose your framing on us.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            That’s Cool!
            I’m not out to convert anyone. I do believe that the Orthodox position, situates itself like the fundamentalists in the Middle-East.
            Strong dictates, and strict adherence, or else!

            In almost every society, there are Sub-cultures, and there are Counter-cultures.
            I pray we all survive our differences peacefully.
            Namaste.

          • Perpetua says:

            sounds mad!

          • Nick Porter says:

            They constantly seek out validation for their actions. As a believer in God and His Word, I don’t need validation from man!!

          • Perpetua says:

            neither did the Jews, but look what man did to them

          • Perpetua says:

            nudism is a hobby, gayness is intrinsic to one’s identity

          • patriot says:

            In order to understand the mind of evangelicals you first must understand the difference between Catholics and Protestants.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg says:

            Amen. Polo is an anti-afterlife, pro-Amy DeLong voluptuary with a worldview totally inappropriate for believers in Christ. I respect his First Amendment rights but find very little to respect in the way he chooses to exercise them.

          • Perpetua says:

            Well the Presbyterians are not voluptuaries but sincerely striving to interpret Christ’s message, as Calvin did

          • Pastor Jim says:

            Why are you arguing with an atheist who just likes to stir folks up. Ignore him.

          • Nick Porter says:

            You’re right. Some people are beyond help.

          • Jonathan Kuperberg says:

            Marco: Because I am a Christian (note NOT naturalist, NOT materialist, NOT atheist) it is Heaven and eternal judgment after death, NOT “sides of history” that makes sense to me; I choose real Heaven over earthly History,

            Empirical evidence is just ONE way of something being “confirmed” to be real I accept, revelation is another and Heaven is a revealed reality whether you like it or not. in any case I walk by FAITH not by sight.

          • Perpetua says:

            don’t be too sure God does not approve of loving gay couples, and deeply approve

          • Nick Porter says:

            I don’t follow what culture deems the flavor of the day, unlike you and Marco.

          • Tiger says:

            It will play out with empty churches with rainbow flags hanging out front. Drive the Christians away and you get empty pews.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            So, Tiger, you think Gays and Lesbians won’t have a Church to attend?
            What makes you think that the LGBT congregations won’t represent a large portion of the church-going population?
            Church isn’t just for those who think the same as you.

          • Nick Porter says:

            They’ll have a church alright. And one day they’ll look around and find that they are the only ones there to fit the bill. Oh well, they can be there to turn out the lights when they’re done driving it into the ground. Pyrrhic victory.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            Nick, you make it sound like Gays and Lesbians can’t manage a household, or Church budget!
            Really?

            There are millions of very successful LGBT individuals and groups who host some pretty sizable venues!

          • Nick Porter says:

            Who said anything about managing a budget or about anything secular?? I’m talking about church congregations, that will be/are empty. What’s the amount of practicing MCC attendees?? TEC?? UCC?? ELCA?? All the liberal churches that decided to change with secular culture and not work to be a light FOR culture, they are losing more and more members everyday, and they are selling and closing more parishes everyday. It’s all online for all to see. Pro-LGBT movements KILL churches. Point. Blank. Period.

          • Perpetua says:

            RCC has lost 33% of its USA members

          • Nick Porter says:

            You got proof or are you just spouting out numbers?

          • Perpetua says:

            it is a very well-known fact, just google

          • Perpetua says:

            you mean there are no christians who can embrace gays and lesbians in their midst?

          • Nick Porter says:

            Don’t twist my words. True Christians embrace everyone, but we’re not going to lie to you and say how you’re living is ok. Salvation is a gift for all.

          • Charles Kehler says:

            Oh, they’ll have a church alright. I can see huge growth for atheist church’s. All the sense of community, affirmative messages and weekly celebration as the progressive churches but without the theological contortion exercises. I could see these becoming very popular.

            How often through biblical history, has God worked through the popular majority to create societal change?

          • Perpetua says:

            certainly worked in postbiblical history to bring the church to decency re slavery and the Jews

          • Charles Kehler says:

            Secularists changed the worldly opinion on slavery? Wanna try something else?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wilberforce

          • Perpetua says:

            Wilberforce is an example of a good Christian catching up on the Enlightenment and the Rights of Man; the Vatican caught up around the time of Leo XIII or later.

          • Charles Kehler says:

            Somehow I doubt the secularist elite of the enlightenment period would have been even remotely interested in abolishing slavery. Those in the upper echelons of society, who prefer spending time in philosophical pursuits, usually feel they are above the medial day to day physical labor required for the upkeep of their lavish homes. It took Wilberforce months of prayer and debate to convince first the British parliament, and them American congress to consider abolishment.

          • Perpetua says:

            In any case the abolition of slavery was a very good thing, as is the ending of persecution and discrimination against gays and lesbians, who are now free for the first time in western history to live out their relationships with the blessing of society (and of the more enlightened churches).

          • Charles Kehler says:

            That always seems to be going on the assumption that the homosexual is wholly and completely different from heterosexuals in a way that is akin to variation in race. Racial difference based more so on natural, physical variation and differences such skin color and facial structure. Sometimes even a difference in typical stature of individuals. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to naturally physically or anatomically differentiate homosexual males and females from their heterosexual counterpart. The only actual difference is who the two groups are who they find themselves physically attracted to and that is more psychological than it is physical. Sadly, when you look at the human body and anatomy, the common methods of sexual intercourse/interaction between members of the same gender will never be fully complementary and are in fact medically unsafe as compared to the complementary of the male to female body in sexual intercourse. The churches that affirm homosexuals and have come to consider that which defines them as normal, healthy and safe, have completely ignored God’s design of the human male and female.

          • Perpetua says:

            No one claims that homosexuals are another species, merely that they are sexually attracted to their own sex and not to the other sex. Only orthodox vaginal intercourse is “fully complementary” and it is less “medically unsafe” than what same-sex couples get up to (actually, I think the only sexual act that you can claim that about is anal intercourse; in any case the alleged unsafety is only a matter of degree). “That which defines them”as homosexual is as Bishop Jefferts-Schori beautifully said, is a vocation to love people of their own sex. You seem to think this is merely psychological, but just think of your own sexual orientation and imagine changing it — or, less dramatically, imagine changing your psychological disposition radically — e.g. becoming an emotional person quick to weep if you are a cold intellectual or vice versa. We are psychological beings, not just physical ones.

          • Rick says:

            You overlooked one important fact: that homosexual sex (even promiscuous homosexual sex) has a 0% chance of producing a bastard child whose life might be miserable.

        • Perpetua says:

          only those who agree are welcome here?

          • Nick Porter says:

            You’ll never see me on a pro-homosexual blog trying to start fires.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            Nick, Your presence on a Pro-LGBT blog-site wouldn’t be a bad thing if all you were trying to do, was gain an understanding of another viewpoint.
            I know…(blah blah blah) You don’t have any interest in what “they” think OR do! (I know, I agreed not to EVER bring it up again..oops!)
            I just think this world would be a more peaceful place if we could all embrace our differences, without claiming superiority over our fellow man!

            Whether a certain church loses parishioners, or gains them, it’s simply evolutional fluctuations in our civilization. Eventually, some churches will become Starbucks cafes. And we all know how many people worship those establishments!

          • Nick Porter says:

            Christians don’t embrace sin and evil, we are to stand against it and call it out when we see it. Some people don’t like that and that’s ok. It’s a salvation issue not a “superiority complex”. I trust that this is your last time bringing it up, but then again, so was the last time.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            When the only person who seeks to be “saved”, is the seeker, then what matter is it to that person, what another person does?
            individuals rights, and individual responsibilities are the sole charge of each individual. Unless we’re all of the same religion, we must respect one another for those individual differences.
            All that this is intended to do, is to promote living peacefully among one another, for as long as possible…
            Or until someone’s Savior comes along!

          • Nick Porter says:

            Everyone has the right to accept or reject Christ, to accept or reject His will and commandments. Everyone has free-will,but no one is entitled to respect. Respect is earned, not given. I have no respect for someone who claims that they aren’t going to comment to me about a subject and still does. Christians aren’t going to be silent. You can always not listen, but you can’t make people of goodwill go away.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            I’m sorry you feel that way about mutual respect.
            I was raised to respect all people, and all of God’s creation.
            I can see that this subject irritates you, so I’ll do my best to avoid, or ignore you, and ‘will only comment on others’ replies.
            I hope we will continue to learn from one another, as it would be a shame to toss away teaching moments simply because we disagree.
            I’m not expecting to change your position on any of these topics, as I clearly see that you already feel you ‘know’ the Truth.
            Respectfully,
            Marco

          • Nick Porter says:

            I’m not sorry and I make no apologies for my views. I learned you are a liar, because you still keep talking to me. Like I said, no one is “entitled” to respect, least of all you. This conversation is over.

          • MarcoPolo says:

            We all have thresholds, and I’m glad to know you’ve recognized yours.
            With love and understanding,
            Peace!
            Marco
            ps. See you on the “Interwebs”!

          • Blayne says:

            Any comment that stimulates thought is helpful.

      • Tiger says:

        No, it isn’t going to gain anything – this “inclusive” racket has been going on for 50 years, and the numbers do not lie, pro-gay churches LOSE, not GAIN. I’m glad to see it happen.

      • JeromeFJ says:

        Perhaps you should read Nick’s comment again and try to comprehend it. The secular homosexuality-is-not-sin-I-don’t-care-what-your-Bible-says culture has no use for Christianity, and gay marriage is far from the only reason. And the (dead) Episcopal Church is your view of the future for PCUSA. Buh bye.

  2. gigi4747 says:

    I get why people are upset that a group calling itself Christian would endorse things that Christ never taught, but these chronic divides are just the nature of Protestantism. All Protestant “churches” are the result of divides. This story is sort of “just another Tuesday” in the Protestant world.

  3. DirtyHarry1 says:

    It just goes to show you these apostates don’t care about retaining church membership – what they want is power, power over property, and power over an organization, and a podium to spew their perversion.

  4. Tiger says:

    The Presbyterians cannot “redefine” anything, marriage is what it is, designed that way by God – or, even if I were an atheist, I’d say that “nature” clearly did not intend for men to mate with men.

    Let them redefine themselves out of existence. Maybe they and the Episcopagans can race to see which one shuts down first.

  5. Bonnie LaClair Frary says:

    Nick Porter my sentiments exactly and every post you made

    • Perpetua says:

      not christian sentiments alas

      • Nick Porter says:

        Have a look at the Bible again,Perpetua.

        • Perpetua says:

          I am just reading a delicious story about the love between two men — it’s in the Bible — David and Jonathan. The Bible is a vast and great treasury of human wisdom. Don’t lock it up in a musty box, please.

          • Nick Porter says:

            Only a truly sick person would take a friendship and turn it into something vile and disgusting.

          • Rick says:

            If someone said that every individual has the constitutional right to marry himself, your only argument against that assertion (assuming you disagree with it) would be, “The church has always taught that celibacy is a sin.”

          • Nick Porter says:

            Yeah Rick, that makes no sense, but nice try. Man, the trolls are out in full force!!

  6. Perpetua says:

    Bravo to the Presbyterians.

    • Nick Porter says:

      It’s a Pyrrhic victory. They’ll regret it when they have to stand before God to make an account.

  7. Pam says:

    Be reminded that we are not to argue with those who do not know God’s Truth. As believers in the inerrancy of Scripture and walking in obedience to it is more effective in shining light into the darkness of he world. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that one can know God, understand His Word, and received eternal life through Jesus Christ. No one, and I mean no one, can understand or receive it on their own.

  8. patriot says:

    This is the future of all Protestant “churches”.

  9. James Riley says:

    “It is clear that marriage, as an institution, should only interest the state because of children and should be viewed as a purely private matter so long as it is childless.” (Bertrand Russell, “Our Sexual Ethics,” in WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN: AND OTHER ESSAYS ON RELIGION AND RELATED SUBJECTS, ed. Paul Edwards [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957], 168-178.)

  10. James Riley says:

    By allowing pastors to perform same-sex marriages, the PCUSA is implicitly weighing in on the pro side of a political debate about legal same-sex marriage.

  11. Rick says:

    Some of us who do not think homosexuality is a sin neither think that legal same-sex marriage is the logical corollary of that position–not any more than an individual marrying himself is the logical corollary of celibacy not being sinful.

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