The Presbyterian Lay Committee responded to the passage of Amendment 10-A by stating that the PCUSA has “severed itself” from the historic Christian faith. The PLC issued this statement in the Layman Online:
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has just amended its constitution to allow the ordination of officers who do not restrict their sexual activity to the bounds of Christian marriage. By doing so the PC(USA) has undermined its own foundation of scriptural integrity. It contradicts not only Scripture, but its own Confessions. The PC(USA) has thus severed itself from “the faith once delivered to the saints,” practiced by the one holy and apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.
The Presbyterian Lay Committee declares that:
- In deciding for itself by a “majority vote” that what the Bible deems to be sin is not sin, the PC(USA) has set itself against the Scriptures and undermined the Word of God as foundational to the faith.
- In deciding for itself that shifting cultural trends trump the Church’s historic confessions, the PC(USA) has set itself against the counsel of Reformed Christians throughout the ages.
- In establishing a system where each governing body is free to do “what is right in its own eyes,” the PC(USA) has undermined its own connectional principle of governance.
Like Jude, we feel “compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” (Jude 3) Today, as in the days of Jude, “…certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4, NASB)
Right and righteous responses to what the PC(USA) has done will vary. Some will advocate allowing the wheat and tares to continue to grow up together, waiting for God to sort it out on the Day of Judgment. Others will feel compelled to heed the call to “come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 6:17, NASB)
Whatever may come, a season of discernment is upon us all, as we choose whom we will serve. As you seek God’s call for your church, know that the Presbyterian Lay Committee will stand by you as we contend for the integrity of the faith, together.
We urge that the PC(USA) return to God, and once again walk in the ways of the Lord as revealed in Scripture.
Over at the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Presbyterian Action director Alan Wisdom put out this statement:
This is a lonely day for Presbyterians who believe what the Bible and the Church have consistently taught: that God’s will is that we be faithful in marriage or chaste in singleness. Now we belong to a denomination that is no longer sure it believes that teaching.
Now we belong to a denomination that gives no clear counsel on sexuality. It is a denomination that will not necessarily support its members as they struggle to obey the high standards of Scripture. It will not call them to repentance when they fall short of those standards, and it will not offer God’s forgiveness for what it no longer recognizes as sexual sins. In a society where the abuse of sexuality is devastating millions of lives, this abdication by the PCUSA is tragic.
By dropping the “fidelity and chastity” standard, the PCUSA separates itself from the Scriptures that are supposed to be its “rule of faith and life.” It separates itself from the historic Christian tradition and the vast majority of the global Church. It separates itself from many of its own members who remain committed to upholding ‘fidelity and chastity.’
But those faithful Presbyterians are not truly alone. They remain united to the Church Universal and its Lord, and they remain in fellowship with one another. The IRD and its Presbyterian Action committee are committed to walking with them as they seek faithful ways forward.
I appreciate the honesty of both of these statements. Those who are even now struggling with whether to remain within the PCUSA will be needing our prayers in the days ahead.