The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. voted yesterday to allow the ordination of actively homosexual clergy, taking another step away from historic Christian orthodoxy.
This is a sad day for all the good, godly people in PCUSA churches who will suffer displacement due to the pernicious actions of false teachers and aberrant presbyteries. While this does not come as a surprise (the PCUSA has been tending this direction for years), it does come as a slap in the face to biblically orthodox, gospel-minded Presbyterians who have been praying and longing for renewal within that denomination. A good friend of mine who serves in the PCUSA emailed me today to inform me that he’s tendering his resignation this week because of this decision. He anticipates that this Sunday, his church may lose up to half its congregation as people depart the denomination in droves.
We enjoy a good relationship with a number of PCUSA churches in Omaha and are sad to see their governing body take this step. We encourage the pastors and members in those churches to take decisive action rather than contenting themselves with the type of weak rhetorical posturing evident in the PCUSA’s own statement:
as Presbyterians, we believe that the only way we will find God’s will for the church is by seeking it together – worshiping, praying, thinking, and serving alongside one another. We are neighbors and colleagues, friends and family. Most importantly, we are all children of God, saved and taught by Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit… It is Jesus Christ who calls individuals to ordained ministries, and all those who are called to ordained office continue to acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all and Head of the church. It is this same Jesus Christ who is the foundation of our faith and to whom we cling.
The book of Revelation would insist that there is another ‘spirit’ at work underneath this decision: one who “makes war on those who keep the commandments of God” (Rev 12:17) and “utters haughty and blasphemous words” (Rev 13:5). Calling for unity in Jesus’ name when a church has departed from biblical fidelity is tantamount to blasphemy. And it’s clear that all who are ordained do NOT “continue to acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all and Head of the church,” unless we import whatever meaning we want into the words “Lord” and “Head.”
Yet another reason we need to be resolute about the work of planting faithful, orthodox, gospel-centered churches.