There are two primary institutions God created to provide the world with stability—the church and the family/marriage. We shouldn’t be surprised when the world rejects God’s standards for these institution. But we should be surprised when churches, or worse denominations, do. This is exactly what the Presbyterian Church (USA) has done. They changed their ordination standards removing the constitutional requirement that all church leaders (pastors, elders, deacons, etc) live in “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness” (G-6.0106b in the church’s Book of Order). This plainly means:
- Sexual activity outside of marriage is acceptable
- Homosexuals may occupy positions of church leadership within the denomination
Presbyterian Church (USA) has abandoned God’s Word
An article from the denomination’s website, entitled, Presbyterian Church (USA) Relaxes Constitutional Prohibition of Gay and Lesbian Ordination reads:
A majority of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 173 presbyteries have ratified an amendment to the church’s constitution that removes a provision flatly prohibiting the ordination of sexually active unmarried Presbyterians as church officers.
A similar article on the denomination’s website says:
General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons said:
Clearly what has changed is that persons in a same-gender relationship can be considered for ordination. The gist of our ordination standards is that officers submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and ordaining bodies have the responsibility to examine each candidate individually to ensure that all candidates do so with no blanket judgments.
The denomination describes this change as a way to “have more flexibility in determining individual candidates’ fitness for ordained office in the denomination.” God’s Word is clear on the qualifications or “fitness” of church leaders. Church leaders should maintain the highest levels of morality and biblical conduct. Not only do these changes conflict with God’s standards for church leaders they conflict with God’s standards for believers in general.
In 1 Corinthians 5:1-2, Paul expressed his amazement that a man could attend church with sexual sin in his life. This man wasn’t even a leader in the church. Interestingly, Paul’s rebuke wasn’t even for the man in sin. His rebuke was for those in the church where the sin was taking place. Their allowance brought them under the same condemnation (Romans 1:32). I can’t imagine what the letter would say that Paul would write to the people in the Presbyterian Church (USA).