Here We Stand
 
Here We Stand
05.11.11

From Christian Newswire

As of May 10, 2011, a majority of the presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have decided to remove from our constitution the ordination requirement of “fidelity in the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” These words reflect the clear teaching of Scripture from beginning to end, and are affirmed by our Reformed confessions. They are affirmed also by the Church throughout history and around the world.

Some interpretations given to the substitute language* assume that the change opens the way for the ordination of persons living in relationships — including homosexual relationships — outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman.

The vote, however, does not change the will of God expressed in Scripture. As Presbyterians, we proclaim our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus Christ, as he is revealed in Scripture, and our intent is to be obedient to him. We recognize that we are accountable to the Lord of the Church for our behavior, including our sexual behavior, and that the Church is responsible for including this truth in its proclamation.

We declare that individually and corporately, we Presbyterians are called to a life of fidelity to God, in accordance with his will revealed in the Word of God (e.g. Gen. 2:24; Exod. 20:14; Jude 3-8; Heb. 13:4; Rom. 1:26-27; Rom.13:12-14; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Cor. 6 18-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; Eph 5:1-10; Matt. 15:17-20; and others); and that, as officers of the church, we “accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ…”; (Directory for Worship, W-4.4003b)

We further declare that we Presbyterians who are officers of the church, have voluntarily promised to “receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do…”, (Directory for Worship, W-4.4003c) and that the confessions call us to lives of sexual holiness; (4.087; 4.108-4.1099.47; 7.247-7.249;)

We further declare that we Presbyterians are called to repentance from every form of idolatry and from every other sin that seeks to rule us individually or corporately, including sexual sin and the temptation to accept sexual sin as permissible behavior;

We further declare that we Presbyterians are called to hold each other accountable to the standards, the teaching, the grace and truth, of the Scriptures and the Confessions, even when the councils of the church err.

We choose to obey God, as revealed in Jesus Christ through Scripture.

As grateful recipients of Christ’s mercy, we choose to proclaim the Gospel to those in error on this matter, even in our own denomination, and to seek their repentance and restoration to life in our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Presbyterians committed to following Christ, we call the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to repent of this recent action that conforms to the desires of the flesh rather than yielding to and upholding the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, by which she is conformed to Christ.

* From an interpretation provided to the Presbytery of St. Augustine by its Stated Clerk, also a member of the Advisory Committee on the Constitution: “If a candidate is presented to the session for examination, and that candidate acknowledges that he or she is sexually active outside marriage, the session must (1) examine the candidate and hear the answers he or she makes to specific questions about faith, discipleship, and manner of life, (2) hear any objections of conscience to provisions of the Constitution the candidate may offer, and 3) determine if those objections constitute in its view a violation of an essential element of Reformed faith or polity. Only then can the session determine whether or not it believes that the candidate, in light of his or her statements, has ‘the ability and commitment to fulfill all the requirements as expressed in the Constitution.'”

Signed by the following members of the Presbyterian
Renewal Network:

Elder Marie Bowen, Executive Director
Presbyterians Pro-Life

Elder Sylvia Dooling, Executive Director
Voices of Orthodox Women

The Rev. Sue Cyre, Executive Director
Presbyterians for Faith, Family and Ministry

The Rev. Dr. Paul Detterman, Executive Director
Presbyterians For Renewal

The Rev. Carmen Fowler, President & Executive Director
Presbyterian Lay Committee

The Rev. Melany Hamilton, Executive Director
Presbyterian Elders in Prayer

Mrs. Sarah Hill, Coordinator
Presbyterian Coalition

The Rev. Dr. Zeb Bradford Long, Executive Director
Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International

The Rev. Sid Rice, Executive Director
Literacy & Evangelism International

Elder Terry Schlossberg, Renewal Advisor
Presbyterian Coalition

Elder Alan F.H. Wisdom, Vice President for Research and Programs
Presbyterian Action for Faith and Freedom

The Rev. Bill Young, Executive Director
Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship


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