Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Plea for Help

NOTE: Some people lump all Presbyterians together as one and the same. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The following post concerns matters in the PC-USA, and not my own denomination, The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

Many have heard that the larger, mainline denomination, Presbyterian Church in the USA (PC-USA) held its General Assembly recently. Most notable among its actions was a proposed change to ordination standards that would allow practicing homosexuals to become ministers in that denomination. I say proposed because amending that standard must be approved by a majority of the denomination's presbyteries.

This is what one pastor in that denomination has written:

'Rebuke us, threaten us, pray for us'
July 8, 2008

An open letter to the churches of the world: By overturning 30 years' worth of "authoritative interpretations" to guide the governing bodies of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the 218th General Assembly meeting last month in San Jose has opened a door to the ordination of self-avowed practicing homosexuals. This is "local option" – a presbytery can claim that standards mean whatever they themselves choose them to mean. This means that we have granted a special dispensation of non-repentance for homosexuals who willfully refuse to practice chastity for the good of the whole Church. This is an APB to all churches and denominations that care about the whole Body of Christ. We need your help:

1. REBUKE US! Please write to our Stated Clerk Grady Parsons (100 Witherspoon St., Louisville, KY 40202-1396) expressing your abject dismay over these recent decisions and make it clear that our choices not only threaten to split the PCUSA away from the whole Church and into heretical schism, but that we have failed to uphold and abide by the clear meaning of Scripture and even our own Confessions. Call us "apostate."

2. THREATEN US WITH DISFELLOWSHIP! You really ought to consider dissociating from us, unless we should repent and return to our former position which stood in agreement with worldwide Christianity and 2,000 years of church history.
To Roman Catholics: Remind us how you have consistently articulated a Bible-based sexuality for 2,000 years and exhort us to do the same.
To Mission Partner churches in all other countries: Write us expressing your absolute bewilderment at our present position, and demand that we renounce our recent General Assembly actions, or else you will break fellowship with us.
To American Protestants of all stripes: Flood our stated clerk (address above) with letters of compassionate concern and firm exhortation to return to our former adherence to the witness of Scripture.
To the PCA, Orthodox Presbyterians, EPC and World Presbyterians: Make it clear just how completely we have besmirched the name "Presbyterian" – how we have made it next to impossible for you to use it without an apologetic flurry of explanations. As "we're not those Presbyterians" becomes your regular subtitle, demand that we vote and act in such a way as to uphold the honor of our shared heritage (not to mention honoring Lord Jesus).
To the Evangelical Presbyterian Church: Please move to have us investigated by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

3. PRAY FOR US. We have clearly lost the ability to discipline ourselves, so please do whatever you can to shake us back into right paths. We need your help. Whether or not we will submit to correction will determine our ultimate destiny.

Noel K. Anderson Executive Pastor,
First Presbyterian Church
Bakersfield, Calif.

You can read more here:
The Layman Online

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