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The Institute on Religion & Democracy notes in a press release that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has dropped its sexuality standard for elders, deacons, and ministers:

This evening, the 87th presbytery in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to delete the denomination’s standard for sexual conduct of its ordained officers. With a majority of local presbyteries now ratifying Amendment 10-A to the PCUSA Book of Order, the previous requirement for “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness” will disappear in July. It will be replaced by a vague statement that gives no specific guidance for sexual behavior.

The PCUSA Book of Confessions still affirms traditional Christian teaching reserving sexual relations for the marriage of man and woman. However, the ambiguity introduced by this latest amendment will allow PCUSA bodies so wishing to ordain ministers, elders, and deacons involved in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships outside of marriage. In this departure from traditional teaching, the PCUSA follows the declining United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Many Presbyterians committed to the traditional teaching will be re-evaluating their connections to the PCUSA. Some will leave the denomination. Others will alter their patterns of involvement within the PCUSA. Many are concerned that the new tolerance toward homosexual relationships may soon turn into intolerance for any who raise biblical or moral objections to those relationships.

I have some friends and family who attend PCUSA churches and have been hoping for years that the denomination would return to upholding and reinforcing Biblical standards on sexual issues. That’s not likely to happen, at least not anytime soon. The leaders of most mainline churches are fully committed to following the sexual revolution to its logical conclusion. Whether they have any members left when they reach that point seems not to matter to them.

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