After beginning their 2008 General Assembly by announcing the largest one year drop in their membership since 1981 (57,000 members), the PCUSA has continued a banner year by deciding to also drop the ban on the ordination of practicing homosexuals and fornicators. AP reports – “The denomination’s General Assembly, meeting in San Jose, Calif., voted 54 percent to 46 percent Friday to drop the requirement that would-be ministers, deacons and elders live in “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.” The ban, it should be noted, along with the gay “blessing ceremonies” but no gay “marriages” ban is roundly ignored in many presbyteries. For instance, the PCUSA church Joy and I attended in Falls Church back in 1993 had an openly gay associate minister who would often mention or even bring forward his “partner” when he spoke to the church.
At this point we should be weary of their pretending to pay any attention to the scriptures at all. As usual we have plenty of quotes from progressive ministers in the PCUSA about how this “paves the way for a vibrant church” (despite the fact that it is paving the way for an empty church) and how they are advancing the faith, etc. One wonders why on earth they can’t just declare that henceforth they are going to do what is right in their own eyes, which is, after all, what they’ve been doing for a century. But none of this is new. Christ’s church has had to put up with the same kind of doggerel since the Socianians of the 17th century. Despite their claims of a bright future via liberalism, the clear and incontrovertible evidence is that liberalism kills the church dead every time and merely ushers in atheism. I know the Devil never changes his playbook, and generally never shows his hand (he’s not called the deceiver for nothing after all) but at this point we should be thoroughly sick of the endless charade.
The simple lesson we can take away from this is that a liberalizing agenda has no end, no bottom and no stopping point until the church has simply been absorbed by the surrounding culture. Either adopt a self-consciously conservative line and fight tooth and nail to maintain and advance it, or your denomination is doomed.
It’s always either Old Paths or Broad Path, Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura.