It’s out of character for me to speak out on controversial subjects. Anyone who knows me knows I tend to keep these thoughts to myself, to guard the hearts and feelings of others. As a Christ Follower, I am called to love people where they’re at and not judge the sin of others as worse than my own. Lord knows, I am sinner, a sinner saved and redeemed by the grace of God’s loving mercy through His son. I believe and strive for Luke 10:27 every day. However, I’m also called to speak the truth in love. What I am compelled to say in this post will probably make some people mad, but it worries me more to say nothing.
I believe that this morning the entire church, the bride of Christ, has been injured by an error in judgement that will have negative impact for generations to come. I feel that the following decision will further divide denominations, create conflict in the body of believers and send an unbiblical and untruthful message to people around the world:
“Earlier today the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a recommendation from its Civil Union and Marriage Issues Committee allowing for pastoral discretion to perform “any such marriage they believe the Holy Spirit calls them to perform,” where legal by state law.
They also approved a recommendation to change language in the Book of Order to indicate that “marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.””
(You can read the official press release at https://www.pcusa.org/news/2014/6/20/press-release-presbyterian-church-us-general-assem/ or the letter to the churches at https://www.pcusa.org/news/2014/6/19/pcusa-leaders-issue-pastoral-letter-church-assembl/. Both say basically the same thing.
This post isn’t a bash against the PC’s the desire to include everyone in love and acceptance, inviting everyone regardless of lifestyle, behavior, choice or predisposition into the fellowship of believers. I share the same desire. But I can’t condone changing God’s word to what we think will be an evangelical tool. There are boundaries we simply shouldn’t cross or we risk sending people mixed and muddy messages. My post is a reminder to all of us of God’s ultimate authority. What worries me is that I perceive the PC’s decision as an evangelical attempt that will not only fail but have serious consequences.
What worries me is NOT that same-sex couples will be able to marry in the Presbyterian Church in states where same-sex marriages are considered legal …. no, what worries me is that by the assembly’s decision they have in essence voted down what God says in His Word about sexual relations as they pertain to marriage. Nothing in scripture leads me to believe that the Lord has changed His mind since He commanded “ ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. (Leviticus 18:22 NIV). As a matter of fact, God gave His people complete instructions regarding sexual conduct in Leviticus 18. That includes incest, adultery and a host of other no-no’s. The PC assembly chose to make ok for everyone one command that God clearly said was not.
What worries me is that today’s decision is just one more thing humankind has done to grieve the heart of God and His Holy Spirit, which in my opinion is a pretty risky move. Although the PC press release doesn’t say, in more liberal states the cry for same-sex marriage is loudest. These states have historically had great influence in the way the rest of the country goes. But let’s not forget Exodus 32, when Aaron was pressured by the people and ultimately gave in when they asked for him to make an idol to worship. God’s response to their sin and direct disobedience was one of anger.
What worries me is not just how this corporate decision encourages the shift in people’s thinking of marriage between a man and a woman to the unbiblical worldview of marriage as acceptable between people of the same gender … What worries me more is how the bride of Christ, His church, has been blemished. Consider Paul’s instructions regarding marriage between husband and wife and how he compared it to the relationship between Christ and His church:
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33 NIV)
I imagine this decision will be up for great debate and discussion inside the Presbyterian Church as well as among believers and non – believers alike. Some will be celebrating a perceived win as they gain ground toward equality in marriage. Others will lash out in hateful opposition and cause even greater harm to the bride of Christ by their damaging words.
I want neither.
My prayer is that God will unite His church, convict hearts, open eyes and move the world towards repentance before it’s too late. I pray His people will not be deceived and misled by an error, that by simply turning back to Him in holy surrender and using the entirety of His word as a guide for our lives, His bride will be restored and made worthy of the bridegroom.