Tuesday, June 20, 2006

PUP Approved by General Assembly

The General Assembly of the PC(USA), an hour and a half ago, approved the Report from the Theological Task Force on the Peace Unity and Purity of the Church, including recommendation 5, by a vote of 298-221. That means that ordination standards, including sexuality, are now considered a "local option", and that presbyteries across the country can choose whether or not they follow the "official" standards of the denomination's book of order.

Any opinions from fellow Christians who've been following this saga? What's next for the PC(USA)?


Brian said...

I don't have any idea what is next. This decision is, as far as I'm concerned, nothing short of a tragedy. Independent of the sexuality issue, the precedent set by this decision turns our polity into a list of recommendations and not requirements.

Polity has never been optional - its not option to ordain women, its not optional to go through the inquirer process in order to become a Minister of Word and Sacrament. A change of this order should have been a constitutional amendment, not an authoritative interpretation dropped from a GA. The Presbyteries have voted consistently to affirm national standards. To essentially remove that requirement is to alter the constitutional landscape of our denomination - thus it should have been sent to the Presbyteries for a vote.

Another case of the GA making a top-down decision... not a good day for the PC(USA). This will push us closer to schism.

Apostle John said...

It has been interesting to see the Stated Clerk in the press conference say, "Nothing has changed in our standards" and that "what applies in L.A. applies in Birmingham and across the country. One standard."

Yet the conservatives declared a defeat, and the liberals who earlier declared PUP a disaster, have decided that if no one else declares a victory, they will.

Anonymous said...

What a mess your denomination has made! Many in other denominations shake their head in sadness and disbelief. Presbyterianism has lost respect in the eyes of all believers, just as the Episcopals have. The denomination will continue to shrink until it is no longer the large, respected group it once was. It's going to take it's place with the Unitarians and liberals have no problem with that.

Anonymous said...

Check out Ed Koster's opinion of the AI on the Presbyterian Outlook's web site. It has a very different twist than what I too had initially thought.