A Message to Richlands Area Presbyterians
I often write articles and messages here and on my website. For the most part, I attempt to keep those articles very broad so that they will speak to a wide range of individuals from various backgrounds and communities. This however is a little different. I am writing this specifically to the individuals of our local community, in the Richlands, Virginia area.
As many of you may or may not know the largest Presbyterian denomination voted in 2011 to allow gay clergy. Now, I myself am not a Presbyterian. However, I have no problem fellowshipping with those who hold to essential Christian doctrines, be they Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist or Pentecostal. That is why this unsettled me and managed to catch my attention. As a matter of fact, within the last week the Presbyterian Church meet once again to discuss controversial topics. In this case, a proposition to redefine marriage was narrowly defeated.
When the vote came out of the 2011 Presbytery I decided to email Presbyterian pastors and see how they felt about the vote. I’ve found over the years that the opinions and votes of the larger organization are often not held at the grassroots level. What I sought to discover was how those pastor, local to our area felt about the decision. Overall I was very pleased with the responses I received. Some of the pastors were seriously considering leaving the denomination all together because they could not sacrifice Biblical orthodoxy. While others strongly opposed the decision of the Presbytery and felt they could make a positive change within the denomination. I don’t personally agree with the decision to remain in a denomination that doesn’t hold strongly to God’s Word but I could understand their thinking.
The more shocking responses were surprisingly closer to home (a pastor in Richlands). The simple question asked was this:
“I was wondering what your reaction was to the recent vote by the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area on G-6.0106b, which will allow for the ordination of gay and lesbian pastors into the ministry. Thank you for your time. Any information you are able to provide is greatly appreciated.”
I’ll share the full text of that dialogue with the Pastor at the end of this message. For now, allow me to move on.
Within the last few days, an individual on my friends list updated their status message to extend praise to the leader of large food chain who’d expressed that he and his company stood firmly on the side of traditional marriage. This status received a few comments, one of which was from that same Presbyterian Pastor. In his comments he pointed out the lack of fidelity within heterosexual marriages, which I would agree with but then when on to give his support to “gay marriage.” He said that he felt it wrong-headed and wrong-hearted to deny a “venue for same-sex fidelity.” Naturally, I responded strongly (I’ll make those responses available to anyone who asks so that you may determine if my comments were beyond the bounds of biblically acceptable) and he proceeded to use sarcasm to belittle me in any way he could.
I write this little message specifically to Presbyterian’s in the area. I’m sure that many of you, like myself assumed this view point didn’t represent your church; that this view couldn’t possibly be held by the man you’d entrusted with the high calling of guiding and leading your flock. Ladies and gentlemen, we were wrong. Not only is your Pastor towing the denominational position but he is in fact considerably more liberal than the denomination itself. While the denomination has narrowly rejected gay marriage but affirmed non-celibate gay clergy, your pastor has affirmed both.
This should be a concern for you. Even as a non-Presbyterian Christians it concerns me greatly. You see, each generation likes to push the boundaries. I am rather sure that many of you would’ve never imagined the position your church would take twenty years ago and yet here we are. What will it be twenty years from now? In Matthew 5:13 Jesus says: “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” In times past, salt was used to preserve but the PC(USA) and your Pastor have lost their ability to preserve.
Romans 12:2 says: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Look around you. Look to the position your Pastor has accepted. This is not transformation by the renewing of your mind. He has chosen to conform to the world’s view of morality, not God’s view. A man conformed to this world rather than transformed by God’s revealed Word is a man unsuitable to lead a flock.
I don’t say any of this out of hate for homosexuals. I would, instead encourage you to love them, always showing the true love of Jesus Christ. However, we don’t love them by telling them pretty lies. We don’t love them by caring more about their temporal happiness than about their spiritual and eternal safety. And we certainly don’t love them by justifying the very sin that has ensnared them and w