PCA addresses gay marriage, sexuality

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 21, 2004

DEMOPOLIS–Rev. Tommy Carr, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Demopolis said the church joined the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) in 1985. The PCA was formed in 1973 as a result of Liberal end roads into the Southern Presbyterian Church, he said.

But, the PCA is a conservative denomination that believes in the inerrancy of the Holy Bible. As a result of this view, the PCA looks at important social issues from a biblical standpoint and then issues a statement, he said.

“Some of the most notable statements released by the PCA include Abortion&women and in the military,” Carr said.

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And now with the attack on the sanctity of marriage and the family with all the recent same sex marriages, a statement from the PCA was needed, he said. The 32nd General Assembly of the PCA meeting was held in Pittsburgh, Penn, they passed this statement on Marriage and Sexuality in response to a request from one of its Presbyteries (group of churches).

“In view of recent developments concerning marriage of same-sex couples,” Carr said, “This is probably the most important statement the PCA has made in its 32 year history.”

The 32nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, meeting in Pittsburgh, Penn., adopted a statement on Marriage and Sexuality at its meeting on Thursday, June 17, 2004. This statement was approved in response to an overture from Missouri Presbytery asking the General Assembly to address the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.

Therefore be it resolved that the 32nd General Assembly:

a) Humbly call on the civil governments of Canada and the United States and all nations of the earth to act within their lawful powers and use whatever legislative and judicial instruments they deem most useful to ensure that marriage is legally defined and interpreted throughout their jurisdictions as existing exclusively between one man and woman. In support of this call the Presbyterian Church in America declares to the Church, the Nation, and the World that:

God is truth.

God’s truth is firmly rooted and grounded in His immutable Nature and Being; it is not a construction of men; it is not variable, nor relative, nor dependent upon social or cultural context.

God has made His truth known to human beings most necessarily in the Holy Scriptures.

Among the truths that God has declared to human beings is the truth that the institution of marriage has been created by Him, from the time of creation of human beings, and that it is ordained and defined by Him to be the lifelong union of one man and one woman (Genesis 1-3; Matthew 19:5-6).

God’s ordinance concerning marriage is binding upon all human beings in all places and at all times; it cannot be altered by legislative, judicial or cultural action. It is possible to deviate from God’s ordinance, but it is not possible to change it.

God has ordained civil authorities “under Him, and over the people, for His own glory and the public good” (Westminster Confession of Faith 33-1), to the end that good (as defined by Him) may be encouraged and defended and evil (as defined by Him) may be suppressed and punished.

“God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). God will hold those whom He has placed in authority accountable for their actions, and He has declared:

Woe to those who call evil good

And good evil,

Who put darkness for light

And light for darkness,

Who put bitter for sweet

And sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,

And shrewd in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20)

b) Call upon the Presbyteries and Sessions of the PCA to strengthen the marriages in its own churches and exhort its elders to be bolder and more caring shepherds of Christ’s flock that we might help stem the scandalous rising tide of divorce in the church.

c) Call upon the Presbyteries and Sessions of the PCA to encourage all men and women, boys and girls within the PCA to live chastely for the sake of the Savior who brought them, whether in marriage or in singleness, whether they must do battle against heterosexual or homosexual temptation in seeking to be faithful to their Lord who loves them.

d) Call upon its members to be “the salt and light of the earth” in this context by exercising their responsibilities as citizens including:

(1) Communicating the biblical faith of the PCA on this matter;

(2) Protecting and defending the biblical teaching on marriage, according to their own best judgment as citizens, in all spheres of public and private discourse.

e) And that these “calls” be communicated by the PCA Stated Clerk to all who have inquired and may inquire concerning these matters.