Yesterday, at their General Assembly, the PC(USA) followed the United Methodists and rejected a proposal to change the definition of marriage in their official book. According to the responses I got on Twitter, some see it at the last stand of older and more conservative Presbyterians, while others think it was a last ditch effort to keep large, white, conservative congregations from leaving for the new ECO denomination. It seems that the oldy-but-goody pedophilia argument came up.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) narrowly rejected a proposal to revise the traditional definition of marriage on Friday, a year after it struck down a barrier to ordaining gays.
The Presbyterian General Assembly, meeting in Pittsburgh, voted 338-308 against changing how marriage was defined in the church constitution from a “civil contract between a woman and a man” to a “covenant between two people.” The assembly also rejected measures that would have affirmed a traditional definition of marriage or sought more theological study of the issue.
In a trend occurring in many denominations, the Presbyterians have been losing members for decades. Last year, the denomination dropped just below 2 million members, and several theologically conservative churches have left to affiliate with like-minded denominations. In an unusual move, one liberal California congregation, the West Hollywood Presbyterian Church, recently split off to join the United Church of Christ, saying Presbyterians have been too slow to support gays and lesbians.
As these things so often go, it will likely please no one. Conservatives aren’t like to stay in the PC(USA) since the denomination already approved the ordination of openly gay clergy, and young progressives will now think that the denomination is too slow to change.
I’d like to hear your thoughts.