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Presbyterians Approve Same-Sex Church Weddings. Will Other Denominations Follow?

Presbyterian_FlagMarriage may be a civil ceremony by definition, but for most people the ceremony is associated with a church setting. Now the Presbyterian Church (USA) has decided that same-sex weddings belong in that setting. By a resounding 3 to 1 margin, the Church’s General Assembly has given its blessing to performing same-sex marriages in the denomination’s churches, making it the largest Christian denomination in the U.S. to embrace marriage equality. (The United Church of Christ beat them to it.)

The final decision will be made next year when the Church’s 172 regional presbyteries take a vote on it. However, the General Assembly approved marriages immediately in those states in which is it legal.

It’s a swift policy change for the Church, which only got around to approving sexually active gay clergy three years ago. When Rev. Jane Spahr married a handful of couples in California during the brief window when Prop 8 closed, she faced a Church court panel, which concluded she violated Church policy. 

In the past few years, the more conservative Presbyterian congregations have abandoned the mother ship, in large part because the Church has been becoming more LGBT friendly. An anti-marriage group, the Presbyterian Lay Committee, called for a financial boycott of the Church, invoking a little brimstone in the process.

“God will not be mocked,” the group said, “and those who substitute their own felt desires for God’s unchangeable Truth will not be found guiltless before a holy God.”

The Presbyterians are often out in front among mainline Protestant denominations, and the Church’s move might give some cover to other congregations to follow suit. Other congregations, including the Methodists and Episcopalians, are riven by disputes about LGBT issues. At this point, though, the most conservative parts of each congregation have already signaled that their heading for the door anyway. Approving same-sex church weddings would only stop the embarrassing dithering that’s come to characterize the Churches’ response.

 

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Jun 19, 2014
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 45 Comments
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      The Presbyterian Lay Committee and other faux christian anti-GLBT groups will dizzy themselves into an early grave and God will welcome their twirling bodies into God’s arms, and they’ll be gently asked, “Now just WHAT was your problem? You don’t like loving couples?”

      Jun 19, 2014 at 7:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Throbert McGee
      Throbert McGee

      “Now as the church submits to Christ so also Spouse B should submit in everything to Spouse A. Spouses, love your co-spouse, as Christ loved the church.” — Non-Ephesians 5:24-25

      Jun 19, 2014 at 8:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billy Budd
      Billy Budd

      The catholics move slower. It was only a few years ago that they apologized for what they did to Galileo. It took them about 400 years to acknowledge the mistake.

      When will they apologize to us?

      Jun 19, 2014 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NoelG
      NoelG

      I do appreciate that there are people of serious faith who are wrestling or who have wrestled with this issue and are evolving.

      Jun 20, 2014 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tonychristensen
      tonychristensen

      That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

      Jun 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jokireily
      jokireily

      @tonychristensen: oh tony, ohhhhhh tony, your impure thoughts and descriptions of debauchery excite me so. If only satan hadn’t turned you from gods message of love thy neighbor to shame thy brother, you’d have such a happier and fulfilling relationship with him. Wait, you say you DO have a loving relationship with the Son of God? Oh myyyyyy how kinky

      Jun 20, 2014 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • willeau
      willeau

      You are making up your own version of the bible for your own agenda.
      NOTHING OF THE SORT IS IN THE ORIGINAL BIBLE. People like you have re-written the bible for your own hate and bigoted agenda.

      There is absolutely no verses in the bible where is states that

      “men did shameful things with men”. NLT Romans 1:24-29

      “they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved” NLT Romans 1:27

      “women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other” NLT Romans 1:26

      YOU APPARENTLY LEARNED YOUR INFORMATION ABOUT THE BIBLE ALL FROM GOSSIP. NOT FROM EDUCATION OR RESEARCH.

      1. Unnatural affections and vile affections was sex with angel. NOT homosexuality.

      2. Homosexuality is found in all species on this planet. It is normal and natural in nature. Any and all gods would be well aware of that. It is only moron and idiots who refuse to educate themselves who have totally mid-interpreted the bible to suit their own agenda and hate.

      3. ALL human being are fixated on sexual lust. So do no claim that it is the sole sin of homosexuals. IT IS NOT. The MAJORITY of sins of a sexual nature were for heterosexual. You seem to have forgotten all the abominations that apply to you personally.

      4. Homosexuals never have any sexual relationship with women. Your text implies they changed from having sex with women to having sex with men. THAT IS A COMPLETE LIE. HOMOSEXUAL DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH WOMEN AT ALL. The same applies to lesbians.

      King James Version

      Rom 1:23

      And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

      Tools specific to Rom 1:24

      Rom 1:24

      Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

      Tools specific to Rom 1:25

      Rom 1:25

      Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

      Tools specific to Rom 1:26

      Rom 1:26

      For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

      Tools specific to Rom 1:27

      Rom 1:27

      And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

      Tools specific to Rom 1:28

      Rom 1:24

      Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

      Rom 1:25

      Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

      Rom 1:26

      For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

      Rom 1:27

      And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

      Rom 1:28

      And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

      Rom 1:29

      Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

      Rom 1:30

      Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

      Jun 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tonychristensen
      tonychristensen

      @jokireily: Bible condemns homosexuality as wrong, therefore it is wrong. God said it is wrong, therefor it is wrong.

      Jun 20, 2014 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cassi333
      cassi333

      I am sorry but the Episcopal Church approved gay marriages in the church over 10 years ago. They voted a gay bishop into office, and have been ordaining openly gay priests for even longer.

      Jun 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @willeau: Thank you so much! I think you darn near covered the entire spectrum of non-homosexuality in the Bible. What a tizzy this will spin for the American christian Taliban (AcT) in our midst. Pastor Dak!

      Jun 20, 2014 at 11:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff B
      Geoff B

      @Billy Budd: Sadly, my friend, I wouldn’t sit by the phone waiting for an apology. They just recently half-assed apologized for their complicity in the Holocaust. They only throw money at the “bad touch on minors” problem because of all the atrocities this religion has inflicted on the Earth over the centuries, finally one pissed off enough people to remove their blinders. Maybe the new Pope is a step in the right direction, but considering the organization he’s heading has a body count that would make Attila the Hun, Vlad the Impaler and Elizabeth Bathory shit their collective pants, he has a pretty tough road ahead of him to even begin to right past wrongs.

      Jun 21, 2014 at 5:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff B
      Geoff B

      Geoff 3:16 reads”tonychristensen please shut the hell up and mind your business. There are way more imortant things to worry about if two guys or two gals want to get married. Blessed be, dumbass”.

      Jun 21, 2014 at 5:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kikirdesinski
      kikirdesinski

      @tonychristensen: Unless you heard it from God directly you are depending on information from a massive tome that has been translated from the original ancient language too many times to count. The most popular version, King James, contained changes that reflected the personal beliefs of the King. Another point to consider is that as unless a person is Jewish the Old Testament should be viewed as a historical reference, as the New Testament are the books of Christ, many of the “rules” from the former were overruled by the “rules” that were given in the New Testament. Love thy neighbor, you without sin cast the first stone…

      The rule that should hold true in my opinion is that God will be the only judge, we are unqualified to do his job. If others are living against his rules, according to the Bible he will be the one to take care of that. Churches that are setting aside prejudice to embrace all members of their congregation are actually coming back to that very basic rule, I applaud them.

      Jun 21, 2014 at 7:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jazire1973
      jazire1973

      @tonychristensen: there are many things the bible says is wrong/right. Would you sell your daughter for “x” number of goats? Do you wear blended fibers? I bet you do. Do you keep slaves? Better run out and get you some. If your going to hold the bible (a book written by men) up as your standard you better use all of it, not just cherry pick what you like and what suits you and your agenda.

      Jun 21, 2014 at 9:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tonychristensen
      tonychristensen

      @Geoff B: No. I will NOT shut up about the truth. You don’t like the truth, too bad so sad.

      Jun 21, 2014 at 10:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      @tonychristensen: The Bible condones slavery. Do you therefore believe slavery is OK?

      By slavery, I’m talking about owning another human being as property, so don’t try to derail this into a discussion of how Biblical slavery was different than slavery was in the US. Just answer the question: Is it OK to own another human being as property?

      Jun 21, 2014 at 11:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Geoff B: Poor Tony is just another adult child who learned his bible lessons in the barn while milking the cows. Pity the poor sot. He knows not what he knows, lolol. PS: Tony, the KJV Bible is old and outdated. Besides, you DID know that King James was gay, right?

      Jun 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pipnuts
      pipnuts

      @willeau: Whilst I, as a bisexual Christian, can say I have never found any passage in the Bible that says it is wrong to be Gay, I can tell you I have known Gay men who have had sexual relations with women. They however did not turn from being straight to being Gay. They were already Gay, but got married and had children in response to social requirement or expectation. So I broadly agree with the point you seem to be making!

      Jun 21, 2014 at 7:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @tonychristensen Thanks standing up the truth! If you “Christians” believe in the Bible, then you would know that the Bible says that practicing homosexuality is wrong. Not that being gay is wrong but acting on those feelings is wrong. Leviticus 18:22 says,
      “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” And that isn’t the only verse that talks about it. I don’t know where you other guys get your information from, but it sure ain’t the Bible. The Bible does talk about practicing Homosexuality and is indeed WRONG. No matter what you say it is wrong. Things can happen in your life to where you somehow develop those feelings. NO ONE is born gay. NO ONE!!! PERIOD!!!!! And one last thing. You can’t be a Christian if you don’t believe in the Bible.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 12:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @tonychristensen: Thanks standing up the truth! If you “Christians” believe in the Bible, then you would know that the Bible says that practicing homosexuality is wrong. Not that being gay is wrong but acting on those feelings is wrong. Leviticus 18:22 says,
      “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” And that isn’t the only verse that talks about it. I don’t know where you other guys get your information from, but it sure ain’t the Bible. The Bible does talk about practicing Homosexuality and is indeed WRONG. No matter what you say it is wrong. Things can happen in your life to where you somehow develop those feelings. NO ONE is born gay. NO ONE!!! PERIOD!!!!! And one last thing. You can’t be a Christian if you don’t believe in the Bible.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      Ohhh, WE believe in the Bible all right… just not your twisted misinterpretation of it! Where did you get YOUR M.Div. or D.Min. Degrees? Online Seminaries without Denominational credentials don’t count, Bucko!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 12:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James Hart
      James Hart

      @Billy Budd: Never.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 3:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @Dakotahgeo: What Bible are you reading? Is it the mormon bible? I would bet my life that whatever your reading is sure not the really one. Look it up. It’s there.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 9:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Retso17: “…is sure not the REALLY one.”? I use a variety of Bible translations, NKJV; NRSV; NIV: The New English Bible; The Message (Paraphrased), et al. PLUS: Concordances, Reference Books, Commentaries, you know… the real tools of a Bible scholar. We gave up the Circuit Reader crap years and years ago! Remember the old, “Lean not unto thine own understanding…” bit of common sense suggestion? Try it… you’ll have a much more manageable Bible brain migraine! Unnnngh…. you armchair theologians riding on your magic carpet bibles!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      @tonychristensen: It looks like Tony is your typical hit and run Christian. He uses his religion to attack people, but refuses to answer those who question him.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @Dakotahgeo: Okay, I have another question for you. Do you believe everything in the Bible? If you do, then believe what Leviticus 18:22 says,
      “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” IT’S RIGHT THERE!!! PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @Dakotahgeo: I’m not understanding how you don’t see this!!! Are you blind?

      Jun 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Retso17: @Retso17: Quite frankly, I don’t give a tinker’s damn what you understand or don’t understand. You simply like to argue. Do your own research and don’t be so lazy! Do I believe everything in the Bible is without error? Hell, no! Any idiot wouldn’t even agree with that. Inspired Word of God? Of course. I despise arrogant right wing religious extremists, of which you hold the crown jewel! DOn’t bother me any more. You are Satan’s asshole, and not a very good one at that!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @Dakotahgeo: Dude, you make me laugh. I feel sorry for you man!!! I don’t believe you’re a Christian, but then again who am I to judge. Believe what you want! YOU ARE DEAD WRONG!! The Bible was written by God through men, therefore is without error even to this very day. Everything in the Bible was meant to be there. And who says you have to respond to anything I say? Good Bye!!! Have a good day!!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @Dakotahgeo: You also challenged the Bible and God, therefore I’m defending him and the Bible.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Retso17: Whew… Thank God!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Retso17: God will let me know when I challenge God or the Bible. I think God can handle God’s self without YOUR help, or mine. Other than that, quit embarrassing yourself. You do a poor enough job of speaking for yourself.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Retso17: If you knew ANYTHING about the Bible, you would know God is a Spirit, not male or female. Look THAT up, Doofus!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      I never said he was male or female. I don’t care what you or anybody else thinks of me. You just can’t see the truth and I feel sorry for you. You wanted me to leave you alone. I was trying to say good bye. Good bye!!!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben Dover
      Ben Dover

      @Retso17: Uh… what Sunday school did you fall asleep in?

      The Old Testament is only supposed to be taken literally by Orthodox Jews. If you are a CHRISTIAN it does not even apply. Jesus said so.

      This is about the most basic, elemental, essential Christian teaching there is, so how did you miss it?

      Jun 22, 2014 at 10:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tonychristensen
      tonychristensen

      @Merv: Wrong malcontent (Or is that too big a word for you to understand). I have been away from the computer (I do have a life out in the real world after all). As for you doubters and naysayers. You can be gay and not practice it, you can practice it. Either way is wrong. After all, THE Bible says (Jesus speaking): “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Which means, thinking and feeling Gay is as bad as acting on it. Both the old AND THE NEW testament condemn it; even in the originals I have read from the Dead Sea Scrolls and other sources.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 11:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @Ben Dover: So what you are saying is Old Testament means nothing to Christians. There is no point reading it? It is true that there is stuff in the Old Testament that we no longer do. Like offering sacrifices for our sins. Jesus paid that for us on the cross. I don’t remember anywhere in the Bible where it says. The Old Testament is only suppose to apply Orthodox Jews. Show me a verse. I don’t see where you guys are getting all information from. The internet is not trustworthy. If you want to find answers, you go to the Bible? The Bible is only thing that is 100% correct. The Holy Bible. All you guys are doing is showing me opinions from probably internet or just what you’ve been told. Your not showing me verses. I want verses. You guys got nothing until you show me PROOF!!!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 11:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @Ben Dover: @Dakotahgeo: I’m curious. What do you think of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Kirk Cameron, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Jim Dobson, George W. Bush, and George H W Bush. I believe all these are strong Christian men. Who will follow God to their dieing breath. These are men you can trust to be followers of God. Do you know what all these guys believe? Guess what? They believe that practicing homosexuality is a SIN. I’m not saying actually having those feelings is a sin, but acting on them sure it.

      Jun 22, 2014 at 11:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Retso17: JHC… another Evidence/Proof King. We have yet another HoopsieDoo/SusieQ on our hands! My God, are you all from the same asylum? Have they run out of meds for you or are youse guys so rowdy they have to use a tranquilizer dart on you? As far as evidence or proof, none of you would be satisfied if we DID give you proof. You wouldn’t understand it. You argue just to argue. We have much more important things to do than play Biblical patty-cake with you yahoos! Ten to one, you boys are all from “down South”!

      Jun 22, 2014 at 11:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Retso17
      Retso17

      @Dakotahgeo: WOW!!! Then get off. I’ve said you don’t need to respond. So, SHUT UP!! I’m not the one who’s acting like a baby because somebody won’t believe him Boohoo!!! Alright, I’ve decided you guys are just idiots. You guys can’t see the truth even when it’s directly in front you. I’m getting off now. Good bye!!!

      Jun 23, 2014 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Retso17: Retso!! You’re back! I thought you said bye bye, Tchau, Aufwiedersehn, Adios, et al! All the people you name, outside of Billy Graham, are all onions in the same garbage cabbage patch of religiosity. (You’re getting off now? OOOOoooo, Baby!) You might want to check the type of slang you use before you put it in print, Doofus! And DON’T lose your temper… it makes you look like a sore loser! You boys are so easy to handle.

      Jun 23, 2014 at 12:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben Dover
      Ben Dover

      @Retso17: Have you ever been to Red Lobster and eaten some shrimp? – SINNER! YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!

      Have you ever gone to Walmart and bought a shirt made from two different fibers? – SINNER! YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!

      You’re the one one who’s so focused on Leviticus – READ IT!

      @Retso17: What do I think of those guys? They are scumbags – especially the hateful moron Geoege W. Bush, who will rot in Hell for killing over 4,000 American troops for NO reason in a pointless meaningless war, and sending Iraq into decades of carnage, and creating countless anti-American terrorists.

      Jun 23, 2014 at 12:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Ben Dover: You are spot on the mark. However, I do take exception to Billy Graham. In his entire life and ministry he never, ever had a scandal come out of his ministry. His son, Frankie, on the other hand… had his hands in the Samaritan’s purse more that a diddle times. What for I’m not sure, but he saw the ‘big bucks’ in his father’s ministry and decided to give up the motorcycle ridin’ and the alcohol and drugs and came around to the big money!

      Jun 23, 2014 at 12:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben Dover
      Ben Dover

      @Dakotahgeo: Okay I guess about Billy Graham – he always seemed sincere, not hateful, and at least honest. Despite his vanilla-ness he reminds me of Johnny Cash for some reason.

      Jun 23, 2014 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      @Ben Dover: LOLOL… Dang! You’re right!!! Put Billy G in an all black suit (no white tie)and you’d have the Ring of Fire alright! Hee, hee, hee… thanks for that!

      Jun 23, 2014 at 1:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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