Thursday, September 08, 2011

Mexican Presbyterian Church splits with Presbyterian Church USA after 139 years

Mexican Presbyterian Church ends 139 year relationship with Presbyterian Church (USA) over Gay Clergy issue
by Peter Menkin

The PC(USA) is so “inclusive,” aren’t we? We are getting more “inclusive” by the day, which is why Christians around the world are pointing out that we have left the holy catholic church. I hope those of you who have brought this upon us are proud of all your accomplishments. I blame you for this, and for all the others to come.
–The Reverend Walter Taylor, Oak Island Presbyterian

Reverend Walter Taylor said this in a comment on the article published by The Presbyterian Outlook Today titled, “Mexican Presbyterian Church Votes to End 139-year old relationship with PC(USA).”

The National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (INPN) in response to a decision earlier 2011 by the Presbyterian Church in the USA ended their relationship with the Americans. PC(USA) decided to ordain gay and lesbian clergy—allowing them to be sexually active while serving congregations and the Church. There are two million members of the INPN. The vote held August 19 by its general assembly was 116 to 22. There are 2.3 members of the PC(USA) Church.

In a story published in The Presbyterian Outlook August 10, 2011 national writer Leslie Scanlon for the publication reports about the Mexican Presbyterian Church:

Before the assembly began, however, there were rumblings of dissatisfaction with the PC(USA) and its decision earlier this year to approve Amendment 10-A, which removed from the denomination’s Book of Order a requirement that those being ordained practice fidelity if they are married or chastity if they are single.

Presbyteries and sessions now will examine candidates for ordination or installation, with the standard being that a candidate’s “manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world.” The new language also states that “governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.”

On Aug. 16, several representatives of the PC(USA) – including Gradye Parsons, the denomination’s stated clerk, and Hunter Farrell, director of World Mission – went to Mexico to meet with 11 leaders of the Mexican church and to discuss the Mexicans’ unhappiness and theological disagreement with the decision on 10-A.

“The discussion was frank and honest,” Farrell wrote in an e-mail following that meeting. “The disappointment of the Mexican church was expressed.”

Scanlon says the PC(USA) wants to continue working with the Mexican Church, anyway.

For the record: Jack Haberer is Editor/Publisher of Presbyterian Outlook whose purpose is to aid discussion of Church activities and ideas, and is funded by The Presbyterian Outlook Foundation, a religious and charitable organization with that purpose.

The Presbyterian magazine Outlook’s Facebook page has these worthwhile comments on the issue of separation because of sexually active gay and lesbian clergy being permitted to be ordained:

This is one of four Presbyterian Churches in Xalapa

Mary-Ann Crow Muffoletto ‎@Pete Santucci. …You made the argument: “How about ignoring 2,000 years of church history. the vast majority of Christians around the world, and the Bible itself?” In the past 2,000 years of church history, the church has, at times, condoned slavery and sections of the Bible appear to condone slavery. In some cultures at times in history, a majority of Christians have condoned slavery. (I’m not sure I buy the argument that “the vast majority of Christians around the world condone discrimination against women and homosexuals — church leadership, maybe — rank and file Christian, maybe not.)

Richard Hoffman There is definite movement in Scripture from both physical and spiritual bondage towards freedom in Christ, including women in leadership. There is no such movement with regard to human sexual behavior, that permits covenented relationships outside of marriage between a man and a woman. The adoption of 10A is an accomodation of culture, contrary to the plain meaning of Scripture.

Robert McClelland ‎@Vicki Black Walker – “very sad indeed–they will miss the funding–and we will miss them!” That is exactly the problem with the American Church. We are so concerned with being the (excuse the phrase) “Great White Hope” that we have missed the fact that we are preaching a gospel filled with holes. I am willing to bet that when the Mexican Presbyterians were praying about their decision, not once did anyone say, “if the Americans don’t give us money, we’re screwed. Who will provide for us?” In fact, I bet it was probably shared that GOD would provide for their needs as they stood up for the faith of the Church (and please remember that Presbyterianism is not THE Church, but a delivery system used by part of the body)

The PC(USA) is so very broken, and so very divided. We love to call for unity, but can’t agree on what to unify around. We speak to the world with our $ and then wonder why other countries hate America. We pedal universalism under the guise of Christianity, all the while missing the fact that if people of all faith are saved, then Jesus did not need to die. We try to compare (as seen above) the inconsistent teaching of women in the Bible to the very consistent teaching of sexual practice so we can find another social justice issue to rally behind at the expense of the full witness of the Gospel. We try to rationalize our desired translation of passages of scripture, while sacrificing any sound doctrine of the Trinity. In essence, we have lost a necessary understanding of the Doctrine of the Incarnation, and traded it for warm, fuzzy, feel-good cheap grace – the kind Bonhoeffer warned of last time the church tried to be a strong reflection of culture.

I hope that my friend, Jesse Alexander, is correct and the PC(USA) hears the rebuke and correction of the global Church, and like Nineveh repents and humbly returns to the fold.

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