Wednesday, June 21, 2006

PCUSA and Recommendation #5

Yesterday, the PCUSA voted 298-221 (57% to 43%) to approval the PUP (Peace, Unity, and Purity) Report, which includes the controversial "recommendation #5", which basically allows individual governing body (presbyteries) to interpret and determine the ordination standards. For an example, a presbytery can decide that an unrepentant homosexual is "ok" to be a pastor and that this determination doesn't go against the "essential tenets of the Reformed faith", therefore making it more easier* to ordain an unrepentant homosexual person.

Despite voting in the PUP report, the PCUSA also voted that the "fidelity-chastity" ordination requirement be left in the Book of Order, which clearly defines that a ordained person must practice fidelity in marriage (between a man and woman) or "chastity" in being single.

So on the same day, the PCUSA voted in a rule (recommendation #5) that would allow some presbyteries to make it more easier to ordain unrepentant homosexuals, they also reaffirmed a requirement more or less created to prevent unrepentant homosexuals from becoming pastors.

In the end, I am not sure if we have made any progress. I believe until the PCUSA takes a definite stance on the issue of homosexual ordination, we will continue to have these "ordination wars" and we will never truly have "peace", "unity" and "purity".

*According to one blogger (, the process and results of the governing body can still be reviewed by a higher authority, therefore at least in theory it doesn't seem like the individual governing body can do whatever they want.

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