The Presbyterian Church Crisis
THE GAY AGENDA. ITS COMING TO US SOON.
HERE IS WHAT THEY WANT. WILL WE LET THEM HAVE IT?
OF PUBLICATION: OCTOBER 1999
Reason for the
Preceding Assemblies 2
Preparations for the 1999 Assembly 2
Issues Confronting the 1999 General Assembly
A New Moderator
The Annual Women
of Faith Awards 6
within the Covenant Network 6
Teaching Materials to be Scriptural 7
Inclusive Language Requirement 8
Same-Sex Benefits Required 8
The Fidelity and Chastity Clause
Banning Gay Conversions 10
Taking over Church Properties 11
the Fort Worth General Assembly 13
Voices of Sophia
Meeting of More
Light Presbyterians 13
Morality Brings Legal Dangers 14
in boxes 14-15
Presbyterianism reflects its Calvinist roots, a primary doctrine is a
belief in predestination. But throughout this study we will primarily deal
with an organizational crisis, occasioned by an attempt of homosexuals
to subvert that denomination.
review of the governing structure in the Presbyterian Church (USA) would
term, Presbyterianism, is used for the principle of church
organization in which the primary ministry is under the control of
regional presbyters. The word applies to all branches of the Reformed
Church in which this presbyterian pattern of ministry is followed.
Reformers, Zwingli and Calvin (in accord with Jerome and Erasmus) held
that bishops were elected from the presbyterate and did not constitute a
superior order. This, of course, placed the presbyters not the
bishops in control. In America, these presbyters are spoken of as
ruling elders and deacons. The Scriptural word,
presbyter, is commonly used of both pastors and elders when they
meet in gatherings, called presbyteries.
general structure of Presbyterian churches is that of an ascending order
of court judicatory, composed of pastors and elders in equal numbers.
These are representative ruling bodies, each having powers which are
The result, here in America, is that each local group
of Presbyterian churches has the authority to submit resolutions, called
overtures, to the yearly General Assembly.
September 1997, we began releasing the first of a 13-tract study on the
Concordia Crisis [WM788], an attempted liberal takeover which
shook the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod to its foundations and reached
its climax in January and February of 1974.
LCMS battle was waged on whether or not the church needed to believe what
the Bible said. That crisis was a mirror of our own, which came strongly
to the surface in the early 1980s, and has deepened ever since.
conservative-liberal war in Christendom is being fought in many
denominations and over many issues; ours is not the only one.
consider what is taking place in other churches, we learn what is soon to
occur in our own.
It is for this reason that we will now present you with a battle which, as
I write these opening words, is taking place just now in Texas.
to prepare this present study, the present writer gathered 55 articles and
documents. A sizeable number came from the Presbyterian Layman.
This is an outstanding publication of godly Presbyterian believers who
have staunchly defended Biblical standards in that denomination for years,
and continue to do so.
because of a strongly conservative reporting agency, which is independent
of leadership control, that the apostasy does not overwhelm that church.
The members must be told what is happening!
was a question whether a digest of this data should be arranged
chronologically or topically. Because all these Presbyterian departments
and organizations are unfamiliar to us, the decision was made to present
the material topically. In this way, you will see most clearly the
implications of the threatened liberal takeover.
remember throughout what you are about to read: The methods used by
liberals to overrun the Presbyterian Church are increasingly being used in
this with others. An ignorant laity is already defeated.
REASON FOR THE STUDY
19, 1999, the Presbyterian Church (USA) (referred to as PCUSA) convened
its 211th General Assembly (GA) in Fort Worth. Tomorrow, the 26th, its
final session will end.
the heated warfare taking place in Texas will help you better understand
what is ahead of our own denomination. All that is required is for
leadership to continually appease the liberals and eventually they take
over the church!
is what has brought PCUSA to its present crisis; and, year after year, it
is taking our own denomination down the same path.
THE TWO PRECEDING ASSEMBLIES
209th General Assembly convened in June 1997 in Syracuse, New York.
It was notable for a major theological shift. Principal speakers exalted
relationships over theology. Presbyterians for Gay and Lesbian Concerns (PGLC)
and other pro-homosexual activists conducted demonstrations in hallways,
entrances, and exhibit areas. An amendment was introduced, which
prohibited the ordination of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.
It is of
interest that, at that Assembly, the delegates voted to oppose partial
birth abortions on moral grounds the first Protestant denomination in
America to do so. (Down to the present day, not one of our own official
bodies, in assembly, has ever gone on record as opposing abortion
in any form.)
statistical report showed that, in the previous year, the Presbyterian
Church USA (PCUSA) had lost 33,810 members. Since 1983, the PCUSA
membership had been reduced by 529,584 members. Conservatives believe that
formalism and liberal appeasement has been responsible for much of this
The 210th General Assembly convened in June 1998 in Charlotte, North Carolina. All went well until near the end, when several reductions of church doctrine had been averted.
hearing citations from literature, published by the National Network of
Presbyterian College Women (NNPCW), the commissioners had voted nearly 2-1
to end sponsorship and funding of the Network.
later events revealed, newly elected Moderator, Douglas W. Oldenburg,
personally favored the liberals. On the eve of adjournment, he permitted a
late-night demonstration by Network members and advocates. They tearfully
sang, This Little Light of Mine, and the
tender-hearted commissioners voted to rescind their previous action and
give the Network one more chance. A task force was appointed, to
investigate their writings and bring a report to the 1999 Assembly.
and his vice moderator, James Mead, then arranged that funding for NNPCW
be fully restored.
the ongoing penetration by liberals, over 21,000 members had left the
EARNEST PREPARATIONS FOR THE 1999 ASSEMBLY
preparation for the 1999 Assembly, there was fervent activity by both
sides. The faithful
were intent on maintaining Christian principles, and the feminists and
homosexuals were determined to take control of the church.
October 9, 1998, a National Coming Out Day service was held in the
chapel of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, one of 10
Presbyterian theological schools. The homosexuals at the seminary were
publicly celebrating their glorious state. Reading through the service was
not a pleasant task. I will not describe it here.
months passed, presbyteries all across the nation submitted overtures
(resolutions) which they wanted considered at the forthcoming 1999 General
Assembly. We will consider the most important of them.
WARNINGS OF SCHISM
important article appeared in the June 16, 1999, issue of the Presbyterian
Layman. Written by Robert P. Mills, it darkly warned of an approaching
schism in the denomination if the homosexuals and feminists were given
even a part of what they wanted.
is a word which church historians use. It means split. Mills was
warning the denomination that it would shatter right down the middle, if
the members did not resolutely stand in defense of Scriptural teachings.
following statement by Mills sound familiar? Such things are happening in
our church right now:
Today, with a congregation voting to install an elder in defiance of the denominations constitution, a presbytery telling one of its congregations that it need not obey the Book of Order, another presbytery taking under care [hired as a ministerial intern] a candidate who defiantly does not meet our ordination standards, and a denominational award being given to a woman who told her presbytery that she would no longer work within the PCUSAs polity because she wants to spend her energy subverting it, it is understandable that these same topics weigh heavily on the minds of commissioners preparing to gather in Fort Worth. R.P. Mills, Unity, Diversity and Schism, Presbyterian Layman, June 16, 1999.
consider his next paragraph:
The Fort Worth Assembly will be voting on nominations and proposals that could not only shape the future of the PCUSA, but in fact determine whether the PCUSA has a future as a single denomination. Ibid.
then quoted from a paper, approved by PCUSA in 1983, entitled Historic
Principles, Conscience and Church Government:
Divisiveness and schism are most likely to occur when the church does not follow its own procedures carefully . . When the presbytery neglects its role by failing to exercise one of its constitutional functions, the other parts suffer. Historic Principles, quoted in ibid.
church, a presbytery would be equivalent to a local conference which
is rather small in size.) Do you see the point? When one local
congregation or conference goes in one direction while others proceed in
another the entire denomination will eventually split in two. The
underlying problem is that not all are determined to stand true to the
bedrock document of the church: the Word of God.
think church problems would be solved if we would all obey the leaders.
But it is not a matter of me obeying you or you obeying me. What is needed
is for all of us to obey Gods Inspired Writings!
then elaborates on an earlier quoted comment:
Less than two decades after reunion, Northern New England Presbytery has told one of its congregations that it need not obey a portion of the constitution that it finds troubling. First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, CN, has voted to install an elder in flagrant violation of specific Book of Order language forbidding such an installation. And West Jersey Presbytery has taken under care [hired] as a candidate for the Ministry of Word and Sacrament an individual whose ordination would violate the constitution. In coming under care, the individual declared that the denomination must change to suit his lifestyle preferences.
Technically, such actions constitute schism, a breaking away of one part of the denomination from another . .
Unless the [forthcoming] Fort Worth General Assembly takes decisive action to end such divisive activities, more and more congregations and presbyteries are likely to declare their functional autonomy from the PCUSA. As the number of autonomous governing bodies grows, the possibility of denominational unity will quickly recede to the vanishing point. Ibid.
in our own church are doing exactly as Mills describes: They persist in
removing local churches and conferences from Biblical standards, when
they should get out of the denomination entirely.
They are insisting on retaining all the rights and privileges of PCUSA membership, while simultaneously demanding the freedom to violate any constitutional standards they choose.
Freedom of conscience is the rationalization the schismatics offer for their actions. However, the reality is that the PCUSA cannot bind any individuals conscience. The schismatics are free to leave at any time. They freely choose not to do so. Ibid.
decisive and clear statements of the crisis you will not find in our own
church periodicals, even though the liberal attack within our denomination
is not far behind PCUSA.
In our denomination, everyone is quiet. They say it becomes very quiet
just before a tornado. I can believe it.
With presbyteries and congregations boldly defying a constitutional provision affirmed by two-thirds of the presbyteries, seriously divisive conflict hardly does justice to the state in which the PCUSA now finds itself. Various governing bodies have effectively declared themselves to be in schism from the PCUSA. Their actions are not in dispute. [That is, neither side denies the reality of those actions.] The question, Are we two denominations? can only be answered in the affirmative. The real question has become Are we two different religions? Ibid.
then cites an example of the deceptive principles on which the other side
The relevance of that question is evident in an address by Barbara Wheeler, president of Auburn Seminary, published by the Covenant Network, an organization formed to promote the ordination of gays and lesbians, in which Wheeler outlined a strategy by which liberal revisionists could seize control of the PCUSA.
In her opening paragraph, Wheeler eschews obeying the denominations constitution in favor of countenancing actions that are wrong and possibly also making statements that are untrue.
Not content to disavow one denominations constitution, the Wheeler Doctrine subordinates Scripture to ecclesiastical politics. If lying is required to achieve the desired political objective, the Wheeler Doctrine calls for the ninth commandment to be set aside. Ibid.
On May 13, 1999, another pivotal article appeared in the Presbyterian Layman. Written by John H. Adams, it summarized the approaching conflict at Fort Worth.
Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people have turned to the courts and parliamentary bodies of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to try to accomplish what they could not gain in two national referendums [the 1997 and 1998 General Assemblies].
In the preliminaries, they are winning. Two court rulings and two presbytery votes have (1) authorized Presbyterian ministers to perform so-called holy unions of same-gender couples; (2) given the green light to a congregation to install an openly gay elder; (3) allowed a presbytery to take under care [hire] a gay seminary graduate who declared that the church must change to accommodate his sexuality, and (4) overtured the General Assembly to direct its agencies and strongly encourage other governing bodies and educational institutions to refrain from supporting, implementing, or sponsoring therapies or ministries which attempt to alter a persons sexual orientation.
The gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered (GLBT) coalition also hopes to deliver a knockout punch to G-6.0106b, the constitutions standard that requires candidates for ordination to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage . . or chastity in singleness. Judicial Crisis Threatens to Split PCUSA, Presbyterian Layman, May 13, 1999.
are gleeful that they are going to win.
Those efforts are accompanied by predictions that the Presbyterian ordination standard will crumble under the crush. For instance, Chris Glaser, a gay activist who believes coming out should be a sacrament on a par with baptism and communion, told a gay magazine recently that the time will come when the PCUSA and other mainstream denominations will adjust and change their laws to allow for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people. Ibid.
not that the homosexuals are only trying to subvert the Presbyterians!
They intend to take over every Christian denomination in America!
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is not the only denomination under siege. Methodists recently tried and convicted a pastor for conducting holy unions, or same-sex marriages, and other cases are pending.
In the Episcopal Church, a 300-family Brockton, MA, congregation and its pastor have been evicted from church premises because they opposed (by withholding the diocesan assessment) ordination of active homosexuals and diocesan approval for ministers conducting holy unions.
Other mainline denominations are being targeted as well by proselytizers from the United Church of Christ and, especially, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, which is in effect a denomination of, to use their own words, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transsexual communities. The Universal Fellowship lists 300 congregations, including two with 2,000-plus members, but its full acceptability by the mainline denominations depends on the mainliners accepting a theology compatible with its unbiblical sexual ethic. Ibid.
then mentions Erin Swenson, an ordained postoperative male to female
transsexual minister, who was approved and ordained by the Greater
Atlanta Presbytery, and spends his/her spare time traveling around the
country encouraging other Presbyterians to do what he did.
A third position paper appeared in the May 18, 1999, issue of the Presbyterian Layman, and was also penned by Robert Mills.
Several years ago, Philip Johnson, a Presbyterian, prominent author and law professor at Berkeley, wrote an article outlining specific goals of gay, lesbian and radical feminist activists. Drawing his acronym from these constituencies, he dubbed this the GLARF agenda. Robert P. Mills, Overtures Attack Evangelicals Motives, Intelligence, and Integrity, Presbyterian Layman, May 18, 1999.
remainder of the article discussed the GLARF agenda, which we will not
here take space to quote, since we will overview the battle in this study.
INTRODUCTION TO ISSUES CONFRONTING THE 1999 GENERAL ASSEMBLY
stated earlier, we will topically consider a number of issues, even though
reports on each one may span from its inception in late 1998 on through to
the end of the June General Assembly.
the approach of the 1999 Assembly neared, it was understood that a number
of old issues (including ordination standards) would be reviewed and a
wide variety of new ones would be discussed during the June 19-26 session
in Fort Worth.
than 60 overtures (proposals) were docketed for the 1999 General Assembly.
Several of them, if passed, would water down or eliminate the
fidelity/chastity standard required for candidates for minister,
elder, and deacon in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
you imagine a motion that church leaders, on all levels, need not adhere
to any sexual standards? Yet those proposing these overtures are treated
with great sympathy; why? lest a number of local churches leave the
denomination. This is the same situation that is occurring in our
own church! They hesitate to consider the concerns of the conservatives
while quickly placating the liberals. Instead of a pure church, some of
our leaders instead want a big church.
A NEW MODERATOR ELECTED
moderator in PCUSA is equivalent to the General Conference president
in our own denomination. Each is elected for a one-year term. At the
1998 General Assembly, Douglas W. Oldenburg was elected to the position of
General Assembly moderator.
his year in office, he remained quietly steadfast in his support of both
theological diversities a strongly pro-gay Presbyterian women's
organization and the ordination of practicing homosexuals.
Some believe he was elected in 1997 as a fig leaf to appease the liberals
and gays who did not get their way in that years General Assembly.
1999 General Assembly, the commissioners (delegates) would have to select
a new moderator. They elect one on the first night of the Assembly. There
were four candidates: Frank Diaz, Freda A. Gardner, Charles Kim, and
Walter J. Ungerer. Of the four, one, Freda Gardner, is openly pro-gay in
June 19, the commissioners elected Gardner as the moderator for the coming
year in spite of her strongly pro-homosexual comments.
She was elected on the second ballot, receiving 270 of the 526 total
votes. Once again, the liberals were being appeased.
press conference following her election, in response to a question whether
there was something she said that the commissioners especially liked, she
commented, I would like to think they heard me speaking my truth and
that they felt they could live with that and could be led by it.
had done the previous year, once again the delegates had elected a pro-gay
THE ANNUAL WOMEN OF FAITH AWARDS
is an award that PCUSA gives to three women each year at the General
decision as to who will receive it is made in the spring of each year by
the Executive Committee of the General Assembly Council.
year, they shocked the conservatives, in the denomination, by a 9-2 vote
to give one of the awards to Jane Spahr, a very outspoken lesbian
So that tells you that 9 of the 11 members of the Executive Committee
employed by Downtown Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY. Her job
assignment is lesbian evangelist for an organization by the name of
That All May Freely Serve, which is devoted to the ordination of gay and
lesbian Presbyterians as well as other church officers.
was selected for the award, in spite of strong opposition from the
steering committee of the National Ministries Division. Following three
unsuccessful conference calls, the NMD decided to overturn Spahrs
selection because the award would make it appear that an entity of
the General Assembly was endorsing a position that runs counter to
existing General Assembly policy.
steering committees vote resulted in an
internet outrage by homosexual activists.
They also sent a list of GAC executive committee voting members, as well
as their home addresses and phone numbers to various homosexual
organizations across the nation. Along with the list, the message went
out to send a deluge of letters, e-mails, and phone calls to leaders
on all levels.
Huff, a pro-gay activist of San Francisco said significantly, This
episode could well be a watershed moment. He was right; for immediately
afterward, the GAC executive committee voted by 9-2 to override the NMD
decision and let stand the selections of the Women of Faith
But think not that Jane Spahr, the lesbian evangelist, was the only gay of the three selected. Letty Russell, a professor at Yale Divinity School, was another equally blatant lesbian.
was the keynote speaker at the fourth (1996) Re-Imagining Conference,
where she was quoted as saying, In my local presbytery last year, I
went to the ministerial relations committee and told them . . I was
retiring from the presbytery because of the church's position on the
ordination of homosexuals . . As a lesbian, I had decided to use my energy
on subversion and not on church committees . . I've decided to be in,
but not of, the church.
Re-Imagining God Conferences are dedicated to proclaiming that the Deity
is a woman goddess.)
was also a keynote speaker at the Covenant Networks organization
meeting in 1996. She told the audience that ordaining persons who engage
in homosexual behavior is consistent with the Reformed tradition, even
though she admitted the Reformers universally condemned such behavior.
In protest of the awards decision, on June 8, 1999, the local Presbyterian church in Pearland, Texas, voted to no longer send any more funds to the General Assembly. They said they would henceforth send their offerings to independent Presbyterian organizations which were resisting the efforts of the denomination to move toward more liberal positions. While other local churches just wrung their hands, the church in Pearland decided to actively support the right side.
On June 20, at a General Assembly breakfast, the awards were presented. An estimated 400 people were present, including many top-ranking PCUSA staff members and elected officials.
new moderator, pro-gay Freda Gardener, said, I am so proud to be
sharing this place with the other two recipients of this award.
enough, the third person to receive the award, Jan Douglass, said she
fully approved of the giving of the award to two lesbians.
As soon as the awards were given,
the Highland Presbyterian Church in New Castle, PA, voted to cut off all
per capita and mission funds to the General Assembly.
Were certain other sessions will follow our lead, Pastor Tim
McQuade said. He added that, in giving those awards, the GAC had virtually
said We know we made people angry with this award, tough; but were
not going to do anything about it!
IN-FIGHTING WITHIN THE COVENANT NETWORK
Covenant Network of Presbyterians (CNP) is one of the homosexual groups
actively working to subvert the denomination.
They had earlier published abroad an executive committee members plan
for a liberal takeover of the church.
during an Open Forum on Wednesday, June 24, 1999, at the Fort Worth
Assembly, the members were angry because their CNP leaders had agreed to a
sabbatical (a waiting period) instead of actively lobbying the 211th
General Assembly for overtures to end the PCUSAs earlier constitutional
prohibition against ordaining homosexuals as deacons, elders, and
Spahr, who earlier in the week had received a Woman of Faith award,
received intense applause as she stridently said, Don't wait for the
church to act. I'm going to storm this country until you collapse and
say yes! . . [the sabbatical] is killing us. You cannot take a sabbatical
on truth or justice. Everybody wants to be on a sabbatical, but Jesus has
said, If you are lukewarm, honey, you aren't Mine.
crowd applauded as another speaker declared that, by excluding homosexuals
from ordination, the PCUSA had been out of order for more than 20
years. He also lamented that the Presbyterian Church was not solacing
him enough in his grief; for, as a member of the West Hollywood
Presbyterian Church, over the last few years he had attended the funerals
of 120 West Hollywood members who had died of AIDS.
TEACHING MATERIALS TO BE SCRIPTURAL
99-46 would require all PCUSA teaching materials, which dealt with or
referred to human sexuality, to be in conformity with Scripture and
would assume that it would be quite easy for such a resolution to be
enacted. But, on
June 23, 1999, after a lot of discussion and wrangling over the matter,
the Christian Education Committee of the 211th General Assembly provided a
watered-down version of this overture by a vote of 28-16-1 (28 to 16, with
the deliberations, the meeting hall was packed and many had to sit on the
Curtis, the one who presented the overture to the committee, spoke
urgently about the many deviations from Scripture and church doctrine in
the current material, including recognition of sex outside marriage as
something which should not be condemned.
admitted that it would cost about $250,000 to make the needed changes, but
said it must be done because the teaching materials tell the young people
of the church that, while abstinence is preferred, if teenagers choose to
engage in sexual relations, they should use contraception.
said that all Presbyterian materials should stress abstinence and purity
instead of the many misleading statements currently in the textbooks.
debate and committee discussion lasted for hours.
teenage girls said they believed abstinence until marriage was not only
Gods command, but His blessing. Each declared the current materials to
GA moderator, Patricia Brown, said the materials were fine as they stood
and should not be modified.
Citron, pastor of the Presbytery of the Grand Canyon, apparently was
determined to have full audience attention as she spoke; so she began
slowly to undress! Stopping before she crossed the bounds of modesty, she
said that no justification existed for using these unbiblical materials in
the first place, and that they were wholly inappropriate for the youth of
an amendment was offered which reversed the meaning of the overture; and,
in vague language, it called on the Congregational Ministries Division to
continue to use the present materials, but someday to revise and
rewrite the materials in accordance with biblical, confessional, and
Reformed traditions. By appeasing the liberals, once again they had
of the amendment said there were so many out-of-wedlock births, that the
teaching materials in their present form might help young people avoid
disease and pregnancy when they had sex.
amendment was finally voted and approved by the Christian Education
Committee. The vote was 26-17-1 (26 to 17, with 1 abstaining). In their
view, someday the Presbyterian Church would obey Gods Word, but not
The next step was for the entire General Assembly to consider and vote on the matter. On Thursday, June 24, the matter was discussed.
Nancy Cross said the world does a good job teaching about premarital sex,
contraception, and promiscuity; and that the present materials do the
same when, instead, they should call our youth to sexual purity.
hear about sex everywhere; these materials are too explicit, declared
Ellen Larson, a youth advisory delegate. There are only five sentences
in the entire present curriculum materials that deal with sex in the
Former General Assembly Moderator, Patricia
Brown, urged the Assembly to let the materials stand as they were,
declaring that they helped the young people.
to her, Katherine Goyett said, These curriculum materials lack biblical
integrity. We must teach the joy of sexual purity . . Do not conform any
more to the standards of the world!
General Assembly then voted on Overture 99-46. By a vote of 330-201-4, the
GA ordered that the sexual education curriculum, published by the
denomination, be brought into conformity with church and biblical
standards within two years. Before distribution, the new materials must
be approved by the General Assembly.
would, hopefully, eliminate the errors, in print, for more than a decade
in the Presbyterian Church.
liberals failed on this overture; but, as we shall see, they won on
following quotation, from Overture 99-46, is of interest:
Scripture plainly teaches
and warns that sexual immorality is not to be found among the people of
God (Ex 20:14; Jude 3-8; Heb 13:4; Rom 13:12-13; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 1 Cor
6:18-20, 1 Cor 5:1-13; Gal 5:16-24; Eph 5:1-17; Col 3:1-10; 1 Thess 4:1-8;
Heb 12:14-29; Matt 15:17-20; Matt 19:4-6; Mark 7:18-23; Rev 21:1-8; Rev
INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT
99-24, introduced by the Western New York Presbytery, would require
Presbyterian worship leaders to use inclusive language for the name of
God. All ministers in the denomination would henceforth have to use male
and female references to God.
overture would amend W-1.2006b of the Book of Order to read, In
its worship the church shall use language about God which is
intentionally as diverse and varied as the Bible and our theological
mandatory shall, coupled with the plural our theological
traditions (which includes the Re-Imagining God movement), would make
it possible for charges to be filed against any Presbyterian minister who
baptizes in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or an elder
leading worship who began the Lords Prayer as Our Father.
Instead, they must say our Father/Mother or our Father and
proceedings would be required against pastors and worship leaders who
failed to use non-biblical names when speaking or referring to God.
99-60, a companion resolution submitted by the Palisades Presbytery, would
add teeth to the inclusive language requirement by requiring that each
presbytery send a report to next years Assembly, disclosing in
narrative and/or statistical form about how inclusive language is used
and/or studied in that presbyterys churches. This would implement
active in-church policing.
are not specified by either overture, but punishments for Book of Order
violations range up to removal from office, which is described as
the highest degree of censure (D-12.0105).
to the overture, the masculine-feminine linking (Father/Mother) need
not be paired each time; but every Presbyterian minister must say each an
equal number of times in each sermon (one time Father God and the
next Mother God).
the current traditions of the Presbyterian Church must be mingled
with earlier ones, the minister can say Christ, but must also say
Sophia (or Christa, another lesbian goddess) the same number
active Department of Inquisition could be started, if this overture had
been enacted; but, on Thursday, June 25, by a margin of more than 3 to
1, the Fort Worth General Assembly rejected the overture.