They say that 10-A is the final straw that makes this denomination one which they can no longer be a part of. So they are choosing to go to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, or some other denominational body.
I can understand the frustration. I share similar concerns. I cannot understand how a church that affirms Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior can say homosexuality is now no longer sin.
But even though the PC(USA) has made this decision that I believe is contrary to scripture, I have no plans to leave the denomination at this point.
Here are my reasons for choosing to remain in the PC(USA) for the time being.
I grieve over the 10-A decision. As long as the Bible is God's word, I cannot say that homosexuality is no longer a sin before God.
Then how can I possibly stay in a denomination that is so impure? so wrong?
Because I am under no illusion that the PC(USA) was a "pure-er" church or a more "right" church prior to the 10-A decision. That somehow, if I can just relocate to a different denomination that isn't debating the homosexuality issue, everything is right and good before God's eyes.
I readily confess that the PC(USA) was a church and a denomination that was wrought with inconsistencies and impurities prior to the 10-A decision just as it is after the 10-A decision. The sexuality issues are not the only sins the Bible cares about.
- As long as we continue to consume goods at the expense of others
- As long as we turn a blind eye to rampant consumerism and greed in America
- As long as we remain purposefully silent over gluttony
- As long as we ignore the injustices of an economic system that keeps the poor people poor, while rewarding the wealthiest
- As long as...the list goes on
All these sins are just as grievous and unacceptable before God.
The primary reason why I am choosing to stay for now is because I believe all current denominations are not much different when it comes to these issues.
If I were to go to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, I may not be debating homosexuality any more, but I will be fighting over women's ordination. And while arguing over women's ordination, the EPC would remain blissfully ignorant and blind over these other issues. But at the same time thinking, "Thank God we're not like those PC(USA) messed up folk."
What would be the point of that?
I have no desire to go from one blind, sinful, silent church to another.
I want to be a part of a church that is actually making a difference to the poor, to those suffering injustice, to those who are dying by the thousands unless the church wakes up and gets engaged.
I think there's something wrong when social agencies and humanitarian groups are ahead of the church when it comes to fighting injustice.
And I believe God is doing just that.
God is at work to bring about a renewal and a revival of his church the likes of which history hasn't seen since the reformation.
God is doing a new thing where the way we relate with one another and with a world that doesn't know God will be so radically different that those who are in Christendom institutional churches today won't even be able to recognize the new church God is ushering in.
No one yet knows what this church will look like.
All they can do is to point toward a new compass heading. That new compass heading includes a church that is fighting the war against AIDS, that is making a difference against poverty, that is leading the way in fighting against injustices of all kinds, that is declaring Jesus Christ boldly, that is putting God's resources in areas that actually make a difference to those who don't know Christ.
All that can be said at this point is that this new church will not look like our current existing denominational, institutional, Christendom churches.
This is a new compass heading.
I will choose to be right where I am until God makes this new reality and this new church clear.
I want to be a part of what God is doing.
I have no desire to leave one dying institutional, Christendom denomination for another.
I will be about Jesus Christ right where I am and work and live toward this new reality.