By Jeff Gissing.
I was unable to attend this weeks presbytery meeting due to illness. I had prepared remarks for the floor discussion of the marriage redefinition amendment. They are included below.
I rise to speak against the amendment offered which would redefine marriage in the Book of Order. I do so in the knowledge that the amendment has surpassed the number of presbytery affirmations required to be adopted and will become the practice of our denomination. My reason for speaking against this amendment, and in full knowledge the futility of so doing, is not simply to register my conviction regarding the nature of Christian marriage as between a man and a woman. On a larger level, it is to register my belief that–at a fundamental level–the work of pastoring and indeed the work of this presbytery is theological task. For that very reason it is important that this conversation be engaged in Lehigh Presbytery regardless of the outcome of the legitimate political process that has caused this amendment to be adopted.
When the church gathers in its council it does so in full knowledge that a variety of opinions and convictions are represented and, as a result, we have each of us, pledged to practice mutual forebearence, a pledge that I hope will extend to my comments here.
I recognize that in passing this amendment our church has attempted to preserve unity in the face of strongly opposing views. I further acknowledge that the amendment that is before us is, on a practical level, just about the only thing our church could do in order to attempt to achieve that goal. I disagree, however, on the primacy of unity over against other factors like truth.
Ultimately, this intent will not be realized.
When the church speaks of something as deep seated as our sexuality, it doesn’t do well to affirm a contradiction, or worse, to assert that we cannot agree and therefore will “decide not to decide” as Barry Ensign-George and Charles Wiley argue in their paper, “Our Challenging Way: Faithfulness, Sex, Ordination, and Marriage”.
I applaud your Christian convictions, sir. And your letter was peacefully, logically written. But confess, deep inside, don’t you wonder if you should have given an old fashioned Presbyterian hellfire and brimstone sermon to that stoic group? Didn’t have to be in your words—-just quote Holy Scripture. For you PCUSA folks reading this, look up the words ‘Fear’, ‘Wisdom’, and ‘World’ in your King James Bible Concordance.
Stop acting like girls, afraid of your own shadow. The Holy Bible is clear on gayness, dead wrong, and stop apologizing to a bunch of deviants who would abuse you in a minute. Be a man, not a girl.
I too applaud your Christian convictions, but I agree with Timothy and am wondering when is somebody still in the PCUSA going to get really mad at what has happened? Wasn’t Christ really angry with the money changers in the temple because of what they were doing in God’s house? Does anybody think that a Holy God is going to be nice on judgement day to those souls who have perverted his truths to lead others astray? The time may be very soon that we all are going to have to take a stand!!
Marriage is between a woman and a man–Not two men and not two women. Period.
I read in paper a few days ago that Alabama has dispersed with marriage licenses. It does seem it puts marriage on the individual and not the church to conform to society for legal reasons.
I do know of a same sex couple who were able to receive partners benefits from one of their’s employment, but when then State of NY passed the same sex marriage law, the corporation then passed a policy requiring marriage within one year to receive benefits.
This issue is certainly a political one in which there are powers of government and Church pressures back and forth.
I like the removal of the legal license.
Employers and the USA can require their own forms of partnership of two people or contract.
It should remove the dependency of one power organization on the other and free a more pure doctrine of marriage as God constructed us in biological, form, spiritual terms.