(By Samuel Smith, The Christian Post). A congregation in Kentucky could soon be evicted from its church building by its regional Presbyterian Church (USA) governing body after the congregation voiced disapproval with the denomination’s decision to recognize and allow gay marriage.
The Presbytery of Western Kentucky has given First Presbyterian Church of Calvert City until April 19 to vacate its church building.
Paul Ambler, clerk of session and husband of the church’s pastor, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that the congregation received a notice to vacate the building, which is owned by the presbytery, last week.
The notice, sent on behalf of the presbytery by a local lawyer, comes after the small congregation voted in July 2015 to pursue and negotiate with the presbytery for a gracious dismissal from the PCUSA because they disagreed with an amendment adopted by the denomination in March 2015 defining marriage as a “commitment between two people.”
“We voted on July 26, 2015, and there [were] two members of presbytery there,” Ambler explained. “They told us in that meeting that there were three congregations [that] had already gone through the gracious dismissal process within the presbytery. So, we would actually be the fourth.”
“We were going back and forth for quite a while,” he continued. “We would actually like to take possession of the building and give them money, basically a buy-back agreement. We were negotiating back and forth with presbytery representatives.”
Although Ambler said the congregation never formally submitted a request to be dismissed from the PCUSA, the congregation was informed last November that the presbytery had officially dismissed it from the denomination.
From November until last week when it received the notification to vacate its building on Evergreen Street, the congregation was acting on the assumption that it was going to be allowed to stay in the church building, Ambler said.
In over 35 years of a professional career in and bout the PCUSA, I have known bullies and thuggish behaviors, folks who behave as if they either are above the law, invented it, or it was made for other people, or made it up as they want along. In this case of this church, the Presbytery and PCUSA, acted simply because they could. Power for power sake alone, its who they are and what they do.
Bullies tend to operate and prey on the fears, anxieties, weak points of other people. They find a perceived weakness, in this case the people’s love for their church, and they squeeze or apply pressure until the pain becomes to great. But bullies have an inherent and fatal weakness, their own hubris, and their own fear and sense of inadequacy. They respond only to demonstrations of resistance to power over those whom they wish to instill fear in. It is for this reason Lehigh is now on edge over the Bethlehem church ruling, they pushed back and had the resources to do so. This church or course lacks those resources, hence the bully shows its face. Maybe not in this case, but in others, the sheer numbers of churches and people who seek to flee the entity, will push the bully back to the shadows and closed doors where it tends to operate. And it will find the cold comfort of only the similar and weak in spirit and soul.
So much for a “gracious dismissal” and a Christian attitude toward fellow Christians. Fights over property just ain’t worth the pain and unhappiness.
Anything can be expected from th PC(USA) organization. They are a organization that does not show any love for anyone. They only care about themselves.
i guess “extortion” is one way to hold onto church members who wish to leave and put scripture over heresy.