(The Blaze) The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s official embrace of same-sex marriage at its General Assembly meeting in Detroit, Michigan, Thursday has sparked a wide array of responses. From utter shock and dismay to jubilant rejoicing, observers are divided on the denomination’s decision to bless gay unions.
Consider the response from Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative Think Tank. Tooley believes the matrimonial amendment, while being touted by some as a progressive step in the right direction, will eventually lead to the denomination’s demise.
“By overturning natural marriage the PCUSA is only accelerating its already fast-paced demise. It will become even smaller, whiter and older,” he said, according to Charisma News. ”Only declining denominations reject historic Christian standards and in nearly every case that rejection reinforces the decline.”
Tooley added, “Who respects a church that only echoes the secular world?”
I’ve long held the position that it should be up to the churches, not The Government, as to whether or not to allow gay marriage. Marriage is a religious institution, not a function of government. I also have no problem with civil unions, since that is a function of government, and, really, this is America, the land of the free, and Classical Liberalism (the backbone of American Conservatism) deems that if it isn’t harming me, if it’s not directly harming me in any way negatively, why should I care? Yet, just because I think it should be left up to the churches, doesn’t mean I do not think it is wrong to go against Biblical teachings.
It does have to be balanced against the compassion and tolerance of religion, though.
Not all were against this, many were for it. The question is, how many Presbyterians will leave the denomination, both individually and the churches themselves? It’s not official yet, as the 172 regional presbyteries have to approve it next year. So far, though, 428 churches have left the denomination or folded over central theological differences since 2011, many due to to gay marriage and the decision in 2011 to ordain openly gay clergy in same-sex relationships.
(NY Times) After passionate debate over how best to help break the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinians, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Friday at its general convention to divest from three companies that it says supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory.
The vote, by a count of 310 to 303, was watched closely in Washington and Jerusalem and by Palestinians as a sign of momentum for a movement to pressure Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and to end the occupation, with a campaign known as B.D.S., for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
The vote was much closer than the gay marriage one, in which 76% of the general assembly voted for gay marriage. We need to put this in context of Progressivism. I’ve been discussing exactly what Progressives do, having mentioned how Progressives are infiltrating and working to change religious (and other) institutions from within. Along with working to restrict religion from without. They move the individual churches and overall denominations towards a more secular world, slowly changing/removing what it means to be a Christian or Jew. Which, by the way, would also mean lower membership within the denominations that become secularized.
With that secularization comes the ability to do things like attack Israel with a divestment campaign. Interestingly, these divestment campaigns never seem to attack the Palestinians, people who send suicide bombers and armed rockets into Israel to attack civilian populations.
Bobby Jindal noted during his address at the annual conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition
Jindal emphasized that there was a “silent war” on religious liberty being fought in the U.S. — a country that he said was built on that liberty.
“I am tired of the left. They say they’re for tolerance, they say they respect diversity. The reality is this: They respect everybody unless you happen to disagree with them,” he said. “The left is trying to silence us and I’m tired of it, I won’t take it anymore.”
Again, much of that attempt to silence is by infiltrating and working from within. The end game is to marginalize organized religion so that it has almost no impact on anything, as well as removing it from the public domain, creating subservience and adherence to The State. That is the Progressive goal. A nation of pagans. Things like the aforementioned votes are not happening in a vacuum. They are part of the plan/goal. Now, not everything is part of the overall plan/goal: sometimes they just get lucky, along with chalking some results up to simple incompetence and/or idiocy. However, put this in context with what has happened in so many other sectors, and it makes sense.