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Black Christian Coalition Denounces Presbyterian Church For Accepting 'Universal Sin' Of Homosexuality: VIDEO

Anthony Evans

A multi-denominational coalition of conservative African American churches has attacked the Presbyterian Church’s acceptance of same-sex marriage and urged other Christian churches to follow their lead.

Nbci-logo2010Last month, members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to change its official definition of marriage to include same-sex unions.

However, the National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), which claims to represent 34,000 African American churches and 16 million congregants, argues that Presbyterians “no longer call themselves a Christian entity in the body of Christ.”

In a statement released on Monday, NBCI president Reverend Anthony Evans wrote:

“[The Presbyterian church] has forsaken it’s right by this single wrong act. This manipulation represents a universal sin against the entire church and its members. With this action, [Presbyterians] can no longer base its teachings on 2,000 years of Christian scripture and tradition.”

Watch a 2011 video in which Evans attempts to explain the NBCI's opposition to marriage equality, AFTER THE JUMP...

Lesbian couple Holly and Kaci Clark-Porter made history in late March when they became the first to be ordained jointly as ministers by the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Continue reading "Black Christian Coalition Denounces Presbyterian Church For Accepting 'Universal Sin' Of Homosexuality: VIDEO" »


Delaware Lesbian Couple First To Be Jointly Ordained By Presbyterian Church: VIDEO

Gay couple ordained Delaware

A lesbian couple made history last weekend when they became the first to be ordained jointly as ministers by the Presbyterian Church (USA), reports NBC.

The joint ordination of Holly Clark-Porter (above left) and Kaci Clark-Porter (above right) took place on Sunday at First & Central Presbyterian Church, Delaware.

Last week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to change its official definition of marriage to include same-sex unions.

Watch a report on the ordination of the Clark-Porters, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Delaware Lesbian Couple First To Be Jointly Ordained By Presbyterian Church: VIDEO" »


Presbyterian Church Gives Approval For Same-Sex Marriage In Historic Vote

Members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted Tuesday to change its official definition of marriage to include same-sex unions. The New York Times reports: 

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73ddc8bd2970d-300wiThe final approval by a majority of the church’s 171 regional bodies, known as presbyteries, enshrines a change recommended last year by the church’sGeneral Assembly. The vote amends the church’s constitution to broaden marriage from being between “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

The Presbytery of the Palisades, meeting in Fair Lawn, N.J., put the ratification count over the top on Tuesday on a voice vote. With many presbyteries still left to vote, the tally late Tuesday stood at 87 presbyteries in favor, 41 against and one tied.

“Finally, the church in its constitutional documents fully recognizes that the love of gays and lesbian couples is worth celebrating in the faith community,” said the Rev. Brian D. Ellison, executive director of theCovenant Network of Presbyterians, which advocates gay inclusion in the church. “There is still disagreement, and I don’t mean to minimize that, but I think we are learning that we can disagree and still be church together.”

The church, with about 1.8 million members, is the largest of the nation’s Presbyterian denominations, but it has been losing congregations and individual members as it has moved to the left theologically over the past several years. There was a wave of departures in and after 2011, when the presbyteries ratified a decision to ordain gays and lesbians as pastors, elders and deacons, and that may have cleared the way for Tuesday’s vote.

In June, the Church voted to allow clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages. As recently as November, church clergy were still said to be deeply divided over the question of same-sex marriage. 

Though many conservatives remain opposed to marriage equality, not all plan to leave the church:

Paul Detterman, national director of The Fellowship Community, a group of conservatives who have stayed in the church, said: “Our objection to the passage of the marriage amendment is in no way, shape or form anti-gay. It is in no way intended as anything but concern that the church is capitulating to the culture and is misrepresenting the message of Scripture.”

He added, “We definitely will see another wave, a sizable wave, of conservative folks leaving,” but said he and others were staying because “this conversation is dreadfully important to be a part of.”


Presbyterian Pastor Preaches Tolerance, But Fights To Suppress His Own Gay Desires

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In the two years since Pastor Allan Edwards came to the Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church, the larger U.S. Presbyterian Church has come around to the idea of same sex marriage. Though Edwards preaches tolerance to his congregation, he firmly believes that same-sex attraction is a sin. Interestingly enough, Edwards, who is married to a woman, openly admits to grappling with his own homosexual urges.

"I think we all have part of our desires that we choose not to act on, right?" he explains in an interview with NPR. "So for me, it's not just that the religion was important to me, but communion with a God who loves me, who accepts me right where I am."

Edwards’s interview comes at a time when religious men who do not identify as gay, but are open about their attraction to men, are increasingly in the public spotlight. In Edwards and his wife’s opinion, his desires are no different than the personal struggles that all couples go through.

"Everybody has this experience of wanting something else or beyond what they have. Everyone struggles with discontentment. The difference, I think, and the blessing Leeanne and I have experienced is that we came into our marriage relationship already knowing and talking about it. And I think that's a really powerful basis for intimacy."

Read the full interview HERE.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Allan Edwards was a member of the larger Presbyterian church. His church, Kiski Valley Presbyterian is part of a socially conservative sect of the Presbyterian Church of America.


Presbyterian Schism Over Gay Marriage Continues

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.25.43 AMEarlier this year the Windwood Presbyterian Church of Houston, Texas made the decision to begin distancing itself from the Presbyterian Church as a whole due to differing view on homosexuality. In a 429-175 vote during its biennial General Assembly held in Detroit this past June, the Presbyterian Church of the USA moved to allow its pastors to officiate over same-sex weddings. The Church’s decision to recognize the legitimacy of gay unions is at odds with the Windwood congregation’s more traditional views.

The two religious bodies have been embroiled in a legal battle for the better part of the past eight years over the rights to ownership of the Texas-based church’s land. Because Windwood has publicly expressed its desire to be disassociated with the greater Church, Presbyterian leaders are calling for Windwood to pay for access to the land its churches are built upon.

Windwood’s leadership asserts that it has legal right to the land without needing to compensate the church. Windwood, believing that it owns the disputed land, has been involved in an ongoing legal dispute with the Presbyterian Church.

“We have been involved in a lawsuit over the ownership of the property since 2008 and that suit is still in process,” explained Reverend Kevin Rudolph of the Windwood church.

At the heart of the spat over ownership to the land is a trust clause commonly associated with the financial handling of church property. The clause relating to the land Windwood is built upon states that “all property held by or for a particular church is held in truth nevertheless or the use and benefit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)”

Windwood is but one church formerly associated with the Presbyterian Church that has brought its claims to court in hopes of settling its differences and retaining claim to its physical property. Earlier this year the Highland Park Presbyterian Church similarly made the decision to separate from the Presbyterian Church as a whole and sought to avoid paying for their church grounds as mandated by the trust clause. Highland Park ultimately ended up settling out of court with the Church to tune of $7.8 million dollars.

"We do not believe that Highland Park's case has any direct effect on Windwood's litigation," said Cindy Pirtle, Woodland’s director of adult discipleship "Each church comes with its own set of circumstances and history.”




Friday Speed Read: Family Leave, Uganda, David Cicilline, John Kerry, Presbyterian Church, Gaydar

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

LaborOBAMA MOVES ON FAMILY LEAVE:

The Department of Labor will announce this morning that it will propose regulations on the Family and Medical Leave Act to clarify that an employee is eligible for FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse even if the employee lives in a state that does not recognize marriages of same-sex couples.

U.S. PENALIZES UGANDA:

MuseveniA spokesperson for the National Security Council announced Thursday that the U.S. is taking action in response to the Ugandan government’s enactment of its Anti-Homosexuality Act. The statement from press spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the U.S. would deny entry to the United States by “certain Ugandan officials involved in serious human rights abuses, including against LGBT individuals.” It said the U.S. would also discontinue or “redirect” funding for the Ugandan police, health ministry, and public health institute. A separate White House blog statement identified $5.4 million in discontinued or redirected funding but said the Obama administration would not identify which individuals would be barred from the U.S.

CICILLINE INTROS BILL: Cicilline

Openly gay U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RIs) introduced a bill Thursday to bar from the U.S. any foreigner who has “committed or incited gross violations” of human rights of LGBT people. Four of the seven openly gay members of the House signed on as co-sponsors: Reps. Jared Polis, Sean Maloney, Mark Pocan, and Mark Takano.

NOT JUST ANOTHER SPEECH: Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to go above and beyond the call of duty Thursday in delivering remarks to a Pride event of the in-house group Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFFA). Kerry spoke at length and answered some tough questions. He lavished praise on GLIFFA President Robyn McCutcheon, most recently a foreign service officer in Bucharest. In the Q&A, two GLIFFA members noted that they’ve seen resistance by many countries to issuing a visa to their same-sex spouse. “This is a serious obstacle that is hurting us in our careers and hurting our families,” said one member. Kerry said he has instructed U.S. embassies “to inform governments locally that this is our policy and that they need to honor our policy….And where they don’t…at some point in time, we may have to begin to make it clear to them that that can affect one program or another or the choices that we make. It’s not going to be a normal relationship.”

PRESBYTERIANS VOTE ‘YES’: Presbyterian

The governing body of the 1.8 million-member Presbyterian Church USA voted 371 to 238 Thursday to allow their clergy to conduct wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. The denomination’s General Assembly, meeting in Detroit, also voted 429 to 175 to amend its governing constitution to define marriage as a “unique commitment between two people.” The constitutional change requires ratification by regional presbyteries. The clergy-ceremony vote takes effect Saturday.

WHEN STRAIGHT PEOPLE TRY TO OPERATE GAYDAR: Eric_cantor

Here’s what former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, said to a National Journal reporter when asked for his reaction to Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recent primary loss: “…men in the South, they are a little effeminate….They just have effeminate mannerisms. If you were just a regular person, you turned on the TV, and you saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say—and I'm fine with gay people, that's all right—but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think, so I don't know. Again, I couldn't care less. I'm accepting." Schweitzer later apologized for his “stupid and insensitive remarks.”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


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