NC Presbyterians Vote On Gay Ordination Measure

RALEIGH, N.C. — Presbyterian church leaders in central North Carolina have approved a measure to let gays and lesbians in partnered relationships be ordained.

The News & Observer reports that the amendment was approved Saturday by a vote of 177 to 139 with 10 abstentions during a meeting in Cary of the New Hope Presbytery church leaders.

"The mood at the presbytery meeting was while we differ on this issue, and are committed as Christians to vote our conscience, we also are committed to finding ways to live together with our differences," said the Rev. Joseph Harvard, pastor of Durham Presbyterian. "I don't think it's a radical shift in the presbytery."

The measure must be approved by a majority of the nation's 173 presbyteries and conservative congregations including those in Charlotte and western North Carolina have already approved the amendment.

Gays and lesbians can be ordained within the 2.2-million-member Presbyterian Church (USA), but they must remain chaste as church standards forbid sex outside of traditional marriage between a man and woman.

The standard applies to clergy and lay people in the Presbyterian church who participate as deacons and elders. But even if the standard is struck down, individual churches will not be required to ordain partnered gays and lesbians. It would just give those who want to the freedom to do so.

Still, the issue has divided many churches. At least one church, Raleigh's Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, has lost members who formed a new congregation allied with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in protest of the change.

But the Rev. Moffit Churn, associate pastor at West Raleigh Presbyterian, said Saturday's meeting was not divisive.

"We all held hands and sang 'Blessed be the Tie that Binds' in the Presbyterian way," the Rev. Moffit Churn, associate pastor at West Raleigh Presbyterian, told the newspaper. "The voice of the middle ground is being heard, at least in this presbytery. That was my sense."

Votes have to be completed by June, but half the nation's presbyteries will have voted by the end of this month.

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  • by Coach M Location: Rocky Mount on Mar 10, 2009 at 01:50 AM
    Ank, Ank, Ank: Not you again. I do not understand why soooo many people want to accept homosexuality as an alternative life stile. Yes, God loves everyone but He also hates sin. Homosexuality is a sin. And Sunday is not the Sabbath, Ank. The Bible says the Sabbath. If this man had killed and raped an enemy soldier before saving your life he would still be a sinner, period. The fact that he saved your life makes no difference for him as a sinner. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The difference between my sins and the homosexual sin is that I realize I have sinned and repent.
  • by C on Mar 6, 2009 at 02:39 PM
    Okay, J, I suppose you meant that posting for me. First: Have you met every single member of the Southern Baptist denomination ? I'll go out on a limb here and guess the answer is "no". If that is the case, how do you figure that ALL of them think they're "above everyone else" ? Second: "Oh, the tales your church could tell". Hmm. Sounds like you're talking about hypocrites in the church. Well, guess what ? No church is free of this sort of person; but Jesus Himself had no use for hypocrisy either, and He took such people to task frequently. But the inevitable presence of hypocrites in any denomination does NOT automatically mean that EVERY member is like that. The point I was trying to make in my original post was that my denomination does not embrace that which God calls an contrast to these presbyterian leaders. To prove my first point, obviously some members of the denomination disagree with them. Respectfully, C
  • by j Location: anywhere usa on Mar 4, 2009 at 04:06 PM
    Unbelievable. As for the southern Bapists you pretty much think you are above everyone else anyway. But Oh the tales your church could tell.
  • by C on Mar 1, 2009 at 12:21 PM
    This is one reason I'm a Baptist.
  • by Ank Location: Greenville on Feb 28, 2009 at 01:52 AM
    Me Location: that was awesome
  • by Ank Location: Greenville on Feb 28, 2009 at 01:22 AM
    I've heard Christians say that Jesus and the New Testament is all that matters and the Old Testament is no longer what the rules are. Which is great because the Old Testament tells you to stone your children and murder people who work on sunday. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. If it was such an important issue, don't you think our Lord Christ Jesus would have mentioned it? By the way I'm an atheist, I have many logical arguements that I won't bring up because...well...theists don't use logic. So that's why I'm argueing from a Christian point of view.
  • by Norman Location: ECU on Feb 27, 2009 at 05:28 PM
    The issue isn't if homosexuals are not loved by Christian or they are being judged...homosexuals should not be the LEADERS of any church!!! Take religion out of it...the parts don't go together and it IS against nature. Hey, do you own thing..I just don't want freakiness forced down my throat. Also only 6% of the population is gay.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Feb 27, 2009 at 01:16 PM
    Lastly I checked, the bible isn't a democracy. Can anyone tell me where the "we can vote on it" verse is? I seem a little lost as to where it is. I would rather have a child molester as a pastor than a gay.
  • by Me Location: Edgecombe County on Feb 27, 2009 at 07:14 AM
    I see the hatred of the Xians against those who are different from themselves continues ad nauseum. It's simple, really: if you disagree with the Prebyterians, don't go to a Presbyterian church. Just go find the church that continues to teach you that homosexuals are "sick," "perverted," or "an abomination." Don't forget to feel morally and spiritually superior while you're there! God will reward you for your piousness by letting you watch homosexuals writhe in agony in the fiery pits. I'll let you in on a little secret: the Bible is a hopelessly corrupted text and the god-man Jesus is a contrived character similar in context to Krishna and multiple other deified men that preceded his alleged advent. Basing so much condemnation and judgement on such a flawed system of belief is patently unfair, ignorant, and cruel. However, cruelty constitutes a great degree of church history. Why should the modern era church digress from that way of doing business?
  • by joseph Location: Eastern N.C on Feb 25, 2009 at 10:35 AM
    For those of you who have the fallacy that GOD loves must not have read Deuteronomy chapter seven or ever heard of Ishmael whom GOD it then read Roman's.enough said.OH! google the seven nations GOD ordered destroyed open your eyes and see who causes the most trouble in the world today.

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