Monday, June 23, 2014

Baptist Polity and the Integrity of the SBC; The Coming Methodist Split; PCUSA Allows Same Sex marriage...

Albert Mohler: Baptist Polity and the Integrity of the SBC
June 19, 2014

The Southern Baptist Convention meeting last week in Baltimore was, in itself, a lesson in Baptist polity. The organizational structure of the Convention is directly drawn from Baptist principles, and those principles have been adapted to meet the new challenges faced by every generation.

In the last generation, the Convention responded courageously to the challenge of theological compromise, asserting both the right and the responsibility of the Convention to require confessional fidelity and theological integrity of its seminaries, mission boards, and other entities. That process culminated in the Convention’s revision of its confession of faith, The Baptist Faith & Message, in 2000. That revision included a clear statement of biblical inerrancy and a host of other truths that the Convention urgently affirmed.

In this generation, moral issues also require clear action by the Convention. Most urgently, the issue of homosexuality and same-sex relationships demand attention. In this case, the Convention’s confession of faith is very clear — it affirms marriage as the union of a man and a woman and it affirms the sinfulness of same-sex behaviors...

The Coming Methodist Split?
The United Methodist Church, with 7.4 million members in the United States, is America’s third largest church, despite having lost over 3.5 million members over the last 50 years. But now its debates over same sex marriage are threatening to fracture the denomination.

United Methodism is the largest of the historically liberal “mainline” Protestant denominations and almost the only one that has not surrendered traditional Christian teaching on sexual behavior. It officially defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, prohibits celebration of same-sex rites, and ordains only persons who are monogamous in natural marriage or celibate if single.

There’s one major reason United Methodists have not liberalized sexually like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Its membership is global, and on top of the 7.4 million (as of 2012) members in the U.S., it has over 4.5 million members overseas, mostly in Africa, where there are more than 4 million United Methodists. Even as the U.S. church loses nearly 100,000 members annually, the African church gains over 200,000 annually, in places like Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Angola. The DRC alone has more than 2 million United Methodists, and there may be more Methodists in church on a typical Sunday in the DRC, where attendance exceeds membership, than in the U.S., where the opposite is true...

Presbyterians Back Anti-Israel Divestment
..."It is revealing that Israel is the only country targeted for divestment, not countries that oppress, torture and execute dissidents, like Iran among many others."...

PCUSA Votes to Allow Clergy to Marry Same-Sex Couples; Approves Redefining Marriage
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s highest governing body voted Thursday to allow ministers to perform same-sex marriages.

Presbyterian clergy can now marry gay and lesbian couples wherever same-sex marriage is legal.

The Presbyterian Lay Committee released a statement repudiating the action of the PCUSA General Assembly.

"The Presbyterian Lay Committee mourns these actions and calls on all Presbyterians to resist and protest them ... God will not be mocked and those who substitute their own felt desires for God's unchangeable Truth will not be found guiltless before a holy God."...

Catholic diocese changes process for baptism of children of same-sex couples


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