Overture Seeks to Restore Marriage in the PCUSA to Between One Man and One Woman

Before it can be considered by the 222nd General Assembly, however, another PCUSA presbytery must also vote to approve – or concur – with the overture.

The overture’s rationale states, “When we fail to seek Christ’s direction we are subject to the direction of the culture in which we reside and therefore can make errors in our judgment failing to glorify Jesus Christ in whom we seek to serve first and foremost.” When the PCUSA voted to amend the definition of marriage found at W-4.9000 in the denomination’s Book of Order, “there was no Biblical background given for its consideration and then its passing.

 

The Kiskiminetas Presbytery approved an overture seeking to change the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s definition of marriage to once again reflect that marriage is between “one man and one woman.” That definition was changed March 17 of this year when a majority of PCUSA presbyteries ratified the vote of the 221st General Assembly (2014) to change the definition of marriage to be between two people. The new definition went into effect on June 21, 2015. The overture – approved by a 49-37 vote at the presbytery’s Sept. 8 meeting – reads:

Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between one man and one woman to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The couple is called to live out the sacrificial love modeled for us by Jesus Christ as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community. In civil law, marriage is a contract that recognizes the rights and obligations of the married couple in society. In the Reformed tradition, marriage is also a covenant in which God has an active part and which the community of faith publicly witnesses and acknowledges … Read the entire overture here.

Before it can be considered by the 222nd General Assembly, however, another PCUSA presbytery must also vote to approve – or concur – with the overture. The deadline for a concurrence is February 19, 2016, 120 days prior to the General Assembly which will meet June 18-25, 2016 in Portland, Ore.

The overture was sent to Kiskiminetas Presbytery by nine churches: Bethel Presbyterian Church, Blairsville United Presbyterian Church, Clymer Presbyterian Church, Harmony United Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church of Plumville, Rochester Mills Presbyterian Church, St. Benedict Presbyterian Church and St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.

The overture’s rationale states, “When we fail to seek Christ’s direction we are subject to the direction of the culture in which we reside and therefore can make errors in our judgment failing to glorify Jesus Christ in whom we seek to serve first and foremost.”

When the PCUSA voted to amend the definition of marriage found at W-4.9000 in the denomination’s Book of Order, “there was no Biblical background given for its consideration and then its passing.

The rationale offered for the most recent revision to the definition of marriage referred mainly to society’s views and civil legality, not what is in Scripture and the Confessions,” states the overture’s rationale.

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