What defines a marriage? A man and a woman? A man and a man? A woman and a woman? The Presbyterian Church has decided to broaden its definition, which has many inside and outside the church disagreeing with a new amendment they say clearly contradicts the Holy Bible.
After three decades of arguing over the same-sex marriage views of the Presbyterian Church, the denomination decided last month to include same-sex marriage in its definition of marriage.
The final conclusion was voted on by the majority of the 171 presbyteries also known as regional bodies.
Their new definition states: “Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives.”
The Presbyterian Church of USA (PCUSA) is the largest of the Presbyterian denominations.
This newest advancement has caused many breakouts in conservative Presbyterian Churches but the PCUSA domination seems to see this in a different light.
Rev. Brian D. Ellison, executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, said: “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.”
Many members of the church have actually left claiming this change does not reflect the truths from scripture.
But how does this affect those outside of the Presbyterian Church?
This new amendment has opened many eyes to see that our churches are starting to conform to the patterns of this world.
Those who are in disagreement with this new definition of marriage claim they are not anti-gay but rather they are worried about where the church is headed.
Paul Detterman, director of a conservative group called the Fellowship Community, told The New York Times: “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.”
Even the ministry students of Missouri Baptist University have seen this take a toll.
Cayla Rice, MBU ministry major, said, “Most likely this will also make other churches figure out where they stand on the issue, and make them decide whether or not they are going to compromise to fit in with our society.”
The PCUSA prefers to see this new change as a way of expressing their love and consideration for others rather than meeting theological truths.
While they are optimistic about their new establishment, many have rejected their decision and have left the church.
This voted amendment will begin in June.