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Presbyterians for Renewal respond to defeat of Amendment A

With the vote of South Louisiana Presbytery on Feb. 19, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has obtained the simple majority needed for the defeat of Amendment A, maintaining the "fidelity/chastity" provisions regarding ordination standards in the Book of Order. Should the current voting patterns continue in the presbyteries remaining to vote, where the pro-gay proposal is being rejected by a two-to-one margin, the defeat will signal the strongest affirmation to date on the part of the vast majority of Presbyterians in preserving the biblical witness to marriage between a man and a woman, and in upholding those standards for ordained leadership. This is an encouraging sign of renewal.

Presbyterians for Renewal is grateful for the outcome of the voting. Believing that Christ has been honored by this witness, PFR is also thankful for the numerous individuals, organizations, and networks who have labored and are continuing to work side-by-side in explaining the potential, tragic consequences of the Amendment if it were to pass. PFR is especially appreciative of the large number of elders across the denomination who not only are turning out to vote, but are also providing strong leadership in floor debates and networking. In spite of reaching a majority, a continued, strong effort is still needed in those presbyteries yet to vote if the true will of the church is to be heard.

What does this vote mean? It reaffirms that the historic witness of Scripture and our confessions regarding sexual morality is clear and to be preserved within our denomination. It expresses the church’s commitment to unity, both internally as a denomination and ecumenically in fellowship with the Christian church worldwide. And, most importantly, it testifies to continued confidence in the transforming power of the gospel.

Hopefully, this strong vote will conclude the decades old repetition of attempts to alter the church’s position on these matters. We continue to pray, believing, for the peace, unity, and purity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Joe Rightmyer, Executive Director, Presbyterians for Renewal, Louisville