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News for Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Opinion — Reflections
A Denomination on Life Support
By Lonnie Wilkey
editor, Baptist and Reflector

A denomination went on life support last week. Sadly, I don’t think some of its leaders even realize they signed their own death notice.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) became one of the largest Christian denominations in the country to endorse gay marriage last week when its General Assembly voted to allow pastors to conduct same-sex weddings and approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between “two people” rather than “a man and a woman.”

Just like we should not judge all Baptists by the actions of a few, the same is true of this denomination. The Presbyterian Lay Committee called the actions of the PCUSA an “abomination.”

Hmm. Wonder where they got that word from? Well, it happens to come directly from Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination” (KJV).

Evidently some of those Presbyterian leaders on the General Assembly are opposed to reading God’s Holy Word.

I have attended countless business sessions, both church and denomination, over the course of my life. It pains me to think of exactly how much time I have spent in those meetings. But I can honestly say that I have never been in a Baptist meeting where people were opposed to reading God’s Word.

Yet, in a PCUSA committee meeting (see story on page 17), a motion to read Scripture for 20 minutes before the discussion of same-sex marriage was voted down. Can you believe it?

Christians voted not to read God’s Word before discussing an action of major proportions. No wonder this denomination is on life support. No wonder more than 300 churches have left the denomination in the past three years, according to a news report in Baptist Press.

When we fail to look to God for answers for life’s problems from His Word or through prayer, we may as well close the doors, whether it be a denomination or a church.

In essence, this group of people told God, “We don’t need you.”

I believe with all my heart that God will remove His hand from this denomination as a whole but will continue to bless the remnant who hold to His teachings.

Baptists and other Christians must learn from what the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has done and not repeat the same mistake.

We can’t denounce what God clearly teaches in order to be politically correct or do it in the name of tolerance.

The leaders of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will one day stand before Almighty God and account for the stand they took last week.

My prayer is that churches of all denominations will boldly step forward and not be afraid to stand totally on the truth of God’s Word and be a lighthouse in an increasingly dark world.



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