Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 in the Presbyterian Layman
I was a PC(USA) pastor in Grove City, PA who resigned from the denomination in 1990 because I could see what was coming. In my letter of resignation, I wrote:
... I have watched with admiration the devotion and dedication of many fine pastors, who have truly been called by God to work in His vineyard. I have seen the grief in their spirit as they cry over the course our denomination has taken, turning from the Word of God as the authority for matters of faith and practice. They have witnessed, as I have, how human opinion and contemporary cultural values have become as authoritative as Scripture in General Assembly decisions and positions; whether that be political or moral. As a result, our debates, which should have the character of godly deliberation, have degenerated into mere political posturing to bring about a majority rule for one side or the other. God’s truth is not decided by majority vote, but discerned with reverential fear by men seeking the voice of God in His revealed Word.
The fact that we are arguing about things like homosexuality and abortion only reveals how the Scripture has lost its place of authority in our denomination. We are arguing about things which should not even be up for discussion, because the Word of God is clear on the matter; but this happens when God’s Word falls into disrepute in religious institutions. And so, our presbytery and assembly meetings have changed from the intimate worship of God in spirit and in truth to one more like a political convention. That is not how it is meant to be. God has called us to peace (I Corinthians 7:15), not to contention ...
I have recently published my original letter online and have written an appeal to others to leave the denomination, arguing that the attempt to resist from within is not only futile, but forces those who remain into moral compromise.
When the Scriptures are rejected as God’s revealed Word, there is no longer any means left to persuade and no way to unite in fellowship.