Lowcountry Presbytery Overtures the 48th PCA GA to Amend BCO 17 to Prohibit PCA Ordination for Men Self-Identifying as ‘Gay-Christians’

Overture from Lowcountry Presbytery requests the 48th PCA General Assembly to Amend BCO 17 to Prohibit PCA Ordination for Men Self-Identifying as ‘Gay-Christians’

Lowcountry Presbytery approved an overture at its January 25, 2020 Stated Meeting, requesting the 48th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America amend Book of Church Order 17 by adding a new paragraph to “Amend BCO 17 by Adding a Clause Which Prohibits Ordination for Men Who Self-Identify as ‘Gay Christians,’ ‘Same-sex Attracted Christians,’ and/or ‘Homosexual Christians’.” The overture was submitted to the Presbytery by the Session of Christ Church Presbyterian of Charleston, SC.

An overture is a means by which a Presbytery can bring a matter to the General Assembly for consideration. This overture will be considered by the 48th PCA General Assembly at its meeting in Birmingham, Ala., June 15-19, 2020.

The overture contends a number of propositions, for example: that “God created Adam and Eve and ordained the first marriage and family consisting of one man and one woman in sexual union, establishing the context for the biblical sexual ethic;” that “God has established the one flesh sexual union between a husband and wife, as a great mystery in reference to Christ and his Church;” that “Holy Scripture declares that the sexual union and desire between one man and one woman, in the covenant of marriage is righteous and holy and all other sexual activity is unrighteous and sinful, including homosexuality, which Holy Scripture describes as “degrading passions;” that “the Biblical qualifications for a church officer require him to be “above reproach” and the “husband of one wife” (one-woman man), officers and candidates for office must conform their lives to Biblical sexual ethics, which include denying and mortifying all sexual passions and desires toward anyone to whom they are not married;” that “identification as “gay,” “same-sex attracted,” and/or “homosexual” is sinful, against nature itself, is something God detests, and is not fitting for an officer of the Church of Christ; and that “5th General Assembly of the PCA affirmed that, ‘In light of the Biblical view of its sinfulness, a practicing homosexual continuing in this sin would not be a fit candidate for ordination or membership in the Presbyterian Church in America,’ clarity is required regarding the ordination of men who claim not to be committing homosexual acts, but who identify as ‘gay Christian’ or ‘same-sex attracted Christian’.”

Based on these and other affirmations, the Lowcountry Presbytery approved the following wording to amend BCO 17 by adding a new paragraph as BCO 17-4:

Men who self-identify as a “gay Christian,” “same sex attracted Christian,” and/or “homosexual Christian” shall be deemed unfit for ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America.

 

THE OVERTURE from Lowcountry Presbytery
“Amend BCO 17 by Adding a Clause Which Prohibits Ordination for Men Who Self-Identify as ‘Gay Christians,’ ‘Same-sex Attracted Christians,’ and/or ‘Homosexual Christians’.”

Whereas God created Adam and Eve and ordained the first marriage and family consisting of one man and one woman in sexual union, establishing the context for the biblical sexual ethic (Gen. 1:27–28; 2:24; 4:1); and

Whereas God has established the one flesh sexual union between a husband and wife, as a great mystery in reference to Christ and his Church (Eph. 5:25, 31–32); and

Whereas Holy Scripture declares that the sexual union and desire between one man and one woman, in the covenant of marriage is righteous and holy and all other sexual activity is unrighteous and sinful, including homosexuality, which Holy Scripture describes as “degrading passions” (Prov. 5:18–19; Rom. 1:26–27; I Cor. 6:9–11; Eph. 5:3–5; Heb. 13:4; WCF 24.1 & 2; WLC 138,139); and

Whereas the application of the 7th Commandment forbids the sins of homosexuality, unnatural lusts, and unclean affections, affirming that homosexual acts and the desires to commit those acts are both sinful (Matt. 5:27–28; WLC 139); and

Whereas the Biblical qualifications for a church officer require him to be “above reproach” and the “husband of one wife” (one-woman man), officers and candidates for office must conform their lives to Biblical sexual ethics, which include denying and mortifying all sexual passions and desires toward anyone to whom they are not married; and

Whereas identification as “gay,” “same-sex attracted,” and/or “homosexual” is sinful, against nature itself, is something God detests, and is not fitting for an officer of the Church of Christ (Lev. 18:22; I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:5–6); and

Whereas the Christian’s identity is rooted in Christ so that he is a “new creation” in Him, his identity cannot be defined by sexual and/or any other desires or lifestyles that are contrary to Holy Scripture; for the Christian there is a clear distinction between self-conception (“this is who I am”) and remaining indwelling sin (“this is what I must daily mortify”) (Rom. 6:1–14; I Cor. 6:9–11; II Cor. 5:17; Col. 3:1–5); and

Whereas the sexual revolution and LGBTQ+ movement are infiltrating many quarters of the Church and causing no small amount of confusion; and

Whereas the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s Nashville Statement on biblical sexuality, affirmed by the 47th GeneralAssembly of the PCA as a biblically faithful declaration, states in Article VII, “We deny that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption;” and

Whereas the 5th General Assembly of the PCA affirmed that, “In light of the Biblical view of its sinfulness, a practicing homosexual continuing in this sin would not be a fit candidate for ordination or membership in the Presbyterian Church in America,” clarity is required regarding the ordination of men who claim not to be committing homosexual acts, but who identify as “gay Christian” or “same-sex attracted Christian;” and

Whereas the 47th General Assembly of the PCA voted to create an ad interim study committee on the topic of human sexuality with particular attention to the issues of homosexuality, same-sex attraction, and transgenderism, study committee reports are non-binding in nature and do not change the Constitution of the PCA, including requirements for the ordination of elders;

Therefore be it resolved that Lowcountry Presbytery overture the 48th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America to amend The Book of Church Order chapter 17 such that a new clause, BCO 17-4, be added which reads as follows (New words underlined):

17-4. Men who self-identify as a “gay Christian,” “same sex attracted Christian,” and/or “homosexual Christian” shall be deemed unfit for ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America.

Adopted by the Lowcountry Presbytery at its Stated Meeting on January 25, 2020.