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SameSex Marriages Divide Presbyterian Church
Theissue of same sex marriage has become a contentious issue between thestate and the churches in the United States. The church and otherChristians grouping have been Christians being against it on thegrounds that it is a sin against God. Since the ruling by the SupremeCourt, legalizing the same sex marriage, the issue had led to heateddebate from both its supporters and opposes, not forgetting thechurches. The Presbyterian Church has not been left behind, as theissue has threatened to divide the church. The Presbyterian Church inparticular, has been vocal against such marriages since itsinception. This has led to taking of dramatic measures as somechurches have chosen to distance themselves from the ones supportingthe legalization of the same sex marriage. The same sex marriagemovements have had diverse to the Presbyterian Church, promptingcelebration in some sections while at the same time drawing vows fordeparture in others.
However,the pressure from the Gay movements advocating for their rights hasled to the recognition of same sex marriages by the law. This has ledto some churches softening their stance on same sex marriages. Thisessay discusses how the legalization of same sex marriages in the USby the Supreme Court has divided Christians in the PresbyterianChurch as per Alison Lesley’s article “Pennsylvania PresbyterianChurches Want to Split from PC (USA) Over Support for Same-SexMarriage (Lesley,2015).”The church is seeking to break away from the PresbyterianChurch (USA) has cited drifting from the scripture, and focusing onmore liberal thinking on the gay marriage, and the gay community atlarge.
“LehighValley have petitioned to split from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)due to the national church’s “drift from Scripture and moreliberal thinking on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendercommunity (Lesley,2015).”
Thearticle reflects on the Pennsylvania Presbyterian Churches in LehighValley filing for break away from the Presbyterian Church (USA) onthe grounds that the liberal thinking of the US church on lesbianism,bisexuality, and homosexuality is adrift from the scriptures which isthe foundation of the church(Lesley).The liberal thinking of some of the church members and not all is themain cause of the split. Some cite the reasons for acceptance of gaypeople of the church are to look trendy and conform to the societalpressures from the gay movements. To the other group, this isunacceptable and does not represent their faith. And this explainswhy the division within the church has been there, and continues tothreaten the unity of the church.
Thearticle mainly targets Christians with the aim of provoking theirthoughts and beliefs on the issue of same sex marriages. Upon readingthe article, it prompts Christians to evaluate their views on theissue and take a stand on either side depending on their beliefs onwhether same sex marriages should be allowed in the church. It alsochallenges them on how to handle pressures from gay movement groups(Lesley,2015).The article targets the gay people as well by presenting to them theeffects of their sexual orientation on the Presbyterian Church andtelling them which group of the church holds and accepts them as gaypeople.
Inthe past, the world’s view of marriage was determined by what thechurch stood for, in addition to the different cultures. At thispoint, no culture or church teachings advocated for gay marriage.However, with time, the world has established its own viewpoint onvarious issues which are contrary to those advocated for by thechurch. This has led to a stance between the two parties.Nevertheless, the constant interaction between these two parties hasled to both influencing each other. The same sex issue is an exampleof such influence of the world’s view of the church where someChristians in the Presbyterian Church have been influenced to thinkliberally about the issue by gay friends and relatives, therefore,adopting the world’s view(Lesley).As a result, there arises conflict in the church since not all acceptthe liberal thinking offered by the world leading to the spilt in thechurch.
Religionis subject to many interpretations of the social issues affecting thesociety by different people. Some count gay marriages as a grossdeparture from the scriptures while others find it possible to be gayand Christian at the same time. Such difference in opinion and lackof common ground in religion has led to divisions among believers.The underlying issues in the article are the different interpretationof the Bible and how such difference in interpretations can lead to arise in conflict to the point of separation from the motherPresbyterian Church in USA. The acceptance of the gay marriage intochurch has been viewed as deviation from the roots of the church(Oppenheimeret al 200).Nevertheless, the proposers of the same sex marriage have had theirargument in support of the practice in the church.
Thearticle also demonstrates the significance of different opinions inreligion. It highlights the rights of every person to free will inthat if some group does not agree they can secede without censorshipfrom the mother church. The freedom of worship is embedded in thearticle where every person has a right to choose his/her religiousbeliefs. Finally, the dilemma afflicting the gay people in terms ofreligion is evident in the article (Lesley,2015).It displays the division brought in the Presbyterian Church by theirsexual orientation. Despite the recognition of the gay communityamong the larger United States society, the church has looked tomaintain its stand with reference to its foundation, and in turn thediverse views of the gay marriage issue. Despite the need to respectall people rights as per the country’s constitution, there remainsan outcry as where should the gay marriage be placed within thechurch.
Inconclusion, Presbyterian Church of Pennsylvania is seeking fordismissal from the Presbyterian Church (USA) is a representation ofthe changing times in religion based on various viewpoints. Thefiling for dismissal is evidence of the extent of religiousdisagreement with the actions of the mother church in allowing samesex marriages. This also proves the lack of dialogue and agreement ona common ground on social issues. Such issues are not only present inthe Pennsylvania Presbyterian Church but are universal. They affectmany churches and religions leading to separations into smallergroups. Therefore, such differences in opinion on various societalissues which could be used to explain the recent increase in thenumber of religious denominations all over the world.
Lesley,Alison. `Pennsylvania Presbyterian Churches Want To Split From PC(USA) Over Support For Same-Sex Marriage – World Religion News`.WorldReligion News.N.p., 2015. Web. 6thOct. 2015. Retrieved fromhttp://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/christianity/pennsylvania-presbyterian-churches-want-to-split-from-pcusa-over-support-for-same-sex-marriage
Oppenheimer,D. B., Oliveira, A., & Blumenthal, A. (2014). Religiosity andSame-Sex Marriage in the United States and Europe.BerkeleyJournal Of International Law, 32(1),195-238.