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Studies & Actions of the General Assembly of
The Presbyterian Church in America

[24th General Assembly (1996), 24-37, III, 14, p. 212.]


1996,24-37, III, 14, p. 212. That the General Assembly answer Personal Resolution #4 in the negative.

1. The PCA is not in ecclesiastical relationship with the Episcopal Church in the US and, therefore has no basis for addressing her.
2. The PCA's position against the evils of sodomy and other sexual perversion has been clearly stated and reiterated in the past.
3. The issue is again being addressed by other personal resolutions to this GA.
4. It is impossible for the PCA to address every deviation from Biblical Christianity within the multiplicity of denominations and churches.
5. A prophetic voice is being raised within the Episcopal Church in the US against this sin.

We encourage our members to pray and to support those within the Episcopal Church who are opposing this error.

Personal Resolution 4: TE James A. Smith "Statement to Episcopal Church for Ordination of Homosexuals"
Whereas, on the one hand, it may be unwise to intrude into the affairs of other churches;
Whereas, on the other hand, we do have the responsibility to the Lord to uphold sound doctrine and to admonish one another;
Whereas, a court of the Episcopal Church has handed down a judgement which in our opinion is clearly out of accord with the teaching of Scripture;
Whereas, this decision was made too late for a formal overture from Presbytery to be considered at this General Assembly;
Whereas, the significance of the matter and of meaningful response would suggest that postponing consideration of our responsibilities for a year is probably unwise;
Therefore, we respectfully request the General Assembly to consider the wisdom of making a statement (or some other response that may be considered to be more appropriate) to the Episcopal Church in similar form and spirit to the enclosed letter sent by the Presbytery of New Jersey to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Letter sent by Presbytery of New Jersey:

Edmund Browning, Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY

Dear Sir: The Presbytery of New Jersey, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America, notes with sorrow, the decision of your ecclesiastical court on May 15, 1996, "that there is no core doctrine prohibiting the ordination of a noncelibate, homosexual person living in a faithful and committed sexual relationship with a person of the same sex." We believe that this decision is a departure from the teachings of Scripture and that noncelibate homosexual activity is incompatible with historic, biblical Christianity. Your decision brings shame on the Church of Jesus Christ. It is our prayer that the 1997 General Convocation of the Episcopal Church will revise the canon law of the Episcopal Church to prohibit the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals. Know of our continued prayer for the faithful expansion of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

/s/ James A. Smith

1996, 24-58, III, 25, p. 315. That Personal Resolution 7 by RE Tom Leopard, "Oppose Legalization of Homosexual Marriages" be answered by reference to previous actions of the General Assembly (e.g., M5GA, p. 67-8, M21GA, p.129ff) and the following statement.

"We affirm the Bible's teaching that promotion of homosexual conduct and relationships by any society, including action by the governments to sanction and legitimize homosexual relationships by the legalization of homosexual marriages, is an abominable sin calling for God's judgment upon any such society (Lev. 18:22 and Rom. 1:18-32). We also reaffirm our belief in the transforming power of God's grace and our commitment to 'speaking the truth in love' to those in the homosexual community."

Adopted as amended

1996, p. 319, 24-58, III, 26, p. 319. That Personal Resolution 6 by RE Tom Leopard "Oppose Disney's Promotion of Homosexual Lifestyle" be answered by reference to the Assembly's action on Recommendation 25 and by the following statement -- "We abhor what Disney and other corporations do to promote the homosexual lifestyle."