Wednesday, March 15, 2006

1978 Revisited

Today’s post is strictly from memory. Some of the “facts” of what actually happened may be different from what I post. My intent is to let the reader understand my thought process at a critical point in the life of the PCUSA.

I was a student at Washington State University in 1978. I had come to faith through the ministry of First Presbyterian Church, Ellensburg, Washington. I was leading one of several Bible studies in our dorm. Jesus was doing great things in the lives of the young men in our dorm.

At the same time and on the same campus there was a ministry on campus supported by the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (hope I’ve got that correct—the former “northern church”). It was known as the “K” house. That ministry actively taught that there was nothing wrong with same gender relationships and sexual intercourse. I was aware that a group within the denomination was studying the issue of homosexuality and the ordination of practicing gays and lesbians. I expected the K house to be supportive of gay ordination. They were very supportive of gay ordination.

What surprised me was that a pastor from the campus ministry in Ellensburg was a part of the group and was openly supportive of gay ordination. You need to understand… Ellensburg is a “cow town.” Pickup trucks have been “in” for as long as I can remember. The campus pastor regularly attended First Pres. First Pres. was very conservative in it theology. I was shocked that the local campus pastor would advocate such an unbiblical position (since then I have learned A LOT about UMHE).

To make a long story a little shorter… I was prepared to leave the Presbyterian Church in 1978 if the denomination moved to ordain practicing gays and lesbians. How could I be involved in ministries that were leading people to Christ and encouraging them to read their Bibles while attending a denominational church that would be taking a stand on sexual ethics contrary to scripture?

Fortunately, the Presbyterian Church took a strong Biblical stand in saying that homosexual sex is a sin. End of story? I’m afraid not.


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