This is terrifically encouraging.
Rev. Doug Hucke and the other leaders of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Peoria have always taken principled stands in the past when their denomination, Presbyterian Church USA, has taken unprincipled stands. One example is PCUSA’s effort to divest itself of Caterpillar Inc. stock because Cat sells equipment to Israel, equipment which the denomination accused Israel of using illegally against Palestinians. Representatives of Northminster, which includes many Cat employees among its members, questioned why the denomination would take action that would financially harm some of its own members and why it would single out Israel for such action but take such a light approach toward Palestinians who attacked Israel.
Recently, PCUSA voted to drop requirements that its ministers “live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and woman, or chastity in singleness.” In other words, opening the door for ordination of anybody engaged in a sexual relationship outside of marriage.
Northminster’s session made this statement:
This is a very troubling development and one that Northminster Presbyterian does NOT endorse. Our standards for church officers will remain unchanged. Northminster will not knowingly ordain people engaging in sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage between a man and woman. The change that took place this week does not alter our position on this issue. Nor will the change be forced upon us in any way.
Way to go, Northminster. Hang in there.
- Presbyterians approve change that opens door to gay clergy (knoxnews.com)
- Run, don’t walk, from the Presbyterian Church USA (4simpsons.wordpress.com)
- Presbyterians to ordain gays & swinging singles (geneveith.com)