What Do Presbyterians Believe About Homosexuality
The Presbyterians are a denomination of Christians belonging to the Protestant doctrine. They distinguish themselves using a 'Book of Order' that regulates their common practice. Traditionally, the Protestants are considered to be less conservative than Catholics, and their attitude reflects what they believe.
The effort to include people who believe in the basic faith of Christianity irrespective of their belief in Homosexuality among Presbyterians started as early as 1974 by David Bailey Sindt. He formed what was known as the "Presbyterians for Gay Concerns". This movement was finally merged with the 'More Light Churches Network' (MLCN) and included in the Presbyterian General Assembly (GA). The mission of MLCN as stated in their manifest is:
"Following the risen Christ, and seeking to make the Church a true community of hospitality, the mission of More Light Presbyterians is to work for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA)."
What they believe about Homosexuality is a bit complex. Though colloquially known as gay Presbyterians, MLCN is actually an ‘inclusive worship’ program that does not shun homosexuals from services. They believe that God wants people to hear His message, irrespective of their sexuality. However, unlike other 'inclusive' denominations, Presbyterians do not allow people who confess to open, self-affirming, "non-repentant" homosexuality to be ordained. This however is strictly from a 'legal' view and they have elected members in office known for their homosexuality.
In 1978, the Presbyterians GA allowed the study of homosexuality by the MLCN, and since then, MLCN has taken the initiative to "study gays and lesbians, respect their civil rights, and to see them as brothers and sisters in Christ". The church members believe that they are not serving the will of God by disallowing His worship.
There is an ongoing effort to recognize members who believe in homosexuality to be ordained, and elected to offices. Each year, MLCN representatives to the Presbyterians GA campaign for inclusion of gay members for what they believe, and not for what they are. MLCN is positive that homosexuality will not be a deterrent factor for election of office-bearers in the near future.
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