Change Has Come
A couple of obvious changes for my former denomination will be:Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (G-1.0000). The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation (G.14.0240; G-14.0450) shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003). Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.
- Self-avowed practicing homosexual persons will now be openly and proudly ordained in congregations and presbyteries.
- In other presbyteries the same people won't get a hearing and their will be remedial cases headed off to the regional Permanent Judicial Commissions etc.
- Evangelical congregations and groups will publish letters, articles and the like and seek separate Synods, calls for repentance and hold gatherings to rally the troops
Although NOT in the BOO, a common understanding about ordination is expressed in Leslie Scanlon's article dated March 21, 2011, "that in the PC(USA) ordination is done on behalf of the whole church". If this is true then each and every congregation and session has a role in the ordination of each and every pastor and officers. If not true, then they're almost Baptists.
I'm going to come off sounding unloving but the deciding factor for most conservative congregations within the PCUSA is money not theology. If it costs too much to leave they will stay and complain or shut up and do their own thing. Many have done this since Angela Davis was an issue [It is in the Wikipedia article]. Oh, there will be some who bite the bullet, pay off Presbytery or walk away from their buildings and campuses but they will be the minority.
So, to my sisters and brothers who are in the PCUSA, I am praying for you, for your congregations and your next steps. God be with you.