The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) & the LGBT Community
1977 to 1999: Past statements on homosexuality:
Statements on homosexuality:
||1997: PCA statement on homosexuality: The PCA approved a
resolution at their General Assembly, declaring that "both the act and
the desire" of homosexuality is a sin and that "a practicing
homosexual continuing in this sin would not be a fit candidate for
ordination or membership in the PCA." That is, all persons who have a
homosexual or bisexual orientation are in a state of sin, even if they
remain celibate. Further, such individuals who are sexually active are not
able to join the PCA as a member, or be ordained as elders or ministers,
or hold any position of authority within the denomination. They would be
rejected even if their sexual activity were confined to a loving committed
relationship with one other person of the same sex. 1
||1980: Report of the Study Committee on Homosexuality: This
report was accepted by the 158th General Synod. Some points raised by the
||Romans 1:28-32 is a particularly important biblical guideline for
||Some gays and lesbians falsely justify their same-sex behavior by using
psychology, sociology, and situation ethics.
||"Significant and beautiful" relationships between same-sex
persons can exist. But the Bible rejects as "unnatural"
which include sexual activity.
||Same-sex behavior is only one of many sins cited in the Bible.
||Healing from homosexual sin may be only partial. It may proceed slowly.
||Some congregations have reacted to homosexuals from a position of
fear and a lack of compassion.
||It is important that the church not create an environment in which
the homosexual finds it difficult to reveal his condition to fellow
||Practicing homosexuals are unable to enter the deepest form of human
relationship -- that between a man and a woman.
||Celibate homosexuals should not be automatically excluded from
church office. Decisions must be made on an individual basis by the
session and/or presbytery.
||Christians may take different approaches in response to attempts by
the homosexual community to attain political and legal rights.
||Some Christians may avoid involvement in order to not adversely
affect their outreaches to the homosexual community.
||Other Christians may wish to become politically involved by
working to maintain existing legislation and to pass new laws
which legislate against homosexuality. If this path is chosen, Christians
must take a balanced approach by also attempting to impose biblical
morality in other evils in society, like divorce, child abuse,
wife abuse, etc. 2
||1993: PCA statement on homosexuals in military service: The PCA
issued a "Declaration of Conscience on Homosexuals and the
Military" which affirmed their 1997 resolution. 1
||1996: General Assembly activities:
||"Statement to Episcopal Church for Ordination of Homosexuals" The PCA's Presbytery of New Jersey approved a statement directed to
the Episcopal Church, USA. They noted that an Episcopal court had not
found "core doctrine" which would exclude a sexually
active homosexual candidate for ordination if he or she was involved in a
monogamous, committed same-sex relationship. The Presbytery regarded this position as
anti-scriptural and in conflict with historical Christianity. It
brings"shame" on the Church. They expressed the hope that the Episcopal
church would change their policy to prohibit such ordinations in the
Presbytery asked the PCA's General Assembly to consider sending such a
statement to the Episcopal Church. The Assembly declined, stating as grounds:
1. The PCA is not "in ecclesiastical relationship with the
Episcopal Church in the US.
2. The PCA has already made its "...position against the evils of sodomy and other sexual
3. The homosexual issue is the topic of other resolutions at the General
4. It would not be feasible for the PCA to communicate with every other
denomination about each deviation from historical Christianity."
5. Some within the Episcopal Church are already raising a "prophetic
voice....against this sin."
Personal Resolution #7 by RE Tom
Leopard titled "Oppose Legalization of Homosexual Marriages"
was answered by reference to previous actions of the General Assembly and
by a statement that includes a curse on American society:
"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. 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."
Personal Resolution #6 by
RE Tom Leopard titled "Oppose Disney's Promotion of Homosexual Lifestyle"
be answered by reference to a previous action by the Assembly and by the following statement:
"We abhor what Disney and other
corporations do to promote the homosexual lifestyle."
appears to be a reference to Disney and other companies extending health
care and other family benefits to the partners of homosexual employees and their
1997-AUG-15: PCA and Disney: Stated Clerk Paul R.
Gilchrist of the PCA sent a letter to all PCA pastors and elders. It said,
"It has become clear that the Disney Corporation is on a
deliberate course of promoting the homosexual agenda and marginalizing the
evangelical and conservative church and making them seem irrelevant to our
1997? PCA and human rights law: Several states have enacted
anti-discrimination laws that prohibit employment discrimination on the
basis of sexual orientation. Unlike similar laws in other states, the New
Jersey legislation did not specifically exempt religious groups from the
scope of the law. Thus, religious institutions in that state are not free
to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or any
other basis that they see fit. The PCA initiated a lawsuit, attempting to
have the New Jersey law declared unconstitutional.
"The suit was
dismissed on grounds that it was premature in that no action had been
brought against the Presbyterian Church in America under this law and that
the Attorney General had stated for the record that he had no intention of
enforcing the law where the employer is a church." 6
1999-AUG: Criticism of PCA by the Bible Presbyterian Church (BPC): The BPC passed Resolution 63:3
at their 63rd General Synod. It criticizes "Cordial Relations Between
Presbyterian Church in America and Presbyterian Church (USA)." In the
resolution, the BPC noted that the Stated Clerks -- the chief administrators
-- of the PCA and PCUSA had met and had stated that relations between the two
denominations "remain cordial." The BPC resolution stated
PCUSA is apostate, having a large section of the church pushing for the
ordination of homosexual clergy and elders, worshippers of the goddess
Sophia, a publicly pro-abortion stance, and a new catechism which affacks
the central Christian teaching that salvation is possible through Jesus
Quoting the Bible, the BPC called upon the PCA:
"to 'have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but, rather
reprove them' (Ephesians 5:11), and to 'come out from among them, and be
ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing' (2
Corinthians 6:17)." 7
1999-APR: Westminster Presbytery adopted Overture 22: The
Presbytery adopted an overture titled: "Warning Regarding Homosexual
Agenda." After citing a number of anti-homosexual "clobber"
verses in the Bible, the overture stated, in part:
"Whereas, the Gay and Lesbian Community has sought and obtained inroads
into public and private education, Therefore Be it Resolved, that the
Presbyterian Church in America requests the churches in this denomination
to inform and warn the members of their congregations of dangers of the
homosexual agenda in the schools. Be it further resolved, that the
congregations be informed of the possible use of the video, 'It's
Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School,' and that this video will
possibly be aired on Public Television in June 1999.
Also, Be it Resolved, that the Presbyterian Church in America is committed
to biblical standards and urges its congregations to apply those standards
in appropriate fashion."
||1999-AUG: PCA General Assembly overtures and resolutions:
||Statement on homosexuality and youth: Commissioners
(delegates) to the PCA's 1999 General Assembly approved a statement
that expressed concern about the "threat that sexual perversion
generally, and homosexuality in particular" posed to American youth. It urged its congregations to study the Bible, to pray that God will cure
homosexuals, and to speak and act on behalf of the children in the
||Statement on execution of homosexuals, firing of gay teachers, and
other topics: The PCA General Assembly passed Overture # 11, which
stated in part:
||"Whereas, God has plainly spoken of homosexuality in his Word, denouncing
both the act and the desire as sin, condemning this perversion as
unnatural, a degrading passion, an indecent act, an error, an abomination,
and hence worthy of death; and
||Whereas, we recognize, that God's righteous judgment is upon those who
approve of such detestable acts, as well as those who practice them; and
||whereas God has clearly stated that the condoning of homosexuals
along with murderers, immoral men, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and all
other unrighteousness is contrary to sound teaching,
||Therefore, be it resolved that the General Assembly encourage Christians
to recognize their responsibility to petition the powers that be such men
and women who practice, approve, or condone any of these activities not be
invested with the authority to teach in schools or be in a position where
they can influence our nation, which professes 'In God we trust'." 19
||Statement on the rejection of homosexual members & clergy: The
Assembly passed Resolution #7 to: "affirm the
Biblical position for our denomination" They stated that:
- All homosexual activity is sinful.
- Congregations should actively help homosexuals to seek a cure.
- All non-celibate homosexuals must be excluded from membership and
One important factor is that the resolution only condemned
homosexual acts, not simply having an homosexual orientation.
- David Kyle Foster, "The Summer of Our Discontent: The Church Fights
Back in the Culture War on Homosexuality," Mastering Life Ministries, at: http://www.gospelcom.net/mlm/summer.html
- "Report of the study committee on homosexuality," 158th GS MINUTES,
1980-JUL-04, at: http://www.pcanet.org/
- "PCA Digest: Assembly Actions: 1973 - 1998," at: http://www.pcanet.org/
- "24th general assembly 1996," Presbytgerian News, at: http://www.presbyteriannews.org/
- Art Toalston, "Boycott May Be Taking Its Toll," 1997-AUG-19,
Southern Baptist Convention, at: http://www.erlc.com/Culture/Disney/
- "Double Exposure," Layman Online, 1997-SEP/OCT, at: http://www.layman.org/layman/the-layman/
- "Bible Presbyterian Church: Resolution 63:3," at: http://www.bpc.org/synod/resolutions/063_03.htm
- "Presbyterian Church in America takes stand on homosexuality,"
Layman Online, 1999-AUG-15, at: http://www.layman.org/layman/news/
- "PCA Position Papers: 1999 Resolution regarding the homosexual agenda,"
Copyright © 2002 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Latest update 2012-NOV-04
Author: B.A. Robinson