As an adult I was frequently stationed in places where there wasn't a readily accessible Presbyterian Church so over time I changed to another denomination. I remember coming home to visit my widowed mother, a devout Presbyterian, and attending church with her after the two branches had combined, noticing significant differences in the order of worship. Mom merely said that things had changed and while she wasn't particularly enamored with some of the "new fangled ideas" (her words) she would be a Presbyterian until she died.
I always had fond memories of my growing up in an old downtown church back in the days when downtown was "the place" but I must say I was saddened to learn just today of the major new changes in the church. Both I feel are ill-founded and don't fall in line with my view of what God expects of us. Of course, since I am no longer an active Presbyterian, it doesn't impact me directly but major changes in doctrine and policy in one denomination often find their way to others.
My first issue is that of gay marriage. The Presbyterians have decided in their General Assembly to approve of gay marriage and change the rules to reflect the words two people instead of a man and a woman as the couple committing under God to a permanent lifetime partnership. Frankly, being a long time Sunday school teacher and active in my church, I don't see how anyone can interpret the Bible to come to this conclusion. I fear it is merely another step toward furthering political correctness and in so doing turning away from Biblical truth. Some things in this world are absolute and God expects us to follow his Word as the final authority on all things. To try to water this down to reflect a socially engineered destruction of the sacred rite of marriage that has heretofore survived the test of time is to me a travesty of the highest order. Read the words of the Apostle Paul in the latter verse of Romans Chapter 1 and this conclusion is inescapable.
The second issue I take with the General Assembly is the divestiture of holdings with Israeli firms. I can't for the life of me figure why a church would divest of Israeli holdings for two reasons. First of all is the matter of Israel being God's original chosen people, before we Gentiles were offered the gift of salvation through the death of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. The foundation of our Christian beginnings come from the Old Testament and the Jewish faith, and why we would try to damage that relationship at a time when Israel is the only real ally we have in the Middle East is appalling. The second reason is clearly a financial one. Israeli companies are some of the most advanced and most profitable in the world, and since managing the church finances involves maximizing return on investment, why would you cancel Israel. I would hope that at least it is not being replaced with Chinese solar panel or windmill construction or the like. To dump the Holy Land foundation for godless Communist corporations would be morally repugnant.
Man changes and the societies that we create change but some things given us from God don't. I feel sure that God is disappointed in anyone professing the Christian faith who so cavalierly caves to those things which are not in compliance with the Word we have been so blessed to receive from the Lord through the Bible. I don't wish anything bad to happen to anyone and I do the best I can, as a sinner like everyone is, to treat my fellow man respectfully. This doesn't mean, however, that I must agree with everything that society tries to jam down my throat nor will I do so. I will close by just saying I am saddened that another mainline Protestant denomination has refused to stand firm. Perhaps that is why her church membership is faltering as well.