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Limping Between Two Opinions? The Future of the PCUSA

“The Presbyterian Church (USA) is at a crossroads,” declares a recently-released document from a group of concerned Presbyterians. The Presbyterian Lay Committee [PLC] is a venerable group of conservative Presbyterians who have been working for a Reformation within their denomination for many years. Even so, the PCUSA has been moving steadily leftward, and is set to debate the issue of human sexuality yet again. The PLC knows that there are even deeper issues at stake.

In Can Two Faiths Embrace One Future?, the PLC sets out its case, explaining that the radical pluralism embraced by the PCUSA has led to theological, spiritual, and denominational disaster.

This program of unconstrained pluralism — embracing a seemingly limitless range of theological positions — has been promoted by the leadership of the PCUSA. As the document argues:

They have sought to accommodate within one institutional structure substantially different convictions regarding what Presbyterians are to believe and how they are to live. The result: a loss of theological and ethical discernment and a prevailing assumption that there can be parity between truth and falsehood.

The language of feeling now dominates Presbyterian parlance. “I’m not comfortable with this,” is employed in lieu of “this is wrong.” Dialogue, a process in which contradictory poitions are “shared,” has replaced debate, a process in which contradictory positions engage one another in pursuit of the truth. No longer assessing truth claims vis-a-vis established standards, we have cast our people adrift on a sea of relativity, leaving them in a quandary as to who Presbyterians are and how we are to live.

The paper ends with a courageous call to decision. There is no way to avoid choosing, for choosing not to choose is itself a choice. Institutionalists argue that pluralism can save the denomination. But we believe God is calling us to turn aside such thinking as nonsensical and unfaithful.

Can Two Faiths Embrace One Future? is available in a PDF format at no charge at the Web site of the Presbyterian Lay Committee. It should be must-reading for concerned Christians of all denominations.