Traditional Marriage: Divisive and Inflammatory

Stand Firm

Liberals pushing the envelope ever further in the Presbyterian Church (USA) have appealed a judicial decision that gave a presbytery the right to set ordination standards that include reference to traditional marriage. According to the Layman Online:

A group of 21 Presbyterians in Southern California filed an appeal to the PCUSA’s General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (GAPJC) on Wednesday, three weeks after the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii Permanent Judicial Commission (SPJC) ruled that a resolution approved by the Presbytery of Los Ranchos in 2011 was constitutional.

At issue is a resolution passed in September by a 125-51 vote, which states that “the Bible, the Book of Confessions and the Book of Order set forth the Scriptural and constitutional standards for ordination and installation.”

The measure also states that ordained ministers should live in “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness and will so notify candidates for ordination/installation and/or membership in the presbytery.”

In a denomination that still held to the biblical and confessional standards it has on the books, that resolution by the Los Ranchos Presbytery would not be controversial. This, however, is the new PCUSA, one in which the setting of standards of sexual conduct for ordination is akin to lighting the “Mona Lisa” on fire. The SJPC did, incredibly, uphold the presbytery’s right to set such standards, but also made clear that it was not amused:

In its May 4 decision, the SPJC rejected the complaints of error by a 6-2 vote but also admonished Los Ranchos, claiming that the resolution caused potential harm to the peace and unity of the denomination.

The synod decision stated that the complaint rested on the question of “whether a presbytery has the right to pass a resolution concerning the manner of life for its teaching elders as part of the proper exercise of the presbytery’s authority within the powers reserved to presbyteries.”

The SPJC said the presbytery did have that right but that “while this PJC considers the resolution constitutional, the use of specific language known to be divisive and inflammatory flies in the face of the responsibility to seek the peace, unity and purity of the church.”

The language that the SJPC labels “divisive and inflammatory” was in the PCUSA Book of Order until last June.

GMC to hold secret proceedings against doctor for sharing his beliefs


From Christian Concern

The General Medical Council (GMC) has today (11 June) decided to continue disciplinary proceedings against a Christian GP, despite the fact that the patient who made the complaint has refused for two years to give evidence face to face.

Dr Richard Scott, who works at Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, Kent, was first reported to the GMC in September 2010 for discussing his Christian faith with a patient at the end of a private consultation.

Following the complaint, Dr Scott, was threatened with an Official Warning by the GMC, a blemish on his 28 years’ service as a professional.

As well as deciding to continue with the proceedings, the GMC has today also made the extraordinary decision that part of the case will be held in secret. The press and the public will be barred from attending, and Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, has been specifically excluded from attending the hearings to support Dr Scott.

The complainant, an adult, was originally encouraged to bring the charge by his mother, and has persistently refused to have his evidence challenged.

Dr Scott, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, argued that his case should be ‘Struck Out’, as a proper and fair hearing could not take place if he was not able to cross-examine the complainant face to face.

Read here