Mizoram Synod splits from PC(USA) over gay clergy, same-sex marriages

Published 11 June 2012  |  
One of the leading constituent bodies of the Presbyterian Church of India last week decreed to break apart from the Presbyterian Church (USA) over theological disagreements on gay clergy and same-sex marriage.

The highest committee body meeting of the Mizoram Presbyterian Church unanimously agreed to disassociate with the Presbyterian Church (USA), a leading Protestant Christian denomination with over 2.3 million members in the United States.

The debate over gay clergy and marriage originated last May after PC (USA) removed the constitutional requirement for clergy to live "in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness".

Several churches are leaving the mainline denomination for disagreement over theological issues, especially with the move to ordain open homosexual ministers.

While the Mizoram Synod earlier in its meeting in February had discussed on ending ties, it was the 239th Synod Executive Committee (SEC) last week that determinedly opted to break apart.

Members of the SEC said the ordaining of gay ministers and consent to same-sex marriages were the principal reasons behind the fall out as it is was "against the Biblical truth".

SEC has adopted a statement on the subject of marriage which will be conveyed to every local church within its jurisdiction.

The Mizoram Synod began its partnership with PC (USA) in 1999. The partnership spans from training programmes, theological education to social concerns.

"The statement on marriage which was approved is in accordance with the Bible. We shall distribute the same among local churches to remind each on what the Bible teaches us on marriage," said Synod Secretary Elder DP Biakkhuma.

PC (USA) is the latest of several denominations after the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church, to drop the ban on gay clergy.

"Presently, the Presbyterian Church (USA) openly ordains homosexual ministers and also officiates same-sex weddings. We are in complete disagreement over such decisions that have serious practical ramifications. We hence have decided to end our partnership with them," said Rev Malsawmtluanga, a member of the Mizoram Synod Executive Commitee.

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