As Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me, unless it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient, in which case just do whatever, dude“:
On May 10, Presbyterians in Minneapolis became the needed 87th local presbytery to vote for deleting the denomination’s expectation for ministers and elders of “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.”
These Presbyterians now join the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in adopting a liberalized policy of permitting clergy to be sexually active outside heterosexual marriage.
This makes me feel sorry for all the pastors who have lost their churches over sexual indiscretions, back when we cared about standards and stuff like that. Turns out they were just ahead of the curve.
You’d think that would really be putting butts in the pews, what with the prospect of hearing your preacher open the sermon with tales of lusty adventure with some lucky girl (or guy). But it turns out that’s not the case:
The PCUSA was already losing about 60,000 members a year, a figure that surely will increase now, as it did for Episcopalians and Lutherans after their divisive votes to liberalize the sex teachings, in 2003 and 2009 respectively. Forty-five years ago, one in every six Americans belonged to the “seven sister” mainline Protestant denominations. Today, only one in 15 Americans still does.
Update: Justin Taylor relates some very appropriate quotes on the subject.