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Presbyterian General Assembly argues that gay ministers not qualified for ordination

by Premier Journalist
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According to the General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has declared gay ministers unqualified for ordination.

An integral part of PCA protocols is overtures. To pass an overture, PCA members can submit a request for the General Assembly to take a specific action. This can be something like donating funds or changing particular policies within the denomination.

When the General Assembly gathered last week, they received 47 overtures to consider before the Assembly. Several of these included overtures dealing with sexuality and identity.

Two separate overtures challenged the ability of LGBT+ Christians to join the PCA as ministers. Overture 23 argued that the Book of Church Order (BCO), an essential document for church discipline, should add language declaring that gay men were unfit for ordination. The overture focuses on any identity "that undermines or contradicts their identity as new creations in Christ" but concentrates specifically on Christians who identify as gay, same-sex attracted or homosexual.

Overture 16 addresses the same issue but argues for a separate change. The overture requested that the Assembly edit the BCO to disqualify a gay man from ordination, even if they promise to practice celibacy while in office.

Overture 23 passed with a significant majority, receiving 1438-417 votes on Thursday night.

The overture will be given to the PCA's 88 presbyteries for their approval. If two-thirds of the presbyteries decide to approve the change, it will then be voted into practice by the Book of Church Order at the next General Assembly in 2022.

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