Churches' response to homosexuality
The Presbyterian Church (USA):
decades (so far) of painful
conflict & evolution
on gay ordination,
On this web site the term "LGBT" refers to the Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual community.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) [a.k.a. PCUSA] is a mainline Christian denomination
whose name is often confused with the Presbyterian Church in America [a.k.a. PCA]. The PCA is a smaller
and much more conservative denomination that split from the PCUSA because it could not tolerate the concept of female clergy. The PCA's beliefs and practices concerning lesbian, gay and bisexual ordination
are discussed in a separate essay.
We hope that some of the following books will help members of the PCUSA denomination understand the PCUSA conservative / liberal conflict. Like the PCUSA and many other mainline denominations, the messages of these books follow one of two themes:
- The belief that sexual orientation, as defined by the gender(s) to which a person is sexually attracted is discovered, not chosen, and is always or almost always fixed. The author(s) conclude that since humans are hardwired to seek intimate relationships, rather than remain celibate without an intimate partner for life, that the church should accept and celebrate same-sex relationships and marriages.
- A growing realization that a person's sexual orientation is both unchosen and fixed, but that everyone has choices about whether to act on their feelings of sexual attraction or remain celibate without a intimate relationship. Many conservative Christians appear to be moving towards this scenario rather then endlessly condemning same-sex relationships.
Some recommended books:
We suggest that you use the hyperlinks to go to the Amazon.com web site and read the book reviews thoroughly before deciding whether to purchase one or more of these books.
Standards Task Force of North Como Presbyterian Church in Roseville,
MN, has produced a most impressive book on homosexuality. Its main theme is
whether candidates who are in loving committed same-sex relationships should be
allowed to be ordained in the Presbyterian Church, (USA). It also covers many
other topics associated with sexual orientation, including reparative therapy,
suicide among gay and lesbian youth, homosexuality in the natural world, etc. Unlike almost all other books which take
either a liberal or conservative approach, this book attempts to explain all
viewpoints objectively. An amazing accomplishment; a strongly recommended book; an incredible resource:
- Sam Allberry, "Is God anti-gay." The Good Book Company, (2013). Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
- R.G. Hutcheson, P.L. Shriver, "The Divided Church: Moving
liberals and conservatives from diatribe to dialogue," Intervarsity
Press, (1999) Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store This is
written by two Presbyterians: Hutcheson is a conservative Evangelical;
Shriver is a liberal feminist.
- Clifton Kirpatrick & William Hopper, Jr., "What Unites
Presbyterians: Common ground for troubled times," Geneva Press, (1997) Read
reviews or order this book.
- Jack Rogers, "Claiming the Center: Churches and conflicting
worldviews," Westminister John Knox Press, (1995) Read
reviews or order this book safely From
"Rogers presents a persuasive case for the moderate
majority within denominations to take center stage, reasserting the
common ground among us in spite of our controversies. He combines
effectively historic perspective with contemporary relevance."
He uses the Presbyterian Church (USA)) as an example.
- Jack Rogers, "Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality," Westminster John Knox Press, (2010). Read
reviews or order this book safely
- Mark Yarhouse, "Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends," Bethany House Publishers. He advocates an intermediate position: the belief that sexual minorities do not choose and cannot change their sexual orientation, but can and should choose to remain celibate and without an intimate partner for the rest of their life. This is a very hard sell, to humans who as a species have been hard-wired to seek living in relationship. Read
reviews or order this book safely
Sources of information from Presbyterian groups:
- "Presbyterians May Debate Gay Clergy Ban," The Associated Press,
2003-MAY-23. Online at: Beliefnet.com at:
- Rose French, "Presbyterians to allow gays to be ordained ministers," Associated Press, 2011-MAY-11, at: http://www.startribune.com/
Copyright © 1996 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update 2014=-JUN-21
Author: B.A. Robinson