Longview Presbyterian Church May Quit Denomination
In one of the first local referendums on gay rights in the church, members of the First Presbyterian Church of Longview will vote Sunday on whether to leave the Presbyterian Church USA over the issue of ordaining practicing homosexuals as priests.
This started last year after the Presbyterian General Assembly voted to allow priestly ordination of non-celibate homosexuals.
That ultimately led the Longview church’s governing body of elders to vote in favor of quitting the denomination, and put the issue to a vote of the church members.
Pastor Jonathan Jehorek has resigned from his denomination over this, and says he supports taking his congregation with him, if the members vote that way.
Jehorek says for him, this is not about acceptance or rejection of gays. Jehorek says he believes the Presbyterian Church is straying from Christian teachings to conform with contemporary culture, and in doing so, the leadership is reinterpreting scripture.
Sunday's vote is non-binding, but it will reveal if enough members are so strongly opposed to gay ordination that they would initiate the very complicated process of leaving their denomination to join the more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
It's worth noting that a homosexual orientation alone does not disqualify a person from priestly ordination. The Catholic Church has ordained countless celibate homosexuals for nearly 2000 years. If they remain celibate and chaste, their sexual orientation isn't an issue.
It's when people abandon chastity and practice open non-celibate homosexuality that most churches refuse to ordain them.