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For the record…

Yesterday there was a vote in the presbytery of Western New York to concur with an overture that would redefine marriage as not between a man and a woman but between two persons.  The rationale of that overture included the following quote,

“Marriage is beyond gender.  It refers to the commitment of two people to live beside each other with a love expressed as tenderness and justice.  It refers to the deep promise to live together through the thick and thin of their journey together through the years.  It refers to the mystery in which the love of God meets, is joined to and made manifest in the love of two people whose hearts are a home place to each other.  The notion of marriage is demeaned by any lesser definition” (emphasis added).

My response was the following:

“I urge you to vote no on the concurrence because the notion of marriage is demeaned and dishonored by any lesser definition than the one that God gave to it. God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. He did not look to the state or society to define it. He did not leave it to the church to set up the parameters of a marriage relationship. Male and female is God’s idea. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). It is “not good” for man to be alone (2:18). Neither the animals nor another man would have been a good fit for him to carry out God’s mandate. But humanity made in the image of God, that is, female and male, blessed and given the mandate to “be fruitful and multiply” is “very good.” Same-gender marriage is not the way we were designed to function and the context in which there is blessing. One man leaving father and mother and cleaving to one woman is. Scripture says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). God gave us marriage for one man and one woman, Jesus blessed it, and the Holy Spirit sustains it.  Please vote no.”

After debate the overture passed 41 for, 23 against, and 1 abstaining.  Among others, I asked my name to be recorded in the minutes as having dissented.  This will go to the GA, where I am a voting commissioner this year, and if it is approved it will need to be ratified by a majority of the presbyteries.

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