Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination, is only seven votes away from officially changing its definition of marriage to include same-sex unions — a move that could have major ramifications for the mainline sect, the Blaze reports.
This development comes less than a year after Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted at its General Assembly meeting in Detroit, to officially embrace gay marriage, amending its Book of Order to define matrimony from being between ”a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
Only 86 votes are needed for ratification, meaning that Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is just seven votes short of officially adopting same-sex marriage. If Amendment 14-F passes, the change in definition would go into effect on June 21, 2015.
Bonhomme Presbyterian Church in Chesterfield, Missouri, which is currently in court trying to keep its current church property after leaving the denomination. And, as TheBlaze reported last year, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California, was involved in a similar situation and decided to pay the denomination $9 million to purchase its property.
Church leaders there also said that key theological issues led to the drastic decision. Menlo Park, which also joined ECO, described its reasons for seeking a split with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a document published in 2013, noting that the church’s “evangelical identity around who Jesus is and our understanding of the authority of scripture are increasingly out of alignment” with the denomination.
Specifically, the church expressed concern that many Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders do not believe in the deity of Jesus, nor do they embrace salvation through Christ. These are central tenets of most mainstream Christian churches, leading to a difficult ideological splintering.