June 06, 2004 Q & A

Homosexuality and gay marriages


I am interested in learning the OPC's view on homosexuality, gay rights, and gay marriage.


Let me respond by directing you to two sections of our church's doctrinal standards:

"Marriage is to be between one man and one woman" (Westminster Confession of Faith 24.1).

"The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts" (Westminster Larger Catechism, answer 139).

Some months ago I read with interest in our local newspaper expressions of shock from leaders of mainline denominations over the (at that time) recent approval of the installation of a homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church, and its toleration of gay clergy and same-sex couples. Unfortunately, the hand wringing over their denomination's departure from the clear teachings of scripture and 2000 years of settled moral tradition comes too late, and I wondered whether these leaders were disingenuous or just simply naive.

For decades, many mainline denominations have approved ministers who repudiate the authority of scripture, and the most basic of Christian doctrines, such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, and the bodily resurrection. What is shocking is not that these unbelieving ministers reject basic Christian ethical teachings, but that they were ever ordained to ministerial office in the first place. The need now is for repentance, and the removal from ministerial office of those who have departed from the historic doctrines of the Christian church.

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church affirms the scriptural truths that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that homosexual behavior is sinful. But just as importantly, we require that our ministers acknowledge the authority of scripture as the infallible word of God, and our doctrinal standards as accurately presenting the system of doctrine found in scripture. It is within the context of a full-orbed Christian world and life view that the biblical doctrine of marriage is most persuasively proclaimed to our culture.



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