Signs of the postdenominational future
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been through a quarter century of disagreement and division over homosexuality. In the past several years, the church has engaged in wrenching debates over amendments to its Book of Order, the legislative portion of the church's constitution. After a yearlong debate the church in 1997 adopted an amendment (known as Amendment B) that set as a condition for ordination (which includes ordination to the "lay ministries" of elder and deacon as well to the ministry of word and sacrament) "the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness." During the next year the church debated, and eventually rejected, an alternative amendment (known as Amendment A) that would have changed the "fidelity in marriage and chastity in singleness" stipulation to "fidelity and integrity in all relationships."
This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.