PCUSA exodus a precipitous plunge

Friday, May 22, 2015
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

A significant drop in Presbyterian Church (USA) membership suggests that many congregants aren't nearly as eager to go against the biblical definition of marriage — one man and one woman — as are the denomination's leaders.

A Closer LookEarlier this year, the PCUSA officially announced its stance to support same-sex "marriage" — an endorsement that many within the denomination have been wary about for years, as leaders gradually divulged the church's evolving take on the issue.

Numbers don't lie

Today, less than 10,000 churches identify as PCUSA, following an exodus of Bible-believing pastors who didn't agree with the denomination's radical shift to endorse same-sex marriage, according to a new report issued by the Office of the General Assembly. Actual numbers provided by the report indicate that the PCUSA's church numbers dropped from 10,262 in 2012 to 10,038 one year later, ending up at 9,829 by the end of 2014.

"Significant of the 209-church-loss of 2014 was the fact that only 101 of those were dismissed to other denominations, a decrease from the 148 congregations dismissed to other denominations in 2013," Charisma News reports.

Tens of thousands of congregants apparently have followed the lead of their Bible-believing pastors, as total PCUSA membership declined yearly from 1,849,496 in 2012 to 1,760,200 (2013) to 1,667,767 (2014).

Furthermore, some 15.7 million African Americans from 15 denominations recently left PCUSA, as reported by OneNewsNow (see 34K black churches sever ties with PC(USA) over 'gay marriage').

Despite the obvious drop in numbers since the PCUSA took its progressive stance on same-sex marriage, some within the church argue that the denomination is just transitioning into a new phase.

"Membership declines continue, but on a whole, the denomination is settling into the new thing God is creating," stated PCUSA general assembly clerk Gradye Parsons. "[PCUSA is still] made up of vibrant congregations doing their best to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their communities and in the world."

Other signs of decay

In addition to its numbers continuing to spiral downward, PCUSA has shown more signs of spiritual decline from within. PCUSA minister John Shuck made national headlines a couple months ago when he declared that he doesn't believe in God (see OneNewsNow story A Presbyterian minister who doesn't believe in God? Why?).

"God is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being," Shuck proclaimed. "God is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force. Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend. I believe one of the newer religious paths could be a 'belief-less' Christianity. In this 'sect,' one is not required to believe things."

Decline to apostasy

Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, explains what is happening to the PCUSA with one word: apostasy.

"The Presbyterian Church (USA) approved redefining marriage in the church constitution … to include a 'commitment between two people,' becoming the largest Protestant group to formally recognize gay marriage and allow same-sex weddings in congregations," Graham expressed on his Facebook page shortly after the announcement in March. "In His Word, the Bible, God has already defined marriage, as well as sin, and we should obey that rather than looking for ways to redefine it according to the desires of our culture."

Graham made it loud and clear that the PCUSA's decision to part from God's Word was nothing less than an all-out rejection of His Word and an embrace of society's accepted sinful behavior.

"Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman — end of discussion," Graham continued. "Anything else is a sin against God, and He will judge all sin one day."

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