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The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from Saturday, June 30, through Saturday, July 7, 2012, is scheduled to consider, among other things, redefining marriage.

Surely people are studying the Bible, The Book of Confessions, and the Book of Order in preparation for this decision. Dr. Robert A Johnson, Jr., Executive Director of Friends of Forman Christian College and leader of one of our ministerial study seminars, has been kind to share with me a selection from the Confession of 1967 on marriage. 

The Confession of 1967 on Marriage


The relationship between man and woman exemplifies in a basic way God's ordering of the interpersonal life for which he created mankind. Anarchy in sexual relationships is a symptom of man's alienation from God, his neighbor, and himself. Man's perennial confusion about the meaning of sex has been aggravated in our day by the availability of new means for birth control and the treatment of infection, by the pressures of urbanization, by the exploitation of sexual symbols in mass communication, and by world overpopulation. The church, as the household of God, is called to lead men out of this alienation into the responsible freedom of the new life in Christ. Reconciled to God, each person has joy in and respect for his own humanity and that of other persons; a man and woman are enabled to marry, to commit themselves to a mutually shared life, and to respond to each other in sensitive and lifelong concern; parents receive the grace to care for children in love and to nurture their individuality. The church comes under the judgment of God and invites rejection by man when it fails to lead men and women into the full meaning of life together, or withholds the compassion of Christ from those caught in the moral confusion of our time.


The Confession of 1967, 9.47


Certain questions arise: Do the voices urging the church today to change the definition of marriage come from understandings of, and commitments to, the Christian faith that are smarter, brighter, better, and more faithful understandings of, and commitments to, the Christian faith than the Confession of 1967? Do they provide us with good, sufficient, and compelling reasons to abandon this part of our theological heritage?

Dr. James C. Goodloe IVGrace and Peace,
Dr. James C. Goodloe IV, Executive Director
Foundation for Reformed Theology
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