Presbyterian churches respond to national acceptance of same-sex - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Presbyterian churches respond to national acceptance of same-sex marriages

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It may come as a surprise for some, as an untraditional ally for gay marriage advocates steps forward this week.

The U.S. Presbyterian Church, made up of more than 1.5 million members, is expanding their definition of marriage to include same-sex marriages.

However, the change comes more as a shift in acceptance rather than a requirement.

The final decision still lies in the hands of individual churches and pastors.

Presbyterian ministers across the valley say the national ruling is sparking conversations, but no wedding bells for gay marriages will be ringing at their churches anytime soon, since legal holds in Georgia and Alabama make it impossible anyways.

Leaders at one Presbyterian church, St. Andrews, explained that the decision comes from the Presbyterian Church USA and does not reflect the views of the Presbyterian Church in America, also known as PCA- a break off branch that typically holds more traditional views.

"We are interested when these things are in the news to say well, we want to clarify who we are, as I'm sure anyone would," said St. Andrews Pastor Bill Douglas. "People can be confused by labels if they're not too clear on what labels mean."

There are currently two Presbyterian churches in Columbus that are a part of the PCA, with more than 400,000 members nationwide.

Pastors with these PCA locations say they will continue to focus on the biblical definition of marriage versus cultural ideas.

"The Bible doesn't change, people change. People vote on things all the time, and change their minds, but the bible doesn't change," said Douglas. 

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