Due to the removal of a gay elder, the Presbyterian Church [of Ireland] said it “had the right to order its own affairs under the Word of God, our supreme standard, and guided by our confessional subordinate standards. A consequence of this is that those in ordained leadership within our church are required to subscribe to the church’s subordinate standards as a confession of their own faith and to adhere to the doctrinal position they outline.”
Though this news will likely be used to highlight the removed elder’s [Steven Smyrl] comments following the ruling about a potential “witch hunt,” let us not miss the boldness of the action here and its rationale.
Citing the “Word of God” as the main reason and adherence to its teachings as found in subordinate confessions of faith, a clear message is heralded that the gift of marriage is sanctioned by God to be between one biological man and one biological woman.
Obviously, Smyrl, married to Roy Stanley [both males] is in violation of God’s Word. Rev Trevor Gribben, the Presbyterian Church’s Clerk of the General Assembly, said the commission ruled that “being in either a same-sex civil partnership or a same-sex marriage is not compatible” with Presbyterian leadership.
One may hope that God would be honored in this matter and that other similar entities exhibit this kind of faithfulness amidst growing pressure to compromise. Kudos to the Irish Church!
[Author’s Note: Original story by Brian Hutton published by the Irish Times. Title and photo changed by Pulpit and Pen]