Occasionally, members of the religious left do something that gets reported in the national news. The latest example of such is featured in the FOXNews.com story “Presbyterian minister censured for officiating same-sex marriages”. The story states the following:
The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ruled in a 9-6 verdict issued Tuesday that the Rev. Jane Spahr of San Francisco deliberately violated church law when she conducted the marriage ceremonies in 2008.
. . . The six members who voted against censuring Spahr said punishing her sends the message that gay couples “are children of a lesser God.”
It should be noted and emphasized that this particular story pertains to just one Presbyterian denomination. Not all American Presbyterians are members of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Unfortunately, too many Americans (including journalists) are unaware of that fact, and so whenever a PC(USA) controversy is reported in the national news, people are given the impression that the controversy pertains to all American Presbyterians. If you read the above-mentioned news story, you will see that it can give such an impression to its readers.
As I see it, plenty of Americans are naïve about the vast buffet of church groups that exist in the USA, and so they get the wrong idea about the diverse beliefs of church groups that use a common word in their names. Thus, whenever one church group becomes famous (or infamous) for its liberal policies, non-liberal church groups are harmed because not all people know the difference between the groups.
Just for the record, there are Presbyterian denominations in the USA that predate the formation of the PC(USA), and those other denominations don’t share the liberal beliefs of the PC(USA).
Indeed, the liberalism that permeates the PC(USA) has resulted in a significant exodus from the PC(USA). Not only have individual congregations lost members, but also, entire congregations have left the PC(USA) in response to the denomination’s embrace of liberalism.
That is how liberalism harms churches.
[Personal Note: I used to be a member of the PC(USA). It’s liberalism drove me away.]