This year, at the Presbyterian General Assembly, LGBTQ people & allies of the upcoming generation will claim their birthright at members of a just & inclusive church.

27 June 2008

Heidelberg Catechism

Today the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted 436 to 280 (11 abstentions) to begin the process of correcting mistranslations found in the Heidelberg Catechism. The debate circled around Question 87 which contains a reference to “homosexual perversion” which is not found in the original German text nor in any subsequent translation in any language published prior to 1962. The affirmative vote the by the assembly will begin the lengthy process of removing this language from the Heidelberg Catechism. To make any changes to the Book of Confessions each presbytery will have to ratify the changes before taking effect.

Dr. Jack Rogers, former moderator of the PC(USA), spoke on behalf of the overture informing the assembly of the need to restore this confession to its original form. Dr. Jack Rogers has written extensively on this confession and states on his website, “From a scholarly perspective, it is inexcusable to insert words that were not in the original text of the Catechism…the fact that this unauthorized and theologically incorrect insertion is used to condemn a whole class of church members makes it all the more egregious.”

Those speaking against the overture cited that making changes to the confessions will confuse folks sitting in the pews as well as continue to divide the church over the issue of homosexuality. Others highlighted that this same overture had been disapproved by the 209th and 210th General Assemblies (1997) and (1998).

The will of the assembly; however, denied this argument and went on to approve the changes recommended by the committee.

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