Monday, August 10, 2015

Pipa Offers Fasting and Prayer Resolution Over Same-sex Marriage

At its summer meeting on July 25th, Calvary Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America approved a resolution offered by Greenville Seminary President Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. calling for a day of fasting and prayer concerning the "perversion of God's biblical pattern of marriage and sexuality." The resolution comes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court recent legalization of same-sex marriage.

The resolution calls on churches of the Upstate South Carolina presbytery to fast and pray on Aug. 26, bringing before the Lord the special challenges Christians, churches and Christian organization are facing and will likely face in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling.

Greenville Seminary is not officially affiliated with the PCA or any other denomination, but Dr. Pipa is an ordained minister member of Calvary Presbytery, which met at Eastside Presbyterian Church (above) in Greenville.

The resolution was originally authored by Pastor Geoffrey Gleason and sent by his Session at Cliffwood Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Ga. to the Savannah River Presbytery, where it was adopted. Dr. Pipa offered a slight modified and strengthened version as a personal resolution to Calvary Presbytery.

The Calvary resolution reads as follows:

“A Call for a Day of Fasting and Prayer”

Whereas, the June 26, 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America opposes God’s creation mandate of marriage established in Genesis 2:18-24 and thereby greatly dishonors our Creator and Redeemer; and,

Whereas, this decision establishes as constitutional right a perversion of God’s biblical pattern of marriage and human sexuality and places the church at odds with the laws of the civil magistrate of our land; and,

Whereas, the biblical position of marriage may cause the civil magistrate to spurn the church’s name as evil, on account of the Son of Man (Cf. Luke 6:22); and,

Whereas, the Westminster Confession of Faith teaches that prayer and solemn fastings upon special occasions are an appropriate expression of corporate worship to our Lord and God (WCF 21.5); and,

Whereas, the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States will have a significant impact on the moral climate of our nation and, potentially, the freedom of the church and thereby should be considered a special occasion; and,

Whereas, the Directory for Worship of our Book of Church Order recommends that Presbyteries should determine the propriety of observing special days of prayer and fasting for larger districts (BCO 62-3); and,

Whereas, the BCO further recommends public notice should be given a sufficient time “before the appointed day of fasting…, that persons may so order their affairs as to allow them to attend properly to the duties of the day” (BCO 62-4),

Therefore, Calvary Presbytery declares Wednesday, August 26, 2015 as a special day of fasting and prayer for the congregations within her bounds to be used, among other things, to:
  • express our shame and contrition for our nation’s embracing perverse and rebellious marital relations in our land; and,
  • implore our God for the protection of his church in our nation; and,
  • confess our  failure fully to embrace the covenant of marriage as expounded in Scripture and recommit ourselves to marital fidelity and love as an example to our culture; and,
  • express our thanks to our gracious God for his providential ordering of all history including the sinful decision of our Supreme Court on June 26, 2015; and,
  • ask the Lord to instill a fervent spirit of prayer in the hearts of his people; and,
  • plead with God to make effective our feeble efforts in personal and corporate evangelism, that he would be pleased to draw many sinners to himself through his Holy Spirit that thereby our churches and rulers would rightly honor and glorify him.