The Memorial Park Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh is seeking a new home after it became clear that efforts to stay under the wing of their parent denomination was going nowhere.
According to a report published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the church was forced to file lawsuit to keep the PCUSA from taking their property. They had offered to give them denomination $500,000 to seal the break but the denomination refused.
Memorial Park officials have said they were concerned about the national denomination’s move away from traditional doctrines concerning the Holy Trinity and the Bible’s authority, and its increasingly liberal views on gay ordination.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is among several Protestant denominations embroiled in a bitter debate between conservatives and liberals over what role gays should have in their churches. The national church’s highest court ruled in 2000 that Presbyterian churches may bless same-sex unions as long as they do not equate the relationships with marriage.
Memorial Park is one of several churches in the 153-church presbytery to join a conservative group called New Wineskins in the past year. In 1999, the congregation became a so-called “Confessing Church,” declaring faith in the Bible’s authority, the lordship of Jesus Christ and traditional Christian sexual ethics.
The Presbyterian congregations are facing similar retribution as some Episcopal congregations who decide not to follow denominational heresy. And, as the Episcopal congregations noted, it was a matter of being forced up against a wall by the intolerant denominational heads. Memorial Park’s Pastor Weaver: “We don’t intend in any way, shape or form to do any harm to the presbytery. Our hope had been that it would turn out differently. We didn’t feel that we had any other choice.”