Debates over the Masonic lodge, school-based health clinics, and the relationship between Christians and Jews enlivened denominational meetings held over the summer.

Delegates to the general assembly of the 160,000-member Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) accepted for study a report on freemasonry. The 15-page study recommends, among other things, that PCA members who belong to or are considering membership in the Masonic lodge “reconsider their relationship with that organization.…” The study document concludes that “joining the Masons requires actions and vows out of accord with Scripture; … participation in Masonry seriously compromises the Christian faith and testimony; … [and] membership in Masonry and activity in its ritual lead to a diluting of commitment to Christ and His Kingdom.”

PCA members have until January 1 to respond to the document. The study committee will consider the responses, and the church’s general assembly is expected to take final action on the report next year.

Delegates to the annual conference of the 100,000-member Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) adopted a resolution opposing the establishment of school-based health clinics, saying such clinics “will only encourage further sexual activity among teenagers.” In addition, the denomination opposes the clinics because they “typically support abortion, at least indirectly, as a viable option for pregnant teens.” The resolution further urges that sex education curricula “be required to teach sexual abstinence prior to marriage as a viable and favorable option for teens.”

Perhaps the most controversial denominational actions dealt with the relationship between ...

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