Conservatives within the Presbyterian Church (USA), upset with their denomination's liberal drift on human sexuality and biblical authority, are circulating a three-point pledge to member churches, and some conservatives are threatening to withhold money if the national church leadership does not also sign on.

A burgeoning "confessing church movement" is calling Presbyterians to affirm that "Jesus Christ alone is Lord of all and the way of salvation" and that the Bible is "the Church's only infallible rule of faith and life." The document also calls for sexual purity within the confines of marriage between one man and one woman.

The movement began at Summit Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, part of a regional presbytery that last year said liberals and conservatives had reached an "irreconcilable impasse." Organizers say in the first few weeks since the document's release, as many as 1,000 churches have expressed interest or support. So far, 70 churches in 24 states have passed resolutions in support of the movement. John Adams, editor of the Presbyterian Layman, a theologically conservative newspaper, says there is no link with the Confessing Movement of the United Methodist Church, another mainline denomination undergoing doctrinal disputes.

Among other issues, conservatives are upset by the defeat of a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex unions. Parker Williamson, executive director of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, described the situation as a "powder keg," and conservatives insist that the church reaffirm historic Christian doctrines—and enforce them.

Related Elsewhere

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and UPI have also profiled the growing "confessing church movement."

The Confessing Church Movement ...

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