Our new Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Order proclaims this:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at all levels seeks to manifest more visibly the unity of the body of Christ and will be open to opportunities for conversation, cooperation, and action with other ecclesiastical groups. It will seek to initiate, maintain, and strengthen relations with other Reformed and Christian entities. (G-5.0101)
In another place, the Book of Order says that,
Division into different denominations obscures but does not destroy unity in Christ. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), affirming its historical continuity with the whole Church of Jesus Christ, is committed to the reduction of that obscurity, and is willing to seek and to deepen communion with all other churches within the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. (F-1.0302a)
I would propose that we officially delete those statements as obsolete, because there is little evidence to prove that they are still relevant.
More than three and a half years ago, I warned our denomination’s decision makers that by pursuing our own, narrow denominational agenda, we were jeopardizing, not only our internal cohesion, but our relationship with the larger, universal, big-C Church. Specifically, I said,
I am convinced that our denomination (let alone the rest of Christendom) is not nearly ready for such radical changes regarding sexuality and biblical application. If we persist in our…mentality, we will obliterate the fragile trust that holds our denomination together and marginalize ourselves from the larger body of Christ.
Unfortunately, I was right. Ever since our denomination decided to choose a different path from the rest of the Church this summer (although the drift started decades ago), other Christians are recognizing our departure. Our partners are severing ties with us (and spare me the paternalism that demeans our African and Mexican neighbors as being backward and pre-modern), and those who weren’t our partners before, will likely never become our partners. In short, we have cut ourselves off from the family tree that is the catholic Church and have thrown ecumenical efforts under the bus of sexual depravity.
So let’s make our words line up with our actions and get rid of the ecumenical talk already.