It’s been over a month since the Letter of Repentance to the LGBTQI Community was issued by the PCC Moderator and you may have been wondering if Psalt was going to issue any response to the letter. We have crafted a response which we are pleased to send to you now.
The timing of our response is intentional. Issuing a letter of repentance is bound to cause some reaction and we did not want our response to the Moderator’s letter to generate any further reactions instead of measured consideration, especially during a time when many of National Committees were meeting to conduct their business.
However, now that sufficient time has passed we feel it is appropriate to release our response. We are happy to answer any questions you may have for us on this issue.
Blessings in Christ,
The Psalt Leadership Team
PSALT Speaks to the Moderator’s Letter of Repentance
The Moderator of the 2017 General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, The Rev. Peter Bush, issued a Letter of Repentance to the LGBTQI Community in February of 2018. This was part of a larger work of repentance for homophobia that was considered by the General Assembly in 2017 as a matter that was identified but not completed following the Report on Human Sexuality adopted by the General Assembly in 1994. Since 1994, neither the doctrine nor the practice of the denomination has officially changed.
PSALT – Presbyterians Standing for Apostolic Love and Truth – is grateful to the Moderator for fulfilling this part of the task assigned to him by the Church. The Letter repents of homophobic behaviours and attitudes that have harmed LGBTQ persons, and it is good and right that the Church should do so. We applaud this act of contrition and repentance, and we recognize that the Letter will become more meaningful as individuals responsible for such acts mentioned in the Letter recognize their error in actions, inactions, or dispositions of heart and spirit. The Letter reflects the common narrative of society, although it does not reflect the voice of the whole Church nor that of the holy apostolic church. In this Letter, the Church has gone the extra mile, and hopefully, it will not be leveraged during future debates in attempts to silence respectful opposing and prophetic voices within the Church.
We are grateful to note what the Letter does not say. It does not seek a change of the doctrine of the Church or its view of marriage being between one man and one woman. It does not seek to change the practice of the Church by legitimizing the ordination of practicing LGBTQI persons. It does not seek to undermine the Church’s high view of Scripture and its authority, or the Reformed hermeneutical methods applied to it.
Repentance is useful in resetting relationships with the active grace of God at work. This Letter, while important, does not give special identity to any group within the Church, as our identity rests primarily in Christ Jesus. We recognize that other areas of repentance are also needed by the Church, especially with respect to racism exercised towards parts of our denomination’s constituency.
This Letter reminds us all of our fallen natures. As Romans 3:23 puts it succinctly: “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
May God continue to bless us with wisdom and grace in these matters.
– The PSALT Leadership Team