LOUISVILLE, KY - By a nearly unanimous vote, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to overlook or explicitly endorse a number of additional sins in what is being perceived as an attempt to slow its rapid pace of membership decline.
As balloons came down, the PC(USA) commissioners danced in the aisles to the Kool & The Gang 1980 party standard Celebrate and some attendees openly wept for joy as the denomination announced their official endorsement of pride, gossip, sorcery, covetousness, theft, and sexual immorality as a general category.
"Finally," sobbed self-described "open gossiper" attendee Rebecca Arnett. "I no longer have to live a lie. Now I can confidently be the gossip God made me to be. Did you hear about Lauren's husband, by the way?"
Commissioner Ray Louis outlined a denominational strategy, saying plummeting membership numbers point to a need for churches to align themselves more with the culture, and that condoning additional sins is the way to do just that. "Look, the fact is, pure and simple, the Bible is antiquated," explained Louis. "We need to do some serious editing if we're going to reach people with the love of Jesus and his message of negotiable morality."
Louis further hinted that if the strategy proves successful, further sins may still be accepted into the fold in the near future. "I don't want to spill the beans," said Louis cautiously, "but let's just say bearing false witness isn't off the table."
Many PC(USA) advocates, like Rod Pringle, a pastor from Olympia, WA who also practices sorcery in his free time, see this move as a great step forward. "Look, all this is really doing is giving presbyteries the discretion to endorse things like sorcery at a local level. Frankly, I think that's completely in line with traditional church practice. If someone wants to summon a Balrog, but does it in a way consistent with their individual Christian walk, well then who am I to judge?"
The PC(USA) also confirmed that due to budget cuts and a diminishing need for space, next year's assembly would be held in the back of a church school bus.