Actions of the ARP Synod at its Thursday Morning Session – By Daniel Wells

Recommendations from the Memorials, Complaints, and Executive Board presented to the ARP Synod and the actions of Synod on the recommendations.

The ARP Synod is meeting at the Bonclarken Conference Center in Flat Rock, NC. The following was considered by the Synod on June 7.

Memorials Committee

The Committee on Memorials presented a number of items for consideration. Synod took the following actions on the recommendations:

  • Adopted an amended memorial which would require nominees to Synod’s boards and agencies to fill out a doctrinal questionnaire, which would only give the Nominations Committee information about the doctrinal commitments of nominees, not necessarily disqualify them from office. The questions deal with a candidate’s view of the inerrancy of Scripture, adherence to the Westminster Standards, and understanding the Synod’s trustee removal policy adopted from the 2011 Synod.
  • Adopted an amended memorial from First Presbytery to have Synod’s Minister and His Work Committee study the historical practice of ordination and what constitutes a legitimate calling body and to bring recommendations to the 2013 meeting of the Synod.
  • Adopted a memorial from First Presbytery concerning the term limits for office for Synod’s officers, that they serve no more than two consecutive terms.
  • Adopted a memorial from Northeast Presbytery to redraw the boundaries between Northeast Presbytery and Virginia Presbytery.
  • Defeated a motion to have the Moderator establish a committee of no more than seven members to put together a standard to examine the theological compatibility of agency heads to Synod’s Standards.

Moderator’s Committees on Complaints

The Moderator’s Committees on Complaints presented its report; Synod took the following actions:

  • Referred to the Ecclesiastical Commission on Judicial Affairs, the complaint against Second Presbytery, dealing with the original discipline case of Dr. Richard Taylor, a ruling elder at Greenville ARP Church. RE Taylor was one of the Erskine Board of Trustee members who initiated litigation against the called meeting of Synod in 2010, also referred to as the “Snow Synod.” During the debate on the complaint, Rev. Andrew Putnam of Tirzah ARP in York, SC, spoke against the recommendation, questioning whether the Ecclesiastical Commission couldn handle the case due to lack of members of the commission. He also wondered if this means that Second Presbytery is “being suspended.” Rev. Jeff Kingswood, who chaired the committee, responded that Second Presbytery is not being suspended. Also, regarding a sufficient quorum on the Ecclesiastical Commission, the Nominations Committee will nominate competent men who will help handle the matter.
  • Referred to a Judicial Commission the complaint of Danny Wyatt’s against First Presbytery. The Moderator was authorized to appoint the members of the Judicial Commission. Moderator Suits stated that he had selected Rev. Clint Davis of Chester ARP Church to chair this Judicial Commission.
  • Adopted a motion to have the Moderator appoint a committee to study and revise the Book of Discipline and to report yearly until the task is complete.

Executive Board Committee

The following recommendations from the Executive Board Committee were considered. Synod took the following actions:

  • Approved the recommendation to have the Executive Board form a committee to investigate issues of liability regarding Synod’s agencies and their relationship to the Synod.
  • Referred to the Executive Board for reconsideration a recommendation to dissolve Pacific Presbytery; the recommendation would allow churches which are in that presbytery to remain with the ARP if they so choose by joining the nearest presbytery to them.