Reflections from Inside the Overtures Committee at the 46th PCA General Assembly

Or, how the proposed amendment to BCO 59, the Marriage Chapter, at the PCA GA was finally drafted and approved.

The PCA General Assembly voted to propose that BCO 59-3 be given constitutional authority and amended it to read: “Marriage is only to be between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24-25; Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Cor. 7:2), in accordance with the Word of God. Therefore ministers in the Presbyterian Church in America who solemnize marriages... Continue Reading

Without ‘Gravity,’ We Will Be Carried About by Every Wind of Doctrine

Reasons to Defeat Overtures 11, 15 and 27 at the 46th PCA General Assembly

Overtures 11, 15, and 27 recommend that the term “grave” be replaced by “dignified,” citing the fact that the Greek word that is translated as “grave” in the KJV is translated as “dignified” in the ESV.  While “dignified” is a fine word, it conveys a different sense than “grave.”  To be dignified is to carry... Continue Reading

Mere Presbyterianism

A call to Mere Presbyterianism is not an appeal for confessional or theological reductionism. On the contrary, it’s an earnest plea for confessional integrity.

Without getting into the weeds of the strict vs. good faith subscription debate, I simply want to encourage my fellow PCA teaching and ruling elders to prioritize in our churches that which our Reformed Confession prioritizes, especially as it concerns the Gospel, worship, confessionalism, piety, and missions. To be clear, this call to Mere Presbyterianism... Continue Reading

Full Homosexual Inclusion in the PCA?

The Origin, Objective and Deception of the Revoice Conference

But the problem we have today is that the ‘gay-Christian’ community refuses to acknowledge such desires are sinful. In fact, they profess that to expect individuals with homosexual desires to repent of them would be a destructive burden to them, tantamount to denying who they were created to be. Hence, these individuals have no problem... Continue Reading

The Ruling Elder/Teaching Elder Disparity in the PCA

In 1973, 179 teaching elders and 208 ruling elders attended the first PCA General Assembly; by 2017, 1151 teaching elders and 310 ruling elders attended the 45th GA.

The growth in this disparity in the PCA has been steady. For assemblies in the 1970s the percentage of ruling elders attending averaged 44%. In the 1980s the percentage fell dramatically to 33%, but held fairly steady in the 1990s at 32%. The first decade of the 21st century saw a decline to 29%. The... Continue Reading

Reasons to Vote in Favor of Overture Requiring 30-days’ Notice

The Overtures propose 30-days’ prior notice for a congregational meeting where there will be a vote to disaffiliate with the PCA.

This year’s proposed 30-day notice requirement does not abridge any congregational right – it actually protects one.  It ensures, for example, a Session can’t hustle a church out of the PCA without the clear consent of a well-prepared congregation.  30-day notice doesn’t restrict a congregation’s liberty; it restricts a Session’s liberty.  This important distinction is... Continue Reading

Reasons to Defeat Overtures 10, 12 and 17 at the 46th PCA General Assembly

The proposed amendment to BCO 25-11 would mandate a notice of 30 days for congregation meetings if the purpose is to consider withdrawing from the PCA.

Over the PCA’s 46 year history, hundreds of churches have chosen to withdraw from the PCA for a variety of reasons. BCO 25.8-11 makes it abundantly clear that the PCA, from its inception, chose to enshrine in its Constitution the principle of granting congregations full rights over their own property and the liberty to choose... Continue Reading

The PCA and Confessional Integrity

The PCA’s adoption of “good faith subscription” in 2002 has had an unintended consequence of amending the Westminster Standards “in fact” without using “lawful process,” raising questions of integrity.

There are provisions in the BCO for emending the confessional standards. Yet there has been no move on the part of the minority to propose changes to the standards. Perhaps they believe that the approval of the presbytery for their exceptions is sufficient. But over time, as more and more men take these exceptions, and have them... Continue Reading

Reservations about PCA Overture 13: Women and the Boards of the PCA

Overture 13 proposes significant actions that will undo features of the PCA’s polity which its founders explicitly rejected from the polity of the church the PCA left.

Overture 13 has not presented convincing reasons for the General Assembly to approve the proposed changes. And it should be noted, that adopting the proposed changes will have the effect of upsetting the healthy balance of church governance adopted by the PCA. I urge the ordained office bearers who will serve as Commissioners to the... Continue Reading

Fewer Presbyterian Heroes And More Farmers

We need to encourage a culture of practice and learning about our polity and our church courts.

The reason “hero cultures” thrive in business is no less true why heroes will thrive in Church.  People like to be the “go to” resource.  In some domains the hero protects his knowledge in order to be indispensable.  In the church, debate and participation is often left to those who are considered skilled enough to... Continue Reading

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