PCA Study Committee Report on the Role of Women in the Ministry of the Church: Recommendation #7

Assessing Recommendation 7 of the PCA Role of Women in the Church Report presented to the 45th General Assembly.

There is no question that all God’s people are set apart to serve and minister within the church (Ps. 4:3, 2 Tim. 2:21). However, the practice of setting apart for specific tasks within the church seems to be an exceptional circumstance where men already in office, whether as Levite, priest, apostle or teacher in the... Continue Reading

Reasons for PCA Presbyteries To Approve the Proposed Amendment to BCO 25-3

PCA Presbyteries will be voting on a proposed amendment to Book of Church Order 25-3; here are reasons for them to vote to approve this amendment.

This change will ensure any departure decision genuinely reflects the mind of the congregation, and not just a small minority.  Likewise, the BCO only requires the Session to give one-week’s notice for such a congregational meeting.  One week’s notice and a very low quorum is a recipe for abuse.   I appreciate this opportunity to... Continue Reading

Reasons for PCA Presbyteries Not To Approve Proposed Amendment to BCO 25-3

PCA Presbyteries will be voting on a proposed amendment to Book of Church Order 25-3; here are reasons for them to vote not to approve this amendment.

In summary: This proposed amendment to require a quorum of 50% of the local congregation’s resident members effectively restricts a congregation’s rights to “remain in association with any court of this body only so long as they themselves so desire” (BCO 25-11).  As such, it effectively violates the “solemn covenant” between local churches and the... Continue Reading

The Founding of the PCA Ascension Presbytery

Ascension Presbytery was chronologically the 19th presbytery formed within the Presbyterian Church in America, being officially organized on July 29, 1975.

Such action by the Permanent Judicial Commission led to a crisis for all of those pastors and elders who held to the traditional views on this question [the ordination of women to all church offices] and who were now considered heretics. Accordingly, to uphold the peace, unity and purity of the church, most of the... Continue Reading

PCA Study Committee Report on the Role of Women in the Ministry of the Church: Recommendation #6

Assessing Recommendation 6 of the PCA Role of Women in the Church Report presented to the 45th General Assembly.

Third, it removes unnecessary controversy from the recommendation. The last clause in the original recommendation inexplicably includes a reference to deaconesses. This inclusion is inexplicable because it is not a recommendation, but a statement. The Assembly deleted this clause in order to remove any potential controversy that including such a statement might produce. The revised... Continue Reading

PCA Study Committee Report on the Role of Women in the Ministry of the Church: Recommendation #5

Assessing Recommendation 5 of the PCA Role of Women in the Church Report presented to the 45th General Assembly.

So what is the biblical role of women in the worship of the church? As with all God’s people, women participate in the songs of the congregation. They lift up their prayers to God Almighty by their assent to the prayers the elders lead the congregation in. They are fed through the instruction of God’s... Continue Reading

Is Worship Just a Matter of Preference: Licorice and License?

A rejoinder and some extended comments on “Worship in the PCA.”

However, we’re not talking about “preferences” any more than an Anglican is who expects to worship with the Prayer Book. Prayer Book worship is what Anglicans do, and have done, since 1549. When one goes to Dodger Stadium, is it wrong to expect to see a baseball game? When one orders a hamburger at McDonalds,... Continue Reading

PCA Study Committee Report: Recommendation #4

The 4th recommendation: “That sessions, if possible, establish a diaconate of qualified ordained men.”

By removing everything except the first sentence of this recommendation, the Assembly made it possible that exactly nothing will change in the congregations where refusing to ordain is the current practice. Basically, the churches of the PCA are urged to ordain deacons “if possible.” It is far too easy to say something is not possible,... Continue Reading

Reflections on the State of PCA Polity

The stated polity of the PCA is intentionally "grassroots," that is "bottom-up" rather than "top-down."

In the PCA’s Book of Church Order 29-1 this claim is made: “The Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, together with the formularies of government, discipline, and worship are accepted by the Presbyterian Church in America as standard expositions of the teachings of Scripture in relation to both... Continue Reading

On the Worship Issue in the PCA: It Was All Over Before Terry Johnson Entered the PCA

Sorry, Terry, but the worship issue was over before you ever entered the PCA.

If the guide is what is “best,” then worship becomes a matter of preference. Why must we choose what is best and by what criteria are we to judge it? If I don’t care for The Metropolitan Opera, why not allow me my preference for the Grand Old Opry? Isn’t that’s what best for me?... Continue Reading