This is a moment of constitutional and confessional crisis for the PCUSA. If the Assembly proceeds down the path of allowing consideration and ultimately passing an Authoritative Interpretation of the Constitution that creates an express contradiction, the Assembly will be willfully disregarding its own constitution. How are we functionally a constitutionally formed people if we no longer live within our mutually agreed upon constitution? The definition of that reality is anarchy which is inherently indecent and out of order.
Committee members vote against spending 20 minutes reading Scripture, before beginning discussion on the various business items dealing with same-sex marriage. The vote failed 22-39.
When the Advisory Committee on the Constitution advised the Moderator of the Committee on Civil Unions and Marriage of the 221 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the ACC erred. The ACC said that a commissioner’s Point of Order was out of order because, they said, the Book of Ordertrumps Robert’s Rules. I’m calling their bluff.
Following their logic, if the Book of Order trumps Robert’s Rules then the Book of Confessions trumps the Book of Order and Scripture trumps them all.
But the Scriptures were not read.
Here’s what happened:
In the Civil Union and Marriage committee of the General Assembly of the PCUSA, a commissioner made a motion to approve an Authoritative Interpretation of the Constitution that “permits teaching elders to participate in any such legal marriage they believe the Holy Spirit calls them to perform.” Translated that means same sex weddings.
Knowing that an AI cannot interpret a portion of the Book of Order whose language is clear and unambiguous in a manner that reverses and redefines the plain and ordinary meaning of the words, a commissioner rose to raise a point of order.
He was wondering how the committee could do what it was being asked to do. How could the committee recommend to the GA the approval of an AI that is contrary to the plain meaning of the words contained in the section of the Constitution in question (W-4.900)
The committee moderator turned for advice and the counsel he received was that in this case, the Book of Order trumps Robert’s Rules. But no one asked how or where exactly the Book of Order trumps Robert’s Rules.
So, I’m asking now. ACC, please show your hand.
To play a trump, you must have a trump to play. But when you look closely, you will see their bluff.
Nowhere does the constitution of the PCUSA say that an express contradiction is allowed. And nowhere does the Constitution of the PCUSA permit contradictory interpretations to be “interpretations.”
Read a summary of PCUSA actions regarding same sex marriage [Editor’s note: the original URL (link) referenced is no longer valid, so the link has been removed.]