Minority Reports, CCB, & the SJC – Part 2: Why This is Important
The parliamentary rules, which guide the PCA General Assembly, require minority reports from the Committee on Constitutional Business (CCB) to be presented and considered by the General Assembly.
The General Assembly retained one critical aspect of control over its judicial affairs by appointing CCB to review SJC’s minutes and report any possible exceptions, so that the General Assembly may direct SJC to retry cases where exceptions may arise. Within our procedural rules, the Assembly also retains the right to hear a minority report... Continue Reading
The PCA’s Overture 15 Must Be Adopted
Overture 15, describing character qualifications for ordained church office, will be voted on by presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church in America this year.
The authors of Overture 15, Westminster Presbytery, argue that ministers of the gospel are to be above reproach in their Christian character and self-conception and that a man would disqualify himself from ordained office in the PCA if he identified himself in terms associated with the LGBTQ+ movement or has a Gay self-conception. I... Continue Reading
Should Self-Described Homosexuals Hold Office in the PCA?
If unnatural sexual desires characterize a man such that he thinks he should publicly identify with them, then he is not fit to hold office in the church.
If a man feels honestly compelled to describe himself as a homosexual Christian, and the description is accurate, we heartily commend his honesty and desire to help him overcome this sin, but he is not qualified to hold office in the Presbyterian Church in America. If, however, homosexual lust no longer dominates a man, he... Continue Reading
Minority Reports, CCB, & the SJC – Part 1: The Parliamentary Rules
Reasons why any minority within the Committee on Constitutional Business (CCB) has the right to submit a minority report to the PCA General Assembly.
While RONR acknowledges that “Each society decides for itself the meaning of its bylaws,” the next sentence gives an important qualification: “When the meaning is clear, however, the society, even by a unanimous vote, cannot change that meaning except by amending its bylaws” (RONR [12th ed.] 56:68). I have argued in this article that... Continue Reading
The Biblical Genius of PCA GA 49’s Overture 15
Perhaps the most talked-about item before and after the 2022 PCA General Assembly was Overture 15 dealing with an important qualification for ordination for church officers.
To frame the issue as a question, does God’s Word warrant the inclusion of a paragraph in our BCO that disqualifies from ministry (as Deacons or Elders) “men who describe themselves as homosexual?” Having wrestled with this question, I believe that the answer is yes. Indeed, I am more and more convinced of the biblical... Continue Reading
The Lasting Benefits of OPC Overture 2 – Part 1: The Overture Itself
Observations on Overture 2 that was before the 88th OPC General Assembly.
Good Presbyterianism should be caring because the sheep are cared for with Christ’s love. Authority with a servant’s heart, as we know, may be used to care and shepherd the people of God for their good; on the other hand, authority can be sinfully wielded and twisted, thus inflicting damage on the sheep. Introduction... Continue Reading
Protecting Christian Liberty In The PCA
At the 2022 PCA General Assembly, the majority agreed that separating from the National Association of Evangelicals was the way to better protect the consciences of its officers and members.
Over the last ten years, PCA members made several overtures designed to initiate the withdrawal of the PCA from the NAE. Each time these overtures were voted down. In this case, although it was clear that many within the denomination’s administration favored maintaining membership in the NAE … the vote from the floor was not... Continue Reading
Deliberating by the Book
A historicist approach to constitutional interpretation is flawed; rather the PCA should follow a strict textualist approach, using historical and extrinsic evidence only where the text of the BCO or RAO is ambiguous.
If our documents do not accurately reflect the way we want to conduct the business of Christ’s church, then we should amend them to conform to our desired practice. If the text as written and adopted does not accomplish that which we know to be the original intent of the Assembly, then we need to... Continue Reading
Stepping Up to Overture 29
PCA passed Overture 29 with over 90% of the Assembly voting. Overture 29 – improved in the middle and last sections of the proposed amendment.
This year’s Overture 29 seeks to prompt questions in the examination, instruction, and discipline of officers and candidates for office. As theological debate about how best to apply the doctrine of sanctification to modern sexuality has arisen in the Church, one approach emphasizes the issue of language and self-identification. This is the attraction of this... Continue Reading
Overture 15 – The Tipping Point for a Split in the PCA?
What happens in the PCA if Overture 15 is not approved by 2/3 of the Presbyteries?
The following is the wording of Overture 15 approved by the General Assembly: “Men who describe themselves as homosexual, even those who describe themselves as homosexual and claim to practice celibacy by refraining from homosexual conduct, are disqualified from holding office in the Presbyterian Church in America.” The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is... Continue Reading