After a number of whereas statements, the Southeast Alabama Presbytery concluded with the following request: “Therefore be it resolved that Southeast Alabama Presbytery requests that the General Assembly assume original jurisdiction in the case of the doctrinal error of Teaching Elder Greg Johnson per BCO 34-1.”
On April 14, 2022, a Commission of Southeast Alabama Presbytery (SEAL), authorized by the Presbytery to draft and approve an overture to submit to the General Assembly (GA), approved an overture to submit to General Assembly. This is the second such overture that SEAL has submitted to GA (the first one was submitted on August 11, 2020) requesting that it assume original jurisdiction of TE Greg Johnson to investigate his views on alleged doctrinal errors on biblical human sexuality.
The Book of Church Order 34-1 states that at least two presbyteries must request the General Assembly to assume original jurisdiction over a minister to act in cases of doctrinal issues or public scandal. Another presbytery has docketed a vote on a similar overture for May 10, 2022; if the recommendation is approved there will then be two presbyteries making the request.
Here is the Overture:
OVERTURE from Southeast Alabama Presbytery
“BCO 34-1 Request to Assume Original Jurisdiction over TE Greg Johnson”
Whereas in his responses to Missouri Presbytery’s July 21, 2020, BCO 31-2 investigation of allegations against him, TE Greg Johnson affirmed in some matters he was either unclear, imprecise, or his perspectives have matured over time (SJC Judicial Case 2020-12, pg. 10, lines 40-45),
Whereas in his responses to the Standing Judicial Commission’s additional questions, TE Greg Johnson affirmed his belief in the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality with regard to same-sex attraction (homosexual orientation, inter alia) and qualifications for ordained ministerial office, as summarized in the Westminster Standards (e.g., SJC Judicial Case 2020-12, pg. 14; lines 25-30; lines 42-45, pg. 15; lines 1-20, etc.),
Whereas in his responses to the Standing Judicial Commission’s additional questions, TE Greg Johnson specifically denied identifying as a “gay Christian,” including using this couplet of words (SJC Judicial Case 2020-12, pg. 17; lines 42-46, pg. 16; lines 1-11),
Whereas in his responses to the Standing Judicial Commission’s additional questions, TE Greg Johnson affirmed the necessity of a man ordained to ministerial office to be above reproach (SJC Judicial Case 2020-12, pg. 24; lines 38-46, pg. 25; lines 1-46, pg. 26; lines 1-30),
Whereas in his responses to the Standing Judicial Commission’s additional questions, TE Greg Johnson affirmed that some of his public comments had upset the peace of the PCA, and offered a commitment to repair such harm and work to commit no further harm (SJC Judicial Case 2020-12, pg. 27; lines 25-34),
Whereas since the record of the case of the original Missouri Presbytery investigation of him (July 21, 2020), and even subsequent to the Standing Judicial Commission judicial case 2020-12 (October 21, 2021), TE Greg Johnson has made numerous public comments that appear to either contradict or at least offer confusion to his previous affirmations in these matters (see examples in the attached addendum),
Whereas the Standing Judicial Commission found Missouri Presbytery did err by failing to “do what it needed to do to protect the peace and purity of the broader Church, particularly in light of the responsibilities set forth in BCO 11-3, 4” pertaining to Revoice 18 (SJC Judicial Case 2020-05 (March 3, 2022); pg. 11; lines 26-35),
Whereas TE Greg Johnson uses the same confusing and misleading terminology as Revoice 18 throughout his book, Still Time to Care: What We Can Learn from the Church’s Failed Attempt to Cure Homosexuality (Zondervan, 12/7/21) [“homosexual Christian” p. 25, “gay believer” pp. 8, 14, “homosexual believers” p. 9, 116, “sexual minorities” pp. 33, 221, 230]
Therefore be it resolved that Southeast Alabama Presbytery requests that the General Assembly assume original jurisdiction in the case of the doctrinal error of Teaching Elder Greg Johnson per BCO 34-1.
Approved to draft and submit this request by a commission of Southeast Alabama Presbytery.
Attested by TE Kevin Corley, Stated Clerk
Attachment: Addendum, examples of public comments from TE Greg Johnson either contradicting or offering confusion to his affirmations to Missouri Presbytery’s BCO 31-2 investigation (July 21, 2020), and the Standing Judicial Commission judicial case 2020-12 (October 21, 2021).
(Overture to 49th General Assembly)
Examples of public comments from TE Greg Johnson
either contradicting or offering confusion to his affirmations to
Missouri Presbytery’s BCO 31-2 investigation (July 21, 2020),
and the Standing Judicial Commission Judicial
Case 2020-12 (October 21, 2021)
11/05/21 Comments in an article, published in the Washington Post, “Traditional ‘Side B’ LGBTQ Christians experience a renaissance,” by Kathryn Post (originally published by Religion News Service, https://religionnews.com/2021/11/05/traditional-side-b-lgbtq-christians-experience-a-renaissance/).
11/18/21 Comments in a blog post, published on The Center For Faith, Sexuality & Gender blog site, “Equivocation and the Ex-Gay Script” (https://www.centerforfaith.com/blog/equivocation-and-the-ex-gay-script)
12/03/21 Comments in a podcast interview, published on The Hole in My Heart Podcast, “Episode 189: The Church Wasn’t Always So Bad at the LGBTQ Conversation with Greg Johnson” (https://lauriekrieg.com/podcast/the-church-wasnt-always-so-terrible-at-the-lgbtq-conversation-with-greg-johnson/)
12/07/21 Comments in his book, Still Time to Care: What We Can Learn from the Church’s Failed Attempt to Cure Homosexuality (Zondervan, 12/7/21).
12/22/21 Comments in an article, published in USA Today, “I’m a gay, celibate pastor of a conservative church. Here’s a trick for de-escalation.” (https://www.usatoday.com/ story/opinion/voices/2021/12/22/family-holidays-god-patience-compassion/6496994001/?gnt-cfr=1).
12/29/21 Comment on Facebook page, “As you consider final year end giving, please support Revoice. No movement has done more to shift conservative Christian thinking from the false hope of ex-gay cures to the great tradition of care for non-straight people committed to living out the biblical sexual ethic within the church. This ministry has meant a great deal to me, and your consideration will be deeply appreciated.”
01/02/22 Comments in a podcast interview, published on The Hopper Podcast, “41 Greg Johnson, Still Time to Care /Linus in the Resurrection” (https://podcasts.captivate. fm/media/4b17fc7d-79da-4c3a-8ab0-74ebf4a0cb92/02-greg-johnson.mp3).
01/04/22 Comments in a podcast interview, published on Conversations About Life, “Being Gay and Christian w/ Pastor Greg Johnson” (https://willjackson.com/ being-gay-and-christian-w-pastor-greg-johnson/).
01/25/22 Comments in a podcast interview, published on The Learner’s Corner with Caleb Mason, “Episode 269: Greg Johnson On What We Can Learn From the Church’s Failed Attempt to Cure Homosexuality” (https://podcast.app/greg-johnson-on-what-we-can-learn-from-the-churchs-failed-attempt-to-cure-homosexuality-e202358953/).
02/12/22 Comments in a booklet, On Mission with the LGBTQ+ Community (Zondervan, supplement to Still Time to Care). (https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? story_fbid=3140676279584649&id=100009269249854&__cft__=AZXHombYoEDWNCvkRpzWlYG8mCooDtS2qQk_KzE6Lcn8KadXolEqezT3elg4dvGvKFRISxCyDHC6LcfCIunLwthjBCwcxaJKRSz2aABvF0_GC-5IvMsxxmlCyTGwR41H7x0& __tn__=%2CO%2CP-R, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gu0ZH6igfWes0vyp OUnEtnTEMigw9fVu/view).