Southeast Alabama Presbytery (SEAL) approved an overture at its August 11, 2020 Stated Meeting, placing before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America a request “that the General Assembly assume original jurisdiction in the case of the doctrinal error of Teaching Elder Greg Johnson per BCO 34-1. The overture concludes with this resolution:
Therefore be it resolved that Southeast Alabama Presbytery joins with Savannah River Presbytery and Central Georgia Presbytery in requesting that the General Assembly assume original jurisdiction in the case of the doctrinal error of Teaching Elder Greg Johnson per BCO 34-1.
SEAL is the third Presbytery to make the same request to General Assembly asking it to assume original jurisdiction over the Missouri Presbytery issue, which includes assuming original jurisdiction over TE Greg Johnson. On January 11, 2020, Central Georgia Presbytery approved their request. On January 25, 2020, Savannah River Presbytery approved their request to assume original jurisdiction over a member of a Presbytery.
In the narrative supporting their overture, SEAL indicated that it had “submitted a BCO 31-2 report to Missouri Presbytery regarding TE Greg Johnson, a member of Missouri Presbytery, in August 2019.” SEAL’s narrative also states that it alleges “…that TE Johnson conflates our confessional categories of sin and misery in a way that contradicts our confession by teaching that homosexual or “gay” orientation (at least some aspect of it) is non-sinful yet due to the Fall;” and, “…that TE Johnson conflates our confessional categories of the state of sin and the state of grace in a way that contradicts our confession by teaching that it is acceptable to identify as a “gay” or homosexual Christian.”
SEAL indicated, further, what prompted the Presbytery to submit their overture to the PCA General Assembly: That “Missouri Presbytery, at its July 21, 2020 stated meeting, found no strong presumption of guilt in TE Johnson in spite of the clear doctrinal error he has been propagating which violates the Word of God as confessed in the Westminster Standards.”
As was done with the first two overtures, the SEAL overture will be sent to the PCA’s Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) to consider the matter. BCO 34-1 provides that if two Presbyteries request the General Assembly to assume original jurisdiction over a member of a Presbytery it shall do so:
Process against a minister shall be entered before the Presbytery of which he is a member. However, if the Presbytery refuses to act in doctrinal cases or cases of public scandal and two other Presbyteries request the General Assembly to assume original jurisdiction (to first receive and initially hear and determine), the General Assembly shall do so.
An overture is a means by which a Presbytery can bring a matter to the General Assembly for consideration. The PCA rules provide that an overture requesting original jurisdiction will be sent to and considered by the Standing Judicial Commission.
Read the whole overture here.