We have seen over the last several years the results of a small, secretive, but well-organized group operating in the shadows. But imagine the benefit to the PCA if a large group of elders became engaged in the courts of the church and openly worked toward promoting faithfulness to the historic truths and the warm, biblical piety summarized in the Westminster Standards.
In my previous article, I explained why I am optimistic about the future faithfulness of the PCA as a confessionally Reformed denomination.
In short, I believe we are at a crossroads; our current heavy discussions, difficult interactions, and passionate debates reflect that many issues formerly hidden under the surface are now being addressed in the courts of the PCA.
While I believe it would be easier for confessional and/or conservative churches and members of the PCA to simply leave this denomination, I believe that is the wrong course of action at this time (as I explain in the previous article).
Now is not the time to leave, but it is the time to take firm and clear actions aimed at promoting biblical and confessional integrity within the PCA. If the activities or perceived agenda of PCA agencies trouble you, if the actions of a church court disturb you, there are ample remedies other than leaving the PCA.
Here are some recommendations for how to continue as a part of the PCA even if you have serious concerns about her trajectory, leadership, and/or institutions.
IV. Standing Firm
We are a “grassroots” denomination. In order for the agencies, committees, and missionaries of the PCA to function, they must be voluntarily supported by the congregations of the PCA. So if you have serious concerns, one remedy in the meantime is to carefully hold back funding.
Is it disingenuous to be part of the PCA without funding her committees and agencies? No; that is the way the system is designed and is another way of holding the committees and agencies accountable. As the saying goes: “get woke, go broke.”
This is not a long-term solution nor is it a policy to be lightly adopted. But rather than leaving the PCA, consider simply withholding financial support for a time.1
B. Generously Support Missionaries and Outreach
1. Targeted Support
Don’t just withhold funding; find missionaries whom you can support, who are part of the PCA, and who share the values or vision of your session.
For example, the small congregation I serve gives nearly $40,000 per year to individual missionaries and church plants.
Instead of supporting committees and agencies, we carefully select missionaries and ministries who share our vision for the church, who are likewise devoted to the Westminster Standards, who uphold the historic Christian position on sexuality, who are not “woke,” and who have not been captivated by a Post-Modernist understanding of language and truth.
Yes, it would be easier for us to simply write a check to the Presbytery or General Assembly MNA, MTW, and/or RUF Committees and hope for the best. But instead, we invest time and effort to cultivate relationships with missionaries whom we believe will expound the whole counsel of God in all its timeless truth.
2. Finding and Discerning Ministry Partners
This requires expending significant effort to get to know missionaries, but the efforts to build relationships are a blessing. I encourage other churches to do likewise rather than depart the PCA. But how can you get to know like-minded missionaries and outreach organizations? Here are some ideas: