Thursday, June 29, 2006

Church Options - Day 1

The Peace, Unity and Purity (PUP) Task Force report, as approved by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has frustrated and angered many individuals and churches. What plan of action should/could these churches take? My next several posts will look at various options. I will examine one or two options per day.

First Option – Submit.

The Presbyterian Church is a connectional church. We value working together. We value our polity and form of government. The local church elects people to serve as Elders. The Elders who are currently serving elected terms are called the Session (please change this to “Church Board” so everyone else in the WORLD will know what we mean!). The Session oversees the ministries of the local church. Each church Session sends delegates to the Presbytery meetings (plus the pastor attends). The Presbytery makes regional decisions. Each Presbytery sends delegates to General Assembly. The General Assembly makes decisions that impact the entire denomination. When the denomination’s constitution is changed the adopted change goes back to the Presbyteries for ratification. While we recognize that governing bodies can and do error, we are to submit to their authority and then work through “the system” to correct such errors.

The “good Presbyterian” church that disagrees with the adopted PUP report will submit to the new Authoritative Interpretation. They can then work within the system to change the new Authoritative Interpretation.

Positive Aspects of this Option

1. The “connectional” aspect of the PCUSA stays intact.

2. It is the “decently and in order” way of doing things.

3. This option will help preserve the “unity” of the PCUSA.

Negative Aspects of this Option

1. Local churches will begin to openly ordain non-celibate GLBT persons. This will have a HUGE impact on future votes at the Presbytery and General Assembly levels.

2. Persons who openly live their lives in defiance of the constitution of the PCUSA and scripture will be in positions of “authority” in churches, Presbyteries, Synods and the General Assembly.

3. Pro-GLBT groups and individuals will continue to try to remove all roadblocks to their ordination.

4. The Bible clearly condemns GLBT sexual activity.

5. This option WILL NOT bring “peace” or “purity” to the PCUSA.

1 Comments:

At 7:54 AM , Blogger Classical Presbyterian said...

Submission is a biblical idea that all Christian should embrace.

BUT---Submission is not an act that believers can perform to unbelief or unbelievers!

Paul would have us submit ourselves to one another.(there are several citations for this in the epistles) However, he is assuming that we are all 'in the Lord'.

For a faithful congregation to submit to an unfaithful teaching is not what the Word teaches and it leads to ruin every time.

We can submit to Godly, Biblical instruction any time and we should.

I am glad that you raise the key issues that endanger us in the submit strategy: namely that we will begin being unevenly yoked. (2 Cor. 6:14)

I look forward to what will come.

 

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