Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Passively Submit" or "Peaceably Withdraw"

Gruntled Center raised the issue of “passively submit” or “peaceably withdraw.” It is my contention that to raise this issue at this point in the life of the PCUSA is disingenuous. Look at my reasoning—I have been wrong before and will be wrong again and again—but I don’t think so on this issue.

For DECADES the liberal/progressive camp of the PCUSA HAS NOT “passively submitted” or “peaceably withdrawn.” Some have, many (if not most) have not! Churches have knowingly ordained GLBT elders and deacons. Presbyteries have ordained GLBT pastors. Judicial Commissions have creatively ignored our denominational standards on ordination of GLBT persons. WHERE HAS BEEN THE “PASSIVELY SUBMIT” OR “PEACEABLY WITHDRAW” ADMONISSION BEEN? The rank-and-file of the PCUSA let them openly break the rules with little or no consequence.

Now that the large numbers of Presbyterians and Presbyterian churches are examining the possibility of leaving the church what do we begin to hear? We hear that the correct response to the Pup report as passed by the Assembly is “passively submit” or “peaceably withdraw.” What a crock!

The “scent of fear” is in the air! What would happen if the 1000+ churches of the Confessing Church Movement pulled out of the PCUSA? What would happen if the New Wineskins churchs pulled out of the PCUSA? What would happen if churches like Evergreen Presbyterian Church, which has not signed on to either of these movements, pulled out of the PCUSA? Such denominational defections would serious cripple the PCUSA. What would happen if these churches stay in the PCUSA but refuse to give a single penny to the church (both Per Capita and mission $$$)? That type of organized revolt would serious cripple the PCUSA! The “scent of fear” is in the air!

If there are churches that leave the PCUSA, let us remember who really left! The PCUSA left those churches and the historic Christian faith! It is not schism if these churches leave. A body that is no longer biblical is not a Christian church. A local church that walks away from a body that is no longer a Christian church is not involved in schism!

I recognize that this is strong language and will offend and anger many. We have to remember that we are not a “country club” that gets to make up the rules as it goes along. The definition of a “Christian” church is found in scripture. Is the PCUSA still a “Christian church?” That question will be answered as the decisions of the 2006 General Assembly are implemented and Judicial Commissions interpret the Assembly decisions.


At 11:15 AM , Blogger Classical Presbyterian said...

Thanks for your courage in these dangerous times!

I wholeheartedly agree. The time of choices is here for us all. None will be easy: we can stay and fight onboard the sinking ship or get into a questionable lifeboat in choppy waters.

I may take the lifeboat option.

At 10:44 AM , Blogger Chris said...

It's amazing the amount of double-speak that the revisionists cast upon the orthodox. You are spot-on in pointing to the hypocrisy over whether or not we should "submit" or "withdraw." They haven't submitted at all. And the statement makes no sense, anyway. You can't passively submit. To submit requires an action of the will, checking other desires and drives in service of a different (often highter) purpose.

I am happy for any of our sisters and brothers who think differently about the subject to vigorously debate their view, so long as they want to change the Constitution because they feel genuinely bound. But to do otherwise, regardless of the pleas for "just action" against an "unjust amendment" smacks of double-mindedness.


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