Thursday, September 21, 2006

Presbytery of Olympia Affirms Ordination Standards

The Presbytery of Olympia (in the state of Washington) affirmed the ordination standard found in the Book of Order (2005-2007) at its meeting on September 21. The motion approved by the Presbytery was:

“We hereby declare that in our discernment of the movement of the Holy Spirit, every mandate of the Book of Order (2005-2007) is an essential of reformed polity. Therefore, any violation of a mandate of the Book of Order (2005-2007) constitutes a failure to adhere to the essentials of reformed polity and thus presents a bar to ordination and installation.”

Now for the rest of the story (in the words of Paul Harvey). The senior pastor of the church that was presenting the motion had come to the last meeting of the Presbytery’s General Counsel. Some members of the General Council were concerned about the motion. The Council was going to recommend that the motion be referred to a task force that was being formed to help foster discussion on the approved PUP report. At today’s meeting, the motion was made by the senior pastor of the church making the recommendation. In just a few minutes a member of General Counsel was recognized by the moderator and two motions were made. There can’t be two motions at the same time so the motions had to be separated. The first motion was to have twenty minutes of discussion with each person limited to three minutes. That motion passed and the discussion began. At the end of the twenty minutes the second motion was presented –the motion to refer. That motion failed! The Presbytery then approved the motion printed above. The final vote was 68 in favor of the motion and 41 against the motion.

Once again we are seeing that the PUP report has failed to provide peace, unity or purity. The PUP report has brought confusion; the PUP report has brought anger; the PUP report has caused people to leave the PCUSA. Praise God that there are Presbyteries willing to take a stand based on scripture!


At 6:22 AM , Blogger Quotidian Grace said...

Well done, Olympia Presbytery! Thanks for your reporting, Lance.

At 12:34 PM , Anonymous Reforemed Catholic said...

Add to that the news from the Presbytery of Nevada:, and it shows that many churches and Presbyteries have decided that the bypassing of the PCUSA Constitution by the GA with the PUP AI, and explanations on the AI and rules on property by the Stated Clerk were the prods that got the Silent Majority of Presbyterians off their duffs and stretching their muscles.

At 6:39 PM , Anonymous Larry said...

Interesting to see the usual tactic of the left to refer the issue to a task force or special committee for more study.

Good to see the originating church stand their ground and get the motion voted upon.

Now that you have won this battle, what other resolutions can churches bring to the presbytery.

Why stop now.

At 7:46 PM , Blogger Presbyterian Gal said...

What a breath of Spirit filled air! Thanks for the good news for the Good News!

At 7:32 AM , Blogger PJ said...

Lance, you wrote, "Once again we are seeing that the PUP report has failed to provide peace, unity or purity. The PUP report has brought confusion; the PUP report has brought anger; the PUP report has caused people to leave the PCUSA." That's a strong, powerful comment. And it got me wondering about something.

While the Task Force members were interpreting their report to the church, several reports had Mike Loudon asked how an evangelical like him could have signed on to the report. I rather wonder what he's feeling about it now. I know his minister's heart seeks to bring peace not a sword... and I rather think this must be very difficult for him....

At 9:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be prepared to be added to my 'Hall of Heroic Presbyteries'!

Congratulations and thanks!

At 10:50 AM , Anonymous Kyle said...

I was extremely glad to read your post on the presbytery vote. Although I wish the vote would have been more decisive, I'm glad that an affirmation was made instead of referring it to task force purgatory. (Also given the somewhat liberal leanings of the GC.)
One step in the right direction, now to make sure we don't make any in the opposite direction

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