Complaint filed against PCA Metro NY Presbytery (Deaconesses)

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Romans922, Apr 24, 2009.

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  1. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    It appears today the New York Metro presbytery of the PCA met and rescinded their previous resolution allowing refusal to ordain and install deacons, electing 'deaconess' to office, etc. (rescinded the resolution that violated their vows, polity, and confession).

    This is very good news.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    Please, God's people, continue to pray.
  2. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    That would be good news if it indicates a true change of heart.

    Not so good if it is merely tactical repositioning.

    I'll withhold judgment for now.
  3. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    Your point is true, but I prefer to assume the best about my Brothers. Praise God! :)
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    There's no "if."

    This is reason to be thankful to our God, and thankful toward these brothers.

    It took humility and courage to do this.

    As we pray for humility, submission to the brethren, and charity all around, let's now pray especially for encouragement for our brothers who have done the right thing (and quickly and by large majority, I might add), ask God's wisdom and blessing for them on their way forward.
  5. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    I'm glad they did this for unity's sake and to avoid the appearance of playing word games with the BCO.
  6. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    If the knowledge is public, did a majority of Redeemer's delegates vote with the majority? I'm not sure what percentage Redeemer's Elders are in relationship with the other churches in that Presbytery.
  7. WarrenInSC

    WarrenInSC Puritan Board Freshman

    It's more than appearance - It was the fact of the matter


    It wasn't the "appearance" of doing so - it was the bold act of in-your-face actually doing so. Acknowledging that is part of the heart felt repentence that Edward mentioned he was looking for - not a tactical ploy for appearances sake. I prefer, at this point, to take yestersday's Rescision action at face value, assume the best of motives, and praise the Lord for it!

    What will be interesting to watch now is the other Prebyteries who passed copy cat resolutions: Metro Atlanta just in the last couple of weeks, N. Calif, and - I think - Philly. Will these Presbyteries reconsider and rescind following Metro NY's lead, as they followed it early passing essentially the same resolution? Or will they be left out on a limb now that Metro NY has recanted the resolution? Time will tell.:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
    LOTS of popcorn.
  8. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    Below is the request for "amends," in the complaint. We have every reason to be thankful and welcoming of our brothers here. They acted quickly and decisively.

    Yes, a few churches will need to make some good faith changes to their practices from here, but we must be charitable toward our brothers here. (Remember not all churches in the presbytery were failing in this, not all elders in a particular church failed in this, and remember also it is elders of this presbytery who brought this complaint).

    One of the things that would be quite profitable to have come out of this is teaching and sermons on the doctrine of ordination, the nature of vows, and the significance of congregations receiving officers whom God has appointed for them. Also, a structure which will facilitate the doing of more mercy ministry with Deacons fulfilling their part in leading in this, and encouraging God's people generally in growing more in this (mercy ministry).

    No one likes being in this position. Repentance is a wonderful thing, a true sign of the Spirit's work in our life, so let's not make it more difficult.

    This is about the peace and purity of Christ's church, it is not about about anyone having to prove something to anyone to disprove their cynicism.:)

  9. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Does that mean that amends 2-4 were rejected?
  10. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    Complete information on this has not come out yet.

    My understanding is the Presbytery met quickly and with a good turnout decisively rescinded, retracted the resolution.

    Remember, the original complaint also alleged that this resolution, being of great magnitude was not properly noticed for voting, not properly debated, and that very few presbyters actually voted. It alleged presbytery procedure was not properly followed.

    I don't understand this to have been the presbytery judicial commission granting amends of the complaint, only that, before that, presbytery met and quickly redressed the substance of point 1, and am not sure the status of 2-4.
  11. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Thanks to all who have replied today to my most recent post. I pray that you all are correct, but I'll wait and see what happens in Orlando in a few weeks.
  12. Clay7926

    Clay7926 Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is wonderful news! I had the chance to share this with Dr. George Knight III of the OPC (WONDERFUL man! It's truly a pleasure to know him), and he was truly pleased at the news. My wife, who attended a church in the Metro-NY Presbytery, was also glad to hear this news.

    One thing that Dr. Knight mentioned we should pray for is that the men in the PCA (and OPC) will follow scripture without fear in this matter, and also that we are able to encourage our women that while these roles (elder/deacon) and biblically reserved for men alone, we truly do want women to use their gifts in the church in a biblical way.
  13. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    Absolutely, Henry.

    The immediate concern here is keeping vows, confession and the church's polity. Each of these reflects doctrine and is basis for the peace, purity and unity of the church. The doctrine of ordination, the biblical nature of vows, the doctrine of church government, the nature of congregations receiving the leaders who God has appointed and they have confirmed. That's why this is of such immediate concern. Our officers have taken vows to receive and uphold this.

    Consider this part of the vows pastors take:

    One of the things God may use this to bring out is more teaching of these important doctrines. That those doctrines are taught from the pulpit so members will understand them. They are part of what we "confess" as a church. If that happens, it will be more difficult for something like this to happen again in the future, because even congregation members will know something is not right and use the processes our system affords to object.

    It's also very important to understand and have taught that "mercy" is not only for officers, but a way of life for every believer. It does not require an office, title, or even recognition. It is rewarded spiritually, and that is something every believer ought seek, particularly as they grow in Christ.

    Let's continue praying, there is more that needs to happen (and I believe it will). It's not easy to admit one is wrong and then suffer through making it right- yet that is what God asks of us. Officers, particularly are chosen for exemplifying a life that models this. We have a right to expect to see that here because of the vows and the qualifications for officers.

    We also need to be available to help these brothers as some will need to see how to set up their polity in this area. Perhaps God will also see fit to use these circumstances to bring out more effective biblical structures to do more mercy.

    Remember, our polity, which we confess is biblical doctrine is:

    That's our polity. It's a good one. It's biblical.
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  14. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Thanks for the additional insight.
  15. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    We are all prone to be blinded by sin.

    Officers (Deacons and Elders) are held to a higher standard because to whom much is given, much is required. They are chosen for having certain qualifications, including an exemplary life and so are chosen for having lives characterized by faith and repentance... willing to suffer for Christ's sake to make things right.

    Often, an ordination and installation sermon is directed toward the seriousness of the call to office and to the congregation in receiving them as officers of Christ's Church.

    I do believe and expect officers to care about their vows, the polity they confess, their example of humility to others, their obedience to lawfull authority, their submission to the brethren, their connectional relationship with others, and avoiding even the appearance of evil.
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