The PCA Passed Most of the Recommendations of the Study Committee

Discussion in 'Church Office' started by greenbaggins, Jun 15, 2017.

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  1. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

  2. Andrew P.C.

    Andrew P.C. Puritan Board Junior

    It seems that the PCA will have a shorter lifespan to orthodoxy than many have thought. This is sad to be honest. I heard some speak to the unordained worship leader issue. It's sad that people in what should be a conservative denomination, think worship can be lead by any unordained persons, in any aspect of the service.
  3. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    We'll see. I'm a word nerd and we wasted a lost of time arguing over whether we should amend the kind of Overture someone *might* propose in the future and other kinds of things that asked us to "consider" or "think" about things. Honestly, I think a lot don't understand how changes actually get made. This study committee unilaterally repudiated women at the helm of leadership. It seems that some cannot be satisfied unless everything is completely defeated. The recommendations essentially bound us to nothing at all but suggestions. If somehow we had decided to shoot down every recommendation it would not have stopped people from actually "considering" or "studying" something. What will be more important is how BCO changes occur. It's one thing to claim that the PCA is going completely south but when there's a 3-1 majority of TE-RE mix on the floor that does not reflect whether the sentiment on the ground will make any the of the changes that some are suggesting rise up via Overture.
  4. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Rich, your points are well-taken, but as I pointed out in the blog post, liberals will (in effect) take a yard if you offer an inch. They are not going to wait for overtures to do as they please. They haven't in the past, anyway. They would rather, in fact, change practice first, so that it can serve as a justification for the BCO changes, which will be proposed once enough churches have liberalized their practice.
  5. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Start with an organ end with a praise band. Is there ever any reforming back to orthodoxy inch by "inch"?
  6. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Not quite sure I agree with that particular slippery slope. Nevertheless, I do agree that reformation is usually much more of a shock to the system.
  7. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    May I ask what was Overture 43?
  8. Timmay

    Timmay Puritan Board Freshman

    So is that going to be adopted?

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  9. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Did it pass?
  10. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Well, as long as they don't include underprivileged and underrepresented men....

    I will note that 'affirm' is a liberal buzz word.
  11. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    Overture 43?

    The answer is in the thread title.


    The PCA will maintain the status quo for some time. Those in "mild" violation of the BCO who don't ordain deacons will continue their practice. Their presbytery won't hold them accountable, and if they did, General Assembly is unlikely to uphold it.

    There won't be ordained women any time soon. Such an amendment will not pass the presbyteries.
  12. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I know the OP report ref'd passed; Edward deleted his post to which I was responding regarding overture 43. Hence the confusion. Folks are asking if that overture passed.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  13. Timmay

    Timmay Puritan Board Freshman

    So did Overture 43 pass?

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  14. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    Todd Pruitt had written about overture 2. ( June 13 post).

    I was shocked to be honest that anybody in the PCA could support gay marriage.

    So did they vote on this yet? I would assume the biblical view would win.

    If this question is too off topic, just tell me and I will drop it. But are the people Pruitt talks about elders? And if a PCA elder favors gay marriage, how can they get away with it and not be defrocked?

    Interesting post Lane, thanks.
  15. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    What I'm reading says that David Coffin before debate started immediately proposed recommitting this, which tosses it to next year at least without outright killing it I guess. The issues that he and such raised is that the language of the BCO chapter and the confession are not the same and those must be reconciled before attempts to make the BCO chapter on marriage constitutional.
  16. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Assuming that the report was some sort of progressive document or that it prescribed anything is part of the problem with much of this discussion.

    As someone who labors to actually read carefully what words actually convey, it was both remarkable (and frustrating) how people would read past the context to find words in the recommendations that alarmed them.

    I deal daily with contract and other kinds of language of precision and the document bound the Church to nothing. It asked Sessions and Presbyteries to consider things. It encouraged Sessions to study things and, if they desired, to present Overtures.

    Sometimes I think that some are so resigned to *need* to fight that they miss when they ought to pick their battles. Why amend a *recommendation* to present an Overture like this:

    Me: I recommend that you present an Overture that every session should have at least 2 ruling elders.
    You? I'd like to amend the previous recommendation striking the number 2 and replacing it with the number 3.
    Me: What difference does it make? If someone wants to put up the Overture then they're not going to care that you recommended 3 Edlers if they're already set on an Overture that recommends 2!

    Oh, the slippery slope!

    I don't know if anybody noticed that the Study Committee was united on the issue of male authority in the Church. This was to the point that Mrs. Keller encouraged pastors who had a problem with male authority to leave the PCA.

    One of the men who was *for* deaconnesses is actually *against* anyone but Elders reading Scripture. Why? Because he believes that the reading of Scripture is an authoratative act.

    Now, I have a problem with their assumptions that there is no leadership in the sphere of mercy. I disagree with their assumptions about such things and plan to labor to demonstrate that there are delegations of authority within a Church over different activities but the fact remains that this was a round and wholesale repudiation of any idea that women might assume the reins of authority within a Church.
    Now, to the point of Overtures. OK, so they have their report but they still have to get it through the Overture process and through Overtures and approved not only by the floor but also 2/3 of the Presbyteries to change the BCO and amend our Constitution. Let them attempt to do so. They're free to do so.
    My experience in Study Committees is this: when they serve the purpose of polemics they are carted out as authoratative. When they don't serve that purpose then they're dismissed as pious advice. I've had men state that it is scandalous that Churches are violating the "stated policy" of the PCA on Creation by appealing to the Creation committee. These same men will then say that our Study Committees are merely pious advice.
    The moment this Study Committee was delivered it was going to be inevitable that, whatever recommendations were adopted, people would use it for their own ends. That's the nature of things. I've even seen men appeal to the minoirty opinion of an OPC report to defend their view in the PCA.
    I think there is far too much posturing and assertions of "this will be the inevitable result" but from my vantage point as a Churchman who works within the system I don't see the issue so starkly.
    I have good company. Rick Phillips, in a recent podcast, stated he'd join the PCA all over again given the choice. I quite agree with him. We have our problems but we're not driving off a cliff. That's not to say that we must not continue to labor diligently. The sign of life in a body is the presence of antibodies that stave off infection. It's very clear that many men (including those who are styled as Progressive that many do not know personally) are still staving it off.
  17. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    That's correct. I know many solid men who sided with the minority. I didn't know how I would vote. Some pointed out the use of "should" in the Chapter that would be added. I don't believe a subjunctive necessarily weakens a command. That said, people seem to forget that we slow down to get things right. I can't tell you the number of times I've taken face shots serving on Overtures because people exclaim: We must act now! We then come back the next year and it's good that we did. If people are serious about this then they'll make sure it gets perfected.
  18. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Honestly, given the choice free of the same circumstances, I would never have come back into the PCA. I'll make the best of it until change is possible. But I have to say this since this sort of dovetails with recent events. Rev. Phillips church does not pass out far as I know worship brochures with idols on them; they have a huge image of the Ascension on the back wall behind the pulpit you can't turn over or avoid. A black drop cloth would do the trick. HOW does anyone who thinks they are a confessional presbyterian have credibility under that set of circumstances? Not with me. By not taking even a modest means of addressing this (and again they themselves say when reporting on their decision they think of themselves as strictly confessional), I could never worship with them. This exhibits the problem with even the confessionalists in the PCA. As far as focusing on the negatives, I guess I am in far more agreement with the piece David Hall wrote last year roundly condemning the erecting of this study committee than I am with his recent report on the result which didn't note much if any of the bad. I have no issue in seeing positives; but Lane's report of these while still noting the grave concerns in all this I find much more to agree with.
  19. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    I don't have a problem, in the main, with Lane's post. I do take issue with the idea that the report recommended the office of commissioned Church worker. Rather, it recommended that Sessions and Presbyteries consider Overtures for the same. You may consider this a distinction without a difference but it's quite silly (to me at least) to fight over whether a TE or RE present will decide to do that and any work to defeat that recommendation that someone *consider* something seems quite fruitless. A lot more work needs to be done, I agree, to define what exactly that is.

    I also realize the complexion of my Church as a whole. I'm content to serve in the PCA given her imperfections.
  20. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I am pretty sure I can assure you that resolve will be tested over and over and over again with things you thought would not be happening.
  21. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Yes, I had grabbed an Overture 43 from the wrong year (the list I saw on the PCAAC website only went to 25, and I was looking for higher numbers) but caught my error fairly quickly.

    Rich - It asked for a reason for the deletion (which I gave), and I thought that would appear in the post's place, but it all disappeared. Is that the expected function?
  22. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm not Rich, obviously. But the reason for deletion option is basically a message to the admins (and maybe the mods.) No one else will see it.
  23. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    Ah, I see! I should have listened to that nagging doubt that I was missing something.
  24. Clark-Tillian

    Clark-Tillian Puritan Board Freshman

    I was nauseated by the Gustave Dore painting on that worship handout. That was abysmal. I'm friends with a wide swath of PCA men irrespective of the "camp" you want to put them in. I can assure you that those that we might deem 'progressives" are giving lip-service happiness to this GA; that's a good take away for "traditional confessionalists". The study committee has zero authoritative weight; it can only influence, and it will likely only influence those in that camp already. I was on Overtures and I thought our committee did a good job. The general consensus is that any "changes" had best come through that committee. Overtures is key in this regard.
  25. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Puritan Board Sophomore

    Is it at present considered unusual or controversial for women to lead the singing/music in PCA congregations?

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  26. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    In my little corner of the PCA, which may or may not be representative, it's quite common, even among those churches that consider themselves "conservative" (though not necessarily "confessional").
  27. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I think as in the PCUSA, the terms* confessional and conservative in the PCA have become wax noses.
    *I mean claims of the label.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  28. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't really hear "confessional" used too often in the PCA circles I run in, but maybe its out there too in which case I would agree. I do think it's noteworthy, however, that churches that style themselves as conservative over against the "progressive" elements in the PCA also engage in practices that are themselves progressive. To be conservative in the PCA for the most part just seems to mean being whatever the progressives were a decade ago.
  29. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    It's inevitable and the labels several have prominently used for the divisions in the PCA, confessional, conservative, progressive, mushy middle, have fuzzy boundaries. They sort of bleed into each other.
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