PPL GA Team members provide a pro-life presence at 220th GA
GA actions and attitudes on abortion spark Facebook posts
by Marie Bowen
One Facebook post summed up GA actions on life this way:
"In the PC(USA), you are condemned if you spank your child, but are free to kill the child in the womb..."
Similar comments to the one above were simultaneously posted by several observers at the 220th General Assembly when by a vote of 334/306/9, the assembly approved a recommendation encouraging PC(USA) members to "adopt discipline methods... that do not include corporal punishment of their children."
One commissioner noted that 'corporal punishment' is mandated in Scripture (Proverbs 13:24) while abortion-the taking of a human life is prohibited (Exodus 20:13). The PC(USA) clearly no longer looks to Scripture as their authority for faith and life. Read more
Late, late night abortion decisions
There was little doubt at this assembly that the definition of marriage and divestment in the Middle East upstaged other weighty matters at the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA). Ordination requirements, changes to mid-council structure, per capita, and rules about how business comes to the assembly received little attention in spite of their potential to bring major positive change to the denomination.
Booth conversations provide opportunities for dialogue and ministry, often with those who disagree with PPL's positions
Discussion of abortion coverage in the Board of Pensions plan, advocacy for abortion access, and advocacy for government funding of abortion caused barely a ripple in the fabric of the Assembly. Actions taken by commissioners on those items of business were only covered by the briefest mention by one or two news sources. Read more.
What actions were taken on abortion?
Daily Delivery, a GA newsletter witnesses to the value of life in the womb
Commissioners quickly disapproved two items with potential for turning the PC(USA) toward a more Biblically faithful stance on abortion.
Item 20-02 asked the Board of Pensions to provide a Medical Benefits Plan that does not cover abortion. It was disapproved by a vote of 438 to 178 with 9 abstaining.
Stubborn resistance to studying abortion from theological perspective Commissioner Carl Batzel, from Lackawanna Presbytery, hoped for the PC(USA) to have a fresh start on abortion. Read more.
| | Advocacy for abortion access softened, but not averted
PPL Booth sheds light on the truth that life in the womb is precious to God
An advocacy overture (Item 21-03) for publicly funded, unlimited access to contraception and abortion services was heavily amended in committee. Commissioner, Rev. Justin Marple attempted to amend to delete divisive parts of the overture in plenary, but at nearly 1:00 am commissioners seemed to hear only two things: 1) Health Issues committee "worked so hard to find balanced language even though they were deeply divided," and 2) the 1992 policy is "awesome" and commissioners wanted to affirm that.
Unfortunately, the part of the 1992 policy that commissioners affirmed ... protects only the woman's decision to choose abortion and does nothing to protect life in the womb-also created in God's image and also a life for whom Christ died.
...The original overture from Albany Presbytery sought to place restrictive requirements on pregnancy centers while liberating abortion clinics from restrictions and advocating for public funding for the latter. Read more.
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Praying with PPL
July 29 - August 4
1. Read Leviticus 4; Matthew 25; Hebrews 10
2. Pray and give thanks that God provided us with a Savior who is both divine and human; who meets the righteous requirements
of God's Holy law and satisfies His wrath.
3. Pray that our churches will be faithful in proclaiming the
sanctity of human life; faithfully teaching that our Savior is fully God; fully man; born of Mary (once Himself in the womb!).
August 5 - 11
1. Read Psalm 110; Isa. 53
2. Pray and give thanks that Jesus is our perfect Mediator; true God and a true, righteous man.
3. Pray with boldness, asking God to provide for PPL and its ministry to churches throughout the summer months.
August 12 - 18
1. Read Hebrews 11; Acts 16:11-15; Ephesians 2:1-10
2. Pray that God will raise up faithful men and women in the PCUSA who will boldly speak out on behalf of the unborn.
3. Pray for P.J. Southam, Terry Simm, and Di Lupton as they travel on behalf of PPL to the meeting of the Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP) & Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO) in Colorado Springs. (Aug. 19-21)
August 19 - 25
1. Read Hebrews 1:1-4; John 1:1-18; Genesis 18;
2. Pray for Pastors in the PCUSA that they will teach and preach the Scriptures, concerning how God has revealed Himself to us as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
3. Pray for Marie Bowen as she represents PPL at the Atlanta FOP/ECO meeting. (Aug. 22-24)