Side meeting at Fellowship of Presbyterians provides needed theological framework
Is the PCUSA apostate or is the approval of 10-A an action that is heretical? What is the nature of the problem that 10-A has caused in our denomination? What criteria help us choose a proper response?
Prior to the Fellowship of Presbyterians Gathering, August 24-26 in Minneapolis, MN, a few dozen of the more than 1900 attendees crowded into the Presbyterian Coalition Hospitality Suite to hear presentations by Bible teacher and theologian, Dr. Jim Edwards and pastor, Rev. Mateen Elass. A lively Q & A followed their remarks as those gathered sought to grasp the theological impact of amendment 10-A on the church. It is a pity that this valuable discussion was not heard by everyone attending the conference because it provided a theological framework for all that was to follow in the 2 day gathering in Minneapolis.
Mrs. Terry Schlossberg, Renewal Advisor for the Presbyterian Coalition, introduced the discussion by stating the purpose of the informal session-to focus on the nature of the problem, address it theologically, and provide criteria for evaluating proposed solutions as a response to 10-A. Read more.
For an overview of Fellowship of Presbyterians proposals go here.
For an inspiring vision for the church read these quotes from presenters at the Fellowship Gathering.
Are you wondering...
what is 10-A?
At the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) held in July 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, an amendment was propsed to our Presbyterian Book of Order which governs the way we relate to one another. The previous wording read (underline mine):
Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament. (G-6.0106)
The new wording which was subsequently adopted by commissioners to the General Assembly and sent to the 173 PCUSA Presbyteries as "Amendment #10-A," was ratified by a majority of presbyteries (but a mere 34 actual votes) and became effective July 2011. The new language reads:
Standards for ordained service reflect the church's desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (G-1.0000). The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation (G.14.0240; G-14.0450) shall examine each candidate's calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate's ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003). Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates. (G-2.0104b) Read the full article.
| It is easy to forget those we do not see |
You've probably had the experience of forgetting the name of someone you have not seen for a time. You know the face and your mind races through all the contexts of your life trying to place this one who is so familiar. We are even more likely to forget the unborn whose faces we have not yet seen, whom we have never touched or hugged or heard speak. Yet, God does not overlook children in the womb (Psa. 51:6, Jer. 1:5). As his people we are called to be mindful of these fragile human lives-so vulnerable in our abortion minded culture.
That's why the work of PPL is so vital. God has given us a special call to speak for unborn lives, to keep their yet-to-be-born faces before the church, to remind one another that these are also persons for whom Christ died. These too are created in God's image. As God's people the church should be first to protect and defend unborn children.
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