5 Reasons It Might Be Time to Leave the PCA

1) A Failure to Exercise Discipline: In 2007 several ministers who were known advocates of Federal Vision (FV) theology drew up and signed what they called, “A Joint Federal Vision Profession” in which they tried to make clear what advocates of the Federal Vision affirmed and denied regarding doctrines at the heart of the Christian faith. This profession was signed by ministers from the CREC (which has become well known as an FV friendly denomination) as well as several ministers from the PCA including Jeff Meyers, Mark Horne, Steve Wilkins, and Peter Leithart. The question of whether these ministers were FV advocates had never really been in question, but their signatures on the Profession certainly removed all question regarding their FV beliefs.

Later that year the 35th PCA General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve the recommendations of the ad interim study committee on “Federal Vision, New Perspective on Paul, and Auburn Avenue Theologies.” In so doing, the PCA condemned Federal Vision theology as contrary to the Westminster Standards and joined the rest of the NAPARC denominations in publicly declaring that at a number of critical points, including Justification and Sacraments, the Federal Vision was not Confessional, Reformed, or true to the teaching of the Scriptures. Peter Leithart and Steve Wilkins were both quoted in the PCA Ad Interim report as advocates of the Federal Vision and examples of people holding to the opinions being condemned in the report.

Following this declaration by the PCA, Peter Leithart sent a letter to his presbytery, Pacific Northwest (PNWP), in which he once again made public his FV beliefs and pointed out several points at which his theology was at odds with the report that the PCA GA had just adopted. He also published an article entitled “Against the PCA GA FV Report (twenty-four variations on a response)” in which he went into further detail regarding his FV beliefs and his strong disagreement with the positions adopted by the 35th General Assembly.

Despite these self-indicting actions, Leithart’s presbytery neglected to bring charges against him deciding that there was no reason to presume that he was teaching anything out of accord with the Westminster Standards. Following a complaint, the PCA Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) decided that PNWP had erred in not indicting Peter Leithart. They informed PNWP that they should proceed to trial against him, but declined to take up the case themselves, arguing that it should be done in Leithart’s presbytery. This resulted in the rather absurd and pointless exercise of a Presbytery that was convinced that Peter Leithart’s teaching was not out of accord with the Westminster Standards, and which had repeatedly said exactly that, having to conduct a trial. There was never any possibility that Leithart would be found anything but not guilty, and that is exactly what happened. When in 2013 the decision of PNWP was complained against, and a request was made of the SJC to take up original jurisdiction, the SJC declined to do so, interpreting the Book of Church Order in a way that made taking original jurisdiction from an erring Presbytery almost impossible. The SJCs decision effectively meant that if a Presbytery did not object to the FV teachings of one of its members, and made some token effort to investigate his teaching (thereby ‘acting’), there was nothing the broader denomination could do to enforce its own public declarations regarding the Federal Vision.

Something very similar, and even more disturbing, had happened in Missouri Presbytery (MOP) starting in 2010, when a Memorial signed by 29 PCA Elders asking Missouri Presbytery to take action against Jeffrey Meyers, another signatory of the “Joint Federal Vision Profession,” failed to bring about the desired effect. Yet again the presbytery first refused to indict, and instead chose to impugn the men who signed the memorial, actually accusing them of breaking the ninth commandment by pointing out the PUBLIC TEACHINGS of one of their members. After MOP refused to indict Meyers, a complaint to the SJC produced a decision that they should have indicted Meyers, but again the SJC refused to take up the trial themselves, and again a presbytery that had already repeatedly declared that its member was innocent held another “foregone conclusion” trial which again found their member innocent.

While the SJC had not declared the FV to be within the bounds of orthodoxy, their stubborn refusal to try FV proponents themselves effectively made FV proponents in FV-friendly presbyteries invulnerable to successful prosecution and made the PCA’s condemnation of the FV a paper tiger. Although the PCA had gone on record calling the FV contrary to the Confession, all attempts to actually discipline FV proponents since that declaration had failed after years of hard work on the part of men attempting to bring charges and successfully prosecute ministers whose FV views were well known.

One of the problems that accelerated the decline of the PCUSA and PCUS, was the creation of “rotten presbyteries” that created safe havens within those denominations for men who believed and taught errors and heresies. Possibly the most famous example of this phenomenon was the way in which New York Presbytery defended Charles Briggs, a pastor who taught Higher Critical theories and attacked the inerrancy of the bible. Despite overwhelming evidence, the presbytery repeatedly declared Briggs to be innocent, and when forced to try him by the denomination, acquitted him on two occasions. Historians agree that the time, energy, and difficulty involved in finally removing Briggs from the pastorate helped to persuade the denomination not to attempt to remove any more heretics from the ministry, and as a result there was little or nothing to stop the leaven of error spreading throughout the denomination. Tragically, the PCA seems to be following exactly the same pattern.

2) Anarchy in Worship: While the PCA is supposed to follow the teaching of chapter 21 of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) which states that we are not to do anything in worship that is not prescribed in the bible, in actual practice PCA churches ignore the RPW and do whatever they want to. This means that there is no uniformity in worship in PCA churches and one might find a PCA church whose worship seems positively Episcopalian, another whose worship resembles that of a Charismatic mega-church, another whose worship resembles that of the “Emergent Churches” and even a few that follow the Puritan RPW model. This creates huge problems when members of the PCA move and suddenly find that none of the PCA churches in their area have worship services that look remotely like the PCA worship to which they had become accustomed. In our case many PCA transplants who move to our city end up worshiping in charismatic churches instead of the two PCA churches in town because their former PCA churches had a charismatic worship style. Regardless, preference rather than the regulative principle is usually the determining factor in how a PCA church will order its worship and most churches in the PCA are likely to ignore every part of Chapter 21 of the Westminster Confession. This became painfully obvious during the recent intinction1 debate when the RPW, which should have determined the PCA’s answer to the problem, wasn’t even seriously considered. In addition to a lack of uniformity in worship, the PCA generally has a low view of the Lord’s Day and the Sabbath is more likely to be observed in the breach that in actual practice. Somehow we have imbibed an idea that couldn’t be more opposed to the theory of faith and practice set forth in the Westminster Standards, namely that in worship, diversity rather than uniformity is what we should be seeking to promote. The bible nowhere teaches this view of worship, and instead teaches us that a desire to do what seems good in our own eyes rather than what God has told us to do, is regarded as a sign that things are seriously wrong in the church.

3) A Failure to Safeguard the Sacraments: In 2012 an overture to the GA that year attempted to insert language into the BCO to prevent the practice of intinction noting that dipping the bread in communion into wine instead of taking the bread and the wine in two separate sacramental actions is not what we are directed to do in scripture. During the debate regarding this overture, it became clear that many PCA churches were already practicing intinction and they fought hard to keep their practice. Several PCA ministers saw the attempt to ban intinction as an attempt to impose the Regulative Principle and fought hard against it as an attempt to “norm” worship and eliminate diversity. At no point in the debate did we consider that the only sections of the Directory of Worship in the PCA BCO that have constitutional authority are the sections that deal with the sacraments, and that intinction failed to follow the guidelines established there and in the Westminster Standards. Ultimately, the anti-intinction amendment failed and intinction, which fails to administer the Lord’s Supper as Christ gave it to the church, was allowed to continue.

2012 was also a bad year for the sacraments in the PCA because it was also the year that the GA decided, during the Review of Presbytery Records, that paedocommunion2 was an acceptable exception to the teaching of the standards and that presbyteries did NOT need to explain to the GA why they had ordained men who believed in it. The practical effect of this is that the PCA is now freely ordaining men who believe in paedocommunion, the belief is spreading, and several PCA churches already practice de facto paedocommunion. Inevitably the practice of paedocommunion will become de jure once enough men who believe in it are ordained.

4) A Failure to Maintain the Teaching of Scripture Regarding Six-Day Creation: In 2000 the 28th PCA GA determined that there were four acceptable views of creation that her ministers could teach: Calendar Day, Day-Age, Framework, and Analogical Days. While this decision was confusing and contradictory (after all, Genesis 1-3 couldn’t possibly have four correct but contradictory interpretations!), one thing that everyone involved in the debate supposedly agreed on and affirmed was that THEISTIC EVOLUTION would never be an acceptable view of creation in the PCA. However, one of our Presbyteries, Metro New York (MNYP), and one of our best known Pastors, Tim Keller, of Redeemer PCA in Manhattan, have been promoting theistic evolution especially through Biologos, an organization that believes, “that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent.” Several Biologos conferences have already been held at the Redeemer PCA church offices and Tim Keller himself was quoted in a Christianity Today article entitled, “Evangelical Evolutionists Meet in New York” as saying, “To develop a Biologos narrative is the job of pastors”.

In October of 2011, MNYP actually hosted a symposium entitled “Conversations Surrounding the Historicity of Adam” at the offices of Redeemer Presbyterian Church which invited three advocates of evolution who believed that the narrative in Genesis 1-3 was mythical and one creationist who believed that Adam was broadly historical, to explain their views to the presbytery. No representatives of the calendar day view were invited to address the presbyters.

Although these events were widely publicized, no attempt has been made at any level to discipline Tim Keller or to deal with the spread of theistic evolution in MNYP and the broader denomination. What we have learned is that the PCA’s 2000 compromise on creation was flawed from the outset and that it merely set the stage for Theistic Evolution to become an acceptable view in the PCA.

5) A Failure to Stand against Moral Compromise: When Vanderbilt University changed the requirements for Campus Religious Organizations, requiring that they either allow anyone regardless of their beliefs or sexual orientation to serve in the student leadership of that organization or leave the campus, only two evangelical religious groups on campus complied with the new policy. Unfortunately the PCA’s Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) was one of them and that decision was endorsed by RUF’s national coordinator, Rod Mays. Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, the adviser of the Vanderbilt Christian Legal Society, publicly castigated RUF saying that RUF and the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, “betrayed their faith by complying with the university.” And that “It was a great disappointment that these two large groups did not stand with us.” Swain believes that the University might have backed down had these groups not agreed to comply. Predictably, both Rod Mays, the RUF coordinator, and Nashville Presbytery, which oversees the RUF campus minister at Vanderbilt have explanations for why they were willing to sign the documents such as their not wanting to damage the 23 year relationship between the University and RUF, but ultimately they sounded highly pragmatic, and none of them dealt with the idea that what they were being asked to consent to was evil, or that this was a situation when it was more important to say “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29) and then take our stand with other evangelicals and be willing to suffer loss for the sake of Christ.

While disappointing, this decision shouldn’t surprise us, compromise has become the PCA’s preferred response to any controversy within the church (which is how we ended up with four acceptable positions on Creation instead of one), and we have been compromising for so long that it is now part of the character of our denomination. It seems clear that when it comes to the inevitable legal conflict between homosexual activism and the evangelical church, that the PCA’s preferred methodology will be to seek a compromise while claiming that we are doing so that we might not lose an opportunity to preach the gospel in the public square. Indeed, it is hard for us to imagine any issue over which the PCA would be willing to take a stand that might cause us to be called nasty things by the media. We do not seem to be willing to be tied to the stake and burned for anything related to the faith. Simply put, the PCA does not appear to have sufficient backbone to stand against the storm of persecution that will be blowing against the church in the 21st Century.

There are certainly other issues in the PCA to be concerned about, including our gradual drift towards egalitarianism, women officers, and loose views of divorce, but the above five strike the session of Providence PCA as the most serious problems.

Recommendations:

Given the above, while there are still many faithful churches and even Presbyteries in the PCA, and while we love our denomination and desire to see her prosper, it seems clear to us that the PCA is no longer maintaining the three marks of the true church in their essential integrity and has entered into a period of prolonged theological declension.

Therefore, in order to safeguard the integrity of our congregation and maintain the kind of true biblical accountability and connectionalism prescribed in the New Testament, the session of Providence Presbyterian Church has decided to prayerfully begin the process of investigating other denominations to determine if we should affiliate with them. The session believes that this search should be conducted without haste and with due diligence and care. While we know we will never find a flawless denomination with which to join this side of heaven, it would be pointless and foolish for us to affiliate with a denomination with all or some of the same problems we have noted above. Above all, we should seek a Presbyterian and Reformed denomination that is self-consciously and deliberately theologically conservative, evangelistic, confessional, and committed to standing for the truth of the inerrant scriptures, even if that means they must do so contra mundum. We also need to make sure that any denomination that we join with respects laws rather than men and which will diligently exercise the biblical oversight that all congregations need this side of glory.

This paper will be presented to representatives of any prospective denominations we might consider affiliating with and they should be asked how they differ from the PCA at all the points outlined above and how they will seek to avoid the same decline that has affected the PCA.


Footnotes:

1 Intinction is the practice of observing the Lord’s Supper by dipping the bread into the wine before consumption by the communicant. It is not found in the bible and was not practiced in the church until the fourth century at the very earliest.

2 Paedocommunion is the practice of giving the elements of the Lord’s Supper to infants and very young children who are not capable of the self-examination required in 1 Cor. 11:28.

 

Adopted by the Session of Providence PCA, Fayetteville at its stated meeting on May 10, 2014

NOTE: Before You Comment on this position paper, please read the Clarifying Addendum, which you will find here:

Clarifying Addendum to “5 Reasons It Might Be Time to Leave the PCA”

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About Andrew Webb

I was converted out of paganism and the occult in 1993 and while I was initially Charismatic/Arminian in my theology, I became Reformed and Presbyterian through bible study and the influence of ministries like RC Sproul's. After teaching in local bible studies, and taking seminary courses part time, I began to feel called to the ministry in 1997. I was Ordained as an RE at Christ Covenant PCA in Hatboro, PA in 2000 and as a TE by Central Carolina Presbytery in 2001 when I was called to be the Organizing Pastor/Church Planter for Providence PCA Mission, Cross Creek PCA's church plant in Fayetteville, NC (home to Ft. Bragg and Pope Airforce Base). In 2005 when the Providence PCA Particularized I was blessed to be called by the congregation to be their Pastor
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29 Responses to 5 Reasons It Might Be Time to Leave the PCA

  1. Andrew Duggan says:

    Then I’m sure you’ll be interested to learn that Bethany OPC, Oxford, PA (the home church of John John Kinnaird (whose conviction for teaching a doctrine of Justification by faith and works was over turned by the OPC GA)) is leaving the OPC to join the PCA. N.B. His original conviction was decided by a temporary session appointed by presbytery and not the original or current session.

    Their reasons for “aligning” with the PCA is because their philosophy of ministry aligns better with the PCA’s.

    What will really warm your heart on this is that the current Pastor earned his “Ph.D. from the University of Durham, England, specializing in Second Temple Judaism and New Testament Studies.”

  2. Andrew Duggan says:

    Lets take a look at some of the options, in no particular order:
    RPCGA – They’re 1647 version of the Confession (and some other particulars) You’re American Revisions
    RPCUS – They’re Theonomists, you’re not.
    ERPC – Quit the OPC over Kinnaird – possibility – very small.
    PRC (Presbyterian Reformed Church) – They’re Exclusive Psalmody – You’re not. Plus very small
    RPCNA – Also Exclusive Psalmody – You’re not. They have women deacons, and allow woman leadership in worship (seems odd considering the EP, but nevertheless) Their Testimony “interprets” the confession and catechisms
    OPC – ghosts of Norman Shepherd, and Lee & Misty Irons (of course he’s PCA now anyway). Nominally tolerates 6×24 Creation and young earth, but barely. Doesn’t tolerate 2 office view. Strong Escondido 2 Kingdom movement. (DVD,DGH)
    URCNA – TFU not Westminster, strong Escondido 2 Kingdom influence (MH, RSC)
    ERQ – TFU, French speaking Canadians
    RCUS – TFU, but they are very anti FV and require 6×24 creation.
    ARP – Erskine College and Seminary controversy. Southern.
    BPC – (Bible Presbyterian Church) Premillenial. Dry (no Alcohol)
    American Presbyterian Church – Premilllenial. Dry, small.
    Free Church of Scotland Continuing (US) – They’re Exclusive Psalmody, 1647 Confession. Not Southern Presbyterian

  3. Wow, that list by Duggan kinda makes the PCA look pretty good. And then I just read your comparison with the PCA to the PCUSA, and at least we are still getting the primary things right. I wish y’all would stay and not let the dissapointing national issues overshadow what is going right in your own presbytery and congregation. I know we are all connected, but this era is far from perfect; and the Church has been through worse errors and seen them through to better days.

  4. Doug says:

    Interesting questions. I’m in the EPC, so I haven’t seen the Federal Vision, though my pastor says that some in our presbytery hold to it. I tried, in their examination, to explore that, but I was unable to expose it. BTW, I am sure you’d be welcome in the EPC, but you’d have problems with our permissiveness with women TE’s and RE’s, and the fact that there are so many recent entrants from the PCUSA, that their adherance to the Westminster Confession could be problematic. However, I have found that most of the churches in the presbytery that I am in seem to be supportive of the WCF even though many of them are new to it. Many seem to actually be embracing it. So, for #1, I can’t speak to it as I am in the EPC. I would hope that the GA, in general, would be reluctant to interfere in the workings of a presbytery. If the Presbytery would not try Lienhart, then there is a problem with that presbytery. I have heard of many painful events in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area – I’m not sure if that’s the same presbytery), so I can imagine the wearieness of that presbytery given what they have faced over the years.

    That brings up an interesting point: the real issues of Presbyterian government tend to be local. If you presbytery is supportive and of like mind, you should be fine. The previous response by Duggan does raise the interesting question: where would you go? I suppose you could go the way of the Coral Ridge group that broke off by being an “independent” Presbyterian Church, and I know of a couple of churches 100 miles from me that are in that direction rather than being a PCA church.

    2) Anarchy in worship: I could use a little more specificity. What do you mean by charismatic worship? Is is raising of hands? Is it contemporary praise worship with a band, guitars, etc? Is it organ music? Is it a two hour service rather than a one hour service? I’d be interested in what you mean by anarchy in worship. I’ve seen debate about what is acceptable, and I do not hold to, nor does the WCF seem to hold to Psalms only. I didn’t think you were a Psalms only person. The Sabbath question has divided the reformed community for a long time, and I wrote a paper for an RTS class on Hebrews 4, and the number of views of that passge is almost mind boggling. My paper wasn’t very good (actually it was pretty bad), so I won’t share it.

    3) Safeguarding the Sacraments. You actually raised this question in #2. I’ve grew up in the Episcopal church, and we had (and still do in the Episcopal Church) the option for intinction. That’s only really a concern if you have a common cup. My reading of the Biblical text does not require a common cup, but it could be possible, though I suspect that there were cups for everyone at the Last Supper, but I don’t have enough detail about early church practice there. However, I agree, intinction should not be the primary method of serving communion, and I think using a common cup is unwise, at minimum. Paedocommunion I agree with you. The question really has to do with what age is acceptable, or what level of education is acceptable. The EPC book of order asks the session to examine children who wish to be admitted to the table. I haven’t checked, but the PCA book of order should have something similar. I’ll check later.

    4) Six-day creation: Do you have to be a young earther? This is a debate that I expect to divide conservative denominations. Day-age, framework hypothesis, literal 24 hour days, and there are others that I can’t think of at the moment that do not include theistic evolution. I think you have to go with what you believe Scripture teaches there. The contradictory of the decision to go with the multiple views should not be a concern given some of the difficulties in many other passages where there are a plurality of views with that we accept. I do know that not all of them can be right. By study, or by our facing the Lord at the end will tell us what is correct.

    In the end, if your church is led to leave the PCA, then that’s your decision and we hope that the Lord continues to lead you and leads to your a fellowship and church structure that would be encouraging to you and not a burden. Being part of a presbytery should not be a burden.

  5. Andrew Webb says:

    Hi guys, I should probably make this general caveat. This paper was written to express the concerns of an Old School, full-subscription, Presbyterian session with the direction of the PCA. I understand that people who do not share that theological perspective will probably also not share all of our concerns.

    I’m also aware that in the prior divisions of Presbyterian denominations for theological reasons, it was a minority that left. The vast majority in the PCUSA did not share the concerns of Machen and even most moderates and conservatives thought the PCUSA was far from being lost when the OPC was formed. Similarly, it was a minority that left the PCUS to form the PCA, and again many moderates felt that the denomination was not that bad off. Similarly, I do not doubt that the greater part of the PCA will remain in that denomination and either gradually shift as the denomination does or leave much later when their own particular “line in the sand” is crossed.

    • Bob says:

      Andrew, I enjoyed reading your views re PCA. And as a 30+ year RE, I share some of your concerns, however, I think you should detail some of what you call FV in order to make clear why you castigate it so. There is much possibility for misunderstanding the words used in these debates, thus much need for scrupulous clarity in definitions. A wonderful children’s film (Princess Bride) has a very famous line, “You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.” The FV debate is one of those words, I think. “Paedo” is another.

  6. Sean Gerety says:

    Reblogged this on God's Hammer and commented:
    Must reading…

    • Stephen Welch says:

      Sean, thanks for posting this on your blog. I am not surprised by the action of the Providence Session. It was a matter of time before they made this decision. I suspect that there are other PCA sessions already exploring the possibility of leaving the denomination. I am not sure where they would go, but there are several smaller reformed denominations that would benefit from some strong healthy congregations joining with them. This leaves some PCA teaching elders like myself in a dilema about where to go, if many solid congregations leave the PCA.

  7. Stephen Welch says:

    Andy, I have never interacted with you, but I appreciate the solid stand you and others like Wes White and Lane Keister have taken. I pray that the Lord of the church grant you wisdom as you procede with this decision.

  8. If you find you have no place to go, be patient. I personally believe there in the next few years there will come a major issue that will make things much more clear and, if that battle is lost to ‘the other side’ then there will be many others to join you. The battleground will be over Complementarism.

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  10. Interesting article. As a former member of the PCA, we left several years ago for a number of reasons. The PCA is sliding toward liberalism in its apologetic, and we specifically left because Elders were doing yoga and yours truly could never get even partial engagement with the RE and TE’s on the subject.

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  12. Benjamin P. Glaser says:

    Just as a point of clarification allowing women to be precenters in the RPCNA is not the same thing as “letting women lead worship”, likewise the reasons for Female Deacons in the RPCNA are apples and oranges in comparison to the PCA. Also Female Deacons are on their way out in the RPCNA (and ARP).

    • Andrew Duggan says:

      Rev Glaser,

      Geneva College, the RPCNA college had a woman lead in prayer at the graduation this past Saturday. I was there, it was offensive. Prayer is an act of worship. The RPW doesn’t just apply to stated worship services, but to any time or place when one or more people do any act of worship. While lots of people llke to take the RPW to regulate just the public worship of God, the teaching of the 2nd commandment and the WCF 21 does not make such a distinction.

      Prayer is an act of worship, Geneva College the college of the RPCNA had prayer lead by a woman, therefore the RPCNA allows women to lead in worship. De facto if not de jure.

      On what basis can you claim that women deacons are on their way out in the RPCNA?

  13. Rev. R Simon says:

    You should check out the Bible Presbyterian denomination. I am not a member of that denomination, but I think you could be very satisfied there.

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  16. Austin Davis says:

    The PCA proudly embraces the history of Luther,Calvin and others. Here is a story published this week by a Southern Baptist blogger out of Oklahoma on a PCA story out of Nashville, Tn: http://www.wadeburleson.org/2014/05/austin-davis-covenant-presbyterian-and.html
    PCA pastors and members should be encouraged to read it as you continue your discussion on the PCA.

  17. Brian Eschen says:

    Thank you for sharing. Being a PCA ruling elder, I share those same concerns and have asked the same question, “When is it the proper time to leave?”

    Failure to administer discipline is a sure way to lose a denomination. I also believe that every means should be exhausted before leaving. Our constitution states that the General Assembly “shall” assume original jurisdiction if two Presbyteries request such (BCO 34-1). I’m not sure if no one has thought of it in regards to Pacific Northwest, Metro NY & Missouri or if there does not exist two Presbyteries who believe it is important enough? What are your thoughts? Will two Presbyteries call on the GA to act? It would be nice to get the GA to judge on these issues.

    As it is, we are promoting divisions over against our Lord’s command for unity. Either FV is a perversion of the gospel or it isn’t; God created in six days or he didn’t; women should be church leaders or they shouldn’t; communion should be practiced with the elements separate or it shouldn’t etc. Peace is impossible without unity on these issues in a denomination because it goes to the foundation of our faith and practice – the Word of God. The Word of God declares one truth on each of these matters, not many. The General Assembly needs to promote unity by judging on these matters.

    Another issue that keeps nagging me as well goes to your RUF example. That is, when the times get tougher for those who hold that God’s law should direct our living, will our denomination stick with us or compromise so things aren’t so tough? I tend to think they would stick to God’s law, but this RUF incident is disturbing.

    Is it time to leave? I’m not ready yet, but I will definitely keep asking the question. We still have fellow presbyters who are with us in this battle, who love what we love and hate what we hate. My prayer is that the PCA will repent. May God have mercy on us.

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  19. Mark Grasso says:

    I might rearrange your order and I’d add that the GA is no longer Presbyterian or biblical, but defacto episcopalian. However, there is no denying that the PCA has lost the 3 marks of a true church. I am amazed that so few conservatives see this. The founders idea that obedience to Christ requires departure (discipline in reverse) is lost in our day. Not many of today’s conservatives would have left PCUS back in 1973.

  20. Sean Gerety says:

    Andy, do you know of any churches that have left the PCA since it has become clear that the GA has simply turned its back on the FV by letting the decisions of the lower courts stand? I thought that one reason alone would have been enough, but it seems like in many things when it comes to PCA polity I was wrong. I can’t see any moral or biblical reason for churches to stay in the PCA, but are their financial reasons that would explain the lack of a conservative exodus?

  21. Brad says:

    Curious… why no expressed concern about the lack of corporate catechesis in the PCA? Our 10 years in the PCA has revealed very little regard for our confessional documents.

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  23. Phil Kayser says:

    We left the PCA in order to bless the brethren in our PCA presbytery who were bothered by our strict confessionalism. I think it was a win-win situation. But finding a good alternative was easier said than done. There are many solid denominations out there, but there are also some rather legalistic, litigious denominations dominated by one individual. It took us many years to find a micro-presbyterian denomination that was pastoral yet sharp on the Confession. While Covenant Presbyterian Church is not perfect (I have a couple exceptions) they have been absolutely wonderful to work with. You can read more at http://www.covenant-presbyterian.org

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