Mess of Pottage Blog

Luke's "Pro" Blog

Important Cases Go to Court

on October 29, 2012

The PC(USA) G.A. Judicial Commission to hear three major cases. One is a ruling by the Los Ranchos Presbytery to reinstate the old “fidelity and chastity” clause of the Book of Order at a more local level. The Synod ruled such resolutions were constitutional. So it’s being appealed. This is the “tails you lose, heads we win” school of polity. More-local councils should only be allowed to make decisions when they make the right decisions. Or at least the politically correct ones.

But you say, connectionalism requires that presbyteries are subordinate to [the discernment of the will of God expressed by the Holy Spirit through] the councils to which they belong? Hmm. I’m minded of this observation by Kevin DeYoung, which is generally supportive of a presbyterian approach to church discipline:

the elders in a Presbyterianism system serve as Christ’s representatives and with Christ’s authority, but they are not mini-Christs. The presbyters do not have a blank check to decide whatever they want. The keys of the kingdom must always be tied to the King’s words.

The context was discipline within the local church, but if you change elders to presbyteries, or synods, or the general assembly PJC, it’s still true.


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