The Presbytery of Mississippi "Nullifies" PC(USA)'s PUP !

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Brave evangelical leaders in the PC(USA)'s Presbytery of Mississippi have produced a response to the infamous PUP (Peace, Unity and Purity) report. On this past Thursday, at a called meeting, the Presbytery of Mississippi overwhelmingy (by approximately 90 percent) passed the resolution.

Bible-believing Christians everywhere join to stand with our faithful Gospel-loving brothers and sisters in the PC(USA), and especially bold leaders like these in the Presbytery of Mississippi. These good folk are genuinely seeking to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and to stand upon the Truth of the Word of God.

Let's pray that this resolution will send biblical fidelity-encouraging shockwaves through the PC(USA). May it serve as a message of hope to many, and an example for other conservative sessions and presbyteries.

Those of us in the PCA and the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals want our friends in the PC(USA) Presbytery of Mississippi (and many more like them throughout the PC(USA)) to know that we stand with you, and are grateful for your desire to be faithful to Christ. Sometimes, we know, willingness to begin taking very bold steps toward greater faithfulness, is daunting and costly. But the Captain of our salvation did not shrink from the deepest humiliation for the sake of his bride. May you follow, bravely and joyously, in his train.

The resolution reads as follows:

Part A.

The Presbytery of Mississippi does hereby,

Declare that the action of the 217th General Assembly in the passage of Recommendation 5 of the Peace, Unity, and Purity Task Force Report, is a grievous error seriously lacking Biblical, Confessional and Constitutional integrity, and of such magnitude that it places the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a state of constitutional crisis, requiring that the Presbytery of Mississippi re-evaluate the nature of its relationship with the General Assembly,

Reaffirm its strong conviction that all constitutional requirements for ordination, including G-6.0106b, are binding on all the sessions and presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), and none are subject to being considered "inessential" by any governing body of the Church,

Reaffirm its resolution that no exceptions to the requirement that all deacons, elders and ministers must "live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or in chastity in singleness" will be allowed within the jurisdiction of this Presbytery, and

Resolve that any governing body of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.) which abrogates this requirement has broken fellowship with the Presbytery of Mississippi. Ministers from such unbiblical, unconfessional, and unconstitutional presbyteries will not be received for membership in this Presbytery unless they personally affirm their belief in and their willingness to be governed by this requirement.

Rationale

Interaction between the governing bodies of the Presbyterian Church should be marked by mutual trust. That trust is simply not possible when the highest governing body commits egregious Biblical and Constitutional error, and when some presbyteries are openly and flagrantly in violation of Biblical, Confessional, and Constitutional standards. The Presbytery of Mississippi, in seeking to be faithful to the Bible, the Confessions of the Church, and the Constitution as lawfully approved by the presbyteries of the Church, cannot therefore stand in full fellowship with officers engaging in unconstitutional and unbiblical behavior, or governing bodies which bless such behavior.

At the same time, we understand that within unfaithful governing bodies, there are many ruling and teaching elders who seek to be faithful to the Biblical, Confessional and Constitutional standards of the Church. We welcome such faithful elders and ministers of the Word and Sacrament into our membership. But because of the unfaithfulness of their sessions and presbyteries, we must examine them with rigor similar to that which is required for ministers received from other denominations.

The action of the 217th General Assembly, in passing Recommendation 5 of the PUP Task Force report jeopardizes the role that Scripture and the Constitution play in the governance of the church, thus the constitutional crisis. As we grieve over this devastating action, we pray for God's mercy and guidance as the Presbytery of Mississippi discerns the nature of faithfulness in this post-pup context.

Part B.

That the Presbytery appoint a Task Force consisting of the presbytery's commissioners to the last four General Assemblies, chaired by Dr. Emett Barfield, and charged with the responsibility to carefully examine the implications of this constitutional crisis upon the future and the ministry of the Presbytery, and to bring a report and recommendations to the October meeting of Presbytery.

Posted July 15, 2006 @ 6:58 PM by Ligon Duncan
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