Moves in the Borderline Toward Confessionalism or Away?

According to the latest Evangelical Presbyterian News report: (HT: Presweek)

By a vote of 46 to 4, the Presbytery of Mid-America on April 25 approved an overture to the 2009 General Assembly, requesting that they be permitted to experiment with an affinity presbytery structure for a period of three years beginning in July 2009. If approved by the Assembly, the presbytery would create two ministerial committees. One would examine and receive candidates and ministers who are not in favor of women as Teaching Elders. The other committee would examine and receive candidates and ministers who are in favor of women as Teaching Elders. All other activities and ministries of the presbytery would remain unchanged during the three years of experiment. The Permanent Judicial Commission will review this overture as part of it’s May 29-30 meeting.

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  1. I read this, too, and coupled with the influx of PCUSA congregations leads me to conclude this is a move away from confessionalism.

  2. It is difficult to see how having two entirely different committees, within one Presbytery, for examining Ministerial candidates can possibly be sustainable. Furthermore, and I have no knowledge of EPC polity, but doesn’t the entire Presbytery still vote on who to accept or reject for licensure and ordination?

    The flow of refugees from the PCUSA into the EPC means that there will be a growing body of people in the EPC who want women Elders and Pastors in their local congregations. Not that I’m a prophet, but my best guess is that this will ultimately lead to some of the EPC congregations leaving the EPC to unite with the PCA or other NAPARC denominations.

    • Mr. Booth,

      It could also mean that PCA or other NAPARC denominations could leave to join the EPC BECAUSE they want women elders and pastors. It’ll be interesting what the final numbers will be of PCUSA refugees in the EPC. Maybe, we’ll read a new paper on “voluntary realignment” based on women in ministry. HMMMMMMM

  3. Dr. Clark,

    As you and/or someone else has recently blogged, the fact that homosexuality was the straw that broke the camel’s back and not the many other less “sexy” doctrinal and confessional problems within the PCUSA for the past 70 years suggests that many of the PCUSA congregations flowing into the EPC are on a completely different page. Their threshold for shenanigans is probably much higher than it should be, which does not bode well for the EPC.


  4. Dr. C,

    As an EPC insider at this point, I can tell you that the future grows increasingly bleak for the EPC with regard to confessionalism. The trends were actually very favorable until the influx of “conservative” PCUSAs. The tide is turning and I feel that even my home church’s influence on the East Coast is now waning.

    Mr. Booth is likely correct–in the next ten years (barring a change in trajectory), you’ll likely have a steady flow of EPCs into the PCA (and possibly a few into the OPC?). On the bright side, there is a large contingent of these churches and they are staunchly Reformed.

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