RUM in Turmoil over Proposed Restructure and Atlanta Coordinator
Mississippi Coordinator Bebo Elkin Resigns in Protest
Deep South Presbyteries Send Strongly-Worded Overtures
Concerns over the proposed restructure of Reformed University Ministries (RUM) have at least two presbyteries up in arms. A study committee, appointed to examine the request of several presbyteries for RUM to be a separate General Assembly committee or agency rather than under Mission to North America (MNA) Committee as at present, is recommending instead that all RUM area coordinators come directly under Atlanta control. Covenant and Grace Presbyteries have adopted overtures to this year's Assembly, asking that this study committee be discharged from any further consideration of the matter and that RUM be constituted as a separate entity. Attached to the overtures is a statement from the Mississippi Joint Committee, which warns "that any effort to bring the authority, structure, power and money under the Atlanta office, and thus reduce the role of the Mississippi Joint Committee to mere advice and consent, will removed the final authority away from Presbytery and may have direct and severe negative financial consequences." Meanwhile, the Florida Joint Committee on Campus Ministry has called for a meeting of the GA Campus Subcommittee of MNA in order to solicit the resignation of RUM Coordinator Marvin Padgett.
Interchurch Relations Report Stirs Controversy, Again
For at least the fifth consecutive General Assembly, the report of the Interchurch Relations Committee (IRC) this year will undoubtedly prove once again to be a source of great controversy. Four presbyteries have adopted overtures calling for an investigation of the IRC, especially with regard to the PCA's delegation actions at NAPARC. Two items from this past year's North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) meeting are particularly mentioned. The first is the fail}re of the delegation to carry out the instructions of the 1995 Assembly, "to use all due process to remove the [Christian Reformed Church] from membership in NAPARC, if the CRC does not repent of and rescind the action of the 1995 Synod at the 1996; Synod" which opened ruling and teaching church offices to women. The second is the delegation's vote in favor of admitting |he Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) to NAPARC.
National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) Meets in Orlando
The NAE found itself embroiled in the debate over constitutional amendments on religious liberty. The annual convention also heard Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, deliver what was described as "a stem-winder of a sermon on Isaiah the prophet." The NAE has self-consciously included more women in places of leadership at its meetings. This comes at a time when the PCA General Assembly instructed the Interchurch Relations Committee "to report back to the Twenty-Fifth General Assembly any changes that may have occurred to the NAE Statement of Faith or on any movement toward granting women the privilege of the pulpit."
The Fight Over Women in Combat
For the second consecutive General Assembly, Philadelphia Presbytery has overtured the higher court for a definitive statement prohibiting the }se of women in combat. Captain Robert Miller, a retired Naval aviator, and founder of Hoxe for America, an organization which seeks to apply the Bible to all of life, has been in the forefront of this move. However, as is evident from the minority report which is attached to the overture, not everyone is convinced of the sweeping conclusions drawn by the majority.
Theonomy, Freemasonry, Charismatic Gifts, and Divorce on SJC Agenda
Among the eleven cases to be voted on the General Assembly, perhaps the most controversial is Case 95-11 (Landrum, Rogers, Wright, et al. vs. Mississippi Valley), in which the majority of the Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) has maintained that the acceptance of a charismatic position does not disqualify a man from the PCA ministry. A vigorous dissenting opinion has been attached.
SJC and 'The Case of the Mystery Manual'
The Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) has adopted amendments to its Manual. The SJC officers are setting forth these changes as minor and non-substantive. However, neither the officers nor the Stated Clerk was willing to share a copy of the revisions prior to the Assembly.
A Box of Chocolates
Does Forrest Gump's wisdom apply to the Standing Judicial Commission report?
MTW Defends Madrid Missionaries, Attacks News Reports
The Mission to the World (MTW) report to the 199? Assembly defends the MTW missionaries in Madrid who have been under fire for allegedly discouraging |he public practice of infant baptism. In coming to the defense of these missionaries, the report states: "We disapprove of the letters and rumors which have been passed around, put on the Internet, and published in news reports." However, at least half a dozen members of the MT_ Committee profess ignorance as to what news reports the report which the Committee adopted is referring.
Trademark Issue Surfaces Again
The Presbyterian Church in America (A Corporation) Board of Directors minutes for October 12, 1996, indicate that the issue of the registered service mark "PCA" is still alive. On that date, the Board voted "that if we have not already approved the registry 'PCA' as a service mark, that we ratify the prior action registering the service mark." The implications of taking this action a decade after the mark was applied for are not immediately clear. The person(s) making application most certify, under penalty of perjury, that it was authorized by the corporation or other entity for which the registration is sought.
Our readers respond--especially regarding our coverage of the "racial unity seminar" sponsored by a prominent PCA church.
Coverage of Ascension, Eastern Carolina, Fellowship, Mid-America, Palmetto, Potomac, and South Coast.
Evangel Protests 'Gender-Neutral' NIV Bible
Evangel Presbytery overtures the 25th General Assembly "to register its protest at Zondervan and with our brothers of the NIV Committee on Bible Translation. . . ."