I usually write most of my blogs myself. Occasionally, though, someone else writes something important enough to pass on verbatim. Cindy, from the Western North Carolina Presbytery wrote to this blog to give an update on what happened at their most recent meeting. It is the proposal to this presbytery that prompted my blog earlier, entitled A False Unity.
Yesterday, Friday, October 20, The Western North Carolina Presbytery voted by a large majority to pass the Guidelines for Congregations Considering A Request to Presbytery to be Dismissed.Cindy and others--we will keep praying for you and your congregations. This is a sad time in Christian history. We hope and pray that mainline denominations will return to a belief in Scripture as revealed and the Lord Jesus revealed therein.
Tensions ran high and the vote was taken twice because the first vote had been taken after lengthy discussions on amendments and amendments on amendments. When the actual vote for the final document came many weren't even sure what they had voted on. No actual discussion re: the document had been held. (Many commissioners complained they had only seen the document for the first time a few days earlier or that morning as it was a part of the addendum.)
A vote was taken to resubmit the document for another vote allowing for full discussion. The document passed by voice vote nearly intact.
A related item voted on earlier in the day (before I was in attendance) was a recommendation in the omnibus motion in the addendum stating that churches not following the guidelines for dismissal would find themselves facing an Administrative Commission.
Also voted on were guidelines for examination of pastoral candidates which follow wishes of the PUP committee. Only creeds to which they will need to agree with are the Nicene, The Apostles' Creed and A Brief Statement of Faith. Scruples will be provided for, kept "confidential" and all must "allow for the discerning work by the Holy Spirit."
Also, just in case a church wants to discuss in private their difficulties with the denomination or the WNC-Presbytery, clerks of sessions will now be required to meet annually to review each others' session records under the watchful eye of Presbytery staff.
And, no distribution of any materials at Presbytery without prior approval from Coordinating Council.
Fortunately, before and during the grueling four-hour marathon on basically two items, we were able to pray: "That we would be open to new truth..." and that we would "breathe in the spirit and breathe out the spirit." A little New Age never hurt anyone, I guess (sarcasm off).
Very difficult days ahead for some churches here and individuals who are members of churches satisfied with status quo.
Pastor Gray, keep speaking out. You give encouragement and information so badly needed in these days. We will be praying for The Kirk as well.
In His Merciful Hands,
Keep praying--keep the faith,