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May 11, 2006


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will spotts

I agree with a lot of this.

I'm inclined to let presbyteries decide, but in a different manner. The Scrupling and Adopting act was never to be appllied in the way suggested by PUP and others.

Instead, put the issues to Church wide constitutional votes -- this is the method of ammending the book of order -- and should have been followed with the 5 essentials if that were the directon the then Presbyterian Church wanted to take. Any decision made unilaterally by a GA that has constitutional implications is illegitimate: whether this means banning overtures on a topic, creating a wider scrupling act, setting essentials -- including requiring approval of the ordination of women. All of these have a legitimate methodology by which they must addressed. Anything else is an abuse of power.

The currency upon which we depend if we are to stay togehter is trust. ALL abuse of power destroys trust, whether it comes from conservative or liberal directions. I would consider it a good option to let presbyteries decide the standards, but then allow those who dissent, and can't in good conscience remain, to leave. To use the property to bully one group or another is another violation of trust.


The Adopting Act never gave the presbytery the final word on what were essential tenets of the Reformed faith. Their decisions were always subject to review by the higher bodies. When presbyteries don't abuse their power, the higher bodies don't have to review them. But they can. I think Redwoods Presbytery has abused its trust, and needs to be reviewed "with extreme prejudice" by the synod and, no doubt, the General Assembly.

Michael Kruse

The interesting question for me is that the PUP recommendations have allowed presbyteries to "grant" scruples so long as they don’t violate the essential tenets of the Reformed faith. However, the denomination has been gun shy about even coming near anything that remotely sounds like defining essentials. If a presbytery’s decision is a appealed up to the level of GA permanent judicial commission, then on what basis is PJC to determine what is essential and whether the presbytery violated it or not? It seems to me that the PJC becomes the de facto author of what is essential unless a subsequent GA stands up and decides to contradict them.

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