Saturday, October 25th, 2014
The Layman Online > Carmen's Writings > Lemonade … from the lemon’s perspective: churches seeking dismissal are about to feel the squeeze

Lemonade … from the lemon’s perspective: churches seeking dismissal are about to feel the squeeze

squeezing lemonsThe General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (GAPJC) has struck a blow to presbytery “Gracious Dismissal Policies” because the grace seems to get in the way of denominational vindictiveness and unabashed greed.

 

At issue is the May 8 ruling of the GAPJC of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Presbytery of New York City v McGee et al. The ecclesiastical court has taken a hard line that is bad news for congregations hoping to retain their property as part of their departure from the PCUSA.

 

The bottom line of the court’s ruling is that a presbytery’s dismissal policy cannot follow a formula that guarantees dismissal even if all the terms of the presbytery’s own policy are met. Presbytery has the right to make the final decision on dismissal in each particular case and cannot defer to a policy or formula. This means that even if a church jumps through all the proverbial hoops of a presbytery’s protracted and burdensome dismissal policy, there can be no assurance in advance that they will be dismissed.

 

The GAPJC also did not like the Presbytery of New York City’s approval of a financial settlement formula to be used in all cases. Each financial settlement must be determined independent of all other settlements with other congregations and on the merits of the particular church seeking dismissal. The NYC policy had a cap on the financial settlement of $2 million. The GAPJC apparently saw that as insufficient and ruled that no cap could exist as a matter of policy.

 

So, if they can get more juice out of the lemon by squeezing it harder, then by all means, says the GAPJC, put the squeeze on.

 

The GAPJC also rejected the legitimacy of “perceived theological differences” as a basis for a congregation’s departure. Why? Because in an inclusive church, like the PCUSA, there is not the recognition of actual theological differences, only preferences and perceptions.

 

Finally there’s the “true church” paragraph which I predict presbyteries will use when working to drive a wedge within the membership of congregations where the elected leadership and a majority of members have discerned God’s will for them to be outside of the PCUSA. The GAPJC decision in what will likely become known as “McGee” will undoubtedly result in less peace, less purity and certainly less unity in the body of believers formerly known as the PCUSA.

 

The squeeze is on. The GAPJC has basically reaffirmed its position that a congregation which once freely aligned itself with the PCUSA cannot now leave unless presbytery permits them to leave and even then they must pay whatever exit fee the presbytery assesses.

 

As the squeeze tightens we can expect more individuals and congregations to simply walk out the door, down the street, and leave the keys to an empty building devoid of the body that once made it a church.

 

One pastor observes about the ruling that “For all their talk of tolerance and inclusion, the progressives quickly resort to coercion and threats. It is an enforced inclusion in which no one is free to leave, at least not with their property. They are totalitarian in nature, seeking to impose their ideology on everyone and allowing no dissent.”

 

For a full legal analysis, see the post by Steve Salyards at his blog, The GA Junkie.

 

About the author: Carmen Fowler LaBerge

Carmen Fowler LaBerge heads the ministry of the Presbyterian Lay Committee as its President and Executive Editor of its publications, including The Layman.

29 comments

  1. Gary Loftis says:

    I used to new a member of the PCUSA. Finally, the drift away from Biblical truth drove us to a non-affiliated Reformed church. Now, we hear authoritative sermons from RC Sproul. We really miss the people we left behind when we changed churches, but the way the PCUSA is moving, I expect we’ll see some of then fairly soon.

  2. Mateen Elass says:

    Mr. Fincke,

    I can say in all honesty that I have never come across anyone who handles the Scripture with the creative nonchalance you consistently evidence. You outshine the brightest theological luminaries among PCUSA progressives that I’ve read. Why are you wasting your time casting your pearls before the swine who frequent this website? I’d bet that one of the denominational seminaries would snap you up in an instant to teach either OT or NT, if only you would submit your wisdom to their search committees! May you find the niche which your approach to Scripture so richly merits.

  3. Peter Gregory says:

    In any sort of post or blog board, such as the ‘Laymen’ format. You will get folks of various emotional, mental, spiritual states or forms of stability. Also unless one chooses to use real name, one can choose to remain anonymous or use a avatar type persona to post. Nature of the internet.

    We may never know if names used are real name or some mask. Or what the true intent of the individual is. Suggest that until or unless Laymen chooses to excise some management of the site one does not respond directly to posts that seem odd, off base, or when the author seems on the surface, again, odd. Nothing can be gained from further interaction.

    Carmen?

    • Don says:

      I agree with Peter. I’ve wondered if this has been an elaborate and very intrusive case of “trolling”, or if there is simply something, as Peter said, odd going on there. In either case, I’m hoping people will stop encouraging such individuals, and instead simply ignore them.

  4. andrew fincke says:

    Mateen,
    “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me?” Two criminals hung with our Lord – the three side by side on crosses. Who were the criminals that earned this privilege? Peter – for his thrice spoken denial (Mat. 26:76) – and Judas – for his betrayal of the Lord to the chief priests and elders (Mat. 27:3). Cf. Mat. 27:3-5:
    “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” The Greek word for King James’ “hanged himself” means “choked” and is at 2 Sam. 17:23: “and put his household in order, and hanged himself.” “And went” in the Matthew account cites 2 Samuel’s “put his household in order,” lit. “commanded his house.” The Hebrew words “and he went” and “and he commanded” differ by one consonant and sound the same (vayetse’ and vayetsaw). When the Samuel victim – Ahitophel, Absalom’s adviser against David – realized his advice hadn’t been followed, he ordered his servants to choke him to death. For Judas’s case we have John 13:25-30:
    “25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
    Judas took the bag and was told to go to the store and buy desert (something sweet – thus “Satan entered into him”). To leave his favored position at the Lord’s breast he needed the disciples’ permission, which he got. Mat. 27:4: “And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.” In other words, what good is soggy bread to us? Get us some ice cream! Mat 27:5: “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Incensed at the fact he had to leave his favored spot to do an errand, he threw down the coins in the upper room (“temple”), put the sop in the bag around his neck and stormed out. Devoid of money and hungry for desert, he bolted down the sop (“innocent blood” wasted through mixture with bread), which was weighing down the bag to the point of choking him. Judas’ “theft” – squandering money given him to procure food – earned him a spot next to the Lord at the crucifixion. Luke 23:43: “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” is consistent with John 20:2-4:
    “2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.”
    The two disciples – having survived the hanging – continued their rivalry for the Lord’s affection after the crucifixion. “Paradise” transcribes the Greek word paradeisos, which means “garden” (Gen. 2:8) and “cemetery” (Septuagint at 2 Chr. 33:20). No one went to Paradise (“Heaven”) on the “To day” of Luke 23:43. But all three ended up in Paradise (“cemetery”) one way or the other – through burial or footrace. Paradise “cenetery” evolved into Paradise “garden” when Peter brought 153 fishes to the picnic there (John 21:11-15).

  5. Mateen Elass says:

    Mr. Fincke,
    I am amused by the drunken-like eisegesis you employ, staggering half-consciously from passage to passage ignoring the central content and fixating on phantasms instead. Were it not for the fact you have stated these views publicly, and naïve readers might be misled, I would leave you to your falsehoods.

    Concerning Judas, he cannot be confused with “the disciple whom Jesus loved” because first of all, it would have been easy for the gospel writer to clearly identify Judas as such if it were the case (all the twelve disciples are named in this Gospel, except for John, making it likely that this anonymous description applies to him).

    Secondly, Mt 27:1-6 makes clear that on Friday morning when Jesus is taken before Pilate, Judas has his run-in with the chief priests, throwing down his blood money in recognition of his guilt (“I have sinned in betraying innocent blood”). Immediately thereafter, “…he departed; and he went and hanged himself” (v 5). If you are contending that “the disciple whom Jesus loved” to whom Peter referred in Jn 21 is Judas, then perhaps you have stumbled on a story even greater than Jesus’s resurrection! Judas, alive again, somehow back in fellowship with the other disciples and Jesus, who is now so enthralled with Jesus that he even pens the Fourth Gospel (see Jn 21:24). Unfortunately, this does not square with the facts. In Acts 1, Peter recounts Judas’ suicide, and the fledgling church determines that someone must be chosen to take the place of Judas as one of the 12, hardly likely if he was still around, especially as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.

    Thirdly, contrary to any evidence you assert that the Lord Jesus carried the community purse around his neck, and that Judas must have been leaning against his breast at the meal because he was “…looking for a loan from the purse.” But the text (Jn 13:21-29) clearly shows that when Jesus announces one of the disciples will betray him, Peter asks “the one whom Jesus loved, who was lying close to the breast of Jesus” to ask Jesus who it is. The disciple does this. Jesus answers, “The one to whom I will give this morsel when I have dipped it.” He then gives it to Judas (who is named). At this point the devil enters him. V 29 makes clear that Judas controlled the money box (see also 12:6 — the money box was not around Jesus’ neck). Judas would not have been leaning against Jesus to ask for a loan — he never needed a loan because according to 12:6 he used to help himself to the funds in the box since he controlled the purse strings.

    Perhaps most egregious of all your errors, though, is that you accuse Jesus of being a thief by conflating Jn 12:6 with the parable in Mt 23:43 (sic). Actually, Mt 23 has no verse 43, which led me to the hope that all our arguments must be due to the fact that you are using a different Bible, until I discovered that you must have meant 24:43. If you would bother to read this parable carefully, you would see that the Son of Man is not defined to be a thief, but his unexpected appearing is likened to that of a thief in the night. Had you bothered to read John 12:6 even somewhat carefully you would have discovered that the Gospel author recounts Judas’ question as to the waste of nard and why it wasn’t give to care for the poor instead, and then comments concerning Judas that “He said this, not because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief…”

    Concerning the foot-washing account of Jn 13, nowhere are we told that Judas “overcame the devil’s prompts and submitted himself to the polity of foot-washing,” as you suggest. He was merely one of the 11 who submitted themselves sheeplike, while only Peter objected. Reading the prophetic psalm text (41:9) “has lifted his heel against me” to mean that Judas willingly complied with the footwashing service by lifting his foot to Jesus to make the washing easier completely misses the point. You can’t really believe, can you, that when Jesus quotes this OT text about one sharing bread (presumably then a friend) suddenly becoming an enemy (this is absolutely clear in the psalm’s context), he instead means that Judas is positively special because he was so compliant with the footwashing process? Perhaps if the text read “lifted up his foot to me” rather than lifted up his heel against me”, and was separated completely from the context of that individual being Jesus’ betrayer, you might be able to make that wild leap. On second thought, no you couldn’t, unless you want to divorce this story from its place in the flow of the Gospel.

    These simple corrections are all I have time to deal with now, but it occurs to me now that I may have fallen into your trap. I have been laboring under the conception that you really are so dull-witted as to believe what you have put forth. I realize now how unlikely it is one could be that blind in reading Scripture. So the other possibility is that you are writing these things merely to play with the serious-minded and yank our chains. That seems more likely, in which case you have successfully yanked mine. Congratulations! Let me invite you to consider pursuing some higher-minded calling in the future.

  6. andrew fincke says:

    “Even if the apostate PCUSA legally fought every church which desires or expressed (a desire) to leave. Even if they prevailed, in every court and every state, and won ever(y) legal battle. And even if they were able to monetize every inch of church property, rent it, sell it, develop it, become nothing more than property managers from now till the second coming. Would that save them, help them, enable them to do their missions and callings(?)”
    Take the disciples, Peter. When the Lord expressed His desire to leave them and go on His way (John 14:2, 16:10-17), they fought hoof and nail to keep Him (John 14:5, 16:17), finally taking the matter to court. John 18:15: “And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest,” where they succeeded in abbreviating the departure to a three-day incarceration. Judas then monetized the assets: (Mat. 27:5-7) “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.” “Strangers” in the Greek is “unbelievers, nonChristians.” Judas’ money was put to good use. With it was acquired the property used to win unbelievers, who shrank from the thought of being buried in Judas’ cemetery.and survived to become the focus of Paul’s missionary campaigns.

  7. Peter Gregory says:

    One needs to retain a sense of balance and perceptive in this matter. Even if the apostate PCUSA legally fought every church which desires or expressed one to leave. Even if they prevailed, in every court and every state, and won ever legal battle. And even if they were able to monetize every inch of church property, rent it, sell it, develop it, become nothing more than property managers from now till the second coming. Would that save them, help them, enable them to do their missions and callings. The answer is no.

    All funds, all resources, all assets of the faithful and the saints, seized, extorted, acquired would only go down the endless and bottomless pit of their bloated denominational structure. At most they may buy themselves a few years, but when you run out of people, mission or purpose, or continue to mock and curse God, your money and real estate will not save you.

    Praise God.

  8. andrew fincke says:

    Judas was in a difficult position. As “that disciple whom Jesus loved” he stood to lose both his Teacher and his Friend. We know that Judas was the beloved disciple because it says (John 21:20): “the disciple whom Jesus loved … which also leaned on his breast at supper,” Judas leaned on His breast looking for a loan from the purse, which the Lord carried around His neck. See John 12:6: “he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein .” For the identity of “thief” see Mat. 23:43: “I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Judas “betrayed” Him (Mat. 10:4) with a kiss by expressing his (Judas’) sensual passion for the Lord. Judas “came out” in this way. Building on the Westminster Confession 24.1: “Marriage is to be between one man and one woman,” the PCUSA has traditionally denied the recipricocity of these feelings and condemned Judas as the initiator of an unlawful relationship. With the adoption of the Confession of 1967 the denomination turned from the orthodox view and embraced Judas’ inclusivistic view of marriage. The ECO, on the other hand, remains true to the Word and interprets “the disciple whom Jesus loved” in a platonic sense. Thus we get the animosity described by Peter in his post: “But just remember those on the opposite table do not believe in the same God as you, and should be treated in the same respect.” “On the opposite side of the table” are the Judas partisans in presbytery, favoring same-sex marriages among the clergy. Opposing them are the ECO people who interpret “the disciple whom Jesus loved” platonically. “A great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders” (Mark 14:43) are the people addressed by Larry with “lets do battle on the courthouse steps!” Let’s grab the Lord from the hands of those who would align Him with the homosexual ordinees!

  9. Peter Gregory says:

    Andrew:

    PCUSA’ers are indeed good, kind, nice people. People who believe in justice, peace, walking old ladies across the street and world peace, just like Miss America. . Folks who you wish to be around after a natural disaster or event. They donate blood by the gallons, volunteer at the hospital, and are kind to pets. They are like Quakers or Unitarians who may go to church more often. Does not mean they worship the same God as the historic God of Abraham and Paul, nor have they all proclaimed Christ as the only name one can be saved. My GP is a Muslim. A man of faith and courage. I trust him with my life. Does not mean he and will be sharing a room in heaven or will be sitting at the Table of the Lord on that day. Allah is not God, Mohammad is not Christ. And there is no divine light or spark in all men.

    Nor does it mean I would trust him with my church, my money, or career. And neither should you. There is no life in those PCUSA dry bones, move along. God will provide in all matters.

  10. andrew fincke says:

    Peter, “But just remember those on the opposite table do not believe in the same God as you, and should be treated in the same respect” is an insult to Judas, who was doing his God-appointed duty. See John 13:2-5:
    2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;
    3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
    4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
    5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
    Judas overcame the devil’s prompts and submitted himself to the polity of foot-washing. See verse 18: “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” Judas went so far with the foot-washing as to “lift up his heel” to facilitate the ritual, while Peter objected vociferously. Verses 6-8. Larry: “and if PCUSA wants to try to seize property, lets do battle on the courthouse steps!” has a point. See John 13:1: “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” Unto the end of the meal, when they sullied their feet by marching to the courthouse to protest the upcoming loss of their Pastor, who had neglected to come under care of presbytery and fulfill the ordination requirements.

  11. Larry May says:

    Folks: PCUSA has abandoned all pretense that they are the God driven Church that we all joined.. It’s about time for the real Christians that remain, take the position they are leaving PCUSA, and if PCUSA wants to try to seize property, lets do battle on the courthouse steps!

  12. Peter Gregory says:

    I am always amazed when religious evangelical-conservative folks always assume the folks on the other side of the table are believers and Christians just like them. Or that the PCUSA is a somehow a fair adjudicator in all matters. They are not. The organization is apostate on many levels, that needs no further elaboration. On a personal level, many indeed are pagans in the classic sense of the term. Pagan because they worship a false god, they follow another deity, pay homage to another belief structure than the God of History.

    They worship and pay homage to their polity, their process, their form of government, their constitution, their Book of Order. They bow to it, sacrifice to it, read it as Holy Scripture, enforce discipline based on it, separate the holy and just from the unclean and unredeemed based on it. Hence it is a totally and separate religion than the historic faith of Abraham though Paul, through Augustine, to Calvin, Their god is totally different than that of Christ, as their definition of unity, “church” and what is the ‘true” church and what is not. When a conflict arises between their Book of Order and Book of Confesses. Their Book of Confessions is sacrifice upon the altar to their pagan god.

    One can choose to fight the good fight of property battles and money and bricks and mortar and who controls what. But just remember those on the opposite table do not believe in the same God as you, and should be treated in the same respect. Their god demands sacrifice and pain, the pain of the faithful and the righteous. Their god demands attention be paid to its laws. Just be aware.

  13. andrew fincke says:

    I agree with Susan: “All I know, while people are fighting over property, the focus is no longer on Jesus” and Peter: “believers have had a idolatrous relationship with their brick and mortar structures as if … they could not survive outside the walls of the physical structure.”
    Jonah 4:5-7: “So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
    And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
    But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.”
    Pastor Bob: “I know there are many churches that are unhappy with the direction of the PCUSA, but for various reasons won’t leave. Would that they all walk away” is overly optimistic. See 1 Kings 19:18: “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” There will always be a remnant in the PCUSA wanting more than scraps from the abandoned church kitchens.

  14. Bruce says:

    The Whitewater Valley Presbytery has actually published, (about two years ago), that the “true church are those that wish to remain loyal to the PCUSA”.

  15. andrew fincke says:

    “As the squeeze tightens we can expect more individuals and congregations to simply walk out the door, down the street, and leave the keys to an empty building devoid of the body that once made it a church.”
    Gen. 19:12-15:
    “12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
    13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
    14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
    15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”
    Just pick up and leave, is the best advice. See verse 13: “because their crying to the Lord has gone overboard, and He sent us to destroy (the congregation and its building).” Get out with the clothes on your back! ESV: “because the outcry against its people” is a mistake. I think what Peter is getting at with: “Jesus told Peter to get behind him, when at the Transfiguration, Peter wanted to stay on the hill” is this: Lot wanted to hang around – not flee to the mountain – and his wife was transfigured into a pillar of salt when she looked longingly back at the church building they were leaving. Gen. 19:19-26.

  16. Michele Southerland says:

    Tears of disappointment and sorrow are rolling down my face.

  17. John Schrenker says:

    The pressure is mounting as the apostates and heretics become desperate. It’s time for all believers to walk away from PC/USA with or without the property. I am urging my church to walk away from PC/USA with our property and make Presbytery come and take it from us. I’d like to meet the minions of this abomination face to face, so I may come to know my enemies.

    • Matthew G. Zatkalik says:

      Many Faithful Presbyterians continue to live amidst many transgressions against the Bible, the Historic Reformed Faith, the Westminster Confession and Presbyterian polity.
      I encourage Faithful Presbyterians to become proponents of BDS: boycott/divest/sanctions. Put economic and political pressure on the PCUSA to stops its headstrong charge into the ‘broad gate.’ “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14 (1984 NIV).
      Support of BDS measures against the PCUSA necessitates action by individuals, churches and presbyteries throughout the PCUSA. One or two people will not be heard. One or two churches will not be heard. One or two loyal presbyteries will not be heard.
      Individuals who hold to the foundation of the Presbyterian Church (not to be confused with
      ‘The Foundations of Presbyterian Polity,’ pages 1-15 in the Book of Order 2013-2015) know it is time to initiate DBS against the PCUSA!
      You need to send a personal letter to the Stated Clerk and the Executive Presbyter of your Presbytery. And, encourage all your like-minded friends to do the same. The information is on the website of your Presbytery. Do this after you decide what you as an individual will do:
      (1) I will no longer participate in per capita giving
      (2) I will encourage like-minded family, friends and fellow church members to do the same; and
      (3) Will invest that money until such a time as the PCUSA returns to its historic Faith and practices and then, contribute those funds.
      (4) I will gladly support the ministry, staff, and mission of my Presbyterian Church but will refuse and refute any overture to place even one cent in the hands of our presbytery and the PCUSA.
      One way to grab the attention of employees/servants is to diminish the amount of remuneration they can use for unworthy causes. The Reformation Faith has not gotten their attention. The clear word of God has not gotten their attention. The Christian Faith once and for all delivered has not gotten their attention. The significant number of churches leaving the PCUSA has not gotten their attention – but it is giving them exorbitant amounts of money to continue their heresy and apostate behaviors and teachings.
      Grab their attention as they grab on to their ‘gracious separation’ blood-money!
      I am quite sure that a significant drop in per capita dollars to the apostate agencies and their personnel will get their attention.
      It is well past the right time to withhold the dollars that permit this apostasy to continue and to gain momentum.
      Be good stewards, place all requested per capita money in a special designated account – outside of your church. If/When Christ is honored, the Bible is accorded its rightful place in the PCUSA, the monies can be sent to the reformed presbyteries for a Christ-honoring mission by the humbled and repentant PCUSA.
      Keep those funds outside your church – including any ‘memorials’ because they will have to be surrendered if and when your church decides to leave the PCUSA.
      I encourage you to continue to support missions and missionaries outside of PCUSA agencies. Research will reveal individuals and causes that are Christ-honoring and faithful!
      Stand up to apostasy and heresy. Unrighteous leaven has already defiled our regional bodies as well as the national body and blasphemed the work and mission of the Church of Jesus Christ.
      Let the corruptible PCUSA body be buried in death that the power of God which raised the dead body of Christ might raise the PCUSA to Christ-honoring new life.

  18. Susan says:

    All I know, while people are fighting over property, the focus is no longer on Jesus.

    • John Calvin says:

      When you forget to make disciples, and create new churches, disobedience ensues, and we see such fighting producing nothing.

  19. Charles Edwin says:

    Blackmail pure and (not so) simple!

  20. John Sanders says:

    The subtle tone of the originating article is shock . . .shock! That such a position could be possible. The more churches that leave, the less money will go to HQ. That HQ will do what it can to make it difficult to get out of Dodge should not come as much of a surprise. This is fairly common to most organizations, religious or otherwise. Money talks.

  21. Peter Gregory says:

    For far too long evangelical-conservative believers have had a idolatrous relationship with their brick and mortar structures. As if every brick and electrical conduit was handed down from God, and they could not survive outside the walls of the physical structure. Scripture and the witness of faith paint a far different picture. Remember Jesus told Peter to get behind him, when at the Transfiguration, Peter wanted to stay on the hill and built permanent structures of worship. Jesus told them to get off the mountain and get outside. So now we are called to fee, run, get away from sin and idolatry. You cannot take your bricks with you.

    Even if the pagan apostates were able to monetize, sell, return liquid capital on every PCUSA church who wish to leave or rent out the structures, their money would not save them as they would throw it all away down the endless sewer hole of their denominational structures. It would not save a house where no one chooses to live. Let them choke on the bile of their property clause. The poison pill is theirs to swallow, not the faithful of God.

  22. Shawn says:

    In a trying a turbulent time in the PCUSA this article seems to be squirting lemon juice in an open wound.

  23. Brenda says:

    The PCUSA are creating their own demise.

  24. Terry says:

    The “McGee” is perfect and prophetic……

    Reminds me of another McGee of decades past…..DR. J Vernon McGee “Thru The Bible Radio”. A PCUS Pastor up to 1948 who served PCUS Churches in Decatur, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Cleburne, Texas and Pasadena, California before leaving the PCUS for many of the same concerns plaguing the PCUSA today. DR. McGee went on to serve for many decades as Pastor of the famous Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles, CA while serving as the chair of the Bible Department at BIOLA (The Bible Institute of Los Angeles). DR J Vernon McGee’s faithful Gospel and Bible from cover to cover proclamation has had a world wide impact on millions and millions of people transcending his death in 1998. The Thru The Bible Radio Program still airs on over 400 radio stations in America and in over 100 languages around the World via Short Wave, Radio and Internet in 2014.

    While having dinner with him back in the early 1980s He said to me in his famous thick Texan accent.

    “Let me tell you one thing…..the Presbyterian Church is as dead as the Dodo Bird. If you are going to minister in the Presbyterian Church you are going to have to pay attention to your local congregation and forget the boys upstairs.”

    This message remains true to faithful to Christ PCUSA congregations now trapped in this wicked and oppressive time in the PCUSA..

    My prayers are with and for each one of you.

  25. Pastor Bob says:

    I know there are many churches that are unhappy with the direction of the PCUSA, but for various reasons won’t leave. Would that they all walk away. Then the religious bureaucrats would simply be property managers, which is all the really want to do, anyway. “Woe to you, blind guides…”

    • Carolyn George says:

      You’re absolutely right. Leave the Presbyteries with a bunch of unsellable properties for them to pay for. That needs to happen.

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