To the Moderator and Stated Clerk of the General Assembly,
I write to you with grief and sadness that our Presbytery of Stockton has lost six churches to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, or ECO. It is on this basis that I feel prompted to write to the General Assembly of the PC USA. Repeatedly, the sessions of these churches stated that the reason for their departure was not with the Stockton Presbytery nor with the Synod of the Pacific, but with the General Assembly. Indeed, these session members of the six churches repeatedly expressed appreciation of the presbytery, its policies, ministries and fellowship. All the churches expressed frustration with the actions of the General Assembly, including changes to the Book of Order that were cited as Biblical concerns, judicial actions that they voiced as negatively impacting the authority of scripture and the confessions, and many years of actions of the General Assembly, particularly in 2012, but for the last 10 years or more with which many expressed Biblical and confessional concern. The ecclesiastical ties with the PCUSA have been severed, but the collegial bond with the Stockton Presbytery has not. I take great pride in pointing out that things were done decently and in order with civility, a feat which is rarely done. When the vote was taken to dismiss, a sense of sorrow and sadness permeated the atmosphere at this special stated meeting of the Presbytery of Stockton, which met on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at the Manteca Presbyterian Church in Manteca, California.
It seems like there is a lot of churchianity taking place, but no solid Christianity. Paul says to Timothy that in the last days men will pay heed to seducing spirits, entertaining the doctrines of demons. There will come a time when men will not put up with sound doctrine (Scriptural and Biblical standards), but will instead gather together teachers who will tickle their ears, introducing destructive heresies, even denying the master himself, having a form of godliness, but denying its power. You have an outer empty shell, but no internal reality. Is it any wonder that Satan himself goes around masquerading as an angel of light. Isaiah says, “Woe unto those who call evil good, and good evil.” You are seeing that Scripture come alive right before your very eyes when people say same-sex marriage is OK and is blessed by God.
Last year, the presbyteries approved the passage of Amendment 10A to the Book of Order. The ordination standard – G.60106(b) – has been deleted requiring chastity in singleness or fidelity in marriage between one man and one woman. Instead, a WATERED DOWN standard for ordination was approved which requires one to “JOYFULLY” serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the last General Assembly, the moderator chose a vice moderator who had previously conducted a same-sex marriage, in defiance of Scripture and the Book of Order. The moderator himself did not believe in same-sex marriage, but decided to choose this person as a running mate in the name of diversity. There is a term for this according to James. It is called being double-minded.
One resolution sent to the General Assembly required repentance for ordination standards, but that word was deleted out. People wanted nothing to do with a Gospel that required repentance. One other resolution had Scripture as a standard lined out.
There was a ruling done by the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission in one case where the PJC stated that there is a need to make allowances for multiple interpretations of Scripture. If there are multiple interpretations of Scripture, it can no longer be reliable as a standard. 2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All Scripture is inspired by God (literally God breathed), and is profitable for teaching, rebuking (and boy do we really need it!), reproof, and instruction in righteousness, so the man of God may be equipped for every good work.” We are not to correct it, but it is to correct us. If the Jesus, that the PCUSA JOYFULLY promises to serve, allows for all kinds of perversions and abominations to take place in the church, then you have a Jesus of 2 Corinthians 11. 2 Corinthians 11 states that there is another Jesus, and another Gospel, and this is of another spirit. Watch out!
Little by little things are starting to deteriorate at the General Assembly, and eventually the PCUSA. (May I add that there was a lesbian minister that performed a same-sex wedding at a previous General Assembly and nothing was done about it.)
I do not doubt the sincerity of many within the denomination, or the people entrapped in the same-sex lifestyle, but they are sincerely wrong. Solomon once said that there is a way that seems right unto a man, but in the end thereof is death. There is danger in allowing people who will not follow Scriptural standards in that they will lead sheep astray. They will be leading people in the wrong direction by the things they teach and the behavior they condone. This is the tragic part. You can also expect judgement to fall upon the PCUSA if it continues on the same pathway. The Jesus that one JOYFULLY promises may in fact be GRIEVING the Spirit. (To grieve the Spirit in this instance may in fact be provoking the wrath of God.) If the General Assembly refuses to repent, Jesus will come and remove His lamp-stand from your presence.
I have said a mouthful, but I have a strong feeling that all this will fall on deaf ears. In Corinthians it is stated, “If our gospel is hid, it is hid to those who are perishing, for the god of this age has blinded the minds to the glorious gospel of truth. The Bible also goes on to say, “For this reason, God will send a strong delusion, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”
My prayer is that God’s spirit will open the eyes and ears of the soul to receive the glorious light of the Gospel. Let the righteous remain righteous, and let the wicked continue on in its ways. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the PCUSA.
Elder Commissioner to the Presbytery of Stockton
Synod of the Pacific