Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Thoughts on PCA's General Assembly

Back to the blog. Not necessarily "Back in Black" like AC/DC, but just, well, back to the bog. It's been the longest drought of my blogging activity since I started it. Much like I thought it would, the world continued to spend, Jesus' church continued to move forward, and God's will still came to Earth as it is in heaven. But I'm back now, at least for a bit, partly because of brain constipation (I get uncomfortable holding in ideas and thoughts which could be helpful to others to think about, agree with, disagree with, or wrestle with) and partly because I'm often encouraged by what I read on other blogs. I don't follow the angry, divisive guys. And there's a bunch of other "partly's" of why I blog that I need not go into now.

After vacationing in FL, I had the opportunity to go to General Assembly in Louisville, KY. If you are unfamiliar with it, its simply our denominational gathering. It is different than the Southern Baptist Convention, in that it's Presbyterian. That sounds like one of those "duh" statements, but it's really not. At least I don't think.

Presbyterians are different in their form of church government in that we don't believe in the autonomy of the local church. We are are both representational (its leaders are elected from among the congregation and not appointed) as well as connectional to other P.C.A. churches. Now our connectionalism is voluntary and the local church can at any time pull out of the presbytery if it believes the presbytery has seriously erred. But the relationship is one of accountability. At Redeemer, if Barret or I, or our session are acting like yahoo's, our presbytery can/should intervene, when folks in the local church ask for them to get involved.

At the General Assembly level, it is not simply a gathering or reunion (thought that's clearly my favorite part of it), but the actions taken at the denominational level are not simply suggestive. Therefore such meetings at presbytery and G.A. level are as important, as they are-often times-boring.

One lad, summarized what went on at the G.A. level here. I don't necessarily share all of his opinions, but for the most part, he does at least share what happened, should you at all care.

Since he has already reproduced what went on, I'll just conclude with one final thought on my experience at GA. 

You can pretty much put people into certain camps based upon how they look and dress. Generally. You have the folks in suits, folks like myself in flip-flops, folks in sear suckers, pretty boys, old school guys with no fashion sense, some hipsters, etc...You can't judge a book by its cover all the time, but you can often figure out which way they'll vote simply by looking at the dress of such people in these meetings. I was glad to see at least some diversity.

I was encouraged to see many people like myself. At times I was discouraged by seeing some crotchedy folks, and having to sit next to one who commented on my every vote (though mainly in jest). But in the end, the P.C.A., it if it is going to grow in size, diversity, and effectiveness, all the while maintaining doctrinal purity, will probably need to draw on all its resources. As much as I'd like everyone to wear flip-flops (or at least loosen up some times on non-essentials and not fear ANY change), and vote my way, and think like I do, I realize that we probably all need each other more than we really think. As much as it pains me to admit it. Truth has to trump taste. I left GA hopeful. Hopeful that the Holy Spirit hasn't left the building yet, but instead is on the move. Glad I landed denominationally-though not in a prideful sort of way-where I landed.


4 comments:

pc said...

Was just about to send you a note today to see if everything was alright since you haven't posted to your blog in a while! Glad you're back.

Tom in AR said...

So you think I am crotchety?

Geoffsnook said...

Thx Paula. Glad to be back. Just went to Cincy for Kings Island trip. Would love to just stay put for month!

Geoffsnook said...

Nice Tom. Great to see you brother.