CRPR stands for “Committee on the Review of Presbytery Records.” Some people have been asking what exactly happened with the Northern California Presbytery. I gave a minority report on the floor of General Assembly on this particular Presbytery. The situation is this: a certain teaching elder was transferring from another Presbytery into the Northern California Presbytery. In his stated exceptions he took exception to the WLC 156, which states that not all are to be permitted to read the Scriptures in worship. In his exception he stated that women are permitted to do anything in worship that a non-ordained man may do. Now, there are quite a few PCA pastors who hold to this position, although it is not clear to me how thoroughly they have researched their views, nor is it clear to me that they have thought through the implications of their views. The Presbytery ruled that this was an exception, but that it was an exception that did not strike at the vitals of religion. The first and second readers of the minutes of this Presbytery listed this ruling as an exception of substance to the BCO (this kind of exception is not the same thing as the exception that the Teaching Elder took: an exception to the BCO may be an error of form in the minutes, or an error of substance, whereas the kind of exception the TE took was a doctrinal difference with the Standards). The majority of the CRPR committee voted to strike this exception (in other words, they agreed with the ruling of the Presbytery). A minority (the vote was about 18-15) decided to write a minority report dissenting from the decision of the majority, and desiring to list this as an exception of substance in CRPR’s reply to the minutes of the Northern California Presbytery. Now, I was the one who wrote the report. It was my first time doing so, and therefore the arguments were not crisp and clear enough to present the case adequately. Furthermore, the actual motion was not clear (and the minority report was not handed out to everyone, by some fluke of the floor clerks). The motion would have failed, had not TE David Coffin saved it by moving to refer this matter to next year’s CRPR. So, the issue is not over. The minority report did not fail or succeed. It was deferred. That is where matters now stand. What this has impressed upon me is the extreme importance of the CRPR. In fact, I will venture to state that the CRPR and the Standing Judicial Commission are the only two places left in the PCA where church discipline happens on the national level. Most of CRPR’s work is blessedly boring. However, there are matters such as this which can have enormous repercussions.
What Happened in CRPR
June 16, 2008 at 9:07 am (Discipline)