Funding Plan Defeated

The Funding Plan that was approved last year at General Assembly was defeated in the Presbytery voting. You can see the results of today’s voting here. I would hasten to add that votes in other Presbyteries still mean something, even if they will not play a part in swinging the tide. They send a further message to our denomination about how we wish to proceed. I believe in funding the AC. They do their job, and most things they do fairly well. They have some pretty essential functions within the PCA. There are other options out there for funding, some of which I hope will be discussed next GA.



  1. dgh said,

    January 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Lane (? I’m never sure who writes posts here): are you opposed to the plan? If so, why? Sean Lucas seems to make a valid point about Presbyterians giving to the work of the connected church.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    January 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Darryl, I write the posts, unless the author specifies otherwise in the post itself. I am opposed to the plan, because it is not really voluntary. I think Sean’s point is perfectly valid. I just don’t think that this is the way to do it. I also agree with some folks (I think Bob Mattes would be one such person) who say that if you make use of the AC, you should help pay for it. And almost everyone uses the AC’s work. The laborer is worthy of its hire. I just don’t think we should make that mandatory.

  3. dgh said,

    January 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm


  4. January 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for the nod, Lane. That is one of my core points, and the one for which I’ve taken the most heat. I’m glad to have you for company on that point.

  5. Frank Aderholdt said,

    January 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve said on other blog posts, and on the floor of Grace Presbytery PCA (south Mississippi) on January 11th, that the proposed funding plan for the AC would create a weird hybrid, which I in good conscience could not support. All the other institutions and agencies would continue to be supported by voluntary giving, but the Administrative Committee would be financed through mandatory fees. This would be connectionalism, to be sure, but in my opinion a connectionalism born not of principle, but of desperation. I believe the proposed funding plan is premature and overreaching. It’s too early to throw in the towel and give up on voluntary funding for AC. Now I hope that the several creative, alternative plans already suggested will finally get some traction.

    By the way, Grace Presbytery may have had the largest percentage of all Presbyteries voting “Against”:

    On 14-1: Yes 3; No 42; Abstain 1
    On 14-2: Yes 2; No 40; Abstain 2

    –Frank Aderholdt, Ruling Elder, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

  6. January 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm


    We’re all ears. What do you have for an alternative? With respect, it’s easy to disparage the work of others. The hard part is developing, thinking through, presenting, and advocating for a viable alternative.


  7. Reed Here said,

    January 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Bob: you can count me as agreeing with you too. In fact, Lane has summarized well the positives and negatives.

    I admit that the mandatory problem is not a matter of sin, as some argument seem to lean towards. Instead the mandatory character is opposite the voluntary nature of the PCA’s founding, a core principle in it’s jurisprudence that must be honored or changed in an honorable manner.

  8. Frank Aderholdt said,

    January 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm


    I’m always reluctant to respond to someone whose name I don’t know. I will make an exception in your case. My personal conviction is, “If you can’t write it using your real name, you don’t need to say it.”

    To have an honest disagreement is not “to disparage the work of others.” For over seven months, I’ve been disappointed at the thin-skinned attitude of many in favor of the funding plan. I opposed the plan on principle. As I wrote earlier, I didn’t like the hybrid nature of our polity that would result. Of course, the proverbial “many good men” worked long and hard on the plan. That, however, is entirely beside the point. I believe that we should not yet give up on the tradition of uniform voluntary giving that’s been our PCA tradition from the beginning.

    To cite just one alternative proposal, I like the Overture from Midway Presbyterian Church in Georgia. It’s a well though-out, carefully reasoned and documented plan, worthy of further examination. I believe it will be presented at Northwest Georgia Presbytery later this month. There are at least two others that have been discussed at The Aquila Report.

    –Frank Aderholdt, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

  9. January 23, 2011 at 8:36 pm


    I’m always reluctant to respond to someone whose name I don’t know. I will make an exception in your case. My personal conviction is, “If you can’t write it using your real name, you don’t need to say it.”

    Thanks for sharing your personal conviction. New to blogging? If you have a mouse handy, click on the link that is my forum name, then read my About page. I do that routinely to learn about commenters which whom I’m not personally familiar. I believe that’s how others do it as well.

    Do you have a link to the Midway alternative? Details? Has it been thoroughly thought through for unintended consequences and long-term viability?

  10. Frank Aderholdt said,

    January 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks, Bob Mattes, for the reminder. I’ve been to your blog before but didn’t connect to your name today or click on the link. I stand corrected.

    I believe the Midway PC Overture was posted at The Aquila Report and Wes White’s blog. I saved it as a PDF file. It’s on my PC but not the iPad I’m writing on now. This Overture is surely not the final answer, but it may prime the pump for some fresh, serious thinking on the subject. If mandatory fee-based funding is dead for now, we must come up with a better solution than we’ve had to date. Just about everyone agrees on that.

    A fellow PCA Ruling Elder, widely known and respected, believes that the other ermanent

  11. Frank Aderholdt said,

    January 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Sorry about the premature post.

    To continue: . . . the other permanent committees and agencies should share their abundance and be required to make up any Admin. committee deficits pro-rata. Don’t hold your breath expecting that to happen. Presbyterian turf wars can be worse than gladiatorial combat.

  12. Robert Berman said,

    January 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    And really Frank, we don’t want the Admin committee funded automatically out of the other committees, because that defeats the whole purpose of giving separately to the different committees, namely to be able to de-fund one of them that goes badly rogue.

    A voluntary system works just fine if people have a vision that they’re part of a whole. When I hear about the awesome church planting going on around my presbytery, it makes me want my church to give more to those efforts. It’s not as exciting to give money that goes to buy stamps and stationery for our presbytery clerk to correspond with Atlanta and other presbyteries. But I know that’s needed too, so we pony up for that too.

    The problem arises when “voluntary giving” mutates into “give if you feel like it.” When most of the churches sign up as members of the PCA but then don’t give, that’s why GA turns into a beg-a-thon by the Permanent Committees. It should be rare for churches *not* to support the denomination. Instead, we seem to have an unduly low threshold for churches to say, “You did X that I don’t like, so we’re not giving anymore.”

  13. Frank Aderholdt said,

    January 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Agreed 100%, Robert. I’m not in favor of my friend’s idea, either. Just passing it along.

    According to The Aquila Report, soon there will be at least 5 serious alternatives to the BCO Amendments.

    Praise God for the technology of the Internet. No thanks to official denominational channels, we have more information and more chance for discussion than ever before.

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