Evangel Presbytery Stands to be Counted

On the Aquila Report, you can read of the latest development in the Leithart saga. The account points out the bind into which this decision puts Leithart. He will not be able to stay in the PCA, since he is required to have the “full concurrence” of Evangel Presbytery in order to labor out of bounds at that position at Trinity House. I wish to point out a few of the implications of this unanimous vote by Evangel Presbytery.

First of all, it is quite apparent that the “grass-roots” experiment, which I regard as a complete failure, is nevertheless a double-edged weapon in the hands of those who wish to see our denomination get broader and broader. My puny little comments on this blog are one thing. A court’s decision is quite another thing. All of those who wish me to shut up about Leithart are now going to have to say the same thing to an entire court of the church. I stand with Evangel Presbytery.

Secondly, for all those interpreting the SJC’s decision to be an exoneration of Leithart’s doctrine, please note that if you believe that, then you must also believe that Evangel Presbytery is in direct violation of the SJC’s decision. They are living in full-blown rebellion against a higher court of the church. How about them apples? It will be interesting to see if any of the FV-friendly Presbyteries decide to contest Evangel’s decision (which cannot be complained against, since it was unanimous). For anyone who believes that the SJC decision exonerates Leithart’s doctrine, you will need to do something about Evangel Presbytery.

Thirdly, and building on the previous point, this vote will probably have the effect of cementing the interpretation of the SJC’s decision in the Leithart case in a direction other than doctrinal vindication, especially if the FV-friendly Presbyteries do nothing about Evangel’s decision (which will amount to a tacit agreement that the Leithart decision was not doctrinal). This is, of course, what the authors of the decision intended, anyway. If that is the case (and that is a genuine “if,” since the jury is still out on that one), then the denomination has not publicly pronounced in favor of FV doctrine. The logic would then inexorably lead to this conclusion: the Leithart decision, because it is based on polity, and not the doctrinal issues at all, is a lost battle, and not the war. In that case, we will need to fight tooth and nail in the upcoming battles, and there will be more.

I want to say publicly that I applaud loud and long Evangel Presbytery, and I am thanking the Lord profusely for every member of Evangel Presbytery, who yesterday stood to be counted for the gospel. As for Evangel Presbytery, they will serve the Lord. I hope and pray that other Presbyteries will take similar action.