05 May 2008


We interrupt our regularly scheduled program for a bulletin.

The Presbyterian Outlook reports here on the proposed "new Form of Government" ("nFOG") which will be offered up at the PC(USA) General Assembly this June. Included is a report on a debate between Cynthia Bolbach, Esquire, co-moderator of the nFOG Task Force and Rev. James Berkley, Director of Presbyterian Action for Faith and Action.

Imperial Louisville is pushing hard to have the GA adopt nFOG and to send it out to the presbyteries for prompt ratification. A number of presbyteries, noting that this is a drastic overhaul of the current Form of Government, have overtured the GA to simply receive the nFOG and to then send it to the presbyteries for two years of study. Action could then be taken at the next GA in 2010.

Why the big push from Louisville to get this done now?

The nFOG makes several changes that inure to Louisville’s game plan to establish a hierarchical, episcopal government within the PC(USA). In particular:

The reference in the current Book of Order to “permissive powers of the congregation” has quietly disappeared. The matters on which a congregation can act will be limited to four narrowly drafted topics in which Louisville has no interest.

Moreover, in an ambiguously written revision, it appears that payment of per capita by congregations can be forced. Arguably, failure to pay per capita can then expose a session to action by its presbytery to assume original jurisdiction to force payment.

Churches that want to leave the PC(USA) with their property had better act quickly. They can no longer trust that the constitution means anything to those people in Louisville. More and more, disaffiliation appears to be the only constitutionally permissible means of severing a congregation’s voluntary affiliation with the PC(USA.


Cameron Mott said...


You are out of the PCUSA, are you as an officer of the EPC encouraging PCUSA congregations to disaffiliate?

Mac said...


I am a citizen of the United States exercising my freedom of speech. I am not writing in any other capacity. As an attorney and an hisorian, I am appalled at the distortion of the historical record by the bureaucracy of the PC(USA) and am commenting on that.


Cameron Mott said...

But Mac, are you an officer of the EPC encouraging PCUSA congregations to disaffiliate?

Mac said...


I know you are itching for a fight. Let me say it one last time. I am writing in my personal capacity, commenting on an issue of interest amongst congregations and polity wonks. I am not writing in any other capacity: not as a member of my Firm, not as a member of my church, not for NWAC, and not as an officer of the EPC.

Because of the PC(USA)'s flagrant misstatement of the contents of its own Constitution and the extra-constitutional means by which it is attempting to remedy those flaws, I have expressed my own opinion regarding the efficacy of following the dismissal process that is clearly being stacked against requesting churches. What the leadership of congregations reading this post do is a matter between them and God, who calls some to stay and try to restore the PC(USA) to Biblical faithfulness and others to move to a new thing.