After 90 minutes of impassioned debate, the 43rd General Assembly, in its final action, voted to refer the Lucas-Duncan “Personal Resolution on Civil Rights Remembrance” to the 44th Assembly.

Many commissioners were frustrated, feeling the need to address the issue at the current Assembly. “The time to confess,” one commissioner said expressing the sentiment of many, “is now.”

The resolution will be discussed and debated at next year’s Assembly in Mobile, Alabama. ByFaith will follow up with a series of articles on the issue in preparation of that discussion.

Following over a half hour of prayer and repentance, TE Jon Price, Pastor of Covenant Community Church of Wexford, PA,  filed a protest concerning actions that can be taken while waiting for the 44th General Assembly to take up the Lucas-Duncan Resolution. Over 200 Commissioners signed the protest. The full text of the protest may be found here.

9 Responses to Assembly Refers Civil Rights Resolution to 44th Assembly

  1. Phil Wade says:

    Will there a transcript available for the debate on this resolution? I’m interested in reading what Jim Baird said in particular.

    I don’t understand why anyone would anyone would object to this resolution. It’s straight-forward language on a relevant issue.

  2. Chris Hutchinson says:

    It would be good form to include the overwhelming final vote total from both the G.A. vote and the unanimous Overtures Committee recommendation, it seems to me, since this very brief article leaves the impression that the Assembly was sharply divided. Also, more on the time of extended prayer (going to 11:30pm), and the subsequent signing of the “protest” expressing confession this year. In short, *this* article needs much expansion, I believe. Thank you for your work.

  3. David Williams says:

    If you are personally a bigot, then you need to repent. Otherwise, these “I’m guilty” resolutions smell of political correctness and the Liberalism that infected the old Northern and Southern Presbyterian denominations.

    • Phil Wade says:

      Let’s look to Daniel 9 for an example of corporate repentance, and weren’t the prayers given on the Day of Atonement the same thing? Look, if a father habitually abuses his children, stops and repents, then learns they are still deeply hurt after 20 years, should he tell them to let it go b/c it’s all in the past? Should his brother, their uncle, say the abuse isn’t happening now, so get over it? No, such things have long-lasting effects, and the extent to which we do nothing but ignore it is the extent to which we must repent. I suggest it is a political view of the gospel to say that racial reconciliation is politics. It is the nature of the gospel to tear down the walls we have built over the centuries.

    • John Taylor says:

      A good point, David, but then how DO we imitate Ezra (Ezra 9:6-15), Nehemiah (Neh. 1:5-11), and Daniel (Dan. 9:4-19), who confessed the sins of their fathers and contemporaries as if they were just as guilty?

  4. Douglas Smith says:

    Brother David, I considered myself innocent of racial oppression until several years ago, in a mostly black church in Baltimore, I saw a film clip showing the president of an African nation asking forgiveness for his ancestors selling people into slavery. It came to me, “If he can confess, shouldn’t I?” Still, it took years for my thinking to change. Thank you brother Phil for your illustration and brother John for reminding us of the scriptural foundation for embracing and confessing as our own the unfaithfulness of ancestors and contemporaries in the faith. Must we not, if we want to get a hearing for the gospel, follow the examples of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel in taking responsibility for sins we did not directly commit?

  5. Mike Sloan says:

    I think you are very misguided here. This is not political correctness or liberalism. This is simply the recognition that sin infects everything, not just individual hearts, but entire systems and cultures. Laws can change, but that doesn’t mean injustice is eradicated. It is appropriate and biblical (as was pointed out) to confess our sins because we were directly involved in injustice, but also because of our indifference. This is what we need to work on now. If we are not actively working against injustice we are guilty because we are part of the problem even if we are not personally bigots. Many of us in the power-holding culture have the ability to ignore the injustices that remain today because they do not affect us, (con’t)

  6. William Robfogel says:

    I participated in SIMA program for going on the mission field. As part of our training we participated in the Agape Program of CCC. This was about 3 month of living in a Black home in LA , going in a Black Church and witnessing to people of the area. As a White my eyes were really opened. While not being an expert in race relations, I did learn a lot. I discovered that they were interested in the same things I was. I was amazed at who easily they accepted me into their worship. I thought at the time that they accepted me into their lives easier than us Whites. I found that the only way to get to know them was to actively seek to relate to them. This is the only way to end the division in race relations. The PCA must plan to do the same.

  7. Dave Sarafolean says:

    As one who served on the Overtures Committee this year I am in agreement with this overture being referred to the 44th General Assembly. What seems to be left out of on-line discussions is the failure to bring this matter up through the courts of the church where the language could have been perfected. Moreover, had it come up through one of our Southern Presbyteries there would have been buy-in and repentance from churches that likely were guilty of failing to support the matters mentioned in the overture. I spoke to more than one member of Grace Presbytery who expressed sadness that this went to the floor as a personal overture rather than coming up through that presbytery. Haven’t seen any comments addressing that oversight.