The 43rd General Assembly will convene in Chattanooga on June 9. Some 1,000 commissioners will deal with 10 overtures, from subjects as wide-ranging as revising the Westminster Standards’ language on the Sabbath to Baptismal vows to giving testimony during trials. A short recap of the most substantive overtures follows:

Overture 1: New Approach to Judicial Commissions

Several overtures were submitted to General Assembly last year with the intention of changing portions of BCO 15-5 so that General Assembly reflects the presbytery model of allowing the entire body to have the final say in Standing Judicial Commission rulings. One of the more surprising overtures suggested that the opposite would make more sense — for presbyteries to reflect General Assembly’s model, allowing the decisions of judicial commissions to be final.

Continue reading here.

Overtures 2 and 9: Sabbath Language Outdated?

North Texas Presbytery and Tennessee Valley Presbytery have submitted overtures to the 43rd General Assembly suggesting the creation of a study committee to consider changing the language of WCF 21-8 regarding Sabbath observance. The proposed revisions would delete the words “and recreations” and “the whole time.”

Continue reading here.

Overture 3: Baptism Promises Need New Covenant Language

Gulf Coast Presbytery has submitted an overture to the 43rd General Assembly recommending a change to the Book of Church Order 56-5 concerning parental promises during the baptism of children. The authors of the overture believe that the language is more Baptistic in nature than covenantal.

Continue reading here.

Overture 7: Giving Testimony – A Freedom or an Obligation?

Earlier this year, New Hope Presbyterian Church of Fairfax, Virginia, submitted an overture to Potomac Presbytery to change BCO 35-1 such that accused ministers will be required to testify against themselves. The presbytery rejected the overture, so New Hope has submitted the overture directly to General Assembly.

Continue reading here.

Overture 8: Shepherding Those Without Call

The way the PCA deals with ministers “without call” is confusing, according to an overture recently submitted by Tidewater Presbytery to General Assembly. The overture proposes a reworking of the language in The Book of Church Order (BCO) 13-2, 34-10, 24-7, and 24-9 regarding teaching elders, ruling elders, and deacons without call.

Continue reading here.

Comments are closed.