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 language of 21-8 reads:
This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
The proposed revisions would delete the words “and recreations” and “the whole time.” Following passages of the WCF would also have this language removed.
“The tension produced by such stated differences produces a climate where the teaching on keeping the Lord’s Day and the actual keeping of it has put the specific requirements of the Standards in conflict with the majority of practice in the lives of churches and individuals,” said teaching elder David Clelland who co-authored Overture 2 with ruling elder Bill Thomas. “There is need to resolve this tension by a studied approach to either affirm requirements of the Westminster Standards or bring them into conformity with the requirements of Scripture.”