By a vote of 53 to 38 the Overtures Committee recommended Overture 2 be answered in the negative. The overture called for the formation of an “Ad Interim Committee to Prepare Proposed Revisions to WCF 21-8; WLC 117, 119, and and WSC 60, 61 Regarding Sabbath.”  Overture 9, which also called for the formation of a study committee “to recommend changes to the Westminster Standards regarding the Sabbath,” was answered by reference to Overture 2.

Proponents of the overtures pointed to the growing number of elder candidates who take “stated differences” to the Confession’s teaching on the Sabbath, particularly with respect to “recreation.”  It creates tension, many committee members said, that there’s a difference between what we believe and practice and what we confess.

Nevertheless, the overture’s opponents successfully argued that a study committee is unnecessary. According to the committee, “Our Standards [are] sufficiently clear in their explanation of the Scripture’s teaching on the  Sabbath. Furthermore, an adequate vehicle already exists for men to express their differences to the Standards and their teaching regarding recreation on the Sabbath.”

The recommendation now goes to the General Assembly for a final vote.