After consulting with the leaders of the African-American Presbyterian Fellowship, the Overtures Committee called a revote on the Duncan-Lucas “Personal Resolution on Civil Rights Remembrance.” The decision to refer the overture to the 44th General Assembly was unchanged. The vote this time was 80-0-0, and the minority report was withdrawn.
The Committee adopted the following grounds:
Due to the gravity and complexity of racial sin, and sympathetic with the need to pursue corporate and personal repentance over it, the Committee believes that:
- A perfected version of the resolution would effect particular denominational, regional, and local church repentance more particularly, and could include specific suggestions with regard to the nature of the fruit of such repentance (Matthew 3:8; II Corinthians 7:10; WCF5, 6);
- More time for Dr. Lucas’s research to be disseminated and studied by the church would also help effect a more particular and heartfelt repentance (cf. WCF1);
- Time for our African-American brothers to visit with the Overtures Committee in next year’s Assembly will further perfect the language and allow our repentance to be more heartfelt and accurate (cf. WCF 15.2)
- These matters of corporate repentance ought to come through lower courts of the church rather than by personal resolutions. [It is important to note that personal resolutions have special provisions in the RAO for people without access to the courts of the PCA or in case of emergency. (Cf. RAO 13–2; RAO 11–2: “Communications from individuals shall not be received by the General Assembly, unless they originate with persons who have no other access to the Assembly.”)]
For the sake of the peace and purity of Christ’s Church, and in preparation for the 44th General Assembly, the Committee encourages sessions and presbyteries to prayerfully consider any and all sins of racial prejudice and to pursue a proper course of action humbly, sincerely and expeditiously (Matthew 5:21–26; Ephesians 2:1–22; 4:1-32).