All this week I have been blogging on the Presbyterian General Assembly.
The FOG has been somewhat overshadowed in the last few days of the Assembly by the usual sex fights. In the long run, though, the proposed revisions of the Form of Government are a better way to deal with divisive issues, such as sex. The genius of the presbyterian, connectional system is that we trust our own presbyteries to justly discern the essential tenets of the Reformed faith and our constitution. This has always meant that some presbyteries are more liberal, and some presbyteries are more conservative, and most are in the middle. This has always meant that if a minister moved from one presbytery to another, he or she ran the risk of a tough examination and a no vote.
The Peace, Unity, and Purity report adopted at the last GA started the process by restoring the Adopting Act of 1729. The intent of the nFOG is to return the Book of Order to a framework guiding the detail work of presbyteries, rather than a rulebook through which one end of the church punishes another. We can complete the process with Book of Confessions revision to restore one authoritative confessional standard to the church, which would also be a framework for the detail work of the presbyteries.
Now, more than ever, we need to discuss the new Form of Government, modifying it if necessary, and adopt it at the next Assembly. Our current plan of division, dilution, and schism is clearly not working.