Resource Packet. These resources are updated from the 2008 Packet and include additional articles. The Resource Packet includes critiques and talking points for all three issues: Ordination Standards, new Form of Government and Belhar Confession. Resource Packet
Should the Ordination Standards -- G-6.0106b be amended?-- We recommend a NO vote
A Critique of the Proposed Replacement for G-6.0106b by G. Thomas Hobson and Sue Cyre, Sep/Oct 2010 Theology Matters, p. 3
Additional Resources. These resources were developed for the 2008-2009 vote to amend G-6.0106b. Although the wording of the amendment is different for 2009-2010, all of the resources with the exception of the amendment itself, apply and should be used in the current vote debates. These resources include the biblical background; critiques of the amendment; how to prepare in the presbyteries; scientific evidence; the church as healing community and personal testimonies. Resources for Amendment B
Should the Belhar Confession be added to the Book of Confessions?-- We recommend a NO vote
A Critique of the Belhar Confession by Sue Cyre, Sep/Oct 2010 Theology Matters, p. 11
Voting? On the Belhar Confession by Jerry Andrews, Sep/Oct 2010 Theology Matters, p. 14
The Belhar Confession: A Failure to Confess Jesus Christ by Viola Larson.
The GA sent down the Belhar Confession recommending that the presbyteries vote to include it in the Book of Confessions. Elder Viola Larson analyzes the Belhar in “The Belhar Confession: A Failure to Confess Jesus Christ.” Larson explains why the Church should not add the Belhar Confession to its Book of Confessions: it has an inadequate witness to the Lordship of Christ; its emphasis on unity could be used to support a homosexual advocacy agenda; it has been used by some to label Israel as racist; and it may be used to deny the uniqueness of Christ and promote pluralism. May/Jun 2010 Theology Matters, p. 12 Footnotes
Should the proposed New Form of Government replace the "G" Section in the Book of Order -- We recommend a NO vote
A Critique of the Proposed New Form of Government by Elder Carol Shanholtzer Sep/Oct 2010 Theology Matters, p. 7
How the New Form of Government Would Harm Congregations: A Summary by Elder Carol Shanholtzer. Shanholtzer demonstrates that this proposed FOG would harm congregations by creating a “centralized, top-down governance, with the session at the bottom of the structure, following instructions from and sending required financial support to the higher governing bodies.” May/Jun 2010 Theology Matters p. 15
Action by the GA to extend Board of Pensions Benefits to Same-sex Partners
GA 'urges' the Board of Pensions to Extend Benefits to Same-sex Partners by James R. Tony
The General Assembly “urged” the Board of Pensions to cover same-sex partners of church employees using the mandatory pension and medical plan of installed pastors. Every congregation will be required to financially support a behavior that Scripture, the Confessions, and the Book of Order call sin. Presbyteries will not vote on this. We encourage individuals, sessions and presbyteries to take action to prevent this from happening. Sep/Oct 2010 Theology Matters, p. 15 Directors of the Board of Pensions
The General Assembly is sending to the churches both the Special Committee Report on Civil Unions and Christian Marriage and the Minority Report of the Committee. The following are helpful articles to use in studying the reports.
In the article, “A Walk Through the Woods,” Mary Holder Naegeli gives a brief teaching on biblical interpretation in relation to the Trinity. The Trinity is One God, so Jesus does not give us a different word than the Spirit who inspired the words of Scripture. Naegeli posits that “The church reforms by returning (repenting) to its biblical roots after wandering down bunny trials of false belief or scandalous practice.” “Scripture as God’s Word written imparts God’s will upon the Church through instruction, information, and correction, and thereby holds the Church and its members accountable to the will of God (2 Tim 3:16). May/Jun 2010 Theology Matters, p. 6. Footnotes. For a diagram that helps to understand the article, click here.
Is Marriage Worth Defending? Part 1 and Part II by Alan Wisdom, vice president of the Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD). The full paper is available on the IRD web site: www.theird.org. Reprinted with permission from IRD.
Marriage is under assault today. Alan Wisdom describes the state of marriage: "By many measures, marriage has weakened in our society over the past two generations. Fewer people marry. More people divorce. Increasing numbers of people move through a series of sexual relationships without ever forming a lasting marriage…Now pro-homosexuality advocates are seeking to radically redefine the institution, reducing it to a relationship between any ‘two people who love each other.’"
Wisdom continues: "The Bible teaches that God brought together man and woman in marriage for the good of all human kind. The love between husband and wife is a temporal image of the eternal bond between God and his people...it unites the two sexes as ‘one flesh,’ provides the appropriate setting for childbearing and childrearing, offers a legitimate channel for sexual desire, and fosters faithful lifelong companionship between husband and wife."
Wisdom covers topics: Marriage in the Bible, The Church Changes the Culture, What Scripture does not say in Galatians 3:28, Arguments from Nature, and What's the Harm in Same-Sex Marriage. Jan/Feb 2010 Theology Matters p. 1 The second part of this article appears in the Mar/Apr issue of Theology Matters. Mar/Apr 2010 Theology Matters, p. 1