Good News from General Assembly

As the world around us continues to race headlong into the darkness of immorality and confusion, it is important for the Church to stand firm and speak clearly the truth of God’s Word.  Last week, during its annual General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) voted to do just that by declaring the Nashville Statement as a “biblically faithful declaration.”  By this action, the PCA joins several other evangelical institutions in appropriating the Nashville Statement to  articulate its convictions on sexuality and gender.

The Nashville Statement articulates the teaching of Scripture regarding gender, sexuality, and marriage, but, more importantly, aims to bring glory to God by proclaiming the truth of God’s Word and calling all people to repent and seek salvation in Jesus Christ alone.  The statement was produced by the Counsel on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and has 14 articles of affirmation and denial.  The Biblical references are listed at the end of the statement.  For more information on the statement, to see who has signed it, please visit the CBMW website.

Article 1

WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.

Article 2

WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.

WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.

Article 3

WE AFFIRM that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female.

WE DENY that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity or worth.

Article 4

WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.

WE DENY that such differences are a result of the Fall or are a tragedy to be overcome.

Article 5

WE AFFIRM that the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.

Article 6

WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.

WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.

Article 7

WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture.

WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.

Article 8

WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.

WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.

Article 9

WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality— a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality.

WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.

Article 10

WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

Article 11

WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.

WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his imagebearers as male and female.

Article 12

WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.

Article 13

WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to forsake transgender selfconceptions and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.

Article 14

WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure.

WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.

Scripture References*

Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-24; Ex. 20:14; 20:17; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Dt. 5:18, 21; 22:5; Jdg. 19:22; 2 Sam. 11:1-12:15; Job 31:1; Ps. 51:1-19; Prov. 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; Isa. 59:1; Mal. 2:14; Matt. 5:27–30; 19:4-6, 8-9, 12; Acts 15:20, 29; Rom. 1:26–27; 1:32; 1 Cor. 6:9–11, 18-20; 7:1-7; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:24; Eph. 4:15, 20–24; 5:31–32; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; 1 Tim. 1:9–10, 15; 2 Tim. 2:22; Titus 2:11-12; Heb. 13:4; Jas. 1:14–15; 1 Pet. 2:11; Jude 7

* Scripture texts are not a part of the original document but have been added subsequently for reference

A Prayer For the PCA General Assembly

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to provide a prayer guide for our upcoming General Assembly.  This is based off of one that was produced by ByFaith magazine in 2017, and updated for this year’s assembly.  Please keep the Church in your prayers.

46th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America
June 25-28, 2019
Dallas, TX

General Prayers

Pray that the Commissioners will have an ear only to the Word of Christ, as delivered in the Scriptures, as the rule for settling all substantial matters before the General Assembly (GA); that they will exercise prudence and good sense in all matters merely circumstantial; and that they will have the wisdom to so distinguish among the matters before the GA.

Pray also that the Commissioners will engage in debate with a sense of fair play, integrity and charity, and that they will be so moved by the Spirit of God, as to put aside selfishness, pride or party spirit, in order to glorify Christ in His Church and edify His people; pray that in times of work, worship & fellowship, the bonds of love & unity among our Elders would be strengthened; pray that Pastors who come in discouragement would be heartened & encouraged to be faithful in their labor.

Pray for the Moderator (and his assistants); the Stated Clerk; the Parliamentarians; and the office staff.

Pray that there would be a closer balance of Ruling and Teaching Elder, and for the Elders’ faithful participation in the work of the Assembly.

Through the Week


Pray that all Commissioners would arrive safely, well rested and read for the week to come.

Before the Assembly begins, the Overtures Committee and the Committees of Commissioners meet to frame their recommendations on all the business coming before the Assembly: pray for the wisdom and knowledge of God to guide these men in their deliberations.


Committees of Commissioners continue in the morning.

The Opening worship service begins after lunch. Pray for the Lord’s blessing upon the means of grace, particularly the moderator’s closing address.

Following worship, the first business session convenes. Pray for the election of the new moderator: that he would be a man of godly wisdom, grave, compassionate, patient, and charitable as he leads the Assembly through the week.

Report of Stated Clerk—give thanks for the continued growth of the PCA evidenced in the Clerk’s statistical report; pray that the revised docket arrangement, joining committee & agency information reports with their committee of commissioner reports, will continue to lead to greater efficiency and edification.

Report of Committee on Interchurch Relations—pray for the members of the permanent committee; for delegates from other denominations who will address the Assembly; pray especially for a Reformed & Presbyterian unity throughout the world that does not violate the Church’s calling to be a pillar and support of the truth.

Report of Committee on Presbytery Records—give thanks for the committee members who regularly undertake the challenging task of reviewing all presbytery records for Constitutional conformity; pray that the commissioners will consider with care this very important part of the Assembly’s oversight responsibility.

Pray for the the Nominating Committee as they meet Wednesday evening to prepare the slate of nominees for Assembly permanent committees.


Report of Cooperative Ministries Committee—pray for the members of this committee as they seek to foster cooperative ministry among GA Committees and Agencies and provide a forum for resolving issues of inter-agency conflict.

Report of Committee on Constitutional Business—pray for the Committee, that they advise accurately and wisely on any disputed questions during the Assembly.

Report of Theological Examining Committee—pray for care & faithfulness in their work of examining GA-nominated officers.

Report of Committee on PCA Retirements and Benefits, Inc.—pray that they be wise stewards of the various insurance plans they administer, as well as of the investments made on behalf of the PCA; and pray for the prosperity of the retired ministers and widows relief fund.

Report of the Committee on Reformed University Ministries—pray for the RUF leaders and ministers in 145 colleges and universities across the Unites States.

Report of Committee on Covenant Theological Seminary—pray for the Seminary, its President; and for the continued faithfulness of the faculty, the Board of Trustees & the students.

Report of Committee on Covenant College—pray for the College, its President; for the faculty, the Board of Trustees & the students.

Report of Standing Judicial Commission—pray for the members of the SJC, that they would have a love for justice in the administration of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and for the glory of the Lord & the upbuilding of the Body; that the parties involved will receive the decision of the Court with humility & grace, that there will be repentance where there is sin, understanding where there is hardness of heart, and restoration among brothers & sisters who are divided.

Report of Committee on Ridge Haven—pray for the board of directors and the new camping season, especially that the children attending would come to know Christ or be further nourished in their faith.

Report of Committee on Discipleship Ministries—pray for the staff and the permanent committee; for an increase in contributions toward the Committee’s calling; and pray for the work of discipleship across our denomination.

Report of Committee on Mission to the World—give thanks for and pray on behalf of the MTW staff and the permanent committee; and pray for our missionaries throughout the world.

Report of Committee on PCA Foundation—pray for the staff and the Board of Directors; for the fruitfulness of their fine work in the management & distribution of assets for the cause of Christ; and for faithful stewardship across the PCA.

Report of Committee on Mission to North America—pray for the MNA staff, and the members of the permanent committee; for capable men to plant churches; for the work of church planting, particularly among people from other cultures; and for PCA Chaplains.

Report of Administrative Committee—pray for Dr. Roy Taylor (Stated Clerk), the staff, and the permanent committee; pray for good stewardship in the approval of the budgets.

Report of Overtures Committee—Pending are 11 Overtures that address the issues of Human Sexuality, Sexual Orientation, and Sexual Identity (some dealing directly with the Revoice Conference – see here for more information); there are 9 overtures calling for a study committee on Domestic Abuse; 7 overtures calling for a change in our constitution that would allow for non-ordained persons to serve on Boards of the Church; 2 Overtures regarding the Church’s teaching on abortion; and numerous overtures that seek to clarify the constitution, or make subtle changes in the Rules of Assembly Operations.

Pray for the evening worship service, that the unity of the body may be expressed in devotion to the word and the fellowship.


If necessary, the Assembly will reconvene in the morning for additional business with worship.

When the Assembly is adjourned, pray for a safe journey home for all, and for God’s favor in blessing that work which is according to His Word, and for His leading to see and correct that which is not.

Various Readings this Week
Pastoring and the Art of Balance– an interesting article on the work of Pastoral Ministry.
The Authority of the Deacon– the Deacon and Church Power. This is the third in a series from the Gospel Reformation Network on the role of the Deacon. The entire series is worth reading.

Why Dad Jokes Will Never Go Out of Style (because they were never in it) – This article justifies my sense of humor – or at least tries.