The Administrative Committee funding proposal that last year’s General Assembly sent to the presbyteries for approval has officially failed.  What has it taught us?  A ton?  Not much?  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. We want to fund the AC. Throughout all the AC funding fracas no one lobbied to detonate the AC.  Maybe there is someone, but thankfully their blog doesn’t have enough readership to count.  AC, I hope this encourages you.  Our vine is large and a hefty trellis is necessary.  Hopefully we’ll figure out some harmonious way to get money from our local church coffers to the AC treasuries.
  2. Our system works. We decided one thing at General Assembly — yeah, AC Funding Plan. We decided something else after Presbytery voting — nope to the AC Funding Plan.  I don’t think Presbyterians will ever stop oiling their printing presses at the threat of “church courts” speaking ex cathedra.  So our system allows us to change our mind.  And we did.
  3. Our system doesn’t work. Ok, so a bunch of ruling and teaching elders took time off work and traveled thousands of miles to invade Nashville.  We stayed up way past our bedtimes debating the AC funding plan.  We returned home only to find out over the ensuing months that we did not represent the majority opinion of the Presbyteries. I’m sure there are a ton of reasons for this—insert semi-baseless prognostication here.  But certainly we could make better use of GA and Presbytery time than ordering one thing at GA and spending the next 12 months undoing it.
  4. We define ourselves by our fights. It’s sad, but we do.  Last year will go down in Presbyterian lore as the year we fought about AC funding.  And this year is likely to be tagged the year we fought about AC funding… again.  But nothing is new under the Presbyterian sun.  Remember the year we fought about creation?  What about the year we fought about FV?  Now, before you label me the bleeding-heart-loosy-goosy-progressive-jello-spined presbyter, know that I firmly believe intense and aggressive theological debate is essential to guard orthodoxy and grow the kingdom.  If we didn’t get sideways with each other, the PCA would be in a world of hurt.  But must we label our times together by our bickering?  I propose we pick something about the PCA that highlights the extension of Jesus’s kingdom in 2011 and we use that to define this year.  Yeah, remember 2011?  That was when we planted a ton of churches.  Hey, 2011 was awesome, we put RUF on more campuses that year than any other year.
  5. Let’s find real problems to pray about. I have a sneaking feeling that how we float the AC isn’t the biggest problem facing the PCA or our communities.  What if we committed 2011 to praying for burned out pastors, our PCA missionaries in hostile countries, or for the unborn who will likely lose their lives this year?
  6. “They” aren’t taking over the denomination.  They just aren’t.  They don’t even know who they are.  And no, I’m not doing my evil genius laugh as I write this.
  7. We don’t brag enough on God for what he is doing in the PCA. Gentlemen, elders, if the PCA were your wife, would she feel encouraged by the way you speak of her in public?  I love the PCA.  We have problems.  But she is an amazing denomination.  I hope we figure out a way to fund the AC in June.  But more than that I hope how we fund the AC is a footnote to our braggadocios praise of what our God is doing in the PCA and our humble pleading to him to continue to use pastoral wretches like us for the honor of his Son, Jesus.