Putting away the event of the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church would probably be the best of all worlds as far as my emotions go, but neither my emotions nor those seeking information will allow that. I woke up this Sunday morning thinking about the letter from the Palestinian Business Committee addressed to Kristine—a commissioner who was a member of the committee on Middle East Issues. It was handed to her as she began participation in the consensus part of plenary, the part having to do with divestment. My thought, as I awoke, was it had to be a staff person or GA helper, who handed her the letter because no one else was allowed in the area. And then as I entered our courtyard at church this morning a friend asked about my perceptions of General Assembly. So let me lay it out in a more structured way than I have in other postings.
This GA was lawless and chaotic and here are the reasons:
Marriage: As so many have already written, the GA voted on an Authoritative Interpretation that should never have been voted on because rather than being an interpretation it was a redefinition of the Directory of Worship’s definition of marriage. It contradicted not only the Directory of Worship but also the Book of Confessions which alongside of the Book of Order is our constitution. That makes the action unlawful.