PCA Progressives Outmaneuver Conservatives… Once Again
By Dewey Roberts - Posted at Vanguard Presbytery:
When I woke up on Saturday, October 23, 2021, there were two texts that had been sent to me earlier that morning. One was from a pastor in the PCA. The other was from a pastor in Vanguard. The sentiments were the same for both of them with respect to the most recent decision of the PCA’s Standing Judicial Commission. On October 21, 2021, the SJC denied all the complaints against the actions of Missouri Presbytery for protecting and exonerating TE Greg Johnson in his professed same-sex attraction. The vote was 16-7. That means the issue is dead. It is over. If there had been at least 1/3 of the SJC jurors to vote against the decision of the highest court, then it would have automatically triggered a floor vote by the next General Assembly on whether to accept the majority report or the minority report. No such vote will be forthcoming now.
But wait… the SJC voted on these same complaints against Missouri Presbytery at their March 2021 meeting and the vote then was 16-8 which should have triggered that floor vote. A funny thing happened along the way of that decision being brought to the floor of the 2021 PCA GA. The details for getting both the majority and minority reports before the meeting of the General Assembly in June of 2021 were filed a day or two late. Wow! But… none dare call it intentional! It was just that they ran out of time. Sure! So the cases were before the SJC again at the fall meeting and the new vote was 16-7 with one person being absent. It fell one vote short of having 1/3 of the commissioners as a minority. I feel sure that if that absent juror, Sean Michael Lucas, had been present the vote would have been 17-7. Thus, the decision of the SJC is final. The case is closed. Greg Johnson can continue to promote his homosexual views with impunity.
Those of you who have followed my writings know that I warned you for over a year that this is exactly what would happen in this case. I predicted that the SJC would defer to the lower court and rule that there were no procedural grounds for the higher court to deal with this matter. That is almost verbatim what the SJC wrote. They wrote that there was “no reversible error.” I have also told you that the view of the SJC is that judicial oversight of the lower courts is disallowed. All judicial oversight belongs solely and only to sessions and presbyteries. All the highest court can do, in the flawed opinions of the SJC members, is to correct procedural errors. Anything beyond a procedural mistake is not reversible. Period. So, it should not have come as a shock to any of you receiving this email that the decision is what it is. Only ostriches could be surprised at this happening.