Parker Williamson And Others Start Process For Split In Church
I stood in the hallway last night. We were in front of the Press Room, waiting for a press conference that was to follow the evening's decision on the PUP report. Parker Williamson was there, having conversation in hushed tones, giving careful instructions to a group of people on how they were to orchestrate what today's online edition of the Presbyterian Layman called "an impromptu press conference." The writer says there were more than 100 present. Try 48.
Distributing a prepared statement, the group declared, "This recent decision marks a profound deviation from Biblical requirements, and we cannot accept, support or tolerate this decision."
When asked if this meant schism, Parker Williamson declared schism had already happened.
So who is leading the split?
Rev. Richard Burnett, of Constitutional Presbyterians
Rev. Paul Gaug, of Evangelical Presbyterian Pastors Fellowship
Rev. Robert Pitman, of Knox Fellowship
Rev. Sid Rice, of Literacy & Evangelism, International
Rev. David Henderson of the New Wineskins Initiative
Rev. Dean Weaver, of the New Wineskins Initiative
Kristin Johnson, MDiv., of OneByOne
Alan Wisdom, of Presbyterian Action
Terry Schlossberg, of the Presbyterian Coalition
Rev. Susan Cyre, of Presbyterians for Faith, Family & Ministry
Rev. Michael Walker, of Presbyterians For Renewal
Rev. Parker Williamson, of the Presbyterian Lay Committee
Elder Marie Bowen, of Presbyterians Pro-Life
Rev. Brad Long, of Presbyterian Reformed Ministries, International
At the top of the list is the name of Richard Burnett, who is the Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Erskine Theological Seminary. He identified himself as a spokesman for the Constitutional Presbyterians. One of the things that organization calls for is for churches to ask, "What will be the future relationship between this session or presbytery and the P.C.(U.S.A.)?"
The Constitutional Presbyterians also urge churches to "evaluate" their giving -- which I take to mean "don't give to the PCUSA." He highlights the work of the new Presbyerian Global Fellowship. I've wondered what this organization was all about. They claim on their web page that "Presbyterian Global Fellowship is not an effort to start a new denomination or to write a new constitution." But with this association with Constitutional Presbyterians, I wonder.