The Presbyterian Church in America concluded its 32nd General Assembly at Pittsburgh, Penn, on Friday, June 18, 2004. Throughout the three day meeting, the audience of more than 2,000 adopted several resolutions reflecting the evangelical denomination’s faith and elected officers to serve on the church’s board.
The first major resolution adopted by the Assembly was a Pastoral letter on the Gospel and Race. The letter stated that the members of the PCA would repent of their sin of racism and continues to work toward full reconciliation between brothers of all color.
“We .. confess our covenantal involvement in these national sins. As a people, both we and our fathers have failed to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the laws our God has commanded. We therefore publicly repent of our pride, our complacency, and our complicity. Furthermore, we seek the forgiveness of our brothers and sisters for the reticence of our hearts, which has constrained us from acting swiftly in this matter,” the letter, adopted on June 16, read. “As a people, we pledge to work hard, in a manner consistent with the Gospel imperatives, for the encouragement of racial reconciliation, the establishment of urban and minority congregations, and the enhancement of existing ministries of mercy in our cities, among the poor, and across all social, racial, and economic boundaries, to the glory of God. Amen.”
The second important resolution adopted by the conveners was a statement on Marriage and Sexuality. Through the resolution, the PCA voiced its support for the Federal Marriage Amendment and called on its member bodies to struggle against sexual sin of all forms.
“Therefore be it resolved that the 32nd General Assembly humbly call on the civil governments of Canada and the United States and all nations of the earth to act within their lawful powers and use whatever legislative and judicial instruments they deem most useful to ensure that marriage is legally defined and interpreted throughout their jurisdictions as existing exclusively between one man and woman,” the resolution stated, supporting the call to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment.
The resolution also called on the “Presbyteries and Sessions of the PCA to strengthen the marriages in its own churches and exhort its elders to be bolder and more caring shepherds of Christ’s flock that we might help stem the scandalous rising tide of divorce in the church.”
With that respect, the PCA called on its member bodies to “encourage all men and women, boys and girls within the PCA to live chastely for the sake of the Savior who bought them, whether in marriage or in singleness, whether they must do battle against heterosexual or homosexual temptation in seeking to be faithful to their Lord who loves them.”
On other matters, the PCA elected Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III as the denomination’s moderator.