If You Must Go

Since the 18th century, a corollary to our Presbyterian Historic Principles of Church Order has been, “That when any matter is determined by a major vote, every member shall either actively concur with or passively submit to such determination; or if his conscience permit him to do neither, he shall, after sufficient liberty modestly to reason and remonstrate, peaceably withdraw from our communion without attempting to make any schism. Provided always that this shall be understood to extend only to such determination as the body shall judge indispensable in doctrine or Presbyterian government.”

“ … peaceably withdraw … without attempting to make any schism” is deeply etched in our Presbyterian history.

Actively promoting secession from the denomination runs counter to this historic principle.

Instead of actively promoting secession, members in the PC(USA) who are unable to actively concur with or passively submit to the doctrine or polity of the denomination should “peaceably withdraw from our communion without attempting to make any schism.”  

That would be a truly gracious dismissal.

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