Indictment of the PCA Standing Judicial Commission | Exhibit 22

The Ministerial Obligation is provided in the PCA Handbook for Presbytery Clerks, year after year. All teaching elders must sign the same Confessional Subscription (BCO 13-7) corresponding to the same ordination vows (BCO 21-5) in order to be ordained, and their presbyteries must retain these contracts on file.

“I bring order to chaos.” 

— the Borg Queen 

“Sometimes providences, like Hebrew letters, must be read backward.” 

— Presbyterian Puritan Rev. John Flavel, “Divine Conduct: or, the Mystery of Providence,” The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel, vol. 5, p. 284 

“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” 

— Exodus 18:11 

“Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.” 

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, December 9 

“The church sign says ‘Saint Andrew’s Chapel, A Reformed Congregation.’
… ‘Saint Andrew’s is an independent congregation on account of our desire to remain steadfast in the Reformed tradition without the influence of denominational governance. Nevertheless, our pastors are ordained ministers in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).’
R. C. had his PCA ministerial credentials the entire time he pastored an independent church. … In the end, they decided not to join the PCA but to remain independent. …
On the front of the weekly bulletin at Saint Andrew’s are these words: ‘We cross the threshold of the secular to the sacred, from the common to the uncommon, from the profane to the holy.’ … R. C. … writes in The Holiness of God, ‘We seek a threshold that will lead us over the border for [from] the profane to the sacred.’” 

R. C. Sproul: A Life, Stephen J. Nichols, pp. 223-224

2 Chronicles 5:13-14; 7:1-3
Because of the people’s obedience and dedication, God’s glory filled the temple. Thus Israel’s worship was empowered by God’s manifold presence.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, p. 606 

“You cannot avoid the interplay of politics within an orthodox religion. This power struggle permeates the training, educating and disciplining of the orthodox community. Because of this pressure, the leaders of such a community inevitably must face the ultimate internal question: to succumb to complete opportunism as the price of maintaining their rule, or risk sacrificing themselves for the sake of the orthodox ethic.” 

— from “Muad’Dib: The Religious Issues” by the Princess Irulan
Dune, Frank Herbert, p. 425 

“And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven, because it was a mistake, and they have brought their offering, a food offering to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD for their mistake. And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the mistake.” 

— Numbers 15:25-26 

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” 

— Genesis 50:20 

Esther 4:9-17
Queen Esther knew that she would have to take the life-threatening risk of appealing to the king on behalf of her people. Mordecai argued that if she failed to take this risk, she would face the certainty of eventual execution along with the rest of the Jews. Though His name is not mentioned, this passage stresses the fact that God is in control of human events; His sovereign purposes will always prevail. …
Esther 3:2-4
Mordecai was a man of conviction, and he courageously refused to follow the king’s edict to kneel down in deference to Haman. He recognized the personal risk involved, but he regarded faithfulness to his convictions to be worth the danger.
Nehemiah 2:11-16
Nehemiah carefully and secretly inspected the walls and conscientiously assessed the situation before presenting his plan to others. By preparing himself in this way, Nehemiah was able to weigh his plan against the reality he saw. His decision was not based on hearsay but on the information he himself had gathered.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, pp. 539, 576, 601 

“It is all for the best. I am in the hands of a sovereign God …
God was fitting me for an after-work in a way I did not know.” 

— 19th-century Church of England clergyman and writer William Marsh, as recounted in J.C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, Iain H. Murray, p. 83 

“lt was answered that all great and honourable actions are accompanied with great difficulties and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages. It was granted the dangers were great, but not desperate. The difficulties were many, but not invincible. For though there were many of them likely, yet they were not certain. It might be sundry of the things feared might never befall; others by provident care and the use of good means might in a great measure be prevented; and all of them, through the help of God, by fortitude and patience might either be borne or overcome. True it was that such attempts were not to he made and undertaken without good ground and reason, not rashly or lightly as many have done for curiosity or hope of gain, etc. But their condition was not ordinary, their ends were good and honourable, their calling lawful and urgent; and therefore they might expect the blessing of God in their proceeding. Yea, though they should lose their lives in this action, yet might they have comfort in the same and their endeavours would be honourable.” 

— Puritan William Bradford, leader of Plymouth Colony in 1630, “Showing the Reasons and Causes of their Removal,” Of Plymouth Plantation: 1620-1647 

“The least one shall become a clan,
and the smallest one a mighty nation;
I am the LORD;
in its time I will hasten it.” 

— Isaiah 60:22 

“Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. ‘They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.’” 

— Malachi 3:16-18 

“But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness.” 

— Luke 21:12-13 

“God, therefore, sets up his kingdom, by humbling the whole world, though in different ways, taming the wantonness of some, and breaking the ungovernable pride of others. We should desire this to be done every day, in order that God may gather churches to himself from all quarters of the world, may extend and increase their numbers, enrich them with his gifts, establish due order among them; on the other hand, beat down all the enemies of pure doctrine and religion, dissipate their counsels, defeat their attempts. Hence it appears that there is good ground for the precept which enjoins daily progress, for human affairs are never so prosperous as when the impurities of vice are purged away, and integrity flourishes in full vigor. The completion, however, is deferred to the final advent of Christ, when, as Paul declares, ‘God will be all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28). This prayer, therefore, ought to withdraw us from the corruptions of the world which separate us from God, and prevent his kingdom from flourishing within us.” 

Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin, 3.20.42 

Part One: Of the Nature of Divine Right
Chapter Two. Of the nature of a jus divinum or a divine right in general
“It is so obligatory unto all churches in the whole Christian world, that they ought uniformly to submit themselves unto it in all the substantials of it so far as is possible. For a jus divinum is equally obligatory to all persons, states and degrees, that none ought to be exempted from that church government which is jure divino, nor to be tolerated in another church government which is but jure humano; nor ought any Christian to seek after or content himself with any such exemption or toleration. For in so doing, inventions of men are preferred before the ordinances of God; our own wisdom, will, authority before the wisdom, will, authority of Christ. And we should in effect say, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us’ (Luke 19:27); ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast their cords away from us’ (Ps. 2:3).” 

Jus Divinum Regiminis Ecclesiastici, p. 59


04/16/2023: The PCA teaching elders leading Saint Andrew’s Chapel enclose an announcement insert in the Sunday morning worship bulletin with this notice: 

Saint Andrew’s Chapel and the Presbyterian Church in America
After years of prayer, deliberation, and study, the session of Saint Andrew’s Chapel has unanimously decided to pursue joining the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) pending congregational approval. We have reached this decision out of a desire to be more consistently presbyterian, to establish greater accountability and connection, and to extend greater rights to the members of the Saint Andrew’s congregation. Many of you know that our pastors are teaching elders who are ordained in the PCA, just as our first minister of preaching and teaching, Dr. R.C. Sproul, was a longstanding ordained minister in the PCA. When Saint Andrew’s was established in 1997, it was the express written intent for Saint Andrew’s to join the PCA in order to be more consistently presbyterian. But at that time, the elders decided to wait and not join the PCA. The Central Florida Presbytery of the PCA, of which our pastors are active members, had for many years allowed our ministers to serve here at Saint Andrew’s, an independent church, which was an exception to historic presbyterianism. Recently, the presbytery has begun the process of amending its standing rules to be more consistent and will no longer allow this exception. We are grateful to the Central Florida Presbytery for their graciousness in allowing this exception for so long. Because of this change, however, we as a church will no longer be able to call new pastors or train ministry interns through the presbytery.
This decision to join the PCA would not change anything about our liturgy, style of worship, or philosophy of ministry as a church that is committed to ordinary means of grace ministry. In fact, we believe it would allow greater opportunity for us as a church in terms of church planting, as well as involvement of the elders at local presbytery meetings and even the general assembly of the PCA. As the Lord continues to build His church, we need to be ready to meet the pastoral needs here at Saint Andrew’s. Joining the PCA would allow us to call new pastors, now and in the future, and to train men as interns for gospel ministry. In coming weeks, more information will be provided as well as opportunities to ask questions. Please join us in prayer as we continue to strive to faithfully shepherd the flock of God here at Saint Andrew’s Chapel for the sake of Christ’s kingdom and the glory of our gracious and sovereign God.” 

(Saint Andrew’s Chapel morning worship bulletin, Sunday, April 16, 2023

(“Saint Andrew’s Chapel and the Presbyterian Church in America” 10-page Q&A encyclical

Quoth the PCA teaching elders: “When Saint Andrew’s was established in 1997, it was the express written intent for Saint Andrew’s to join the PCA in order to be more consistently presbyterian.”
So, this church, which, since its founding 26 years ago, maintained its “desire to remain … without the influence of denominational governance,” somehow was able to marshal many millions for a concrete citadel in the north Orlando metro area … yet until now it wasn’t able to accomplish this thing it supposedly desired to do a quarter century ago: to submit to a Presbyterian denomination?
And now, with Presbytery’s policy change, suddenly, joining the PCA was the intention all along?


06/04/2023: In a congregational meeting immediately following Sunday morning worship, the Session’s recommendation to unite with the Presbyterian Church in America reportedly passes with 95.26-percent approval. Saint Andrew’s Chapel will be particularized as a new local church under the Central Florida Presbytery during evening worship on Sunday, June 25. 


The Belgic Confession 

Article 30: The Government of the Church 

“We believe that this true Church must be governed according to the Spiritual order which our Lord has taught us in his Word. There should be ministers or pastors to preach the Word of God, and to administer the sacraments; there should also be elders and deacons who, together with the pastors, form the council of the Church. By these means they preserve the true religion; they see to it that the true doctrine takes its course, that evil men are disciplined in a spiritual way, and are restrained, and also that the poor and all the afflicted are helped and comforted according to their need. By these means everything will be done well, and in good order when faithful men are chosen in agreement with the rule that the apostle Paul gave to Timothy.” 

Part II. Power of the Church 

Chapter III. The Nature of Church Power 

“To secure the belief and obedience of men to the Word of God, the Church may and ought to put forth her power to teach, to instruct, to persuade, to preach the Gospel, and enforce it by the authority of God, who has revealed it. Anything beyond this exercise of spiritual authority defeats the very end intended, and, so far from securing, prevents the belief of the truth by men that they may be saved. A compulsory power can never secure my belief: it may force my submission, or hypocritical pretence of submission, to certain truths, but not the conviction of the understanding or the assent of the heart. It is not sufficient to say that a power not spiritual, by compulsory, ought not to be employed to secure my belief in the truth of God. The true state of the case is, that a power compulsory, and not spiritual, cannot be so employed. The very nature of the object to be attained renders it not merely improper, but impossible. The ‘potestas …’ is a spiritual authority on the part of the Church to be a witness and interpreter, ministerially, of the truth of God to the consciences and understandings of men; and it is essentially incompatible with any power addressed to aught but the conscience and the understanding.” 

The Church of Christ, James Bannerman, pp. 236-237 

Chapter 26. The Nature and Unity of the Church
“But while spurious unity is to be condemned, the lack of unity among churches of Christ which profess the faith in its purity is a patent violation of the unity of the body of Christ, and of that unity which the prayer of our Lord requires us to promote. We cannot escape from the implications for us by resorting to the notion of the invisible church. The body of Christ is not an invisible entity, and the prayer of Jesus was directed to the end that the world might believe. The unity prayed for was one that would bear witness to the world, and therefore belonged to the realm of the observable. The implications for visible confession and witness are unavoidable.
It is to be admitted that the fragmentation and lack of co-ordination and solidarity which we find within strictly evangelical and Reformed Churches create a difficult situation, and how this disunity is to be remedied ‘in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace’ is a task not easily accomplished. But what needs to be indicted, and indicted with vehemence, is the complacency so widespread, and the failure to be aware that this is an evil, dishonouring to Christ, destructive of the edification denied by the apostle ‘as the increase of the body into the building up of itself in love’ (Eph. 4:16), and prejudicial to the evangelistic outreach to the world. If we are once convinced of this evil, the evil of schism in the body of Christ, the evil of disruption in the communion of saints, then we have made great progress. We shall then be constrained to preach the evil, to bring conviction to the hearts of others also, to implore God’s grace and wisdom in remedying the evil, and to devise ways and means of healing these ruptures, to the promotion of united witness to the faith of Jesus and the whole counsel of God.” 

Collected Writings of John Murray Volume Two: Select Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 335 

Chapter 27. The Government of the Church
“The government exercised by men must always be conducted in accordance with the institution and will of Christ. It is a complete travesty of all order and authority in the church of Christ for the governmental affairs of the church to be arranged and conducted without constant reference to that revelation in which alone does Christ make known to us his will for the regulation of that which stands in no less intimate relation to him than his body, his church, the church for which he gave himself, that he might present it as the church glorious, holy and without blemish.
We act presumptuously, and take false refuge from our failure, when we so concentrate upon the eschatological realization of Ephesians 5:25-27 that we do not bring the various facets of its teaching to bear upon the jealousy for Christ’s honour and will with which we seek to conduct the government of the church. This is just saying that Ephesians 4:11-16, in respect of the implications for good government, sustains the closer relation to Ephesians 5:25-27 even in its eschatological consummation. …
The presbyterate is the form of government for the church of Christ. … Rule by elders is the apostolic institution for the government of the local congregation, and this involves the principles of plurality and parity. The inference is inescapable that this is a permanent provision for the government of the churches. Since the apostolate is not permanent, and since there is in the New Testament no other provision for the government of the local congregation, we must conclude that the council of elders is the only abiding institution for the government of the church of Christ according to the New Testament. …
The unity of the body must come to expression in every phase of the church’s activity. If we think in terms of koinonia, whether the idea is that of fellowship or participation, in either case independency violates the principle of interdependence and mutual exchange which the fellowship involves. …
In the body of Christ the organic connection is such, that if one member suffers the whole body suffers. Are we to suppose that there is no redress that can be made by the whole body, when maladministration in one member of the churches of Christ imperils the health of the whole body? Surely the intimacy of relationship is such that not only is correction a mercy and blessing, but an obligation. …
We may not discount the example of the Jerusalem council (Acts 15). The church at Antioch conferred with the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, and they determined the question in debate, not only for the church at Antioch, but for all the churches (Acts 16:4). It is all the more striking that the church should have resorted to such deliberation, and to this method of resolving an issue, since it was the era of special revelation (cf. the difference between this method and that exemplified in the case of Cornelius and the admission of the Gentiles—Acts 10).
There is provided for us a pattern of consultation and adjudication that cannot be neglected in the permanent government of the church. … The only permanent institution for government is the eldership, the presbuterion. In some way or other, this institution is the means whereby corporate government is to be effected. We should keep in mind that the gifts Christ bestows are for the good, for the edification of the whole body. It is consonant with this ecumenical extension of the relevance of gifts that the gifts for rule, as well as those for other phases of ministry, should be brought to bear upon the edification of the whole church, as well as upon the local congregation.” 

— ibid., pp. 340, 342-344 

Chapter 28. The Form of Government
“While it is all-important to maintain and promote presbyterian government on the level of the local congregation, and to recognize all the rights and prerogatives belonging to this presbuterion, yet it is also necessary to appreciate the broader fellowship that obtains in the church of Christ. In the presbyterian tradition this has come to expression in the gradation of courts of jurisdiction. This is a reasonable and proper way of giving expression to the unity of the church of Christ. It should be recognized that there is much in the form of organization and procedure adopted in presbyterian churches that cannot plead the authority of the New Testament. And the reason why certain forms of organization and procedure have been adopted and practised, which cannot plead the prescription or warrant of Scripture itself, is simply the recognition that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God and government of the church which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, in accord with the general principles of the Word of God. Much in the actual polity of the church falls into this category and we must guard against the notion that differences in the form of organization, and particularly in mode of procedure, necessarily violate the biblical principles of presbyterian government. There is much room for variety, and the church of Christ is always under the necessity of devising and adopting better forms of procedure and organization which tradition may have established.
But the main consideration at this point is that the unity of government exemplified in the gradation of courts of jurisdiction is a principle which belongs to the form of government which the New Testament sets forth. In the history of the church several facts have been appealed to in support of this principle of inclusive or expansive jurisdiction. The example of the Jerusalem council recorded in Acts 15 has been adduced, and that not without warrant. Apostolic example has the force of divine prescription. And the church at Antioch, in connection with the dissension that arose concerning circumcision, deemed it proper to send Paul and Barnabas and others to Jerusalem to confer with the apostles and elders about this question. The apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. The decrees that were issued by the council were regarded as having regulative force throughout the whole church. For we read that Paul and Silas on Paul’s second missionary journey, as they went through the cities, ‘delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem’ (Acts 16:4).
The consideration, however, that should be deemed primarily and basic in this connection is the unity and community of the church as the body of Christ. The local congregation is indeed the church of Christ, but so are all the assemblies of God’s people. The unity that belongs to the body of Christ must come to expression in government, as well as in the other functions which are properly those of the church. That each congregation should be entirely independent in its government is incompatible with the oneness of the body of Christ. ‘There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye were called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism: one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all’ (Eph. 4:4-6). The co-ordination and subordination exemplified in presbyterian churches are the expression in the sphere of government of this unity. In any case, there must be some way of bringing this unity to expression. And the only feasible way is that the whole church should be governed by a presbuterion that will be as widely representative as the church itself. All that is absolutely essential in terms of the New Testament is that government be as inclusive as the whole body. The particular ways of applying this ecumenity of government are but the expedients of Christian prudence in accord with the general principles of the word.” 

— ibid., pp. 349-350