Indictment of the PCA Standing Judicial Commission | Exhibit 6

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.

“… in all matters of the LORD … Deal courageously, and may the LORD be with the upright!” 

— II Chronicles 19:11

2 Chronicles 19:4-11
Jehoshaphat set up a system for administering justice in Judah by appointing judges in each fortified city and instructing them to judge others with fairness and equity, knowing that God would hold them accountable.
Psalm 11:1-7
The Lord is a God of justice who examines both the righteous and the wicked. His character is perfect and He loves justice, since it is an expression of His nature.
Isaiah 1:21-23
God called the people of Jerusalem to clean up their act by calling the city’s leaders to restore a just and fair society. Injustice is of special concern to God. The power of leadership must be applied toward creating a climate of justice. …
Joel 1:1-3:21
Where are the leaders when you need them? Joel refers to elders, priests, drunkards, farmers and the young in this short book. But throughout all the turmoil and devastation he describes, the prophet never once mentions leaders or kings as even possible sources of help. A leader who is an irrelevant presence is worse than no leader at all. …
Jeremiah 1:17-19
Jeremiah had to confront some powerful people about their sin. Exhortation is a tough task, but God provides a great source of help (v. 17). When Jeremiah learned God’s counsel regarding a particular person’s error, he had an objective basis for exhortation. Identify God’s moral principle that has led you to conclude that an individual needs to be exhorted. Then work from that foundation. …
Jeremiah 6:16-19
The leader is described as a watchman, as one who cries out warnings to those who are in error.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, pp. 610-611, 635, 651

The Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America 

Part II: The Rules of Discipline 

Chapter 43: Complaints 

43-1. A complaint is a written representation made against some act or decision of a court of the Church. It is the right of any communing member of the Church in good standing to make complaint against any action of a court to whose jurisdiction he is subject …
43-2. A complaint shall first be made to the court whose act or decision is alleged to be in error. …
43-3. If, after considering a complaint, the court alleged to be delinquent or in error is of the opinion that it has not erred, and denies the complaint, the complainant may take that complaint to the next higher court. 

“Hear this, you elders;
give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has such a thing happened in your days,
or in the days of your fathers?
Tell your children of it,
and let your children tell their children,
and their children to another generation.” 

— Joel 1:2-3 

“These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another;
render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace.” 

— Zechariah 8:16 

What is God’s will for us in the third commandment?
That we neither blaspheme nor misuse the name of God by cursing, perjury, or unnecessary oaths, nor share in such horrible sins by being silent bystanders.” 

Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 99 

“‘May fail but must try it.’
[R.C. Sproul in a lecture notebook (no title/date). This outline sketch is most likely from 1975 or 1976.]
… He [Sproul] also valued conviction and courage.” 

R. C. Sproul: A Life, Stephen J. Nichols, pp. 123, 285 

Theology Alive
‘Walk while ye have the light lest darkness come upon you.’ — John 12:35
Beware of not acting upon what you see in your moments on the mount with God. If you do not obey the light, it will turn into darkness. ‘If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!’ The second you waive the question of sanctification or any other thing upon which God gave you light, you begin to get dry rot in your spiritual life. Continually bring the truth out into actuality; work it out in every domain, or the very light you have will prove a curse. …
You may know all about the doctrine of sanctification, but are you running it out into the practical issues of your life?” 

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, August 27 

“Doing nothing was the one thing not to be tolerated in children. Seeing young fellows lounging at the corner of the street, he [J.C. Ryle] was heard to tell them, ‘Don’t stand there idle: it would be better if you went and got into mischief.’” 

— as recounted in J.C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, Iain H. Murray, p. 111 

“I find nothing that promotes work better than angry fervor. For when I wish to compose, write, pray and preach well, I must be angry. It refreshes my entire system, my mind is sharpened, and all unpleasant thoughts and depression fade away.” 

— Martin Luther, Off the Record With Martin Luther: An Original Translation of the Table Talks, trans. and ed. Charles Daudert, entry no. 2410b, p. 110 

“Work, hard constant work, is the best remedy against the evil of brooding over sorrows.” 

— Thomas Witherow, unpublished 1889 Autobiography, p. 137, as recounted in A Prince of Irish Presbyterianism: The Life and Work of Thomas Witherow, Jonathan Gibson, p. 69 

“No one indeed did take greater pains to set forth his position so that none could misunderstand and in general to persuade men to join with him. …
Machen himself was a man with great capacity for friendship and one who was generous to a fault in consideration of others. But along with his strength as a man to whom political expediency and craft were entirely foreign went a kind of generalship which was satisfied to state and expound principles and objectives and then simply appealed to men to follow them. Since he penetrated easily and quickly to the depths of issues, and could not bring himself to commit men to himself personally, an impression of impatience with those who did not immediately agree was sometimes given. But this fault was not one of conceit or irritability for Machen submerged his own personal interests in his complete devotion to the cause of truth as he understood it. It is possible therefore that Machen contributed somewhat to the lark of harmony among the older Presbyterian leaders.” 

J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir, Ned B. Stonehouse, pp. 588-589 

Chapter 7. Relation of the Presbyterian Church to other denominations and to the world. 

Section 2. Of prelacy. 

306. Is there any thing else in the prelacy to which Presbyterians object?
Yes; they object to the power of ordination, and other ecclesiastical functions, being vested exclusively in the unscriptural order of prelates, since this makes void the word of God, and leads to spiritual despotism.
Again; they object to the unscriptural distinction between consecration, or the setting apart of prelates, and ordination, or the setting apart of presbyters, to the work of the Gospel ministry, as being wholly unauthorized by the word of God.
(I Timothy 4:14, Matthew 20:25, 27) 

Section 5. The advantages and claims of the Presbyterian church. 

326. Name some of the further advantages possessed by members of the Presbyterian church?
They possess the right of choosing their own pastors and elders; they are neither subject to the spiritual despotism of a priesthood, nor to anarchy and misrule; they can bring any matter, — whether it be unfaithfulness in ministers or elders, or in the other officers and members of the church, or errors in doctrine, — before the church courts, composed of an equal proportion of clergymen and of representatives of the people, chosen by themselves, for investigation and decision; and they have the privilege and power, when their rights as citizens of Zion are assailed, of appealing from one church court to another. 

The Ecclesiastical Catechism of the Presbyterian Church, Thomas Smyth, 1843 

“… of course when you are talking about Constitution and you are talking about government and you are talking about laws in courts, you’re talking about something very important. You might put it another way, if there’s an argument worth having, it’s worth having over a system of law, a constitutional order, the right arrangement of government, the right role of courts.” 

The Briefing with Albert Mohler, March 14, 2023 

“Our brand of Presbyterianism has been called Non-Hierarchical Presbyterianism, democratic Presbyterianism, or grassroots Presbyterianism.” 

An Inquirer’s Guide to the PCA, L. Roy Raylor, p. 5 

“Sometimes you need to test the machine to see if it still works.” 

— John Livingston, Electrical Design Supervisor for Data Centers & Mission-Critical Facilities, with Electromagnetic Compatibility & Regulatory Compliance background; PCA deacon; veteran ecclesiastical Complainant and Representation


01/01/2020: Benyola files a formal Complaint versus the Central Florida Presbytery concerning its “unlawful clerical loans” to Saint Andrew’s, with evidence demonstrating this policy violates the PCA Constitution. The specific actions of the Presbytery which are contested are its decisions to approve calls of teaching elders to Saint Andrew’s, since that is how the situation was generated which has produced problems, and none of the problems could have occurred if those antecedent erroneous rulings on the part of Presbytery never had occurred. It incorrectly used out-of-bounds.
Yet, the main maladministration confronted in this Complaint is Saint Andrew’s’ teaching elders’ action, particularly TE Sproul’s action, to seize congregational voting rights in a 2015 meeting of members. Having now assumed membership vows to support the whole work of the denomination and to study the Church’s purity and peace, and after attempting many times throughout 2019 to resolve the issues through informal and diplomatic channels with members of Presbytery including St. Paul’s elders, Benyola is compelled next to turn to the judicial process to seek tangible redress. 

(Complaint of Peter Benyola versus the Central Florida Presbytery


01/22/2020: The Stated Clerk of Presbytery reports to the Complainant that the Court has ruled the Complaint administratively out of order, on two procedural grounds — the Complaint was not timely filed and the Complainant does not have standing — but Presbytery promises to investigate. 

Alleged violations (errors and/or delinquencies) by the Central Florida Presbytery 

Primary standards: II Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 3:27, 22:22, Ecclesiastes 8:11, 10:18, Jeremiah 21:12, Lamentations 3:34-36, 5:14, Zechariah 1:2-6, 8:16, Malachi 2:7, Matthew 3:8, 18:16-17, Luke 17:3-4, 19:14,27, Acts 20:27-28, I Corinthians 13:6, II Corinthians 6:3-8, I Timothy 5:19-25 

Secondary standards: WCF 1.6,10; 20.4; 22.1-6; 30.3-4; 31.1-3; WLC Q.99.6-8, 130, 143-145; BCO 11-4; 43-1 


01/30/2020: Benyola carries his Complaint versus the Central Florida Presbytery with Appellate Brief to the highest Court, the General Assembly, which becomes SJC Judicial Case 2020-01. 

(Appellate Brief of the (Complaint of Peter Benyola versus the Central Florida Presbytery


02/06/2020: The Standing Judicial Commission’s Judgment 2 in Case 2019-08, TE Neal Ganzel vs. Central Florida Presbytery, in its Decision in Appeal, sides with the Appellant. 

A teaching elder, later the associate pastor of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, served as the Chairman of the Minister and His Work Committee which recommended the charges, indicted TE Ganzel, and represented the Central Florida Presbytery in TE Ganzel’s appeal; and a ruling elder, also of St. Paul’s, and a member of the same Presbytery Committee, was “the Prosecutor.” Noteworthy is that both elders were on the St. Paul’s Session as well as the Presbytery’s Minister and His Work Committee as decision-makers through the 2020 Complaints of Peter Benyola versus the Central Florida Presbytery, and in early-2021 meetings to silence the Complainant. 

The SJC’s Concurring Opinion exonerating TE Ganzel summarizes, 

“All of these constitutional missteps reflect a disciplinary process that was significantly flawed and prejudicial against the Appellant. Hence, we conclude that CFP erred in its prosecution of the Case, and the SJC sustains this specification of error. We further reverse the whole of the censure against the Appellant and thus conclude the matter.” 

(Minutes of the Forty-Eighth General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, pp. 729-751)

Alleged violations (errors and/or delinquencies) by the Central Florida Presbytery 

Primary standards: Proverbs 3:27, 11:1, 18:5, 20:23, 24:23, Ecclesiastes 10:8-10, Lamentations 3:34-35, 5:14, Zechariah 8:16, Malachi 2:7, Luke 17:3-4, Acts 20:27-28, I Corinthians 13:6, II Corinthians 6:3-8 

Secondary standards: WLC Q.130, 143-145; WSC Q.14, 76-78; BCO 32-20; 43-1 


03/25/2020: A teaching elder at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, also the Chairman of the Minister and His Work Committee of Central Florida Presbytery (who recommended the charges against TE Ganzel in SJC 2019-08) and therefore is a key decision-maker in resolution of issues set before the Court, emails Benyola in response, 

“You say you believe Burk, Don and Kevin are living in sin because ‘they took vows to uphold the law and order of the PCA, and they’re not doing it.’ Where did they take such a vow? The vow they affirmed says, ‘Do you approve of the form of government and discipline of the Presbyterian Church in America, in conformity with the general principles of Biblical polity?’ I don’t understand the sin that you see in these men or how, by serving as pastors at SAC, they have wronged the Christians under their care. It feels like this is more of a personal dislike for those pastors. … it feels like you will not be satisfied until Don, Kevin and Burk are removed from the PCA. That feels like more of a personal vendetta than a genuine concern about biblical polity. It feels like polity is being used as the means to remove them from the PCA. …
It feels like you have elevated ecclesiology to the doctrine of highest importance in life, and a Reformed and Presbyterian view of polity as a non-negotiable in Christianity.” 

This Presbytery member accuses the Complainant of “a vendetta” and trying to use polity to force pastors out of the denomination, yet without ever admitting any wrongdoing on the part of these teaching elders in question, nor dealing squarely with the facts of the violations reported decently and in order. This is not only cascading his “feelings” on the merits of the case (cf. BCO 32-17), but also indicates a disqualifying bias and double standard toward those officers of the Presbytery. 

Alleged violations (errors and/or delinquencies) by the Chairman of the Minister and His Work Committee of Central Florida Presbytery 

Primary standards: Proverbs 3:27, 11:1, 18:5,13,17, 20:23, 24:23,28, Ecclesiastes 10:5,8-10,18, Jeremiah 21:12, Lamentations 3:34-36, 5:14, Ezekiel 9:4, Malachi 2:7, Matthew 18:16, Luke 17:3-4, Acts 20:27-28, I Corinthians 13:6, II Corinthians 6:3-8, Hebrews 12:15 

Secondary standards: WLC Q.99.6-8, 130, 143-145; BCO 8-1,-2,-3; 21-5.7; 32-17; 34-2,-3 


03/31/2020: The Complainant clearly and timely answers this teaching elder’s question with the citation of BCO 13-7, the Ministerial Obligation, which response the TE ignores and later declines to explain how BCO 13-7 is kept intact in conversations concerning these PCA ordination vows. 

Alleged delinquencies (errors and/or delinquencies) by the Chairman of the Minister and His Work Committee of Central Florida Presbytery 

Primary standards: Deuteronomy 10:16, Proverbs 3:27, 11:1, 18:5,17, 20:23, 24:23, Ecclesiastes 10:8-10,18, Jeremiah 21:12, Lamentations 3:34-35, 5:14, Ezekiel 9:4, Malachi 2:7, Matthew 3:8, 18:16, Luke 17:3-4, Acts 20:27-28, I Corinthians 13:6, II Corinthians 6:3-8, Hebrews 12:15 

Secondary standards: WLC Q.99.6-8, 130, 143-145; WSC Q.14, 76-78; BCO 8-1,-2,-3; 21-5.7; 32-17; 34-2,-3


“Mr. Thompson was frequently specified by name as an example of the class of unconverted pharisee preachers, and his opposition to the work of God ascribed to the worst motives.” 

The Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in The United States of America, Part II, Charles Hodge, D.D., p. 226 

“Instead, R. C. advocates for a position that sees that ‘Truth provokes passion.’
… R. C. said directly, ‘I always loved Luther.’ The years of Luther’s life between 1517 and 1521 overflowed with drama. R. C. found it fascinating. These years began with Luther posting the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door at Wittenberg and ended with Luther declaring, ‘Here I stand’ at Worms. It is the stuff of legends. But for R. C., these moments are far more than historical curiosity. They shaped his theological identity and put steel in his spine.
… Martin Luther made the 500-kilometer trek from Wittenberg to Worms by wagon in 1521. As he passed through Saxony’s towns and hamlets on the journey, he received a hero’s welcome. That changed when he entered Worms on April 6. It would be Luther contra mundum. His friends pleaded with Luther not to go, as they did not trust the outcome. R. C. added, ‘If you have ever been over there, you would see that every house roof was made with red tiles.’” 

R. C. Sproul: A Life, Stephen J. Nichols, pp. 159, 189, 208 

“The Third Commandment is the only commandment that gets two Lord’s Days instead of one [in the Heidelberg Catechism]. And oddly enough, the extra Lord’s Day for the Third Commandment deals with an issue that seems rather prosaic. With a hundred other pressing ethical dilemmas to choose from, frankly, the swearing of oaths seems like a pretty poor choice. After all, how often have you heard about Christians reading through the Third Commandment only to stop dead in their tracks, wondering, ‘But what about swearing oaths!’
Believe it or not, oath-swearing was a hot topic during the Reformation.
oaths, used sparingly and in the right context, can glorify God. TO call on ‘God as my witness’ is to call on Him as our superior and judge. In oath-taking, we also confess that God knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts (Ps. 139:1-6). As one author puts it, ‘By swearing an oath, we are confessing our faith: God and nobody else, not even ourselves, functions as verifiers of our words.’
Reverent oaths can also benefit our neighbors. If everyone could be trusted, there would be no need for oaths. That’s why oaths should be virtually unnecessary among Christians. Our word should be our bond. As Christians, we recognize God always knows the hearts whether we call on Him as a witness or not. So in one sense, we are always under an oath to tell the truth. But since we live among truth-dodgers (and are sometimes ourselves), it is necessary and beneficial at times to swear an oath. Our society still respects oaths—whether it’s before a judge or at the altar or upon taking public office or by signing your name on some dotted line. Oath-taking promotes the public welfare by encouraging truth-telling and holding liars accountable. This is but one example of God’s common grace and one way in which Christians can act as leaven in the world and honor the Lord’s name all at the same time.” 

The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, Kevin DeYoung, pp. 175, 177 

“The mind is a marvelously, flexible mechanism that can do a remarkable amount of adjusting and rationalizing. The sins, or immoral acts that were so abhorred originally, become less objectionable after a few additional exposures where ‘tolerance’ is advocated as ‘the’ most desirable virtue. Tolerance gradually changes to acceptance, particularly if a genuine attachment is formed with the individuals involved. Acceptance moves to one of tacit approval which changes into approval and then involvement. Throughout the process, the rationalization procedure has been going full speed ahead. …
Professor Alexander M. Bickel of Yale University Law School … stated, ‘What it does is produce a moral atmosphere, and the moral atmosphere is the ultimate regulator of conduct. If something can be said, if it can be shown, if it is obviously permitted by society, then that society begins to think it is do-able.’ …
We’re kidding ourselves if we think we won’t be influenced by associating with the wrong crowd. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, married Philistine wives who worshipped idols. Guess what? It wasn’t long before his mind and judgment were no match for the evil which surrounded him. He too began to worship idols. Samson was the strongest man who ever lived, but under constant sexual pressure from Delilah, he succumbed to her wishes and told the secret which reduced him to blindness and slavery. Proverbs 22:24-27 is crystal clear about what the wrong association does; so is the Apostle Paul, when he writes, ‘Be not deceived; bad companions corrupt good morals.’ (1 Cor. 15:33 A.S.V.) …
Not only do we acquire the characteristics of the people we associate with on a steady basis, but we also become immune and desensitized to the noise and odors of our environment. … when you are around or with a negative, evil, or destructive situation or environment long enough you will go from objection to tolerance, from tolerance to acceptance, and from acceptance to participation and even enjoyment. It makes no difference how little it was to start with, it will grow. …
Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day until it becomes too strong to break. Then the strength of that habit cable takes us to the top — or ties us to the bottom, depending on whether it is a good habit or a bad one.
The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can do only a little. …
A slight concession initially, which led to more and bigger concessions until eventually these bad habits become a way of life.
All bad habits, trends, cancers, etc., start slowly, quietly, and apparently harmlessly. This is true on a personal, national and international level. Initially, it seems so foolish to make an issue out of ‘such a little thing.’
all bad habits start slowly and gradually and before you know you have the habit, the habit has you. …
The Supreme Court of public opinion is still the highest law in the land. …
The breakdown of morals for the individual begins with a slight concession. …
When I was a young father, my mother repeatedly said to me, ‘Son, your children more attention pay to what you do than what you say.’” 

See You At The Top, Zig Ziglar, pp. 262-265, 269-271, 275, 277, 279