23&37: The Strongest No Argument.

The single strongest argument against the overtures is this: everything is fine.

If that is the case, then– don’t fix what isn’t broken.

Missouri Presbytery surely cannot think everything is fine. They were raked over the coals. The thing might not be broken, yet it still might not work very well. No presbytery at this point can assume that it will not be pulled through a similarly demanding undertaking.

Men well informed have opined that the offered amendments would not have changed the outcome of that recent case before the Standing Judicial Commission. Of course, that does not make it a decisive precedent. Rather, that long detailed decision at most contains a version of one permutation in the larger set of possible complaints regarding homosexuality and office in the PCA. Beyond the specifics of its particular conclusions, the majority report provides only an informal and common sense precedent: similar cases will arrive.

If the offered amendments would not have changed the outcome, the rubric of Overture 23 may well have simplified the issue. Adding the offered specification would then not be fixing what is broken but improving the process for future complaints.

Of course, something is wrong. There is contention in the church about homosexuality and office. Generalized assertions have been voiced that the agitation arises from homophobia or fundamentalism or defective views of sanctification. Such pathologies would not be well addressed by the BCO; however, the locus of contention falls squarely in the substance of the BCO– qualification and examination for office.

Even if you can say "everything is fine" with a straight face and a bounce in your step, the issue will be revisited again. In place of implicit and intuitive soundness-- implicit and intuitive to some, the challenge deserves explicit and structuring standards.