PCC Covenant Opening Worship

The text of Rev. Jonathan Hong’s message during PCC Covenant opening worship on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

I once posted in social media a picture of me wearing a Toronto Blue Jays cap, and my cousin posted along the lines that I look like “a thug from the hood”, to which I replied, “I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me.”

Most of us here could say something similar about our denomination. We’ve been born into or have been a part of the PCC for a long time. I, however, like many of you did have the special opportunity of really affirming our denomination through my ordination vows, as I pledged myself and swore to uphold our subordinate standards. At the core of this decision was the belief that our denomination, the PCC, held Scripture to be our authority, our rule of faith and life. In June of this year, we will return to GA, and most likely to deal with the remits regarding human sexuality, remits desiring to change our doctrine, remits which are in contradiction to Scripture, remits which indicate that our Scriptures are no longer our authority, our rule of faith and life. It’s not that I don’t believe the discussions that we will be having today under the monikers of “stay and pray”, “leave”, “divide into two”, and “the undecided” are not important. They are important. But I believe our primary importance, that which is our primary responsibility to our denomination at GA this year, is to call them to account, to warn them that what has been the bedrock of our denomination for 145 years, namely the adherence to the authority of Scripture, is being rejected and undermined. As to what will happen to our buildings, our assets, our churches, our ministry charges, we trust in Christ, who as Romans 8:32 states, “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also along with Him graciously give us all things?” Which means to me that in life, we already have the victory through His Son, and whatever we need, Christ will give us. If we are robbed of our buildings, assets, churches, we still have Christ and will be given all that we need. We are able then to be the recipients of injustice and not retaliate in a manner which betrays the way of Christ. We can, as Jesus states in Matthew 5:38, not resist an evil person, turn the other cheek for another slap, and hand over our coat in addition to our shirt. Again, what consoles me, enables me to even think of being able to do this, is because not only do I know that I have all things in Christ, but that our Lord will come again and judge, and we will all have to stand before Him. For this very reason, to use the language of Ezekiel as watchmen on the watchtower, it is our responsibility and obligation to warn our friends, sisters and brothers in the PCC, about this judgment. Not because we want them to have their just deserts, but because we love them and want their good. So, this is a plea to you today, in addition to the important discussions that will be taking place today, to plan out various courses of action in response to the remits at this General Assembly. I pray that we will stand together to uphold our responsibility to God and our denomination by warning our denomination of the wrong direction we’re heading and calling them to account. Thank you for listening.

I just want to pray for us before we continue in worship. God, we just want to thank You for the privilege of being the PCC. In our hearts, we are so broken with those who want to take the PCC in a different direction, Lord. I know this brings a lot of pain to our hearts, a lot of sadness. But God, console our hearts at this time. Help us to see and realize that in Christ, we have all things, and that You will give us the consummation of everything in the new age, when we see You face to face, when heaven and earth become one. But God, until then, help us to realize that our primary calling is to be faithful to You and to continue to be a witness to You. Help us not to falter; help us not to fear from doing that, Lord God. And so, thank You for this opportunity where we will get to share and talk and discuss where we feel as if You are leading us. So, thank You that You speak to us and that You are with us. We pray this in Your name. Amen.

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