Is Revival a Lost Dream?

Is the evangelical revival of The Presbyterian Church in Canada a lost dream?

Not necessarily.

The PCC may be officially affirming. It’s entirely possible that “liberty of conscience and action” regarding participation in ordinations and adherence to traditional definition of marriage may just be short-term accommodations. And it’s disheartening to see a majority of commissioners to 2022 General Assembly vote to remove the requirement for “balance and respect for both definitions of marriage in all correspondence sent to congregations, sessions, presbyteries and synods” as well as resources and workshops and board/committee membership.

But here’s the hope: if those who hold to Biblical orthodoxy (especially the non-Euros in the PCC) remain in the fold, they could represent the majority once again.

It could just take a generation or two.

The key is the creation of the Office of Cross Cultural Liaison, a tangible step to righting wrongs and encouraging a welcoming environment for Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Hungarian people and other congregations and people who have been marginalized. The new department would deal with the ethos that “exists throughout the Euro Canadian elements of the denomination that non-Euro Canadians are not really part of The Presbyterian Church in Canada until they have been assimilated into the dominant culture. This ethos frequently underlies acts of welcome which often have the goal of making the newcomers ‘like us’ as quickly as possible,” according to according to the Special Committee Responding to Petitions 1 and 2 (2021) which recommended the new office.

“Like us” — read “progressive and inclusive.”

The new office will enjoy wide-ranging power and responsibility with top bureaucrat status and will answer directly to General Assembly. It’s unprecedented.

Consider that these non-Euro elements of the PCC have been a “growing edge in the denomination … Over the last 20 years while the membership in the denomination has dropped by 55,000 members, the non-Euro Canadian presence in the denomination has doubled,” the Special Committee pointed out.

Consider also that the majority of Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Hungarian and other congregations hold conservative theological views.

Add it up.

If the non-Euros are offered a place at the table and if most of them adhere to orthodoxy and if their presence is the source of growth, then would the lack of “balance and respect” even matter in the long run?

This is a long game, with results that would bear fruit after many of us have departed. Can we wait that long?

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