I expect this will be a multi-part post, at least in part because there is so much bad stuff that can go on in the committees of a meeting such as the PCUSA General Assembly. First up, its the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee, which has taken two significant actions.

First, it passed (52-1-1) the “Recommendations Regarding the Evangelical Presbyterian Church” with slight amendment. This means that the report (previously discussed here, though not in the detail I had originally intended) with all its flaws–lack of evidence to support its claims, endorsement of PCUSA interference in EPC affairs, misreading of its own denominational polity, etc.–goes to the full Assembly essentially intact and endorsed. Whatever.

Second, it refused (23-31-2) to send on to the full Assembly the paper “Christians and Jews: People of God.” That’s bad enough, but worse is the apparent reasons. The “comment” section is from the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns, and their recommendation for disapproval lists “content flaws” that come directly from the Israel Palestine Mission Network critique that I found so repulsive:

2.   Content Flaws

The ACREC also has concerns about the following topics discussed in the paper that deserve greater input from a wider and more diverse group of scholars and by those who are affected by the paper, such as the NMEPC.

·    The lack of Christology/ the Lordship of Christ

—Blurring the lines between Christianity and Judaism.

·    Theology of the Land

—Use of Scripture versus international law regarding Israel’s right to exist.

—Justifying Israel’s use of force through Scripture.

·    Endorsing Zionism, a political ideology

·    Separating theology from ethics

·    Demonization of Liberation Theology
Without having been there, I of course can’t say with any certainty that the ACREC’s problems with the document were the same as the committee’s. All I can go on is the fact that those were the only comments appended on the web page. But this doesn’t bode well for what kind of statements on the Middle East are going to come out of the GA this week.