An Open Letter to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church(EPC)

The New River Presbytery (NRP) has presented a unanimous overture to the 44th General Assembly that would amend chapter nine of the Book of Government to add this clause:

“Men and women who identify as homosexual, even those who identify as homosexual and claim to practice celibacy in that self-identification, are disqualified from holding office in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.” 

This Open Letter is written in support of this overture. The issue before Mid-America Presbytery of receiving a same-sex attracted minister, Greg Johnson, and the congregation he serves (Memorial Church in St. Louis) into the EPC has raised severe distress throughout the EPC. Documents are beginning to work their way through the EPC, often advocating for Greg Johnson’s reception or taking a position against the NRP overture. We offer this Open Letter in the spirit of free speech and as an attempt to balance the discussion which has already begun. In fact, we believe it is imperative to offer an alternative document supporting the NRP overture, so that GA Commissioners will be able to make an informed decision on this serious issue.

We also believe adopting the NRP overture would align the EPC Book of Government with the teaching of Scripture and the Westminster Standards on homosexuality. The letter contains four sections, each providing reasons why a same-sex attracted person should be prohibited from ordination:

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