The hens are squawking and the goose is chasing David aross the barnyard...

(Tim) On the floor of Ohio Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of America, my brother, David, moved that the presbytery overture General Assembly to cut off the gravy train for the denomination's tiny circulation magazine, bYfAITH. The motion which easily passed calls for bYfAITH to be moved toward being self-supporting with all denominational funding to be cut off in 2012. bYfAITH responded this week with a piece leading one reader to comment: "The article is an excellent example of 'advocacy journalism,' albeit quite subtle, ecclesiastical-style."

Brother David made the motion because the denomination's administrators at the PCA's Atlanta headquarters have been pouring money into this failing venture year after year, all the while complaining that churches have not been faithful in funding their work. Turns out their shortfall each year has been about fifteen per cent of their budget, precisely the amount they have chosen to sink into a tepid, house organ that speaks only for the denomination's power brokers and the hip children they've spawned.

bYfAITH quoted David saying he didn't seek the end of support for bYfAITH because of dislike for bYfAITH. The motion had been written by others and was being taken before Central Indiana Presbtery. David was sent a copy of it, thought it had merit and when another church in Ohio Presbytery called for a study committee to address all AC publications and spending, David suggested the Indiana overture as a better alternative. It seemed like a good way to solve the chronic shortage of financial support the PCA's denominational apparatus suffers. Ohio Presbytery agreed and sent it on to General Assembly where the commissioners will watch as the Bills and Overtures Committee is lobbied by the good-old-boys and buries the overture.

So beyond its complete failure, financially, what's wrong with bYfAITH?

Check out this post--particularly my comment documenting bYfAITH's refusal to correct our Great White Hope in his bYfAITH article advocating woman deacons. This is typical of the reasons no one has ever been interested in subscribing to bYfAITH. (It also points to one of a number of reasons we no longer send men to Covenant Theological Semimary.)

bYfAITH ended their piece with this: 

While Bayly acknowledges his dislike for bYfAITH, he said his desire to see the Administrative Committee (denominatonal headquarters) on sound financial footing outweighed his personal feelings about the publication. “Had the funding issue not arisen, eliminating bYfAITH would never have been something I would have sought in this way,” he told bYfAITH. “I believe the Administrative Committee needs money, and I believe in giving to the Administrative Committee,” Bayly stated. Yet, according to published statistical records, Christ the Word, the church Bayly pastors, has made no contribution to the Administrative Committee.

Here's the deal. When David and the elders of Christ the Word first brought the church into the PCA, there were a couple years when they gave $30,000 per year at the request of Great Lakes Presbytery to support a church planting work of the presbytery. Since then, Christ the Word has given tens of thousands more to denominational work. So did David give to his denominational administrators?

Not to worry. Each year I gave double what I owed to the Administrative Committee. I was scrupulous about it. Meanwhile David paid the annual fee for this blog each year. So you see, from each according to his riches to each according to his need. All for one and one for all. A stitch in time saves nine. A penny saved is a penny earned. What's David's mine and what's mine is David's.

Simply to say that I covered David and David covered me.

Can anyone get a "Thank you!" from the denominational administrators and a "sorry" from the editor of bYfAITH?

Crazy to ask for an apology?

Hey, hope springs eternal in this human pest.

Comments

I see there are no comments yet, but I really like the title to this post.

If only David engaged in some sports, or had bought the $5,000 bicycle I encouraged him to get, he wouldn't be in that pickle with that goose. He'd be eating it! Yum........

OK, that aside, I fail to see what the significance of whether or not someone donates to something is. Does it make them wrong if they do not contribute?

Given the ability of individual churches these days to build the networks that they want to be part of - never mind individual Christians - I am almost tempted to suggest that denominations are obsolescent, if not obsolete. Your problems with byFaith are symptomatic of a wider issue that, "the centre cannot hold".

[I grew up in a denomination much smaller than the PCA and saw that its management, more often than not, bore a strong resemblance to 'herding cats'].

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