Monday, February 11, 2013

Intinction Ban Fails in the PCA

A proposal to ban "intinction" within the Presbyterian Church of America has failed. Intinction is the practice of communicants dipping the bread or wafer of The Lord's Supper into a common cup instead of receiving the bread and cup as separate elements of the sacrament.

The PCA's 40th General Assembly in 2012 passed an overture to revise the Book of Church Order to prohibit the practice of intinction. A number of churches within the denomination reportedly have been employing this method of serving communion. Two-thirds of the PCA’s 80 presbyteries were needed to approve the change. 

As of Jan. 23, 41 presbyteries had reported their vote. Twelve presbyteries had voted in favor of the prohibition; 29 had rejected it, making it impossible to reach the two-thirds required. The greatest amount of support for the prohibition within a single presbytery came from South Carolina's Calvary Presbytery, where Greenville Seminary is located. The revision was approved 45-17 (with 5 abstaining or passing) within the Calvary Presbytery. 

GPTS leaders and alumni within the PCA have generally spoken out against the  practice of intinction on grounds, among other things, that it confuses the significance of the two elements of the sacrament and is nowhere authorized in scripture. Although GPTS is not officially affiliated with the PCA, its constituency is largely from the PCA and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, along with a variety of other Reformed, Presbyterian and Reformed Baptist denominations in the United States, Canada and abroad. The only denomination to enter a formal sponsorship/accountability agreement with GPTS is the Reformed Church in the United States. GPTS is governed by its own Board of Trustees, which has members from a number of church bodies. 

Calvary Presbytery is hosting the 2013 PCA General Assembly in Greenville, S.C. GPTS is planning a special dinner event for commissioners at our campus on the evening of Thursday, June 19. To make a reservation, go here. Visit our booth at the G.A. exhibit hall at the TD Convention Center.