General Assembly Actions and Position
of the Presbyterian Church in America
Mission and Purpose of the PCA
[Minutes of the First General Assembly, 1973, page 43, section 1-66]
In addition to the "Message to All Churches" (see pp. 7-10), the First General Assembly also adopted the report of the Committee on Mission to the United States, which contains similar declarations as to the mission and purpose of the Church. Though some of this is repetitious to that of the "Message to A ll Churches", the very fact that the Assembly declared herself in this way twice, indicates the great unity and commitment of that Assembly on these issues.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON MISSION TO THE UNITED STATES
From Holy Scripture we steadfastly affirm that the salvation of souls, the growth of Christ's church, even the coming of Christ's kingdom, of momentous importance though they may be and actually are, are but means to a still higher end, the highest of all ends - God's glorification. (Romans 11:36)
From Holy Scripture we unequivocally affirm the truth of our Lord's Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to every person, regardless of human position, in our local area, in our nation, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. We desire "distinctly and deliberately to inscribe on our church's banner as she now unfurls it to the world, in immediate connection with the headship of our Lord. His last command: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature;" regarding this as the great end of her organization, and obedience to it as the indispensable condition of her Lord's promised presence, and as one great comprehensive object, a proper conception of whose vast magnitude and grandeur is the only thing which, in connection with the love of Christ, can ever sufficiently arouse her energies and develop her resources so as to cause her to carry on, with the vigor and efficiency which true fealty to her Lord demands, those other agencies necessary to her internal growth and home prosperity." (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:46-48, Acts 1:8).
From Holy Scripture we unhesitatingly affirm that the theology of the historic Reformed faith as set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith as originally adopted in 1789 together with the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms requires vigorous evangelism to the end that God be glorified in the salvation of His elect. We are firmly persuaded that the more thoroughly Reformed a church is the more evangelistic it will be. Far from rendering evangelism superfluous, the Reformed doctrines of the sovereignty of God, predestination, and election demand zealous evangelism. All of God's elect must be saved. Not one of them may perish. And the gospel is the means by which God bestows saving faith upon them. An equally significant conclusion is that the Reformed doctrine of election guarantees that evangelism will result in genuine conversions. God is sure to bless His Word to the hearts of the elect into salvation. (Ephesians 1:11; Romans 9:11, 13, 16, 18; 2 Timothy 1:9; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 10:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).
From Holy Scripture we unalterably affirm that in the Presbyterian system of church government the church is not merely a superintendent but an agent of mission work. "We wish to develop the idea that the congregation of believers, as visibly organized, is the very society or corporation which is divinely called to do the work of the Lord. From the session to the General Assembly we shall strive to enlist all of our courts, as courts, in this Christian effort of mission work in the United States. We are not ashamed to confess that we are intensely Presbyterian. We embrace all other denominations in the arms of Christian fellowship and love, but our own scheme of government we humbly believe to be according to the pattern shown in the Scripture, and by God's grace, we propose to put its efficiency to the test." (Acts 15; 11:30, 14:24, 20:17, Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1; 2 Timothy 4:14; Titus 1:5, 7).
From Holy Scripture we resolutely affirm our desire that this part of the body of Christ and its Committee on Mission to the United States be zealous in evangelism, vigorous in developing churches in areas where there is no Reformed witness, enthusiastic in the spread of the gospel in specialized fields, earnest in training our constituency to do the work of evangelism, eager in being faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ to the end that God be glorified.
1984, p. 184, 12-90, III, 15
PURPOSE OF THE PCA
That the General Assembly adopt the following statement of purpose:
It is the purpose of the PCA to bring glory to God as a worshipping and serving community until the nations in which we live are filled with churches that make Jesus Christ and His Word their chief joy, and the nations of the world, hearing the Word are discipled in obedience to the Great Commission.
The Second General Assembly of the National Presbyterian Church, subsequently named the Presbyterian Church in America, adopted position papers proposed by two of its Committees, which restate the position of the Church on the mission of the Church. Again, we may find this repetitive of some of the language of the "Message to All Churches", but it is significant that these Committees were seeking to apply those principles of the "Message" to themselves.