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In the next few months the presbyteries of the PCA will be voting on proposed changes to the Book of Church Order that, if passed, will make the PCA congregationalist instead of presbyterian in character. And if these proposals have the effect of making the PCA a fellowship of loosely associated congregations, then they not only violate the presbyterian spirit of the Book of Church Order, but more importantly they violate the clear teaching of Scripture.

According to Christopher Columbus' diary from his 1492 voyage to America, one over-riding compulsion which drove him on the risky adventure was his wish to expand the gospel of Christ to the "isles at the ends of the earth." This evangelical concern stands out boldly in his diary. Later, the earliest immigrants from Europe, those who shaped America's culture, law, tradition, and ethics, were those who came from England. Our early forefathers were Pilgrims and Puritans - men and women of devout Christian faith. (In fact, as late as 1776 when the people declared independence, Puritanism provided the moral and religious background of fully 75% of the population.) The earliest English charters of the settlements in America made unequivocal references to their intent of spreading the Christian religion in the New World. The first charter of Virginia in 1606, the charter of Maryland in 1732, the charter of Massachusetts in 1729 are a few examples. The famous Mayflower Compact of 1620, which has been called the "foundation stone of democracy in America," states, "In the name of God, Amen. We .... having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony on the northern part of Virginia." The Massachusetts Civil Bay Code of 1640 made repeated references to Biblical law by direct citation and Scriptural annotation.

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