Why I cannot vote in favour of these remits

Remarks prepared by Rev. Joel Coppieters to the Presbytery of Montreal, October 15, 2019

I cannot vote in favour of these remits for biblical reasons. I echo the report the PCC’s own Church Doctrine Committee presented to the 2018 General Assembly, that after years of study we have not seen sufficient biblical grounds to abandon the longstanding Christian understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

I cannot vote in favour of these remits for theological reasons because my ordination vows included a pledge to uphold not only the Scriptures, at least two historic subordinate standards which these remits contradict.

I cannot vote in favour of these remits for ecclesial reasons. They would isolate the PCC from the overwhelming majority of global Christianity, excluding us from a wide fellowship of the church with whom we have always worked in moving forward the mission of God forward.

I cannot vote in favour of these remits for fear of the reprisals that will come. While the language of the remits themselves promise freedom of conscience and practice, several other clear written communications from the clerks of assembly have already defined that freedom in ways that are hostile and unworkable to those who hold traditional views.

I cannot vote in favour of these remits because while they speak the language of inclusion, they will in fact exclude my Christian brothers and sisters from dozens of countries around the world who are already part of the fellowship of our congregation.

I cannot vote in favour of these remits because I believe that the love of God not only includes and welcomes everyone, but that it also extends an invitation to a broken world, an offer of redemption and of recreation to a holy standard that our Creator has set with our best interests at heart. For me to proclaim any less would be to fail in my call as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.