CON Contact Us DON Donate
Our History General Assembly Worldwide Outreach Ministries Standards Resources

Question and Answer

The Spirituality of the Church and a GA Conference


How can the OPC claim to believe in the “spirituality of the Church” when it invites the Vice President of an extreme right wing political think tank to speak at its General Assembly pre-conference on “Marriage, Sexuality, and Faithful Witness”? Does the OPC embrace the Heritage Foundation? If not, why didn’t it invite committed Reformed Christians from other sides of the political spectrum to participate?


Thank you for your question. It appears, however, that your understanding of the term “the spirituality of the church” differs from its historic meaning.

The term came to prominence in the 1850s and 60s with the strife in our nation. The northern Presbyterian church made a pronouncement that failure to obey the Federal Government was a sin. The churches of the South responded that the question of which civil authorities to obey (Federal or State) was a political question, not a biblically answerable one. The position that the church could only speak where the Scripture speaks gave rise to the description of this view as “the spirituality of the church.” Matters of concern for the church are those which the Word of God addresses: spiritual matters. Opinions on other matters (things on which the Scripture does not speak) are things indifferent to us as a church.

This particular panelist was regarded as an expert on changes in law with which Christians are now faced, and well known for the depth of her spiritual wisdom.

In a very real sense, this displays the spirituality of the church; we were in large measure indifferent to her political views (though not unaware of them). She was not present to speak or to represent anything but what the Scripture says on the subject matter of the conference. This panelist, as all the speakers, avoided political commentary from any point in the political spectrum. We did not pass judgment on her organization, favorably or otherwise. Our concern was spiritual, not political.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

© 2019 The Orthodox Presbyterian Church



Chaplains and Military Personnel

Diaconal Ministries


Inter-Church Relations

Ministerial Care

Planned Giving

Short-Term Missions


Church Directory

Daily Devotional

Audio Sermons

Trinity Hymnal

Camps & Conferences

Gospel Tracts

Book Reviews



Presbyterian Guardian