Of course, the way MPPC is spinning it is as about theology, not polity. And they are entitled to believe that. Especially with quotes like this one:
...citing a 2011 PCUSA survey that suggested 41 percent agreed with the statement, “Only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved."I took that survey. And I am one of the 45 percent that marked that I disagree with that statement. Here's why:
Because the primary theological principle of the Reformed tradition is the Sovereignty of God. There is no way I was going to mark "strongly agree" on something that said "only followers of Jesus can be saved." Because to say that is to limit God's sovereignty. What if God decides to save someone who is not a follower of Jesus during their earthly life? Or is not a follower of Jesus in the way I think they should be? Can God save them? Absolutely yes. It is not my place as a fallible human being to limit God's power.
Jesus said "I have other sheep not of this fold" (John 10). The confessions say that we are to have "good hope for all" (Second Helvetic Confession, chapter 10). How then could we presume to answer an unequivocal yes to any question that states what God can or cannot do?
So yes, Menlo Park is right that this is a theological break. Because they have decided what God can and cannot do, and that is a break from the historic Reformed tradition. I wish them well as they seek another path. May all of us, whatever path the Spirit places us on, find ourselves daily in the presence of God.
**there are of course a variety of factors involved in this decision, ranging from property ownership to LGBT issues to a desire not to be burdened by other mission foci than their own. But this theological issue is the one they have cited as the heart of the problem, so I have taken them at their word.**