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Question and Answer

OPC and the Holocaust


I am a member of the OPC and also a Jew. I was wondering if the OPC ever took a position on the Holocaust in the 1940's. Were any statements made or motions passed at General Assembly? Also, does the OPC currently have any missionaries serving in Israel?


The short answer—and, I believe, an accurate one—to your question is that the OPC has not taken an official position on the holocaust of the 1940s or spoken out on it in church courts. Nor on the Armenian genocide (c. 1895-1920). Nor on the millions Stalin killed. Nor on the Rwandan genocide. Nor on the Cambodian massacres. Nor on the Sudan atrocities! It was a genocidal century, a part of the legacy of human depravity.

Essentially the reason for not making an official pronouncement is that the OPC has over its history followed fairly closely the teaching of the Confession of Faith, XXXI:IV, and shied away from taking positions on civil affairs, except in so far as Scripture mandates such as proper for the church. But even though the General Assembly did not issue an official statement, the OPC has not been indifferent to the great human atrocities committed by Hitler and others like him. The evil acts committed are a blatant violation of the Word of God and the standards of the Church, and have been condemned by the OPC from its pulpits and among its members.

The OPC does not have any missionaries serving in Israel.

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.

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