Saturday, January 01, 2000

(Old/Original) What is This?

[10/30/06, revised 1/23/08, replaced 5/5/08]

To speak thus publicly against those who may be the precious sons of Zion, is a painful duty. That charity, however, which rejoiceth in the truth, requires of Christ's witnesses that they censure and rebuke, in a way competent to them, those of the household of faith whom they see and know to be in a course of error or of sin; Is. 58:l; Tit. 1:13
Act Declaration and Testimony, Supplement to Part 3, Section IV
as quoted in the June 14,'03 letter from TE Price, and RE's Barrow and Dohms shortly after the dissolution of the Reformed Presbytery of North America on June 6, '03).

This website is all about the recent 2006 through 2007 fuss in the former Reformed Presbytery of N. America, which now goes by the name of the RPNA (General Meeting) - though it is a GM in name only - concerning position papers, oaths and courts, lawful or no and subsequent "self inflicted" excommunications all of which matters are public and open knowledge in that body. Unfortunately as a professing reformed and presbyterian church of Christ and consequently a public and moral person, the honor of Christ's name is also necessarily involved, particularly if all this in house discipline is as unfaithful as the confidential loyalty oath is illegitimate. Perhaps all this is not as self evident as it could be, but we do not think it so difficult that a true child of God cannot come to a just conclusion after examining the issues.

To that end, an attempt has been made to present a timeline of all the information about and relevant dates and announcements since the dissolution of the Reformed Presbytery of N. America on June 6, '03 up to the present, so that the reader may make an informed and knowledgeable decision on the current controversies. They revolve in the main again around:

One, the Position Paper on Sessional Authority of 6/4/06 which is touted as establishing from Scripture, history and reason, the extraordinary congregational court of the RPNA(GM) - a presbyterian session with one teaching elder in Albany, NY and two ruling elders in Edmonton, AB that convenes over international long distance phone lines without announcement or minutes for all practical purpose and which exercises like international/continental jurisdiction over members and societies previously connected to the PRC of Edmonton/Reformed Presbytery in N. America.

Two, the Confidential Oath first proffered on 10/4/06 to uphold both the PPSA and the RPNA(GM) session before starting process/pursuing an unspecified complaint against the recipient of the oath before the court.

Three, the resulting excommunications from 11/4/06 - 7/14/07 of approximate 38 out of 90 communicant members for refusing the oath with possibly more to come. One never knows.

Even further, for the love and cause of Christ's truth and his people, some remarks are called for or one’s silence could be taken for a sinful acquiescence in and approval of what we clearly think is a carnal and arrogant policy of purging disaffected brethren, all the while dismissing any questions of substance and ignoring any questions on due process. Likewise, if the judicial actions of the "Session of the RPNA(GM)" are as valid as it claims them to be and those excommunicated by that body are actually cast out of the visible church, then it stands to reason that the visible church at large very much has a right and interest in actually being informed about those actions, much more their supposed basis.

That, if not the Scripture saith:
They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out (Acts 16:37).

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. (Isaiah 58:1-4).

But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light (Ephesians 5:13).

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4 ).

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more (Luke 12:48).