Wednesday, October 04, 2006

10/4/06, Elders' Confidential Oath with Accompanying Letter

[Cover Letter]

From: Lyndon Dohms
To: _________
Cc: Greg Barrow ; Greg Price
Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 5:28 PM
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL - OATH

Dear ___,

Please confirm receipt of the attached document, by a reply email to all the Members of Session. (Pastor Greg Price, Elder Greg Barrow, and Elder Lyndon Dohms).

thank you,

Elder Lyndon Dohms

Clerk of Session

_________________________________________

[Attached (PDF)]

October 4, 2006

Dear ___,

Please confirm receipt of this document immediately by email to the Members of Session: Pastor Greg Price, Elder Greg Barrow, and Elder Lyndon Dohms.

The Session of the RPNA (GM) has received, reviewed, and accepted formal charges of sin that have been filed with this Court and in which charges you are formally named as a defendant. Please understand that this does not mean that the case has already been tried. However, we do find the charges to be in order. As is true with any case brought before the Court, this is a very serious matter that could potentially affect the status of your current membership in the RPNA (GM). Therefore, please carefully and prayerfully consider the following requirements that this lawful Court of Jesus Christ now imposes upon you (as defendant) and upon the plaintiff by lawful authority and out of love for Christ and His Church.

Preparatory to adjudicating the charges filed against you, the Court requires that a formal oath be taken by both plaintiff and defendant in which you both, in accord with your membership obligations, bear formal testimony in the name of Jesus Christ that you:

1. Have no known disagreement with the Terms of Communion of the RPNA (GM), and,

2. Formally own the Session of the RPNA (GM) as a lawful and faithful Court of Christ.

This is necessary, in the judgment of the Court, to ensure that all parties involved in this formal dispute (both the one making the charges and the one being charged) assure the Court of their continued commitment to adhere to the obligations agreed upon at the time of their membership.

The reasons for the Court making this oath mandatory are as follows:

1. Those doctrinal errors or practical scandals that require the Session of the RPNA (GM), as an authoritative Church Court, to refuse a person admission into the membership of the RPNA (GM), also, in consistency, require it to remove one who is already a member barring repentance.

Thus, if a person should come seeking membership in the RPNA (GM) and should not positively testify to the Court that he/she has no known disagreement with the Terms of Communion of the RPNA (GM), and that he/she positively “owns” this Court as a lawful and faithful Court of Jesus Christ, that one would “not” be admitted into membership. If this candidate for membership should say, “I don’t know (or I am not sure) if you are a lawful and faithful Court of Christ,” that person would be positively excluded from admission into membership within the RPNA (GM).

Likewise, if a person who is already a Member of the RPNA (GM)—having already affirmed in his/her membership agreement and by his/her continued membership in the RPNA (GM) that he/she has no known disagreement with the Terms of Communion of the RPNA (GM) and owns the Session of the RPNA (GM) as a Church Court that is both lawful and faithful—fails, when called upon to do so by a lawful authority, to positively continue to testify of these things, that one, also, would be excluded (i.e. removed) from membership within the RPNA (GM) barring repentance.

2. Failure to take a lawful oath, when imposed by lawful authority, in matters of great importance, is scandalous and against God’s law.

Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 22:2,3 states,

“Yet as, in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the word of God under the New Testament, as well as under the Old; so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken” (1 Kings 8:31; Ezra 10:5; Nehemiah 13:25).

“Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority” (Exodus 22:7-11; Numbers 5:19-21; Nehemiah 5:12).

Thus, failure to take the oath below would, in the judgment of this Court, be a dishonor to God, a scandal to the Church, a violation of your own membership agreement, and a disobedience to and dishonoring of the lawful ordinance of ecclesiastical authority given to the Session of the RPNA (GM) as a Court of Christ. Therefore, all who refuse such an oath (unless of course the oath is demonstrably unlawful) may and ought to be disciplined according to the rule of Christ set down in the Word of God in Matthew 18:17-20. This oath is not optional, and failure to sign this oath and return it to the Clerk of Session within the stipulated timeframe will result in the enactment of Church discipline, and barring repentance, will result in formal and public termination of your membership in the RPNA (GM).

Here then is the oath that the Court now imposes upon you (as defendant) by the lawful authority given to the Session of the RPNA (GM) from Christ who is Savior and Head of the Church:

I, ________, freely and voluntarily, according to my own conscience and not being induced or compelled by any unlawful external means, by the grace of God and in the name of Jesus Christ, sincerely, in the plain and common sense of these terms, without equivocation or mental reservation, formally testify that I, ________, in no way knowingly disagree with any of the five Terms of Membership of the RPNA (GM), or any of the six Terms of Communion of the RPNA (GM) inclusive of its published position papers (namely, “A Brief Defence Of Dissociation In The Present Circumstances”, “A Brief Testimony Against The Practice Of Occasional Hearing”, “The Common Cup: Evaluated From A Biblical, Historical, And Medical Perspective”, “The Practice Of Headcoverings In Public Worship”, “A Reformation Discussion Of Extraordinary Predictive Prophecy Subsequent To The Closing Of The Canon Of Scripture”, “Reformed Presbytery In North America Deed Of Constitution”, and “Position Paper And Response To Questions Circulated About Sessional Authority Within The RPNA (General Meeting)”), and I formally testify that I own the authority of the Session of the RPNA (GM) in both its extraordinary form and jurisdiction, which is presently comprised of Pastor Greg Price, Ruling Elder Greg Barrow, and Ruling Elder Lyndon Dohms, as that Presbyterian Church Court, which is both lawful and faithful to the true Covenanted testimony of Jesus Christ and is agreeable to the Scripture and to all of the Subordinate Documents [i.e. Standards - RPV] of the RPNA (GM). I further testify, in the name of Christ, that I do and will willingly submit to the Session of the RPNA (GM) (in so far as they conform to the Word of God), and that I will endeavor to conduct myself in this upcoming Court proceeding truthfully, honestly and charitably.


Signed,
__________


This signed oath must be returned to the Clerk of the Court, Elder Lyndon Dohms in papercopy (_____ ____, _______ ____, AB _______), or by email (in a PDF file with signature),at the following email address, lwdohms@___________ by 12 AM, Wednesday, October 18, 2006.


Dear Member, the Court appeals to you not only from the authority of Christ, but also from the love of Christ to fulfill this duty incumbent upon you as a Member of the RPNA (GM).

Please confirm receipt of this document immediately by email to the Members of Session: Pastor Greg Price, Elder Greg Barrow, and Elder Lyndon Dohms.

Respectfully submitted in the fear of God and in the love of Christ,

The Session of the RPNA (GM)
Pastor Greg Price
Elder Greg Barrow
Elder Lyndon Dohms

See also:
11/4/06, Standard RPNA(GM) Notice of Excommunication