[The italicized final paragraphs on tacit/after the fact consent are included for the first time in this May '06 notice as compared to the previous in Oct. '05. See also the excommunication notice for 5/20/06.]
From: Greg Barrow
To: G.Price, L.Dohms, Nate P.
Bcc: Church List
Sent: Sunday, May 14, 2006 11:13 AM
Subject: RPNA (General Meeting) Session Announcement
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is our sad but necessary ministerial duty to announce publicly to those under our oversight, that _______ _____ of the Society of ______, has formally written to the Session to inform us that he has voluntarily withdrawn himself from membership within the Reformed Presbytery in North America (General Meeting). In that letter (dated January 14, 2006), ____ states:
“I voluntarily withdraw my membership from the RPNA--effective immediately.”
____ has been under the censure of Suspension from the Lord’s Supper since October 31, 2004. On various occasions attempts have been made to reclaim our brother, but to no avail. He has indicated that his mind is settled on this issue. We remain willing to speak with ____ and to pray that God will soften his heart, and open a way to a godly reconciliation in the future.
Because we believe ____’s withdrawal of membership from this faithful Church of Jesus Christ is a sinful division that promotes schism within the Church (1 Corinthians 12:25) and because ____ is obstinate in this sinful action and refuses to repent of these sins (Matthew 18:17), we must, sadly, now inform the Societies under our inspection that the membership status of _____ ___ has formally changed. We publicly declare ___ ______ to be placed upon our List of Deserters, and declare to the congregation that ____ ________ is now in a position of being formally excommunicated from the Visible Church. We do so in hope praying that God may by this action deliver him unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, THAT THE SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS (1 Corinthians 5:5). We take not this step because we hate ___, but because we love him and earnestly desire his repentance and reconciliation.
We remind the congregation that our duty toward ___ is to constantly and humbly pray for his reconciliation in the truth, and that each of us ought to be mindful and careful of our respective duties in regard to having familiar fellowship with those who are excommunicated from the Church. We would call to the attention of all who are under our inspection that to practice familiar fellowship with those who are excommunicated is likewise a sin that is censurable and contrary to the Word of God (1 Corinthians 5:11-13) and to our Terms of Communion (_The First Book of Discipline_, “The Seventh Head--Of Ecclesiastical Discipline”).
Finally, we would remind you that as members of the RPNA (General Meeting) each time you become informed of, or witness, a judicial action enacted by this court, you have a scriptural duty either to consent to that judicial action (either expressly or tacitly) as that done faithfully by a lawful court of Christ, or to dissent from it (expressly and formally in writing) should you deem this action to be unfaithfully done. Please note, that your consent need not be formally expressed, as we take silence in this matter to be your tacit consent and approval of both the lawfulness of our court and the faithfulness of judicial action being enacted. If you disagree with what we have done as a court, or for some reason believe that we are not lawfully constituted as a court of Christ, then it is your duty, according to God's Word and your membership agreement, to immediately, formally, and honestly express your dissent, reasons and/or questions in writing to the Session [italics added].
The Session of the RPNA (General Meeting)
Pastor Greg Price
Ruling Elder Lyndon Dohms
Ruling Elder Greg Barrow