Saturday, December 29, 2007

12/29/07, Federal Vision's Fraudulent Revision of Reformed Worship

Some Necessary Background to the Current Federal Vision Assault on Justification By Faith Alone
(updated from 10/2/07)

While it is somewhat of an aside to the original reason for this website, it needs to be said that the relevant parties in the current Federal Vision controversy perturbing and disturbing contemporary P&R churches on the doctrine of justification by faith alone, previously had conducted a similar campaign and assault on the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW). Their deceitful modus operandi of distorting and misrepresenting a confessional position in order to supplant it with one of their own imagination hasn't changed. Unfortunately. Perhaps if the P&R churches had nipped things in the bud, things wouldn't have got to this stage, but the compromises on worship being what they were and still are in modern American P&R churches - though there has been some improvement - the FV got off easy on the RPW. Now they are back at it and serious about modifying the doctrine of justification by faith alone to fit their popish and judaizing style of worship.


Friday, December 28, 2007

12/28/07, . . . . And In Secret Have I Said Nothing

[updated through 1/2/08]
Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. John 18:20

Persecution in the Past and Elsewhere
There is no question that here in America and Canada, Christians do not face anything similiar to the Killing Times in Scotland after the Second Reformation of 1638 -51 had been overturned in church and state by the Acts Recissory of 1661. The persecution of presbyterianism
which followed the Acts resulted in the secret conventicles, armed or no, and the religious societies for prayer and fellowship that continued on to become the basis for the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanted) Church of Scotland and Ireland. Nor does the N. American church of Christ face anything like what it faces in China or Muslim nations today. There is no need for secrecy and an underground church. Not yet anyway.

Here Today
As long as one does not preach too loudly against the politically correct idols of abortion and marital pairing of perverts or even declare the not so peaceful/
orthodox nature of genuine Islam, American presidential comments to the contrary, the Internal Revenue Service will not revoke a church's charitable tax exempt status. Neither will the district attorney or the Atheist Criminal Liberties Union charge anyone with discrimination or a "hate crime". Granted, there are exceptions to the rule. But the religious entity referred to in the previous post is not an exception.


Secrecy as a Necessary Consequence?
Nevertheless we have been told by one credible witness that the same body is switching from emailing its members and adherents to phone or face to face conversations when it comes to any public announcements in the future concerning the church. This is evidently in order to prevent their "enemies" from learning anything or even harassing said group. We don't "know" this of course, because so far only one witness has come forth. But the circumstantial evidence is not good. [We do know that as previously reported, formal dissolution of the RPNA court is being considered. It is at least alluded to in the opening paragraphs of a sermon of Dec. 23, '07 entitled "Moving the Landmarks" on Prov. 22:28, of which sermon DV we shall have more to say later.] We think the concern for secrecy is not "enemies" per se, but rather the consequence of holding to an erroneous doctrine/application of ecclesiastical government. It could be tiresome enough to openly espouse and defend - or not so openly as we shall see below - an erroneous doctrine or application without having to work a day job at the same time.   

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/11/07, A Little Cloud Like A Man's Hand of 1 K.18:44?

If not Prov. 25:25?

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

It has been called to our attention recently that the officers of a particular extraordinary ecclesiastical entity or court have been considering formal dissolution. This, in a recent communication of Dec. 2 to the members of the same body - not for spiritual/doctrinal reasons unfortunately - but rather the practical and financial. Giving is currently down and without improvement, there will not be enough money to support even the one full time officer. Consequently there would be no use in continuing as a formal organization.

Hear, hear, even Heb. 12:27:

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

This is not anything like we think those who have been excommunicated might lawfully desire - repentance and admission of error from those responsible - but it is better than nothing and while we wish the officers personally no ill, we can not say the same as regards the “court” and its rulings.

Even further, we hope and pray God removes any and all scales from the eyes of any and all involved on both sides of this controversy; that right and wrong is providentially and decisively set forth so that no one might mistake it.

Yet the Lord willing, we look forward to more rain.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some Comments on Boston regarding Schism

A couple of months ago, Garnet Milne of the Covenanted Reformation website (New Zealand) had some interesting comments on Thomas Boston's well known sermon "The Evil and Dangers of Schism" based upon 1 Cor. 1:10. Boston preached this sermon in 1712 aiming it at the Cameronian covenanters of his day and vicinity, who would not attend worship services of the Church of Scotland as settled in 1690 at the Revolution, of which church Boston was a minister. 

11/27/07, A Question Upon the Occasion of the Recent National Day of Thanksgiving

Thankful to Who, How and When?

There is no question that the Scripture calls us to be thankful and that first and foremost to God. An attitude of gratitude is a given and of the first principle. If we are not, then the progression in sin and judgement begins as set out in the first chapter of Romans. "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened (Rom. 1:21)." Rather the problem with or objections to the National Day of Thanksgiving in America for reformed presbyterians lies in other areas. One, there are no rote religious anniversary thanksgiving days authorized in Scripture other than the one day in seven New Testament Lord’s Day. Yet there are occasional days of public thanksgiving or fasting depending on the extraordinary circumstances of the time. Two, the civil magistrate does not have authority to call a religious thanksgiving or fast day without consulting with and advice from the church. Three, in a country such as ours which formally recognizes no religion and has trampled on the law of God, to observe a religious day of thanksgiving is hypocritical, if not presumptuous.

Monday, August 20, 2007

8/20/07, More Non Sequiturs from Mr. NS

A Reply to Principium 1643

[links added/updated 10/15/07]


Principium 1643 (P1643) seems to be of fairly recent vintage, first showing up on the radar screen about a month ago to our knowledge. (It used to be found here, but seems to have moved here and is dated 7/8/07.) For us, it printed out at 82 pages with numerous subheadings in two sections that together sprawl almost 40,000 words. (See it here for the pagination referenced in this reply). While some have called P1643 “masterful” and “brilliant”, we are not so minded. Rather as another has said, ‘methinks the brother doth protest too much.’ That, if not the brother is too clever by half. In our opinion, P1643 is a curious, confused and disjointed document regardless if one agrees with it or not. Obviously as below, we don’t, much more we think it a mean spirited and petty diatribe on top of and besides its errors and sidestepping of the real questions at issue, but in that we are party to the controversy, the readers may judge that for themselves after wading through it, if they are up to it.

I: An Erroneous Defence of the Extraordinary Court
The first section (pp.1-52) essentially defends the extraordinary international congregational court of the “RPNA(GM)” which has presbyterial, if not synodical power, authority and jurisdiction. (This is the same extraordinary court which released its official Position Paper on Sessional Authority (PPSA), justifying its existence just over a year ago, on June 4, ‘06.) Its main argument seems to be, in that it lacks any kind of introduction or an explicit statement of its thesis, that the fixedness of officers and members are not essential to either a presbyterian court or church. This from the Form of Presbyterial Church Government found in the Westminster Standards which P1643 quotes a number of times:
“The several congregations in Jerusalem being one church, the elders of the church are mentioned as meeting together for acts of government; which proves that those several congregations were under one presbyterial government. And whether these congregations were fixed or not fixed, in regard of officers or members, it is all one as to the truth of the proposition (FPP, 1997, p.408 as quoted pp. 4, 10,11,25,47, P1643, emph. added).
Unfortunately though, this is irrelevant and a diversion from the real issue that has split the former RPNA, however endemic to the “RPNA(GM)” and its apologists the whole idea is, of asking and answering the wrong question. Rather that before the house and publicly since 11/8/06, is whether the standard historical-grammatical exegesis of Matt. 18:20 ever understands “gathered together in my name” as anything other than two or more officers actually coming together face to face in a fixed stated meeting; that the officers in a given court actually “brush shoulders” with each other, never mind the members of the church or churches over which the court has jurisdiction. It was first asked in direct reply to the query by the elders 11/4/06 (under Section 6) as to where in Scripture, disaffected brethren could find proof for a temporary extraordinary [local] session, but not a permanent extraordinary [out of town] session. Any further comments on Matt. 18:20 have not been forthcoming from the elders that we are aware of, though perhaps as the future son in law of an elder, Mr. NS’s paper should be understood as an authoritative statement of the “RPNA(GM)” position in what seems to be the standard ad hoc/tacit/extraordinary/convenient/expedient/merciful mode of operation that is typical of the organization.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

7/8/07 Principium 1643

Principle, Application & History

Section 1

Historical testimony: Judicial criteria/presuppositional accountability



Distinctions:


  1. Circumstance (true facts)
  2. Principle (sound doctrinal position)
  3. Application (sound doctrine logically applied via argument)



Historical testimony ought not to be abusively used as an absolute and unalterable template regarding what may or may not be done within differing circumstances. Our historic subordinate standards themselves assume the same, a prior. Since the subject of ordinary and extraordinary applications has been quite popular in our day, the same subject may serve as an example:



11. In extraordinary cases, something extraordinary may be done, until a settled order may be had, yet keeping as near as possibly may be to the rule. The Form of Church Government, pg. 412



Questions:


  1. Extraordinary cases when?
  2. Applied in how many circumstances? One? Two? Three?
  3. What are the parameters of possibilities?
  4. How is possibility gauged between settled and unsettled?



Here we have a judicial determination establishing a general principle that may be applied, but it does not explicitly establish every particular case of application. It was never meant to explicitly establish every particular case of application, nor could it possibly do so. This being the case, to assume the application of our subordinate standards must have a 1-1 correspondence with every historical instance, would be to inject a foreign and impossible idea into documents themselves and the original intention of those who framed them. Such an approach operates upon a format of obsessive and abusive historical searches for the explicit. The approach would consequently choke the life out of the church from circumstance to circumstance. Logically, the church could never adapt or apply principle in any circumstance due to the absence of a preceding/explicit judicial action to “justify” it – thus terminating as a non-starter for any new judicial action throughout the history of the ecclesiastical world. Consequently, the necessary flow of judicial action would then be contingent upon the non-existent (historically explicit judicial instances), which categorically

Sunday, June 10, 2007

6/10/07, The Email Fraud: "To Whom It May Concern" Summarized

or The Case of the Belligerent (Want To Be) Barrister Revisited: False and deceptive pretenses are not agreeable to Scripture when it comes to either damage control or defending the faith.
[updated 12/28/07]


While we aren't scrambling to find Sherlock Holmes's current cellphone number, the latest "who done it" in the RPNA(GM) still should be of some interest to more than just the amateur sleuths in the audience. On 5/14/07, a number of those who were recently excommunicated from the RPNA(GM), received an interesting and anonymous email. In so many words, this unsigned missive threatened those who received it with a lawsuit. Certain unspecified items published or circulated on the internet by the parties who received the document were alleged to be defamatory of character and an invasion of privacy. They were to be removed from public circulation on the internet under pain of legal action and pursuit for damages. Entitled "To Whom It may Concern," it starts out by saying:
You have been identified as a person or organization that may be of interest in regards to the following matter under investigation. It has been brought to our attention by several private and aggrieved parties that the content of an Internet publication(s) that you either control, influence, or create or provide content for, allegedly contains that which is defamatory of specific persons and organizations expressly being named therein. You may have created or posted defamatory information, or facilitated its publication. . . . . . [Go here for the rest of the document.]
Unfortunately for its author and those who would approve of his tactics contra 1 Cor. 6, a public query went out 5/24/07 from one who had received it and the beginning of the end of our identity fraud/impersonator commenced.

Come to find out, Niwot, Colorado - rather than Nigeria - was the origin of this scam which utilized the services of an email address service. For a price, the Mail.com [updated] website allows you to send mail from lawyer.com, doctor.com or even toothfairy. com. (In the interests of full disclosure, unfortunately fraud.com was not listed, but one may still go here for a free account. Click the red "Sign Up Now" button. Then click the red "See all our domains" button and look under the “Jobs” heading.) The discussion and exposé of this low rent and rogue version of Perry Mason took place on two lists. One was that containing members and former members of the "RPNA(GM)." The other was on a RP covenanter discussion forum, the Covenant Reformation Club. The relevant posts for the first may be found here, the second here.

In both instances, some of the participants indicated that they would prefer not to see their posts publicized more broadly. We have attempted to meet them halfway as it were by putting initials for last names, but on the other hand there comes a time to stand up and be counted. What we have here, is a blatantly fraudulent attempt to squash public discussion of the Rpnagm's extraordinary court, its Position Paper, its Confidential Oath and its public Excommunications Notices. Those who would soft pedal that or ignore it, need to realize that and admit it. "To Whom It May Concern" is not a by any means lawful attempt, nor has there really been one, to substantially and materially deal with the objections and questions that bear on all the recent unpleasantness in Rpnagm circles. Neither is it a reasonable and specific request for the removal of unnecessary personal information or supposedly defamatory statements by any would be defendants. Rather it is an obvious attempt at intimidation and an open and shut instance of Rom. 3:8, 'Let us do evil, that (supposedly) good may come'. Evidently as per the doctrine of tacit consent in the Rpnagm, deception and intimidation are the best tactics when it comes to a defense of and a discussion of current public "judicial" rulings and documents.

But what else is new? The Confidential Oath never specified the plaintiff or charges and for all anybody knows, those who declined it still walk on in their unspecified sins to this day, not to mention the alleged sin of disobedience to the lawful authority of the extraordinary Rpnagm court in refusing the oath in the first place. Deceptive damage control though, is paramount in certain retro presbyterian circles and "TWIMC" is a sterling example. We also await breathlessly for the extraordinary Rpnagm court to abjure and condemn this and other similiar efforts to defend that same 'court'. Yet tacit consent again being what it is in Rpnagm circles, we can only assume TWIMC is an approved example and will become historical (we almost said hysterical) testimony on how the flock, much more the shepherds are to deal with objections to the pogrom.

That pogrom would include again:

1. The Position Paper on Sessional Authority

Scripture
The exposition of Matt. 18:20 (pp. 4-6) again ignores and glosses over what the text assumes. The two or more officers that meet to constitute a court, meet in one place in person face to face. That is the grammatical historical meaning of “sunago” in assembling or gathering together, from which the term “sunagoge" or "synagogue” is derived from in the Greek. As for Acts 15 (pp.7-9), not only is the extraordinary congregational court usurping the power of and impersonating a national or international synod, the apostles and elders personally accompanied the written edict from the synod at Jerusalem in order to preach, teach and answer questions about it personally face to face. But that is ignored as the PP cherry picks its way to the predetermined end. The synod could have just as well sent out its decision in writing alone, which was the technology of the day, just as the PP was sent out by email alone. But it did not. Something that important merited a better presentation and personal face to face treatment, which, need we say, is easier done today than in those days.

History
When it comes to Reformed Presbyterian historical testimony, again the Position Paper adds drunkeness to thirst and falls between the stools in that, if anything, the absence of any genuine RP historical testimony is notorious and telling. The instance from a secondary source such as the Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology is not authoritative in its own right, much more the section cited (p.11-12) does not categorically establish a extraordinary permanent standing congregational court as asserted (if not the quote from the DSCH&T on p.19 of the PP tells us that the particular elderships of the 2nd Book of Discipline 7:10 are greater presbyteries rather than lesser - classical assemblies rather than congregational sessions. The same could be argued of Geo. Gillespie, the most quoted theologian of the PP, in "Digression Four" of his Dispute Against Eng. Popish Ceremonies, (1993, NP, pp.380,1.)) A temporary session can just as easily fill the bill and has been the known solution of choice in the past in RP history, contra the unconclusive Privy Kirk example cited which preceded the establishment of the Reformation and the Reformed Church in Scotland.

To those who say that this one example of a temporary session is insufficient to establish any precedent in the discussion, we might as well reply that there is also only one example of “self excommunication” mentioned in the judicial Minutes of the Reformed Presbytery of America, the same of which the RPNA – when it existed – and now the Rpnagm claim to be the continuing moral person of and lawful constitutional descendant. But that did not stop the extraordinary court’s appeal to that one example, which is fair enough as far as it goes. But then maybe someone should follow their own example and get serious about the Reformed Presbytery instead of just using the name as eyewash and a cover for what it actually is, a departure from historic RP practice.

Particularly in that, as has been mentioned before, most recently in the Testimony Against Departure, the Act, Declaration and Testimony of the Reformed Presbytery (Supplement IV, XVII ) clearly states that:
They [the Reformed Presbytery] further reject and condemn that sectarian principle and tenet, whether in former or latter times maintained, that a kirk session, or particular congregational eldership, is vested with equal ecclesiastical power and authority, with any superior judicatory, and is neither subordinate nor accountable to them (in the Lord) in their determinations. (1876, pp.197-198)
But this is exactly what our extraordinary, never mind ordinary, ‘session’ has done above, in regards to Acts 15 in claiming international synodical power, if not also presbyterial and that on the basis of “Internet and modern phone communications (PP, p. 9).” All this as judicially and arrogantly assumed and asserted by the exact same court in question.

Reason.
The PPSA is also shot through with the logical fallacy of the undistributed middle term. Time and time again, examples are cited in which the significant parallels are missing between the "court" and the example. These run in Q.1 from a church alone in an island of which its officers can and ordinarily do meet amongst themselves (p.3) as compared to the extraordinary session which ordinarily can't and doesn't meet together to the example of Acts 15 (pp 7-9) and the Grand Debate on presbytery (pp.10,11), each of which have a plurality of teaching elders, again something which the Rpnagm court most emphatically does not have.

As for the PP’s justification of the name of the Rpna(gm) in Q.4 , it goes so far and no further. True the same terms of communion justify having the same name as another ecclesiastical body, but even further among that set, there are also finer distinctions to be made. Otherwise as noted before, we are left with the absurdity of being able to call the Societys of either St. Louis or Southern California for instance, the 'Session of the Rpna(gm)'. Rather names declare not only one’s agreement with certain terms of communion, but go on to further distinguish between groups that hold those terms rather than blur further geographic or governmental distinctions. The Rpna(gm) is not the Church of Scotland (Protesting) in the commonly understood sense, though it is in another in that they are supposedly agreed on the same terms of Communion. This contra not only the PP, but a personal letter by TE Price to the undersigned previously on the subject. As such it would seem to indicate that this erroneous reasoning and doctrine is ingrained in the thinking of the Rpna(gm), which is not to its credit.

2. The Confidential Oath

When it comes to the same, 'Compromised' would be more apt. One swears to uphold the PP and the court it attempts to justify. Yet it appears also to prelimit and commit one to they know not what, as well a defendant is never called to take a Loyalty Oath during a trial, never mind before. One is reminded of the behavior and historical testimony of the High Commission, in requiring an oath of Henry Barrow to testify against himself under questioning by the Archbishop in 1587. Any court worth its salt would merely charge the defendants and let the matter fall out as it may. If they refused to appear, they would be ruled in contempt and cited which is perhaps what would have happened in the end in all this, but be that as it may, the oath is still compromising and suspect, necessarily affirming as it does the erroneous Position Paper on Sessional Authority.

3. The Public Notices of Excommunication

These run pretty true to form and are largely boilerplate affairs. Basically those who refused to swear the oath to affirm the Session of the Rpna(gm) as a lawful court or who asked to be taken off the membership list or even refused to uphold the previous excommunications are considered guilty of a sinful division and schism in the body of Christ and to have voluntarily and actively excommunicated themselves from the Rpna(gm) and therefore the "Visible Church".

Even further, as pointed out in the last of the For Your Consideration series on excommunication, Q.6. there is an obligation to announce for three weeks the impending sentence of excommunication on those even guilty of offences that automatically deserve public repentance. The same offences automatically mean that one is called before the session immediately rather than going the Matt. 18 route of admonishment by private brethren first:
(T)he scandal being known, the offender should be called before the ministry, his crime proven, accused, rebuked, and he commanded publicly to satisfy the church; which if the offender refuses, they may proceed to excommunication, as after shall be declared. If the offender appears not, summons ought to pass to the third time; and then in case he appears not, the church may discern the sentence to be pronounced (The Order of Excommunication and of Public Repentance 1569 ).
"As after shall be declared" refers to the following paragraphs which deal with more minor and common offences which may, due to obstinacy, come to the point that public admonishment and sentence of excommunication is called for after being announced three Sundays in church. That "summons ought to pass to the third time" for the one guilty of an offence that automatically requires public repentance, further substantiates the interpretation contra the Rpna(gm) excommunications, that announcement for three Sundays ought to proceed excommunication of even those supposedly guilty of "common contempt of the order of the church". After all that was essentially what those who first publicly protested the Confidential Oath 10/18/06, were accused of, "common contempt of the order of the church" in refusing a 'lawful' oath by a 'lawful' court in a lawful church of Christ with the summary self excommunications following.

Conclusion

While the Oath and the excommunications have their own problems, everything, including the Rpna(gm)'s extraordinary congregational court, stands or falls with the Position Paper on Sessional Authority. If it goes, so too the court it attempts to legitimize. Likewise the Oath is meaningless and the excommunications null and void. Neither do we think that there is any confusion at all that we are obviously of the distinct and decided opinion that the PPSA has to fall under any reasonable examination by anyone knowledgeable of Scripture, history or reason. Of course it would be nice if the parties responsible for these three items of their own free will, would repent of them and make public restitution by retracting them. Barring that, we intend to continue to do what we can to expose the PPSA, the Oath and the Excommunications for what they are, empty excuses for the real thing and devoid of any genuine appeal to Scripture, history and reason in order to establish what they respectively and erroneously assert. This, regardless of our fearless and fraudulent barrister hiding in the shadows with his hollow cries and accusations of "defamation" and invasion of privacy by anyone who publishes the "relatively private" correspondence and documents that surround this mess.

We would further respectfully suggest that any defamation of character and corresponding sentence of incompetence is self inflicted by the parties he so zealously and mistakenly aims to defend in such a flagrantly crooked manner as he does in "To Whom It May Concern." Much more our pretended private investigator himself is also self condemned and defamed by this document which he needs to repent of and publicly retract. The cover of darkness is essential to the sleight of argument that would substitute the counterfeit Rpna(gm) doctrine of tacit - i.e ignorant - consent for the informed consent required of any who would claim to be the legitimate descendant and continuing moral person of the Bereans. But that is not how things are done in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ and if our brother was unaware of it before, he is not now.

Acts 17:10, 11 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Ephesians 5:13,14 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.



Wednesday, June 06, 2007

5/23/07, For Your Consideration: Q6. Misinterpretation by Price, Barrow, and Dohms

The other posts in the series are:
For Your Consideration
Q.1 Excommunication by Email?
Q.2 Limits of Modern Technology?
Q.3 Immediate Excommunication?
Q.4 What is the standard Presbyterian procedure for excommunication?
Q.5. Scriptural Justification for a Three Week Excommunication Notice
Q.7 Why Read the Banns?

From: Stan B.
To: List
Cc: Lyndon Dohms ; Greg Price ; Greg Barrow
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 9:05 PM
Subject: Q6: Misinterpretation by Price, Barrow, and Dohms

Dear Brethren,

Thanking you for your continued patience, I submit the following for your consideration.

Your brother,
Stan

P.S. My private correspondence with Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms, which is referenced below, is available to anyone who requests it.
===================================================================

6. Did Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms misinterpret _The Order of Excommunication and of Public Repentance_?

In the last three articles (Questions #3, #4, and #5) I have presented arguments from Scripture, Presbyterian historical testimony, and the light of nature to support the view that multiple public admonitions should precede a pronouncement of excommunication, whether the case is private or public. This analysis, if correct, is sufficient to demonstrate that the proper Biblical and Presbyterian procedure was not carried out in the recent pronouncements of excommunication by Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms, thus rendering these pronouncements null and void.

Nevertheless, I thought it might be helpful to explain in detail where these men erred in their specific interpretation of _The Order of Excommunication and of Public Repentance_. In their letter of November 4, 2006, they argue that this document allows for someone guilty of public sin to be immediately excommunicated (i.e., without any prior public admonitions). The question of their interpretation of this document is worth its own investigation, because it reveals a clear instance in which these men have distorted historic Presbyterianism beyond recognition, not only in their misapplication to "extraordinary times" but in their very misinterpretation of the historic document itself.

Lest anyone should take offense at my publicly arguing against the doctrine and practice of these men, I offer two points of defense. First, public errors deserve public correction, and my hope is that these articles of mine will assist fellow brethren in distinguishing truth from error. If even one person is saved from having to repeat our lamentable experience, the labor will be worth it. Secondly, I tried in all sincerity to avoid this public route as much as I could. . . . .
(Go here for the rest of the post)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

5/27/07, A Testimony Against Departure

From: Rod S.
To: [List]
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 7:40 PM
Subject: A Letter To You

Dear Brethren;
As people of association and membership in the Puritan Reformed Church since 1993 (now known as the RPNAGM), we believe the attached letter may offer a perspective not considered by many up to this point and hope you will prayerfully read it without bias.
A reasonable amount of time has passed since we received the Confidential Oath. This has allowed us to reflect, pray and finally to carefully compose this letter in the absence of any attempt by Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms to contact us in the past 6 months.
We do not speak on behalf of the Prince George Society, but only testify of our own household. It is presumed for purposes of brevity and minimal referencing that those to whom this testimony is written are reasonably familiar with the topic, with the correspondence of the past 3 or so years and with basic principles of Presbyterian church government.
We write in the interest of God's cause in the world, to assert and maintain the Truth of His Word and not to partake in any renunciation or denial of it. We hope here to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.

Yours in Christ,
Rod and Milly S.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Page 1

Testimony Against Departure

This is to bear public testimony against the minister Mr. Greg Price, and elders Mr. Greg Barrow and Mr. Lyndon Dohms, as constituting the ‘so-called session of the RPNA (GM)’, and to contend against their departure from our Reformed and Presbyterian Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion. They have quenched the small glimmer of hope of Christ’s own for reformation in this dark age, creating schism from the faithful Church historical and would return Christ’s own to the labyrinth of further Sectarian corruptions. The Solemn League and Covenant, (term 4 of our Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion), term II, says: “we shall … without respect of persons, endeavour the extirpation of … heresy, schism, … and whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness”.(1) Further, the Solemn Acknowledgement of Publick Sins, and Breaches of The Covenant laments such tolerations because many “have not made conscience of the oath of God” and again obliges us to the extirpation of such tolerations and to “pray unto God, that he would give us able men, fearing God, men of truth, and hating covetousness, to judge and bear charge among his people”.(2) As such, it is not in our power either to repent or to quietly wander off as so-called excommunicants via the so-called Confidential Oath with its secret charge of sin. This ‘excommunication’ was for having asked questions, with the Prince George Society (PGS), concerning the place of the Short Directory for Religious Societies in light of the dissolve of Presbytery June 2003 and concerning the surprise constitution and intrusion of an ‘extraordinary’ standing international session, contrary to scripture. Such constitution and intrusion alters ‘the unalterable Presbyterian order’(3) for both settled and extraordinary times that ‘we have made a conscienced oath of God’ to protect. Rather, according to the faithfulness of our Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion, it is necessary to testify against this usurping, defecting and pretended Court.

Contents
Supposed Tacit and Explicit Consent
Matthew 5 and 18
Principle of Non-Intrusion
Regulative Principle of Church Government
Principle of Accountability
Summary
Personal Testimony

1.Westminster Confession of Faith, (Glasgow: Free Presbyterian, 1990), 359.
2. ibid., 368.
3. See term #3 of our Six Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion.


_____________________________________________________________________________
Page 2

Supposed Tacit and Explicit Consent
In the Position Paper and Response to Questions Circulated About Sessional Authority Within The RPNA (General Meeting) (PPSA) of 2006, pages 13-14, these men assert that, post 2003 Presbytery dissolve, their “extraordinary organized” standing international sessional Court came to being:
we continued functioning as a Church Court upon dissolution of our Presbytery, and … within a very short time … we were ‘publicly’ admitting members and exercising acts of Church power that only a Church Court may exercise. This was done publicly with the consent and participation of our membership. This consent (whether explicitly or tacitly) and actual participation by those in our membership indicated to us that those under our inspection agreed with us that we had the Scriptural right to exercise acts of Church power as a lawful Court of Christ.
Much might be said, and has been publicly said, in question of the many assertions in this quote. One such question is: Does the receiving of new members, communion membership, baptisms and serving the Lord’s Supper, which is all that took place up to October 31, 2004 (Appendix A), indicate, in terms of Presbyterianism, the necessary existence of a standing Court of Christ ‘as self-evident’? (No public announcement and formal declaration of constitution seeking consent of membership was made to the societies at that time). Or might it have, in light of the circumstances and in complete absence of any formal and necessary declaration of constitution, only ‘self-evidenced’ a temporary session for those specific functions?
What direction might our higher court General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland offer as an example of Scriptural tacit and explicit consent? Would they not follow the biblical procedural example of Acts 15 and the many instances in the Old Testament of ecclesiastical, civil and social covenanting wherein tacit and explicit consent gathering is exampled?(4) Consider from their Acts, our Westminster Standards or Symbols, “for the establishing and putting into Execution of the Directory for the Publick Worship of God” pages 371-72, where they say,

(T)he General Assembly … after several publick readings of it, after much deliberation, both publickly and in private committees, after full liberty given to all to object against it, and earnest invitations of all who have any scruples about it, to make known the same, that they might be satisfied; doth unanimously, and without a contrary voice, agree to and approve the following Directory.(5)

This is the same procedure given in the Act approving The Form of Presbyterial Church Government.(6) The Biblical and Presbyterian order is first a formal unambiguous informing of members, then seeking their tacit consent, which is satisfaction of all questions, and lastly, the seeking of a formal unambiguous informed explicit ratification via an ordered vote. Might a lesser regular sessional court, let alone an ‘extraordinary’ one, then do less than the higher? It would be helpful here if you the reader imagined for yourself the General Assembly having followed the procedural

4. Procedures used throughout Deuteronomy and in Nehemiah chap. 8-9, etc.
5. Westminster Confession of Faith, 371-372.
6. Ibid., 396.

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example of Mr. Price, Mr. Barrow and Mr. Dohms for establishing and putting into Execution of the Directory. There would be no public announcement, no public deliberation, no liberty given to object, no invitation to any with scruples to make them known and be satisfied and no seeking informed consent prior to its implementation, they would just quietly put the Directory into execution and if enough members noticed after the fact, they would deal with it later as in a PPSA. Then to have the Assembly charge with sin those seeking a means to be heard after the fact (e.g. ‘The Effort’s’ Charitable Inquiry), when all other means had proved futile, would appear to be the height of hubris and folly in light of Scripture.
The ‘session’ often invoked the use of the phrase ‘extraordinary’ to avoid or excuse themselves from adhering to the unalterable Presbyterian principles and to justify their means to their perceived ends. This is not to be received other than as an equivocation of the use of the term ‘extraordinary’ in the historical testimony of Presbyterianism.
However, we particularly testify against the assertion of consent, ‘whether explicitly or tacitly’. In the above quote from the PPSA, it is knowingly and falsely asserted by these men that they had the consent of the membership as to their ‘extraordinary’ standing international session. In fact it seems this is one of the reasons that the PPSA was written 3 ½ years after the fact – they must assert this supposed consent because of the growing dissent as individuals became informed of what had actually taken place. Our household, along with the PGS, up until the July 4th 2004 weekend, were unaware that these men were asserting anything other than a temporary session. According to historical testimony in like circumstances, they should have reverted to a temporary session (and not to anything other), allowing them to exercise the keys of order and worship, but they should have done so with public declaration and informed consent. From July 4th 2004 until today, they knew our household did not consent, and they knew this both ‘explicitly and tacitly’ in our part with the PGS in its questions over this and related issues.
Consent whether explicit or tacit must be informed and the informing was withheld. In fact, their patent false read of membership’s so-called ‘consent’ that they assert has become blatantly clear, as the list of those served with the Confidential Oath and consequently ‘excommunicated’ over this issue continues to grow. In short, this assertion of having consent from the membership is contrary to what they knew and an inexcusable, perpetrated falsehood by these men to hold the power of the judicial key without accountability. Historically it is Papists, Prelates, and Erastians who have entitled themselves to dispose of such matters of consent according to their own judgment of the validity of the people’s objections, suppressing the right of the Christian people to have a real and effective voice. The Reformers always looked to establish the right of the Christian people to have a real and effective voice and thus informed.
Further, the consent that these men assert was, in essence, a secret vote that was so secret that only they were privy to it and those supposedly giving consent were not informed. Our household did not know that our actions constituted consent, particularly when our actions were for 3 ½ years tacitly and thus explicitly not consenting, but questioning the lawfulness of their Court. By analogy, they called a secret vote, filled in the ballots themselves, counted them up and determined consent for their ‘extraordinary’ Court established by landslide.

7. See further: Pr. 11:30; Dan. 12:3; I Cor. 9:16-19; *Gal. 6:1; *II Tim. 2:24-26; James 5:19-20; Jude 21-23.
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Matthew 5 and 18
Matthew 18 has on numerous occasions been called upon or suspended in lawful application by these men when it has suited their ends in defending their claimed power of the judicial key. Many instances might be cited, but one multiple example of this is all that is necessary. Mr. Price on March 30, 2007 in an Email to Mr. Paul Roberts in answer to his charges of sin against these men and their claimed Court, appeals to Matthew 18 as having been circumvented by Mr. Roberts in not coming to them privately first. In this letter Mr. Price writes as being accused, on pages 1-2: “Does not Matthew 18:15-17 state that a brother is to tell the ‘offending’ brother his specific ‘fault’?” This is a good point, and right Christian jurisprudence, if this was actually the case that Mr. Roberts had failed to do so, but this is not our point here to defend Mr. Roberts. The point is that these men only see Matthew 18 applying selectively as they see fit, as a means to their ends. What he rightly and justly expects for himself, he, with Mr. Barrow and Mr. Dohms, obstinately and unjustly denied to others. These men, concerning the accepted and secret charges against us, never granted us, when served with the Confidential Oath, the said Matthew 18 procedure. They did not confirm with us that said plaintiff/s came to us first, nor were we afforded, according to Matthew 5:23-26, opportunity to go to our brother/s, the secret plaintiffs who have ought against us. We have never been ‘told as offending brethren our specific faults’ we are left to continue in the state of ignorance of our sin and guess at what it might be – how will we repent if we know not what of? Not only is such procedure uncharitable, but sinful, Lev. 19:17, “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him”.(7) It may be likened to an ecclesiastical Star Chamber Court, a tyrannical control – it is simply not Presbyterian; it is the very thing that Presbyterianism resists. This example contains as many specific instances as there are Confidential Oaths invoked by these men, which we believe now exceeds 34. In these thirty or more, and now public, instances it appears that these men, claiming the judicial key of the Court of Christ, have in 30 plus instances suspended or obstructed the direct pure rule of Christ Himself to others that they demand and command to themselves. Therefore, they assert themselves and their Court over The Supreme Court of Christ, and over Christ The King Himself, – whom they claim to serve.
Attached to the Matthew 5 reference we have this warning in the words of Christ himself in verse 20: “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven”. In light of this, does Christ recognize such a Court in His Name? Will remaining members continue with these men and partake of their sins? The Confidential Oath cannot be considered lawful as it is wielded to obstruct Christ’s justice by a Court that does not have a moral legitimacy or lawful existence to do so.

Principle of Non-Intrusion
If the above premises be true then these men and their ‘extraordinary’ standing international sessional Court have actively breached the Presbyterian principle of Non-Intrusion.

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These men have actively intruded themselves as a Court upon the membership in spite of their knowing they lacked any real consent for an ‘extraordinary’ international standing session and kept this hid from the membership of the societies. If they will interdict the pure rule of Christ Himself to and in His Church as suits them, then they, the lesser, intrude upon the highest Court and implicitly intrude upon all superior faithful earthly Church judicatories. Let us hear the superior judicatory of the Reformed Presbytery in 1876 speaking in the Act, Declaration, and Testimony referred to by its sections in Term 5 of our Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion:
They [Reformed Presbytery] further reject and condemn that sectarian principle and tenet, whether in former or latter times maintained, that a kirk session, or particular congregational eldership, is vested with equal ecclesiastical power and authority, with any superior judicatory, and is neither subordinate nor accountable to them (in the Lord) in their determinations. (197-198)
The membership had every right to expect to be openly and publicly informed that their consent was needed, and to be consulted for their consent with a positive informing of what our options were in our ‘extraordinary’ situation after dissolve of Presbytery, in terms of Scripture and our historical testimony. This was never done and those members seeking remediation for this aberration and sinful omission, have at every turn been met with obstinacy, circumvention, hubris, and, finally and summarily, excommunication by the ‘so-called self-imposed session of the RPNA (GM)’. Their answer to this point has been that they simply reverted to the old session – but the old session was in one location able to fulfil familiar Christian duties; it was never international as claimed now (now unable to fulfil familiar Christian duties) and thus is not the old session, but an innovation.

Regulative Principle of Church Government
The Reformers asked the question, does the Church exist for the edification of Church government or Church government for the edification of the Church? The latter is the Protestant distinction (Ephesians 4:11-12) the former is the Papal distinction. How does one answer this question concerning ‘the extraordinary standing session so-called of the RPNA (GM)’ in light of the above premises, if they are reasonably established? They have asserted consent by the membership when membership was not permitted to be informed about giving its consent. They have obstructed Matthew 5:23-26 and 18:15-17 the justice of Christ’s own and pure rule in His Church. They have intruded themselves on the Societies as an ‘extraordinary’ standing sessional Court. These three premises together display that the membership exists for the edification of ‘the so-called session of the RPNA (GM)’ – why else would questioning members be dispatched with so reckless abandonment and rent to the Church, if not to protect the ‘session’s’ own self-interests. If they truly believed that they had the ‘explicit and tacit consent’ they claimed, and it was in question when members became informed, then the scriptural and charitable Christian action in Presbyterian jurisprudence would have been to then call for an informed and explicit vote. This would have simply silenced the questioners or naysayers and ended the matter, rather than to pretend excommunications and wound the flock. Is it not the fruit of hirelings to sacrifice the sheep rather than put themselves at risk of being accountable?

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Our household is not edified, but provoked to anger at the actions of these men, 3 ½ years of cat and mouse with them to get answers that never came and then we are sanctimoniously and conspiratorially disposed of so they can avoid accountability on pretence of protecting their Court. (Our questions appear to have stood in the way of the so-called session’s promoting of its own ends). It is apparent that the membership exists for the edification of the supposed ‘session’!


Principle of Accountability
The active charge of the keys of the Kingdom of Christ to the earthly government of the Church, the Divine Right of Church government (Jus Divinum), as asserted in the PPSA, is a doctrine clearly Presbyterian and not to be denied. This charge is an ambassadorial charge of Christ with His regulative principle of government on its exercise as gifts to His Church for its edification, “the ministry, oracles and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints in this life” (WCF chap. XXV sec. III; also see Ephesians 4:11-12). This active charge is subordinate and accountable directly to Christ Himself in heaven and speaking in the Scriptures first and foremost, but it is also accountable indirectly to the Church wherein Christ is present in His people as the passive recipient of the edification. Congregations are without charge of the keys and do not assert active self-rule; this also is Presbyterian.
The Church is with Divine Right (Jure Divino) as receiver and possessor of these gifts from Christ Himself, as exercised upon or in her for her edification, having every right to have these gifts, and to expect to have these gifts exercised rightly and accountably within her. When they are not exercised rightly and accountably, or are in question, she not only has the right, but the responsibility to demand accountability of her officers. In ordinary or settled times this is regularly achieved in most instances through the structure of the graded courts of Presbyterianism, the lower accountable to the higher in appeal. In The Acts of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland it is an Act Sess. 22. 29 Aug. 1639 “that the Session books of every Paroche be presented once a year to the Presbyteries, that they may be tried by them”. Failure or refusal of a Session to do so results in its censure by the higher Court, as exampled in the case of Synod books tried by the Assembly, Act Sess. 3. July . How and when will the books of ‘the session of the RPNA (GM)’ be annually inspected and tried as is commanded to avoid censure, without an actual General Meeting in more than name only, that is in real operation?
Further, the Acts of the General Assemblies in Act Sess. 14. 6 August 1641 state “that no Novation in Doctrine, Worship, or Government, be brought in, or practised in this Kirk, unless it be first propounded, examined, and allowed in the General Assembly, and transgressors in this kind be censured by Presbyteries and Synods”.
It is a novation to historical testimony that there be an intrusive sessional Court on an ‘uninformed’ explicit or tacit consent.
It is a novation to historical testimony that there be a sessional Court ‘obstructing the pure rule of Christ Himself’ in His Church.
It is a novation to historical testimony that in ordinary or extraordinary times there be an ‘extraordinary’ international standing sessional Court intruded upon membership ‘without open and public informed consent’.

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It is a novation to historical testimony that the ‘membership exists for the edification of a ‘session’’.
It is a novation to historical testimony that the sessional books go untried annually.
In summary, it is a novation to Scripture and to historical testimony that there be an ‘extraordinary’ session ‘unaccountable’ to the Church in any earthly sense.
That these are human innovations obtruded upon Scripture and Presbyterianism, and invalid as shadow principles of regular and valid rule for extraordinary times, is proved, in that if these were general principles in a regular state of the church, they would lead to papal-like or prelatical-like mischiefs. As such, ‘the session of the RPNA (GM)’ is in contempt of all higher Courts of Presbyterian government, and its officers are, in principle, under censure of the Acts and Determinations of the General Assemblies of Scotland .
In extraordinary or unsettled times, like today, Presbyterianism yet demands a valid system of accountability and appeal. It demands a valid shadow of all Presbyterian principles, in which to exercise the principle of accountability agreeable to both the Church and her officers. Accountability keeps tyranny in check; lack of accountability is an open invitation to tyranny.
This is precisely the problem with ‘the so-called extraordinary international standing session of the RPNA (GM)’ as defended in the PPSA. It is an innovation against Presbyterian principles; there is no accountability and no legitimate or valid system of appeal to it and thus its existence is, on Presbyterian principles, whether in extraordinary times or not, unlawful and cannot lawfully be consented to by the membership. This ‘session’ is under censure of our subordinate standards and Christ Himself speaking in Scripture.
Our Covenanter testimony, in like extraordinary circumstances to ours, examples an approved and valid means of shadow Presbyterianism that fulfils Presbyterian principles of government. We have this historical example, in short, preserved by the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in its 1807 Reformed Principles Exhibited. Just before Mr. James Renwick’s ordination, facilitated by the covenanters, the covenanters,
"established among themselves a general correspondence. The societies in each shire was connected by a particular correspondence of delegates, and these correspondences were again connected in a representative general meeting. This plan was highly expedient in their situation, as they had no properly organized Church. It was a measure of expediency, dictated by the necessity of the times. The general meeting managed every thing of common concern to the societies. They claimed neither civil nor ecclesiastical power. They exercised no part of Church discipline. They endeavoured, however, to procure a faithful ministry. (Bk I 84-85) "
As a temporary arrangement until the immediate goal of achieving a regular settled state of Church government, a General Meeting might supply a chairman working, independent of elders and minister, to annually audit the labours of these men in terms of their office requirements. (Such things as: meeting minutes up to date and clear, finances, office duties fulfilled, long term goals, etc.) The Chair would annually report to membership and could offer an independent means of appeal for societies and members to the eldership. The safety that such, or a like, form of accountability would provide for

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officers and membership should be a welcome relief for any officer that has not already slipped toward tyranny. The past 3 years of energies wasted in counter-productive and harmful results to Reformation could have been averted. A General Meeting is more than a name only.
Whether regular and valid or extraordinary and valid, Presbyterian government is not self-appointment or arbitrary power nor allowing of innovations in government any more than innovations are permitted in worship – the regulative principle of Church government demands every innovation must be purged – there is no room for latitudinarianism by invoking ‘extraordinary’. At every point, these three men have refused all earthly Presbyterian accountability and have manoeuvred to resist informed consent, Christ’s pure rule, non-intrusion, and have changed the edification of the Church for their own edification to the wounding of Christ’s own.

Summary
Let these men make a positive display of their above actions, summarized below, as having positive sanction from scripture and the faithful historical testimony, as is obligatory upon and becoming their offices and as is the right of the Church under Christ,
1. that an uninformed explicit or tacit consent of membership is Scriptural and Presbyterian rule
2. that obstruction of Christ’s pure rule and justice in His Church by a Church Court is Scriptural and Presbyterian rule
3. that intrusion or arbitrary self-imposition/appointment of government upon Christ’s Church is Scriptural and Presbyterian rule
4. that the Church exists for the edification of government is Scriptural and Presbyterian rule
5. that Divine Right of Church government means accountable to Christ alone in heaven and not accountable in any earthly sense to the Church it rules is Scriptural and Presbyterian rule.
Our Terms of Communion state in Term 3: “That Presbyterial Church Government and manner of worship are alone of divine right and unalterable”. Church government is as unalterable as worship; both follow the regulative principle of Scripture. As such,
6. Let the ‘so-called extraordinary international standing session of the RPNA (GM)’ prove in the face of the utter failure and schism created by the PPSA due to its innovations and special pleading (being vacuous of right dividing of Scripture and our historical testimony), that its ‘extraordinary’ existence and conduct these past 3 ½ years is Scriptural and Presbyterian rule.

Failing to give the positive sanctions of Scripture and Presbyterian rule for any or all these six issues aggravated and provoked over 3 ½ years (8) requires shame-faced


8. While the Confidential Oath is a secondary issue to this testimony, and not directly addressed, it logically follows implicitly that on failure of these men to answer all these six issues positively from Scripture and faithful historical testimony that the Confidential Oaths are not lawful, but mere fiction and wishful thinking. If the Confidential Oaths will be lawful 3 general requirements are demanded:
1. A lawful court
2. A lawful procedure followed
3. A lawful purpose
See applicable points presented by Stan Birchfield in recent series of e-mails concerning excommunication procedure.


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repentance, voluntary standing down as officers for a period until a determination can be procured of their faithful ministry, an accountability that any faithful ministry will desire. Failing a sincere repentance they wear the labels of schismatic and sectarian, testified against in our Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion and are subject of the censure by our higher courts speaking today from the past – faithful historical testimony.
In sober warning the faithful Rev. Mr. James Renwick in comment on Hosea 8:11 says, “When people go on in a course of defection, they cannot be staid, but, ordinarily, become endless therein”. (9)

Personal Testimony
  • We do not want to leave the impression that we are ungrateful for all the benefits, which we received, directing us to right doctrine and practice of the church faithful in history.
  • The Confidential Oath only served to separate us from you as schismatic and sectarian, who would lead us astray by separating us from our faithful Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion and our fellowship with the covenanted historical testimony and its martyrs. We continue to maintain our Terms of Membership and Ecclesiastical Communion with the faithful historical testimony – our separation or departure is from your sectarian contrivances against which we testify.
  • The participants of ‘The Effort’ now supposedly charged with sin and conspiracy for failing the demand by you to come privately as individuals with our questions. This ‘charge’ is the height of hubris and folly. This ‘charge’ has every indication of displaying a conspiratorial and contemptuous behaviour by the ‘so-called session of the RPNA (GM)’ toward membership whom they are meant to edify. On this very point, the “Terms of Membership” have been invoked against us that we were to come privately as individuals with questions about our subordinate standards. However, the Terms also tell us in 5.d. that, we are to “give the elders due opportunity to patiently and lovingly instruct us”.10 We, with PGS, have waited nearly 3 years for this loving instruction and are still waiting. Any Term is only as good as the parties involved; if the one party (session) refuses its obligation, then it has lost its moral authority to continue to obligate the other party, except it be contemptuous of that other party. The session needs to first consider the beam in its own eye and the offences it perpetrated first. If ‘The Effort’ was in fault, it is our opinionthat it was in being overly charitable in patience with the ‘session’s public offences, by asking questions instead of exhibiting a public witness against these three men.
  • To our household, according to Romans 16:17-18, these three men are “marked”, until such time as their full repentance, I John 1:9-10.
9. James Renwick, A Choice Collection of Very Valuable Prefaces, Lectures, and Sermons Preached … by … the Reverend Mr. James Renwick, (Glasgow: John Bryce, 1776), 76. (Photocopy. Edmonton: Still Waters Revival Books)

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  • We encourage all “That the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (II Cor. 4:7b-9).

Your Covenanted brother and sister in Christ,
Rod and Milly S.


10. http://web.archive.org/web//www.ecn.ab.ca/prce/membquet.html

Friday, May 25, 2007

5/25/07 - 6/6/07, The Further Unraveling of the "To Whom It May Concern" Email Fraud

As posted on The Covenant Reformation Club
[edited for email bloat, etc.]

#15802
From: Bob S.
Date: Fri May 25, 2007 8:50 pm
Subject: To Whom It May Concern

To Whom It May Concern,
Mickey Mouse et al.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist, to discern humble Werner (Von Brahn's) fingerprints all over the item below. Evidently when you can't beat them in an "honorable" or reasonable way, sue them. Or at least threaten to.

As for who has a reputation for religion in light of 1 Cor. 6:1-8 or Deut. 19:19, let the reader judge. Our humble litigants and those with a love for tort law more than truth or those who oppose them?

As for those who think the church of Christ a "relatively private" organization or club, let alone their own little private preserve or tea party where they may do as they please and officers may excommunicate with abandon all the while howling "invasion of privacy" when those publicly excommunicated publicly protest, Jeremiah 12:5 is reproof enough.

"If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?"

If you can't figure out the visible church of Christ is a public body and to be excommunicated from the same is a public action, you have defamed your claim to possessing any common sense or reason on the question, if not a claim to the public's ear and sympathy for your complaint. Hence we suppose this "gratuitously" helpful attempt to intimidate and harass in order to override that situation of one's own making. And no, that is not defamatory. Rather if somebody can't stand the heat, they ought to get out of the kitchen in the first place instead of blaming it on other people.

Yet we have one "simple request" of those who "allegedly" do the same: Specify the "specific names and specific content that you are hereby being requested to remove or amend" which "will not be provided to you for your direction in this matter [our emphasis]" or shut up and stand down. (Does this remind anyone of an oath to affirm a court before which a charge of sin has been made, but neither plaintiff or the specific sin is specified?) Play the man and come out from behind the curtains with your anonymous allegations and charges and make a reasonable request of those you disagree with rather than a ridiculous one.

Please. Otherwise this pathetic and wretched item will reflect poorly on everyone on your side, not just those responsible for it.

cordially yours,
in Christ
Bob S.

From: advocate.for.law@lawyer.com
To: advocate.for.law@lawyer.com
Sent: Monday, May 14, :06 AM
Subject: Notice
May 14th, 2007

To Whom it may concern:

You have been identified as a person or organization that may be of interest in regards to the following matter under investigation. It has been brought to our attention by several private and aggrieved parties that the content of an Internet publication(s) that you either control, influence, or create or provide content for, allegedly contains that which is defamatory of specific persons and organizations expressly being named therein. You may have created or posted defamatory information, or facilitated its publication. These allegations pertain to the express use of names within this publication(s), and assert that the defamation is either of a direct nature (being derogatory predications or false information that is directly stated about such express names), or of an indirect nature (express names being implicated within a derogatory context), or by otherwise facilitating any such defamatory activity or content (allowing links to defamatory pages, failure to enforce conditions of use by moderators or owners, etc.). . . . [go here for the rest.]

#15803
From: "bob_suden"
Date: Fri May 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Subject: Re: To Whom It May Concern

Whoops, forgot to mention that in order to call attention to it, I added the UL to the original post quoted from the 'anonymous advocate for lawful harassment of those we disagree with'. I don't want to misrepresent our Perry Mason mystery man in any way, shape or form.

Bob S.

"The specific names and specific content that you are hereby being requested to remove or amend will not be provided to you for your direction in this matter: The moral and legal burden is upon you topublish only that which you know to be, in legal fact, not defamatory;and to publish only those names and that content for which you haveeither legal right or permission to so publicly make known."


--- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "bob_suden" wrote:
>
> To Whom It May Concern,
> Mickey Mouse et al.
>
> You don't have to be a rocket scientist, to discern humble Werner
> (Von Brahn's) fingerprints all over the item below. Evidently when
> you can't beat them in an "honorable" or reasonable way, sue them.
> Or at least threaten to. . . . .


> From: advocate.for.law@...
> To: advocate.for.law@...
> Sent: Monday, May 14, :06 AM
> Subject: Notice
> May 14th, 2007
>
> To Whom it may concern:
>
> You have been identified as a person or organization that may be of
> interest in regards to the following matter under investigation. . . . .


#15804
From: Walt B
Date: Sat May 26, 2007 8:20 am
Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] To Whom It May Concern humbled.learner


Bob,
I have just returned from 2 weeks in Singapore/China and finishing my work in Houston before returning home tonight. I'm assuming that you are not referring to me below, but since you talk in multiple tongues I am not always able to follow your discussions or allegations. If you are referring to me, I would request you provide some facts that you have received from others to lead you to this conclusion. Have you received information from other people alleging that I have written the document below? During the past 2 months I have been buried in work and privately have been in discussions with a couple former members of our church, but before you go out leading a massive smear campaign against me (as was done in previous documents I've read on your website about past situations involving you and others in our church creating all these public conspiracies) you better make sure I wrote the document below before publically leading others to believe it is an alleged fact. I'll be back home tonight and it will take me some time to get caught up on a host of issues, but if your comments lead anyone to believe something that is not true, or you are going to be pushing an agenda to smear me publically, I would ask you to kindly reconsider. I did not write the document below and you better be very careful what you and others are alleging privately (and now publically) about me if I'm the one you are talking about. You have no problem is smearing people publically as I've seen on your website, and if you are now going to drag me into this campaign I would ask you to reconsider and get your facts straight first. I will not tolerate how you have treated other peoples confidential and private correspondence, or the good names of others who have been allegedly involved in your perceived conspiracy against those that have been excommunicated. I will find it most interesting to learn who actually has written the letter below, as I have been out of the country, and indeed will put all my resources behind the legal cause should you begin a new massive campaign publically against me without having your facts clear. Please consider this a formal notice against you and others who are intending to drag me into this campaign to damage my name and reputation using your website, and the website of covenantedreformationclub. If this message makes it through, this will be your notice, if not, I will deal with your allegations directly (should you have publically intended that I'm the one referred to as "humble Werner (Von Brahn's)"). Again, so I'm clear, please be careful before you begin your public campaign leading others to believe another of your alleged conspiracies.
Walt.


#15807
From: "gmw"
Date: Sun May 27, 2007 7:11 am
Subject: Re: To Whom It May Concern raging_calvi...


Is it just me, or does this resemble the "You've been charged with a
sin, but we ain't telling you what it is or who is your accuser, but
the charges are very serious" thing that most of the X'd have received?

gmw.

--- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "bob_suden"
wrote:
>
> Whoops, forgot to mention that in order to call attention to it, I added
> the UL to the original post quoted from the 'anonymous advocate for
> lawful harassment of those we disagree with'. I don't want to
> misrepresent our Perry Mason mystery man in any way, shape or form.
>
> Bob S.
>
> "The specific names and specific content that you are hereby
> being requested to remove or amend will not be provided to you for
> your direction in this matter: The moral and legal burden is upon you
> to publish only that which you know to be, in legal fact, not
> defamatory; and to publish only those names and that content for which
> you have either legal right or permission to so publicly make known."
>
>
> --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "bob_suden"
> wrote:
> >
> > To Whom It May Concern,
> > Mickey Mouse et al.
> >
> > You don't have to be a rocket scientist, to discern humble Werner
> > (Von Brahn's) fingerprints all over the item below. Evidently when
> > you can't beat them in an "honorable" or reasonable way, sue them.
> > Or at least threaten to. . . . .
>
>
> > From: advocate.for.law@
> > To: advocate.for.law@
> > Sent: Monday, May 14, :06 AM
> > Subject: Notice
> > May 14th, 2007
> >
> > To Whom it may concern:
> >
> > You have been identified as a person or organization that may be of
> > interest in regards to the following matter under investigation. . . .
> .
>

#15808
From: Bob S.
Date: Sun May 27, :10 pm
Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] To Whom It May Concern


Greetings Walter,

1. I said "humble Werner" not "humble learner".

2. That is not to say that you are not a possible person of interest/suspect in regard to the anonymous missive from our anonymous advocate. You have been very vocal in the past about what you consider to be your " confidential and private correspondence" on this public forum (as you mention below) so consequently the circumstantial evidence points in your direction.

Of course I glad to hear you affirm that you did not actually write it. Even further, I will take that to mean that you did not even put some green legal intern from a free legal service at lawyer.com up to it. Neither will I ask you to sign an affidavit.

4. That is because, as you say below: "I will find it most interesting to learn who actually has written the letter below." Well, it is not only interesting, it is downright hilarious. That is because a couple of `anonymous' brethren put together an impromtu Internet Fraud Detection Detail to snooker this whole thing out. Evidently, after looking over the email headers, it seems,

"The originating IP of the email resolves to a Niwot, CO regional office, with their routers (in the area north of Denver, CO). That address would be randomly assigned to some user connected to that office.
[The] originating IP of the email: 63.231.86.127 http://www.maxmind.com/app/locate_ip (to look up that IP, enter IP and the captcha number displayed) www.mail.com allows you to sign up for a free lawyer.com email address that was used to email you."

Even further,

"(I)f you go to mail.com [updated] then click "Not a member yet? Sign Up for a free account." Then click the red "Sign Up Now" button, then click the red "See all our domains" button, you'll get a pop-up of all the different domain names that site somehow has ownership over, which is quite a few. So you get @lawyer.com, @doctor.com, @engineer.com or tons of you, for the choice of your (pretended) professional expertise. . ."

At this point are we ROFL? No, we are ROF[howling with]L. I followed the steps above and the only thing I have to say is that while the domain names include "toothfairy.com", somehow they seem to have missed "fraud.com" or "Ijustmadearoyalassofmyself.com".

That is, maybe this doesn't have anything at all to do with our dear brother in Longmont, CO who might have been our mystery plaintiff in the Confidential Oath and whom has received more visits from the elders than the Society in Prince George in all the recent hooraw, but one does wonder. After all, Niwot, CO city center is 6.8 miles (or 14 minutes drive) from the Longmont, CO city center. http://maps.google.com/. The legal speak and gobbledygook of "To Whom It Might Concern " might resemble his of Jan. '06 to the elders alleging whatall and whatever of the Society of Prince George and the undersigned.

But be that as it may, unfortunately, contra Rom. 3:8, someoney - we know not who - did evil that good might come. At least from his perspective anyway. From ours, it clearly looks like an intent to defraud and intimidate by impersonating a lawyer in all this, rather than "gratuitously" make a "simple request" in light of " common sense, basic civility, and good judgment".

But if whoever it is, considers all this a defamation of his anonymous character, some of us among those who have received the anonymous advocate's bill of goods, i.e. "TWIMC", actually have family members who have passed a bar exam or two and have practiced law, or have a real lawyer on retainer. In other words, if our aggrieved party would care to contact us privately, we would be happy to forward their request for legal services to the real thing.

Even further in the larger context, we note that in January `06 the elder surrogates and proxies, including our brother from Colorado, were impersonating a court, if not usurping its powers in asking affidavits of those who had the audacity to ask what the public sins were that were to be confessed in the Public Day of Prayer and Fasting. Come June `06 we had the Position Paper on Sessional Authority which asserted the legitimacy of three officers to impersonate an extraordinary standing/permanent session, if not also a presbytery or synod. In Nov. `06 the same even went so far as to enforce ecclesiastical penalties by excommunicating people. If that were not enough, now in May `07 we seem to have somebody from that same camp impersonating a lawyer in an attempt to intimidate, if not inflict civil penalties on the same excommunicated brethren.

Yet the doctrine of tacit consent as presently held and practiced in the "RPNA(GM)," might have something to say about all this, no? Do the officers of "RPNA(GM)" countenance this kind of behavior in their church when it comes to their attention? (God forbid they knew of it before it went out, which would make their silence even more reprehensible than the original document itself.) Would or do they discipline anyone that stoops to this level of interaction, even with excommunicated brethren? Would they require repentance and retraction of any of this? We do wonder. Particularly in that the question begging Position Paper, the compromising Confidential Oath and the invalid Excommunication Notices have not been repented of. Neither have they been retracted and all this brother is basically doing in our opinion, is defending those documents and positions in the same slipshod, zealous and legally - whether ecclesiastically or civilly - underhanded fashion.

cordially yours,
in Christ,
Bob S.

--- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Walt Bre wrote:
>
> Bob,
> I have just returned from 2 weeks in Singapore/China and finishing my work in Houston before returning home tonight. I'm assuming that you are not referring to me below, but since you talk in multiple tongues I am not always able to follow your discussions or allegations. If you are referring to me, I would request you provide some facts that you have received from others to lead you to this conclusion. Have you received information from other people alleging that I have written the document below? During the past 2 months I have been buried in work and privately have been in discussions with a couple former members of our church, but before you go out leading a massive smear campaign against me (as was done in previous documents I've read on your website about past situations involving you and others in our church creating all these public conspiracies) you better make sure I wrote the document below before publically leading others to believe it is an alleged fact. . . .

#15810
From: "Deejay"
Date: Sun May 27, 2007 4:23 pm
Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] To Whom It May Concern righteous_rebel

You'd have thought they would have included the possibility of @genius.com I was going to sign up for one if they had, but all the ones they had on offer, were beneath me!! B-)

~Deejay

--- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "bob_suden" wrote:
>
>
> "The originating IP of the email resolves to a Niwot, CO regional
> office, with their routers (in the area north of Denver, CO). That
> address would be randomly assigned to some user connected to that
> office.
> [The] originating IP of the email: 63.231.86.127
> http://www.maxmind.com/app/locate_ip (to look up that IP, enter IP and
> the captcha number displayed)
> www.mail.com allows you to sign up for a free lawyer.com email address
> that was used to email you."
>

#15828
From: Walt B
Date: Sun May 27, 2007 3:37 pm
Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] To Whom It May Concern

Bob,

I'm not going to get into another debate on
covenantedreformationclub's website over this legal
issue. Obviously your own research has shown you what
you wanted to know without alleging "humble.learner"
was not really "humbler Werner". Dance around this
all you want, but when I read your public message with
your opening statement, "it does not take a rocket
scientist" or something like that, and your subsequent
comments, I became very upset.

It is very good that your group has lawyers on
retainer already and some passing the bar, because
from my experience these events are not going away
anytime soon. Your website will continue to publish
private discussions between Pastor Price and former
members of our church, and I suspect you will continue
to give people your brilliant "publisher" commentary
as to what it really all means (at all times seeking
to destroy the credibility and names of the Elders).

In all of this, I can truly say that the past couple
months have been a real "eye opener" for me to read
your and others commentary about our Elders. From
what I can tell (especially with some of you) this has
been burning inside for a few years. Clearly, with
your leadership (and your current publishing company)
you are able to make a substantial impact to destroy
whatever credibility the Elders had before all these
events.

I can see the day where you, the Elders and our member
in Colorado are going to be in front of a civil
magistrate to see who has the best lawyers. It is
just a matter of time, in my opinion, and your family
lawyers or current retained lawyers are going to be
arguing who caused the actual damage, who did what
they could to destroy reputations publically and
whether or not there was ever a membership agreement
in place between the Elders, representing Christ's
church, and the members (explicit or implicit).

There is no doubt in my mind this is going to get
nasty (based upon what I've read so far on your views
of the Elders) and expensive for all parties involved.
In the end, I anticipate you will be riding the wave
in the media spotlight to "uncover" the "great
conspiracy" that you have allegedly discovered. There
is no doubt from your website this role suits you
well, and with a hand full of good trial lawyers you
will be at the top of your game, but before you drag
me into this situation you best have your facts
clearly laid out about my intentions.

Let me make them clear for you here. You can be
absolutely 100% sure that I will do everything in my
ability to protect my Elders and their names in this
controversy. I do not do this blindly or out of
vindictiveness toward you or any other former member,
but out of love I have for these men, their exhaustive
labors and my desire for seeing reformation in
Christ's church and state. I'll not sit silently by
while you, your lawyers and your followers seek to
desteoy these men no matter what you believe and teach
about them.

From all of the evidence I've read so far, there is
nothing yet that will change my position. You are
going to need to bring up some real supporting
evidence to prove your conspiracy before I will give
any weight to your plan to destroy our small
covenanter congregation. I've commited to my
membership and the fraud and conspiracy you allege
needs to be supported by a lot more facts than are
posted on your website, or what I've heard from
private discussions with some of our former church
members. All of these documents that you men
supposedly possess will need to go before trial
lawyers and they will need to defend their positions
that all this really existed.

This is my last email to you on this matter, and if
you continue to allege that "humble Werner" is behind
this legal issue, and seek to destroy my reputation on
this yahoo groups site, you should gather more
evidence than "it does not take a rocket scientist" in
what you have presented in your initial public
allegations. I've expressed my concerns privately
with some by email and some face-to-face over my
position, but you have never been included in these
communications. If you are getting information from
others, without my permission to release my position
(and thus drawing invalid legal conclusions), I will
be very disappointed. I know some of you have zero
interest in protecting private communications, and in
your minds all private communication is open for
public distribution and publication, but I firmly
reject this legal opinion.

Again, this is my last message on this topic, and I
would ask that you not post another message alleging
I'm involved in something untrue until you have your
facts straight and are ready to defend them as a
faithful Christian man. What you wrote below is no
apology toward me, but the typical spin I see from you
over and over again. This might be great for your
followers to get you cheers and support, but I think
it is childish and mickey mouse (as you say).

Be further advised this is a private communication to
you, and obviously those on this yahoo site will read
it, but it is not intended for further public
distribution without my (the author's) permission. My
lawyers advise me that private communication can
certainly be protected even when more than one person
is on the receiving end, and even if its contents are
able to be accessed via those who were not intended
the recipients (e.g., the public).

Whether it is you, or another journalist/publisher
reading my messages on this site, it is a privileged
confidential communication it noticed as such. Sure,
you can publish it without my permission, and put as
much spin/commentary as you want on your website to
seek to destroy my and others reputations, but I would
ask that you please not take this position.

"Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I
cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart
will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the
faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he
that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He
that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house:
he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I
will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I
may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the
LORD" (Psalm 101:5-8).

For the cause of Christ,
Walt.

--- bob_suden wrote:

> Greetings Walter,
>
> 1. I said "humble Werner" not "humble learner".
>
> 2. That is not to say that you are not a possible
> person of
> interest/suspect in regard to the anonymous missive
> from our anonymous
> advocate. You have been very vocal in the past about
> what you consider
> to be your " confidential and private
> correspondence" on this
> public forum (as you mention below) so
> consequently the circumstantial
> evidence points in your direction. . .

________________________________________________________________________________\
____Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated
for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.
http://get.games.yahoo.com/proddesc?gamekey=monopolyherenow


#15829
From: "gmw"
Date: Wed Jun 6, 2007 4:23 pm
Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] To Whom It May Concern raging_calvi...


[just wanted to point out that this is late in appearance because I
didn't notice it sitting in the approval box until just now -- gmw]

--- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Walt Bre
wrote:
>
> Bob,
>
> I'm not going to get into another debate on
> covenantedreformationclub's website over this legal
> issue.

#15832
From: Bob S.
Date: Wed Jun 6, 2007 9:17 pm
Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] To Whom It May Concern

--- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Walt Bre
wrote:
>
> Bob,
>
> I'm not going to get into another debate on
> covenantedreformationclub's website over this legal
> issue. Obviously your own research has shown you what
> you wanted to know without alleging "humble.learner"
> was not really "humbler Werner". . . . . .

Hey, Walt,
Can you spare us all the bad sportsmanship and give it up, please?

The reasons for that are:

1. I found out about where the phony lawyer message came from after you
denied having written it. My second post which yours replies to below
makes that clear. If you don't want to accept that, it is not because I
have given offence, but because you have taken offence.

2. That is not to say, because of your previous public statements and
your stated opinions about public/private forums repeated again below,
it is unreasonable to think you might have had something to do with it.
I was well within the boundaries of common sense and decency to
challenge you on it, which when you denied it, I was more than happy to
explicitly accept it.

3. There can be no real debate when we can't get our facts straight.
If anybody is accusing anybody of conspiracy as you repeatedly state
that I do of the elders, rather it is the elders who have accused the
Effort of being a conspiracy. I make no mention whatsoever of a
conspiracy on the part of the elders, whatever else I happen to disagree
with or think wrong of them.

4. If mentioning any or all of this upsets you, you should really try
being excommunicated sometime.

5. As for destroying the credibility of the elders, IMO rather their own
arguments and the behavior of their proxies and surrogates do quite well
on their own without my help thank you very much, advocate.for.law being
quite to the point. That doesn't mean it is unlawful to point out
further some of the gross contradictions and shortcomings in the
Position Paper, Confidential Oath and Excommunication Notices.

6. As for a membership agreement, that is not in question. That the
elders modified that agreement and implicitly added to it all the while
relying on tacit, implicit, uninformed, yea ignorant assent and consent
is the question. To then insist that the other party still adhere to the
original terms is not a legitimate, honorable and above board way to
conduct matters in Christ's church no matter what anybody says.

7. As a man of your word, when you say this will be your last email to
me about this on this public forum - just like your denial of being
behind "advocate.for.law" - I will again take you at your word
on it. Please don't go back on it. After all, Ps. 101, which you
quote below, says that he who telleth lies shall not tarry in the
Lord's sight.

8. Even further, also from Ps. 101, "whoso privily [privately]
slandereth his neighbor" does not refer to public forums such as
this, but rather telling lies about someone secretly and behind their
back. But that has not happened, whether we are talking about slander,
privily or publicly and to say so without backing it up or even trying
to, is slander.

Thank you very much.
Bob S.


--- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Walt B
wrote:
>
> Bob,
>
> I'm not going to get into another debate on
> covenantedreformationclub's website over this legal
> issue. Obviously your own research has shown you what
> you wanted to know without alleging "humble.learner"
> was not really "humbler Werner". Dance around this
> all you want, but when I read your public message with
> your opening statement, "it does not take a rocket
> scientist" or something like that, and your subsequent
> comments, I became very upset. . . .
>

<>
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