Tuesday, April 03, 2007

4/3/07, Two Birds with One Electronic Stone

The “Exposé” Exposed and Eviscerated or the Sins of the PPSA and the Steps to Repentance"

[For a previous exchange on this topic in January '07, go here. A brother then makes good on March 12, '07 regarding his promise to write an “Exposé” of the Effort meeting/study group. A "judicial ruling(?)" from the Session of the RPNA(GM) is then released March 22, '07, evidently building upon the previous and related information. This "ruling" is entitled "Sins Committed by "The Effort" And Steps to Repentance". The following addresses both.]

[Cover email]
From: Bob S.
To: Ben H.
Cc: List
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 9:12 PM
Subject: Re: Effort

----- Original Message -----
From: Ben H.
To: Ben H.
Cc: List
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 5:07 AM
Subject: Effort

Please see the attached letter. If I've inadvertently sent this to someone who has requested to be left off any further correspondence of this kind, please forgive my oversight.

Dear brother,

Thank you for yours.
A reply can be found here [below]

Thank you very much.

cordially in Christ,
Bob S.


Dear Ben,
While it has been three weeks since the receipt of your post, it was only after someone forwarded me the “Sins Committed By “The Effort” And Steps to Repentance (SESR)” last week that I understood a little more of what you were up to. Consequently a few comments regarding your recent mea culpa.

While I thank you for your post – after my reply to your previous rough draft, I am a little surprised to still be on the list – and while of course, it is commendable to strive after and keep a clean conscience, void of offence to God and man (Acts 24:16), your letter fails to correctly state:
I. When this all started.
II. Who started/consolidated the church split.
III. Who broke who’s promises.
IV. In other words, you fail entirely to mention the sins of the PPSA and the steps to repentance.

I. The pre-eminent and glaring omission from your list of events which begins with June 11, ‘06, is the date of June 4, ‘06. That is when the Position Paper on Sessional Authority (PPSA) was released by the “Session of the RPNA(GM)” which the PPSA of course, justifies and defends. (So too, the glaring and sinful omission in the PPSA is any mention of the binding judicial/RP historical testimony, particularly regarding extraordinary sessions as seen in the Minutes of the Reformed Presbytery of America (Steele and Lusk) for Oct. 5, 1842. Yes, it is only one instance, but that was good enough for the “self” excommunications.)

In other words in all this, you fail to state the obvious: NO PPSA – NO private study group. (So too, the SESR fails the same distinction.) It is that simple. Now the group has been disbanded/euthanized. (The last ought to please some folks.) All of its members who signed the Charitable Inquiry paper have been excommunicated. But all those that still remain in the RPNA(GM), including yourself, remain conscience bound by the new confidential loyalty oath – i.e. the new membership oath in the RPNA(GM) – to this monument, as we shall see below, of mediocrity, ambiguity and equivocation. Will you be as diligent and quick to point out the sinful errors of the PPSA to us all as you allege of the group that opposed it? We shall see, I suppose, but I am not yet quite blind to what is glaringly apparent in yours – or the SESR for that matter. The PPSA at the very least sins against reason, if not also history and Scripture and the steps to repentance start with a repudiation of it by those superiors responsible for it, as well the oath which affirms it and the excommunications based upon both the PPSA and the oath. Yet we find no mention of that at all in your letter.

II. While you have toned it down from your previous draft, it is still a little late in the day to be asking a graduate student in philosophy, who has also taught high school Latin, what a “post hoc propter hoc” – “after this, because of this” – fallacy is and whether your insinuation that the Effort consolidated, if not caused the church split is a picture perfect/textbook example of the same. (Yes, we know Monday comes before Wednesday, but that does not mean Monday causes Wednesday.) Ahem, if this is not sinful and culpable ignorance on someone’s part, just exactly what is it?

You also should know what an ad hominem fallacy is, as applied to the objections, questions and concerns voiced about the PPSA. (We all know Hitler was evil and wore pants, but that doesn’t mean pants are evil.) Those concerns stand or fall on their own merits, regardless if the group that put together the Charitable Inquiry or anybody else that had objections, was less than pristine in motive or ecclesiastical constitution according to your hyper scrupulous sensibility. You are offended at the “sins” of inferiors, but blind to even the possibility of any in superiors, much more any that provoked them. In short, contra the Scripture, you respect persons. Likewise the SESR is diligent to enumerate the sins of inferiors, but fails entirely regarding superiors other than in brief passing. (The reader is respectfully referred to a previous mention of duties and sins of superiors vis a vis the Fifth commandment here.)

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

III. As for your main reason why the study group was wrong, “that all parties took an oath to bring their concerns privately to the elders and work them out with them before publishing anything contrary to the teachings of the elders,” one, I did not swear an “oath” upon becoming a member of the PRCE. Rather I made a promise or gave assent - to obey the elders in the Lord, who at that time comprised the genuine PRCE session. Further, the substantive question (4C) on the RPNA webpage is: “Are you willing to submit yourselves to the preaching and to the elders of this church (in so far as both are agreeable to the Word of God)?” The elders did not require at that time nor did I ever acknowledge a carte blanche for them to do as they please, much more it would be unlawful for me to do so. Even further, an acknowledgment is required “not to speak contrary to the truth of God (as represented in the subordinate standards of the Reformed Presbytery in North America (General Meeting))” – though when I joined it was the PRC of Edmonton. Those subordinate standards can be found here. They did not include then and do not include now, the Position Paper on Sessional Authority (6/4/06) or “Tattoos and the Word of God (4/31/06).”

Two, the PPSA itself was not what was promised by the three elders on Jan. 1, ‘06, nor was it what we set aside a solemn day of prayer and fasting for on Jan. 21, ‘06, not only for the confession of the public sins of the church - whatever those were - but also that the Lord would bless the plans to “restructure the RPNA.” (For once, the letter was signed by “The Session of the RPNA” in that maybe it occurred to someone that a genuine session is no part of a General Meeting.) But this is not a mockery of the 9th Commandment and the ordinance of solemn public fasting, not to mention that no real reason was given for the switch even after one of the two full time elders took a day job since that promise? Neither was a public forum set up as promised Mar. 29, ‘06 by TE Greg Price. In other words, if anybody broke their promise, it was the parties responsible for the PPSA. Again, of that there is absolutely no mention in your latest. Likewise the SESR studiously avoids it. But one of the many times the Scripture speaks of having respect of persons is in Proverbs 24:23: “These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.” Hence, it might appear that your comments are neither wise nor good.

Three, As far as going to the elders privately with my questions and concerns which seems to me to be the major objection of both yours and the SESR, I had done that repeatedly as an individual and had got the runaround. The last time was immediately after I became aware of the Tattoos and the Word of God paper on May 8, ‘06 (all the material is available here). I received by way of reply a bunch of questions from the elders that instead of being Socratic, studiously avoided the real issue and questions: If tattoos are indifferent, just how does one glorify God by them? Are most people today getting them for indifferent or God glorifying reasons? How come there was no mention at all of the classic passage of Scripture on all this, 1 Cor. 3:16, 17 in that the Christian consensus in the past has been that if believers are the temple of God, tattoos only defile it?

Since TATWOG clearly argues that making marks, cutting oneself or cutting one’s hair is merely indifferent and only forbidden because it was connected with pagan superstitious rituals for the dead, so too, one might assume that astrology and prostitution in the same passage of Scripture, Lev. 19:26-29, are also indifferent and permissible as long as they are not connected to pagan worship. (As far as that goes, the paper completely begs the question and distinction in Gillespie’s comments between what is moderate and immoderate mourning and erroneously builds its case on that mistaken reading.) Likewise I am sure birth control is also indifferent in and of itself and it is only the circumstances that make it sinful. But if tattoos are again, indifferent, that is not why most, if not all people are getting them today, which is what TATWOG most studiously and sinfully avoids addressing.

1 Cor. 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
Jer. 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

Four, as for the Wash. Society, we had also got the runaround from the elders in answer to our two letters of 11/28/04 and 1/16/05 to them, pre-eminently on the name change to the RPNA(GM), though we had also asked them about elder training and visitation, better communication with the societies, a sermon tape library, etc. etc. Unfortunately we did not have enough of a consensus to follow up our questions, nor were we fully awake to the problems and contradictions, so the matter went no further, though I tried personally to pursue a few things with the elders.

If that is not enough, when Greg Price and Greg Barrow did come out for the Washington Society’s last visit Jan. 21, ‘05, all of us were informed then in person what one member had learned talking to Greg Barrow on the phone Jan. 9th, '05 – that the birth control paper had been put on hold indefinitely. The same which was which was promised and called a “duty” in the June 14,‘03 letter from the three elders. The same position which was the material cause to the dissolution of the Reformed Presbytery on June 6, ‘03. To the best of my memory, we encouraged/asked the elders to announce this publicly, i.e. in the same forum/format it was promised as a matter of prudence, decency and good order. That never happened until just recently and only because it became a point of public contention when people were excommunicated after a four month waiting period for questions on the PPSA, all the while the church had been waiting for the elders for three, now going on four, years for their paper. What is this, but a double standard? To say and do not? What is this other than superiors laying burdens on the sheep they themselves are unwilling to fulfill? But to whom more is given, more is required (Lk.12:48). Or is this requirement also something the elders may set aside by virtue of their office or “court?” If so, that is certainly news to me. Is it to you?

Five, you fail entirely to mention the elder approved public email scandals, that, if they do not prove the prejudice of the “court” and the absence of impartiality, they at least demonstrate its inability to come to a reasonable and equitable judgement, never mind prejudicing the public perception of the “court.” The phony affidavit scandal on the email lists which had begun in January ‘06, ran its course and finally died in March. The phony analogy/euthanasia scandal on the church email forum came hard on the heels of the release of the PPSA, commencing as it did, Jun. 26 and culminated in the shutdown of the PRCE Forum July 30, ‘06.

In other words, we saw that the policy and practice of the hand picked proxy elders as summed up in the Chinese proverb, “kill the chicken and the monkey shuts up” on the email forum/list was only too successful. It not only drove any lawful – according to G. Price – questions out of the public arena, it also drove them entirely out of the email inboxes of the elders. After seeing how any who had lawful public questions in the church were treated by the elder anointed surrogates, it ought to have been no surprise to the elders that there was no overwhelming desire on the part of the sheep, to become further grist for the mill by venturing a question or concern in private to the elders.

Luke 23:31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

But a surprise it was. When objections came following the Oct. 18 deadline to the confidential Oath of Oct. 4, ‘06, four months after the PPSA, the elders were shocked and amazed at the same. ‘But nobody said anything.’ Rather, why would anyone expect them too, seeing what went before? (The vain and circular reasoning has continued though. Somehow since there has never been any objection to the church government of the former RPNA, that must mean it is of divine right and lawful. So too the oath and so on. But since when has mutual, congregational or tacit, as in ignorant - as opposed to informed – consent determined the lawfulness of any presbyterian court? This from those who cry independent and congregationalist as the first hint of any whisper of objection to the oath or the PPSA.)

Even further the SESR tells us:
Secret societies and meetings may be warranted when a Church backslides into apostasy, when the Officers of the Church become unfaithful, obstinate, and persecutors of the faithful, and when members must secretly remove themselves from such an unfaithful Church and must necessarily band together for their own preservation (as did the Religious Societies of our forefathers).
Only secret meetings (in such circumstances) are not an unlawful VOLUNTARY association, but a lawful NECESSARY association in order to fulfill the Sixth Commandment in preserving their own lives from a persecuting unfaithful Church (italics added).
Of course the SESR concludes that “This was certainly not the case on the part of those who formed “The Effort” (in June-July of 2006) in order to promote moral reform in the government of the Church within the RPNA (GM).”

We respectfully disagree, particularly with the last in that the parties responsible for it are also those who have not only sinfully refused to moderate and lead the public discussions and forums in this church, they rather have allowed their proxies free rein on those public forums to attempt to bully into silence and conformity those who had any questions whatsoever. They also have disregarded all decency and common courtesy in informing the body of Christ of their decision to not only change the plans and paper for church restructuring, but also that the birth control paper promised, had been put on silent and indefinite hold. As per the SESR and Proverbs 6:18, "he that soweth discord among brethren" includes the pretend elders, as well those who oversaw and approved their efforts to intimidate and accuse other brethren, to the point that for good reason, people doubted the partiality of the officers.

That is to say, the elders have sinfully refused to preach and teach the whole counsel of God, on these matters particularly and publicly. In short, if they are not the “unfaithful, obstinate and persecutors of the faithful” spoken of above in the SESR, they show every indication of becoming that, if the tendering of the oath and the subsequent excommunications do not adequately demonstrate it. (After all, this is not the first church split the undersigned has seen. This is not the first instance of ecclesiastical bullying we have run into, which is probably why we have been so adamant and vocal in opposing it, though many perhaps think we are too harsh or abrasive. Yet we are not so naive or inexperienced as to think it cannot and does not happen in the church of Christ. Rather as the Russian proverb says, ‘when it happens to you, then you will know it is true.’)

The SESR also asks:
“If members of the RPNA (GM) believed any of the above to warrant their secret meetings, why did they remain within the Church and not come out from it for their own preservation as did the Societies of our forefathers in the faith (Revelation 18:4).”
Answer: Again, as unlearned and untaught in these things by those who are called to do so, it takes some time to come up to speed. However imperfectly, we are now at a point to which the SESR refers to where it says, when a “member does not believe the Elders have resolved the significant concern and the concern then becomes a known disagreement that cannot be resolved with the Elders, the member can still bear public testimony after this process is completed.” There has been any number of public testimonies and with all likelihood there will be more, just as this is a response to two of those testimonies. Things are that bad and things have come to that state, the supposed sins of the Effort meeting and the steps to repentance notwithstanding, all the while the previous sins of the PPSA are ignored and excused.

Yet there are again, none so blind as claim they can see. Just how many times must one go to the poisoned well and come up dry, before it is lawful to plead extraordinary times as the elders have done for each and every thing that has come before this church? That, this letter, much more its presuppositions, as well the SESR, does not even begin to answer. Rather in all the events surrounding the PPSA, it ought to be apparent that the elders have refused to moderate any forums or lists, or publicly preach, teach and instruct anybody in the full counsel of God on anything. Rather one is expected to call them up and worm it out of them.

Well, this worm has had enough of the runaround after eight years of it and the public email scandals on the one hand and the four month period to ask questions “privately” about the PPSA which in no way, shape or form is a “restructuring of the church” even though there is only one full time elder now, instead of two when the promise was made, all the while waiting for over three years for the birth control paper. The brethren had a chance, but all they did in the end was hide behind the divine right of long distance phone government and the skirts of their office in order to justify the electronic reincarnation of the original PRCE session, demanding oaths and binding consciences, after siccing their surrogate elders on everybody that wouldn’t go along with the pogrom, before excommunicating members by email.

Now that the church has been providentially thinned down by all the excommunications (33 out of approximately 88 communicant members), things are a little more manageable according to the inefficient and inexpedient way of church government in the RPNA(GM) by this reincarnated session. Yet in all this, one is reminded of the Session of the PRCE’s objections to the Reformation Presbytery which was not a presbytery, its refusal to answer to or acknowledge the same which was one of the reasons for the PRCE’s separate existence in the first place. There is nothing new under the sun.

Brother, in short and in sum, all I know was that I was asked to consult with other brethren privately/confidentially/temporarily in mid June ‘06 regarding this new document and imposition on one’s conscience, which ordinarily I would not do - something which I have always been ready to admit and have admitted long before the recent Sins of the Effort came out - but for the extenuating conditions which, along with the PPSA, you ignore entirely. The realistic alternative in light of all those extraordinary circumstances that surrounded it, as I asked you before and received no real answer, even beyond the shallow and naive analysis of your paper in hand or the SESR's pat assumption was what? A servile submission to whatever the “Session” cares to impose on one’s conscience, after you go to them and they can only nominally address your questions and concerns with either more questions or yet another runaround that avoids the material substance of yours? I respectfully think not.

Again, both your paper and the SESR fail to satisfactorily answer the question when this all started, who caused and consolidated the church “split”, much more just who broke who’s promises that provoked that church split? Furthermore, that you ignore the PPSA and the parties responsible for it in all this is irresponsible, if not as deficient in common sense and reason as the PPSA itself. While the Effort meeting is no more, having been sent without the camp like a scapegoat, it never was what you assert about it. But more than that, it does not remain to bind the consciences of those who choose to remain in the former RPNA as the PPSA to this day does and will in the future, upon the pain of be handing over to Satan. You could at least start your search for the split with that same document and the parties responsible for it.

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Matt. 7:5
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” Matt. 23:23, 24
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Eph. 6:4

IV. In other words, as you of all people should very well know, the PPSA is nothing but a compilation of a number of fallacies, if not mainly one, that of the undistributed middle term. The other fallacies include shifting the burden of proof, if not confusing an assertion for an argument, in that the PPSA can not tell the difference between the two. It is so bold as to inform us (p.9) that its arguments are not only Scriptural, but of good and necessary consequence (as per WCF 1:6) and so far none of the same have been heard in opposition to the PPSA. Rather we respectfully suggest that the PPSA couldn’t recognize a cogent and valid argument if it stumbled over one and that based on its own testimony. Even before one looks at its limited appeal to Scripture, (Matt. 18 and Acts 15), the subordinate standards (Second Book of Discipline 7:10) and the complete and crying absence of RP historical testimony (as above in the RP of A Minutes, Oct. 5, 1842), again in the main, the PPSA tramples on the light of natural reason with its resort to the fallacy of the undistributed middle term.

In Question 1 it is assumed in all respective instances of the congregation alone in an island, Matt. 18, the council at Jerusalem in Acts 15 and the presbytery in the Grand Debate at the Westminster Assembly, that the court under discussion – whether extraordinary or occasional in the first and third example or ordinary in the other two – not only can ordinarily meet together in person in one place, but also that it does ordinarily meet together. To compare the RPNA(GM)’s extraordinary court to any of these and extrapolate what the PPSA does is to abuse reason and the rules for valid arguments. Rather the RPNA(GM)’s extraordinary court cannot ordinarily meet together and does not ordinarily meet together. Instead in the PPSA (p.9) we are given a judicially unapproved appeal to modern phone and internet technology – not as a lawful help to a court – but to permanently and entirely substitute for and supplant a face to face meeting of the court.

The recent SESR is also bold to tell us that:
Session Meetings (contrary to the view of some) are not “secret” meetings. The Church knows that the Session exists, that it has regular meetings, and that the general purpose of the meetings is for the benefit and welfare of the Church. Minutes of the official Session Meetings are available to members. Those who desire to present a matter to the Session may even join the Session Meeting by way of a conference phone call to speak with the entire Session.
Yet we find it extremely odd, if not also very telling, that this is only the second time that anything like this has been publicly announced in the RPNA(GM) ever since the casual by the bye mention (constitution?) of the “Session of the RPNA(GM)” for the first time on Oct. 31, ‘04. The first and only other time any information on the actual meetings of the Session was publicly announced was in the Response of Oct 28,‘06 by the elders to the Public Protest and Complaint of Oct. 18, ‘06 from the Society of Prince George. We ask again, why does it take a crisis and mass excommunications to find out what should be ordinary, common and well publicized knowledge in a faithful, lawful and orderly church of Jesus Christ, but is not, regardless of the rather late assertion above? To ask is to answer. Maybe our so called “Session/General Meeting” is not so faithful, lawful and orderly as it claims to be.

Even further the council of Jerusalem and the Grand Debate’s presbytery both assume a plurality of teaching elders and resident, if not a proportionate number of, ruling elders for all the congregations and courts represented in and constituting these higher courts. Again, neither of these two conditions apply to the RPNA(GM)’s court. Consequently it is a non sequitur – it does not follow – that the RPNA(GM)’s court has international jurisdiction or can act as a common court over numerous societies particularly when only one congregation has ruling elders (See Geo. Gillespie’s Assertion of the Ch. Govt. of Scotland, I:IV.) The arguments given are all fallacies of the undistributed middle term. But this is by and large to gut Question 1 of the PPSA. (As for mutual consent, it is respectfully being withdrawn, now that one understands what it entails practically speaking and having seen/suffered from the fruit of government and oversight by long distance and out of town and country elders in that we do not think an ignorant consent the same thing as an informed consent, much more lawful.)

Question 2 continues in the same vein, pleading power of excommunication for a supposedly extraordinary session, from the example of an ordinary session, all the while ignoring the ordinary cautions given regarding ordinary and extraordinary excommunications. Question 3 following in the footsteps of Question 1 continues to blatantly contradict the power of order/power of jurisdiction distinctive by insisting that a court is necessary to administer the sacraments. This contra not only Gillespie in his Assertion (I:II), but also the June 14, ‘03 letter from the same brethren responsible for the PPSA, which unequivocally states that G. Price due to his office as a pastor – not the existence of a court, if even a permanent one – may administer the sacraments.

Speaking of offenses against the “common contempt for the public order of the church” for which many have been excommunicated, one might start with the PPSA and this contradiction to what everybody in the church had been working off of for the last three years. Neither is it enough to insist upon what is implied in the same letter. Those who are called to teach are called to make explicit what they would have people take for the truth and clear up any apparent contradictions. For that matter a temporary extraordinary session on site is sufficient to examine for communion if it is still insisted that some sort of court is necessary as per the explanantion of Oct. 28, ‘06 by the elders of the letter of June 14, ‘03.

Yet “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8),” if not that the PPSA is well named. It is a “Petitio Principii” of Sessional Authority, i.e. it “begs the question” of sessional authority, which is yet another fallacy in logical reasoning, in assuming what must still be proved in its triumphant closing comments (p.29), if not all through the document. So too, the recent “SESR". It is assumed in passing that the “Session” not only exists, but that the “General Meeting” is not backsliding into apostasy and the “Officers of the Church” are not “unfaithful, obstinate and persecutors of the faithful,” in that no one denies that ordinarily a secret/private/confidential group in the church is schismatic and sinful. But these are not ordinary times and have not been for some time.

The argument for Question 4 fails to mention that names not only distinguish those who have the same terms of communion from those who don’t, they also distinguish even further among those who have the same terms: The Reformed Presbytery of Scotland or America, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland or Scotland, the RP or the GM of the RP. Again, reductio ad absurdum, the St. Louis Society can call itself the Session of the RPNA(GM) according to Question 4 of the PPSA because it has the same terms of communion and excommunication as the latter, no?

The problem further is, if you insist that everyone must go privately to the elders or not at all, in light of their membership vow, I already had objected to this bogus line of reasoning for the RPNA(GM) name in a reply to Greg Price on 3/12/06 to a private post from him on of 1/27/06 in which he had stooped to this level of specious pleading for the name of the church. For what its worth, there was no answer from him. Instead within the month, we had received the PPSA with the same deficient defense of the RPNA(GM) as the name for the church. To repeat the obvious, the RPNA(GM) is no GM, never has been a GM and never will be a GM, if its past practice is any indication. So much for the 9th commandment as it is commonly and reasonably understood. Again, you make no mention of this bold, brazen and blatant violation of common sense, plain English and the 9th commandment. Why not?

As for the suppression of the historical RP testimony and binding judicial Minutes of the RP of A, it again has already been mentioned, if not that one could also say that the PPSA supplies the reader with incomplete information or is guilty of overlooking alternatives to the question of how an extraordinary session may be lawfully constituted. But however one wants to cut the cake, at least it may be said that when it comes to the PPSA’s credibility as being agreeable to the light of natural reason, as has been said before, ‘a mind is a terrible thing to waste – unless one is a faithful member in good standing in the RPNA(GM)’.

In short, one eagerly awaits your analysis and critique of this masterpiece of muddled reasoning, which in all equity you must attempt if you are going to have any claim of integrity after giving the Effort meeting and its paper the third degree. For some reason, we think though, we might be waiting as long, if not longer than we have for the birth control paper. Yet for those that are not content to wait that long or suffer such foolishness, the discussion and dissection of the PPSA has already begun. If it will stand, it will stand. If it is a fraudulent imposture and imposition on the consciences of the saints, that too will be known, if it is not now already known. Contra Act 15, the elders cannot/will not defend it publicly against all comers as they ought to and as they are called to. But respectfully at this late date, what else is new? If they can, it is a little bit late, since they have already been more than willing to excommunicate members over it.

In sum, when all is said and done, again the PPSA at the very least sins against reason, if not also history and Scripture and the steps to repentance start with a repudiation of it by those superiors responsible for it, as well the oath and excommunications based upon it.

Will our elder brethren lead the way? That remains to be seen.

Yet one thing we do know.

Christ spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. Luke 6:39-42

The beam remains. The mote has been excommunicated.

Thank you very much.

cordially in Christ
Bob S.