Monday, April 02, 2007

4/2/07, The Covenanted Reformation Offended

From: Christopher T.
To: L. Dohms, G. Barrow, G. Price
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2007 20:01:57
Subject: The Covenanted Reformation Offended

Dear elders,


I have prayerfully considered your requirement to own and consent to the excommunications that I have expressed disagreement with and denied my consent to. I have determined and resolved in my conscience that the reason why I disagree with certain excommunications and have not made a distinction in my mind against those people is because I think these excommunications were sinful and wrong. I no longer simply deny you my consent (neither dissenting nor consenting because of my issues and questions) to these aforesaid excommunications, but I positively dissent to them. The following amounts to the charges of sin that I am bringing against you and the steps I want you to follow in order to earn my forgiveness, and allow me to offer you the right hand of fellowship.

I ask that you prayerfully consider my words and arguments and then repent of your sins of government and acts of tyranny. It is not a light matter to tell someone they have sinned grievously, but the Scripture makes it a duty to tell a brother or a father of their sin in order to try to reclaim them from the dangerous course they have taken and snatch them out of the fire they have thrown themselves into. Please don't lash out in anger at my words, as may be tempting and we are all too prone to do (myself not in the least excepted) when our ideas and reputation come under attack, but deliberate with sobriety and gravity at the sins you and your court are being charged with before you reply to the church.

Leviticus 19:17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.

1 Samuel 19:4-5 And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. (5) For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the LORD worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?

Psalms 141:5 Let a righteous man strike me -- it is a kindness; let him rebuke me -- it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it. Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.

Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

What Excommunications I Dissent To

Mark C. (November 5, 2006)
Belinda C.
Cheryl G.
Mike G.
Teresa G.
Tony M.
Rod S.
Milly S.
Jody S.
Bob S.
Shawn A. (December 23, 2006)
Tammy A.
Martin D.
Taletha E.
Samantha E.
Camilla E.
Hannah E.
Willena F.
Edgar I.
Juana I.
Dee Dee S.
Darren H. (January 5, 2007)
Laura H.
John W.
Sheila W.
Michael W.
Joel C. (February 5, 2007)
Maria C.
Stan B. (March 8, 2007).

The wrongful excommunications of these twenty-nine people are the basis of my charges of sin against Rev. Greg Price, Elder Greg Barrow, and Elder Lyndon Dohms, and the court of the session of the RPNA-GM.

1 Samuel 26:6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab's brother Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul? And Abishai said, I will go down with you.

1 Samuel 26:17-18 Saul recognized David's voice and said, Is this your voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. (18) And he said, Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands?

John 9:34-38 They answered him, You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us? And they cast him out. (35) Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, Do you believe in the Son of Man? (36) He answered, And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him? (37) Jesus said to him, You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you. (38) He said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him.

John 16:1-3 I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. (2) They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. (3) And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.

(In addition to these twenty-nine persons, all other excommunications or acts of church discipline ever transacted by Rev. Greg Price, Elder Greg Barrow, and Elder Lyndon Dohms, or any ecclesiastical court they have been a part of, are also under renewed review and scrutiny by me for any irregularities or disorderliness, which I sadly suspect will only be all too easy to uncover when the light of truth is cast on them.)

When I speak of charges of sin, by way of clarification and to forestall any misunderstanding, I mean charges I am laying before the throne of Christ against the elders of the RPNA-GM and the court they have constructed. These are not charges that I can submit to any presently constituted Reformed Presbyterian judicatory with jurisdiction over both me and the session of the RPNA-GM, nor are these obviously charges that the session of the RPNA-GM is competent or impartial to judge itself, but these are sins I hold against the session and each of the men who compose it that I take up against them with Christ as the judge of both of us. If I had human recourse through Christ's appointed officers I would pursue that avenue but lacking that, I have no recourse but direct appeal to the consciences of Rev. Greg Price, Elder Greg Barrow, and Elder Lyndon Dohms as they stand before the court of the Triune God as both their judge and mine.

Membership Agreement

The RPNA membership terms do not contain any of the following phrases: come to us first , come to us as individuals , come to us privately or any near variant thereof. No such requirements were ever put upon any of these people, nor did those people promise those kinds of things to you.

Furthermore, the RPNA membership terms do not contain any reference to owning the session of the RPNA-GM in any shape or form whatsoever.

The record clearly demonstrates these things. Therefore it is unsupportable for the session of the RPNA-GM to make not owning it on the basis of these same membership terms the grounds of discipline and excommunication, and it is folly to accuse the people involved in the Charitable Inquiry of sinfully violating the membership terms by discussing their doubts and concerns amongst themselves and then jointly submitting their questions to you in a public way in order to receive instruction.

While several people in the RPNA-GM might have owned the session of the RPNA-GM and its jurisdiction and power, it is clear that that was a commitment they were making personally and optionally that went beyond anything found in the public membership terms or in the terms of communion made upon their entrances to membership (which often took place years prior to the formation of the session of the RPNA-GM). There was no mandate or call for the formation of the session of the RPNA-GM. There is no record or deed of constitution. But when the RPNA became the RPNA-GM, there needed to be a mandate and a formal transition from judicial oversight by the Presbytery to oversight by an 'international virtual/common session' of three elders, and that indisputably was never produced. When Prince George protested the affidavit imposed by the session of the RPNA-GM by saying that the session put words in their mouth and constructed commitments they never made, this is what they meant. I agree with that being a just and lawful reason to protest.

The dichotomy between what the membership terms and terms of communion say on the one hand, and what the affidavit oath says on the other, are too manifest for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Proverbs 22:28 Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.

John 18:23 Jesus answered him, If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?


The session of the RPNA-GM asserts that it ultimately excommunicated these twenty-nine people because they were guilty of excommunicating themselves from membership in the visible church, if such were even possible. But that is false in every way. These people never denied the Christian religion, nor any points of the Reformed religion, Covenanted Presbyterianism, the membership terms or the terms of communion, nor most damningly for the session of the RPNA-GM, did any of them at the time they were given the infamous affidavit oath even say that any part of the said affidavit contained certain falsehoods or heresies. They had doubts and questions about the things found in the affidavit, but the record clearly demonstrates they did not deny any of those things. Therefore, they obviously did not self-excommunicate themselves (if such a thing is even possible or coherent) in any sense from either the RPNA-GM or the visible Christian church, but were most wickedly cast out of the RPNA-GM while not even having reached disagreement on any point of doctrine with the session of the RPNA-GM. So the charge against them, of self-excommunication, falls apart under scrutiny, and nullifies the excommunications by the session that putatively ratified it.

Imposition of the Oath

Unequivocally, the session of the RPNA-GM imposed the affidavit on each of these twenty-nine people when the session knew in advance that each of these people had scruples about the court, as to its nature, extent, jurisdiction and authority. The session wanted these people to affirm something that they knew ahead of time these people had issues with and that they could not swear to. Instead of answering their questions first, the session chose to excommunicate them. In other words, far from them leaving our church, the session of the RPNA-GM kicked them out.

A lawful authority can impose a lawful oath touching anything good and just on the inferiors under its jurisdiction, which it is a sin to refuse, even if a man has scruples about it. However it would be a sin for a lawful authority to impose a lawful oath upon someone not within their jurisdiction. Much more would it be a sin for a lawful authority to impose an unlawful oath on someone outside their jurisdiction, let alone for an unlawful authority imposing an unlawful oath on someone not under its jurisdiction (which would be the height of folly). The sin in these cases would lie with the authority for acting tyrannically, and not with the inferior for refusing to swear an allegedly imposed oath or affadavit.

The affidavit, with content that may or may not be lawful, was imposed by an alleged authority that may or may not be lawful, on people that did not presently affirm the jurisdiction of that authority (viz. the session of the RPNA-GM) over they themselves individually. Therefore it was most lawful and just for these people to not swear the oath and sign the affidavit, because the jurisdiction of the session of the RPNA-GM to act in this manner was not already granted in advance. These people can't be bound to swear an oath to own a court that they don't know exists lawfully or not, and which they never swore obedience to. That would be sinful in itself, and that ironically would be grounds to charge them with public sin in. The many weighty considerations also brought forward that cast doubt on the lawfulness of the affidavit or of the court imposing it also serve to confirm these people in the propriety of their actions.
Hence, the session of the RPNA-GM was in sin for imposing these affidavits and then punishing the non-compliance thereof. Wicked Pilate and Gallio tried to pass the buck by saying it was not their jurisdiction to be empowered to rule (when in fact it was), but even the pagans recognize by the light of nature the impropriety and sin of asserting jurisdiction outside their proper boundaries.

Deuteronomy 21:1-3 If in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess someone is found slain, lying in the open country, and it is not known who killed him, (2) then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure the distance to the surrounding cities. (3) And the elders of the city that is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer that has never been worked and that has not pulled in a yoke.

Luke 12:13-14 Someone in the crowd said to him, Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. (14) But he said to him, Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?

John 18:31 Pilate said to them, Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law. The Jews said to him, It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.

Acts 18:15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.

Unknown Charges

I believe the session of the RPNA-GM sinned in not telling the people who were being charged with sin what the charges were or who the accuser was, even after they were asked. The session required them to swear the oath first before this information would be released to them as defendants. But obviously they could not in good conscience swear the oath which they stated they had questions and concerns about. So the charges and the accuser was never even revealed to these people through formal channels, but only through informal conversations and in talks with third-parties (who absurdly knew more about what the alleged sin was and who the accuser was than the defendant himself). One ultimately does not even know whether there were any charges. Or whether the very charges were having questions and doubts about the things that were put in the affidavit as things that you didn't doubt or have questions regarding. This is a manifest travesty of justice, without precedent or justification among faithful ecclesiastical judicatories, and I charge the session of the RPNA-GM with sin for not releasing this information, and I commend and approve of any named defendant who did not swear such an intrinsically sinful oath.

Matthew 18:15-16 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. (16) But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Luke 17:3 Pay attention to yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,

John 7:51 Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?

1 Corinthians 8:12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.

1 Thessalonians 4:6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.

Content of Affidavit

There is no question the Affidavit oath exceeds the scope and range of commitments being made and doctrines and controversies being decided in the membership terms or the terms of communion. Common-sense, not finding in either of those terms agreed unto upon inductance into membership things such as all your positions papers and peculiar doctrines and distinctives as well as oral rulings not released in writing, would then require the session of the RPNA-GM to be charitable towards people who have questions about these alleged additional terms of communion they are supposedly under obligation to. I personally was a member for a very long time before someone told me that the PRCE/RPNA/RPNA-GM elders' position papers as well as unwritten oral decisions were all terms of communion that were of equal (if not superior) weight to the Confession of Faith and Larger Catechism, and you'd get excommunicated for disagreeing with any of them. In retrospect that was the consistent practice of the three men who made up the session of the RPNA-GM but since it was never explicit it took me a while to consciously realize it. It seemed dishonest at the time to not add these to the terms of communion explicitly but I didn't pursue it. However now I am, and I am calling it dishonest and a lie to claim one thing (the affidavit) is our membership while at the same time conveying on our website and in our membership interviews that the membership terms and the terms of communion is our membership. The grand lie of the Affidavit, that it is our membership oath, is worthy of all condemnation. Therefore it was no sin to not swear the oath, and sinful of the session of the RPNA-GM to impose it, because the affidavit is not our membership commitment.


I believe the session of the RPNA-GM lied when it was privately explained to some members (but not to all) that the affidavit oath can be sworn even when questioning the content of the oath. This was told to at least _________ and to _________ (and potentially others), who then communicated to everyone else this accommodation the session was granting them. I have many witnesses as well as my own witness to this being the testimony of these two people. The session gave them the permission to equivocate even when the oath tells them they are not to equivocate. _________ perceived the lie for what it was (and he himself charges before Christ the session of the RPNA-GM with this sin), how the session was sinfully lowering its standards to some of its favorites so that the affidavit could be sworn even when one had honest and legitimate problems with the claims being made (just so long as that person did not positively disagree with anything there). On the other hand, the affidavit itself forbids that sort of loosening explicitly. Its preamble says,
If this candidate for membership should say, “I don’t know (or I am not sure) if you are a lawful and faithful Court of Christ,” that person would be positively excluded from admission into membership within the RPNA (GM).

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

Besides this being a bald-faced lie, and putting words in members' mouths and constructing commitments they manifestly never made (as my section on membership demonstrates), this also argues directly against the accommodation that was extended to _________ and _________. The affidavit clearly is requiring without equivocation and reservation the testimony that the session of the RPNA-GM is a lawful and faithful church court, while these people were verbally coached to let them know that they can have equivocations and they can have reservations about these things. That's perjury.

Thus when the affidavit oath begins,

I, [Name Removed], freely and voluntarily, according to my own conscience and not being induced or compelled by any unlawful external means, by the grace of God and in the name of Jesus Christ, sincerely, in the plain and common sense of these terms, without equivocation or mental reservation, formally testify that I, [Name Removed], in no way knowingly disagree with [begin list]...
...we are left with no doubt whatsoever that one can not swear the oath when they have equivocations or mental reservations about the things being sworn to. How can any good man or woman swear this, and then bring forward questions that are sincere? Therefore I testify against the session of the RPNA-GM for its sin in both encouraging members to falsely swear the affidavit when they had doubts, and in allowing such false affirmations as well, despite the clear and simple wording of the affidavit itself. I believe this aspect of the case demonstrates great incompetence as well in the session of the RPNA-GM, beyond the sin of false-swearing and perjury it countenanced and encouraged, because if the affidavit was worded with the accommodation in it already, various members might have actually sworn it in that circumstance, not because they had to, but because then it wouldn't have been a lie for them to do so.

2 Chronicles 19:7 Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes.

Psalms 119:113 I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.

Proverbs 6:16-17 There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:
(17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Proverbs 20:25 It is a snare to say rashly, It is holy, and to reflect only after making vows.

Proverbs 28:21 To show partiality is not good, but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.

Galatians 4:16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?

1 Timothy 3:8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.

James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (7) For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.


I protest the handling of this entire matter of discipline and excommunication, as being intrinsically sinful. What is in question is the lawfulness of the session of the RPNA-GM, and the faithfulness of Rev. Greg Price, Elder Greg Barrow and Elder Lyndon Dohms. They are the issue, they are the defendant, and they are the judge. If the issue itself was not the session being a court, or them having jurisdiction over us, then they could say that so-and-so has shown 'contempt of court' (i.e. contempt for the court, its process and its invested powers). But that's the very question

states the grounds of recusal in a civil court succinctly:
Recusal laws may vary by jurisdiction, but the following are nearly universal grounds for recusal.
The Judge is related to a party, attorney, or spouse of either party (usually) within three degrees of kinship.
The Judge is a party.
The Judge is a material witness unless pleading purporting to make the Judge a party is false (determined by presiding judge).
Judge has previously acted as an attorney for a party.
Judge prepared any legal instrument (such as a contract or will) whose validity or construction is at issue.
Appellate Judge previously handled case as a Trial Judge.
Judge has personal or financial interest in the outcome. This particular ground varies by jurisdiction. Some require recusal if there is any interest at all in the outcome, while others only require recusal if there is significant interest.
Judge determines he cannot act impartially.

A Judge that has grounds to recuse himself should do so.

I believe it is fair and valid to apply these rules meant for recusal in the civil sphere, and making the appropriate alterations mutatis mutandis to the ecclesiastical sphere as well. The three elders of the session of the RPNA-GM therefore obviously qualify for recusal on several grounds, most importantly by the fact that the judge (i.e. court) is a party in an on-going dialog on the lawfulness or validity of the court and whether or not it has jurisdiction over those formerly under the Presbytery's judicial oversight, and that the court has personal and financial interest that are 'significant' in the outcome of the dialog concerning its own lawfulness.

The competency and legality of the court was already at issue among the defendants and the judge, as the record clearly attests, and therefore the impartiality of the court (if indeed there was a court) was impossible. A maxim present in English common law for hundreds of years is that no one should be a judge in his own case. Even pagans recognize judges must be impartial, or not judge at all, and therefore have done better than the session of the RPNA-GM.

I was told by the Session that it rejects its own obligation to recuse (disqualify) itself from judgment because these excommunications are similar (or identical) to punishment for holding contempt for court, its process and its invested powers, which is lawful and just. I reject that based on grounds already offered.

Therefore I charge the session of the RPNA-GM for sin in not recusing themselves sua sponte (on their own motion) and not recognizing that facts leading to their disqualification are present.
Exodus 23:8 And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

Deuteronomy 1:17 You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.'

Deuteronomy 16:19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 17:8 If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the LORD your God will choose.

1 Samuel 8:3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.

John 5:30 I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

1 Timothy 5:21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.

Excommunication Restorative, Not Retributive; Only For Obstinacy

How does the session of the RPNA-GM excommunicate people who are still wanting to dialog? The Scripture teaches that the purpose of excommunication is not to condemn the guilty retributively, requiting them pain and suffering for the pain and suffering they caused and delivering vengeance to them. The civil magistrate bears the sword of God's wrath, and requites vengeance and retribution on those who perpetrate evil. With the church, it is not so. They discipline indeed, out of necessity and as a matter of duty, but the end in mind is not vengeance but repentance of the guilty. So to condemn people and cast them out of the visible church while not being obstinate in their opposition to the session's documents and still sincerely interested in instruction and communication, is blameworthy and to be deplored. The session of the RPNA-GM is guilty of the sin of excommunicating non-obstinate persons in each and every instance of the twenty-nine people who were wrongly excommunicated. If the representative church, the eldership, is to excommunicate even the obstinate with great carefulness and after many warnings and admonitions, both private and public, and only then proceed with the final censure, then how much more those who were neither obstinate or unteachable and were just asking questions

Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.

2 Corinthians 2:5-10 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure -- not to put it too severely -- to all of you. (6) For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, (7) so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. (8) So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. (9) For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. (10) Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,

1 Corinthians 5:5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,

Acts 15:1-2 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. (2) And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.

Jude 1:22-23 And have mercy on those who doubt; (23) save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

First Book of Discipline, The Seventh Head (Of Ecclesiastical Discipline),1560
For the church ought to be no more severe than God declares himself to be, who witnesses that, In whatsoever hour a sinner unfeignedly repents, and turns from his wicked way, that he will not remember one of his iniquities [cf. Ezek. 18:21-22; 33:14-16]. And therefore the church ought diligently to advert that it excommunicate not those whom God absolves.

If the offender called before the ministry is found stubborn, hard-hearted, or one in whom no sign of repentance appears, then must he be dismissed with an exhortation to consider the dangerous estate in which he stands; assuring him, if they find in him no other token of amendment of life, that they will be compelled to seek a further remedy. If he within a certain space shows his repentance to the ministry, they must present him to the church as before is said.

Excommunications are Serious

I think the session of the RPNA-GM had become callous in its tyranny and after so many unlawful excommunications, it has lost sight of the most important truth: a true and lawful excommunication is serious. When a man is excommunicated, he is in a bad state--actually an awful state. His soul is in serious danger. Hell is at the doorstep and it is knocking. But all these godly people the session excommunicated, are their souls in eternal danger for disowning their court, or not owning their court, or for disassociating? The session would have to say yes, but in practice even they don't really believe that as they fixate on questions of consent, and alleging sin by not positively owning them as a court, and then talk publicly (to which there are many witnesses including my own) about seeing these same people in heaven in the future. It profanes the ordinance of church discipline to have it all treated so cavalierly, which is sinful.

Excommunications are for Clear Reasons

If the (non-excommunicated) members of the RPNA-GM were polled and asked what the above twenty-nine people were excommunicated for, only quite few of them would give the 'right' answer, that it was because they were self-excommunicated (by failure to reaffirm the affidavit oath). Most of the members would probably say they were excommunicated for failure to swear the oath, not remembering this casuistry regarding self-excommunication and think it was just a sin they had done that got them cast out. Others might not even know that and make false claims about these twenty-nine people denying your government. Some might even propose some other false or gossipy reason. My point is that in faithful churches with faithful church courts that conduct faithful excommunications, there is no doubt whatsoever why that person got excommunicated. Atheism. Unrepentant fornication. Obstinate adultery. Arminianism. That's what the people would say because there would be one or more clear gross unrepentant sins and offenses that person was guilty of, done in opposition to the clear teachings of scripture and the unanimous testimony of the historic faithful church. Which then puts that person in a very terrible position (not that they're not saved perhaps, but that they're in a very dangerous position). But in the RPNA-GM, it is not so. People virtually never get excommunicated for any direct sin, or the real reason they are dissociating, but it is always some secondary procedural thing, Dissociating because of scruples , Familiar fellowship with those who dissociated because of scruples about an excommunication , Not affirming the elders' testimony under oath because of scruples . We've grown too used to accept that sort of flimsy reasoning. We've even moved past it so from now on, no one will ever get excommunicated for any manifest gross sin, because when they fail to swear the affidavit oath which confirms things they already have scruples with or oppose, they'll get excommunicated for that rather than the real gross sin they're guilty of. I condemn this as sinful and unhistorical. The faithful Reformation Reformed churches condemned people only for their real sins (e.g. as in the Church Order of Dort, and the Scottish First Book of Discipline) and the people knew what that sin was. It was a complete reversal from the modus operandi of the session of the RPNA-GM.

Illustrations by the Light of Nature

The Husband

What kind of elder would counsel a husband, who has a wife that has a scruple over his authority, to assert and maintain his authority as opposed to dealing with her scruple and answering her questions? If the husband said, Wife, I won't even begin to answer your questions until you say that you own my authority. You will submit to me fully and completely or I will lawfully divorce you.

That would be highly problematic, and be detrimental marriage counseling.

The Priest I

There is a member of the Roman Catholic Church who affirms and explicitly declares that he owns the infallibility of the pope and him being the Vicar of Christ. And then he begins to read the Scriptures, and he begins to heavily doubt that the pope has this kind of authority, and that this kind of government is reflected in the bible. So he begins to ask questions. The response of the priest, or of the pope himself is, Affirm that you will own my authority, and then we will work through your questions. But that is what the very scruple or question is about.

How about you convince me? the man answers.

The Priest II

Taking the previous example one step further: So the pope writes a paper to convince him of his authority, and before the man is allowed to ask questions or engage with the paper that the pope wrote, the pope says, Okay, now own my authority, because I wrote the paper. The argument is self-evident, but I, appealing to your weaknesses, wrote you this paper. Here you go, now you'll need to affirm my authority. But the man says, I need to engage with the ideas you just gave me. But the Pope replies, No no, affirm my authority first.

Even the light of nature tells us that this is a recipe for disaster.

The Tax-Protestor

A man in the United States is taken to court for not paying income tax. When defending himself he says he doesn't know why he has to pay income tax because he has never seen a law that says he has an obligation to pay the income tax (and he has searched thoroughly first and asked many people). He wants to see the law requiring payment of income tax before he will pay it, but if he sees it, he would be happy to pay back the government with interest all the money he owes them. The man is not saying there is no law requiring payment of an income tax, but just that he hasn't seen such a law himself and for all he knows it doesn't exist.

If the government produced the specific law and then demanded punishment anyway, we would see that as petty. If the government did not even produce the law but through bluster and intimidation required the jury or judge to punish the man anyway, that would at best be intolerable and at worst tyranny. The only course of action that would be honorable would be for the government to produce the law and then allow the men to pay back everything owed, or admit there is no such law and have the trial dismissed and the charges dropped.

If even a civil court can exercise mercy and accommodation, when it has a mandate to avenge wrong-doing with punishment, then how much more should an ecclesiastical court show mercy and accommodate the weakness of a brother when he has scruples, in order to reclaim that brother to the cause of righteousness.


No example in the Bible (other than the murder of the Son of Man himself) better illustrates the abuse of power, and the exercise of tyranny, than the persecution and attempted murder of David son of Jesse by King Saul. Though innocent of any crime, Saul pursued him irrationally and sought his life. But even Saul himself came to recognize the sinfulness of what he was doing (though he relapsed), and condemned himself. Please elders, learn from Saul, and turn back from the wicked path you have undertaken to persecute the many faithful who raised questions about the immense power that you were jealous (to a fault) to guard, and bear fruits in keeping with repentance.

1 Samuel 19:4-7 And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. (5) For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the LORD worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause? (6) And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore, As the LORD lives, he shall not be put to death. (7) And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan reported to him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

1 Samuel 26:21-25 Then Saul said, I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake. (22) And David answered and said, Here is the spear, O king Let one of the young men come over and take it. (23) The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the LORD's anointed. (24) Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the LORD, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation. (25) Then Saul said to David, Blessed be you, my son David You will do many things and will succeed in them. So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.

You've slanderously likened those who were wrongly excommunicated to Korah, Dathan and Abiram, but the priests of Malachi 2 is a better scripture to look up for its instructive example for our situation. Take heed, and repent and seek the Lord while he may be found. Who knows, it may be your last chance.

Malachi 2:1-9 And now, O priests, this command is for you. (2) If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. (3) Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. (4) So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the LORD of hosts. (5) My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. (6) True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. (7) For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. (8) But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, (9) and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.

I call upon you to repent of the preceding twenty-nine excommunications, which were manifestly sinful and abundantly unlawful, and to admit the unlawfulness and invalidity of these same excommunications, and that you were solely responsible and the alone guilty parties in creating the schism that has happened within our communion. Then you will have to personally seek the forgiveness of each and every member of the RPNA-GM for your sin. Lastly you will have to voluntarily suspend yourselves from a position of authority and rule in the church of Christ as we collectively evaluate whether you can be called to minister by anyone (in the case of Rev. Greg Price) or be called to represent anyone (in the cases of Elder Greg Barrow and Elder Lyndon Dohms), or whether your past scandalous actions, and generalized incompetence and wicked dealings, have rendered you unfit to continue in the position of authority indefinitely.

1 Thessalonians 1:5b You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

3 John 9-10 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

First Book of Discipline, The Eighth Head,1560
If any minister is deprehended in any notable crime, as whoredom, adultery, murder, man slaughter, perjury, teaching of heresy, or any such as deserve death, or [that] may be a note of perpetual infamy, he ought to be deposed for ever. By heresy, we mean pernicious doctrine plainly taught, and obstinately defended, against the foundation and principles of our faith. And such a crime we judge to deserve perpetual deposition from the ministry; for most dangerous we know it to be, to commit the flock to a man infected with the pestilence of heresy.

Some crimes deserve deposition for a time, and while [until] the person gives declaration of greater gravity and honesty: as if a minister is deprehended drunk, in brawling or fighting, an open slanderer, an infamer of his neighbour, factious and [a] sower of discord, he may be commanded to cease from his ministry, till he declare the signs of repentance; upon the which, the church shall abide him the space of twenty days or further, as the church shall think expedient, before that they proceed to a new election.

And if you choose not to repent, and to disregard my words, or don't do any of the things that I am requiring of you in order to forgive you, then I will have no choice but to take that as evidence of your obstinacy in sin and hardening against the truth, and grounds for lawful dissociation from you three men as elders and church officers, and a most lawful and just reason to decline the authority of the court calling itself the session of the RPNA-GM .

Exodus 23:1-3 You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. (2) You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, (3) nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.

Deuteronomy 19:18-20 The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, (19) then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (20) And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you.

Proverbs 14:1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

Romans 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.

1 Timothy 5:20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.

Titus 3:10-11 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

John Brown of Wamphray, An Apologetical Relation of the Particular Sufferings of the Faithful Ministers and Professors of the Church of Scotland, 1660, 1845, SWRB reprint, 1996, p. 146
It is true private Christians may not set themselves up into the chair, and judge of the endowments and qualifications of ministers, and what nulleth their office and what not, yet every private Christian hath the use of the judgment of discretion, and that way may judge whether such an one appears qualified according to the rule of the word or not.

Lovingly submitted in the fear of God,

Christopher T.


From: Christopher T.
To: Greg Price
CC: Greg Barrow, Lyndon Dohms
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2007 17:20:42 -0600
Subject: Dissociation

I have received your affidavit and its message is loud and clear. You have chosen to disregard my words and not do any of the things that I believe Scripture requires for you to be restored from your state of sin. Instead you have dismissed my charges as mere false accusations and sent me the very oath I had just declared was an unlawful and sinful snare. I take that as ample evidence of your obstinacy in sin and hardening against the truth, and therefore biblical grounds for formally dissolving our existing ecclesiastical relationship. Thus I lawfully and peaceably dissociate from you three men as elders and church officers, and most lawfully decline the authority of the court calling itself the session of the RPNA-GM , effective immediately.

Christopher T.