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14294Re: Covenanter Groups

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  • Edgar A. Ibarra Jr.
    Jan 11, 2006

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Sean McDonald" <kaalvenist@y...> wrote:
      > It is interesting for me to note how many non-responses may be
      > furnished as responses to a few simple questions.
      > "1. How many different 'Covenanter' groups are there (i.e. groups
      > which hold to the binding obligation of the Solemn League and
      > Covenant)?"
      > I know of at least two. Is that correct? or are there more than the
      > RPNA societies on the one hand, and the society (or societies)
      > associated with the "original Steelite" group? What is that group's
      > name (is it, as stated on the TrueCovenanter.com site, "The
      > Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian Church")?

      There is only ONE Covenanter group that has church officers and laymen that they oversee and that is the RPNA.  Those that are associated with Jeremy Kerr  (the Covenanter behind TrueCovenanter.com) and Jerry Waybright (the Moderator of this group) are laymen and not church officers.  There remain differences that they have with the Elders/position of the RPNA that, I myself optimistically hope will be worked out so that they may join the RPNA, again, that is my personal view and do not seek to represent anyone else with the latter statement.


      > How do Jim Dodson, Derek Edwards, and Frank DiLella figure into all
      > of this? Are they associated with any of the groups now in
      > existence, or do any of them today form their own
      > independent "Covenanter" societies?

      Concerning Jim Dodson Ginny has answered you.  He is just a layman.  Why he did not join the PRCE/RPNA i the past, I personally do not know.  Someone/body else here may have the answer.  Derek Edwards, if I remember correctly is alone with one layman, that is the last I heard.  Frank DiLella, received and took a call at the Puritan Reformed Church in San Diego years ago.  Some of my friends back in that time period actually attended services when he was there.  He was trying to instruct that congregation on Covenanter principles, but was eventually chased out.  Where he is now, I have no clue.  Suffice it to say he also had issues with the RPNA and with the PA brethren, last I heard.

      > I was rather surprised to see Ps. 36:1-4 quoted against Mr. Dodson.
      > Would it not have been sufficient to say that you disagree with him,
      > or with certain actions of his (I do not know the situation), rather
      > than vilifying him on a public forum, without giving him opportunity
      > to defend himself?
      > "2. What are the reasons for these 'Covenanter' groups maintaining a
      > distinct and separate existence from each other?"
      > I know that they arose separately from each other, in two different
      > countries. But I know also that the elders of the PRCE were in
      > contact with Jim Dodson prior to their dissociation from Dr. Bacon's
      > presbytery in 1996. If the two were in contact with each other prior
      > to the formation of the RPNA (2000), it seems that the two must have
      > had differences which prevented the RPNA from uniting with the
      > original group.
      > What are those differences? I have heard headcoverings, movies, and
      > birth control put forth so far. Is there nothing more substantial
      > than these? I know that the RPNA lists "Reformation Principles
      > Exhibited" as being among its subordinate standards, whereas David
      > Steele himself later repudiated this document. It also seems obvious
      > to me that when earlier authors spoke of "terms of communion," they
      > were not speaking merely of terms of "table fellowship" (which seems
      > to be all this phrase means for the RPNA), but of terms of church
      > membership. Are these some of the issues between the RPNA and the
      > original group? Are there any other issues?

      I personally am ignorant about how David Steele viewed that document, so I cannot comment on that.  As for the "Terms of Communion", those are the terms for a brother/sister to come to the Lord's Table and partake of Communion. To be a member of the RPNA, one needs to profess Christ and etc.  To be able to come to the Lord's Supper it entails more than a profession of faith, but agreement with the Biblical doctrines that Presbyterians have faithfully held to since the Second Reformation, as it would be sinful for one to come to the Table in ignorance of the Lord's body and/or scandal.  We do not hold to open communion as many denominations do in America.

      Here is how it is stated officially:

      Church Membership
      Description: Church membership entitles you and your children to the privileges of: baptism, the administration of God's Word, the love, fellowship, oversight, and discipline of the church, family visits, and the use of your gifts and talents.

      Admission to the Lord's Supper
      Description: Knowledge and acceptance of these terms will entitle you to partake in the Lord's Supper with us. Male heads of households are also permitted to vote in congregational meetings.

      Interview Questions Before Each Lord's Supper
      Description: A short interview to determine that no public scandals have arisen involving the member, and that they are remaining faithful in their Christian duties.

      see http://www.reformedpresbytery.org/member.html for the actual questions.

      > I am not trying to "stir up debate" on these points. I really do not
      > want to discuss any of these issues, or care to have anyone else on
      > this forum debate headcoverings, birth control, differences in
      > understanding "terms of communion," etc. Neither do I ask these to
      > be a "mocker" or a "jeerer." I am simply asking what are the
      > differences between the two main "Covenanter" groups that exist
      > today -- or, if there are more than just two, what all of their
      > differences are. I understand the desire to work toward unity with
      > separated brethren; but such unity is rarely, if ever, obtained by
      > simply ignoring differences, or trying to put on a "united front"
      > for outsiders.

      I hope that was more helpful and to the point?  I hope others that are privy to better info can fill in the blanks and/or correct anything I may have mis-stated, if they are so inclined.

      Thank you for your questions,

      Edgar Ibarra

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