15542RE: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Secret Society Paper Response
- Apr 2, 2007Dear Brother,Of that I am certain---that is, that the structure of your sentence is unacceptable, and that it is an insult to other Covenanters to call the RPNA (GM) Covenanters. I therefore suggest a modification, that we call the RPNA (GM) theReformed Presbyterian North America We Are the Only Ones Right and Can Excommunicate Any One We Prefer to (General Assembly of a Few)or the RPNAWAOORCEAOWP (GAF). This is how ridiculous it gets.Gus Gianello-----Original Message-----
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Jerry
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 8:21 PM
Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Secret Society Paper Response
"Are you now telling me that "Covenanter" Reformed Presbyterian principles mean that if I become convinced the pastor/elder/ session is wrong then I must repent or be excommunicated? "
Let it be known that not everyone who holds to Covenanter/Reformed Presbyterian principles agrees with what these particular Reformed Presbyterians are doing, and there are some of us who find the implicit faith the RPNA (GM) [which is neither a presbytery nor a general meeting] require [??? at the very least, they allow and accept implicit faith, if not require it] to be unacceptable.
I also find the structure of my sentence above to be unacceptable, but you get the point. LOL!
Gus Gianello wrote:
Mr. Gress,Cult is applied to your church because of its "cultish" approach to widows, and any who disagree with it. What ever happened to the right of private judgement?And I assert that, the verse you quote, you only quote for your purposes and thereby mangle the true intent of the verse. Correct me if I am wrong in any of my assertions.The word used for "consent" is
Keil & Delitzch have this to say concerning this passage---
Consequently הפך אל must be explained according to 1Sa_10:9, since the circumstance that we have הפך ל in this passage does not make any material difference in the meaning. The construction in both passages is a pregnant one. God turns to the nations a pure lip, by purifying their sinful lips, i.e., He converts them, that they may be able to call upon Him with pure lips. Lip does not stand for language, but is mentioned as the organ of speech, by which a man expresses the thoughts of his heart, so that purity of the lips involves or presupposes the purification of the heart. The lips are defiled by the names of the idols whom they have invoked (cf. Hos_2:19; Psa_16:4). The fruit of the purification is this, that henceforth they call upon the name of Jehovah, and serve Him. קרא בשׁם יי, when used of men, always signifies to call solemnly or heartily upon the name of Jehovah. To serve shekhem 'echâd, with one shoulder, is to serve together or with unanimity. The metaphor is taken from bearers who carry a burden with even shoulders; cf. Jer_32:39.
Jeremiah 32: 39 says
39 And I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for their good and for the good of their sons after them.
As an associated citation so that we may better understand the metaphoric use of the word.
You seem to have mislaid any comments about the voluntary nature of the Church. The church is a voluntary society of like-believing people, who organize together ostensibly to present Christ to the world. A "cultish" church tries to compel. Roman catholicism is a cult of implicit faith in the Pope as infallible (ex cathedra), representative of the magisterium. MANY ostensibly Protestant churches are cults of implicit faith in either the leaders, in science, etc. Therefore they feel justified in compelling or coercing association by threats and ostensibly judicial actions.
ONLY in Scripture can we have implicit faith. In all the back-and-forth that I have seen nobody has asked the obvious question:
What evidence of obduracy deserving being cast into the outer darkness and being declared an apostate is given as reason for excommunicating people? Were they fornicators? Were they adulterers? It is very strange indeed that all this overblown hyperbole and swelling words of dependence on "Presbyterian polity" NEVER quotes the example of the apostle Paul who in letter after letter after letter, shows that he deals with obstinancy in this extreme manner ONLY after every other recourse has failed and only when there is clear evidence and legitimate proceedure to compel excommunication. Christian love DICTATES that we be compelled to excommunicate by evidence unsullied, trial unmarred, appeals unheeded, and when circumstance and incidentals deny the possibility for remedy; and always for the salvation of the erring parties and for their ultimate reconciliation. I see NOTHING in the NT that says "excommunicate the moment somebody disagrees, refuses to take an oath or has a problem with what you are doing." THAT is worthy of a cult. And a cult YOU ARE, and a cultist you yourself are, if you can justify these extremes.
Where is the proof of their heresy?
Where is the proof of their blasphemy?
Where is the proof of their scandalous sin, deserving of immediate excommunication, without process? What they were doing was it equal or surpassing in rebellion to God, that they need to be treated as partners in incest? (1 Cor. 5)
Why did not your elders do what the wise apostle did when he disagreed with Barnabas? Separate, go their separate ways, without recrimination or censure? Are you now telling me that "Covenanter" Reformed Presbyterian principles mean that if I become convinced the pastor/elder/ session is wrong then I must repent or be excommunicated? Is that my ONLY choice. Can we not go our separate ways? THAT is a cult.
When an acquaintance of mine became a member of an OPC church I thought it a bad idea. Because he was not convinced of infant baptism. (And it also indicated how orthodox the OPC church was that they would allow such a person to become a member) When after struggling with it over a year he decided that he COULD NOT be convinced and wanted to leave the church, the pastor told him he would be excommunicated. See, we dont succor wounded sheep---we slaughter them. When an elder friend contacted me asking my opinion of this course of action, I told him it was outrageous and worthy of a cult. That ONLY cults excommunicate people who sincerely cannot agree with them. Thank God that the elder listened, and allowed him to leave in peace. I know ALL about cultic excommunication. When I was a Charismatic and a member of a Faith Movement church, I WAS excommunicated.
Excommunication as Jay E. Adams warns should be used reluctantly, and any time a "church(?)" rushes to it, as it seems there is evidence that your "church" has done---correct me if I am wrong, that church, those members and those elders are to be viewed with suspicion. Any one who says "you fool" (Mat 5) quickly and not reluctantly, being not dragged to the situation, and having not constantly and repeatedly appealed, exhorted, admonished, cried over the impenitent, deserves to be called a cultist. And that church deserves to be called a CULT.
Gus Gianello-----Original Message-----
From: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:covenantedr eformationclub@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Julian Gress
Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 2:43 PM
To: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com
Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Secret Society Paper
Well said, brother.
I have been finishing up the Old Testament recently, and found a
great verse, Zephaniah 3:9, "For then will I turn to the people a
pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to
serve him with one consent." This verse encourages me because in it
the Lord promises to make his church united in doctrine, worship,
government, and discipline, such that we may all serve the one Lord
as one body through one spirit.
I for one do not understand what some brethren mean they call the
RPNA (GM) a "cult." I once heard with reference to the "one true
church syndrome," but this objection has been thoroughly dealt with
First, "true" as to the essence of the church, or as to the nature
or structure of the church, true as being or as to well-being? The
accusation is entirely out of order unless this detail is included.
Second, every church under heaven proclaims that it is the one true
church, by maintaining separation from other churches.
Third, there is and can only be one true church as to well-being, so
that there is no absurdity in professing one's own church to be that
church (for imagine one professing his church not to be the one true
church, faithful and well-established) . Either a church is faithful
in doctrine, worship, government, discipline, or it is not. If the
first, then it is obliged to unite with other churches of the same,
and if it does not do this, it is no longer a faithful church. And
if the second is true, then it is no true church as to well-being.
So if there are a number of true churches as to well-being, then
they will faithfully into one true church. And they will maintain
separation from ill or diseased churches (I mean unfaithful ones),
which do not add to the number of healthy churches. Hence there is
and can be only one true church.
So if the word "cult," is applied to us as meaning that we profess
to be the only true church, then the objection has lost its entire
savor, and is no objection at all, for it points toward no sin in or
Perhaps someone on this forum means something different by it? I
will gladly hear whatever arguments you have to put forth against us
being a "cult" and sincerely endeavor to satisfy your questions and
objections, as I am able.
On a separate note, I am aware that several faithful members of the
RPNA (GM) have left this forum because of the condemnation our
church has received. To avoid all confusion, I merely want to point
out that I do not see any obligation to leave this forum in order to
be faithful to the covenanted testimony we as a church hold, and
this is my reason: in this forum, there is no necessary obligation
to recognize one opinion or another, because it is granted by the
nature of this forum that there may be disagreements. Of course, I
do not intend to have familiar fellowship with any who have been
excommunicated from the RPNA (GM), or to violate any of my other God-
given duties. But unless someone points out a reason otherwise,
something that I have missed, or unless there is a change in
constitution of this forum that necessitates me to violate my oath
of membership in the RPNA (GM), I do not see any necessary reason to
Your brother and servant in the Lord,
Julian R. Gress (RPNA-GM)
--- In covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com, Walt Bre
<humbled.learner@ ...> wrote:
> Dear brethren,
> I know that I promised not to post again on here, and
> for going back on my promise I'm sorry. If you would
> grant me liberty to post only one document, I wanted
> to attach only part of the "Sins Committed By "The
> Effort" and Steps to Repentance" Issued by the Session
> of the RPNA (GM), March 22, 2007.
> There is also a supporting document called "Effort
> Emails (RPNA--GM)" that I am not including in this
> message to protect the names of those involved. I'm
> sure that people would like to read those supporting
> emails that are the primary reason for the Session
> Paper above, but I would ask you to contact Pastor
> Greg Price at (covpastor@. ..) if interested in
> the document.
> I saw Whit's comment this morning supporting the ideas
> promoted by Chris and others in the Presbyterian
> movement that not only are we an unfaithful church,
> but that we would border on the edge of the Morman
> Church, the Roman Catholic Ave Maria Worshippers,
> In interesting definition I found will most definitely
> scare away many people from EVER and NEVER consider
> even reading our Terms of Communion, and subsequent
> Session and Presbytery Decisions that our Church has
> issued since around 1996. The definition says:
> "Cults are groups that often exploit members
> psychologically and/or financially, typically by
> making members comply with leadership's demands
> through certain types of psychological manipulation,
> popularly called mind control, and through the
> inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the
> group and its leaders.
> "A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or
> excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea
> or thing and employing unethically manipulative
> techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation
> from former friends and family, debilitation, use of
> special methods to heighten suggestibility and
> subservience, powerful group pressures, information
> management, suspension of individuality or critical
> judgement, promotion of total dependency on the group
> and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc)
> designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders
> to the actual or possible detriment of members, their
> families, or the community."
> Based upon the above definition, after our Elders have
> learned about the Secret Society within our own
> Church, I can see how not only those of us who are
> left inside the RPNA (GM), but those especially who
> were members inside the RPNA (GM) as part of this
> Secret Society, will be viewed likewise.
> After I read the documents of this Secret Society, I
> can understand what these guys were trying to do and I
> do not believe they intended to create the problems
> that ultimately led many away from our church (this is
> my own opinion). Surely, some have already admitted
> that they have never felt better since leaving our
> church, but others I'm sure may look back on The
> Effort and the means they used with sorrow.
> As I study these documents, and all the documents that
> make up the basis for nearly 30 excommunications, I am
> firmly convinced now that my brothers and sisters have
> misunderstood the doctrine of true Presbyterian
> jurisdiction and the duties of membership by oath.
> These two primary fundamental roots of the problem
> grew into a massive protest. The protest was:
> 1) In the form of a Secret Society led by a few within
> our church who wanted to make a positive impact.
> 2) In the form of a Public positive attack (admitted
> by some that a good offence is always better than a
> good defense) against the Elders to damage their
> reputations and destroy all their credibility.
> As I read the comments made by Whit and Chris, and
> others will most likely follow, I can see that as more
> and more people protest against us, for being strict
> Covenanters, the hammer is going to fall on our heads
> in the future. There is no doubt that as more and
> more people see us as a threat to their own
> backslidden Presbyterian churches, and their own
> unfaithful testimony as faithful Covenanters, the
> flame throwers will be forthcoming and likely with a
> For those who would like to pray for us, please join
> me in the following prayers before the feet of Christ:
> 1) That the Lord will enlighten the hearts of those
> who participated in The Effort and reveal to them the
> sin of schism it caused within the RPNA (GM). For
> those who the Session Paper only hardens and causes
> more forthcoming words of vengeance against us and the
> Elders, that the Lord would use those words to be the
> seeds of another Reformation within His Church.
> 2) That the Lord would raise up Ministers and Elders
> to study intensely the testimony of the Scottish
> Covenanters and especially the fundamentals of how
> they preached biblical doctrine, discipline, form of
> government and form of worship. That this research
> and study will lead them to compare the Terms of
> Communion preached and practiced by the RPCNA, CLC,
> CRCNA, PCA and all the other Presbyterian
> 3) That the Lord will allow the RPNA (GM) to at the
> very least find one more Pastor for Edmonton and one
> more Ruling Elder for Albany so that we may have two
> ordinary locally defined Session courts, and move us
> away from being defined as a cult that has only an
> extraordinary Session court with two Ruling Elders in
> Edmonton and one Pastor in Albany.
> 4) That the Lord would reveal to other Ministers and
> Elders the lawfulness and faithfulness, in
> extraordinary and unsettled times, of a phone
> conference to discuss matters of church doctrine,
> discipline, form of worship and form of government.
> That the international phone conference, where two or
> three ordained ministers are gathered, is indeed
> lawful and faithful, and thereby does bring Christ
> into their midst to rule, bind and loose as He has
> promised in His word.
> 4) Finally, that the Lord would soon return with His
> vial judgments upon the earth, and that historical
> post millennialism will be taught from the pulpits
> again sending fear of the Lord into each of us
> Covenanters and Presbyterians. The return of his vial
> judgments will indeed bring whole nations to covenant
> together, and cause a major change where those who
> desire to be faithful to His Majesty and Power will be
> loved, rather than labeled cults and openly despised.
> Please forgive my spelling errors and mistakes above,
> but I wanted to close out with my pleas as like anyone
> the more I see the labels coming against those in our
> church I admit it does give me fear. Not so much the
> fear of man, as I know man cannot touch me without the
> approval of God, but more that I will continue to
> stand in the face of fear, and not let my Lord down
> when the whole world begins to follow suit based upon
> the "cult" seeds planted by Rev. C. Matthew McMahon,
> Chris Coldwell and Whit Roberts (he did not say it,
> but implied it). Indeed, these seeds are now firmly
> planted in the minds of many, and likely in the future
> the reporters and media, I suspect it will challenge
> all our members to stay the course.
> As I am now finishing my 36 time reading the bible
> cover-to-cover, I was in the plane flying back from
> Africa and something jumped out at me I've read many
> times before. Nevertheless, it gave me a new meaning.
> "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to
> be likeminded one toward another according to Christ
> Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify
> God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
> Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also
> received us to the glory of God." (Rom.15:5-7)
> "For as we have many members in one body, and all
> members have not the same office: So we, being many,
> are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of
> another. Having then gifts differing according to the
> grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us
> prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or
> ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that
> teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on
> exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with
> simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that
> showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without
> dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to
> that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to
> another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one
> another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit,
> serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in
> tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
> Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to
> hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless,
> and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and
> weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one
> toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend
> to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own
> conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil.
> Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it
> be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably
> with all men." (Rom.12:5-18) .
> These are some words, as revealed by our Lord to Paul,
> and have given me a special blessing as I prepare for
> the power of words, and the seeds planted in the
> hearts and minds of those who want neither
> reformation, nor want anything to do with God's
> appointed Ministers and Elders in this life.
> May the Lord be with you all,
____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
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