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Re: Covenanter Groups

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  • Edgar A. Ibarra Jr.
    ... 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
    Message 1 of 33 , 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

    • forisraelssake
      Guys, I see better now what Christopher s point was all along. It is not that we have (like in Bacon s church) a practice of differing requirements for the
      Message 33 of 33 , Jan 21, 2006

        I see better now what Christopher's point was all along. It is not
        that we have (like in Bacon's church) a practice of differing
        requirements for the Lord's supper depending on whether you are a
        member, elder, or non-member, but that we have a distinction between a
        member of our church and a member who has sustained their examination
        to come to the Lord's supper. Whether we have erred in this respect or
        not, I am not certain.

        But I do know that if you allow children of members to be considered
        members of our church and under the love, fellowship, oversight, and
        discipline of the church, and able to be baptized, and receive family
        visits by the elders, all while being in a state of ignorance and not
        able to sustain their examination to come to the Lord's table...

        then it seems that as long as a person is like a child in the faith,
        even though in secular respects an adult, they can be members of a
        church but not ready to come to the Lord's table and partake on the
        sacrament. An obedient child lives a blameless life, and is working
        towards attaining the knowledge and understanding needing to come
        worthily to the Lord's supper; the seeking of that state is a moral
        duty of all Christians.

        "I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it."
        1 Corinthians 3:2

        "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to
        teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need
        milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in
        the word of righteousness, since he is a child." Hebrews 5:12-13

        Christ's elders have to minister to all sorts of people, the weaker
        and the stronger, and the children on the one hand and the men in the
        faith on the other. Maybe this won't satisfy you, especially if you
        think historical testimony of the Church of Scotland in her faithful
        days is against us. And maybe the RPNA has erred and needs to reform.
        But I don't totally see that.

        Can a recent adult convert out of heathenism be baptized and under the
        authority of the elders without being a member of the church? It
        doesn't make much sense to me. But surely we don't withhold baptism
        or formal elder oversight until the person is brought up to speed on
        the Reformation from Popery, the Westminster Standards, the nature and
        practice of covenanting, and why our church keeps itself separate from
        all the denominations? It seems pretty clear to me that the church
        takes these people in as like unto children and trains them up in the
        way they should go.

        Hope this helps.

        Edmonton, AB

        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, gmw
        <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
        > Christopher,
        > I'm not in the RPNA, and as I mentioned in previous posts, I don't
        > understand their position on the two-tiered membership (I've been
        > pointed towards materials to read, which I'll get to when I have
        > I do know that in the past, RP's have given out tokens to those who
        > been examined and found worthy of partaking. This assumes that some
        > members may not be admitted to the Lord's Table for reasons touched on
        > in the Catechism questions provided. But outside of that, I guess I
        > have the same question that you have. What is this initial membership
        > that is not communicant membership? Is it like being a Catechumen in
        > the early church? I'm still trying to figue this all out myself.
        > gmw.
        > trygvesson@a... wrote:
        > > *In a message dated 1/21/2006 9:12:48 AM Eastern Standard Time,
        > > raging.calvinist@v... writes:*
        > > "This is why some Churches "fence" the Table, and refrain from
        > > it to those who are found to be ignorant, scandalous,
        > > hypocrites. To do so, requires some examination.
        > >
        > > gmw."
        > >
        > >
        > > *Gerry,*
        > >
        > > *Perhaps you will be able to answer this. Now, I agree with fencing
        > > the table and session controlled communion, and in an age when the
        > > standards of the church are more distinct from other denominations
        > > we do not have similar or duplicate denominations as we do now [take
        > > the RPCNA, RPCS, and the RPCI for example] I agree with close
        communion. *
        > > **
        > > *What I do not understand is, if I am reading recent posts rightly,
        > > how can an adult be interviewed and admitted to membership in the
        > > but that same adult membership not also be communicant membership?*
        > > **
        > > *I was under the impression that the standards for adult admission to
        > > the membership of the church were the same as those for communion.*
        > > **
        > > *~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        > > Christopher Coombes
        > > Lynchburg Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship,
        > > Lynchburg, VA
        > > Member, Triangle RPC
        > > RPCNA**
        > >
        > > _
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        > > (__/ ) )
        > > (_/*
        > >
        > >
        > >
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        > > the web.
        > >
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