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[Covenanted Reformation] Re: Secret Society Paper Response

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  • Tom
    We re with Jerry on this one! Tom & Susan (a.k.a.) Bander1643 & SusanandCrew
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 1, 2007
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      We're with Jerry on this one!

      Tom & Susan (a.k.a.) Bander1643 & SusanandCrew

      > Let it be known that not everyone who holds to Covenanter/Reformed
      > Presbyterian principles agrees with what these particular Reformed
      > Presbyterians are doing,
    • puritan_at_heart
      I think its pertinent to point out, that John Knox, of which Scotland is still called The Land of Knox and who was so involved with the early presbyterian
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 1, 2007
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        I think its pertinent to point out, that John Knox,   of which Scotland is still called "The Land of Knox"  and who was so involved with the early presbyterian church in Scotland, taught one thing consistently  throughout  his ministry.  That Presbyterianism and tryanny cannot co-exist. When the two meet, one of them leaves the field.

        ~Deejay


        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Jerry <ragingcalvinist@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > 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!
        >
        > gmw.
        >
        >

      • Julian Gress
        Dear Gus Gianello, As I read your post a number of questions came to mind, things on which I need further clarification before I can proceed to satisfy the
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 1, 2007
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          Dear Gus Gianello,

          As I read your post a number of questions came to mind, things on
          which I need further clarification before I can proceed to satisfy
          the questions and objections you raise.

          First, I am afraid I simply do not understand what you meant when
          you said, "Cult is applied to your church because of its 'cultish'
          approach to widows, and any who disagree with it. Whatever happened
          to the right of private judgment?" With respect to this statement,
          I desire to know these things:

          First, "cult is applied to your church because of…" By whom is it
          applied to my church for this reason? Does everyone who calls my
          church a "cult" call it so for this reason? Who are you talking
          about? Are you talking about only yourself, or others as well?

          Second, What exactly is our "cultish" approach to widows and those
          who disagree with us?

          Third, What do you mean by the term "widows"? I do not understand
          if you mean actual widows, or some other sense of the term. When I
          read in Scripture that we are to protect the widow and the orphan, I
          understand these to be specific instances of a general rule, to
          protect those who are especially vulnerable to oppression. For
          instance, no one should rob the rich or the poor, but to rob from
          the poor is far worse, since they are especially vulnerable to it.
          What exactly do you mean by using this word, and what are you saying?

          Fourth, After this you add, "And any who disagree with it." The
          natural sense of this seems to me, anyone who maintains that we are
          not a faithful church, as to our well-being, and, on those grounds,
          anyone who will not unite with us. But I cannot be certain, so I
          ask who exactly are you referring to?

          Fifth, when you say, "What ever happened to the right of private
          judgment?" What do you take that to be, "the right of private
          judgment"? And furthermore, how does it relate to your previous
          assertion concerning our "cultish" approach to widows and any who
          disagree with us?

          Sixth, I cannot tell in these words (taken as a whole) whether you
          are referring to members of the RPNA (GM), former-members of the
          RPNA (GM), people who are not members and never have been, or any
          two or all three of these categories. Who exactly do you mean to
          include here?

          Second, in your next statement you say, "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." Again, I must express my confusion in the following
          things:

          First, you say that I only quote it for "[my] purposes," and I
          desire to know what exactly my purposes are when I quote this
          verse. As far as I am aware I cited it in the same way as Walt did
          Romans 15:5-7, as it being a source of personal comfort and
          encouragement to me.

          Second, "and thereby mangle the true intent of the verse." Part of
          my confusion arises in that I do not understand what goes before
          it. For you say that because I use it for "[my] purposes,"
          I, "thereby mangle the true intent of the verse." You say, then,
          that because I used it for my own causes, I therefore mangled its
          true intent. And if that is the cause of my error, then I ask not
          only how I have used it for "[my] purposes," but how, by doing so, I
          have mangled its true intent.

          Third, but there arises another confusion in these words,
          particularly in the phrase, "the true intent" (of the verse). The
          word intent, I understand to mean a purpose or a goal, or the reason
          by which a choice is made, but afterwards you offer a very clear
          interpretation of its meaning, but not of its use or application
          (which, I take it would be the reason that God has included it in
          his word). So, I ask, do you mean to say, "The true meaning" of the
          verse, or its "true intent"?

          Fourth, after making all these assertions, you say, "Correct me if I
          am wrong in any of my assertions." I am of course, most willing to
          correct you in any of your wrong assertions, once I know what those
          assertions are.

          Fifth, but when you say this, I wonder why you have chosen to make
          these "assertions," and then ask for my correction. Are you making
          assertions, or are you asking questions? I humbly think that you
          can not do both, for a question implies ignorance, and a statement
          implies knowledge. And I take it that this imperative is no less a
          question, as if it were in the form of a question, for it still
          implies ignorance, as if you sensed that you needed or might need
          correction. Unless you mean it rhetorically, as if to say, "This is
          the way it is, and no other way is it, besides this. However, I am
          willing to submit to your superior knowledge if it is not this way
          (but it is)." In which case, I do not know if you actually expect
          me to correct your assertions, or simply to consider for my own
          sake, whether I can find anything wrong about them.

          Sixth, do accuse me of sin in these words?

          Third, I have some questions concerning the paragraph that
          begins, "You seem to have mislaid any comments…"

          First, when you said, "You seem to have mislaid any comments…" do
          you mean that I have mislaid these comments in the sense that the
          comments themselves are mislaid, or in other words, the statements
          themselves are false, or, however true they are or may be, I have
          used them in the wrong way, or applied them inaccurately, and
          hence "mislaid" them.

          Second, what exactly do you mean by the word "voluntary," both with
          respect to my comments about the "voluntary" nature of the church,
          and with respect to you calling the church a "voluntary" society?
          Third, what exactly are the things in which "like-believing people"
          must be "like-believing" in order to organize as a church?

          Fourth, what do you mean by the word "ostensibly"? How is the
          church made of those who meet together "ostensibly"? And how do you
          mean this word in the other places you use it in this paragraph?

          Fifth, with general regard to your statements about the nature of
          the church, do you hold to and believe The Form of Presbyterial
          Church Government?

          Sixth, when you say that a "cultish" church does this or that, do
          you mean that it is essential to the cultishness of a church that it
          does this or that, or that it is a common characteristic of cults,
          but not a necessary one, that they do this or that?

          Seventh, when you say that a "cultish" church tries to compel, what
          do you mean by "compel"? Is it compelling in general, or is it a
          form of compelling that is unjust in itself, or is it unjust insofar
          as the compelling is done in certain circumstances, or in such a
          manner, or does it altogether depend on what they are being
          compelled to do or believe, or how they are being compelled to do or
          believe it?

          Eighth, for when you mention "implicit faith," I do not know if you
          intend this as a general example of cults trying to "compel," or as
          the specific instance where they wrongfully "compel" others.

          Ninth, what do you understand, "implicit faith," to mean? I am
          unable from the context in which you use it to understand how you
          use it.

          Tenth, does it matter at all who they try to compel, members or non-
          members, or former-members?

          Eleventh, what do you mean by "compelling or coercing association by
          threats or ostensibly judicial actions," a sentence so vague that I
          cannot understand the meaning of it.

          Fourthly, with regard to all that you have said concerning
          excommunication, I ask the following questions:

          First, what are the conditions that must be met in order for
          excommunication to be lawful and just?

          Second, when you say, "I see NOTHING in the NT that
          says, `Excommunicate…'" why do you say that you see nothing in the
          New Testament? Do you deny that both the Old and New Testaments are
          the Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice?

          Third, you say that my "church" has rushed to excommunication. What
          do you mean when you put our church in quotation brackets? Are you
          implying that we are no church at all? And how do your previous
          comments, such as when you said that the term "cult" is applied to
          my church at the beginning of your post, how do these comments
          square with what you say about my "so-called" church?

          Fourth, again, you say, "Correct me if I am wrong," and the same
          question still applies as before, are you uncertain of what you
          say? And having heard this same thing twice, I ask generally, how
          certain are you of the facts of the case?

          As you acknowledge in your final paragraph, we are not to be rash in
          matters of great weight, therefore before I respond to your
          questions and objections, I would like to make sure that I fully
          understand them, so that I do not reply like a babbling fool, and
          you say, "No, that's not what I meant." As the Scripture says, "The
          heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the
          wicked poureth out evil things," and, "He that answereth a matter
          before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him" (Proverbs
          15:28, 18:13).

          Your servant in the Lord,
          Julian R. Gress




          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Gus Gianello"
          <dr.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
          > shekem.
          >
          > Keil & Delitzch have this to say concerning this passage---
          >
          >
          > -------------------------------------------------------------------
          -------------
          >
          >
          > Consequently ×"פך אל must be explained according to 1Sa_10:9,
          since the circumstance that we have ×"פך 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
          ×`שׁם 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.
          >
          > Respectfully,
          >
          > Gus Gianello
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
          Julian Gress
          > Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 2:43 PM
          > To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.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
          > before.
          >
          > 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
          > among us.
          >
          > 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
          > leave.
          >
          > Your brother and servant in the Lord,
          > Julian R. Gress (RPNA-GM)
          >
          > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.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
          > > vengeance.
          > >
          > > 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
          > > denominations.
          > >
          > > 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,
          > > Walt.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > __________________________________________________________
          > _______________
          > > Need Mail bonding?
          > > Go to the Yahoo! Mail Q&A for great tips from Yahoo! Answers
          users.
          > > http://answers.yahoo.com/dir/?link=list&sid=396546091
          > >
          >
        • Salaam Alaykoum
          Walt Bre wrote: For those who would like to pray for us, please join me in the following prayers
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 2, 2007
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            Walt Bre <humbled.learner@...> wrote:
            "For those who would like to pray for us, please join
            me in the following prayers before the feet of Christ:
            ...
            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."

            Dear Brethren,
            A brother who has been recently "excommunicated" by the "Session of the RPNA(GM)" has written some excellent "articles" (if I may call them such) regarding the use of technology and some considerations that cannot be ignored.  You can find both articles on Mr. Suden's blog, using the links below.

            Article 1:
            http://reformedveritas.blogspot.com/2007/04/32007-q1-excommunication-by-email.html

            Article 2:
            http://reformedveritas.blogspot.com/2007/04/33007-for-your-consideration-q2-limits.html

            Your sister in Christ,
            Samantha


            Now you can have a huge leap forward in email: get the new Yahoo! Mail.
          • Gus Gianello
            Dear 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
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 2, 2007
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              Dear 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) the
               
              Reformed 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: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jerry
              Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 8:21 PM
              To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
              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!

              gmw.

              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

              shekem.

              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.

              Respectfully,

              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
              before.

              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
              among us.

              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
              leave.

              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
              > vengeance.
              >
              > 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
              > denominations.
              >
              > 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,
              > Walt.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
              ____________ ___
              > Need Mail bonding?
              > Go to the Yahoo! Mail Q&A for great tips from Yahoo! Answers users.
              > http://answers. yahoo.com/ dir/?link= list&sid= 396546091
              >


            • Ic Neltococayotl
              Gus et al, (Hi Gus!) I wonder what that means for other micro-Presbyterian churches that are 5-12 congregations big, with a small number of Presbyteries that
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 2, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Gus et al,

                (Hi Gus!)

                I wonder what that means for other micro-Presbyterian churches that are
                5-12 congregations big, with a small number of Presbyteries that are not
                regional and claim to have a General Assembly.

                To be fair there are other micro-Presbyterian that are one congregation
                big and yet claim to be a denomination. Or others that are very small
                but yet claim to hold a General Assembly. Their reasons in being
                separated from others principally are not Biblical and also tend to add
                division to Christ's body (with so many micro-Presbies around all
                claiming to hold the original Standards why can't they unite??).
                Sometimes these micro-Presbyterian churches smite the "RPNA(GM)" for
                reasons that they also hold to to some extent.

                I will not name any names...those who know the Presbyterian scene
                probably can figure it out.

                I also am NOT stating that all micro-Presbyterian denominations do this,
                but there are a select few that do.

                I only point this out so that people realize that there does exist other
                groups that do a similiar thing.

                Edgar

                Reformed Presbyterian


                --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Gus Gianello"
                <dr.gus.gianello@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear 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) the
                >
                > Reformed 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: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Jerry
                > Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 8:21 PM
                > To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Secret Society Paper
                Response
                >
                >
              • Gus Gianello
                Dear Edgar, having been excommunicated by charismatics, and excommunicated --(in absentia, without trial, without notice or process) [StiLL do not know WHY I
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 2, 2007
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                  Dear Edgar,
                  having been excommunicated by charismatics, and excommunicated --(in absentia, without trial, without notice or process) [StiLL do not know WHY I was excommunicated]-- by the RPCGA, another micro denomination, I have learned the following by being in the wilderness for 10 years.
                   
                  1.  Be suspicious of ANYONE who claims to have all the answers and cant work with ANYONE who doesn't agree with everything.
                  2.  Be suspicious of ANY church/session/presbytery/synod/general assembly that is dominated by one or two men.  No matter how competent or how strong our  personalities the temptation is very great to just take over.
                  3. Be suspicious of ANYmicro-denomination that can not practice even loosest form of Reformed ecumenism.
                  4. Be suspicious of ANY micro-denomination built around a unique "insight" on the Westminster Standards.  Whether its "all presbyterian churches are unconstitutional but ours---so leave them", or whether its "refusal to incorporate is the 4th mark of the church" avoid them like the plague.
                  5.  Have NOTHING to do with a denomination that mouths the Standards but whose leaderships' behaviour is BLATANTLY contrary to it.  For instance: minister watching pornography during a GA; ministers standing up in the middle of an official meeting and rebuking everyone for some insignificant slight committed by a few; ministers who can not conduct  GAs or Presbyteries with any semblance of decency or order, Sessions that are willing to conduct potentially embarrassing meetings while not in direct session, or secret session/presbytery meetings.
                   
                   
                  Though there are legitimate differences among Reformed Presbyterian groups (for instance the American Pres. Church which denies the right of Christians to drink alcohol), these difference are NOT over substantive issues.  It is serious when a Reformed Presbyterian denomination (micro or otherwise) denies the covenant of works or that there is such a thing as ruling elders, or the legitimacy of any other denomination than their own, or that affirms that any denomination that is incorporated is substantially in error.
                   
                  When the American revision of the Confession took place, denying the original doctrine of the Assembly that there is a place for the magistrate to call a Synod, or that there is an obligation to use civil power to suppress heresy and blasphemy, ALL of the Presbyterian church in America agreed to the changes.  DOES THAT mean they were correct?  Not necessarily, but it points out that "in a multitude of counselors there is safety".  No one should depart from the Standards casually or quickly.
                   
                  Now I did not say reject micro-denominations who have these characteristics, I said BEWARE.  DO NOT take out membership or transfer membership until all your questions are answered. And you should have LOTS of questions. (Anything that is not of faith is sin) Be like the noble Bereans who checked to see if the APOSTLE Paul spoke according to the Scriptures.  Please NOTE they were not excommunicated for being suspicious of an APOSTLE, they were PRAISED.
                   
                  Hope this helps you and others.
                   
                  Gus
                   
                   
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Ic Neltococayotl
                  Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 7:53 PM
                  To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Secret Society Paper Response


                  Gus et al,

                  (Hi Gus!)

                  I wonder what that means for other micro-Presbyterian churches that are
                  5-12 congregations big, with a small number of Presbyteries that are not
                  regional and claim to have a General Assembly.

                  To be fair there are other micro-Presbyterian that are one congregation
                  big and yet claim to be a denomination. Or others that are very small
                  but yet claim to hold a General Assembly. Their reasons in being
                  separated from others principally are not Biblical and also tend to add
                  division to Christ's body (with so many micro-Presbies around all
                  claiming to hold the original Standards why can't they unite??).
                  Sometimes these micro-Presbyterian churches smite the "RPNA(GM)" for
                  reasons that they also hold to to some extent.

                  I will not name any names...those who know the Presbyterian scene
                  probably can figure it out.

                  I also am NOT stating that all micro-Presbyterian denominations do this,
                  but there are a select few that do.

                  I only point this out so that people realize that there does exist other
                  groups that do a similiar thing.

                  Edgar

                  Reformed Presbyterian

                  --- In covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com, "Gus Gianello"
                  <dr.gus.gianello@ ...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear 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) the
                  >
                  > Reformed 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: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com
                  [mailto:covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com]On Behalf Of Jerry
                  > Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 8:21 PM
                  > To: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com
                  > Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Secret Society Paper
                  Response
                  >
                  >

                • Gus Gianello
                  If you are interested in what I hope is an informative blog, from a consistently Protestant, that is reformed and Presbyterian perspective please see:
                  Message 8 of 16 , Apr 3, 2007
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                    If you are interested in what I hope is an informative blog, from a consistently Protestant, that is reformed and Presbyterian perspective please see:
                     
                     
                    I would also encourage every list member to visit:
                     
                    Regards,
                     
                    Gus Gianello
                  • Julian Gress
                    Dear Gus Gianello, Just to let you know, in case you missed, I did respond to your earlier post. If you are unable to respond (due to time constraints, or
                    Message 9 of 16 , Apr 7, 2007
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                      Dear Gus Gianello,

                      Just to let you know, in case you missed, I did respond to your
                      earlier post. If you are unable to respond (due to time
                      constraints, or other factors), I understand completely, but please
                      reply briefly to let me know.

                      Your servant in the Lord,
                      Julian R. Gress

                      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Julian Gress"
                      <multiplose@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Dear Gus Gianello,
                      >
                      > As I read your post a number of questions came to mind, things on
                      > which I need further clarification before I can proceed to satisfy
                      > the questions and objections you raise.
                      >
                      > First, I am afraid I simply do not understand what you meant when
                      > you said, "Cult is applied to your church because of its 'cultish'
                      > approach to widows, and any who disagree with it. Whatever
                      happened
                      > to the right of private judgment?" With respect to this
                      statement,
                      > I desire to know these things:
                      >
                      > First, "cult is applied to your church because of…" By whom is it
                      > applied to my church for this reason? Does everyone who calls my
                      > church a "cult" call it so for this reason? Who are you talking
                      > about? Are you talking about only yourself, or others as well?
                      >
                      > Second, What exactly is our "cultish" approach to widows and those
                      > who disagree with us?
                      >
                      > Third, What do you mean by the term "widows"? I do not understand
                      > if you mean actual widows, or some other sense of the term. When
                      I
                      > read in Scripture that we are to protect the widow and the orphan,
                      I
                      > understand these to be specific instances of a general rule, to
                      > protect those who are especially vulnerable to oppression. For
                      > instance, no one should rob the rich or the poor, but to rob from
                      > the poor is far worse, since they are especially vulnerable to
                      it.
                      > What exactly do you mean by using this word, and what are you
                      saying?
                      >
                      > Fourth, After this you add, "And any who disagree with it." The
                      > natural sense of this seems to me, anyone who maintains that we
                      are
                      > not a faithful church, as to our well-being, and, on those
                      grounds,
                      > anyone who will not unite with us. But I cannot be certain, so I
                      > ask who exactly are you referring to?
                      >
                      > Fifth, when you say, "What ever happened to the right of private
                      > judgment?" What do you take that to be, "the right of private
                      > judgment"? And furthermore, how does it relate to your previous
                      > assertion concerning our "cultish" approach to widows and any who
                      > disagree with us?
                      >
                      > Sixth, I cannot tell in these words (taken as a whole) whether you
                      > are referring to members of the RPNA (GM), former-members of the
                      > RPNA (GM), people who are not members and never have been, or any
                      > two or all three of these categories. Who exactly do you mean to
                      > include here?
                      >
                      > Second, in your next statement you say, "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." Again, I must express my confusion in the following
                      > things:
                      >
                      > First, you say that I only quote it for "[my] purposes," and I
                      > desire to know what exactly my purposes are when I quote this
                      > verse. As far as I am aware I cited it in the same way as Walt
                      did
                      > Romans 15:5-7, as it being a source of personal comfort and
                      > encouragement to me.
                      >
                      > Second, "and thereby mangle the true intent of the verse." Part
                      of
                      > my confusion arises in that I do not understand what goes before
                      > it. For you say that because I use it for "[my] purposes,"
                      > I, "thereby mangle the true intent of the verse." You say, then,
                      > that because I used it for my own causes, I therefore mangled its
                      > true intent. And if that is the cause of my error, then I ask not
                      > only how I have used it for "[my] purposes," but how, by doing so,
                      I
                      > have mangled its true intent.
                      >
                      > Third, but there arises another confusion in these words,
                      > particularly in the phrase, "the true intent" (of the verse). The
                      > word intent, I understand to mean a purpose or a goal, or the
                      reason
                      > by which a choice is made, but afterwards you offer a very clear
                      > interpretation of its meaning, but not of its use or application
                      > (which, I take it would be the reason that God has included it in
                      > his word). So, I ask, do you mean to say, "The true meaning" of
                      the
                      > verse, or its "true intent"?
                      >
                      > Fourth, after making all these assertions, you say, "Correct me if
                      I
                      > am wrong in any of my assertions." I am of course, most willing
                      to
                      > correct you in any of your wrong assertions, once I know what
                      those
                      > assertions are.
                      >
                      > Fifth, but when you say this, I wonder why you have chosen to make
                      > these "assertions," and then ask for my correction. Are you
                      making
                      > assertions, or are you asking questions? I humbly think that you
                      > can not do both, for a question implies ignorance, and a statement
                      > implies knowledge. And I take it that this imperative is no less
                      a
                      > question, as if it were in the form of a question, for it still
                      > implies ignorance, as if you sensed that you needed or might need
                      > correction. Unless you mean it rhetorically, as if to say, "This
                      is
                      > the way it is, and no other way is it, besides this. However, I
                      am
                      > willing to submit to your superior knowledge if it is not this way
                      > (but it is)." In which case, I do not know if you actually expect
                      > me to correct your assertions, or simply to consider for my own
                      > sake, whether I can find anything wrong about them.
                      >
                      > Sixth, do accuse me of sin in these words?
                      >
                      > Third, I have some questions concerning the paragraph that
                      > begins, "You seem to have mislaid any comments…"
                      >
                      > First, when you said, "You seem to have mislaid any comments…" do
                      > you mean that I have mislaid these comments in the sense that the
                      > comments themselves are mislaid, or in other words, the statements
                      > themselves are false, or, however true they are or may be, I have
                      > used them in the wrong way, or applied them inaccurately, and
                      > hence "mislaid" them.
                      >
                      > Second, what exactly do you mean by the word "voluntary," both
                      with
                      > respect to my comments about the "voluntary" nature of the church,
                      > and with respect to you calling the church a "voluntary" society?
                      > Third, what exactly are the things in which "like-believing
                      people"
                      > must be "like-believing" in order to organize as a church?
                      >
                      > Fourth, what do you mean by the word "ostensibly"? How is the
                      > church made of those who meet together "ostensibly"? And how do
                      you
                      > mean this word in the other places you use it in this paragraph?
                      >
                      > Fifth, with general regard to your statements about the nature of
                      > the church, do you hold to and believe The Form of Presbyterial
                      > Church Government?
                      >
                      > Sixth, when you say that a "cultish" church does this or that, do
                      > you mean that it is essential to the cultishness of a church that
                      it
                      > does this or that, or that it is a common characteristic of cults,
                      > but not a necessary one, that they do this or that?
                      >
                      > Seventh, when you say that a "cultish" church tries to compel,
                      what
                      > do you mean by "compel"? Is it compelling in general, or is it a
                      > form of compelling that is unjust in itself, or is it unjust
                      insofar
                      > as the compelling is done in certain circumstances, or in such a
                      > manner, or does it altogether depend on what they are being
                      > compelled to do or believe, or how they are being compelled to do
                      or
                      > believe it?
                      >
                      > Eighth, for when you mention "implicit faith," I do not know if
                      you
                      > intend this as a general example of cults trying to "compel," or
                      as
                      > the specific instance where they wrongfully "compel" others.
                      >
                      > Ninth, what do you understand, "implicit faith," to mean? I am
                      > unable from the context in which you use it to understand how you
                      > use it.
                      >
                      > Tenth, does it matter at all who they try to compel, members or
                      non-
                      > members, or former-members?
                      >
                      > Eleventh, what do you mean by "compelling or coercing association
                      by
                      > threats or ostensibly judicial actions," a sentence so vague that
                      I
                      > cannot understand the meaning of it.
                      >
                      > Fourthly, with regard to all that you have said concerning
                      > excommunication, I ask the following questions:
                      >
                      > First, what are the conditions that must be met in order for
                      > excommunication to be lawful and just?
                      >
                      > Second, when you say, "I see NOTHING in the NT that
                      > says, `Excommunicate…'" why do you say that you see nothing in the
                      > New Testament? Do you deny that both the Old and New Testaments
                      are
                      > the Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice?
                      >
                      > Third, you say that my "church" has rushed to excommunication.
                      What
                      > do you mean when you put our church in quotation brackets? Are
                      you
                      > implying that we are no church at all? And how do your previous
                      > comments, such as when you said that the term "cult" is applied to
                      > my church at the beginning of your post, how do these comments
                      > square with what you say about my "so-called" church?
                      >
                      > Fourth, again, you say, "Correct me if I am wrong," and the same
                      > question still applies as before, are you uncertain of what you
                      > say? And having heard this same thing twice, I ask generally, how
                      > certain are you of the facts of the case?
                      >
                      > As you acknowledge in your final paragraph, we are not to be rash
                      in
                      > matters of great weight, therefore before I respond to your
                      > questions and objections, I would like to make sure that I fully
                      > understand them, so that I do not reply like a babbling fool, and
                      > you say, "No, that's not what I meant." As the Scripture
                      says, "The
                      > heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the
                      > wicked poureth out evil things," and, "He that answereth a matter
                      > before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him" (Proverbs
                      > 15:28, 18:13).
                      >
                      > Your servant in the Lord,
                      > Julian R. Gress
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Gus Gianello"
                      > <dr.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
                      > > shekem.
                      > >
                      > > Keil & Delitzch have this to say concerning this passage---
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > -----------------------------------------------------------------
                      --
                      > -------------
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Consequently ×"פך אל must be explained according to
                      1Sa_10:9,
                      > since the circumstance that we have ×"פך 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
                      > ×`שׁם 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.
                      > >
                      > > Respectfully,
                      > >
                      > > Gus Gianello
                      > >
                      > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > From: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
                      > [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
                      > Julian Gress
                      > > Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2007 2:43 PM
                      > > To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.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
                      > > before.
                      > >
                      > > 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
                      > > among us.
                      > >
                      > > 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
                      > > leave.
                      > >
                      > > Your brother and servant in the Lord,
                      > > Julian R. Gress (RPNA-GM)
                      > >
                      > > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.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
                      > > > vengeance.
                      > > >
                      > > > 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
                      > > > denominations.
                      > > >
                      > > > 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,
                      > > > Walt.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > __________________________________________________________
                      > > _______________
                      > > > Need Mail bonding?
                      > > > Go to the Yahoo! Mail Q&A for great tips from Yahoo! Answers
                      > users.
                      > > > http://answers.yahoo.com/dir/?link=list&sid=396546091
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • Gus Gianello
                      Mr. Gress, I missed it, since there are a flurry of posts, and I do not have the time to keep up. Please repost them. Cordially, Gus Gianello ... From:
                      Message 10 of 16 , Apr 9, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Message
                        Mr. Gress,
                        I missed it, since there are a flurry of posts, and I do not have the time to keep up. Please repost them.
                         
                        Cordially,
                        Gus Gianello
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Julian Gress
                        Sent: Saturday, April 07, 2007 9:35 PM
                        To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Secret Society Paper Response

                        Dear Gus Gianello,

                        Just to let you know, in case you missed, I did respond to your
                        earlier post. If you are unable to respond (due to time
                        constraints, or other factors), I understand completely, but please
                        reply briefly to let me know.

                        Your servant in the Lord,
                        Julian R. Gress

                        --- In covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com, "Julian Gress"
                        <multiplose@ ...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Dear Gus Gianello,
                        >
                        > As I read your post a number of questions came to mind, things on
                        > which I need further clarification before I can proceed to satisfy
                        > the questions and objections you raise.
                        >
                        > First, I am afraid I simply do not understand what you meant when
                        > you said, "Cult is applied to your church because of its 'cultish'
                        > approach to widows, and any who disagree with it. Whatever
                        happened
                        > to the right of private judgment?" With respect to this
                        statement,
                        > I desire to know these things:
                        >
                        > First, "cult is applied to your church because of…" By whom is it
                        > applied to my church for this reason? Does everyone who calls my
                        > church a "cult" call it so for this reason? Who are you talking
                        > about? Are you talking about only yourself, or others as well?
                        >
                        > Second, What exactly is our "cultish" approach to widows and those
                        > who disagree with us?
                        >
                        > Third, What do you mean by the term "widows"? I do not understand
                        > if you mean actual widows, or some other sense of the term. When
                        I
                        > read in Scripture that we are to protect the widow and the orphan,
                        I
                        > understand these to be specific instances of a general rule, to
                        > protect those who are especially vulnerable to oppression. For
                        > instance, no one should rob the rich or the poor, but to rob from
                        > the poor is far worse, since they are especially vulnerable to
                        it.
                        > What exactly do you mean by using this word, and what are you
                        saying?
                        >
                        > Fourth, After this you add, "And any who disagree with it." The
                        > natural sense of this seems to me, anyone who maintains that we
                        are
                        > not a faithful church, as to our well-being, and, on those
                        grounds,
                        > anyone who will not unite with us. But I cannot be certain, so I
                        > ask who exactly are you referring to?
                        >
                        > Fifth, when you say, "What ever happened to the right of private
                        > judgment?" What do you take that to be, "the right of private
                        > judgment"? And furthermore, how does it relate to your previous
                        > assertion concerning our "cultish" approach to widows and any who
                        > disagree with us?
                        >
                        > Sixth, I cannot tell in these words (taken as a whole) whether you
                        > are referring to members of the RPNA (GM), former-members of the
                        > RPNA (GM), people who are not members and never have been, or any
                        > two or all three of these categories. Who exactly do you mean to
                        > include here?
                        >
                        > Second, in your next statement you say, "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." Again, I must express my confusion in the following
                        > things:
                        >
                        > First, you say that I only quote it for "[my] purposes," and I
                        > desire to know what exactly my purposes are when I quote this
                        > verse. As far as I am aware I cited it in the same way as Walt
                        did
                        > Romans 15:5-7, as it being a source of personal comfort and
                        > encouragement to me.
                        >
                        > Second, "and thereby mangle the true intent of the verse." Part
                        of
                        > my confusion arises in that I do not understand what goes before
                        > it. For you say that because I use it for "[my] purposes,"
                        > I, "thereby mangle the true intent of the verse." You say, then,
                        > that because I used it for my own causes, I therefore mangled its
                        > true intent. And if that is the cause of my error, then I ask not
                        > only how I have used it for "[my] purposes," but how, by doing so,
                        I
                        > have mangled its true intent.
                        >
                        > Third, but there arises another confusion in these words,
                        > particularly in the phrase, "the true intent" (of the verse). The
                        > word intent, I understand to mean a purpose or a goal, or the
                        reason
                        > by which a choice is made, but afterwards you offer a very clear
                        > interpretation of its meaning, but not of its use or application
                        > (which, I take it would be the reason that God has included it in
                        > his word). So, I ask, do you mean to say, "The true meaning" of
                        the
                        > verse, or its "true intent"?
                        >
                        > Fourth, after making all these assertions, you say, "Correct me if
                        I
                        > am wrong in any of my assertions." I am of course, most willing
                        to
                        > correct you in any of your wrong assertions, once I know what
                        those
                        > assertions are.
                        >
                        > Fifth, but when you say this, I wonder why you have chosen to make
                        > these "assertions, " and then ask for my correction. Are you
                        making
                        > assertions, or are you asking questions? I humbly think that you
                        > can not do both, for a question implies ignorance, and a statement
                        > implies knowledge. And I take it that this imperative is no less
                        a
                        > question, as if it were in the form of a question, for it still
                        > implies ignorance, as if you sensed that you needed or might need
                        > correction. Unless you mean it rhetorically, as if to say, "This
                        is
                        > the way it is, and no other way is it, besides this. However, I
                        am
                        > willing to submit to your superior knowledge if it is not this way
                        > (but it is)." In which case, I do not know if you actually expect
                        > me to correct your assertions, or simply to consider for my own
                        > sake, whether I can find anything wrong about them.
                        >
                        > Sixth, do accuse me of sin in these words?
                        >
                        > Third, I have some questions concerning the paragraph that
                        > begins, "You seem to have mislaid any comments…"
                        >
                        > First, when you said, "You seem to have mislaid any comments…" do
                        > you mean that I have mislaid these comments in the sense that the
                        > comments themselves are mislaid, or in other words, the statements
                        > themselves are false, or, however true they are or may be, I have
                        > used them in the wrong way, or applied them inaccurately, and
                        > hence "mislaid" them.
                        >
                        > Second, what exactly do you mean by the word "voluntary," both
                        with
                        > respect to my comments about the "voluntary" nature of the church,
                        > and with respect to you calling the church a "voluntary" society?
                        > Third, what exactly are the things in which "like-believing
                        people"
                        > must be "like-believing" in order to organize as a church?
                        >
                        > Fourth, what do you mean by the word "ostensibly" ? How is the
                        > church made of those who meet together "ostensibly" ? And how do
                        you
                        > mean this word in the other places you use it in this paragraph?
                        >
                        > Fifth, with general regard to your statements about the nature of
                        > the church, do you hold to and believe The Form of Presbyterial
                        > Church Government?
                        >
                        > Sixth, when you say that a "cultish" church does this or that, do
                        > you mean that it is essential to the cultishness of a church that
                        it
                        > does this or that, or that it is a common characteristic of cults,
                        > but not a necessary one, that they do this or that?
                        >
                        > Seventh, when you say that a "cultish" church tries to compel,
                        what
                        > do you mean by "compel"? Is it compelling in general, or is it a
                        > form of compelling that is unjust in itself, or is it unjust
                        insofar
                        > as the compelling is done in certain circumstances, or in such a
                        > manner, or does it altogether depend on what they are being
                        > compelled to do or believe, or how they are being compelled to do
                        or
                        > believe it?
                        >
                        > Eighth, for when you mention "implicit faith," I do not know if
                        you
                        > intend this as a general example of cults trying to "compel," or
                        as
                        > the specific instance where they wrongfully "compel" others.
                        >
                        > Ninth, what do you understand, "implicit faith," to mean? I am
                        > unable from the context in which you use it to understand how you
                        > use it.
                        >
                        > Tenth, does it matter at all who they try to compel, members or
                        non-
                        > members, or former-members?
                        >
                        > Eleventh, what do you mean by "compelling or coercing association
                        by
                        > threats or ostensibly judicial actions," a sentence so vague that
                        I
                        > cannot understand the meaning of it.
                        >
                        > Fourthly, with regard to all that you have said concerning
                        > excommunication, I ask the following questions:
                        >
                        > First, what are the conditions that must be met in order for
                        > excommunication to be lawful and just?
                        >
                        > Second, when you say, "I see NOTHING in the NT that
                        > says, `Excommunicate… '" why do you say that you see nothing in the
                        > New Testament? Do you deny that both the Old and New Testaments
                        are
                        > the Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice?
                        >
                        > Third, you say that my "church" has rushed to excommunication.
                        What
                        > do you mean when you put our church in quotation brackets? Are
                        you
                        > implying that we are no church at all? And how do your previous
                        > comments, such as when you said that the term "cult" is applied to
                        > my church at the beginning of your post, how do these comments
                        > square with what you say about my "so-called" church?
                        >
                        > Fourth, again, you say, "Correct me if I am wrong," and the same
                        > question still applies as before, are you uncertain of what you
                        > say? And having heard this same thing twice, I ask generally, how
                        > certain are you of the facts of the case?
                        >
                        > As you acknowledge in your final paragraph, we are not to be rash
                        in
                        > matters of great weight, therefore before I respond to your
                        > questions and objections, I would like to make sure that I fully
                        > understand them, so that I do not reply like a babbling fool, and
                        > you say, "No, that's not what I meant." As the Scripture
                        says, "The
                        > heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the
                        > wicked poureth out evil things," and, "He that answereth a matter
                        > before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him" (Proverbs
                        > 15:28, 18:13).
                        >
                        > Your servant in the Lord,
                        > Julian R. Gress
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com, "Gus Gianello"
                        > <dr.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
                        > > shekem.
                        > >
                        > > Keil & Delitzch have this to say concerning this passage---
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
                        --
                        > ------------ -
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Consequently ×"פך אל must be explained according to
                        1Sa_10:9,
                        > since the circumstance that we have ×"פך 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
                        > ×`שׁם ×™×™, 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.
                        > >
                        > > Respectfully,
                        > >
                        > > Gus Gianello
                        > >
                        > > -----Original Message-----
                        > > From: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com
                        > [mailto:covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.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
                        > > before.
                        > >
                        > > 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
                        > > among us.
                        > >
                        > > 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
                        > > leave.
                        > >
                        > > 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
                        > > > vengeance.
                        > > >
                        > > > 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
                        > > > denominations.
                        > > >
                        > > > 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,
                        > > > Walt.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                        > > ____________ ___
                        > > > Need Mail bonding?
                        > > > Go to the Yahoo! Mail Q&A for great tips from Yahoo! Answers
                        > users.
                        > > > http://answers. yahoo.com/ dir/?link= list&sid= 396546091
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >

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