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Re: Secret Society Paper Response

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 of 16 , Apr 2, 2007
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            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 5 of 16 , Apr 2, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 16 , Apr 3, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 16 , Apr 7, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 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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