I know that I again promised not to post here, but am
like others following the questions and comments as I
am able. I'm sure you have read the attached, but I
thought I would share it with you as one of the first
documents which were formally written by the Elders in
response to Public Sin alleged against them.
Unfortunately, to be fair to the Elders, many of us
did not know (including the Elders), that the secret
society (my words) was started around July 10, 2006.
The two documents attached are from the Elders dated
October 28, 2006 and November 4, 2006. For the
record, the Common Concerns paper was published on
November 9, 2006.
On October 20, 2006 the Elders wrote:
"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In light of the recent "Public Protest and Complaint"
(October 18, 2006) issued by our brothers and sisters
in Prince George, the Session is preparing a response
which (God willing) will be ready for distribution
The Session encourages the membership not to judge
hastily in this matter before hearing the response of
your Minister and Elders. For great issues are at
stake that will affect your lives and the lives of
your children for many years to come.
We reaffirm our love for the brethren in Prince George
and for all of you, and we plead with you to heed the
instruction of the inspired Scriptures:
"He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but
his neighbor cometh and searcheth him" Proverbs 18:17.
In the service of Christ our King,
The Session of the RPNA (GM)
Pastor Greg L. Price
Elder Greg Barrow
Elder Lyndon Dohms"
As you can see by reading the attached, this was
indeed a very difficult time for many of us that were
NOT AWARE of the secret society, nor what Ben explains
in his previous email to you. There were a lot of
very harsh allegations (my opinion) against the
Elders, and had we known about the secret society, we
(and the Elders) might have been better prepared to
answer questions brought privately to them firstly
regarding the allegations of sin against them.
I for one believe that nobody is without sin, and our
Elders most certainly would agree they are by no means
perfect men called by God, nor fully capable to
perfectly deal with 50+ families and individuals that
are/were scattered around the world, but in the
context of the public allegations made against them I
believe they responded in love and tried to explain
their struggles and how God's providence did not allow
them to satisfy all the complaints made against them.
Perhaps when you read the responses you will not grant
them sufficient mercy or compassion that they
ADEQUATELY or FAITHFULLY tried to address the
complaint against them, but perhaps you would/could
have done a much better job of articulating a response
to the Public Sin alleged against them. It is obvious
from your writings that you are very skilled and
persuasive, as some indeed have acknowledged, and you
should be commended for your gift to write so well and
make your points so clear. However, I equally found
the comments and arguments prepared by the Elders
(attached) also as persuasive and compelling. You
made some great points and asked some great questions.
I believe the Elders did so as well in their very
initial responses to The Public Protest and Complaint.
In my opinion, it is POSSIBLE that the events led by
The Effort from July 10, 2006 to their formal Public
Protest on October 18, 2006, MAY, and let me repeat,
MAY, have been A CAUSE for the division and schism
that happened to the RPNA (GM).
I do not know how many of their "Common Concern"
questions were actually drafted and formalized by the
time the October 18, 2006 protest and COMPLAINT was
submitted publically, but in reading the documents in
their ORDER OF EVENTS now, I have learned much more
about this secret society and its fruits.
Perhaps some of you will think it is unfair for me to
be critical of this secret society, but in reading the
play by play documents from October 18, now knowing
what was ongoing behind the scenes since July 10,
2006, I have a different perspective. I believe what
may have started out by The Effort as in innocent
method to deal with Common Concerns proved to be a
evil tool used by the Devil to severely damage the
I understand that most everyone on this site will see
my comments as totally opposite, and will argue that
The Effort was a movement founded by Godly desires and
firmly effective in partially dismantling "a cult".
These men and women in The Effort deserve all the
public support for fighting against Tyranny. I found
this definition of Tyranny on Wikipedia:
"A tyrant is a single individual holding vast, if not
absolute power through a state or in an organization.
The term carries connotations of a harsh and cruel
ruler who place their own interests or the interests
of a small oligarchy over the best interests of the
general population which they govern or control. This
mode of rule is referred to as tyranny. Many
individual rulers or government officials get accused
of tyranny, with the label almost always a matter of
Since there has been so many accusations of tyranny
committed by our Elders, that I thought we should find
some definition so people can read the attached and
judge for themselves.
Next topic: To answer your question, which may appear
unqualified to those on this site, I can attest that I
firmly believe our three Elders are God fearing men,
faithful and most loving Godly men. Sometimes I get
frustrated when I cannot get their complete attention,
but I can attest that since I became a member in 1998
there has never been a time that I was not able to
pick up the phone to speak with them on my questions.
Surely, and no doubt, I would love to have a local
congregation complete with Covenanter Pastors and
Elders in my area, but I've learned over the years
that my prayers sometimes go unanswered for such
things. I've met local ministers to explain our
distinctives and terms of communion, and have not yet
been able to pursuade any to become Presbyterian, and
those who are Presbyterian, to become (or even study)
the Covenanter distinctives. Therefore, yes, it is
frustrating, but my patience and trust in the Lord has
allowed me to keep praying and have hope that the Lord
will answer my prayers.
Just last year, for example, we had a family join from
Wisconsin and another family within about 3 hours from
me, are almost ready for their membership interviews.
This brings me hope I can assure you. As you know, it
takes some months and years to study our Covenanter
distinctives and agree to our terms of communion and
in with these sorts of controversies it could take
15,000 years to build a local church. Fortunately,
for all of you other Presbyterians and Covenanters,
you have local churches that are in your area for
which you belong, or have a well established society,
and/or local Session court and/or regional Presbytery.
Again, our prayer is to be ordinary like you in the
future, Lord willing.
I've tried to get my Roman Catholic father interested,
but of course his argument is how possibly could 100
Covenanters be right and over 1 billion Catholics
wrong. In his eyes, as in the eyes of many, we must
be just some cult that sing Psalms and has a flock
spread throughout the world without any local church
buildings or local congregations. Well, my litmus
test has never been a local Pastor or local
congregation in defining Presbyterianism. It
obviously is the most ideal and ordinary form, but in
me reading of Scripture it is not the only form
permitted by Scripture.
I firmly believe that a faithful remnant (whether
Elders or members) can exist throughout the world, and
only the Lord knows who they are in His providence and
divine purpose. Whether they are all congregated in
local societies, or as one family, I do not know. I
do know that where two or three are gathered
(including Elders), there is Christ in the midst.
***I also firmly believe, when they come together over
the phone, and are gathered together, there is again
Christ in the midst. This also includes Elders who
are able to rule, perform acts of discipline,
bind/loose or communicate in prayer unto the Father,
through His Son.***
As I said before, in a previous email, I have a prayer
that our Elders in Edmonton will gain a Pastor and
that Pastor Price in Albany with gain another Elder.
This would give us two local congregations with a
Session court in each location, and an extraordinary
international Presbytery. However, will they be able
to effectively and perfectly manage another 100 or
more families spread throughout the World...not
Those of us who will swear an oath of membership and
allow the Session or Presbytery to have jurisdiction
over our questions, controversies or complaints, by
mutual consent and agreement, I am comfortable with
this form of Presbyterianism. It certainly is not
going to be acceptable to everyone, and those who
cannot define it by local boundaries, or mutual duties
being adequately performed, will reject it, but they
need to prove this through Scripture and I have not
seen any good arguments. The arguments and scripture
proofs made by Stan don't convince me. He makes a
good distinction, in my opinion, between the ordinary
and best way, but not the only way for Christians to
submit by mutual consent and agreement to ordained
I suspect some of our former members will likely/may
build only ordinary local Societies and Sessions,
while excluding all other Christians outside of their
local boundaries because they believe it impossible to
perform satisfactory mutual duties and be within
defined distance from the Pastor's house or church
building. In their arguments, without face-to-face
meetings with the Pastor and Elder(s), it is
impossible to be a Presbyterian church.
If you go back and read the early arguments,
especially about those who took membership in our
church, it is clear they never thought of their
membership in a church, subject to a Session interview
by Elders, but only membership in a local society
defined by mutual duties and local defined boundaries.
I've saved some of these quotes as I read their
arguments. The minute we define membership in a
church, defined not by mutual duties and distance, but
rather by mutual consent and agreement, things unravel
and get nasty. The word Tyrannt or tyrannical Oath of
membership comes into play and shortly thereafter the
word Cult gets tossed in for good measure.
Well, I best stop here as there are simply too many on
this site for me to keep the focus on the issues as I
see them, and that is why I ask any of you to read
through some of the early responses from our Elders
knowing neither they nor myself know of this society.
When those documents started hitting our church email
system, it was a shock to everyone what was happening.
Now, in hindsight, it makes a lot more sense to me
now after reading their documents and Ben's comments
I will try to keep my postings limited, but please do
forgive me if I jump in again to make a comment or two
where I feel it might be helpful to those who might
want another side of the story as well. I did not
fully proof this email so forgive my mistakes.
May the Lord be with you,
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- --- In email@example.com, "Susan Wilkinson" <gpyp@...> wrote:
>Which is precisely why the elders themselves called for a restructuring of the church Jan. 1, '06 though they went back on it later because . . . . . . things got better? The workload and situation improved?
> If the elders are that busy you also have to wonder what kind of shape their
> families are in-neglect like that cannot be contained and will affect other
> areas of their lives. You know, these men's views are their own
> punishment-they will likely literally work themselves and their families
> into the grave.
It's hard to think so.