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  • Walt Bre
    Susan, 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
    Message 1 of 54 , Apr 6, 2007
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      Susan,

      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
      late
      next week.

      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
      RPNA (GM).

      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
      controversy."

      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
      likely!

      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
      Elders.

      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
      below.

      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,
      Walt.



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    • bob_suden
      ... their ... other ... families ... Which is precisely why the elders themselves called for a restructuring of the church Jan. 1, 06
      Message 54 of 54 , Apr 9, 2007
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        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Susan Wilkinson" <gpyp@...> wrote:
        >
        > 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.
        >

        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?
        It's hard to think so.

        Bob


        >
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