Response to Gus and Susan (was "rpna(gm)" scandal)
Dear Gus (and Susan - you'll see that I've tried to address your concerns at the same time as I have Gus'),
--- In email@example.com, "Gus Gianello" <dr.gus.gianello @...> wrote:
> Dear Sir,
> Are you a charismatic?
No. I'm a member of the RPNA(GM). As I understand our Subordinate Standards, we didn't hold to what's popularly called 'charismaticism'.
> Does God appear to you in visions.
Hasn't happened to me yet! :D
> You dont think
> that what you assert is blasphemy?
It seems to me it's not, but it could be implicitly if it turns out I'm missing something important.
> Really, do you know ANYTHING about the
> principles of Presbyterianism?
A fair bit, but I'm always willing to be instructed.
> I know this is rather strong medicine, but
> give me a moment of your mind. "Come let us reason together, saith the
Now, to summarize the objection you give below, you think I'm mistaken because I proposed to lay out evidence to the effect that the Effort people had intentions contrary to what they claimed. You say this is a problem because only God can know the intentions of a man's heart. So since I'm claiming to know something only God can know, I'm guilty of blasphemy.
Respondeo: The word "Intention" can be taken in several ways.In the first way, it can mean the secrets of a person's heart--something strictly 'private access'--which motivated some action. In the second way, it can mean the professed claims associated with a particular action that reveal those 'private access' intentions. The former is a stricter sense; the latter is looser, and dependent on the former. As I *intended* it, I was dealing with the second sense. When someone claims a particular intention and then acts contrary, stating a different intention, then we can conclude on evidence accessible to us all, that the person either changed their mind or was duplicitous in their profession.Your (and Susan's) email brought to my attention a major lack of judgment dialectically, in that I could have avoided an exhortation like your own had I said things a little differently. Thanks for pointing this out. When originally responding to Susan's post, I should have said it this way:My concern in exposing the effort was to show several claims they were making publically to be false. First, that they didn't have a policy of confidentiality - they did. There were several claims that there was no official policy of confidentiality, but, as I read the evidence, there clearly was. Second, that their claim to be 'just asking questions' was misleading. I take it that this expression is suspect of an ambiguity just like 'intention' can be ambiguous. One can ask questions in the way someone like Augustine understood the 'faith seeking understanding' project - questions are posed for a better understanding of a current belief, with an aim to support or explore the implications of that present belief. Or, one can ask questions in a skeptical manner in which one has serious doubts about a belief. I believe that the members of the Effort were 'just asking questions' in the latter sense and that their own testimony bears this out. Moreover, whatever 'real intentions' I was hoping to reveal were by means of their own words, so there was no need to read their hearts. In fact, if you'd go back and read what I originally wrote (you can find it on Bob's blog), you'll see that I intentionally left it up to the reader to decide--on the basis of the words of those in the Effort--whether their claim to be 'just asking questions' was of the former or the latter type I distinguished above. Thus, there was no heart reading necessary - just an assessment of further documentation, documentation which isn't 'private access' in the way the contents of my consciousness are. Third, there were several mentions of my involvement with the Effort that failed to adequately elaborate on how much I disliked the confidentiality policy, and my ultimate break with them. I wanted to clear up any misconceptions that could have been had due to these public claims.Now, with all of that said, I'll reiterate something I've said before (I forget if it was here on the CRC or not) -- the existence of the Effort is an important, albeit secondary issue. It's secondary in terms of immediate priority (though it's important for the restoration of those who were in it.) I think it's unhelpful to beat this (already quite) dead horse at this time. FWIW, I've decided to take up a private dialogue with someone from the Effort regarding the contents of the CI in hopes to first straighten out these issues, and then, maybe, we'll be in a better position to discuss the issues surrounding the Effort. This is all to say that, as fun as it's been defending myself publically, I, like Walt, will be refraining from any further posting. I hope my efforts to dialogue privately will produce good fruit with those in the Effort. Perhaps those concerned with this issue could pray that those discussions would go well.Thank you, Gus and Susan, for your comments. Again, I hope what I've said helps to clear up what I'd originally posted, because if it doesn't, I don't think I'm able to say it any clearer! :DI would appreciate your continued prayers for our church, and for the eventual unity of this motley group of covenanters. I'm sure we could do a lot of good if we could get it together and unite.Valete!Ben
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Ben Hart" <benjamin.hart1@...> wrote:
> I would appreciate your continued prayers for our church, and for the
> eventual unity of this motley group of covenanters. I'm sure we could do a
> lot of good if we could get it together and unite.
My brother Ben,
If your elders first repent for the schism, division, usurpation of the divine right of Christ's government over His bride and the abuse of His people, then that will be a step towards unity between the Covenanters in the land with them. Until then, they keep the breach wide open.
For the sin of superiors is far more grave and serious than the sins of the inferiors, especially when the inferiors have "sinned" as a consequence and at the provocation/instigation of the superiors.
Remove the beam...then you will clearly see the mote.
Ben, you expend your strength trying to strike the gnat while the hornets are stinging your swinging arm.
The allowence of the elders to unleash their dogs on the sheep was a major factor in the Effort coming to existence. How could we dialogue within the church publicly (within the RPNA(GM)) when such questions would unleash rabid attacks by self-appointed, elder protected whips?
Please Ben, you know better and you are far more honest than the other that has posted here, you know how bad it got by June of '06. Please don't forget that. You spoke out against this abuse, remember? That was before the Effort ever came to be.
Your brother and friend,
- --- In email@example.com, "Gus Gianello writes:
> > Really, do you know ANYTHING about the
> > principles of Presbyterianism?
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Ben Hart" <benjamin.hart1@...> wrote:
> A fair bit, but I'm always willing to be instructed.
> Now, with all of that said, I'll reiterate something I've said before (I
> forget if it was here on the CRC or not) -- the existence of the Effort is
> an important, albeit secondary issue. It's secondary in terms of immediate
> priority (though it's important for the restoration of those who were in
1. Not only is it secondary, without the primary, the PPSA, it wouldn't even exist. The real culprit in the church split is the PPSA and the mentality behind it, not the Effort meeting.
2. Restoration to what? I'd laugh, but that this can even be seriously suggested is pathetic. Are you joking? Insane, mad, psychotic, delusional, all of the above?
The sins of the "Session" against reason, history and Scripture in the PPSA, the oath and the excommunications require repentance and restitution before that same outfit can be restored to fellowship with their brethren, many of whom are quite understandably tempted to despise anything to do with the genuine RP terms of communion. That the "Sesshun" singlehandledly could accomplish all this speaks volumes, much more that their apologists can so readily, blithely, glibly, proudly and stupidly excuse it.
> I think it's unhelpful to beat this (already quite) dead horse at this
It's about time. My next question is, when are you going to stop trying to ride it?
This is all to say that, as fun as it's been
> defending myself publically, I, like Walt, will be refraining from any
> further posting.
That's about the only thing worthy of imitation in the brother's shtick. Walter has played the part of a total ass, as well as made a monkey of himself with all his recent antics on this forum. As a phony loudmouth, he should be barred from the site until he either makes good to substantiate his charge against Edgar or repents and retracts it (#15440) subject to the moderator's approval and posting in either case. To be sure in reply we can expect his smug, sanctimonious and pretentious whine as a martyr for the truth and his usual patronizing long winded excuses and frivolous filibusters, but some of us know a humble fraud when we see one.
Speaking of filibusters and floods, if not avalanches of posts, where have we seen that kind of behavior before? Does it remind anybody of when the brother from Colorado out of the blue dumped first nine, and then 21 posts on the PRCE Forum, June 26 and July 23, `06? The same two instances which sandwiched his get together with the Edmonton elder and the Maryland brother in Colorado July 2, `06? No modern phone or internet technology there, just a resort to the primitive apostolic old fashioned way of conducting a secret meeting or conspiracy face to face.
Neither did the elder approved "intentions"of that brother ever occur to our St. Louis correspondent, all the while he scrutinizes and criticizes the Effort's "shortcomings" in his post. Can we say double standard? How about hypocrisy? Stupidity? Blindness? Just how do we explain that lapse? Elder priviledge, i.e. respect of persons?
Proverbs 17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
In other words, the less apologies, excuses and explanations for the Session of the RPNA(GM), the PPSA, the oath and the excommunications the better IMO.
But what do I know?