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Re: [Attn Dee Dee} Your thoughts on what excommunication means....

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  • Tim Cunningham
    Hi Dee Dee For what it s worth I second what gmw writes below. I comment about one of your additional questions below. ... Tim ... not ... that ... not ... in
    Message 1 of 23 , May 19, 2007
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      Hi Dee Dee

      For what it's worth I second what gmw writes below. I comment about
      one of your additional questions below.

      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
      <ragingcalvinist@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Dee Dee,
      >
      > Please forgive me for the great length of time that past since you
      > asked this, until now when I offer my response. I have been very
      > overwhelmed with things lately, and have not had the kind of time I
      > want to have, to keep in touch with my friends online (I still owe
      Tim
      > a response from our Xmas discussion way back when!). Please do not
      > think that I've forgotten you, because I haven't.
      >
      > What are my thoughts on what excommunication means?
      >
      > From my understanding of excommunication, and from what you quote
      > below from the elders of the "RPNA," I think...
      >
      > 1. That the elders can be taken at their word, when they say that
      > they love you. I'm not saying that you have been treated with love,
      > but that I believe that they are sincere when they say that they are
      > doing what they are doing because they care about your soul. It's
      not
      > according to knowledge, but it is zeal.
      >
      > 2. Excommunication, in my understanding, means that you are being
      > judged to be obstinate in your refusal to submit to Christ, whom a
      > lawful court of Christ represents. Excommunication assumes that
      > unless you repent, you shall perish in your obstinate sin. They are
      > not saying that you are not a Christian, but they are suggesting
      that
      > you are acting as if you are not a Christian, and that you should
      not
      > be called a Christian (as in you should not be a member of any
      > Christian church), and that if you are truly a Christian, you will
      > repent of your sin. Here's what Calvin says on this matter:
      >
      > "In such corrections and excommunication, the church has three ends
      in
      > view. The first is that they who lead a filthy and infamous life may
      > not be called Christians, to the dishonor of God, as if his holy
      > church [cf.Ephesians 5:25-26] were a conspiracy of wicked and
      > abandoned men. For since the church itself is the body of Christ
      > [Colossians 1:24], it cannot be corrupted by such foul and decaying
      > members without some disgrace falling upon its Head. Therefore, that
      > there may be no such thing in the church to brand its most sacred
      name
      > with disgrace, they from whose wickedness infamy redounds to the
      > Christian name must be banished from its family. And here also we
      must
      > preserve the order of the Lord's Supper, that it may not be profaned
      > by being administered indiscriminately. For it is very true that he
      > to whom its distribution has been committed, if he knowingly and
      > willingly admits an unworthy person whom he could rightfully turn
      > away, is as guilty of sacrilege as if he had cast the Lord's body to
      > dogs. On this account, Chrysostom gravely inveighs against priests
      > who, fearing the power of great men, dare exclude no one. "Blood,"
      he
      > says, "will be required at your hands. [Ezekiel 3:18; 33:8.] If you
      > fear a man, he will laugh at you; but if you fear God, you will be
      > revered also among men. Let us not dread the fasces, the purple, the
      > crowns; here we have a greater power. I truly would rather give my
      > body to death, and let my blood be poured out, than participate in
      > that pollution." Therefore, lest this most hallowed mystery be
      > disgraced, discretion is very much needed in its distribution. Yet
      > this can be had only through the jurisdiction of the church."
      >
      > -- from Institutes of the Christian Religion Book IV, Chapter 12,
      Sec. 5.
      >
      > I hope this was somewhat helpful.
      >
      > gmw.
      >
      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "nocost2great"
      > <manna4free@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Dear list,
      > > It is apparent that I have offended my husband in my
      interpretation of
      > > the verbiage contained in the excommunication, so am I am writing
      to
      > > you asking your opinion (at his suggestion) on how you would feel
      (ie
      > > what do you think is being conveyed) if the following words were
      > > pronounced concerning you: (the added *** *** emphasis is mine,
      but
      > > the capitalization was in the original document.)
      > >
      > > "the membership status of Dee Dee Shaw has now formally changed,
      and we
      > > publicly declare her to be placed upon our List of Deserters, and
      > > judicially declare in the name of Jesus Christ that she is now in
      a
      > > position of being formally excommunicated from the Visible
      Church. We
      > > do so in hope ***praying that God may by this action deliver her
      unto
      > > Satan for the destruction of the flesh, THAT THE SPIRIT MAY BE
      SAVED
      > > IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS*** (1 Corinthians 5:5). We take not
      this
      > > step because we hate Dee Dee, but because we love her and
      earnestly
      > > desire her repentance and reconciliation."
      > >
      > > If one is delivered unto Satan for the destruction of their
      flesh, what does that mean? If it says "that the spirit may be saved
      in the day of the Lord Jesus" does that not imply that the spirit is
      not saved? Else how can one who is already saved, be saved? Am I
      missing something? If I don't 'repent and reconcile' is it not
      logical to conclude (by the above wording) that my spirit is not
      saved?
      > >
      Can someone who is not directly related to the rpna (past or present)
      please objectively define (from a reformed historical perspective)
      sins worthy of excommunication, and what it means to be cast out of
      the visible church?
      > >
      > > Your Grieving Sister in Christ,
      > >
      > > Dee Dee
      > >
      Tim comments-I don't think we must conclude that Paul's phrase "that
      the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" necessarily
      implies that an excommunicated person is not yet regenerate. It is a
      biblical certainty that Christians sin (1 John 1:8,9), and Jesus
      tells us that it is a "brother" who is excommunicated in Matt. 18:13-
      18).

      Blessings
      Tim Cunningham
    • nocost2great
      ... Thanks Jerry. I appreciate you taking the time. I am not trying to beat a dead horse, but I want to clarify my understanding so that I am sure we are on
      Message 2 of 23 , May 20, 2007
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        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
        <ragingcalvinist@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Dee Dee,
        >
        > Please forgive me for the great length of time that past since you
        > asked this, until now when I offer my response.

        Thanks Jerry. I appreciate you taking the time. I am not trying to
        beat a dead horse, but I want to clarify my understanding so that I
        am sure we are on the same page (as I think we are.)


        > 1. That the elders can be taken at their word, when they say that
        > they love you. I'm not saying that you have been treated with
        love,
        > but that I believe that they are sincere

        I wholeheartedly agree with you (in as much as they can love a
        person they do not know.) I really only have a personal relationship
        with one of them. I haven't spoken with GB in years, and have only
        spoken with LD once or twice - during my membership interview(s).
        Sincerity without truth is every man doing what is right in his own
        eyes. Saul was zealous without knowledge... let us pray for a
        Damascus road experience for those who are under the bondage of
        deception.


        > 2. Excommunication, in my understanding, means that you are being
        > judged to be obstinate in your refusal to submit to Christ, whom a
        > lawful court of Christ represents. Excommunication assumes that
        > unless you repent, you shall perish in your obstinate sin. They
        are
        > not saying that you are not a Christian, but they are suggesting
        that
        > you are acting as if you are not a Christian, and that you should
        not
        > be called a Christian (as in you should not be a member of any
        > Christian church), and that if you are truly a Christian, you will
        > repent of your sin.

        So are you saying that it means I can die unrepentant and obstinate
        in this particular sin, and still be considered a Christian by those
        who agree with/support the excommunication, OR are you saying that I
        was truly not a Christian if I didn't repent before death? This is
        my hang-up. One can't believe the first, and still hold to the
        doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints while believing that I
        have sinned a sin worthy of excommunication - can they? In my mind I
        can't, and if I understand reformed doctrine, then it would be a
        grave error to extend excommunication to sins that would not condemn
        one to hell lest they repent. If I am wrong, I would appreciate
        someone expounding on how one can believe differently based on the
        doctrine of perserverance of the saints.

        And to move away from the dead horse (a little bit anyway) would
        anyone care to discuss occasional hearing? :) I am still of the
        opinion that we should not attend unto teaching that leads to error.
        Where do you draw the line? When can charity cover error? We will
        never be united until we concede that some of the minor issues
        aren't worth being divided over. But the biggest problem is
        defining 'minor'. What are major issues versus minor... and why?

        Just as a note - I generally don't check the emails on this group
        until the Lord's day. It is my 'fellowship'. Our baby will probably
        come sometime this week, so it may be a couple of weeks before I get
        a chance to read your replies unless I move the computer downstairs
        which is a distinct possibility! :)

        Standing for the Truth,

        Dee Dee
      • gmw
        Hi Dee Dee, My responses are below... ... And this is no small qualification, as much of the issue lies in whether or not their duties can be performed from
        Message 3 of 23 , May 20, 2007
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          Hi Dee Dee,

          My responses are below...

          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "nocost2great"
          <manna4free@...> wrote:

          > > 1. That the elders can be taken at their word, when they say that
          > > they love you. I'm not saying that you have been treated with
          > love,
          > > but that I believe that they are sincere
          >
          > I wholeheartedly agree with you (in as much as they can love a
          > person they do not know.)

          And this is no small qualification, as much of the issue lies in
          whether or not their duties can be performed from such a great
          distance, with such infrequent contact, with such scarce personal
          interaction. But even so, their zeal is not in question here, and
          when they say they are doing what they are doing because they love
          you, I believe that they are sincere in saying that, though again, I
          do not believe they say it or believe it according to knowledge. What
          damage they do, and what unlove they are showing, is, I believe, not
          intended by them.

          > > 2. Excommunication, in my understanding, means that you are being
          > > judged to be obstinate in your refusal to submit to Christ, whom a
          > > lawful court of Christ represents. Excommunication assumes that
          > > unless you repent, you shall perish in your obstinate sin. They
          > are
          > > not saying that you are not a Christian, but they are suggesting
          > that
          > > you are acting as if you are not a Christian, and that you should
          > not
          > > be called a Christian (as in you should not be a member of any
          > > Christian church), and that if you are truly a Christian, you will
          > > repent of your sin.
          >
          > So are you saying that it means I can die unrepentant and obstinate
          > in this particular sin, and still be considered a Christian by those
          > who agree with/support the excommunication, OR are you saying that I
          > was truly not a Christian if I didn't repent before death?

          I am saying the latter. Excommunication can be a severe spanking by
          God for his children... if this is the case, the child shall repent.
          Or, Excommunication can be the death blow to the reprobate, in which
          case we would expect them to continue on in their sin.

          When you were excommunicated, it was implied that while they hope that
          this sentence will prove to be for your salvation in the end (provided
          you repent), yet you are cast out of the visible church where there is
          no ordinary means of salvation, and if you do not repent and come back
          to the church on their terms, you will perish in outer darkness. This
          is my understanding of excommunication. They are hoping you will
          repent and show yourself a Christian, but if you do not repent you are
          showing that you were never a Christian.

          > I am still of the
          > opinion that we should not attend unto teaching that leads to error.

          I am (apparently one of the few) who would agree with that statement.

          > Where do you draw the line? When can charity cover error?

          Charity covers error all the time. I have friends who are Roman
          Catholics, Anabaptists, Reformed Baptists, Evangelical (with or
          without a charismatic tinge), etc. etc. I love them despite their
          errors, and so charity covers these errors. However, this is not the
          same as Ecclesiastical Membership/Fellowship. I cannot rightly
          profess to be of the same body of those of a different
          Confession/Profession. I love my old friends at the Baptist Church of
          my youth, but I cannot attend worship there, nor become a member
          there, again. This is not because of my lack of love for them, but
          because of my love for the truth (against which they sin in their
          constitution, doctrine, and practices).

          > We will never be united until we concede that some of the minor
          > issues aren't worth being divided over. But the biggest problem is
          > defining 'minor'. What are major issues versus minor... and why?

          Some may take it upon themselves to define biblical doctrines and
          practices as major or minor. I am not qualified to do so. I know
          that dividing over the color of the carpet is minor. Everything else,
          I defer to the Confession and Larger Catechism as helps.

          Also, I am very concerned about calling something that faithful
          Christians were once tortured and slaughtered over as being "minor,"
          even if a couple hundred years have gone by.

          > Standing for the Truth,

          Stand strong!

          gmw.
        • forisraelssake
          ... Since the purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error , because of the incompleteness of our sanctification and imperfection in our
          Message 4 of 23 , May 20, 2007
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            > And to move away from the dead horse (a little bit anyway) would
            > anyone care to discuss occasional hearing? :) I am still of the
            > opinion that we should not attend unto teaching that leads to error.
            > Where do you draw the line? When can charity cover error? We will
            > never be united until we concede that some of the minor issues
            > aren't worth being divided over. But the biggest problem is
            > defining 'minor'. What are major issues versus minor... and why?
            >


            Since "the purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture
            and error", because of the incompleteness of our sanctification and
            imperfection in our knowledge, therefore it is necessary that there
            will be error in even the purest churches you find. So as to the
            general rule it can't be its mere presence that is grounds for
            withdrawal and disfellowshipping. I think you have to get back into
            the old distinction between true and false churches (cf. Scottish
            Confession of Faith ch. 18; Belgic Confession of Faith article 29) to
            demarcate the line between communion and withdrawal.


            > Just as a note - I generally don't check the emails on this group
            > until the Lord's day. It is my 'fellowship'. Our baby will probably
            > come sometime this week, so it may be a couple of weeks before I get
            > a chance to read your replies unless I move the computer downstairs
            > which is a distinct possibility! :)
            >
            > Standing for the Truth,
            >
            > Dee Dee
            >

            I pray everything goes well Dee Dee with your labor. :)

            Chris
          • nocost2great
            ... wrote: ... error. ... statement. ... else, ... being minor, ... Dee Dee replies: Please don t think that I was suggesting that we
            Message 5 of 23 , May 20, 2007
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              --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
              <ragingcalvinist@...> wrote:
              Dee Dee wrote:
              > > I am still of the
              > > opinion that we should not attend unto teaching that leads to
              error.
              >
              Jerry replied:
              > I am (apparently one of the few) who would agree with that
              statement.
              >

              > Some may take it upon themselves to define biblical doctrines and
              > practices as major or minor. I am not qualified to do so. I know
              > that dividing over the color of the carpet is minor. Everything
              else,
              > I defer to the Confession and Larger Catechism as helps.
              >
              > Also, I am very concerned about calling something that faithful
              > Christians were once tortured and slaughtered over as
              being "minor,"
              > even if a couple hundred years have gone by.

              Dee Dee replies:

              Please don't think that I was suggesting that we ditch any of the
              doctrines that delineate us as covenanters! One of my main unspoken
              concerns over the years is that we have not united with others (like
              you) who hold to the exact same terms of communion. Now in
              hindsight, I realize that our terms of communion were never static -
              and always subject to change based on the rulings of the elders. I
              was blind to that for many years! However, I guess one of the things
              that has always bugged me is that it was said we were not united
              because of headcoverings. I see now that it is much more than that.
              So, would headcoverings be 'minor'? Would you worship at a church
              where they practiced the RPW with the same understanding you have,
              and they had the same beliefs as far as government and doctrine, but
              they didn't insist that the women wear dresses only, or they didn't
              dictate that headcoverings be worn... or call all movies and plays
              unlawful, etc. These, to me, are minors. In fact, I have long
              questioned (in my heart) the degree of worldliness that is
              acceptable in the RPNA(GM) but didn't feel it was an issue to
              separate over (although it did cause some problems with my teenagers
              comparing our rules to the rules of others, particularly elder
              families.)
              I am rethinking the idea that God is going to bring in the millenium
              with a bride that is completely united on all issues so that there
              are no disagreements or compromises. I am not saying that I think
              that we will lower the common denominator so that we can be united,
              but surely we can agree to disagree on *some* things and still
              commune with one another around the Lord's table.

              Standing Strong for the Truth,

              Dee Dee
            • gmw
              Greetings Dee Dee, ... Good, but I understand that not everyone who has been excommunicated is of your opinion anymore. Which brings something up... IF YOU
              Message 6 of 23 , May 23, 2007
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                Greetings Dee Dee,

                --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "nocost2great"
                <manna4free@...> wrote:

                > Please don't think that I was suggesting that we ditch any of the
                > doctrines that delineate us as covenanters!

                Good, but I understand that not everyone who has been excommunicated
                is of your opinion anymore. Which brings something up...

                IF YOU ARE REMAIN COVENANTER, I MEAN "THE SIX TERMS OF COMMUNION" TYPE
                OF REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN, AND HAVE EITHER BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED OR
                OTHERWISE ARE UNABLE TO JOIN WITH OTHER CONGREGATIONS IN GOOD
                CONSCIENCE, PLEASE EMAIL ME PRIVATELY -- ragingcalvinist@...
                -- I have an idea I want to talk about.

                > However, I guess one of the things
                > that has always bugged me is that it was said we were not united
                > because of headcoverings. I see now that it is much more than that.
                > So, would headcoverings be 'minor'? Would you worship at a church
                > where they practiced the RPW with the same understanding you have,
                > and they had the same beliefs as far as government and doctrine, but
                > they didn't insist that the women wear dresses only, or they didn't
                > dictate that headcoverings be worn... or call all movies and plays
                > unlawful, etc. These, to me, are minors.

                I can only speak of my own opinion on this matter. My wife covers her
                head, and does so because we believe the Bible requires it. She will
                not be uncovering her head for any man but me. A church that REQUIRES
                her to go uncovered (i.e. the RPNA), cannot be an option for us. It
                has become ~major~ in such a case -- requiring us to do that which we
                believe to be sin. But if there were an existing church whose
                Confession of Faith, Terms of Communion, etc., we were in agreement
                with, except that they allowed woman to go with their heads uncovered,
                I do not think this would be enough to keep me from going there. My
                wife would continue to cover her head, but in such a case as this it
                would not be ~major~ to me.

                As far as the movies, plays, and other worldly things, I wish I were
                more free from the stains of this world than I am. But it may
                interest you to see what the REAL Reformed Presbytery said on this
                topic: http://tinyurl.com/3exd22

                I would wish, for my own sake, for the sake of my family, and for the
                sake of other Christians, that churches would have a more united view
                against worldliness. I've attended sermons that have referenced
                movies as illustrations, I've read sermons that were pretty much based
                on sermons, and I've heard it suggested by some that attending movies
                is actually a Christian thing to do as it exposes us to the thinking
                of the world (I guess this is to assist our apologetics) -- in such
                cases, the issues is more ~major~. But, if, again, we find that
                church with which were are in complete agreement, yet they are not so
                firmly warning against theater attendance as much as they ought, I
                don't believe this alone would prevent my attendance/membership... in
                such a case it would be more of a ~minor~ to me.

                > In fact, I have long
                > questioned (in my heart) the degree of worldliness that is
                > acceptable in the RPNA(GM) but didn't feel it was an issue to
                > separate over (although it did cause some problems with my teenagers
                > comparing our rules to the rules of others, particularly elder
                > families.)

                This is another issue -- when the worldliness becomes so widespread
                among the children, then those worldy children become the kind of kids
                that I don't want my kids hanging around with too much, then this
                causes all kinds of problems.

                > I am rethinking the idea that God is going to bring in the millenium
                > with a bride that is completely united on all issues so that there
                > are no disagreements or compromises.

                Perhaps not. But as far as issues of doctrine, the "whatsoever I have
                commanded thee" that Christ spoke of, we are commanded "Now I beseech
                you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak
                the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye
                be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same
                judgment." With weakness and infirmity, we are to forbear. With
                honest error, we are to correct and educate. With anti-scriptural and
                un-scriptural doctrine obstinately held, we are to be firm and
                uncompromising.

                gmw.
              • Tim Cunningham
                ... TYPE ... Tim-Hi Gerry: Whatever your idea is, I hope it will be a blessing to all the unjustly X d. ... her ... will ... Tim-Granted that I am not from a
                Message 7 of 23 , May 24, 2007
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                  --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
                  <ragingcalvinist@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "nocost2great"
                  > <manna4free@> wrote:
                  >
                  > > Please don't think that I was suggesting that we ditch any of the
                  > > doctrines that delineate us as covenanters!
                  >
                  > Good, but I understand that not everyone who has been excommunicated
                  > is of your opinion anymore. Which brings something up...
                  >
                  > IF YOU ARE REMAIN COVENANTER, I MEAN "THE SIX TERMS OF COMMUNION"
                  TYPE
                  > OF REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN, AND HAVE EITHER BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED OR
                  > OTHERWISE ARE UNABLE TO JOIN WITH OTHER CONGREGATIONS IN GOOD
                  > CONSCIENCE, PLEASE EMAIL ME PRIVATELY -- ragingcalvinist@...
                  > -- I have an idea I want to talk about.

                  Tim-Hi Gerry:
                  Whatever your idea is, I hope it will be a blessing to all the
                  unjustly X'd.
                  >

                  > I can only speak of my own opinion on this matter. My wife covers
                  her
                  > head, and does so because we believe the Bible requires it. She
                  will
                  > not be uncovering her head for any man but me.

                  Tim-Granted that I am not from a covie background and so may not know
                  how the relevant passage of 1 Cor. 11 has been interpreted in that
                  tradition, but this appears to imply that your wife wears a head
                  covering at all times. Am I reading you correctly? If I am, I wonder
                  about something. As I read the relevant passage, Paul seems to be
                  mandating covering in the worship service of the church not as
                  something to be done at all times. Is there a reason that your wife
                  is extending the practice beyond church walls?

                  Just curious
                  Tim



                  A church that REQUIRES
                  > her to go uncovered (i.e. the RPNA), cannot be an option for us. It
                  > has become ~major~ in such a case -- requiring us to do that which
                  we
                  > believe to be sin. But if there were an existing church whose
                  > Confession of Faith, Terms of Communion, etc., we were in agreement
                  > with, except that they allowed woman to go with their heads
                  uncovered,
                  > I do not think this would be enough to keep me from going there. My
                  > wife would continue to cover her head, but in such a case as this it
                  > would not be ~major~ to me.
                  >
                  > As far as the movies, plays, and other worldly things, I wish I were
                  > more free from the stains of this world than I am. But it may
                  > interest you to see what the REAL Reformed Presbytery said on this
                  > topic: http://tinyurl.com/3exd22
                  >
                  > I would wish, for my own sake, for the sake of my family, and for
                  the
                  > sake of other Christians, that churches would have a more united
                  view
                  > against worldliness. I've attended sermons that have referenced
                  > movies as illustrations, I've read sermons that were pretty much
                  based
                  > on sermons, and I've heard it suggested by some that attending
                  movies
                  > is actually a Christian thing to do as it exposes us to the thinking
                  > of the world (I guess this is to assist our apologetics) -- in such
                  > cases, the issues is more ~major~. But, if, again, we find that
                  > church with which were are in complete agreement, yet they are not
                  so
                  > firmly warning against theater attendance as much as they ought, I
                  > don't believe this alone would prevent my attendance/membership...
                  in
                  > such a case it would be more of a ~minor~ to me.
                  >
                  > > In fact, I have long
                  > > questioned (in my heart) the degree of worldliness that is
                  > > acceptable in the RPNA(GM) but didn't feel it was an issue to
                  > > separate over (although it did cause some problems with my
                  teenagers
                  > > comparing our rules to the rules of others, particularly elder
                  > > families.)
                  >
                  > This is another issue -- when the worldliness becomes so widespread
                  > among the children, then those worldy children become the kind of
                  kids
                  > that I don't want my kids hanging around with too much, then this
                  > causes all kinds of problems.
                  >
                  > > I am rethinking the idea that God is going to bring in the
                  millenium
                  > > with a bride that is completely united on all issues so that
                  there
                  > > are no disagreements or compromises.
                  >
                  > Perhaps not. But as far as issues of doctrine, the "whatsoever I
                  have
                  > commanded thee" that Christ spoke of, we are commanded "Now I
                  beseech
                  > you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all
                  speak
                  > the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that
                  ye
                  > be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same
                  > judgment." With weakness and infirmity, we are to forbear. With
                  > honest error, we are to correct and educate. With anti-scriptural
                  and
                  > un-scriptural doctrine obstinately held, we are to be firm and
                  > uncompromising.
                  >
                  > gmw.
                  >
                • gmw
                  Hi Tim, I ve never been one to want to argue this subject, but I will not have my friend be curious, so I will explain my position with some help from Mr.
                  Message 8 of 23 , May 24, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Tim,

                    I've never been one to want to argue this subject, but I will not have
                    my friend be curious, so I will explain my position with some help
                    from Mr. Calvin.

                    --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Tim Cunningham"
                    <timmopussycat@...> wrote:
                    > Tim-Granted that I am not from a covie background and so may not know
                    > how the relevant passage of 1 Cor. 11 has been interpreted in that
                    > tradition,

                    There is nothing distinctly Covenanter about our (my wife's and my)
                    position on headcoverings.

                    > but this appears to imply that your wife wears a head
                    > covering at all times.

                    Not at all times. I'm not trying to be funny, but I've been asked
                    whether or not I'm for headcoverings in the shower, in bed, moping
                    around the house in our pajamas, etc. As Calvin notes in his sermons
                    on 1 Corinthians, "St. Paul is not addressing what may take place at
                    home; for, if a woman combs her hair, she will surely have it
                    uncovered then, but she also retires to her place of privacy. So, St.
                    Paul is not discussing what may happen with individuals at home."
                    Again, Calvin notes that, "should a woman require to make such haste
                    in assisting a neighbor that she has not time to cover her head, she
                    sins not in running out with her head uncovered" [Institutes Book IV,
                    Chapter 10, Sec. 31]. So, no, not at all times.

                    > As I read the relevant passage, Paul seems to be
                    > mandating covering in the worship service of the church not as
                    > something to be done at all times. Is there a reason that your wife
                    > is extending the practice beyond church walls?

                    If one assumes the woman is uncovered coming in to worship, then the
                    direction seems to be that the woman put on the covering during
                    worship. However, if one assumes that the woman is already covered
                    coming in to worship, then the direction seems to be that the woman
                    ought not to take it off during worship.

                    Calvin interprets Paul as saying "that women should not go out in
                    public with uncovered heads" (Institutes Book IV, Chapter 10, sec. 29).

                    Without going into the specifics of 1 Cor. 11, of the sign of
                    subjection, the respect to the angels, the headship and glory
                    arguments (none of which necessarily cease outside of the walls of a
                    church building), there are some other issues involved with the
                    headcovering that factor into why my wife wears one whenever she goes
                    in public --

                    1. The difference between men and women:

                    "They forget their nature: for women ought to be modest. If there be
                    no shame, but that they will needs be out of order: it is a very
                    beastliness. That is the effect of God's intent in saying that men
                    ought not to put on women's apparel, nor women ought not to be clothed
                    in men's apparel: For it is good reason that there should be a
                    difference between men and women. And although there were no law
                    written, doth not even nature teach it us? And when Paul (1 Cor.
                    11.5,) telleth us that women must come to the Church with their heads
                    covered & not with their hair about their ears: he sheweth the same
                    thing. What saith he? have we need to speak to you of such things? For
                    if a woman were polled , durst she shew her head abroad? A man may
                    well be bold to shew his head bare, though he be polled: and shall a
                    woman do so too? That were a shame, everybody would mock at her, and
                    she should be fain to hide her head. Now since ye know this without
                    any scripture or word written: do ye not see how God hath shown as it
                    were a seed of modesty in you, to the intent that every man should
                    have a regard to that which is comely for him? So then, let us mark
                    that here God intended to shew us that everybody's attiring of
                    themselves ought to be such, as there may be a difference between men
                    and women." -Calvin's sermon on Deut. 22:5-8.

                    2. The immodesty and impropriety of my wife showing you her long
                    beautiful blonde hair:

                    "Men use not to hang out a sign at a tavern, unless they meant men
                    should come in who list. And while women deck and trim themselves
                    after this sort, to draw men's eyes to them, and to have men stand
                    gazing at them, what is this else but a spreading out of their nets? &
                    therefore it is as much as if they kept open tavern of their own
                    bodies. True it is, that all of them will not do so: but this is the
                    end of their prancking, and it is not almost to be found, but that
                    such gorgeous deckings, and such braveries do always bear one smack of
                    bawdery with them although whoredom do not always follow. So then let
                    us mark well, when Paul speaketh of this, shamefastness and modesty,
                    that in correcting one fault he taketh away all those superfluities
                    wherewith women are so set on fire, that they can keep no measure in
                    them, & therefore it booteth not now, to reckon them up by piecemeal.
                    And if this affection and perverse desire were well purged, no doubt
                    women would deck themselves modestly, and we should see no more of
                    these disguisings. See there cometh out a woman like a painted
                    idol;—all our age is full of colours, there is nothing but laying on
                    of gold, perukes and false hairs, and such like: again, we see such
                    pomp, and bravery, that when such a Diana cometh forth, we may well
                    judge and think that she is at defiance with all shame, with all
                    modesty, with all honesty, as a stews, & strumpet, ready to say on
                    this wise: 'I will show myself here as a salt bitch, I will be
                    impudent and shameless, and show my filthiness to all the world.' We
                    should I say, see no more of these things. If women observe this rule
                    of modesty, they would not be so bespangled with gold as they are,
                    they would not have their heads uncovered as now they have: to be
                    short, they would not so exceed measure in gorgeousness as they do,
                    wherein they do but fight against modesty & honesty, which Paul
                    speaketh of in this place, if all this (as I said) were cut off." --
                    Calvin's Sermon on 1 Timothy 2:9-11.

                    And the more often quoted (and seemingly prophetic), "So if women are
                    thus permitted to have their heads uncovered and to show their hair,
                    they will eventually be allowed to expose their entire breasts, and
                    they will come to make their exhibitions as if it were a tavern show;
                    they will become so brazen that modesty and shame will be no more; in
                    short they will forget the duty of nature... So, when it is
                    permissible for the women to uncover their heads, one will say, 'Well,
                    what harm in uncovering the stomach also?' And then after that one
                    will plead something else: 'Now if the women go bareheaded, why not
                    also this and that?' Then the men, for their part, will break loose
                    too. In short, there will be no decency left, unless people contain
                    themselves and respect what is proper and fitting, so as not to go
                    headlong overboard." -- Calvin's Sermon on 1 Corinthians 11:2-3.

                    Again, I do not intend to argue these points. I only wanted to let
                    you know what the points are -- not just 1 Cor. 11 and worship, but
                    also the differences in apparel for men and women, and modesty.

                    gmw.
                  • Tim Cunningham
                    Hi Gerry Thanks for answering. I to don t intend to argue this one. As I said, I was just curious. Tim ... have ... know ... that ... sermons ... St. ... IV,
                    Message 9 of 23 , May 25, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi Gerry

                      Thanks for answering. I to don't intend to argue this one. As I said,
                      I was just curious.
                      Tim

                      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
                      <ragingcalvinist@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Hi Tim,
                      >
                      > I've never been one to want to argue this subject, but I will not
                      have
                      > my friend be curious, so I will explain my position with some help
                      > from Mr. Calvin.
                      >
                      > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Tim Cunningham"
                      > <timmopussycat@> wrote:
                      > > Tim-Granted that I am not from a covie background and so may not
                      know
                      > > how the relevant passage of 1 Cor. 11 has been interpreted in
                      that
                      > > tradition,
                      >
                      > There is nothing distinctly Covenanter about our (my wife's and my)
                      > position on headcoverings.
                      >
                      > > but this appears to imply that your wife wears a head
                      > > covering at all times.
                      >
                      > Not at all times. I'm not trying to be funny, but I've been asked
                      > whether or not I'm for headcoverings in the shower, in bed, moping
                      > around the house in our pajamas, etc. As Calvin notes in his
                      sermons
                      > on 1 Corinthians, "St. Paul is not addressing what may take place at
                      > home; for, if a woman combs her hair, she will surely have it
                      > uncovered then, but she also retires to her place of privacy. So,
                      St.
                      > Paul is not discussing what may happen with individuals at home."
                      > Again, Calvin notes that, "should a woman require to make such haste
                      > in assisting a neighbor that she has not time to cover her head, she
                      > sins not in running out with her head uncovered" [Institutes Book
                      IV,
                      > Chapter 10, Sec. 31]. So, no, not at all times.
                      >
                      > > As I read the relevant passage, Paul seems to be
                      > > mandating covering in the worship service of the church not as
                      > > something to be done at all times. Is there a reason that your
                      wife
                      > > is extending the practice beyond church walls?
                      >
                      > If one assumes the woman is uncovered coming in to worship, then the
                      > direction seems to be that the woman put on the covering during
                      > worship. However, if one assumes that the woman is already covered
                      > coming in to worship, then the direction seems to be that the woman
                      > ought not to take it off during worship.
                      >
                      > Calvin interprets Paul as saying "that women should not go out in
                      > public with uncovered heads" (Institutes Book IV, Chapter 10, sec.
                      29).
                      >
                      > Without going into the specifics of 1 Cor. 11, of the sign of
                      > subjection, the respect to the angels, the headship and glory
                      > arguments (none of which necessarily cease outside of the walls of a
                      > church building), there are some other issues involved with the
                      > headcovering that factor into why my wife wears one whenever she
                      goes
                      > in public --
                      >
                      > 1. The difference between men and women:
                      >
                      > "They forget their nature: for women ought to be modest. If there be
                      > no shame, but that they will needs be out of order: it is a very
                      > beastliness. That is the effect of God's intent in saying that men
                      > ought not to put on women's apparel, nor women ought not to be
                      clothed
                      > in men's apparel: For it is good reason that there should be a
                      > difference between men and women. And although there were no law
                      > written, doth not even nature teach it us? And when Paul (1 Cor.
                      > 11.5,) telleth us that women must come to the Church with their
                      heads
                      > covered & not with their hair about their ears: he sheweth the same
                      > thing. What saith he? have we need to speak to you of such things?
                      For
                      > if a woman were polled , durst she shew her head abroad? A man may
                      > well be bold to shew his head bare, though he be polled: and shall a
                      > woman do so too? That were a shame, everybody would mock at her, and
                      > she should be fain to hide her head. Now since ye know this without
                      > any scripture or word written: do ye not see how God hath shown as
                      it
                      > were a seed of modesty in you, to the intent that every man should
                      > have a regard to that which is comely for him? So then, let us mark
                      > that here God intended to shew us that everybody's attiring of
                      > themselves ought to be such, as there may be a difference between
                      men
                      > and women." -Calvin's sermon on Deut. 22:5-8.
                      >
                      > 2. The immodesty and impropriety of my wife showing you her long
                      > beautiful blonde hair:
                      >
                      > "Men use not to hang out a sign at a tavern, unless they meant men
                      > should come in who list. And while women deck and trim themselves
                      > after this sort, to draw men's eyes to them, and to have men stand
                      > gazing at them, what is this else but a spreading out of their
                      nets? &
                      > therefore it is as much as if they kept open tavern of their own
                      > bodies. True it is, that all of them will not do so: but this is the
                      > end of their prancking, and it is not almost to be found, but that
                      > such gorgeous deckings, and such braveries do always bear one smack
                      of
                      > bawdery with them although whoredom do not always follow. So then
                      let
                      > us mark well, when Paul speaketh of this, shamefastness and modesty,
                      > that in correcting one fault he taketh away all those superfluities
                      > wherewith women are so set on fire, that they can keep no measure in
                      > them, & therefore it booteth not now, to reckon them up by
                      piecemeal.
                      > And if this affection and perverse desire were well purged, no doubt
                      > women would deck themselves modestly, and we should see no more of
                      > these disguisings. See there cometh out a woman like a painted
                      > idol;—all our age is full of colours, there is nothing but laying on
                      > of gold, perukes and false hairs, and such like: again, we see such
                      > pomp, and bravery, that when such a Diana cometh forth, we may well
                      > judge and think that she is at defiance with all shame, with all
                      > modesty, with all honesty, as a stews, & strumpet, ready to say on
                      > this wise: 'I will show myself here as a salt bitch, I will be
                      > impudent and shameless, and show my filthiness to all the world.' We
                      > should I say, see no more of these things. If women observe this
                      rule
                      > of modesty, they would not be so bespangled with gold as they are,
                      > they would not have their heads uncovered as now they have: to be
                      > short, they would not so exceed measure in gorgeousness as they do,
                      > wherein they do but fight against modesty & honesty, which Paul
                      > speaketh of in this place, if all this (as I said) were cut off." --
                      > Calvin's Sermon on 1 Timothy 2:9-11.
                      >
                      > And the more often quoted (and seemingly prophetic), "So if women
                      are
                      > thus permitted to have their heads uncovered and to show their hair,
                      > they will eventually be allowed to expose their entire breasts, and
                      > they will come to make their exhibitions as if it were a tavern
                      show;
                      > they will become so brazen that modesty and shame will be no more;
                      in
                      > short they will forget the duty of nature... So, when it is
                      > permissible for the women to uncover their heads, one will
                      say, 'Well,
                      > what harm in uncovering the stomach also?' And then after that one
                      > will plead something else: 'Now if the women go bareheaded, why not
                      > also this and that?' Then the men, for their part, will break loose
                      > too. In short, there will be no decency left, unless people contain
                      > themselves and respect what is proper and fitting, so as not to go
                      > headlong overboard." -- Calvin's Sermon on 1 Corinthians 11:2-3.
                      >
                      > Again, I do not intend to argue these points. I only wanted to let
                      > you know what the points are -- not just 1 Cor. 11 and worship, but
                      > also the differences in apparel for men and women, and modesty.
                      >
                      > gmw.
                      >
                    • Willena Flewelling
                      ... doctrines that delineate us as covenanters! Good, but I understand that not everyone who has been excommunicated is of your opinion anymore. Which brings
                      Message 10 of 23 , May 30, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Jerry wrote:

                        > Please don't think that I was suggesting that we ditch any of the
                        doctrines that delineate us as covenanters!

                        Good, but I understand that not everyone who has been excommunicated is of your opinion anymore. Which brings something up...

                        IF YOU ARE REMAIN COVENANTER, I MEAN "THE SIX TERMS OF COMMUNION" TYPE OF REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN, AND HAVE EITHER BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED OR OTHERWISE ARE UNABLE TO JOIN WITH OTHER CONGREGATIONS IN GOOD CONSCIENCE, PLEASE EMAIL ME PRIVATELY -- ragingcalvinist@ verizon.net -- I have an idea I want to talk about.


                        Tim wrote:

                        Hi Gerry:
                        Whatever your idea is, I hope it will be a blessing to all the unjustly X'd.


                        And I sincerely hope so too, Jerry. I can only speak for myself and not others who have been excommunicated, but as one who has made some decisions recently that would likely disappoint you deeply, I can say that none of those decisions were easy ones. With all my heart I wish it were possible for me to stand visibly and unwaveringly on the covenanter doctrines, which I still own. But the last two years have been very difficult in many ways, and losing membership in the RPNA was a deeper blow with far greater repercussions than I thought possible. The battle did not end with my excommunication, but is ongoing, with one daughter still a member in good standing, and confusion tearing at some of my other children. I am so thankful that none of them are having problems with assurance of salvation, but it could come to that.

                        Excommunication and rejection by the elders of the RPNA has placed me in an even more difficult and isolated position than most of you who worship alone, for not only am I without any elder or pastoral oversight at all, but I am without a spiritual leader in my home. I have spent the past eleven years alienated from my husband. I gave up everything we had in that realm, as a wedge was driven between us. And for what? To be cast out of the visible church of Christ? I don't have it in me to fight any more, or to stand alone.

                        Jerry, your email confuses me, because I am ashamed of myself for not having the strength to stand alone. It doesn't bother me to stand against the elders or my daughter, for I believe they are in the wrong and are the ones who have wronged us. But you and Deejay and a number of others stand alone. You have not allowed your circumstances to dictate your actions. You know what you believe, and you are standing on it in the face of oppositon from all sides. I feel as if I have let you all down by apparently ditching some of our covenanter doctrines. But if I adhere strictly to the six terms of communion as we have been led to understand them, I stand alone. Responsible for seven children, three of whom are still under my care, with no husband. I have already spent twelve years doing what "true" covenanters think I should do, and I am no longer sure it is the right thing. With children looking up to me, I don't want to make any more mistakes. We need fellowship. We need accountability. We need guidance outside of our family.

                        We can no longer afford to drive the family to the city and back each week to worship with our excommunicated brethren. To worship at home alone would mean my husband worshipping with us, and therefore taking the lead, which would be no different from worshipping with others of conflicting beliefs. And that is only one small part of my dilemma, which I cannot begin to express here. Let it suffice to say the months since my excommunication have been ones of deep struggles, not only in myself but in my children, and the struggles are far from over. There are brick walls everywhere I turn. We don't even have the option of a good Reformed church within reasonable driving distance. I am still asking the question... when will it end? The confusion, the battering, the uncertainty, the not knowing???

                        I said when I started attending a local church with my husband and children, that God knows my heart, and my desire to glorify and enjoy Him... and I can trust Him not to strike me down dead or otherwise judge me harshly, but to show me in His loving ways, if I am doing wrong. It has been seven weeks now. My husband is happy and taking over his rightful role as head and leader in our home. My children are happy, with the exception of a few. All are seeking Him in ways we haven't done for a long time. I don't see my doubts at this point, as being His still small voice. I do see my husband's peace and contentment as His still small voice. I look forward to the day when I am happy and content too, knowing with my whole heart in agreement that I am truly walking in the way He has set before me.

                        My story is my own, and I speak for no one else. But I ask all of you who are able to stand on your covenanter convictions, please PLEASE not to j
                        udge the rest of us too harshly. No one knows the struggles each one is going through, or the way the Lord is leading each of us. I pray that all of us will learn to do what we understand the scriptures to be telling us to do, without judging others when they come to a different understanding... even if we supposedly "know better."

                        Willena

                      • Heart Aflame
                        Hi Willena, (I made a more personal comment to this at Come out) but as I see I got an honourable mention, (at Jerry s group!!) I just wanted to say, I for
                        Message 11 of 23 , May 31, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment

                          Hi Willena,

                           

                          (I made a more personal comment to this at Come out)  but as I see I got an honourable mention, (at Jerry’s group!!) I just wanted to say, I for one think no less of you for the decisions you’ve made.

                           

                          Like yourself my circumstances are pretty unique in other ways  But being the bloody minded person I am, ;-)  because those who have added to my affliction are not of Covenanted Reformation principles locally, its made me dig my heels in further, to stand alone and hold to them.  The opposite of your own trouble in that respect. .  But there again, bloody mindedness or not, it was circumstances which dictated, much like yourself.  Of course that’s an edited version, but, it is part of it.

                           

                          ~Deejay

                           


                          From: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Willena Flewelling
                          Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 7:18 AM
                          To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: major versus minor & (ATTENTION COVENANTERS)

                           

                          Jerry wrote:

                          > Please don't think that I was suggesting that we ditch any of the
                          doctrines that delineate us as covenanters!

                          Good, but I understand that not everyone who has been excommunicated is of your opinion anymore. Which brings something up...

                          IF YOU ARE REMAIN COVENANTER, I MEAN "THE SIX TERMS OF COMMUNION" TYPE OF REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN, AND HAVE EITHER BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED OR OTHERWISE ARE UNABLE TO JOIN WITH OTHER CONGREGATIONS IN GOOD CONSCIENCE, PLEASE EMAIL ME PRIVATELY -- ragingcalvinist@ verizon.net -- I have an idea I want to talk about.


                          Tim wrote:

                          Hi Gerry:
                          Whatever your idea is, I hope it will be a blessing to all the unjustly X'd.


                          And I sincerely hope so too, Jerry. I can only speak for myself and not others who have been excommunicated, but as one who has made some decisions recently that would likely disappoint you deeply, I can say that none of those decisions were easy ones. With all my heart I wish it were possible for me to stand visibly and unwaveringly on the covenanter doctrines, which I still own. But the last two years have been very difficult in many ways, and losing membership in the RPNA was a deeper blow with far greater repercussions than I thought possible. The battle did not end with my excommunication, but is ongoing, with one daughter still a member in good standing, and confusion tearing at some of my other children. I am so thankful that none of them are having problems with assurance of salvation, but it could come to that.

                          Excommunication and rejection by the elders of the RPNA has placed me in an even more difficult and isolated position than most of you who worship alone, for not only am I without any elder or pastoral oversight at all, but I am without a spiritual leader in my home. I have spent the past eleven years alienated from my husband. I gave up everything we had in that realm, as a wedge was driven between us. And for what? To be cast out of the visible church of Christ? I don't have it in me to fight any more, or to stand alone.

                          Jerry, your email confuses me, because I am ashamed of myself for not having the strength to stand alone. It doesn't bother me to stand against the elders or my daughter, for I believe they are in the wrong and are the ones who have wronged us. But you and Deejay and a number of others stand alone. You have not allowed your circumstances to dictate your actions. You know what you believe, and you are standing on it in the face of oppositon from all sides. I feel as if I have let you all down by apparently ditching some of our covenanter doctrines. But if I adhere strictly to the six terms of communion as we have been led to understand them, I stand alone. Responsible for seven children, three of whom are still under my care, with no husband. I have already spent twelve years doing what "true" covenanters think I should do, and I am no longer sure it is the right thing. With children looking up to me, I don't want to make any more mistakes. We need fellowship. We need accountability. We need guidance outside of our family.

                          We can no longer afford to drive the family to the city and back each week to worship with our excommunicated brethren. To worship at home alone would mean my husband worshipping with us, and therefore taking the lead, which would be no different from worshipping with others of conflicting beliefs. And that is only one small part of my dilemma, which I cannot begin to express here. Let it suffice to say the months since my excommunication have been ones of deep struggles, not only in myself but in my children, and the struggles are far from over. There are brick walls everywhere I turn. We don't even have the option of a good Reformed church within reasonable driving distance. I am still asking the question... when will it end? The confusion, the battering, the uncertainty, the not knowing???

                          I said when I started attending a local church with my husband and children, that God knows my heart, and my desire to glorify and enjoy Him... and I can trust Him not to strike me down dead or otherwise judge me harshly, but to show me in His loving ways, if I am doing wrong. It has been seven weeks now. My husband is happy and taking over his rightful role as head and leader in our home. My children are happy, with the exception of a few. All are seeking Him in ways we haven't done for a long time. I don't see my doubts at this point, as being His still small voice. I do see my husband's peace and contentment as His still small voice. I look forward to the day when I am happy and content too, knowing with my whole heart in agreement that I am truly walking in the way He has set before me.

                          My story is my own, and I speak for no one else. But I ask all of you who are able to stand on your covenanter convictions, please PLEASE not to j
                          udge the rest of us too harshly. No one knows the struggles each one is going through, or the way the Lord is leading each of us. I pray that all of us will learn to do what we understand the scriptures to be telling us to do, without judging others when they come to a different understanding. .. even if we supposedly "know better."

                          Willena

                        • Willena Flewelling
                          Dear Susan, Deejay and others who responded privately... I want to thank all of you for your love and support. I did not mean I have felt judged by anyone per
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jun 5, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Dear Susan, Deejay and others who responded privately... I want to thank all of you for your love and support. I did not mean I have felt judged by anyone per se (and that includes you, Jerry)... but it seems to be written into our code as covenanters to be judgmental of anyone who does not agree with us... and for some of us it has become an impossible situation. I very much appreciate all of you.

                            Willena

                            Susan Wilkinson wrote:

                            Dear Willena,

                             

                            Tom and I would like to say that we understand that you are in a very difficult circumstance and we do NOT feel harsh judgment of you at all. In fact, I can think of 2 other women in very difficult circumstances with children to consider and no husbands at all. I think that anyone who wants to judge harshly should be ready with an answer for you as to what you ~should~ do. Personally, Tom and I don’t know what you should do nor do we know what we would do in your circumstances. Our hearts go out to you and we pray that the Lord will sustain you and guide you and unite your family in truth.

                             

                            Susan

                             

                             

                             


                            From: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com ] On Behalf Of Willena Flewelling
                            Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 2:18 AM
                            To: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com
                            Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: major versus minor & (ATTENTION COVENANTERS)

                             

                            Jerry wrote:

                            > Please don't think that I was suggesting that we ditch any of the doctrines that delineate us as covenanters!

                            Good, but I understand that not everyone who has been excommunicated is of your opinion anymore. Which brings something up...

                            IF YOU ARE REMAIN COVENANTER, I MEAN "THE SIX TERMS OF COMMUNION" TYPE OF REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN, AND HAVE EITHER BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED OR OTHERWISE ARE UNABLE TO JOIN WITH OTHER CONGREGATIONS IN GOOD CONSCIENCE, PLEASE EMAIL ME PRIVATELY -- ragingcalvinist@ verizon.net -- I have an idea I want to talk about.


                            Tim wrote:

                            Hi Gerry:
                            Whatever your idea is, I hope it will be a blessing to all the unjustly X'd.


                            And I sincerely hope so too, Jerry. I can only speak for myself and not others who have been excommunicated, but as one who has made some decisions recently that would likely disappoint you deeply, I can say that none of those decisions were easy ones. With all my heart I wish it were possible for me to stand visibly and unwaveringly on the covenanter doctrines, which I still own. But the last two years have been very difficult in many ways, and losing membership in the RPNA was a deeper blow with far greater repercussions than I thought possible. The battle did not end with my excommunication, but is ongoing, with one daughter still a member in good standing, and confusion tearing at some of my other children. I am so thankful that none of them are having problems with assurance of salvation, but it could come to that.

                            Excommunication and rejection by the elders of the RPNA has placed me in an even more difficult and isolated position than most of you who worship alone, for not only am I without any elder or pastoral oversight at all, but I am without a spiritual leader in my home. I have spent the past eleven years alienated from my husband. I gave up everything we had in that realm, as a wedge was driven between us. And for what? To be cast out of the visible church of Christ ? I don't have it in me to fight any more, or to stand alone.

                            Jerry, your email confuses me, because I am ashamed of myself for not having the strength to stand alone. It doesn't bother me to stand against the elders or my daughter, for I believe they are in the wrong and are the ones who have wronged us. But you and Deejay and a number of others stand alone. You have not allowed your circumstances to dictate your actions. You know what you believe, and you are standing on it in the face of oppositon from all sides. I feel as if I have let you all down by apparently ditching some of our covenanter doctrines. But if I adhere strictly to the six terms of communion as we have been led to understand them, I stand alone. Responsible for seven children, three of whom are still under my care, with no husband. I have already spent twelve years doing what "true" covenanters think I should do, and I am no longer sure it is the right thing. With children looking up to me, I don't want to make any more mistakes. We need fellowship. We need accountability. We need guidance outside of our family.

                            We can no longer afford to drive the family to the city and back each week to worship with our excommunicated brethren. To worship at home alone would mean my husband worshipping with us, and therefore taking the lead, which would be no different from worshipping with others of conflicting beliefs. And that is only one small part of my dilemma, which I cannot begin to express here. Let it suffice to say the months since my excommunication have been ones of deep struggles, not only in myself but in my children, and the struggles are far from over. There are brick walls everywhere I turn. We don't even have the option of a good Reformed church within reasonable driving distance. I am still asking the question... when will it end? The confusion, the battering, the uncertainty, the not knowing???

                            I said when I started attending a local church with my husband and children, that God knows my heart, and my desire to glorify and enjoy Him... and I can trust Him not to strike me down dead or otherwise judge me harshly, but to show me in His loving ways, if I am doing wrong. It has been seven weeks now. My husband is happy and taking over his rightful role as head and leader in our home. My children are happy, with the exception of a few. All are seeking Him in ways we haven't done for a long time. I don't see my doubts at this point, as being His still small voice. I do see my husband's peace and contentment as His still small voice. I look forward to the day when I am happy and content too, knowing with my whole heart in agreement that I am truly walking in the way He has set before me.

                            My story is my own, and I speak for no one else. But I ask all of you who are able to stand on your covenanter convictions, please PLEASE not to j
                            udge the rest of us too harshly. No one knows the struggles each one is going through, or the way the Lord is leading each of us. I pray that all of us will learn to do what we understand the scriptures to be telling us to do, without judging others when they come to a different understanding. .. even if we supposedly "know better."

                            Willena



                          • Heart Aflame
                            Hi Willena, I agree with what you say in lots of ways, about judging being written into our code in some way. But, I also think too often, folks fail to
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jun 5, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment

                              Hi Willena,

                               

                              I agree with what you say in lots of ways, about judging being written into our code in some way.  But, I also think too often, folks fail to remember that when folks hit difficulties or hardships, that there but for the grace of God could be any of them too.  I think lots of folks would do a lot better, if they remembered that, and tried to ponderize or wonder what THEY would do if in similar straits, instead of being judgemental and making a bad situation worse for the person in hardship.  I’m speaking personally here too, so, understand where you are coming from.

                               

                               

                              ~Deejayß-who will still judge bowing down to the popish mass and other similar issues!

                               

                               


                              From: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com [mailto:covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Willena Flewelling
                              Sent: 05 June 2007 09:22
                              To: covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: major versus minor & (ATTENTION COVENANTERS)

                               

                              Dear Susan, Deejay and others who responded privately... I want to thank all of you for your love and support. I did not mean I have felt judged by anyone per se (and that includes you, Jerry)... but it seems to be written into our code as covenanters to be judgmental of anyone who does not agree with us... and for some of us it has become an impossible situation. I very much appreciate all of you.

                              Willena

                              Susan Wilkinson wrote:

                              Dear Willena,

                               

                              Tom and I would like to say that we understand that you are in a very difficult circumstance and we do NOT feel harsh judgment of you at all. In fact, I can think of 2 other women in very difficult circumstances with children to consider and no husbands at all. I think that anyone who wants to judge harshly should be ready with an answer for you as to what you ~should~ do. Personally, Tom and I don’t know what you should do nor do we know what we would do in your circumstances. Our hearts go out to you and we pray that the Lord will sustain you and guide you and unite your family in truth.

                               

                              Susan

                               

                               

                            • Willena Flewelling
                              Susan, I m not quite sure what you are asking, but I ll try to answer. I mean only what I wrote in my original email, which is still at the bottom of this one.
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jun 5, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Susan, I'm not quite sure what you are asking, but I'll try to answer.

                                I mean only what I wrote in my original email, which is still at the bottom of this one. Perhaps I should have used the same terminology you did, and said "for some of us it is a very difficult situation." For me it FEELS like an impossible situation in that I can't please everyone... someone on one side or the other or both, is going to think I am being unfaithful no matter what I do. I have even met with criticism for worshipping with my fellow excommunicated brethren who live an hour away, "because they are unfaithful." Like I was not considered to be in the same category as they? Like I was supposed to stay at home and worship alone? And exclude my husband, since he would inevitably expect to be included, and also take the lead? For some of us it's a no win situation.

                                All of the above is from the human standpoint only. I know it is not impossible in God's eyes... He has a solution for each of us... a biblical solution... and we need to ask for His wisdom to see it, and the courage to do it, no matter what anyone in any camp has to say about it.

                                Willena  

                                Susan Wilkinson wrote:

                                Dear Willena,

                                 

                                Can you help me understand what you mean by, “…for some of us it has become an impossible situation”? I tend to want to gently disagree with that statement, but I’m not sure exactly what you mean so I won’t yet.

                                 

                                Susan

                                 


                                From: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com ] On Behalf Of Willena Flewelling
                                Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 4:22 AM
                                To: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com
                                Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: major versus minor & (ATTENTION COVENANTERS)

                                 

                                Dear Susan, Deejay and others who responded privately... I want to thank all of you for your love and support. I did not mean I have felt judged by anyone per se (and that includes you, Jerry)... but it seems to be written into our code as covenanters to be judgmental of anyone who does not agree with us... and for some of us it has become an impossible situation. I very much appreciate all of you.

                                Willena

                                Susan Wilkinson wrote:

                                Dear Willena,

                                 

                                Tom and I would like to say that we understand that you are in a very difficult circumstance and we do NOT feel harsh judgment of you at all. In fact, I can think of 2 other women in very difficult circumstances with children to consider and no husbands at all. I think that anyone who wants to judge harshly should be ready with an answer for you as to what you ~should~ do. Personally, Tom and I don’t know what you should do nor do we know what we would do in your circumstances. Our hearts go out to you and we pray that the Lord will sustain you and guide you and unite your family in truth.

                                 

                                Susan

                                 

                                 

                                 


                                From: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com ] On Behalf Of Willena Flewelling
                                Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 2:18 AM
                                To: covenantedreformati onclub@yahoogrou ps.com
                                Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: major versus minor & (ATTENTION COVENANTERS)

                                 

                                Jerry wrote:

                                > Please don't think that I was suggesting that we ditch any of the doctrines that delineate us as covenanters!

                                Good, but I understand that not everyone who has been excommunicated is of your opinion anymore. Which brings something up...

                                IF YOU ARE REMAIN COVENANTER, I MEAN "THE SIX TERMS OF COMMUNION" TYPE OF REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN, AND HAVE EITHER BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED OR OTHERWISE ARE UNABLE TO JOIN WITH OTHER CONGREGATIONS IN GOOD CONSCIENCE, PLEASE EMAIL ME PRIVATELY -- ragingcalvinist@ verizon.net -- I have an idea I want to talk about.


                                Tim wrote:

                                Hi Gerry:
                                Whatever your idea is, I hope it will be a blessing to all the unjustly X'd.


                                And I sincerely hope so too, Jerry. I can only speak for myself and not others who have been excommunicated, but as one who has made some decisions recently that would likely disappoint you deeply, I can say that none of those decisions were easy ones. With all my heart I wish it were possible for me to stand visibly and unwaveringly on the covenanter doctrines, which I still own. But the last two years have been very difficult in many ways, and losing membership in the RPNA was a deeper blow with far greater repercussions than I thought possible. The battle did not end with my excommunication, but is ongoing, with one daughter still a member in good standing, and confusion tearing at some of my other children. I am so thankful that none of them are having problems with assurance of salvation, but it could come to that.

                                Excommunication and rejection by the elders of the RPNA has placed me in an even more difficult and isolated position than most of you who worship alone, for not only am I without any elder or pastoral oversight at all, but I am without a spiritual leader in my home. I have spent the past eleven years alienated from my husband. I gave up everything we had in that realm, as a wedge was driven between us. And for what? To be cast out of the visible church of Christ ? I don't have it in me to fight any more, or to stand alone.

                                Jerry, your email confuses me, because I am ashamed of myself for not having the strength to stand alone. It doesn't bother me to stand against the elders or my daughter, for I believe they are in the wrong and are the ones who have wronged us. But you and Deejay and a number of others stand alone. You have not allowed your circumstances to dictate your actions. You know what you believe, and you are standing on it in the face of oppositon from all sides. I feel as if I have let you all down by apparently ditching some of our covenanter doctrines. But if I adhere strictly to the six terms of communion as we have been led to understand them, I stand alone. Responsible for seven children, three of whom are still under my care, with no husband. I have already spent twelve years doing what "true" covenanters think I should do, and I am no longer sure it is the right thing. With children looking up to me, I don't want to make any more mistakes. We need fellowship. We need accountability. We need guidance outside of our family.

                                We can no longer afford to drive the family to the city and back each week to worship with our excommunicated brethren. To worship at home alone would mean my husband worshipping with us, and therefore taking the lead, which would be no different from worshipping with others of conflicting beliefs. And that is only one small part of my dilemma, which I cannot begin to express here. Let it suffice to say the months since my excommunication have been ones of deep struggles, not only in myself but in my children, and the struggles are far from over. There are brick walls everywhere I turn. We don't even have the option of a good Reformed church within reasonable driving distance. I am still asking the question... when will it end? The confusion, the battering, the uncertainty, the not knowing???

                                I said when I started attending a local church with my husband and children, that God knows my heart, and my desire to glorify and enjoy Him... and I can trust Him not to strike me down dead or otherwise judge me harshly, but to show me in His loving ways, if I am doing wrong. It has been seven weeks now. My husband is happy and taking over his rightful role as head and leader in our home. My children are happy, with the exception of a few. All are seeking Him in ways we haven't done for a long time. I don't see my doubts at this point, as being His still small voice. I do see my husband's peace and contentment as His still small voice. I look forward to the day when I am happy and content too, knowing with my whole heart in agreement that I am truly walking in the way He has set before me.

                                My story is my own, and I speak for no one else. But I ask all of you who are able to stand on your covenanter convictions, please PLEASE not to j
                                udge the rest of us too harshly. No one knows the struggles each one is going through, or the way the Lord is leading each of us. I pray that all of us will learn to do what we understand the scriptures to be telling us to do, without judging others when they come to a different understanding. .. even if we supposedly "know better."

                                Willena

                                 


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