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Clarification on Jerry's response to excommunication and another question

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 of 23 , May 24, 2007
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                  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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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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