Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery Deals With the Kirk

Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery met on Tuesday morning, the sole purpose of that meeting to discuss the Kirk’s disaffiliation from the PCUSA.

Our disaffiliation does not follow the normal scheme of things. The presbytery is trying to do its best to re-establish that order.

Our stance is that we are an independent, congregational church while we are in the process of being admitted into the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Our disaffiliation disavows the authority of the PCUSA over us. The denomination’s departure from its own constitutional and scriptural standards created both a crisis for us (we cannot stay) and a mode of leaving (since the constitution was officially questioned, we did so, as well).

The following is a verbatim report of the presbytery’s plans for the Kirk:

Establish an Administrative Commission with power and authority to
  • Assume original jurisdiction over the Session, working with the current staff and leaders insofar as necessary for the day-to-day operations of the church.

  • Determine the current ordained leadership and corporate officers

  • Determine ownership of property and records

  • Determine the factions within the current membership and attempt reconciliation

  • If reconciliation is impossible, determine the true membership of the Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church [sic]

  • Provide pastoral care for those wishing to remain members of the PCUSA

  • Determine the strategy for mission in that community

  • Establish and maintain a regular and continuing relationship with the higher governing bodies of the Kirk.


The additional information in the report strongly suggests that I and Wayne have misled the Kirk regarding the denomination. There is also a long list of our actions that are determined to be irregular.

One of our members attended this meeting, providing the notes I am quoting from. He also noted at the bottom of the page, "All recommended actions passed unanimously.* No attempt was made to address the underlying problem which led to the Kirk’s actions.” (emphasis added)

His statement further underscores the position of the denomination toward dissenting churches. There is little or no concern for the causes of dissatisfaction, but there is tremendous concern about taking control and the possession of property.

Keep praying—keep the faith,
Tom

* we later found that one person voted against the EOP action.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom:
Your reporter was wrong, there was at least one vote against passing the action at EOP.
Why don't you, for a change, provide the real truth?

mark hildebrand said...

Tom:

It appears that the presbytery does not acknowledge that we (the congregation) are no longer part of their jurisdiction. Although there may be members of the Kirk that wish to remain connected to the denomination, isn't the decision of the session (affirmed by a large majority of the congregation) binding? Will the presbytery take the illegal step of intruding upon an entity that is no longer theirs? They can have the building for all I care, but are not free to interfere with our staff, session,or pastors. What is our mode of response?

Mark

Classical Presbyterian said...

The empire strikes back...

Keep the faith and know that you have our prayers!

Anonymous said...

The EOP has claimed that if the Kirk had not unilaterally disaffiliated from the PCUSA, things could have been worked out. However, they still seem to following the exact same process (documented in the PCUSA legal strategy) that is being used for other churches that "properly" notified their Presbytery of their intentions to leave.

TomGray said...

Dear anonymous,
Don't be so quick to be angry. I wasn't at the meeting, so I had to go with what the person wrote me. I was just called by the one person who voted against the EOP action, and he said that he felt very lonely at that meeting.
When I know the full story, I tell it.
Tom

Martin Thompson said...

Wow! One whole vote against passing the EOP! Whopee!

Gee, Tom, why aren't you clairovyant so you can satisfy the demands of anonymous bloggers to provide "the TRUTH"!

You need to become more like the PCUSA elite and read minds! But if you were like the PCUSA, you wouldn't care about the truth, so why read minds to learn it? Hmmm... what a conundrum!

The issue with the PCUSA is power and violence... violence through men in suits.

Why not rather be wronged Paul says?

Violence to the church catholic didn't bother them... so why should violence against a part of the church catholic bother them.

But God hates the violent and will rend them as surely as they seek to rend others while delivering his elect.

Jim Wilken, Marion NC said...

Really, did we need to wait for the special meeting of the EOP to know what they would do? Last month you could have asked just about any one of the 700+ people who attended the NWAC Convocation at the Kirk, and they could have written a "verbatim" account of the presbytery's actions. How? Because we've all seen it before, the "characters" may change, but the "script" of this PC(USA) tragedy never does. I pray that somewhere, in some presbytery, there won't be one church that can be assaulted in isolation, but that 10, 12, 15 or more congregations will act in concert. Most presbyteries would have to think twice before trying to fill 15 more vacant pulpits than most of them already have, and staff 15 ACs at one time, and pay 15 lawyers to work on 15 different lawsuits at a rate of $200+ per hour, or up to $24,000 a day.

Know, Tom, that it is not only the members of the Kirk, but your many sisters and brothers in Christ who are keeping the faith, and continuing to pray.

David said...

Praise God for your and the Church's faithfulness! The time for talking is long past. The PC(USA) has damned itself with its "secret" documents. How stupid can Kirkpatrick and his minions be to produce such documents and expect them to be kept secret? Bad theology and bad strategy.

The fact that EOP started filing affidavits on all the churchs in the prebytyery under the guise of the "native American" churchs says it all. (As liberals do, they are using minorities for their own nefarious purposes.) That the exec and Louisville believe it is all about the property is laughable, insensitive, and not Christlike. "It ain't the property, stupid. It's the theology."

Anonymous said...

Hello

As a matter of fact, in all honesty and for clarity (troublesome word for some), there are four pages of well summarized and supported Book of Order (BoO) references that apply to "Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery Deals With the Kirk" blog and this meeting. Contained in those four pages:

Purpose of this Called Presbytery Meeting (very well presented with compassion for the people and the church)

Background Issues:
Item 1. and 2. with 12 bulleted items and BoO references

Specific actions under review:
Items 1. through 12. with eleven bulleted items and references.

Summary of irregular actions:
Items 1. through 8. with references.

Then, the appointment of the Adminstrative Commission act on Item 3. contained in

Recommended actions Items 1. through 5. with eight bulleted items with references. These eight bulleted items, a third of page, are the ones restated in the blog.
These eight bulleted items are fully addressed in context as "Item 3.", the items to be addressed by the Administrative Council, and the four pages, and more I'm sure, of information support all recommended actions.

It is also noticed, however, the following item is omitted from the blog, "2. Express pastoral concern for all members of the Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church" along with the other Items 1., 3., 4., and 5. in 'Recommended actions'in the four pages, which are fairly open and obvious to those who have seen the complete outline for the meeting.

But, of course, the member who was there along with us would have read that, too, in addition to what they have been told in other meetings at various locations, including the Kirk. It seems all was addressed in clarity (that troublesome word again), without excuses and with directness. It was refreshing to see such clarity in a document.

And, there were one or perhaps two dissenting votes; no cheering, no ovations, and there was heartfelt prayer and worship....along with the called EOP meeting solely for Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church.

Wayne Ward

goulagirl77 said...

"No attempt was made to address the underlying problem which led to the Kirk’s actions"

dr miller did, at the beginning of the meeting, say that he agreed with your theological stance. he also said that the progressive side was taking the church down the wrong path. he just didn't agree with the way you did it. (left the presby.)

i am not sure how you were supposed to leave- if you followed the boo- the presby would have come in, taken over, & prob. tossed your ministers out

it seems convenient how they leave the boo on the shelf when it comes to ordination standards. then they pull it off the shelf, dust it off, & quote it when you decide to leave!
~mary
ps. there was indeed 1 person who voted against. he sat across the isle from me. sadly, i had no vote!

Anonymous said...

Tom,

My son was nearly destroyed by the application of an administrative commission. He is a black minister and the Presbytery used a black minister to chair the commission. He was cut so skillfully by these slick tongued folk that he had nearly bled to death before he realized what had happened. I wish that it was possible to believe what the Presbytery folk say, but remember that they are generally led by "company men (or women)". If one wants to know what the Presbytery Executive will do; ask "what would Cliff do?" and be prepared for war!

John’s Son

liberty4u said...

Here is an excerpt that is interesting:

Book of Confessions > THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.) PART I THE BOOK OF CONFESSIONS > THE SECOND HELVETIC CONFESSION > CHAPTER XVII - Of The Catholic and Holy Church of God, and of The One Only Head of The Church

[...]

OF THE NOTES OR SIGNS OF THE TRUE CHURCH. Moreover, as we acknowledge no other head of the Church than Christ, so we do not acknowledge every church to be the true Church which vaunts herself to be such; but we teach that the true Church is that in which the signs or marks of the true Church are to be found, especially the lawful and sincere preaching of the Word of God as it was delivered to us in the books of the prophets and the apostles, which all lead us unto Christ, who said in the Gospel: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life. A stranger they do not follow, but they flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers" (John 10:5, 27, 28).

5.135
And those who are such in the Church have one faith and one spirit; and therefore they worship but one God, and him alone they worship in spirit and in truth, loving him alone with all their hearts and with all their strength, praying unto him alone through Jesus Christ, the only Mediator and Intercessor; and they do not seek righteousness and life outside Christ and faith in him. Because they acknowledge Christ the only head and foundation of the Church, and, resting on him, daily renew themselves by repentance, and patiently bear the cross laid upon them. Moreover, joined together with all the members of Christ by an unfeigned love, they show that they are Christ's disciples by persevering in the bond of peace and holy unity. At the same time they participate in the sacraments instituted by Christ, and delivered unto us by his apostles, using them in no other way than as they received them from the Lord. That saying of the apostle Paul is well known to all: "I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you" (I Cor. 11:23 ff.). Accordingly, we condemn all such churches as strangers from the true Church of Christ, which are not such as we have heard they ought to be, no matter how much they brag of a succession of bishops, of unity, and of antiquity. Moreover, we have a charge from the apostles of Christ "to shun the worship of idols" (I Cor. 10:14; I John 5:21), and "to come out of Babylon," and to have no fellowship with her, unless we want to be partakers with her of all God's plagues (Rev. 18:4; II Cor. 6:17).

mark hildebrand said...

To all:

I want to apologize for my earlier post. I have tried to be conciliatory in all my comments, and to urge all of us to display a gracious response to those who differ in their view of the Kirk's situation. My reaction was elicited out of a true appreciation for the work of our staff, session and pastors, and my desire that they not be disrupted by these events. I trust that God will ensure that His preordained plan will come to fruition. I regret that I "lost my cool."

Mark

Karen Kolbinsky said...

My heart is sad over the loss you have suffered as you've been forced "out" of fellowship with the Presbytery and friends you've known for years. At the same time, it's refreshing to see how faithfully you are standing in the face of opposition. You are an example for others watching as you lead with the kind of boldness it will take to penetrate the darkness (with the Light of Christ shining through you) being imposed by blind guides on this denomination. We've been reading your church website, the good work of faith you are doing through your church is shaking the foundations of hell. Is it any wonder the "empire strikes back?" at whoever dares to stand so boldly in true faith and love for the Living Lord in a day of judgment?

Ford Brett said...

Two thoughts come to mind:
1. Scripture...
"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Rom 8:28

2. An idea...
I guess it is at possible there are those at BOTH the Kirk and in presbytery called to His purpose in this situation. His do happen to be quite a bit higher than our ways.

Everyone involved in this needs to humbly be sure that he/she is called to His purpose... you may be surprised at the outcome.

Seems to me that the way forward here is humble suplication, and then acting on faith. I wonder if the way forward has really ever been different.

Ford Brett

Anonymous said...

Keep the faith, dear brother Tom. In all these matters we are successfully demonstrating to the world at large that the PC(USA) has left the catholic faith (let alone the Reformed faith) and no longer serves Christ. Their very evil they perpetuate against us will be used providentially to assure that when the Holy Spirit begins convicting consciences, those souls will search for God somewhere else than a PC(USA) congregation. God will glorify Himself and save souls through our faithfulness.

Col. 1:24-27, NIV: “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness — the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and
generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the
hope of glory.”

Rev. Russ Westbrook
Pastor, Riverside Presbyterian Church
PCA (patent pending……. :>P )

Anonymous said...

I attended the EOP meeting on Tuesday. It was not a celebrative event. There hung over us all a pall of sorrow. I regret that what was reported on the blog was in error. There was two votes that say: no. It wasn't unanimous. I thought Dr. Jim Miller was gracious in his presentation. Furthermore, Dr. Miller provided us a plumb line to look to as we as a denomination face a crisis brought on by the progressive side of the church (the term liberal is probably not politically correct so it was not used).

During the discussion time, a number of individuals did get up and raise their voice in terms of how all if this has unfolded. I sensed great pain throughout those who sat in the sanctuary at St. James in Jenks.

Even more obvious was the grief in both the moderator, Robbie Burke and others as they spoke.

Of course there is the litany of those who will deride the EOP for following the Book of Order as we journey through this time. Being Presbyterian, we are Constitutionally driven. It seemed like a good form of government for Pastor Gray and the Kirk, especially since they are joining the EPC, another constitutionally driven denomination. Do we throughout polity because we have a grievance. We would not do that in civil cases, why would we in the jurisdiction of the Churh as it operates.

Why is it that the Kirk of the Hills Leadership insist on calling us unfaithful, unbibilical when we use the form of government we are ordained under. It smacks of hypocrisy to judge us as you walk away from our Constitution and head to another. Will you walk out on them in the moment of disagreement, for surely it shall come. There will always be tension between the Church of Christ Universal and the church on earth.

Finally, I am stunned that so many who call themselves Presbyterians know so little about the denomination there were or are members of. Simply put, The Book of Order is clear, only a Presbytery can dismiss a congregation. While individual can leave, a congregation just can't get up and leave without Presbytery consent. So the EOP isn't intruding, it is acting within the confines of it's constitution. Just because the Kirk left the constitiution behind, does mean we can.

To Mark Hildebrand, while you are prepared to leave the building behind, I doubt is Pastor Gray is and that is the crux of the matter along with the process he choose to bring us all to this point.

I now wait the myriad of comments which will inform me of my misguided loyalty to the Book of Order verse the Bible. How I have been brainwashed by the PCUSA and EOP. I am prepared.

I pray every day. I am sadden by this all. It hurts more than yo can imagine or care. And from what I see on this post and the misinformation, there is little care.

Roger

TomGray said...

Roger,
If you read my blog carefully you'll note that I say nothing of the spirit of the meeting. I am sure that this was a mournful event for many there. I do care, but I feel that the EOP has cared precious little for the Kirk in past decades and, particularly, now.
As to two people voting, OK--I wasn't there. One person reported to me that there were no "no" votes. Another called to tell me of his "no" vote, but said that his voice was raised alone. Will you continue to critique me if they come up with a third, while still showing no understanding of the problems that separated us?
I did not choose the process we used. Our session and pastors worked together. I also am committed to this whether or not we retain the property. Still, I will not see it simply given over to a group who will not use it in good stewardship.
Tom

Dan Dermyer said...

Keep on the course Kirk of the hills. You are seeking to faithfully follow Jesus.

For all who recognize the solemnity of the BOO (and Roberts Rules for that matter). These rules are made to serve those who use them. At times common sense should prevail.

I heard the president of Chik-Fil-A tell about a customer with 3 free sandwich coupons in the drive through. The employee explained that the rule was one coupon per person. The customer explained that she was getting the sandwiches for herself and 2 coworkers who had to stay behind at the office. The employee repeated the rule. The customer asked if she drove around three times could she get three sandwiches? The employee said, "I suppose so."

Truett Cathy commented--all our procedures and policies are to serve our customers and sometimes common sense should rule. His point--give the customer the sandwiches.

We who are Presbyterian love order. And rightly so. Correctly used, the BOO et al provide protection for the weak--a way to promote justice.

But at timesthe procedures and policies just don't make sense. Not too many times--if that's the case, then the rules need to be changed. But when they don't make sense there seems to be an underwritten assumption that you do what makes sense. (Yes, sometimes in spite of the rules).

I know what it is like to be mismanaged by improper use of the rules and I know what it is to be freed by the proper use of the rules. May God grant me the wisdom to know and practice the difference.

Anonymous said...

I come from a country that is primarily Roman Catholic. A large number of my family are clergy. My grandmother was the first to break away from our tradition and started a small Presbetyrian Church birthed by missionaries before World War II and was persecuted by my own family and the Roman Catholic church because of our beliefs. My dad, raised Protestant married my mom, raised Roman Catholic. As a child my mom asked Mother Superior if she could have a bible of her own, but was told that it was not necessary and the Bible would be interpreted by the bishops and priests. When my parents wished to be married, the Roman Catholic church would not marry them in church because she was marrying a protestant. The country that I am from was run by a dictator(who called himself a president)for over 30 yrs and was oppressing our people, who were mainly illiterate. My family came to America because we felt we could worship God as we pleased without man's interpretation of scripture nor the oppression of government. I learned that the Holy Spirit was sent by Christ to be our teacher and counselor.

The irony of this situation is that power and control is the issue and resources and energies are being consumed while millions of people have not heard the message of Jesus Christ, (apparently in this country!) It appears that the Book of Order and man-made rules are more important than the Bible.

I met a Hispanic Pastor this week who comes from Cuba and has a radio program that reaches 30 million people in Latin America to share the gospel. The Lord convicted her to start her ministry in Tulsa, because only 6% of the 100,000 or so Hispanics in Tulsa attend church or accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Wow someone from a foreign land coming to a Christian country to save the lost here in Tulsa! How sad.

People we have a lot of work to do before Jesus returns and the good people of the Kirk of the Hills appear willing and able to respond to that call.

Let them be! So Christ can be glorified in their work. This situation is keeping everyone(including.... PCUSA,EOP,Kirk,anonymous bloggers)involved, from focusing on fufilling Great Commission, the only thing as Christians should be concerned about!

Free them from your oppressive Book of Order and let them follow the only book that matters, the Bible!

Mr. Smith said...

I am responding mainly to Roger and others of his ilk who defend the denomination's use of the Book of Order, but also to those who bemoan the use of the Book of Order. Yes, I am sure Tom Gray and others in the Kirk of the Hills used and abided by the BoO for many years. Many Presbyterians, such as I, who have studied the BoO (it was necessary for ordination exams, but I also found it quite edifying) learned an important little secret: it was in fact largely based on Scripture. Of course, many items in the form of government go beyond the Bible in their specifics. Perhaps it is stretching a point, but one might liken it to the many specifics of casuistic law in the Old Testament going beyond the Ten Commandments. The BoO in and of itself is neither evil nor anti-Bible.
However, the PCUSA abandoned the BoO at this year's GA. True, they only threw out one ordinance, and they did that quite surreptitiously. But they did so nonetheless. By abandoning universal ordination standards, they abandoned a very important and BIBLE BASED portion of the BoO. At the same time they converted the PCUSA into a congregationalist denomination. Up until that point I was very vocal about evangelicals remaining in the denomination and working to return it to a more biblical foundation. I believe God has called me to be Presbyterian. I have nothing against congregationalism or episcopalianism per se; I simply believe God has shaped me theologically to be a Presbyterian. As a result of this year's GA I no longer feel compelled to stay in the PCUSA because it is no longer really Presbyterian. I am, however, waiting to see if there is a less stressful way out than the Kirk has taken. My hat is off to you, brothers and sisters, and you have my prayer support. You, and those other congregations like yours, have brought out the ugly in our denominational "leaders." It is painfully obvious that their real concerns are power and property, not pastors and people. They pay lip service only to compassion. Otherwise, they would graciously allow congregations to leave.
By the way, I inquired of the EPC in regard to this matter. Their approach to a church exiting is/would be much more civil - and Christian.

Art Woodling said...

I wonder how many at the Kirk have read this article in the latest Presbyterian Outlook: "What the Amended PUP Report Actually Means"? You can find it here: http://www.pres-outlook.com/tabid/1055/Article/2785/Default.aspx

It references a paper published on the PCUSA Web site: "Constitutional Musings #11 on Examining Officers." Here's a link to it also: http://www.pcusa.org/constitutionalservices/musings/note11.pdf

It doesn't look to me like the Office of the General Assembly thinks the ordination standards, as written in the BOO, are anything short of essential. I don't see anything that looks like "Local Option".

In light of this, I wonder how many at the Kirk would be willing to retract their vote to leave the PCUSA?

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Gray

Thank you for your response. I would however take exception at some things, but not if there was a third no vote. As you think I miss the point, I too would point out, so did you, though the point wasn't explicit. There has been on more than one ocassion a reporting of event that tended to be in error. I don't mind the report, we live in a free society. I would however expect due diligence to get the truth right. In our hurriedness (not sure if that is a word) to get a response out to the public on the blog, we misrepresented the vote of a meeting. We could have easily waited and gotten the facts straight.

I am very sorry if you think that while the EOP does business, it must also address all the underlining issues that led to your departure. If we did that, the meeting would never end. You think we are all happy with the PUP report. We all aren't. Dr. Miller made that statement loud and clear. And I do believe you chose this process. I know the EOP didn't, but you did file a lawsuit against the EOP. They didn't sue you. I think how you word things are important. I believe words are powerful, even more than actions. The words you use to condemn the National Church, also condemn any of us that have made a decision to stay and do what we can to "reform" regardless of how long it takes, or how much we must sacrifice, the PCUSA. That is what the PCUSA is about, and sometimes the journey is long. I stay the course because I love Christ, the CHURCH and I love the pcusa and in that order.

I have no quarrel with the Kirk. They have beeen kind and generous. I have no quarrel with you. I have difficult with this entire process, one that obviously you started with the leaders of your congregation.

Be that as it may, try not to be so defensive when someone points out a mistake. We all make them, it is part of our sinfulness and humanness. And graciously God forgives.

Personally, I wish it would end today. I wish and pray that the PCUSA and EOP would say: Take your much loved property and go. Leave us in peace. Try to be more prudent in how you speak about us. For often I find words of condemnation upon me, as you direct your words supposely to the national leadership. To say you are tracking down where posts come from is definitely paranoid.

I anticipate the normal replies. As I have read the blog, it is evident there is only one way. It is obvious not "ours".

Peace

Roger

liberty4u said...

More applicable Confessional statements:

Book of Confessions > THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.) PART I THE BOOK OF CONFESSIONS > THE SECOND HELVETIC CONFESSION > CHAPTER XVII - Of The Catholic and Holy Church of God, and of The One Only Head of The Church


NOT ALL WHO ARE IN THE CHURCH ARE OF THE CHURCH. Again, not all that are reckoned in the number of the Church are saints, and living and true members of the Church. For there are many hypocrites, who outwardly hear the Word of God, and publicly receive the sacraments, and seem to pray to God through Christ alone, to confess Christ to be their only righteousness, and to worship God, and to exercise the duties of charity, and for a time to endure with patience in misfortune. And yet they are inwardly destitute of true illumination of the Spirit, of faith and sincerity of heart, and of perseverance to the end. But eventually the character of these men, for the most part, will be disclosed. For the apostle John says; "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would indeed have continued with us" (I John 2:19). And although while they simulate piety they are not of the Church, yet they are considered to be in the Church, just as traitors in a state are numbered among its citizens before they are discovered; and as the tares or darnel and chaff are found among the wheat, and as swellings and tumors are found in a sound body, when they are rather diseases and deformities than true members of the body. And therefore the Church of God is rightly compared to a net which catches fish of all kinds, and to a field, in which both wheat and tares are found (Matt. 13:24 ff., 47 ff.).

5.140
WE MUST NOT JUDGE RASHLY OR PREMATURELY. Hence we must be very careful not to judge before the time, nor undertake to exclude, reject or cut off those whom the Lord does not want to have excluded or rejected, and those whom we cannot eliminate without loss to the Church. On the other hand, we must be vigilant lest while the pious snore the wicked gain ground and do harm to the Church.

Anonymous said...

Tom,

I left my PCUSA church last year, after asking them to prepare to leave two years ago at the annual congrational meeting. I was told "But we have a good thing going here". I stayed for one year, praying and hoping, waiting for them to see the coming changes with their own eyes, to no avail. I praise God that the Kirk members, and other "schismatics", have made the decision to serve in the truth. My prayers are with you all.

Paul Welch said...

I heard today that the National Cathedral Pres church has asked the President of Iran to speak after he speaks at Harvard. I believe the topic is "tolerence". Quite interesting what is acceptable for the denomination now. I hope the church receives the press that they desire on this one.

DM Smith said...

Dear Mr. Welch et al,
The President of Iran is speaking today at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. It is on the front page of their website at www.cathedral.org. This church should NOT be confused with National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., whose website is www.natpresch.org.

It took me two minutes to find out this correct information. Hearsay is rarely accurate, and stating it as fact without qualification is usually a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

"I heard today that the National Cathedral Pres church has asked the President of Iran to speak after he speaks at Harvard. I believe the topic is "tolerence". Quite interesting what is acceptable for the denomination now."

Apparently they think hate, living in constant fear, and murder are okay for the "plebes", just as long as they are "maintaining unity" with President Ahmadinejad.

Oh, man. When I see the words "maintaining unity" and "President Ahmadinejad" in the same sentence, I just get an awful feeling in my gut. As if anyone should ever aspire to have anything in common with that psychotic monster.

G.A.C.

Daniel Berry said...

Very interesting. Thank you for this information. It does make you wonder exactly what is really driving the actions of the presbytery in this case. Your congregation's action was virtually uncontested; yet the presbytery wants to continue to deal with a erality that no longer exists!

Terry Grogan said...

The PCUSA Leaders are busy celebrating & proclaiming the sin of Homosexuality and trying to change the names of the Trinity - and now they do not seem to understand why any sane Christian would want to flee from them as fast as possible!

I salute those wanting to flee from the PCUSA. The current "leaders' have brought this on themselves by ignoring God's clear words on this matter (e.g., Rom 1).

Terry Grogan said...

I applaud the courage of the Kirk Congregation!

The PCUSA "leaders" celebrate the sin of Homosexuality (Ref: Rom 1),
change the names of the Trinity and then wonder why the rank and file flee?

"But you, man of God, flee from all of this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness." (1 Tim 6:11)

"..some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirts and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.! (1 Tim 4:1-2)

"Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith." (1 Tim 6:20)

I will patiently wait one year to see if by some miracle the PCUSA leaders all resign and beg forgiveness for their celebration of sin and failure to address such issues through the Consititution. If they do, then we might yet save our Denomination.

If not, then I pray God destroy it as he did Sodom & Gamora.

L. Lee said...

Lookiing back at past revivals, they came about under true repentance and a move toward holiness. The Holy Spirit will not abide with unholiness because our God is holy and we (individualy as parts and corporately as the church) are His temple and dwelling place. What is happening in our church now is a call toward repentance and a move of some toward the character of God - toward what He has revealed in His word. I believe the Holy Spirit will move in our midst with power, conviction, and revelation only when we are truely seeking God's character (which our denomatinal leaders seem intent on forgetting). Let God be in charge of placing the parts of the body where he wants them according to the conscience of each as they are led by God (1 Corinthians 12:18 "But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.") Let the Kirk move if so directed by the Holy Spirit.
God is moving the parts of the body as He wills - and I believe this is even across denominational lines, therefore the power of a denomination will have less power than the work of God. However there has always been persecution and suffering in history when powers clash - be prepared. God will deal with bad shepherds.
God's purpose is to bring those who are ready to come into a relatinship with Himself in this generation. May God's will be done.

Flashlight said...

I am not amember of the Kirk but I have been following what is going on. Did anyone of you people read the BOOK of Order"? I wonder since that meeting you all voted to leave at was not legal. If your pastors and sesion would have resigned after the vote maybe. But before. let's face it you guys wanted a fight. I know Tom you will say no we didn't but the fact is you did. Why else sneak around in the dark? Why not be out in the open. Also if the Kirk is 2800 members why did only a little over 1000 vote?
Don't think you leaded them the wrong Tom but do wonder why someone would go I resign before relizeing that the book of order wasn't being followed. I read your blog weekly to see what you do next by the way and thought I shine a flashlight so you will not be in fear of the dark.