Saturday, October 07, 2006

New Information for the Kirk Congregation



Dear friends,

The Administrative Commission of the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery started worship services last week, held at Southminster Presbyterian Church, for the "true church" of those from the Kirk who wish to remain in the PCUSA.

Several of you have reported that people in other PCUSA churches have indicated that I have prohibited people from attending such a service.

[Correction: one of those who told me this said that the words she used were: "They said that you had intimidated us and that's why we aren't attending special meetings of EOP or the worship service at Southminster."]

Nothing is further from the truth. As I have said a number of times before the congregation, we are concerned for those who have been hurt by our decision. They are welcome to remain in the Kirk. If, for any reason, they feel they must leave us, they are free to join any of the PCUSA churches in Tulsa or attend the services at Southminster.

At the same time, I feel the need to clarify what this ad is for. It is not a worship service of Kirk of the Hills. It is a worship service of the EOP, designed to provide for those who have left the Kirk and have not joined another congregation. It also, I believe, is designed to demonstrate to the community at large that there is a significant group of people in disagreement with our disaffiliation. Whether or not you go is simply, always up to you.

I wish every blessing of God upon you all,
Tom

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny how people think pastors actually can forbid church members from doing something they want to do! It's just more of the presbytery's attempt to demonize you. They cannot imagine anyone standing up to their despotism so they label anyone who does as what they are - despots.

Anonymous said...

Since only a few people showed up for the EOP "Kirk of the Hills" service last week at Southminster, a new tactic is being tried. Now EOP is apparently trying to form a "loyalist" congregation from the general public.

I wonder if Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery has considered the intentional and collateral damage being done as they follow the "game plan" drawn up by Louisville.

Is is moral to take away something someone else has worked for, built, paid for, and maintained for years?

There are a lot of people, myself included, who have been deeply hurt by the PCUSA's drifting away from God and Scripture (apostasy, I believe, is the theological term for this).

What kind of Christian denomination holds onto its members by fear and intimidation? People are being held in the pews with the threat that their pastors and property will be taken away if they talk about leaving.

What will it profit EOP if it gains the whole Kirk facility and loses its own soul in the process?

I have been hurt so badly by what the presbytery has done and is doing to my church family, that I can't express it in words--only in the tears from a broken heart.

Jodie, thank you for your gracious words. However, I don't think the presbytery will "take the high road." They are hell-bent on following the directives from Louisville.

Jesus told His followers in Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV): "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Never in my wildest thoughts did I ever think this verse would apply to a congregation in a Christian denomination. The congregation of the Kirk took a stand for Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture and we're being treated like we've committed a horrible crime.

Is it wrong to love God and His word more that the PCUSA? More than EOP? More than the Book of Order?

Peggy Alexander

liberty4u said...

I don't know if one should be too hard on the Presbytery. One type of strike that union members do, is one that is do everything by the book. This is because bureaucrats have come up with rules that just won't work in the real world. By following them, they can slow down an organization to a crawl.

I can't judge the heart of the EOP. They may be doing exactly what the denomination tells them, regardless of how they feel about it or whether they think it is good for the denomination.

They may not like doing what they do.

Put yourself in their shoes. They may have a position that they get advice from the denomination. They may not agree with the path, but, if you want to do a good job, you follow their advice -- carefully. You may not believe in the actions being taken, but have neither the knowledge nor desire to attempt a better path. (The story of Deborah comes to mind.)

Doing everything by the book does not, in my mind, show any ill-will from the Presbytery itself.

Anonymous said...

Who is "she" that you refer to in bold?

Ford Brett said...

In business parties that have no ill will, find an arbirator (normally three different ones) and then seek resolution of the issue in a low cost "what's fair is fair" manner.

People who go to court are not normally wanting "what's fair" but rather some kind of a fight.

Ford Brett said...

(1Cor 6:5 etc)
"I say this to your shame. It it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethern, but brother rather goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?

Actualy, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?"

Normal businessmen of good will seek abritration - because it's much cheaper and the outcome will be similar to the courtroom, AND they care more about their reputation than the outcome of a silly lawsuit.

Isn't there some believer who could arbirate this? A legal battle is a defeat for all.

By the way, the Lord doesn't need that building. He has "the cattle on 1000 hills". The issue here is can we be obediant enough to have honor of being a servant in His Kingdom.

arthur.woodling said...

Ford,

I have to agree with you. Dialog and friendly arbitration should always be sought out. Lawsuits should be a last resort. This lawsuit that the Kirk filed has never made any sense to me. Tom Gray has never really explained why it was necessary for them to turn their backs on the Book Of Order process (he didn't answer my last question about the process either). As I understand it (from what has been published) the EOP had set up a meeting with the Kirk prior to their disaffiliation vote. Why couldn't the Kirk wait until after the meeting to take their vote? What's the rush? To us outsiders it looks like the EOP wanted to talk and the Kirk didn't. Tom doesn't seem to be very forthcoming about the real reasons (the true history behind their action). I'm left with the suspicion that this is really some sort of litmus test prior to the upcoming February meeting of the New Wineskins Association of Churches. Could it possibly be contrary to the NWAC’s agenda for the Kirk to enter into a meaningful dialog with the EOP?

TomGray said...

To Arthur,
The NWAC has nothing to do with the Kirk's disaffiliation, and has no policy whatsoever regarding if or how any congregation leaves the PCUSA.
As to your other concerns, I refer you to read the entire blog since last June.
Tom

liberty4u said...

I think arbitration is the best route, also. The legal strategy of the Kirk has not been discussed in any detail, so commenting on it without knowledge might not be wise.

But the EOP strategy has been made public, and it does not include arbitration. The strategy, as seen in the secret Louisville papers, does not acknowledge arbitration as a possible approach.

Personally, I would like to see the Kirk publically offer arbitration, then if denied by the PCUSA, ask the court to have the case go to binding arbitration. I expect (since arbitration is not part of the Louisville gameplan) that the PCUSA would turn down arbitration. I think it would be straight forward to get the court to order binding arbitration. The PCUSA's gameplan itself would make this easy because they make claims of who is the "true church" and who is schismatic. If the Kirk points out that acceptance of the PCUSA claim means they have to make a theological ruling one way or the other, it will force the court not to decide. In asking for arbitration they give the court an option to not decide theological issues and have the decision for the property dispute still be handled.

Arbitration would be interesting since it may also decide theological issues -- like if the PCUSA was schismatic, not the Kirk.

ford brett said...

Author -

In answer to your questions. The EOP and PCUSA are those with 'offensive' (as in take the offense) the legal tactics. Trying to get the court to take the property away from the elected representatives confirmed by the congregaqtion.

The question in my mind is does the Kirk of the Hills 'turn the other check' or 'try to be good stewards' of the resources the LORD has given us.

The PCUSA's legal strategy - because it is 'offensive' in character used to intimidate and is focused on property is the root cause of the problem here.

arthur.woodling said...

Tom,

I'm glad your disaffiliation has nothing to do with the NWAC. It did seem suspicious though that prior to the NWAC convocation you talked about letting the dust settle (concerning the PUP report) then right after the convocation you guys cut and ran.

I have been reading your blog (every word) for the last few months. At the time I began reading it I even went back to read everything starting around GA time. I stand by my previous comments. You've been making vitriolic statements concerning the EOP and the rest of the denominational leadership since the beginning. You haven't been backing very much of it up. It's my opinion that you are letting your personal bias cloud your vision.

"How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?" Matthew 7:4

You've opened yourself up to criticism (maybe unwarranted) by people like me who want to know the whole truth.

TomGray said...

Arthur,
I still think that what I've written explained it. We discovered the secret affidavit, then the "game plan" from the denomination. That destroyed any confidence we might have had that there would be a fair process in the PCUSA.
Tom

arthur.woodling said...

Tom,

What "secret affidavit" are you talking about? Do you mean the ones the EOP claimed they announced at the presbytery meeting?

As far as the "game plan" is concerned, would you rather Louisville buried their heads in the sand only to later be blindsided by unconstitutional actions taken by renegade congregations like yours? Come on Tom, there are two sides to this coin.

You should at least try to be fair and evenhanded. The unity and maturity talked about in Ephesians 4 comes about when we endeavor to understand all sides even if we don’t agree.

You may not agree with the direction the Denomination is going, but the Denomination (and I don’t mean Louisville) does have the right to discipline those who would get out of line with their stated doctrines and policies. You and your elders agreed to abide by the Denomination’s polity when you were ordained, and that includes its discipline too. Now you think it’s OK to just turn your backs on the Denomination, claim the property that was held in trust for the Denomination and hope that there won’t be severe repercussions, all because you lost your confidence in the Denomination. Your actions have insulted thousands of Pastors and tens of thousands of Elders who make up the governing body of the PCUSA.

TomGray said...

Arthur,
You obviously have not read and/or you are choosing to ignore what I've written. If you have something relevant or decent to say, do so. It is quite tedious to deal with those who simply wish to goad us for the stand we have taken.
Tom

Sam Sibala said...

Arthur,

Arthur Woodling
Posts:1

04/14/2006 1:13 PM

I found this on another forum with your name as the author.

I am a Computational Physicist by trade and training, and have had the opportunity on a number of occasions to delve into the field of Genetic Algorithms and, by analogy, have frequently seen this kind of “sudden appearance” behavior. For the record, I believe in Creation, the Scientific Method, and processes of Evolution, and after many years of deliberate intellectual effort, I have come to the conclusion that they are not mutually exclusive or contradictory. They are merely misunderstood.

Are you a pastor or an elder of the PCUSA? What church do you attend?

Dan Dermyer said...

Arthur,
Please consider your claims for the right of the denomination to disciplijne. In the PCUSA those rights have not been practiced in the areas of theology for 80 years (or more).

Why should they be practiced for the form of the church and not for the foundation of the church (the truth)?

grace

Anonymous said...

Tom,

The affidavit was hardly "secret." It was filed at the courthouse. You can't get more out in the open than that. You continually do a disservice to the parties involved by distorting facts.

arthur.woodling said...

Tom,

As I said before, I've read every word, and I haven't ignored any of it. I'm just having a hard time accepting the notion that what you have written is all there is. Your argument just seems weak to me.

You were very quick to point out (as I hoped you would) that my perception that your disaffiliation from PCUSA could somehow be connected to the NWAC was flawed, but somehow you don't ever express the possibility that your perception of the connection between the EOP's so called "secret affidavit", the Denomination's so called "game plan" and their connection to the Kirk could likewise be flawed.

You asked if I had anything relevant or decent to say. The answer is I've been saying it all along. It's all been about decency, fairness, and avoiding a rush to judgment (who are we to judge anyway?).


Sam,

It's interesting that you went looking around to discover who I was. I wonder who it was you thought I might be. I also wonder what your motive was in taking my statement (on the Presbyterian Outlook Forum) out of context. I wonder if it could somehow be to illustrate how incomplete information can lead someone to draw an incorrect conclusion.

As far as my Church affiliation is concerned, I am an active (sometimes rather vocal) member (not an Elder or a Pastor) of a rather conservative, Confessing Church affiliated, PCUSA congregation. Our congregation is on average rather conservative yet we also have a sizable progressive presence. My personal views are conservative or progressive depending on the issue. My yes means yes, my no means no, I believe in the authority of scripture, and I have a great respect for the words and ideas presented in the Westminster Confession. I love all of my Brothers and Sisters in Christ even though we may not always agree on the interpretation of every jot and tittle in the Bible. My lovely Wife of 8 years is a wonderful life partner and has been a PCUSA Elder for many years. Her Father was a Lay Pastor and Elder who was involved in the drafting process of the Confession of 1967. Her views are more progressive than mine. My Pastor is a wonderful man with good conservative values who works tirelessly for the glory of our Lord. He stood before our congregation several weeks ago and declared that his ordination vows and his commitment to the PCUSA are as binding on him as his marriage vows are in the sight of God (i.e. He’s not leaving). I believe his leadership (guided by the Holy Spirit) is largely responsible for the fact that our 680+ membership continues to grow despite the national trend. We currently have a $5 Million building expansion project in the works.



Dan,

I won’t argue with you there. I feel that it is the responsibility of every ruling Elder to rule. If you have a problem with Presbyteries ordaining against the clearly stated Constitutional standards then use the power granted you by the Denomination to stop it. Don’t just cut and run. In case you haven’t noticed, the stated opinion of Stated Clerk Cliff Kirkpatrick is that we are bound to uphold the Constitution. That means we must obey G-6.0106b even if we believe it is wrong (declared scruple). Don’t let the PJC’s get away with anything less.

TomGray said...

Dear Arthur,
It is certainly possible that my perception of the EOP's actions is flawed. Nevertheless, it is what I believe, and the PCUSA/EOP have done nothing that would convince me otherwise.

We are all sinful people and a part of sin is our inability to accurately see all sides of an issue. Having said that, I would point out that the recent events (affadavit, et al) are not the only problems we have had. They were the "tipping point" for us in all this.

Tom

arthur.woodling said...

Tom,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I don’t blame you for your perception. When many issues are involved over a long period of time it’s easy for our perception to become jaded. It was pretty obvious from your tone on this blog from the beginning that there was much more going on than what was on the surface. Also, my pastor seems to have some inside information (maybe he knows you), I didn’t ask him about it because he has a tendency to share too much information.

I think it’s easy for some people to get the impression from reading your blog that your disaffiliation has all been about the PUP report or maybe just a few issues. I have been trying to twist your arm into sharing more background information so as to put the size of it all into proper perspective.

I’ve not tried to defend the EOP other than to point out that things may not be as they seem to be on the surface. I certainly suspect they are not blameless.

Arthur

Jeff S. said...

To the latest anonymous:

The term "secret" in this case applies since the affidavit was authorized at an unnannounced private meeting and none of the title holders were notified it was going on. The only way the Kirk found out anything had happened was in the course of other activities some months later.

Being on the "public" record doesn't mean all the parties are necessarily aware of what's going on. I don't know about you personally, but I don't usually frequent the courthouse to monitor all the filings that may apply to me.

arthur.woodling said...

Jeff,

Excerpt from:

Large Tulsa church votes to leave PC(USA); polity, property questions raised
Jack Haberer, Outlook editor-in-chief
9/18/2006

“Greg Coulter, General Presbyter of Presbytery of Eastern Oklahoma, explained to the Outlook that the presbytery did file affidavits on March 2 and then announced that they had done so five days later, at the stated presbytery meeting of March 7. The reason for doing so was that three Native American congregations’ deeds had been filed in tribal offices but not in county offices, and now one of those congregations had requested help to get their property back from an outside group that had claimed the land. The presbytery decided to update the title status for all the churches in all the county offices. “


As I pointed out earlier to Tom, the affidavits weren’t secret. At least not according to the EOP.

DrMom said...

Arthur,

You clearly aren't taking anything that Dr. Gray says at face value so why are you so quick to take what Greg Coulter says at face value?

DrMom

DrMom said...

For those who continue to question the Kirk's choice of how to go about disaffiliating:

Ohio church wins first
round of legal dispute
with 'hierarchical' PCUSA

By John H. Adams
The Layman Online
Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In a first-round battle pitting Hudson Presbyterian Church v. Eastminster Presbytery, an Ohio Court of Common Pleas magistrate issued a sweeping prohibition against the presbytery's interference in the congregation's consideration of a proposal to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA).

After a two-hour hearing on Oct. 6, the magistrate upheld a temporary restraining order previously signed by a trial judge. The magistrate denied the presbytery's "hierarchical" claim that it had the authority to intervene through an administrative commission and take over the governance of the church.

The Hudson session has scheduled a congregational meeting on Nov. 5 for a vote on the session's proposal to leave the PCUSA and join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

According to court documents, the presbytery was considering a number of steps to thwart the decision: an administrative commission to take over the congregation; dissolving the call of Hudson's pastor, D. Wayne Bogue; seeking to stir up opposition within the congregation to the proposal; usurping the congregation's charter as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of Ohio; and taking steps to cloud the congregation's title to the property.

The temporary restraining order enjoins the presbytery from:
"conducting or purporting to conduct any civil business matters on behalf of Hudson Presbyterian Church."
"interfering in any way with Hudson Presbyterian session's right to conduct business matters" on behalf of the congregation.
"interfering in any way with the congregational meeting."
"entering upon the lands and property" of the church "in any manner which might be disruptive of Hudson Presbyterian Church's operations."
"establishing or attempting to establish an administrative commission" to replace Hudson's duly elected session.
"affirmatively contacting the members" of the congregation "for the purposes of trying to establish an organized opposition to the conduct of business" by the session or "otherwise seeking to establish, foment, or create division or schism or dissention" within the congregation prior to the Nov. 5 vote.
"taking any action which would change, or which would attempt or purport to change, the control" of the congregation.
"taking any action that would change the pastoral relationship between" the congregation and its pastor, D. Wayne Bogue.
"interfering with any and all employment contracts or other contracts or other outstanding obligations" of the congregation.
"filing any documents against the mortgage or title … asserting or claiming title to any real property … or asserting a trust interest in the property … or otherwise taking actions which would have the effect of placing a cloud on the title" of any of the church's real or personal property.
"initiating any disciplinary action against the ministers or ordained members" of the church.
(The Layman Online's copies of court documents, filed before minor changes in the restraining order were approved by the magistrate, include the Hudson session's motion for a temporary restraining order, the restraining order as originally signed by the trial judge, and the presbytery's request for a temporary restraining order. The magistrate approved the restraining order with the acknowledgement that the presbytery did have ecclesiological rights but not to the extent of interfering with the actions of the Hudson session.)

The Hudson session, concerned that Eastminster would attempt to take over control of the congregation, filed a request for a temporary restraining order on Sept. 28. That request was signed by Judge Mary Spicer. The presbytery responded with a request for a temporary restraining order that would have ended Spicer's order and allowed the presbytery to proceed in taking over the congregation.

The motions presented at the hearing addressed emerging tactical and legal issues common in the intense disputes over the denomination's claim that a congregation has no right to leave the denomination with its property. The arguments made by the presbytery paralleled the denomination's legal strategy that was revealed in "privileged and confidential" documents that were leaked by an unknown source to the Presbyterian Lay Committee. The presbytery's motion was scripted closely to the hardball legal strategy outlined in those documents.

Anonymous said...

"the presbytery did file affidavits on March 2 and then announced that they had done so five days later, at the stated presbytery meeting of March 7."

doing something then announcing it doesn't sound too up front to me. should have read... we announced it then we filed.
secret could apply here!!
~katie
formerly anonymous :~)

arthur.woodling said...

Drmom,

Why do you think I'm so quick to take what the EOP says at face value? I never said that what they said was true. In fact I was trying to be very careful to state that it was according to them. Also, it should be easy to verify if their statement is true or not (Presbytery minutes and packages). That being the case, why would Greg Coulter risk being caught in a lie? It may very well be true that their announcement at the presbytery meeting was obscure, and that's why Tom, Wayne and your other attending Elders missed it. Yes I do know that Presbytery meetings can be long and very boring.

Were they trying to be obscure, or did they just feel it wasn't a very big deal to state what was clearly stated in the Book Of Order? They shouldn't need permission from the Presbytery Elders to make a public statement directly out of the Book Of Order.

What would they have to gain by being deliberately obscure? I submit that they would have nothing to gain, and would probably have known that. If they intended it to be a deterrent to those who wanted to leave, why keep it a secret? It would eventually become public and be used against them in the court of public opinion (at least).

I am a little disappointed that Tom didn't respond directly to the point I made that the EOP claimed they announced the affidavits at the March 7 Presbytery meeting. I sort of hoped he would say something like he would go back to the records and check it out and get back to us, but he didn't. He instead called the affidavits secret and allowed the argument to continue.

As far as my not taking Tom's words at face value is concerned. I felt I had good reason to believe he wasn't telling the whole story, but I've already talked about that.

Arthur

Jeff S. said...

Arthur,

You have an excellent point about the minutes and packages from that Presbytery meeting. I checked myself on the EOP website and did not find any references to the affidavits being filed. The Trustees report from the minutes listed had to do with the sale of a parcel of land in Haskell county and some insurance rates being raised.

You could be correct in that it may have been mentioned in some obscure way that the attendees didn't realize what was happening. But I think that fact in and of itself would be telling.

Also, I don't believe the Book of Order refers to filing affidavits against property. I think the document you're thinking of is the PCUSA's 'Privileged and confidential' legal strategy.

arthur.woodling said...

Jeff,

I looked on the EOP web site too a while back, and didn't see much there either. Tom, Wayne, or other Presbytery attendees would be able to verify if what is posted on their web site is all they received when they went to the meeting. I suspect their packages are significantly thicker than what they posted (ours certainly are). I was not particularly concerned that it wasn't specifically listed as a major topic heading, although it would have been nice if it were.

As for the rest of your comment... Was that trip really necessary?

I can understand the motivation behind Tom's jaded comments, I can even tolerate them to some extent, but yours are another matter altogether.

My anger and frustration stems from the fact that my beloved denomination is failing and rather than try to help heal it people like you just take pot shots at it.

Arthur

Cameron Mott said...

"Also, I don't believe the Book of Order refers to filing affidavits against property."

But the Book of Order does say the PCUSA is the owner of all denomination property, is it unethical to file an affadavit of ownership with the proper authority for property you own against any unexpected non-denominational [tribal?] claimants? If that is what happened as the EOP said. Did the Kirk's leadership investigate that claim?

Peggy, does one have to love PCUSA more than God to wonder if the Kirk is doing the right thing the right way in regard to its property and polity? I am on the the same side of Christology, theology, ordination standards etc. as churches who I also think are probably mistaken in their attitudes and behavior toward the denomination over polity and property and accusations of apostasy.

arthur.woodling said...

Cameron,

I object to Jeff's use of the phrase "against property". I suspect the affidavits don't read like they are "against" anything. I could be wrong of course. Tom, Wayne, the Session, and the Trustees ought to be able to verify that for us though, although it would not prove intent if it didn't read Jeff's way. I still find his wording objectionable.

Tom,

You have been particularly silent with regard to my request concerning the EOP’s claim of announcing the affidavits at the Presbytery meeting. I can certainly think of a couple of plausible reasons for your silence.

In light of my post from earlier this morning, what do you think John Calvin’s opinion of lawsuits between saints would be?

A bit of a moral dilemma maybe?

Arthur

Richard Wilson said...

To The Kirk:

I have been debating whether to just give up on trying to understand your beliefs and actions as you seem to have done to those of us who do not presently believe exactly as you do but I can't do that yet.
I do feel compelled to go on record with the following comments.

As you know EOP's Stated Clerk was incapacitated due to a serious injury during the early part of this year when the actions took place that you apparently attribute to the "secret game plan". This included the period of preparation leading up to the March EOP meeting at Bartlesville and the taking and recording of minutes for that meeting. During that time others were helping out by doing things that would ordinarily be handled by the stated clerk. Perhaps everything was not done as precisely as they would have been but they were still done "decently and in order". I too would have preferred to see in bold print "AFFIDAVITS FILED ON ALL EOP CHURCH PROPERTIES" but was that really necessary since I know your commissioners were there and surely heard the same report I heard. If I am not mistaken, didn't The Kirk have a representative serving as an EOP trustee who failed to attend the January meeting where the trustees decided to file the affidavits? It seems to me that The Kirk's leadership and "movers and shakers" have exhibited excessive suspicions and distrust regarding the affidavit situation. Whenever you "discovered" the situation didn't you have ample opportunity to seek discussion to clear up any misunderstanding of the situation? I don't recall hearing of any attempts you followed through on that would have brought about an open and full exchange on your concerns before you took action to disaffiliate and filed suit against EOP. When the called meeting took place at The Kirk to discuss the "Peace, Unity and Purity Taskforce Report" and the overtures that had been put forth in response, would it not have been possible to arrange some discussion then?

I do not know whether EOP has been following some "secret game plan" set forth by Louisville but I do know it seems obvious that The Kirk has been following the "game plan" set forth by The Layman. As I have stated previously I now can appreciate the provision that all church property be held in trust for the denomination no matter who has paid for it! What I do not understand is why you now oppose this provision when The Kirk and it's leaders clearly accepted it during ordination.

During my years as a member within the bounds of EOP, I have observed The Kirk to be moving inward and thus away from the rest of us. I wish that EOP and The Kirk could have found a way to counter this so that we all could have understanding and "peace, unity and purity" in what all of us have been called to do. Obviously The Kirk has given up on trying to bring about any changes that may be needed. I accept that Tom and Wayne have answered the question "What would Jesus have me do?" for themselves but from my point of view their perceived answer would have been far less hurtful if they had simply left the denomination and left it solely and individually to the members to decide whether they also had to leave the denomination.

To those who have wondered how I, my church, my presbytery and my denomination have been hurt you obviously have not been asked as I have been during this present period of conflict "Is yours one of those churches that doesn't believe in the Bible?".

I deeply regret that my comments will anger some because I truly believe that our actions and reactions surely must be hurtful even to God.

I have heard Tom use humor effectively in this process--I will close with what I hope will be recognized as my attempt to use some humor. There is no doubt that PCUSA has made mistakes--as a former resident of Overland Park, Kansas I know they chose the wrong headquarters location! To those that said I am "uninformed or ill informed", "you are so far left it would take a series of right turns just for you to see moderate" (I enjoyed the humor but actually proclaim myself to be a moderate who moves in either direction as I perceive God's will to move me--and still one who prays that I will not be found "neither hot nor cold" in God's judgement!), "you clearly have no real grasp of the issues..." and "you don't care about our point of view..." I hope you do not continue to hold those views because I do care and am making a real effort to understand both sides. I live in Tulsa (actually just a number of stone throws from The Kirk) and if anyone feels the need to cast stones at me I will be happy to tell you how to find me if you will promise to bring along my understanding of John 8:7 when you come!

Richard Wilson

Jeff S. said...

Arthur,

I used the term "against" in the context of that affidavits are a legal encumbrance that "apply to" or are "attached to" the property. (in the same general terms that someone may file a lien "against" some property)

Also, the text of the affidavits can be found on the Layman's web site at http://www.layman.org/layman/news/2006-news/eastern-okla-pres-affidavit.pdf

arthur.woodling said...

Jeff,

I'm willing to take your word for that. Although I disagree with your argument. Maybe I was being a little harsh on you.

Thanks for the link.

Cameron Mott said...

Thanks for the link Jeff.

That's it? A repeating of the property clauses of the Constitution that we PCUSA elders and ministers swore to abide by? I'm no lawyer but I have to say this seems far from a hard-ball inflammatory document; I don't see where it even mentions the Kirk by name. However, I notice it mentions in the upper left corner of page 1 that there may be 7 other pages, anyone know what they contain?

I am interested to know how it was to be a "secret" affidavit against the Kirk in particular if indeed the Kirk did have a Trustee on that board as Mr. Wilson suggests?