27 June 2009


I will write a more detailed entry about a wonderful, Spirit-filled Assembly tomorrow. I left Brighton at 11:30 am today and got home at 8:45 (587 miles). But one action taken this morning kept me thinking all the way home.

As one of the final actions taken today, the GA approved a recommendation from the Standing Committee on Fraternal Relations directing the Stated Clerk/Executive Pastor to seek a face-to-face meeting with his PC(USA) counterpart. The genesis of the action is the action taken at last year’s GA by Clif Kirkpatrick and his henchmen to create an “investigating” committee to look into "allegations" that the EPC has been recruiting PC(USA) congregations.

Of course, this has not happened, and it is contrary to EPC practice and procedure. The folks who want to add a 67th book to the Canon (the PC(USA) Book of Order) just refuse to acknowledge that faithful congregations have originated the move, probably because to do so would require them to acknowledge the bases for such moves.

I have been aware for a couple of months that this committee has been seeking to speak to a number of pastors/congregations in my presbytery (New Wineskins). That in and of itself is really interesting because the PC(USA) has generally refused to acknowledge that we are a presbytery. In most of the cases in our presbytery of which I am aware, the requests have been declined, which is not surprising given the persecution those congregations have faced for simply following God’s call on them to leave the PC(USA) and for doing so as a matter of the permissive powers of the congregation guaranteed (at least for now) by the Book of Order of the PC(USA). Because we are looking forward and not back, we have little interest in having anything more to do with a PC(USA), particularly a politically-driven witch hunt.

But at the GA, I met several folks whose congregations went directly from the PC(USA) to a geographic EPC presbytery. Their congregations did meet with representatives of the “investigating” committee, although the committee members were surprised that ruling elders and members attended. (They had "invited" only the pastors.)

Their experience was telling. After the pastors, elders and members related how their congregations initiated the move, and initiated the contact with the EPC, the committee representatives interjected with declarative “questions” such as “Well, you knew that what you were doing was wrong, correct?” or “You never proved that the PC(USA) was apostate, so leaving was a violation of ordination vows, right?”

When the EPC members asked their inquisitors “Wait, we thought you wanted to know that we were not recruited. It sounds as if you have already made up your mind that we were recruited, although we were not, and are just looking for sound bites to support your position. Is that correct?”

Stunningly, the PC(USA)’s response was “That is correct.”

Last year, when it was learned that Clif, as one of his last acts as Stated Clerk, had engineered this inquisition which was to then be sent to him in his new position as the boss of the WARC, many of us suspected that the fix was in. To be vindicated in that suspicion is sad.


Adel Thalos said...


They just needed more people and institutions to blame.

As leaders, while they were out affirming or ignoring every form of apostacy imaginable, they could not face the fact that their actions/inactions might have lead to the inevitable destruction of their denomination.

They needed more fall guys.

Reformed Catholic said...

What needs to be done is for more visited congregations to pass on their experiences with these delegations.

What I'd like to know is who was a member of the delegation that made this visit.

I wonder if these meetings are covered by the 'open meeting' policy of the PCUSA ??