Tuesday, April 27, 2010

28 April 2010


Presbyterians Week Headlines


[1] ♪♪♪ Letters, We Get…er, uh…Emails ♪♪♪

[2] ARP General Synod Files Appeal to Dismiss Lawsuit Leading to an Injunction against Changes to Erskine College and Seminary Board of Trustees

[3] Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Attacks Mainline Protestant Representation on Government School Education Boards

[4] Church of Scotland Considering Ban on Extramarital Sex of Any Kind as Means of Dealing with Homosexual Ministers

[5] Church of Scotland Considers Cutting 100 Ministers in Next Four Years

[6] First RPCNA Church Organized In Georgia

[7] Presbyterian Church of Liberia Celebrates 177th Anniversary

[8] Asante Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to Make Possible Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for Tribal Royalty

[9] Ligonier Academy to Offer Two-Year and Four-Year Undergraduate Degrees Beginning in 2011

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[1] ♪♪♪ Letters, We Get…er, uh…Emails ♪♪♪

Three email responses to the 21 April 2010 Presbyterians Week were received shortly after publication, each taking issue with aspects of one of three articles, and are worthy of the readers’ consideration.

According to the first email response to article [2] U.S. Army War College Monograph Posits that Christians Threaten U.S. Foreign Policy, Chuck Baldwin’s review of the subject monograph was skewed to the point of falsehood in several instances by the dispensational, premillennial eschatological presuppositions of the reviewer. The monograph titled “Strategic Implications of American Millennialism” is available at http://tinyurl.com/am-millennialism-pdf.

The second email response to article [4]
RTS Orlando, Florida, OT Professor Resigns after Video Surfaces Showing Endorsement of Theistic Evolution, asserts that the summarized Inside Higher Ed article presented a skewed and inaccurate portrayal of Professor Bruce Waltke’s departure from Reformed Theological Seminary. Several articles on The Aquila Report website were commended as providing a much more accurate perspective on the matter:

-- OT Professor Bruce Waltke Resigns from RTS Orlando Faculty amid Historical Adam and Eve Controversy
:

(http://theaquilareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1855:ot-professor-bruce-waltke-resigns-from-rts-orlando-faculty-amid-historical-adam-and-eve-controversy&catid=51:ministries&Itemid=134);

-- Why Bruce Waltke’s Story Is Being Told (in the mainline press) and David Coppedge’s Isn’t:

(http://theaquilareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1924:why-bruce-waltkes-story-is-being-told-in-the-mainline-press-and-david-coppedges-isnt&catid=79:commentary&Itemid=137); and,

-- Professor Bruce Waltke Posts An ‘Open Letter to the RTS Community’ on Facebook:

(http://theaquilareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1860:professor-bruce-waltke-posts-an-open-letter-on-facebook&catid=49:people&Itemid=132).

The final email response to article
[5] PCA Standing Judicial Commission Issues Final Ruling against Pacific Northwest Presbytery’s Conclusions about the Theological Views of Teaching Elder Peter Leithart, expressed concern that in the 11 March 2010 Decision in Judicial Case 2009-6 Complaint of TE James Bordwine, Et Al. vs. Pacific Northwest Presbytery (PNW) by the Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the SJC exceeded its PCA constitutional authority by ruling beyond the scope of the singular issue of the validity or invalidity of the decision of the PNW that Teaching Elder Peter Leithart’s theological views were not out of accord with the PCA system of doctrine. The responder was additionally concerned about the future implications of the SJC decision.

The editor urges the reader to examine all of these resources for further clarification of the issues.

+ Christian Observer, Post Office Box 1371, Lexington, Virginia 20110, christianobserver@christianobserver.org

+ NewsWithViews.com, Post Office Box 370, Merlin, Oregon 97532,
541-955-0117, news10@newswithviews.com

+
Inside Higher Ed, 1320 18th Street Northwest, 5th Floor, Washington DC 20036, 202-659-9208, Fax: 202-659-9381, editor@insidehighered.com

+
The Aquila Report, c/o Metokos Press, 211 Main Street, Suite 108, Narrows, Virginia 24124, 540-726-8223, operations@theaquilareport.com

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001, ac@pcanet.org


[2] ARP General Synod Files Appeal to Dismiss Lawsuit Leading to an Injunction against Changes to Erskine College and Seminary Board of Trustees

A 22 April 2010 article by Nicole E. Smith in The Index-Journal titled “ARP Church, Synod Appeal Injunction Order about Erskine's Board” reports that the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) General Synod (GS) filed an appeal asking for dismissal of the lawsuit leading to an injunction against making changes to the Erskine College and Theological Seminary Board of Trustees voted upon by a called synod meeting in March 2010.

The ARPGS contends that the two trustees and the president of the alumni association who filed the suit leading to the injunction lack standing to pursue the complaints.

+
The Index-Journal, 610 Phoenix St reet, Greenwood, South Carolina 29646, 864-223-1411, jburns@indexjournal.com

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1 Cleveland Street Suite 110, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729

+ Erskine College and Theological Seminary, Post Office Box 668, Due West, South Carolina, 800-770-6936, gaston@erskine.edu


[3] Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Attacks Mainline Protestant Representation on Government School Education Boards

A 21 April 2010 Belfast Newsletter article titled “Protestant Church Leaders Hit Out at 'Misleading Slurs'” reports that Sinn Fein party member and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness recently accused the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI), the Church of Ireland, and the Methodist Church of attempting to block reforms which threaten their representation on the new Educational Skills Authority, calling church representatives on government school governing bodies “not fit for purpose.”

Most government schools in
Northern Ireland were formed by the three main protestant bodies in Northern Ireland, then turned over to government authority in the 1920’s and the 1930’s in exchange for statutory rights to a minority of seats on the related school governing bodies.

Speaking on behalf of the three churches, PCI Education Secretary the Rev. Trevor Gribben called Deputy First Minister McGuinness’ statements "misleading, derogatory, and a slur on our integrity," and said "Up until now our engagement from Sinn Fein has been very positive but this statement from Mr. McGuinness represented a radical change in tone. We would be very disappointed if this was done for election purposes."

+ Belfast Newsletter,
2 Esky Drive, Carn Industrial Estate, Craigavon
BT63 5YY,
Northern Ireland, 028-90-897700, darwin.templeton@jpress.co.uk

+
Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Church House, Belfast BT1 6DW, Northern Ireland, 028-9032-2284, Fax: 028-9041-7301, Info@PresbyterianIreland.org

+ Sinn Fein, 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Republic of Ireland, 353-1- 8726100, Fax: 353-1-8733074, info@sinnfein.org


[4] Church of Scotland Considering Ban on Extramarital Sex of Any Kind as Means of Dealing with Homosexual Ministers

A 26 April 2010 article in PinkNews titled “Church of Scotland Could Ban Ministers who have Sex Outside Marriage” reports that one option being considered by the Church of Scotland (COS) to deal with the issue of homosexual ministers is to ban all types of extramarital sex by ministers.

The COS is currently consulting with its presbyteries to obtain their views on homosexual ministers, and their views as to whether homosexuality is congruent with church teachings.

+ PinkNews, Phoenix Yard, 65 Kings Cross Road, London WC1X 9LW, England, 44-020-7239-4910, 44-087-1433-4253, news@pinknews.co.uk

+ Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN, Scotland, 0131-225-5722

[5] Church of Scotland Considers Cutting 100 Ministers in Next Four Years


A 25 April 2010 article by Craig Brown in The Scotsman titled “Church of Scotland plans to cut ministers by up to 100” reports that he Church of Scotland, in order to alleviate budget shortfalls, is considering a plan to cut 100 ministers over the next four years.

The plan suggests that ministers consider job shares, and that trained unpaid volunteer ordained staff replace the axed ministers.

+ The Scotsman, Barclay House, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS, Scotland, 131-620-8620

+ Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN, Scotland, 0131-225-5722


[6] First RPCNA Church Organized In Georgia

On 24 April 2010, church dignitaries and other guests from ten states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois—gathered for the formal organization of the first congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) in the state of Georgia. The new congregation, Northminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, is one of a handful of RPCNA churches in the South.

One of the oldest denominations in this country, the RPCNA first organized churches in America in the 1700s. This year, its institution for training ministers, the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is celebrating its bicentennial. RPCNA members trace their heritage to the Scottish Covenanters, who were tyrannized during the “Killing Time” in the late 1600s. Thousands of Covenanters became martyrs for the principle that the civil government should not interfere in the affairs of the church. Today, the RPCNA continues the same testimony as did their forebears for the crown rights of King Jesus and for His mediatiorial kingship over the coordinate spheres of church and state. The RPCNA also maintains the historic practice of singing exclusively the Biblical Psalms in worship, without musical accompaniment.

Installed as pastor was the Rev. Dr. Frank J. Smith. Other officers ordained and installed were Mr. Bob Shapiro as a ruling elder and Mr. Keith Ling as a deacon. Greetings were read to the congregation from Dr. Rich Holdeman, Moderator of Great Lakes-Gulf Presbytery; the Honorable Sonny Perdue (R), Governor of
Georgia; and U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R—Georgia).

+ Northminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, 5830 Millstone Drive, Cumming, Georgia 30028, 770-241-3946, franksmith76@gmail.com

+ Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA), 7408 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208, 412-731-1177, Fax: 412-731-8861, bruceparnell@provalue.net

+ Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 7418 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208, 412-731-8690, Fax: 412-731-4834, info@rpts.edu


[7] Presbyterian Church of Liberia Celebrates 177th Anniversary

A 27 April 2010 article by Leroy M. Sonpon, III, in the Daily Observer titled “Presbyterian Church Observes 177th Anniversary in Liberia” reports that a celebration was held 22-25 April 2010 at the First Presbyterian Church-Monrovia, Liberia, celebrating the 177th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church of Liberia (PCL) in its oldest church building.

The PCL was established following the arrival in Liberia from the United States on 16 February 1833 of its founder and first moderator John Brooke Pinney, as an agent of the American Colonization Society and Missionary of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

+ Liberian Observer Corporation, Post Office Box 1858, Monrovia, Liberia, editor@liberianobserver.com

+ Presbyterian Church of Liberia, Broad and Johnson Street, Post Office Box 10-3350, Monrovia 10 1000, Liberia, 231-227012, Fax: 231-227047, ocean@awli.net.lr


[8] Asante Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to Make Possible Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for Tribal Royalty

A 24 April 2010 Ghana News Agency article titled “Asante Presbytery to serve Holy Communion to Chiefs” reports that the Asante Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) is introducing reforms that will allow traditional tribal Chiefs and Queens to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and otherwise encourage the royals to practice their Christian faith.

The reforms would allow the royals to be fully accepted as members of the PCG, may possibly set aside special seating in the church for the royals, and an Association of Presbyterian Chiefs and Queens would be formed to partner with the Asante Presbytery in its outreach and evangelism programs.

+ Ghana News Agency, Post Office Box GP 2118, Accra, Ghana, 233-21- 662381, Fax: 233-21-669841, ghnews@ghana.com

+ Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Post Office Box GP 1800, Accra, Ghana, 233-21-662511, Fax: 233-21-665594, pcghg@yahoo.com


[9] Ligonier Academy to Offer Two-Year and Four-Year Undergraduate Degrees Beginning in 2011

Beginning in Fall 2011, the Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies will begin a two year program leading to the degree of Associate of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies, and four-year programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies.

Enrollment is currently underway, and an application is available at http://devmedia.ligonier.org/uploads/Ligonier_Academy_Application_Online_Form.pdf.

+ Ligonier Academy, 400 Technology Park, Lake Mary, Florida 32746, 407-333-4244, Fax: 407-333-4233

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

21 April 2010

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Faith Leaders Call upon U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama to Appeal “Outrageous” Decision Declaring the National Day of Prayer Unconstitutional

[2] U.S. Army War College Monograph Posits that Christians Threaten U.S. Foreign Policy

[3] Florida Abortionist Loses Medical License after Killing Fraternal Twin without Down Syndrome during Procedure to Kill Twin with Down Syndrome

[4] RTS Orlando, Florida, OT Professor Resigns after Video Surfaces Showing Endorsement of Theistic Evolution

[5] PCA Standing Judicial Commission Issues Final Ruling against Pacific Northwest Presbytery’s Conclusions about the Theological Views of Teaching Elder Peter Leithart

[6] Manhattan PCUSA Church Official Arrested for Painting Graffiti on Church Scaffolding

[7] Briarwood Presbyterian Church of Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada, Seeks Djembe Drummer

[8] Presbyterians in Yuanlin, Taiwan, Provide Alternative to Ancestor Worship

[9] Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Leaders Urge Abolition of the Death Penalty

[10] Evangelical Reformed Church of Poland Issues Statement Regarding Airplane Crash that Killed the Polish President and Other Leaders

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[1] Faith Leaders Call upon U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama to Appeal “Outrageous” Decision Declaring the National Day of Prayer Unconstitutional

Citing national prayer observances throughout U.S. history beginning with first U.S. President George Washington, Christian Defense Coalition Director and Reformed Presbyterian pastor the Rev. Pat Mahoney and Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital President Rob Schenck called upon U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama to expedite the appeal of the “outrageous” decision of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb declaring the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional.

Misters Mahoney and Schenck held a 19 April 2010 news conference in front of the White House in Washington DC to discuss their call to the president and the steps they are putting in place for a national campaign.

+ Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20006, 202-546-0054, newsdesk@christiannewswire.com

+ Christian Defense Coalition, Post Office Box 77168, Washington DC 20013, 202-547-1735, ChristianDefense@gmail.com

+ Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital, 109 Second Avenue Northeast, Washington DC 20002, 202-546-8329, Fax: 202-546-6864, Info@FaithAndAction.org

+ National Day of Prayer Task Force, Post Office Box 15616,
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935, 719-531-3379, Fax: 719-548-4520, correspondence@nationaldayofprayer.org

+ United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 120 North Henry Street, Room 320, Madison, Wisconsin 53701, 608-264-5156, Fax: 608-264-5925, wiwd_ecfhelp@wiwd.uscourts.gov


[2] U.S. Army War College Monograph Posits that Christians Threaten U.S. Foreign Policy

A 14 April 2010 article by Chuck Baldwin titled “Army Report Says Christians Threaten US Foreign Policy” reports on a monograph written by U.S. Army Major Brian L. Stuckert while a degree student at The School of Advanced Military Studies, United States Army Command and General Staff College, in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, which Baldwin believes was used in the preparation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s report, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” and a similar report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center and the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Baldwin cites several sections of the monograph where Christians are characterized as threats to the U.S. Government including:

-- Christian millennial belief “…creates potential vulnerabilities that adversaries may exploit," and “…can be problematic for any military leader or planner attempting to achieve U.S. Government policy objectives through strategy, operations and programs.

-- Christians who believe in the Second Coming create circumstances or conditions that might be "problematic" for America's military leaders, create "potential vulnerabilities" that America's enemies may "exploit," and may even interfere with "U.S. Government policy objectives.

-- "The impact of American millennial religious ideas on U.S. Government policy will add to strategic hubris, compel increasingly reckless international action, and continue to over-commit the military in ways the Nation cannot afford.

-- "…millennial thought and its policy implications may create strategic transparency that affords adversaries an advantage in decision-making,… an understanding of American millennial thinking may provide adversaries with the means to manipulate American policy and subsequent action,… the enemy may exploit American millennialism to increase the fragility of and even disrupt coalitions,… adversaries may exploit American millennialism to demoralize or terrorize joint forces and the American people,… [and by] recognizing these potential vulnerabilities, military leaders and planners may take action now to mitigate the effects."

Major Stuckert’s monograph specifically cites holiness and Pentecostal churches, the Assemblies of God, non-denominational churches, and Independent and Southern Baptists.

+ NewsWithViews.com, Post Office Box 370, Merlin, Oregon 97532,
541-955-0117, news10@newswithviews.com

+ U.S. Army, 1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington DC 20301, 703-697-0050


[3] Florida Abortionist Loses Medical License after Killing Fraternal Twin without Down Syndrome during Procedure to Kill Twin with Down Syndrome

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, reported in a 14 April 2010 blog article that Dr. Matthew Kachinas of Sarasota, Florida, recently lost his medical license because during a 2006 abortion to selectively kill a male fraternal twin with Down syndrome and other congenital abnormalities, Kachinas mistakenly killed the healthy female fraternal twin.

Dr. Mohler reminds the reader that eighty-to-ninety percent of Down syndrome pregnancies are ended by abortion, calling these killings a “…scandal of the first degree, and this nation is growing more complacent and complicit in this scandal by the day.”

Dr. Mohler concludes:

“This news story out of Florida is a warning to the entire nation. What is the real scandal here — that this doctor was ready to kill a baby with Down syndrome, or merely that he aborted “the wrong baby?”

“The answer to that question will tell us all we need to know about the conscience of the age.”

+ AlbertMohler.com, Contact Page

+ The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2825 Lexington Road,
Louisville, Kentucky 40280, 800-626-5525, Contact Page


[4] RTS Orlando, Florida, OT Professor Resigns after Video Surfaces Showing Endorsement of Theistic Evolution

A video of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) Orlando, Florida, Old Testament professor Bruce K. Waltke was recently posted on The BioLogos Foundation website showing the professor defending theistic evolution, saying:

“If the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult ... some odd group that is not really interacting with the world. And rightly so, because we are not using our gifts and trusting God's Providence that brought us to this point of our awareness.”

After the video generated an uproar among the RTS administration, Waltke subsequently asked The BioLogos Foundation to remove the video from its website, and Waltke submitted his resignation, which was accepted by the seminary.

Justin Taylor, Editorial Director at Crossway Books, reported 9 April 2010 on his Between Two Worlds blog that Waltke has been hired to teach the upcoming winter and spring terms at Knox Theological Seminary.

+ Inside Higher Ed, 1320 18th Street Northwest, 5th Floor, Washington DC 20036, 202-659-9208, Fax: 202-659-9381, editor@insidehighered.com

+ The Gospel Coalition, 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, Illinois 60015, contact@thegospelcoalition.org

+ The BioLogos Foundation, 6549 Mission Gorge Road, Box 251,
San Diego, California 92120, 619-849-2205, info@biologos.org

+ Reformed Theological Seminary
Orlando, 1231 Reformation Drive, Oviedo, Florida 32765, 407-366-9493, Fax: 407-366-9425

+ Knox Theological Seminary, 5554 North Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308, 954-771-0376, Fax: 954-351-3343, Administration@KnoxSeminary.edu


[5] PCA Standing Judicial Commission Issues Final Ruling against Pacific Northwest Presbytery’s Conclusions about the Theological Views of Teaching Elder Peter Leithart

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) on 11 March 2010 issued its final decision in the complaint against the PCA’s Pacific Northwest Presbytery (PNW) for its earlier majority decision that Teaching Elder Peter Leithart’s theological views were not out of accord with the PCA system of doctrine.

The SJC found that “…the views of TE Leithart touching fundamentals of the system of doctrine (for example on baptism, the bi-covenantal nature of Scripture, and imputation) set out in the Record (in PNW’s own Reports) suggest a strong presumption of guilt that these views represent offenses that could properly be the subject of a judicial process. ([Book of Church Order] BCO 31-2, 29-1 &2)”

The SJC decision says “the PNW may counsel TE Leithart that [Leithart’s Federal Vision-type theological views] constitute error that is injurious to peace and purity of the church and offer him pastoral advice on how he might recant and make reparations for those views, or if he is unwilling or unable in conscience to do so, that he is free to take timely steps to affiliate with some other branch that is consistent with his views;” or else the PNW at its fall meeting is to take action against Leithart under the provisions of BCO 31-2.

On a Presbyterian and Reformed-oriented Internet email discussion group, a PCA ruling elder responded to the SJC decision by asking: “Would someone, please, explain to me where in Scripture they get the idea that "transfer his ministerial credentials" is part of church discipline?....If Leithart fails to recant, he should be removed from office and excommunicated. He should not be allowed to change membership to escape the judgment of the court.”

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001, ac@pcanet.org


[6] Manhattan PCUSA Church Official Arrested for Painting Graffiti on Church Scaffolding

A 20 April 2010 DNAInfo article by Serena Solomon titled “West Park Presbyterian Church Official Arrested for Graffiti Blasting Gale Brewer” reports that West Park Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)) official Diego "Hugo" Meneses was arrested 17 April 2010 while painting graffiti onto scaffolding outside the church protesting the church’s recent designation as a landmark.

Over the objections of the church, City Councilwoman Gale Brewer led the effort to have the Landmarks Preservation Commission declare in January 2010 the church a protected building. The congregation currently meets in another location due to water damage in the church, and the congregation hoped to raise funds by selling the church property for apartment development rather than continue to make expensive repairs to the 125 year-old church building.

No charges were preferred against Mr. Meneses.

The church’s landmark status was to be reviewed by the City Council at a 20 April 2010 evening meeting.

+
DNAInfo, 1414 Avenue of the Americas, 11th Floor, New York, New York 10019, 646-435-9100, info@dnainfo.com

+ Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 888-728-7228, Fax: 502-569-8005


[7] Briarwood Presbyterian Church of Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada, Seeks Djembe Drummer

Briarwood Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in Canada) of Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada, is seeking a djembe drummer for Sunday afternoon services that feature music and song as well as scripture readings, commentary, and prayer.

Interested percussionists are asked to call Briarwood pastor the Rev. Greg Davidson at 514-695-1879, or in the evening call Grant Vissers at 514-693-0794.

+ The Gazette, 1010 Ste-Catherine Street West, Suite 200,
Montreal, Quebec H3B 5L1, Canada, 514-987-2222, rbrassard@thegazette.canwest.com

+ The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 50 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Ontario M3C 1J7, 416-441-1111, Fax: 416-441-2825, skendall@presbyterian.ca



[8] Presbyterians in Yuanlin, Taiwan, Provide Alternative to Ancestor Worship


An article by Chen Wei-chien and Lydia Ma in the 5-11 April 2010 issue of Taiwan Church News titled “Yuanlin Affirms Local Church’s Alternative to Ancestor Worship” tells of a ceremony held 4 April 2010, the eve of Tomb Sweeping Day, where a Christian ceremony to honor ancestors was held in Yuanlin, Taiwan, for the purpose helping villagers understand Christianity and grasp how Christians remember and honor their forebears. Yuanlin’s population is only one percent Christian. The service was presided over by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan’s Changhua Presbytery Moderator Liu Te-shing, and the Rev. Liao Kun-tian gave a sermon entitled “Remembering our Forbearers on Tomb Sweeping Day”.

Moderator Liu hopes the partnership between the Yuanlin government and local churches on Tomb Sweeping Day that made the ceremony possible can become a tradition in Yuanlin so that regardless of who becomes township mayor, there will always be a Christian ceremony on that day. Liu also prays that these services will change villagers’ perceptions on ancestor worship and Christianity and will open the way for evangelism once ancestor worship is no longer a stumbling block.

At the end of the memorial service, everyone was invited take part in the flower offering ceremony. People were instructed to write on a small card the names of their parents or relatives that they were honoring on this occasion and affix the card on a bouquet before bringing the bouquet to the front of the podium.

Feedback letters from villagers said that they really liked the ceremony and felt comforted by it. They were also touched by how the ceremony had accorded dignity and honor to ancestors without creating any environmental pollution.

The Taiwan Church News editor noted that Taiwanese people usually mark Tomb Sweeping Day by worshiping their ancestors, and that rituals for that day usually involve offering food and burning a lot of joss paper, the smoke from the burning joss paper having become a serious environmental concern.

+ Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, 334 Youth Road, Tainan City, 70144 Taiwan, 886-6-235-6277, Fax: 886-6-237-8882, enews@pctpress.org


[9] Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Leaders Urge Abolition of the Death Penalty

An article by Chen Wei-chien and Lydia Ma in the 5-11 April 2010 issue of Taiwan Church News titled “Christian Leaders Sign Petition to Abolish Death Penalty” reports that Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) General Secretary Andrew Chang and PCT General Assembly Moderator Leonard Lin have drafted a statement calling for a moratorium on and the abolition of the death penalty in Taiwan.

At a recent forum on the death penalty sponsored by the Taiwan Church News and other media outlets, PCT seminary professors Chen Nan-jou and Cheng Yang-en said that Christians should repent for not caring enough about abolishing the death penalty and added that almost all Christian churches and organizations worldwide have been lobbying governments to do away with the death penalty.

Currently, eighty percent of the Taiwanese support the death penalty.

+ Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, 334 Youth Road, Tainan City, 70144 Taiwan, 886-6-235-6277, Fax: 886-6-237-8882, enews@pctpress.org


[10] Evangelical Reformed Church of Poland Issues Statement Regarding Airplane Crash that Killed the Polish President and Other Leaders

The Evangelical Reformed Church of Poland issued the following statement [translated into English] concerning the tragic airplane crash of 10 April 2010 that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and ninety-six other Polish government officials and dignitaries:

“The tragedy that occurred today near Smolensk, [
Russia,] shocked us all.

“The Evangelical Reformed Church bids farewell today to the President of Poland, Professor Dr. Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria Kaczynska, and those who accompanied them on their last flight.

“Our thoughts are with the mourning families, friends, and acquaintances of those who perished.

“In this dramatic moment in Polish history we raise our prayers to the Lord of human lives, to comfort those who suffer the loss of those closest to them, and to give strength to our nation with dignity to survive this difficult period, regardless of the differences separating us.

“Remember that “the Lord God will destroy death forever and wipe away tears from all faces.” (Isaiah 25:8a)”

Dr. Witold Brodzinski Fr. Bishop Mark Izdebski Zdenek Matys
Consistory President Church Bishop Synod President

+ Evangelical Reformed Church of Poland, SolidarnoĊ›ci 76 a, Warszawa
Mazowieckie, Polska 00-145, 48-22-831-45-22, Fax: 48-22-831-08-27, Contact Page




Tuesday, April 13, 2010

14 April 2010

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Presbyterian Church in Ireland to Pay UK£1 Million towards Bailout of Presbyterian Mutual Society

[2] ARPTalk Issue Twenty-Eight Analyzes, through Inconvenient Truths and Scriptural Mind Renewal, Erskine College and Theological Seminary’s Overarching Conformation to the World

[3] Covenant College Chemistry Professor, Alumna, and Student Develop Cheaper, Safer Method of Ketone Reduction

[4] Haitian Senate Commends Mission to North America and El Shaddai Ministries International, Inc., for Earthquake Relief

[5] PCA Administrative Committee Approves Strategic Plan

[6] United Church of Christ President Ascribes Racism and Homophobia to Protesting Opponents of Health Care Bill

[7] Former Church of Scotland in Rutherglen becoming Hindu Temple

[8] PCUSA Pastor Offers Blessing at Hindu Baccalaureate Service at the University of Nevada-Reno

[9] ACLU Litigates Anti-Christian Court Case Close to a Year after Now-Former Plaintiffs Lost Standing

[10] Christian Beijing Olympics Demonstrators Arrested Twice and Deported from China to Protest Visit to U.S. of Chinese President

[11] Western Reformed Seminary 2010 Tabor Lecture Series to Feature Brazilian Reformed Educator Solano Portela

[12] Annual Youth Essay Contest for Fundamental Presbyterian Publications

[13] Addendum - Ready Reserve Health Corps
extended article


[1] Presbyterian Church in Ireland to Pay UK£1 Million towards Bailout of Presbyterian Mutual Society

A 13 April 2010 BBC News article titled “Church to Pay [UK]£1 [Million] for Presbyterian Mutual Bailout” reports that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has agreed to contribute UK£1 Million to the hardship fund for the bailout of the bankrupt Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS), with the remaining funds supplied by United Kingdom taxpayers.

The proposed hardship fund for smaller PMS investors is to be funded UK£25 Million from the United Kingdom Treasury and UK£25 Million from United Kingdom Finance Minister Sammy Wilson’s budget.

The major portion of bailout funds for large PMS investors is proposed to come from a UK£175 Million loan from the United Kingdom Treasury, which is expected to be recouped when PMS is sold by its Administrator after a hoped-for financial market recovery.

+ BBC, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TS, England, Fax: 020-8008-2398

+ Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Church House, Belfast BT1 6DW, Northern Ireland, 028-9032-2284, Fax: 028-9041-7301, Info@PresbyterianIreland.org


+ Presbyterian Mutual Society, Glengall Exchange, Glengall Street,
Belfast BT12 5AB, Northern Ireland, 028-9031-1232, Fax: 028-9031-1441, pms@arthurboyd.co.uk


[2] ARPTalk Issue Twenty-Eight Analyzes, through Inconvenient Truths and Scriptural Mind Renewal, Erskine College and Theological Seminary’s Overarching Conformation to the World

The 13 April 2010 ARPTalk Issue Twenty-Eight features three articles by the editor, the Rev. Dr. Charles W. Wilson, analyzing Erskine College and Theological Seminary’s overarching conformation to the world during recent events and for the past several decades, through three articles describing inconvenient truths about the Erskine supporters’ deft navigation of the secular judiciary, the lack of effective oversight of Erskine in recent decades by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) General Synod, and through a scriptural view of the inherent idolatry and indifference to God’s Law at the heart of the Erskine situation.

The three articles are:

-- “A Response to the Ruling by Judge Griffith and a Challenge to the ARP Church” – by Charles W. Wilson

-- “Idolatry: The Cult of the Baal of Erskine” – by Charles W. Wilson

-- “The Voices of the Baal of Erskine” – Postings taken mainly from Facebook that leave one speechless.

+ ARPTalk Blog, 864-882-6337, wilson6114@bellsouth.net

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1 Cleveland Street Suite 110, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729

+
Erskine College and Theological Seminary, Post Office Box 668, Due West, South Carolina, 800-770-6936, gaston@erskine.edu


[3] Covenant College Chemistry Professor, Alumna, and Student Develop Cheaper, Safer Method of Ketone Reduction

Covenant College chemistry professor Dr. Dan Zuidema, alumna Katie Wert, class of 2008, and student Sarah Williams, class of 2010, have discovered a new organic chemistry process of ketone reduction using relatively inexpensive and safer isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) and sodium hydroxide (lye) instead of the conventional materials of flammable hydrogen gas, extremely flammable or explosive reagents, and/or expensive catalysts.

The results of the trio’s research was published recently in Volume 40 - Issue 8 – 2010 of the peer-reviewed journal Synthetic Communications.

Ms. Williams described her academic endeavors on this project, saying: “Getting to do this research with Dr. Zuidema was such an honor….Often, we would sit and talk over the finer details of the research, how things worked, and why certain byproducts were made.”

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001, ac@pcanet.org

+ Covenant College, 14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain, Georgia 30750, 706-820-1560, info@covenant.edu

+ Informa, Gubelstrasse 11, CH-6300, Zug, Switzerland, 41-0-444-1344, Fax: 41-0-444-1355, headoffice@informa.com


[4] Haitian Senate Commends Mission to North America and El Shaddai Ministries International, Inc., for Earthquake Relief

The Senate of Haiti, on 29 March 2010, recognized Mission to North America and El Shaddai Ministries International, Inc., with an award “for their relief efforts in the days and weeks following the tragic earthquake on January 11, 2010. Haiti was at her greatest need ever. Thank you for your intervention, medically, socially, and economically.”

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001, ac@pcanet.org

+
El Shaddai Ministries International, Inc., 13651 South Biscayne River Drive, Miami, Florida 33161, 786-543-2004, dstgermain@pca.net


[5] PCA Administrative Committee Approves Strategic Plan

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)’s Administrative Committee on 8 April 2010 unanimously approved the “PCA Strategic Plan (PSP),” which was commissioned by the Cooperative Ministries Committee to address slowed growth within the PCA and a shifting cultural landscape, and with the hope of creating a roadmap to future cohesion and growth within the PCA.

The Cooperative Ministries Committee will submit the PSP for approval at 38th PCA General Assembly, to be held 29 June-2 July 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. If passed, portions of the PSP that require Book of Church Order amendment will go to the PCA presbyteries for approval.

+
Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001, ac@pcanet.org


[6] United Church of Christ President Ascribes Racism and Homophobia to Protesting Opponents of Health Care Bill

A 1 April 2010 article titled “Religious Left Targets Tea Party “Hate”” by Institute on Religion and Democracy President Mark Tooley describes the attacks being made by United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church officials on the demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol who were protesting the 21 March 2010 vote on the Health Care Bill.

United Church of Christ President the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black attributes racism and homophobia as two of the underlying motives of the Health Care Bill protesters. UCC President Black additionally condemned the Health Care Bill protestors because they “spit upon” Missouri Representative Emanuel Cleaver, and because the Health Care Bill protesters “shouted names that we have not heard in the public square since the days of the Civil Rights movement.” UCC President Black characterized the protests as a “disgrace to our nation’s civility.”

A multitude of videos taken of the protests have produced no evidence of the alleged name-calling, and show one protester who produced what IRD President Tooley described as “an effusion of spittle from shouting,” from whom Representative Cleaver termed a man “who allowed saliva to hit my face.”

UCC President Black called upon his “brothers and sisters in the United Church of Christ and our faith partners to resist entering into dialog or debate with such demonstrations of hate that go against our Christian understanding to love our neighbors.”

Though UCC President Black infers the Second Table of the Law when citing “our Christian understanding to love our neighbors,” the implications of the Ninth Commandment seem to have escaped the UCC president regarding the making of broad allegations of evil against an entire group of people based only upon very questionable evidence about one person, or non-existent evidence.

+ Institute on Religion and Democracy, 1023 15th Street Northwest, Suite 601, Washington DC 20005-2601, 202-682-4131, Fax: 202-682-4136, info@theird.org

+ United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, 216-736-2100, ogm@ucc.org

+ United Methodist Church, 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, 410-309-3400


[7] Former Church of Scotland in Rutherglen becoming Hindu Temple

A 7 April 2010 article in the Rutherglen Reformer by Will Henshaw titled “Rutherglen Church to be Transformed into Hindu Temple” reports that after UK£10,000 of renovations, former Church of Scotland Wardlawhill Church in Rutherglen, Scotland, is reopening at the end of April 2010 as the Hindu Sri Sundara Ganapathi Temple.

The church building was purchased by the Hindus from the Church of Scotland in November 2009, and was mortgaged by the South Indian Cultural Centre of Scotland.

+ Rutherglen Reformer, Campbell Street, Hamilton ML3 6AX, Scotland, 0141 647 2271, jrowbotham@s-un.co.uk

+ Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN, Scotland, 0131-225-5722


[8] PCUSA Pastor Offers Blessing at Hindu Baccalaureate Service at the University of Nevada-Reno

The Third Annual Hindu Baccalaureate Service of the University of Nevada-Reno was held 11 April 2010.

The service began with the lighting of a traditional lamp before the statue of the goddess Saraswati, Hindu patron of learning and the arts, and included blessing of the upcoming graduates with wisdom from the Hindu scriptures Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita.

Blessings were offered to the graduates from Roman Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, and Confucian clergy, and from Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) pastor the Rev. Bruce Taylor of the Spanish Springs Presbyterian Church in Sparks, Nevada.

+ Press Release Log, Contact Page

+ Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 888-728-7228, Fax: 502-569-8005


[9] ACLU Litigates Anti-Christian Court Case Close to a Year after Now-Former Plaintiffs Lost Standing

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Santa Rosa County, Florida, School District face possible court sanctions after court documents submitted 7 April 2010 by the ACLU and the school district showed that the two anonymous Plaintiffs represented by the ACLU in efforts to quash any form of Christian expression by faculty, administration, and staff in the county schools, graduated from Pace High School in May 2009, and the ACLU, with the cooperation of the school board, has been litigating without clients ever since.

Additionally, the Santa Rosa County, Florida, School District will now have to justify to Santa Rosa County taxpayers its decision to enter into a Consent Decree in May 2009 and to pay the ACLU US$200,000 in attorney’s fees, when it could have simply waited three more weeks for Plaintiffs to graduate and for their claims to automatically become moot by operation of law.

+ Liberty Counsel, Post Office Box 540774, Orlando, Florida 32854, 800-671-1776, Liberty@LC.org

+ American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York New York 10004, 212-549-2500, Contact Page


[10] Christian Beijing Olympics Demonstrators Arrested Twice and Deported from China to Protest Visit to U.S. of Chinese President

Two of the three protestors at the 2008 Beijing Olympics who were twice arrested, then deported from China for unfurling in Tiananmen Square a banner reading “Jesus Christ is King,” on 12 April 2010 demonstrated in front of the White House in Washington DC on the occasion of the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to the United States.

Christian Defense Coalition Director and Reformed Presbyterian pastor the Rev. Pat Mahoney and Michael McMonagle prayed and spoke out against China’s repression of human rights and religious liberty, calling attention to the "moral and national disgrace" that President Barack Hussein Obama has not been a more vocal and outspoken critic of the human rights abuses by the Chinese government while at the same time the Obama Administration is giving billions of dollars to the Chinese government to pay off the U.S. debt while China continues to brutalize their own people.

For background information, please see article “[10] Missionary Team Arrested in China Back in USA” in the 13 August 2008 Presbyterians Week.

+
Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20006, 202-546-0054, newsdesk@christiannewswire.com

+ Christian Defense Coalition, Post Office Box 77168, Washington DC 20013, 202-547-1735, ChristianDefense@gmail.com


[11] Western Reformed Seminary 2010 Tabor Lecture Series to Feature Brazilian Reformed Educator Solano Portela

Western Reformed Seminary’s 2010 Tabor Lecture Series is scheduled for 19-20 and 22-23 April 2010 at the seminary, and features author and speaker Solano Portela, an expert in Christian education and a leader in the burgeoning Christian school movement in Brazil. The lectures are entitled: “Christian Education–A Reformed Imperative.”

Mr. Portela has written articles and books in both English and Portuguese dealing with the Reformed faith and its application in the education of our children. Mr. Portela is a leader in the Association of Christian Schools International in Brazil, and has served in various administrative positions in the Mackenzie Presbyterian Schools and Universities, with 47,000 students.

The topics for each evening are:

Monday, April 19: “The Need for a Reformed World and Life View – Guiding our thoughts with Psalm 19″

The Christian Weltanschauung, defining it from Psalm 19; demonstrating the biblical world and life view; this worldview applied to several areas of knowledge (economics, government, history, and so on), showing that there is a difference in how Christians should approach and teach each one of these areas.

Tuesday, April 20: “Distinctive Characteristics of Christian Education”

An explanation of Christian school education, building on the biblical worldview, comparing it to secular education, stressing the role of teachers and parents in this process.

Thursday, April 22, “Christian Education and Culture”

The Christian view of culture, showing how the Bible uses aspects of human culture as an expression of God’s common grace; demonstrated in the tabernacle, in the temple, and in Revelation; the dilemma between flesh and spirit, not matter and spirit, as an ethical divider; the different approaches suggested by Niebuhr and Machen (stressing the latter); the relation of Christian education and culture in the role of the Christian School.

Friday, April 23, “Doing Christian Education in a non-Christian Setting”

The amazing work of God going on in Brazil; the setting and experiences of Mackenzie Schools and Universities; the progress of Reformed Christian teaching in a non-Christian setting (75% of parents and students are from a non-evangelical Christian background); lessons in developing text-books with a Christian worldview.

+ Western Reformed Seminary, 5 South G Street, Tacoma, Washington 98405, 253-272-0417, Fax: 253-627-4882, registrar@wrs.edu

+
Bible Presbyterian Church


[12] Annual Youth Essay Contest for Fundamental Presbyterian Publications

Fundamental Presbyterian Publications, the publishing arm of the Bible Presbyterian Church, is holding a youth essay contest open to all Christian young people. This year's topic is on the biblical meaning of PRAYER.

The contest is broken into three age groups:

-- Ages 10-12 will develop the Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 98 on “What Is Prayer?”

Prize: $50 for the winning essay

-- Ages 13-17 will develop the Westminster Larger Catechism Questions 180-181 on Prayer

Prize: $100 for the winning essay

-- Ages 18-21 will develop the question, “Should we pray the Lord’s Prayer today?”

Prize: $200 for the winning essay

See details on the terms of the contest at www.fppublications.org/2010-youth-essay-contest. All entries must be submitted by May 31, 2010.

+ Fundamental Presbyterian Publications, Post Office Box 26164, Charlotte, North Carolina 28221, fpp@bpc.org

+
Bible Presbyterian Church


[13] Addendum - Ready Reserve Health Corps
extended article

In response to the 7 April 2010 Presbyterians Week article [3] U.S. Health Care Bill Recently Enacted Creates 6,000 Member Ready Reserve Health Corps that will Train with the U.S. Military and will be at Given Military Powers at the Discretion of the U.S. President, a correspondent who is a preventive-public health physician wrote, saying that Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano’s analysis of the 6,000 member Ready Reserve Health Corps (RRHC) in the Health Care Bill is wrong, is irresponsible, and that the RRHC is no threat to liberty.

The correspondent states that the goal of the 6,000 member RRHC is to augment with volunteers the Public Health Service in the event of a major emergency. The correspondent additionally states that the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) is a uniformed service, but is not the military, are under the authority of Health and Human Services; and that PHSCC members already train with military and fill Coast Guard billets among many other duties including activities with the Indian Health Service, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control.

The correspondent additionally states that the military can assist civilians during an emergency, but has to follow a request from the governor of the state and that there be a Presidentially declared state of emergency, adding that the military is forbidden to perform domestic operations under the Posse Comitatus act of 1878.

One of the points made by Judge Napolitano in his 3 April 2010 Fox News Business Alert broadcast is that the Health Care Bill now lets the U.S. President for the first time take authority over National Guard units away from state governors, against the will of state governors, during peacetime. One wonders, under the same Health Care Bill provisions, if the same is true about the RRHC and the PHSCC.

The editor urges readers to exercise due diligence about these matters, with the goal of determining what governmental powers have been granted to whom by the Health Care Bill, and thereby what are the good and necessary consequences upon the nation and the individual citizen that may be deduced. Several resources that may be useful in this endeavor are as follows:

-- Obama’s Private Army

-- Obama’s Ready Reserve Corp within the Healthcare Bill – Explained (No Civilian Security Force…Yet)

-- Ready Reserve Corps Mention in Health Care Bill (Senate Version)

-- Obama’s “Private Army”


+ Christian Observer, Post Office Box 1371, Lexington, Virginia 20110, christianobserver@christianobserver.org

+ Fox News, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036, 888-369-4762, Fax: 212-462-6127, yourquestions@foxnews.com


+ U.S. Public Health Service, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Plaza Level, Rockville, Maryland 20852, 800–279–1605, Contact Page