Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10 August 2011

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Christian Observer Highlights for August 2011

[2] Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Bankrupt Presbyterian Mutual Society after Three Years Pays Investors Majority of Claims

[3] Canadian Reformed Church Delegation Visits General Synod 2011 of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands

[4] Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in “Unholy Alliance” with World Evangelical Alliance

[5] Presbyterian Church of Ghana To Establish Counseling Centers for Homosexuals


[1] Christian Observer Highlights for August 2011

New articles in the
Christian Observer for August 2011 include:

Protecting What God Has Given You From Those Who Use His Name – by Pat Huddleston, CEO of Investor’s Watchdog, an investor protection company – former Enforcement Branch Chief at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and court appointed Chapter 11 bankruptcy investigator for the Presbyterian Church in America-affiliated Cornerstone Ministries Investments (CMI) Ponzi scheme debacle, Pat Huddleston, discusses how now-bankrupt investment firms CMI and Alanar used the religious background of both companies’ officers and directors to sell an image of safe investment and Godly stewardship to potential investors, then later shifted the companies into various types of fraud and fiduciary misconduct. One of Huddleston’s conclusions is “…never invest in anything pitched by even a subtle appeal to your faith;” and,

The Energy Problem In Education” – by Christian Observer Contributing Editor Dr. Joe Renfro – discusses how the humanist morality of today’s public schools demonstrate II Timothy 3:5’s description of the perilous times in the last days where men are described as “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:”;

Plus, regular features including weekly Sabbath School Lessons and Westminster Shorter Catechism lessons by Christian Observer Assistant Editor Dr. Robert LaMay, and Daily Devotionals by T.M. Moore, dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe.

+ Christian Observer, Post Office Box 1371, Lexington, Virginia 24450,

+ Investor’s Watchdog, LLC, 1300 Ridenour Boulevard, Suite 200, Kennesaw,
Georgia 30152, 770-874-0007, Contact Page

Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001,

[2] Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Bankrupt Presbyterian Mutual Society after Three Years Pays Investors Majority of Claims

A 3 August 2011 News Letter article titled “Savers Tell of Dismay at Losing Trust in Church” reports that checks totaling UK£232 million have been mailed to 9500 investors all over
Northern Ireland to settle claims arising from the 2008 bankruptcy of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI)’s Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS). The funds returned to investors represent the majority of the investor’s assets, with one interviewed investor couple receiving seventy-nine percent of their PMS savings.

After the 2008 PMS bankruptcy, investors saw their savings tied up for three years before receiving the settlement funds, and some of the disaffected investors have left the PCI, one claiming that the PCI “disowned” its flock and refused to intervene when the PMS declared bankruptcy in 2008.

Another PMS investor said “The [PCI] disowned us from the start and it just didn’t want to know….They deceived us and we were told lies by members of the [PCI], and we have been so hurt that we can no longer call ourselves Presbyterian….I’ve never given up my faith or Christianity, but I don’t belong to a church any more.”

The investor did though pay tribute to former PCI moderator, the Rev. Dr. Stafford Carson, who the investor said “worked tirelessly” in the campaign to return savers’ money with government money. The investor continued: “Dr Carson never turned his back on us at any stage….There were times when he was wearing two coats - he had to be on the church’s side and he had to be on our side. He was in a very awkward position on our behalf.”

+ News Letter, Ground floor, Metro Building, 6-9 Donegall Square South,
Belfast, BT1 5JA, Northern Ireland, 028 3839 5577,

Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Church House, Belfast BT1 6DW, Northern Ireland, 028-9032-2284, Fax: 028-9041-7301,

+ Presbyterian Mutual Society, Glengall Exchange, Glengall Street, Belfast BT12 5AB, Northern Ireland, 028-9031-1232, Fax: 028-9031-1441,

[3] Canadian Reformed Church Delegation Visits General Synod 2011 of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands

The 29 July 2011 issue of Clarion, the Canadian Reformed Magazine, features two articles related to the visit by a delegation from the Canadian Reformed Churches (CRC) to General Synod Harderwijk (2011) of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) (GKV) 28 March – 2 April 2011.

The first article, “Visit to General Synod Harderwijk of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands,” by G.J. Nordeman and J. DeGelder, reported that the CRC delegates met 28 March 2011 with a section of Deputies BBK (GKV Relations with Churches Abroad committee), where the CRC delegates shared concerns about developments in their Dutch sister churches. The concerns expressed were “…that the developments in the Dutch churches seem to move the churches away from the reliability and authority of God’s Word, by putting more and more man and his ideas and expectations in the centre rather than God’s revealed will…” The Deputies BBK took issue with the characterization and assured the CRC delegates “…that, with everything that is going on and shifting in the Dutch churches, the churches want to remain faithful to the Scriptures as the full Word of God.” The Deputies BBK “…insisted on the biblical and confessional integrity of the [GKV Churches] as they seek to give relevant answers to the questions believers are confronted with in this secular, post-Christian society.”

Addressing the GKV’s drive to be culturally relevant in a secular society, the article stated “…we also want to reach out to unbelievers in a way that speaks to them and that is relevant in their context. But this should not mean that our post-modern culture and context is going to determine how to read Scripture and what in the Bible is relevant for today and what is not. This would put (modern) man with his ideas and expectations in the centre, rather than God, who reveals himself….We are afraid that here things are going off the rails in the Dutch churches. The arguments that Paul’s writings reflect the culture of his day to the point that the clear teachings and instruction in his letters can no longer be valid for the time in which we live today undermines the confession that it is God’s Word in which the Lord reveals his will. When we are encouraged to listen to the voice of the living God beyond what is written, we cross an important line….In the eagerness to be culturally relevant it is easily forgotten that God’s Word is often also counter-cultural. As a matter of fact, it has always been counter-cultural since the days of the New Testament, and it will always be counter-cultural.”

The article expresses concern with the changing focus at the Theologische Universiteit Kampen (TUK) toward research and “…the need to be academically relevant among the other theological facilities and institutions…” to the point where a smaller number of graduates are becoming ministers, and those students that want to become ministers are choosing other institutions for their theological education.

Other concerns about GKV Churches include a changing hermeneutic toward ethical issues called the “style-of-the-kingdom” approach, which lessens the supremacy of God’s Word in favor of relativistic, man-made ethics. Concerns too were expressed about how the changing hermeneutics in the GKV are leading toward “liturgical confusion and fragmentation in and among the churches,” to where charismatic thinking, making infant baptism optional, and churches holding ““Taize-services,” with no preaching, just personal meditation,” are accepted in some of the churches.

The article additionally noted “…that the GKV has withdrawn its offer of ecclesiastical fellowship to [
The Orthodox Presbyterian Church)(OPC)]”, which has been under consideration by the OPC for several years, due to the fact that: “The 77th [General Assembly] of the OPC concluded that “the assembly finds itself unable to affirm, without reservation, that the [GKV Churches] are fully Reformed.””

The magazine’s second article titled “Report of Subcommittee The Netherlands of the Committee for Relations Churches Abroad,” by the Rev. J. DeGelder, Brother G.J. Nordeman, the Rev. J. Moesker, and Dr. C. Van Dam, contains the text of Article 86 of CRC Synod Burlington 2010 dealing with concerns with the GKV, and a detailed report of the subcommittee on the issues discussed in the first article, plus several more concerns.

Canadian Reformed Churches,

Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) (GKV), Postbus 770, 3800 AT Amersfoort, Netherlands,

Reformed Churches in the Netherlands

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 607 North Easton Road, Building E, Box P, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania 19090, 215-830-0900, Fax: 215-830-0350

[4] Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in “Unholy Alliance” with World Evangelical Alliance

The Summer 2011 issue of Redeeming the Time includes an article titled “What Fellowship….” by Brad K. Gsell, which reports that after five years of collaboration, the
World Council of Churches, the Roman Catholic Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialog, and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) held a public meeting 28 June 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland to release a joint declaration titled “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct.”

The declaration’s recommendations include a statement that the three organizations “…acted in a spirit of ecumenical cooperation,” that Christian witness when “…possible …should be done ecumenically, and in consultation with representatives of other religions,” that Christians should “[c]ooperate with other religious communities engaging in interreligious advocacy,” and that, “…while everyone has a right to invite others to an understanding of their faith, it should not be exercised by violating others’…religious sensibilities.”

Gsell points out that the
Presbyterian Church in America and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church are WEA members “and thus are part of this unholy alliance.” The WEA website additionally shows that the Evangelical Assembly of Presbyterian Churches and The World Reformed Fellowship are members of the WEA.

Gsell writes of the effusions of ecumenism contained in the joint declaration:

“Yet, there is no recognition given of the terrible apostasy and heresy both in the Roman Catholic Church and the
World Council of Churches [WCC]. The WCC has had many leaders of false religions on its Assembly platform and has cooperated with them in many ways. The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialog likewise shows itself to be syncretistic and universalistic in its many letters of greetings and congratulations on the occasion of false religious celebrations….

“However, the message could not end without pointing out the true dangers “in today’s world” — “secularism and fundamentalism that are often inimical to true freedom and spiritual values, interreligious dialog can be the alternative choice by which we find the ‘golden way’ to live in peace and work together for the good of all.” It should not surprise us that those who choose to willfully disobey God’s Word should want “peace” and “love” with nearly everyone but the Bible-believer!”

+ Redeeming the Time, PO Box 26281,
Charlotte, North Carolina 28221,

Bible Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001,

+ Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 17197 North Laurel Park Drive Suite 567, Livonia, Michigan 48152, 734-742-2020, Fax: 734-742-2033,

+ World Council of Churches, 150 route de Ferney, CH-1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland, 41-22-791-6111, Fax: 41-22-791-0361

+ World Evangelical Alliance, 74 Trinity Place, Suite 1400, New York, New York 10006, 212-233-3046, Fax: 646-957-9218, Contact Form

The Vatican, Città del Vaticano, Rome, Italy, 39-6-69-88-35-11, Fax: 39-6-69-88-54-47, Contact Page

Evangelical Assembly of Presbyterian Churches, 6 Barclay Street, 4th Floor, New York, New York 10279, 212-233-3055, Contact Form

The World Reformed Fellowship, c/o 430 Montier Road, Glenside, Pennsylvania 19038, 267-243-2574, Contact Form

[5] Presbyterian Church of Ghana To Establish Counseling Centers for Homosexuals

A 9 August 2011 Joy Online article titled “Presby Church to Set Up Counseling Centres for Homosexuals” reports that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) is establishing counseling centers in Accra, Kumasi, and Akropong, Ghana, to provide counseling and therapy for homosexual PCG members.

PCG moderator the Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey recently strongly condemned homosexuality, describing it as filthy, unbiblical, and un-African, but told Joy Online that PCG plans to offer counseling services to homosexuals does not mean the PCG is softening its position on homosexuality.

Martey commented: “I have been a minister for over 33 years and I’ve ministered to homosexuals, some of my students who are now ministers have ministered to homosexuals and they have come out of it so when I am talking I know what I am talking about.” Martey said that homosexuality is the result of demonic spirits, and that the counseling center staff will pray for the clients, “and we will let them go through a vigorous spiritual exercise and if it is spiritual, it will come out, they will be free.” Martey said that the PCG will not excommunicate anyone because they are homosexual.

+ Joy Online, Post Office Box GP 17202, Accra,
Ghana, 233-302-226151, Fax: 233-302-233697,

Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Post Office Box GP 1800, Accra, Ghana, 233-21-662511, Fax: 233-21-665594,