Wednesday, August 20, 2014

20 August 2014

"But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." [Ezekiel 33:6]

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  [Ephesians 6:12]

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Would a Division Be Good for the Presbyterian Church in America?

[2] ARP Moderator Calls for Synod-wide Day of Prayer and Fasting for Christians Being Persecuted and Killed by Extremists in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria

[3] New Erskine President Paul D. Kooistra Sends Letter to Alumni Concerning Upcoming Changes

[4] Assistant Pastor Skip Ryan of Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Dallas, Texas Resigns Citing Drug Abuse

Greyfriars Church of Scotland in Port of Spain, Trinidad Sold to Private Developer

[6] News from the Deepest Recesses of Hell

[7] The Thinning Blue Line

Raging Heathen and Vain Imagining

The Religion of Peace


[1] Would a Division Be Good for the Presbyterian Church in America?

By the Rev. Dr. Don K. Clements, founder and Director, Metokos Ministries -

Did not the Prophet Amos pose the question: ‘Can two walk together, except they be agreed?’

Monday July 28th was the 40th anniversary of my ordination in the PCA
, although my certificate says I was ordained in the National Presbyterian Church.
I was one of a small handful (about 10) who were ordained between December 1973 and September 1974 when our denomination had a different name. We started out as the National Presbyterian Church and change our name – twice – at the 2nd General Assembly the next September.

At the very begin there were two large groups within the PCA. One group was younger men who had recently been trained in seminaries that still taught theology as defined in the Westminster Standards. I was in that group. The other group was the more traditional former Southern Presbyterians and was basically conservative and thoroughly committed to the inerrancy of the Bible. It’s not as though the second group held to a different theology; they just had not been trained thoroughly and that brought a certain amount of tension.

The tension came to its first real crisis in 1975 at the 3rd General Assembly.
 There were a number of overtures seeking to stop Mission to the World (MTW) from working with non-Reformed groups and focus only on planting Reformed and Presbyterian churches around the world.   I chaired that Committee of Commissioners. We stayed off the floor until Friday trying to iron out a consensus. (I’ll tell the rest of the story when I write my planned book of anecdotal history of the PCA. I intend to call it: “Confessions of a Recovering ‘T.R.’)

My point about this tension is that it was almost 50-50.
 In the Committee of Commissioners the ‘Young Turks’ had the majority, but most of us saw the wisdom in finding a way to bring the two groups together, at least in this area. The votes on the floor of GA were long and greatly debated, and the first few were passed by extremely small margins, until it was clear that the house was going to end up supporting the report of the Committee of Commissioners.

Now, let’s face it – the PCA is still divided.
 Some see two groups, some three. I’ve even seen blog posts that define up to six different groups. But at the end of the day, I still see two main groups (with splinters among both). One group leans to the old ‘T.R.’ ideas (without the nasty attitudes for the most part). The other group leans to being the same ‘B.E.’s they have always been (that’s Broadly Evangelical for those not ‘in the know’).

Thus endeth today’s church history lesson. Let’s see what this history can teach us.

This division finds its way into many, many areas of the denomination.
 The area I would like to discuss in this post is the area of what happens annually at the General Assembly.

There is a large group who do not like all the convention atmosphere.
 Lots of programs, and speakers, and visitors welcoming the folks to town, and ‘official’ visitors invited to greet us from other denominations, etc. They feel this does not leave enough time for good, Biblically based and theologically addressed debate on important issues.

There is another large group who either don’t like or to some extend don’t understand all the intrinsic details of the debate on the floor and, so in an effort to keep those folks coming to GA, new rules have been drawn up limiting the time of both groups. How’s that working out for you?! Looks to me from where I sit that people are still not happy with General Assembly procedures.

So – let me set forth my proposal.
 Actually, it was not originally mine. I first heard it from my close friend and longtime mentor, TE Bob Schoof. But Bob is in heaven, so I’ll bring the proposal into discussion.

I think we should DIVIDE the General Assembly.

No, not the institution, just the annual assembly meetings.

One year, let’s call it the ‘A’ Year, would keep the current convention look.
 We would have vendors, we would have visitors, we would have reports from our Committees and Agencies (and approve their budgets), and we would have large worship services open to the public. Every TE and every church could send commissioners.   We would have everything we have now – EXCEPT for one category.

The next year (and from then on rotate) we have the ‘B’ Year.
  This assembly would be a delegated assembly. Presbyteries would elect delegates according to their size and be responsible for funding the travel expenses of their delegates. I like the idea of presbyteries with 15 or fewer churches sending one RE and one TE. Presbyteries with 16 to 20 sending two of each; 21-25 sending three of each, and presbyteries of 26 or more sending tour of each. Of course this could be tweaked and probably debated for at least two hours on the floor if it ever gets there.

At this delegated assembly
, the only business that would be handled would be in the nature of Overtures, proposed changes to the BCO and RAO, report of the CCB and SJC, and anything else that should be debated carefully. Again, some tweaking is probably needed in defining this category.

The ‘A’ Year expenses would be funded through the current method: attendance fees, vendor fees, and everyone paying their own way (through their church or otherwise).
And there should be some rules, probably in the RAO, to not allow the same men come from a Presbytery regularly for the delegated assemblies – but still give the Presbytery some choice in the matter.

Like I said, it will need some tweaking.

[Pastor Clements asks the readers of this article for their thoughts to be expressed on the article’s discussion board, and expresses the desire to perhaps prepare an overture for his Presbyterian Church in America presbytery to examine later this year.]

+ Metokos Ministries, 211 Main Street, Suite 108, Narrows, Virginia 24124, 540-726-8223,

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

[2] ARP Moderator Calls for Synod-wide Day of Prayer and Fasting for Christians Being Persecuted and Killed by Extremists in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria

The moderator of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) has called for a Synod-wide day of prayer and fasting on Sunday 24 August 2014 for the brothers and sisters in Christ in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria who are being persecuted and killed by Muslim extremists.

Sunday, 24 August 2014, will be a day of special prayer focus in ARP churches for persecuted Christians around the world followed by a day of prayer and fasting for these brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria on Monday, 25 August.

Contributions for Iraqi Refugee Relief through the Evangelical Church in Diyarbakir, Turkey are being received by the ARP’s World Witness worldwide missions organization. Contributions can be made at:

Be sure to enter “
Iraqi Refugee Relief” in the box under the contribution amount.

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

[3] New Erskine President Paul D. Kooistra Sends Letter to Alumni Concerning Upcoming Changes

A Message from Dr. Paul Kooistra

August 18, 2014

Dear Erskine Alumni and Friends:

Greetings from the president’s office at Erskine, where I am just beginning my third week on the job. My wife Sandi and I are pleased to be joining the Erskine family in the pursuit of Erskine’s historic mission of Christ-centered liberal arts and theological education. While I have had the privilege of meeting only a few of you so far, I’m looking forward to meeting more of you in the days ahead.

When I met with the Alumni Presidents Council, I promised them I would listen, and that I would be as frank with Erskine alumni as they were with me. I hope you find this letter to be in keeping with that promise.

As we approach Erskine’s 175th anniversary this fall, it is fitting that we celebrate a long and proud heritage. Yet, even as we do, Erskine faces significant challenges, many not unique to Erskine. The landscape of higher education is shifting in profound ways. Small Christian liberal arts colleges are perhaps feeling this more profoundly.

Some of Erskine’s challenges are immediate and some are long-term. One of our primary immediate challenges is demonstrating long-term financial stability to our accrediting agencies. That depends on having a realistic plan that establishes a path to achieve that sustainability.

I’ve always advised that whenever possible, a new leader’s first year should be spent learning, listening and observing, making few if any significant changes, and then implementing any necessary changes over a five-year plan. However, in working with Erskine trustees, the cabinet, and our auditors over the past several weeks, I am convinced that Erskine’s challenges demand more immediate action.

Last week the cabinet and I submitted, and the trustees approved, a comprehensive three-year plan that addresses our immediate challenges. This plan allows us to begin setting a trajectory toward long-term stability. It includes a reduction in salaries and benefits for all faculty and staff; a tuition increase to be assessed at mid-year; and a review of programs in the college and seminary, including structure and personnel. The review will be conducted in coordination with faculty committees according to our policies. We anticipate announcing any decisions regarding personnel and program changes by October 1.

While these actions do not immediately eliminate the challenges, they do position us to address them definitively over the next several years.

God has been gracious to enable Erskine to carry out its mission for 175 years. I am committed to working with senior leadership and our board to do everything we can to ensure that Erskine continues to pursue this mission into the next century and beyond. You, our valued alumni, have a vital role to play as well.

As we join together, keeping our eyes fixed on God’s provision and wisdom, we can look forward to seeing what God will do in our midst during these next few years.

Sincerely in Christ,
Paul D. Kooistra
President, Erskine College & Theological Seminary

Erskine College and Theological Seminary, Post Office Box 668, Due West, South Carolina 29639, 800-770-6936

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

[4] Assistant Pastor Skip Ryan of Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Dallas, Texas Resigns Citing Drug Abuse

An 18 August 2014 article in byFaith titled “Skip Ryan Confesses Drug Abuse, Resigns from Park Cities” reports that Assistant Pastor Skip Ryan of Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCPC) (Presbyterian Church in America) (PCA)) of Dallas, Texas, has tendered his resignation from the church and from his position as chancellor and Professor of Practical Theology at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas after confessing to drug abuse.

In a letter to the PCPC congregation, Ryan wrote:

“Instead of dealing with this relapse responsibly, I allowed it to continue and grow. Further, I obtained medicine inappropriately and wrongfully. In doing so, I betrayed the trust of the elders of our church who called me to the role of assistant pastor in 2011, and of you, the congregation of PCPC, whom I vowed to serve.”

“The remorse, regret, sadness and burden of my failures are not mine alone. I have profoundly hurt my family and you, my church family, and I have betrayed your trust again. I am so deeply sorry that I have failed to be the Christian my teaching has suggested I am. Ironically, I love our church more than I did in previous years before 2006. You have been our family, showing how much of His grace you have experienced in your own lives. I will always be thankful for the love given to me through the people and the elders of PCPC.”

In another letter to the PCPC congregation, senior pastor Mark Davis wrote:

“As a session, our elders desire to show the love, mercy, and holiness of Christ. We love Skip and Barbara and are committed to helping them walk through this challenging chapter of their lives. We are grateful for the faithfulness of our Savior and are seeking His face to know how best to care for Skip and Barbara.”

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

+ Redeemer Seminary, 6060 North Central Expressway #700, Dallas, Texas 75206, 214-528-8600,

Greyfriars Church of Scotland in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Sold to Private Developer

A 13 August 2014 Trinidad Express article titled “Greyfriars Church Sold” reports that the Greyfriars Church of Scotland in Port of Spain, Trinidad, has been sold to a private developer, and that there is concern that the new owner will tear down the historic structure which was opened for public worship in January, 1838 as a daughter church of the Glasgow, Scotland church of the same name.

Jennifer De Verteuil, a descendent of the church’s second pastor the Rev. George Brodie who served the church 1840-1875, expressed her concern about the sale and possible demolition saying:


“This is another terrible day in this land of philistines. It is like a bad dream. What will replace the church hall and the church itself? I pray not another glass-fronted monstrosity, centrally air-conditioned to match so much of what has been allowed to spoil the flavour of Port of Spain. If that were to be the case, it would be the proof that we are continuing our descent into a soulless, heartless, materialistic madhouse. My father and his brother, great grandsons of Reverend Brodie and elders in the church for much of their adult life, must be turning in their graves.

+ Trinidad Express, 35-37 Independence Square, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies, 868-623-1711, Fax: 868-627-1451,

News from the Deepest Recesses of Hell

-- Comedian Robin Williams Acknowledged He Channeled Demonic Spirits for Comedic Power

-- Atheist Richard Dawkins Claims Choosing Not to Abort Baby with Down Syndrome Is ‘Immoral’

-- British Tatler Magazine Advises Thirteen-Year-Olds to Flirt with Friends’ Parents

-- Maryland Mom Drowned Two Newborns in Toilet, Says Abortion Too Costly

+, Incorporated, 4 Family Life Lane, Front Royal, Virginia 22630, 888-678-6008, Contact Page

+ Now the End Begins, Contact Page

[7] The Thinning Blue Line

-- Ferguson, Missouri Police Charge Man with Destruction of Property for Bleeding on Their Uniforms while They Beat Him

-- How Congress Helped Create Ferguson’s Militarized Police

The Liberty Crier

+ National Journal, The Watergate, 600 New Hampshire Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20037, 202-739-8400, Fax: 202-833-8069,

Raging Heathen and Vain Imagining

Articles from the past week regarding kings and rulers setting themselves against the LORD and against his anointed:

-- U.S. Army Admits Plan to Execute Americans En Masse

-- Internment Camps: U.S. Government Field Manual Gets Leaked

-- New York Farm Owners Fined US$13,000 for Refusing to Host Lesbian Wedding

-- New York Farm Fined US$13,000 for Declining Lesbian ‘Wedding,’ Ordered to Prove Staff Training on Accommodating Homosexuals

-- Ferguson, Missouri Protesters Are Proud of Looting and Terrorizing Local Shopkeepers

-- Activists Publish Names of 31,000 Houston Citizens Who Opposed Pro-Homosexual Ordinance

-- U.S. Department of Justice Sends ‘Protest Marshals’ to ‘Coach’ the Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

-- Evil Is Now Being Poured Out on the Earth as It Was in the Late 1930s

+ The Washington Times, 3600 New York Avenue Northeast, Washington DC 20002, 202-636-3205

+ Tea Party Economist

+ Christian News Network, Post Office Box 30000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103, Contact Page

+ Now the End Begins, Contact Page

+, Post Office Box 19549, Austin, Texas 78760, 512-291-5750,

+, Incorporated, 4 Family Life Lane, Front Royal, Virginia 22630, 888-678-6008, Contact Page

+ Right Side News

+ John McTernan’s Insights, Contact Page

[9] The Religion of Peace

Articles from the past week about the religion of peace:

-- ISIS Tells Imprisoned Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran They Will Kill Him Next

-- Islamic State Beheads American Journalist Knowing Obama Will Not Retaliate

-- Islamic State Beheads Kidnapped American Journalist James Wright Foley as “Message to America”

-- Obama Makes Quickie Statement on ISIS Beheading Then Rushes Off to Play Golf

-- Was Beheaded American Journalist James Foley’s Murderer Released from Guantanamo Bay?

-- Islamic State Message to America: ‘We Will Drown All of You in Blood’

-- General Sherman's 300,000 and the Islamic Caliphate's Three Million

-- Al Qaeda: “We Will Employ Every Means to Cause the U.S. as Many Casualties as Possible, as Part of Jihad for the Sake of Allah”

-- Most Top Islamic State Jihadis Were Once Held by U.S.

-- Boko Haram on Course to Create an Islamic State in Nigeria, Destroying Christian Towns

-- Britain’s First Elected Muslim Mayor Faulted for Overplaying Islamic Card to Point of Intimidation

-- ISIS Forcefully Circumcised Assyrian Christian Men in Mosul, Sold 700 Yazidi Women at Public Slave Auction

-- Islamic State (ISIS) in Ferguson, Missouri Race Riots

-- Muslims Demand Breakaway Islamic Nation in Norway or another 9/11 Threatened

-- Libyan Jihad Militias Press Blacks into Slavery

-- Hamas Vows to Open ‘Gates of Hell’ after Possible Attempt to Assassinate Rocket Chief

-- Women Being Sold as Sex Slaves in Mosul, Iraq…You’re Not Seeing This on the News, No Worldwide Outrage, and Not a Protest in Sight

-- What Happens When you Ignore Genocidal Jihadists?

-- Muslims Claim Anchorage for Allah as Alaska’s First-Ever Mosque Is Built

-- Islamic State slaughters 700 people from tribe that defied jihadist group, 600 civilians dead

-- Yazidis Commit Mass-Suicide after Rape by Islamic State Fighters

-- Islamic State Beheads Hundreds of Members of Syrian Tribe

-- Islamic State Jihadis Kidnap More Than 3,000 Women and Girls in Two Week Rampage

-- Muslims Brutally Attacking Christians in Refugee Centers in Denmark and Germany

-- Biological Jihad in England Has Been Overwhelmingly Successful

-- Genocide in Iraq

-- How Dissimulation about Islam is Fuelling Genocide in the Middle East

-- United Nations Condemns ISIS for Raping Teenage Boys

-- Devout Muslim Islamic State Crucifies, Slaughters Innocents in East Syria

+ Now the End Begins, Contact Page

+ Atlas Shrugs,

+ Middle East Forum, 1500 Walnut Street, Suite 1050, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102,

+ Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch

+ BizPac Review, 224 Datura Street, Suite 1114, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401, Contact Page

+ Christian Today, 200 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YB, England, 020-7378-5705

+ The Telegraph, Victory House, Meeting House Lane, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TT, England, 0800-316-6977,

+ The Algemeiner Journal, Post Office Box 250746, BrooklynNew York 11225, 718-771-0400, Fax: 718-771-0308, Contact Page

+ Jews News, Contact Page

+ American Center for Law and Justice, Post Office Box 90555, Washington DC 20090, 757-226-2489, Fax: 757-226-2836

+ Israel National News, Post Office Box 388, Bet El, D. N. Mizrach Binyamin, 90628, Israel, 972-2-997-4857, Contact Page

+ The Chief End of Man Blog

+ FrontPage Magazine, Post Office Box 55089, Sherman Oaks, California 91499, Contact Page