Fremont members vote to leave Presbyterian Church USA over gay minister
After the vote, some church members wiped away tears. Others said they were relieved it was finally over.
Members of Fremont Presbyterian Church ‚Äď the largest Presbyterian Church in the Sacramento region ‚Äď ended months of speculation Sunday when they voted to leave their national denomination and join one that church leaders said reflects more traditional beliefs.
By a vote of 427 to 164, members voted to seek dismissal from the Presbyterian Church USA and join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Church leaders said their denomination had strayed from biblical adherence, most recently in July when the national denomination permitted the ordination of openly gay clergy....
A quick check of the tax assessor of Sacramento reveals that the church property at 5770 Carlson Drive, Sacramento, is worth 8.5 million dollars. I don't think the Presbyterian Church (USA) is going to let that valuable a property slip through their hands. Instead, the church will have to mount a capital funding drive to pay the bonds that will pay the price, and then be tied down to it for 20 to 30 years. I don't think it will work and the church will disappear, being sold for commercial development. Members can go to other conservative churches in the area, without having to pay the capital funding tariff.
You are responsible to know if your pastor is teaching correctly. A pastor is to help lead you in the right direction and get you to an understanding of God's Word more quickly than you would on your own. But make now mistake you are to apply the Principles of Bible Interpretation and like the Bereans by studying the Scriptures make sure everything you are told is correct!
I.M., you may be so right! The United Methodist Church, USA, made sure all the church property was put into the parent body name 30-40 years ago, because a large New England Church got fed up with the UMC and split from it, taking the Church buidlings. The UMC was going to make sure that didn't happen again--as far as the property is concerned. It would also stop the split because many mainliners are more attached to their church buildings than they are to the Bible.
It is not over with this voting process. Has anyone else thought about what the national denomination will say to the decision of this congregation? Will they say, "OK-go ahead and keep the property and join another denomination." I doubt it. A legal battle will arise over the ownership of that property, and since it is a large one (the largest in Sacramento), it will be a million-dollar issue and therefore not a pleasant sight to see. The media is eager to cover this to show that "all churches are the same."
SteveR wrote: Pastor Bob, I do not wish to justify the wickedness of those judges by the honour awarded them by the Holy Ghost. Rather I want to understand why their statements can be discounted because they were sinful. Were not David and Solomon sinful as well? Are we to enumerate their sin and discount their words as well?
The Holy Spirit infallibly guided the author of the book of Judges to record at least three lies of Samson's:
"And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man" (Judges 16:7).
"And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man" (Judges 16:11).
"And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web" (Judges 16:13).
Stating that Samson told lies or that he was a murderer or a whoremonger does not in any way undermine the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture.
There has been only one Man in history who lived a completely righteous life: our Lord Jesus Christ.
Feltham8 wrote: This is a strange exposition? Do you still believe this to be true?
Exposition of the Scripture is a job of the ministry. I am not a minister, nor did we have one except for Mr. Calvin's work. Speaking for myself, since the language was not the common vernacular, it took depend effort to hear what God would say. I was basing what I said on recall. I will give an example of what I meant. Eliphaz in chapter 4:7Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? 8Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. 9By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.
God does uphold the righteous and many times he delivers his saints whose innocence is Christ's imputed righteousness, his shed blood God's propitiated wrath, due their imputed & actual sin. But in every case will they be delivered in this life; though their deliverance is assured eternally? Having been crucified with Christ by faith, their life is hid with God in Him. Psalm 9:3-5 But His secret counsel, or way and time, that I am not privy to. Some wicked men's deeds are discovered and punished in this life, others await the final judgment. see Psalm 73
Bob Vincent wrote: Dear Steve, These men were justified by faith alone, and the Holy Spirit did do wonderful deeds through them on those occasions when they believed the promises of God. However, that does not mean that everything they did pleased God or that everything they spoke was true -- not by a long-shot. The book of Judges makes plain that Gideon turned aside from the true worship of God to idolatry, bringing destruction to his own family (Judges 8:24-27; 9); Jephthah murdered his own daughter to fulfill an impulsive, ungodly, man-made vow (Judges 11:30-31, 34-36, 39-40); And Samson was a whoremonger (16:1-3) and a liar (Judges 16:6-15). Cordially in Christ, Bob
I do not wish to justify the wickedness of those judges by the honour awarded them by the Holy Ghost. Rather I want to understand why their statements can be discounted because they were sinful. Were not David and Solomon sinful as well? Are we to enumerate their sin and discount their words as well?
SteveR wrote: Pastor Bob, The author of Hebrews by inspiration of the Holy Ghost tells us Barak, Gideon, Samson & Jephthae 'wrought righteousness' through faith, how do you know which testimony in the Book of Judges you can attribute to the Holy Ghost and which you can discount?
These men were justified by faith alone, and the Holy Spirit did do wonderful deeds through them on those occasions when they believed the promises of God. However, that does not mean that everything they did pleased God or that everything they spoke was true -- not by a long-shot.
The book of Judges makes plain that Gideon turned aside from the true worship of God to idolatry, bringing destruction to his own family (Judges 8:24-27; 9);
Jephthah murdered his own daughter to fulfill an impulsive, ungodly, man-made vow (Judges 11:30-31, 34-36, 39-40);
And Samson was a whoremonger (16:1-3) and a liar (Judges 16:6-15).
SteveR wrote: Please continue to feel welcome to thoughts discussed
After reading your comment Steve, I was thinking of a time, (years ago now) when gathered with like-minded brethren on the Lord's Day, Calvin's sermons on Job were read to us, by a gifted brother. We did long that God would send us a minister, but for us it seemed necessary we learn to look to Christ alone. The Lord did not leave or forsake us. It was my understanding at that time, that what Job's friends said was true of God but not at all times, in every case and not in Job's case. God is an Infinite God and His ways are past finding out. Deut. 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. What a battle it is at this time, that is not so dissimilar to the Book of Judges, even for a willing spirit, the flesh is weak. God's people need to cry to Him day and night for grace to fight on & for deliverance from the world, the flesh, and the devil. It is not so much the measure of our faith as the substance. If we have the faith of Christ's imputed righteous, we have what is necessary to please God.1Peter 1
Thank you Pastor Vincent, Jim, Reformed Presbyterian, and 2centsworth as I am carefully considering and gleaning from the wisdom in your replies. Please continue to feel welcome to thoughts discussed
Pastor Bob, The author of Hebrews by inspiration of the Holy Ghost tells us Barak, Gideon, Samson & Jephthae 'wrought righteousness' through faith, how do you know which testimony in the Book of Judges you can attribute to the Holy Ghost and which you can discount?
Reformed Presbyterian wrote: Do you really think that under the inspiration of the Spirit of God it was boasting?
First of all, I believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, without error in all that it teaches.
Secondly, Scripture contains some statements from ungodly persons that are recorded to delineate their errors from God's truth. The greatest set of these statements are found in the book of Job.
Satan is the first example: his lies are infallibly recorded in the first two chapters of Job.
Also, God rebukes Eliphaz in Job 42:7, "My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends: for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has." That means that we have to be very careful when quoting statements made by Job's "comforters" that we verify that they are in conformity to the rest of Scripture because God himself indicts them for error.
In keeping with the theme of the book of Judges and the wicked things that people do and say when they are acting according to "what is right in their own eyes," I think that we should read it the way that it sounds at first hearing: a bit boastful.
Bob Vincent wrote: (You wrote to) Steve, The Book of Judges functions as an Ethical Farce. Every character is deeply flawed, including Deborah, who writes a boastful poem about herself: "The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel" (Judges 5:67).
Do you really think that under the inspiration of the Spirit of God it was boasting? I would have thought it was just an acknowledgement that in answer to the cries of God's oppressed people She could state truly God had in a most unusual providence raised up a mother in Israel. Mr. Knox stated "that particular examples do establish no common law. The causes were known to God alone, why he took the spirit of wisdom and force from all men of those ages (a reference to Deborah and Huldah);and did so mightily assist women against nature and against his ordinary course, that the one he made a deliverer to his afflicted people Israel, and the other he gave not only perseverance in the true religion, when the most part of men had declined from the same, but also to her gave the spirit of prophecy, to assure King Josiah of the things which were to come." From Knox's The First Blast of the Trumpet...
Jim Lincoln wrote: Ah, Bob, where do you get that Christ didn't recognize the order in heaven as well as when he came to earth as man? If I remember correctly there has always been an order in authority in heaven as well.... I agree with your comments on women. And perhaps we're not that far apart on the Godhead, either, after looking at your final statement.
I have often read your comments with profit. But I am not sure what I wrote that implied that I believed that Christ did not recognize the order in heaven as well as when he came to earth as a man. I am sorry that I was not clearer.
There are properties that are unique, ontologically, to each person in the Godhead that play out economically in their work of redemption. That is why the Father sent the Son, instead of the Son sending the Father. It is why the Son dies on the Cross and not the Father or the Holy Spirit. It is why the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and not the other way around.
SteveR wrote: 2)How do you answer those who ordain women with justification from Gal 3:28?
Scripture is clear that women may exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but they must never do this in a way that they exercise authority over men, which they would do if they were ordained as elders.
Men and women are absolutely equal in their personhood in Christ, but that does not mean that they should have identical or equal roles. The Apostle Paul addresses this in 1 Corinthians 11, where he grounds his teaching regarding women and men in worship in the doctrine of the Trinity.
God, as he is in himself, is absolutely equal. The Father is equal to the Son. The Son is equal to the Father. The Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son, absolutely. There is no inequality in the Godhead. They are absolutely one, absolutely equal, all coeternal.
But in the work of bringing salvation to us, the fully-equal-to-the-Father, Son subordinated himself to the Father. He took on the role of a servant. He became the servant of the Father.
We must distinguish what God is in himself, ontologically, and the function of each person in the Godhead.
jud 1 This book takes its name from the thirteen men raised up to deliver Israel in the declension and disunion which followed the death of Joshua. Through these men Jehovah continued His personal government of Israel. The key-verse to the condition of Israel is (jud 17:6), "Every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Two facts stand out--the utter failure of Israel; the persistent grace of Jehovah. In the choice of the Judges is illustrated Zechariah's great word (zec 4:6), "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord"; and Paul's word (1co 1:25), "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." The book records seven apostasies, seven servitudes to seven heathen nations, seven deliverances. The spiritual parallel is found in the history of the professing church since the Apostles, in the rise of sects and the lost sense of the unity of the one body (1co 12:12,13). Judges is in two parts: 1-16 inclusive; key-verse, Judges2:18. 17-21; key-verse, Judges21:25....
SteveR wrote: 1)How do you answer the authority of Deborahs judgeship?
The Book of Judges functions as an Ethical Farce. Every character is deeply flawed, including Deborah, who writes a boastful poem about herself: "The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel" (Judges 5:67).
It is true that Barak refused to go into battle without Deborah, but there are times that I have been reluctant to preach in certain spiritually hostile situations without my wife being present, interceding with the Lord against the dark powers while I preached. That does not give my wife authority over me, but she is the godliest woman I have ever known and an amazingly effective prayer warrior. My wife does not hold office over me, either in the home or in the church, and neither did Deborah hold office over Barak, even though she spoke God's Word to him, something women can do with divine approval in both Old and New Testaments.
I will respond to your second question in a moment.
SteveR wrote: 1)How do you answer the authority of Deborahs judgeship? 2)How do you answer those who ordain women with justification from Gal 3:28?
Hope you don't mind me joining in Steve.
1) Deborah was a prophetess and not a civil administrator and would never have dreamed of seeking position in the Synagogue. A powerful separation of how God's servants may be used by Him in society and church. Also note "How many male "prophets" does the church put into the pulpit BECAUSE of OT prophets? Also should'nt the ladies of today become wives and mothers after the wonderful example of Sarah? If "example" is the relevant criterion?
2) Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. = All one in Christ. = BUT NOT all the same function and role which is the point made in "members of the body" - Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,..."