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Thread: The ERPC new denomination

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    The ERPC new denomination

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    The Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church Formed;
    New Denomination to Stand for “Authentic Protestant Gospel of Justification by Faith Alone”


    Westminster, Maryland, May 17, 2005 — An organizing committee of pastors and elders today announced formation of The Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church (ERPC). The new denomination is being established in response to conservative Presbyterians’ increasing concern over the acceptance of the teaching of justification by faith plus works, and water baptism as an instrument of salvation, in denominations such as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

    “Clearly, these teachings are un-Biblical. Scripture calls them ‘another gospel,’ ” said Dr. Clinton S. Foraker, pastor of Calvert Reformed Presbyterian Church in Calvert, Maryland and a member of the ERPC Organizing Committee. “These doctrines go by various names including Federal Vision Theology, the New Perspective on Paul, and Shepherdism. Collectively they represent the most serious and insidious attack on Protestant orthodoxy in the 500 years since the Reformation. The problems go far beyond justification and baptism, but those are the main issues. Sadly, too few people in the churches are really aware of what has been happening.

    “The Bible does not leave these matters open to question,” Foraker continued. “The Council of Jerusalem in Acts chapter fifteen, and the Apostle Paul in the first chapter of Galatians, both condemn these kinds of teachings in no uncertain terms. The problem is that many ministers in the existing denominations say they fully agree with the Scriptures and the Confessional standards of their churches. But what they are actually preaching is contrary to the Bible and the confessional standards, and they are being allowed to do it. The existing denominations are trying to preserve unity at the expense of the thing that matters most – the Gospel, how the Bible says that people are saved. In contrast, the ERPC will be unequivocally committed to the authentic Protestant Gospel of justification by faith alone.”

    Dr. Jeffery A. Sheely, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Hanover, Pennsylvania and moderator of the ERPC Organizing Committee, said, “Many of us have attempted, over many years, to address this spiritual crisis from within our denominations. Some men have been fighting this battle since the 1970s. But these efforts have been blocked by those in positions of leadership who are, sadly, either committed to these false doctrines or are willing to tolerate them.

    “Because these elements hold sway in the OPC, our congregation voted unanimously to separate from that denomination last year,” Sheely continued. “The present situation is very similar to what happened in the Presbyterian Church in the USA (PCUSA) three generations ago. In 1936, conservatives left the PCUSA to form the OPC. One of the founders of the OPC, Dr. J. Gresham Machen, said that when the liberalizing elements hold sway in a denomination, and the Gospel is at stake, conservatives have no choice but to separate and begin again. That is what we are doing. History is being repeated.”

    “There is a groundswell of interest in forming a new denomination that will be true to the Gospel,” Sheely observed. “People from around the country have contacted us to say that they are interested in affiliating with the ERPC. A number of ministers have said they would like to bring their congregations out of the existing denominations because of the compromise of the Gospel. But they don’t feel they can do it without having a new denomination to join. We’ve also heard from groups of church members who have left existing congregations because they just couldn’t live with the compromise anymore. Many of these people are interested in forming new congregations. We hope that many people – existing congregations and new ones alike – will see the ERPC as their new denominational home.”

    The ERPC Organizing Committee has been developing Articles of Affiliation and a Form of Government for the new denomination, and expects to make them available by September, 2005.

    The ERPC has established a web site, www.erpchurch.org, which includes background on the beginnings of the ERPC, information on denominational distinctives, and a discussion of future directions. Interested persons can sign up to receive periodic e-mail updates on future developments.

    For additional information, contact:

    Paul M. Elliott

    Secretary, Organizing Committee

    The Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church

    410-848-0193
    pelliott@erpchurch.org


    http://www.erpchurch.org




    Any thoughts? Does anyone know the people from these congregations?
    Greetings and salutations, el rana

    21There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

    Proverbs chapter 19

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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    Quote Originally Posted by ray kikkert
    Any thoughts?
    My first thought was this: "boy am I glad I attend a non-denominational assembly"

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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    Quote Originally Posted by melted
    My first thought was this: "boy am I glad I attend a non-denominational assembly"
    Echo! Echo! Echo!

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    In my thought, I believed that any change that brings totally glory to God is good. Knowing that no work of this earthly vessel can gain a righteous kingdom unto us.

    Rom 9:16 So then it is not of the one willing, nor of the one running, but of God, the One showing mercy.


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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    With the downward spiral it appears that the PCA is in I hope that the faithful churches will leave and join this new denomination. It will be interesting to see who joins and how it will be set up. There is a new periodical being put out as well called "The Confessional Presbyterian." http://www.cpjournal.com/
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    Let us bring this matter to the Lord in prayer that He may be glorified and that His truth be as a two edged sword.

    For the fields are ripe and by the fruit we know the tree.

    Rom 9:16 So then it is not of the one willing, nor of the one running, but of God, the One showing mercy.


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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    In 1936, conservatives left the PCUSA to form the OPC. One of the founders of the OPC, Dr. J. Gresham Machen, said that when the liberalizing elements hold sway in a denomination, and the Gospel is at stake, conservatives have no choice but to separate and begin again. That is what we are doing. History is being repeated.”
    So what is the use in starting up a "denomination" all over again? I really am starting to think that liberal elements will always take over when you try to build a large institution. The ERPC will be conservative for 40 years and they will have to split again. When does it stop? What is the answer?

    Dave


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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    I guess it stops when you run out of acronyms!


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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    Federation with other bodies does not belong to the essence of the church and is a voluntary matter. However, we don't find the churches in the New Testament acting completely independent of one another. Federation is helpful because there is wisdom in the counsel of many and we can learn from the mistakes of others. Autonomy must be maintained but both independentism and hierarchy must be avoided. New denominations must form to preserve the remnant present in the older denomination. They should not be formed to create something new but to return to the teachings of Scripture which the older denomination once taught.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    Doesn't hierarchy happen though? The Protestants may not have bishops and popes. But councils and presidents do seem to pop up within these organizations. Whenever you get large organizations like this it seems that discipline is impossible and without discipline you have liberalism and with liberalism you creep into error and that error is carried to apostasy. (Whew)

    Discipline is almost impossible in a large church and IS impossible in a organization that is made up of many churches. What is the answer?


    Dave


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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoder
    Doesn't hierarchy happen though? The Protestants may not have bishops and popes. But councils and presidents do seem to pop up within these organizations. Whenever you get large organizations like this it seems that discipline is impossible and without discipline you have liberalism and with liberalism you creep into error and that error is carried to apostasy. (Whew)

    Discipline is almost impossible in a large church and IS impossible in a organization that is made up of many churches. What is the answer?


    Dave
    Discipline is indeed possible, needful and is indeed one of the marks of the true church. Herein lies the problem. If liberalism is not put in check, liberalism then dominates the councils, classis and synods. Then when apostacy is needful to be addressed as it surely will, we get instead wimpers, stutterings, babblings, and a trumpet that ought to be sounding a clear noise is rather sounding retreat.

    The conservative within the church have allowed the liberal to make headway within the church. Conservatives in this regard , as history shows, patiently wait on their liberal brothers to put away their heterodoxy in admonishment.

    "just tolerate us" the cry of the liberal says. I have long since been an advocate of intolerance especially when you yourself are called upon to deal with it front and center. Better to shut them up swiftly and in no uncertain terms make it known to them they will find no solace with you.

    That ought not be the case, but as history proves, churches split, succesions take place, office bearers are deposed because they advocate the truth, so on and so forth. Is all lost? God forbid. It is Christ Himself that maintains the true church militant where ever she has been put. This is the history of the churches of the reformation. Some bemoan, I do not. It is needful that the deadwood be done away with.

    Schism is normally railed against those who leave, when in actual fact it is the heretical schism of leaving the truth by mother church and opting for heterodoxy that the faithful must move on. Regardless, time will evidence the fruit of either.
    Greetings and salutations, el rana

    21There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

    Proverbs chapter 19

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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    Discipline can be present or absent in the smallest or largest churches. If a small church with no discipline or little discipline begins to grow there will be no discipline. If a church's goal is to get as large as possible then there will be no discipline. However, I go to a church with over 650 members and discipline is handled very well there. It has to start on an individual basis though. People have to be holding their brothers and sisters in Christ responsible and have to develop close relationships with them. If this happens very little discipline on the part of the elders is necessary. But the elders have to be doing their job as well. Effective Biblical discipline can't take place at a synodical level if it hasn't already been dealt with properly at a local level. Hierarchy develops when people are willing to bow before either tradition or worldly thinking rather than the Scriptures or when people defend the right things but in the wrong manner. I do think there is something to be said for the independent reformed church so long as that church is willing to learn from the strengths and weaknesses of others. There are certain problems associated with independent churches and others with those who have decided to federate.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: The ERPC new denomination

    Yoder: So what is the use in starting up a "denomination" all over again? I really am starting to think that liberal elements will always take over when you try to build a large institution. The ERPC will be conservative for 40 years and they will have to split again. When does it stop? What is the answer?

    You are absolutely right! There is no answer or quick solution except faithfulness to the gospel. The Lord has never promised that ANY particular generation will see a significant recovery from the great apostasy. The new denominations will certainly fail just like the old ones, because they add excess baggage to the gospel. Ultimately, the ADDITIONS to the gospel will always win in the hearts of repbrobate (but confessing) men and women who join these churches.

    We can only pray for a TRUE reformation, which is not happening with the founding of these new denominations. They consist of a 'warming' over of the old wine! Yucch!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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