Doctrinal Aberration, Signs of Abuse, and
Negligence in the Reformed Church



Home | Translation | About | Browse | Help | Site Map | Contact


"The Christ is the only One truly called. . . . The flesh has always struggled against Him, as we see when we survey the history of God's people. The struggle was especially acute at Golgotha." -- S.G. De Graaf

In the final analysis, all modern ills, spiritual and temporal, are traceable to our continuing departure from the principles of the Second Reformation. . . . In particular, I am convinced that the Lord will not bless a church at peace with his enemies. Our departure from truth has led to our undernourished condition as a church; truth, as Thornwell argued, is the only food that the soul can digest.
It does no good to blame society or the church for our deficiencies before the Lord because Christ holds men, not churches and states, accountable. In the words of Hugh Miller, "Churches, however false and detestable, are never to be summoned to the bar of judgment. . . . To Christ, as his head and king, must every man render an account."
The great heresy of our times is that all men are children of God. Those within the church have lost their identity as a people of God, united in spirit and purpose. We have adopted the half-truths of our fathers for which Judah faced punishment: "Because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after which their fathers have walked" (Amos 2:4b). Nevertheless, Christ loves his church, and he will see to it that his bride is prepared (Ephesians 5:27) for the great banquet. Base on the history of God's people, the needed corrections will result from either prayer or persecution, leading the people to renew their covenant promises. Let us pray that God's kingdom come, and let us covenant to fulfill our obligations to be his people. When persecution comes, let us pray that we would stand as firm as did the Scottish Covenanters. When covenanting comes, let us praise the Lord, for only in him will we stand firm. Let us ever strive to make it possible for our children to utter one of James Nisbet's praises, "O my soul! Bless and praise the Lord that I was born in a land where the glad tidings of the everlasting gospel are published and pressed with so much purity and plainness." This should be our prayer, "Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved" (Psalm 80:3). -- Edwin Nesbit Moore, from the conclusion to Our Covenant Heritage

The lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David, to name a few, were far from ideal. But God is in absolute control, and uses everything, even the actions of the faithless, the sinful, and the weak to accomplish his purposes.

Pride setteth up the wisdom of a foolish man against the infinite wisdom of God; it makes men presume to judge their Judge, and judge his laws, before they understand them; and to quarrel with all that they find unsuitable to their own conceits; and say, How improbable is this or that! and how can these things be? . . . Proud men think they could mend God's word, and they could better have ordered matters in the world, and for the church, and for themselves, and for their friends, than the providence of God hath done. -- Richard Baxter

Take heed of pride, which will make you dote upon your own conceits, and cause you to slight the weightiest reasons that are brought by others, for your conviction. And if once you have espoused an error, it will engage all your wit, and zeal, and diligence to maintain it; it will make you uncharitable ;and furious against all that cross you in your way; and so make you either persecutors, (if you stand on the higher ground,) or sect leaders, or church dividers, and turbulent and censorious, if you are on the lower ground. There is very great reason in Paul's advice for the choice of a bishop, 1 Tim. iii. 6, "Not a novice; lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. . . ." -- Richard Baxter

"At its General Assembly last week [August 2003], the Orthodox Presbyterian Church reversed the conviction of an elder who had been convicted of teaching justification by faith and works contrary to the Scriptures and the Confession. There was no change in the elder's views; the OPC GA simply overturned his conviction.
"Two prominent men, whose names you would immediately recognize, had this to say about the OPC decision:
" `The OPC is done for! When a Reformed denomination formally approves an elder's theology that maintains that I must appear before God someday with my tattered covenant faithfulness in tow in addition to the perfect righteousness of Christ in order to be justified before God, that denomination has apostatized. How long will it be before the PCA does the same thing'?"
"and
" `Thanks for forwarding the e-mail concerning the Kinnaird issue. I had known of Kinnaird's heretical teachings.
`If the report of the OPC decision is correct, the OPC has now fallen away from the gospel fundamentally and manifests itself as a false church. Where can I find the decision of the OPC in full? Grievous. Almost unbelievable, even though by this time in my ministry I have braced myself to expect anything.
`And this damnable subterfuge that it is defending the Reformed position against the Lutheran, Calvin against Luther! Is there anyone in the OPC who not only will speak out boldly but say, "Here I stand"?"
`The answer to that last question is, of course, that to say ``Here I stand'' would be ``Lutheran,'' and therefore unwelcome in the OPC.'
"The church that Machen started in 1936 is no more. The irrational, dialectical theology that has plagued the OPC for decades has finally ended in apostasy. The trail of error that leads from Cornelius Van Til and John Murray through Norman Shepherd (whom Van Til defended in the OPC 20-some years ago), is not difficult to trace, yet there are many dreamers who still deny it.
"God is judging America. Denominations that once spoke the Gospel are now preaching another gospel, which is not another.
"May God strengthen his remnant that remains. May he keep them safe and give them courage as witnesses to the truth that men, especially churchmen, despise: Salvation by a righteousness wholly outside the believing sinner." -- John Robbins, The Trinity Foundation, July 5, 2003, http://www.trinityfoundation.org/

True, the state as the policeman can be corrupt; in fact, if the society as a whole is corrupt, the state will also be corrupt. In a healthy and godly society, the state will function successfully to restrain the minority of evil-doers. The key to the situation is not the state but the religious health of the society. -- Rousas John Rushdoony, in Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 470

A religious doctrine involves practical consequences so important, and its effects upon individual and social life are so infallible and so profound, that it can never be contemplated with indifference by the mass of society, and much less by their rulers. We pray you to observe, amongst other things, that the stronger the feeling of dependence to which religion reduces the individual, the more she invests him, on the other hand, with a lofty independence. All religion is freedom. By introducing us into the service of one master, she emancipates us from the dominion of all others. If she does not altogether do away with dependencies of another order, she transforms them from absolute into relative ones. We still belong to society, we are perhaps linked to it by closer ties than before; but it is in a mediate manner, for man cannot serve two masters. It is this independence which exasperates the rulers of this world, and indeed, for the most part, all those who do not share in it. It is this sacred retreat of liberty which they would invade -- this freedom, of which they would deprive us; as if the numerous sacrifices which from time to time liberty has made for the common weal were insufficient, as if it were not enough, or rather as if it were nothing, for us to have devoted all our bodily powers and all our worldly goods to the service of society, so long as this offering is not completed by the sacrifice of the soul. It is spiritual domination, dominion over the soul, of which despotism, whether of princes or of the people, is especially desirous. Thus, when a tyrant has bereft a nation of all its liberties, until throughout the realm his will has become law, his ambition having nothing else wherewith to satiate its appetite, directs itself against religion. Thencefowward, having subjugated the bodies of men, he directs his attacks against their souls. It is because he cannot but be sensible that dominion over souls -- what do you say? -- over one single soul, is as much superior to that over bodies, as the soul itself is superior to its envelope of clay. He cannot endure the humiliation of knowing that there is a sphere in which the most obscure man, by the force of sympathy alone, wields a greater power than his own. A deep-rooted and bitter feeling of envy takes possession of him; he can enjoy no more repose, until moral force shall have yielded to the pressure of physical force -- until the second Mordecai shall have bowed down to this second Haman -- until the soul, by dethroning itself, shall have delivered him from this odious rivalry. And should he encounter in this enterprise an unlooked-for resistance, his impatience becomes fury, and he destroys those whom he cannot subdue. This has been the origin of many religious persecutions, and it discloses the secret motives of those atrocities by which some have been distinguished.
It does not follow, however, that all the evils with which the world has been inundated in the name of religion, are to be referred to this cause alone. They have originated in that pre-eminently just idea, that religion gives the true signification of every man, and of the whole of society; that there is nothing more deeply seated in us, nothing which more decisively determines what we are; and that to declare what we believe, is at the same time, and as a matter of necessity, to declare what we wish to be. The influence of a lordly spirit apart, it is not astonishing that the social power has everywhere, more or less, attempted to regulate the faith of the citizens and the instructions of the priesthood. Nor is it surprising that the priesthood, in aid of the state, have themselves attempted to dictate in a matter of this importance. For the suppression of this evil, the assistance of ages has been necessary, and this has not proved sufficient; the veto of public opinion has been also needed. Perhaps in certain countries something further has been required -- the progress of religious indifference. But nowhere is the fire extinguished, because nowhere is man changed; he will never witness unmoved, the energetic manifestation of religious principle; he may be indulgent to philosophical religions, or to religious philosophy, which penetrates not to the very sources of will and of action; but he will be, with his own full knowledge and consent, severe upon genuine faith. And why? because man possessing genuine faith, rises to his highest elevation; an elevation to which it is necessary that others should rise also, not indeed to rule over him (for this is impossible), but to treat with him, and to be at peace together. This is the true position and individuality of each renewed man, and everything is put in requisition to annul, subdue, and modify it.
We dwell no longer upon these different attempts, but return to the principle. We find that in the judgment of the community, the religious conviction of a man moulds his character, estimates his worth, and fortels his life. It is the invisible source of many efforts, and often of much violence. Well, then, we infer unhesitatingly, that the faith of a member of society cannot remain either a mystery or a matter of doubt to those who surround him. If, as we have sought to establish a former part of this work, the spiritual unity of society, its reality in the elevated sense of that word, depends on the mutual interchange of sentiments; and if that individual only can be said to belong to the community, with whose character she is acquainted, it must be especially in the sphere of religious convictions that this truth is apparent; we may even go further, and say, that although we might keep our sentiments on other subjects to ourselves, those that we entertain respecting religion could not be concealed. For our religious convictions embue us so thoroughly and practically, that society knows not what she possesses in us, except as she knows what we are with respect to God.
This fact is more conspicuous, we admit, with reference to the Christian religion than to any other. In comparison with it, all other systems of faith are superficial; and we may remark in passing, that this is the reason why Christianity has drawn upon itself, and even excited among its followers, more intolerance than any other religion. The experimental character of its doctrines, coming in contact with the diverse passions of the human heart, has enkindled in the midst of society an active and devouring flame; and its profession has occasioned a host of outrages and calamities. Christianity is radical in the highest degree; radical in morals. It uproots one life, it implants another. Of all religions, it alone is in direct hostility with human nature in its fallen condition, as it is also the only religion which coincides with that same nature in all that sin has not polluted; at once the most human, and the least human of all systems; appearing to grant us everything, and to refuse us everything, but, in reality, granting everything to humanity, and refusing everything to sin. No religion consequently so effectually reforms the moral being; in such a manner, that the complexion of our life and conduct depends on whether we are or are not Christians, and upon what sort of Christians we are.
We should find it impracticable to attempt to distinguish between the doctrines of Christianity and its morals; between what is called its natural and universal morality, and its peculiar and arbitrary doctrines. Christian doctrine is morality -- Christian morality; to wish to distinguish between the two is to desire to divide a stream from its source. Christian doctrine is no sooner received than it regulates the conduct; the character of God becomes a model for man; what God is, man ought to be; and inasmuch as God in the Scriptures is invested with attributes which belong not to human nature, so also man, by means of the Gospel, is invested with a character which nature had not impressed upon him; it makes him a new man in every sense of the term: a man peculiar and extraordinary in the eyes of nature, but in every case a man, who, by the judgment of that very nature, is approved and esteemed. To declare our opinion upon Christian doctrine avails much; it is in fact to profess certain principle of conduct, and to attach ourselves to one or another system of morality; it is to reveal our inward man, to publish the operations of conscience; it is to give the standard of our judgments, and the rule of our actions.
We do well to avow it: whenever we revert to the considerations which most forcibly recommend a duty, we revert to the greatest difficulties in the way of its accomplishment; indeed, in most cases, to point out the motive, is to recognize the difficulty. In the present case, for example, nothing can render candour more difficult than that which enforces its obligation. It is just because such a religious doctrine, of necessity involves such a principle of morality, and such a rule of conduct; it is precisely because it is a disclosure of inward man, that so many persons are averse to declare to what doctrine they adhere. And it is sometimes because their opinion condemns them, sometimes because it elevates them, not so much in itself as in the characteristics and practical consequences with which public opinion has invested it. It is painful to excite repugnance or aversion, and it is sometimes still more painful to excite expectations which we feel but too conscious we cannot fulfil. If it were not so, why should we make a secret of our religious opinions, when we are at no pains to conceal any other? Why, when we are open and unreserved upon all the rest, should we not allow free expression to our thoughts upon this, the noblest of subjects? Why should communications of this nature be so generally regarded as the acme of candour and the pledge of intimacy? Why is there no real union, no true communion of soul, until both parties have expressed what they think, and above all, what they feel upon invisible and infinite subjects? Why do beings long united by the closest ties of affection, as soon as spiritual communion is formed between them, discover with surprise, that up to that period they had really never known, understood, or loved each other? -- that, as Montaigne expresses it, there was wanting to their friendship `a certain inexplicable, yet essential power, the mediatrix of that union;' or that (as is really the fact) `God is the true medium of true friendship?' All such instance go to confirm the truth of what we have said. A great effect supposes a powerful force -- a powerful force is employed only against a formidable resistance, and a formidable resistance has no place but in opposition to an urgent necessity. Here the necessity is a moral one -- it is a duty; an evident, and urgent, but a painful duty; for the consequences, even limiting them to their narrowest range, and considering none but those which are developed in the bosom of private relations, these consequences are, it must be confessed, of a startling character.
Nevertheless, if regarded only in the light of morality and natural reason, this candour, which appears so difficult and dangerous, would be found to possess real advantages, whilst reserve would have none but what are false and deceptive. Candour would break the ice which dissimulation thickens and consolidates from day to day; it would procure a more lasting peace; it would put the seal to confidence and friendship. You dread a storm: any storm would be preferable to the dead calm in which you live, -- a calm without peace and without security; for since no one can suppose that you are altogether destitute of religious prepossessions, that you have not some inward conviction to disclose, it will become a matter either of dread or of desire that you should disclose it. This very feeling of anxiety will be an evil in your social relations; if your connexions are desirous of it, when you are averse to making it, their importunity will disturb your peace; on the contrary, if they are averse to its manifestation, when you yourself desire it, they will avoid your company; there will of necessity be in your social relations something painful, constrained, and, in the end, insupportable. If they neither desire nor fear it, it must be because they are not acquainted with your character, and have no desire to become so, because they are not solicitous about your most important interests -- in other words, because they do not love you. And as between a mind occupied with spiritual things and one that is not, there is a wide gulf fixed, as true intimacy between two persons so different is altogether impossible, it is the duty of the more serious of the two, to sound the mind of his friend by disclosing his own, to provide a declaration by declaring himself. Every connexion founded upon a voluntary and designedly prolonged misunderstanding, every factitious union between minds pursuing directly opposite courses, is contrary to human dignity. . . . -- Alexander Vinet (1797-1847), and Charles Theodore Jones (translator), An Essay on the Profession of Personal Religious Conviction, pp. 73-81

"I see this tendency to lean on man everywhere. I know no branch of the Protestant Church of Christ which does not require to be cautioned upon the point. It is a snare, for example, to the English Episcopalian to make idols of Bishop Pearson and `the Judicious Hooker.' It is a snare to the Scotch Presbyterian to pin his faith on John Knox, the Covenanters, and Dr. Chalmers. It is a snare to the Methodists in our day to worship the memory of John Wesley. It is a snare to the Independent to see no fault in any opinion of Owen and Dodderidge. It is a snare to the Baptist to exaggerate the wisdom of Gill and Fuller and Robert Hall. All these are snares, and into these snares how many fall!
"Infallibility is not to be found in the early fathers, but in the Bible.
"What are the best of ministers but men -- dust, ashes, and clay -- men of like passions with ourselves, men exposed to temptations, men liable to weaknesses and infirmities?
"It is amazing to observe how vast a man's intellectual attainments may be, and yet how little he may know of the grace of God.
"We have no right to expect anything but the pure Gospel of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated -- the same Gospel that was taught by the Apostles -- to do good to the souls of men.
"Peace without truth is a false peace; it is the very peace of the devil. Unity without the Gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of Hell.
"False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism.
"It was controversy that won the battle of Protestant Reformation.
"Three things there are which men never ought to trifle with -- a little poison, a little false doctrine, and a little sin.
"A church may have good forms and regularly ordained ministers, and the sacraments properly administered, but a church will not see conversion of souls going on under its pulpits when this doctrine [Justification by Faith]is not plainly preached.
"Once let a man get wrong about justification, and he will bid a long farewell to comfort, to peace, to lively hope, to anything like assurance in his Christianity. An error here is a worm at the root.
"An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a church.
"True Gospel in the pulpit, true Gospel in every Religious Society we support, true Gospel in the books we read, true Gospel in the friends we keep company with -- let this be our aim, and never let us be ashamed to let men see that it is so.
"Let the meekness of St. Peter in taking a reproof be as much our example as the boldness of St. Paul in reproving." -- J.C. Ryle, "The Fallibility of Ministers" in Warning to the Churches, pp. 93-121.

"The church that Machen started in 1936 is no more [The Orthodox Presbyterian Church]. The irrational, dialectical theology that has plagued the OPC for decades has finally ended in apostasy. The trail of error that leads from Cornelius Van Til and John Murray through Norman Shepherd (whom Van Til defended in the OPC 20-some years ago), is not difficult to trace, yet there are many dreamers who still deny it.
"God is judging America. Denominations that once spoke the Gospel are now preaching another gospel, which is not another.
"May God strengthen his remnant that remains. May he keep them safe and give them courage as witnesses to the truth that men, especially churchmen, despise: Salvation by a righteousness wholly outside the believing sinner." -- John W. Robbins, writing July 5, 2003, after the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church reversed the conviction of an elder [Kinnaird] who had been convicted of teaching justification by faith and works contrary to the Scriptures and the Confession. There was no change in the elder's views; the OPC GA simply overturned his conviction.

"In too many churchmen we find the exemption of the state from the law, and from judgment in terms of the law. The roots of this position go back to pagan divinization of the state. [See Rushdoony, Christianity and the State] Practically, where men exempt the state from the law of God, they make it an instrument of Satan.
"The law is the law for everyone. If the citizen has no moral right to steal, neither does the state. If the citizen cannot expropriate his neighbor's property, neither can the state. `Thou shalt not steal' applies to corporations, governments, and men equally. It forbids socialism, communism, [fascism,] inflation, bad checks, and every other form of theft. It forbids false advertising, and dishonest processing and adulteration of foods. It forbids featherbedding by workers' associations, and it forbids the cheating of workers. All men, their institutions, corporations, and forms of government, are equally under the law of God. The reduction of the Ten Commandments to the status of a moral code only [from that of a Biblical criminal code] is the destruction of the law.
"If all authority is not under God, then, instead of a universe, we have a multiverse; instead of one Creator and Law-giver, we have many gods acting as creators and law-givers in their realms. If all authority comes from God, then all authority is plainly under God's law-word, and entirely subject to it. `Thou shalt not steal' cannot then be restricted to the individual man, but must be applied to every area of life. . . .
"In the 20th century, educators have spoken of the university at times as a multiversity, having room for a variety of ideas and faiths. The teaching of witchcraft, astrology [Astrology is being considered as a college major in California state colleges. (September 2003)], and related concepts by some schools is related to this concept of the multiversity. High schools in a major city have introduced yoga and palmistry. If the world is a multiverse, then all things are permissible except a sovereign God and a universal law-order. Hence our polytheistic world is tolerant of almost every kind of belief except orthodox Christianity. A universal law-order and a sovereign God rule out the possibility of a polytheistic multiverse. But, because the sovereign and triune God of Scripture rules, there is no multiverse, but rather a universe and a unified law-order.
"The law, ~`Thou shalt not steal,' applies therefore not only to the state but to the church as well. Where the church does not faithfully teach the whole counsel of God, His entire law-word, it is then plainly guilty of theft. It is robbing the people and the social order of its vital nerve; it is undercutting all authority when it limits the law on which all authority rests.
"As Nymeyer has observed `What gold is to money, the law of God is to liberty.' (Frederick Nymeyer, Progressive Calvinism (South Holland, IL: Libertarian Press, 1957), III, 209.) Without the law of God, men, unions, corporations, and states feel free to be a law unto themselves, to play god. Failure to teach the law of God is thus to pave the way for tyranny.
"James Madison said of God's law:

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." -- James Madison, "The father of our Constitution"
The above quote is from Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, pp. 539-541.

A Christian acting out his Christianity, could reasonably expect to be otherwise, to be better treated than his Lord, only on one or other of the two following suppositions, neither of which can be admitted for a moment. If you could avoid, more than he did, unnecessary collision with the world -- if you could be more harmless and blameless than he was -- or if you were wiser than he was, and could find out a better way of reconciling faithfulness to God with living on good terms with the world -- then might you, doing your duty as a Christian, expect to escape the hatred and persecution which was his portion. Professing Christians take but too frequently another way of it. They endeavour to purchase peace with the world at the expense of concealing truth and neglecting duty. In that way the servant may not share in his Lord's fortunes, but it is by becoming an unfaithful servant. But a consistent Christian counts it as a most reasonable thing that he should be as his Master in the estimation of the world; and doing his duty, his expectation is not likely to fail of being realized." -- John Brown (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, III:375

It is this author's contention that the modern churches have let go of this important piece of the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Thereby they have delivered the church, not to kings as nursing fathers, but to the cruel civil domination of the enemies of the true religion, their sheep being taught that they must submit passively to every pretended civil authority as the ordinance of God. By this defection, these leaders of the flock have also undermined the magistracy, allowing and even encouraging wicked men to remove this blessed ordinance from its foundation in God its creator, and from its subjection to Christ His King, thereby directly opposing God's benevolent ends in instituting civil government: "Thus have [they] made the commandment of God of none effect by [their] tradition. . . . teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:6, 9). Furthermore, by their false teaching regarding civil government, they have made themselves guilty of the very sin of which we are often accused: opposing the ordinance of God. If this wasn't enough, however, consider that their sin is worse than that of the garden variety rebel, inasmuch as their opposition to God's institution is not so much practical as it is principal; and because of their position as teachers and guides of the flock of God. "Be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. . . . For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth" (James 3:1; II Corinthians 13:8). -- Greg Price (Biblical Civil Government Verses the Beast, p. 64)

It is amazing to observe how vast a man's intellectual attainments may be, and yet how little he may know of the grace of God. -- J.C. Ryle, "The Fallibility of Ministers" in Warning to the Churches, pp. 93-121.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

No greater mischief can happen to a Christian people than to have God's Word taken from them, or falsified, so that they no longer have it pure and clear. God grant we and our descendants be not witnesses to such a calamity. -- Martin Luther in Table Talk

With regard to the Christian Ministry as an order in Christ's church, they are represented under the figure of a set of servants, constituted by the master, stewards, and rulers over his household, during his absence.
They are "servants," not lords. "We preach," says the apostle, "not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus's sake." (2 Corinthians 4:5) `We do not announce ourselves to you as your masters. We proclaim Christ Jesus to be the Master, and mindful of his words, "One is your Master, even Christ," (Matthew 23:8) we announce ourselves to you not your masters, but your servants for his sake. We seek not to make you our property that we may rule over you, but dictating to your faith, and controlling your conduct; but considering you as his unalienable property, which he "purchased with his won blood," (Acts 20:28) and which having so dearly bought he highly values, we wish to serve Him by ministering to your improvements.' This is a view of the sacred office with which they who fill it cannot be too deeply impressed. They are Christ's servants. They have no authority, separate from his authority. To promulgate and administer his laws, not to make and execute laws of their own, is their legitimate province. . . .
It is of importance, however, to remark, that though called to office by the instrumentality of their brethren, their authority is derived, not from them, but from their Master: by him, not by them, are they to be directed in the performance of their duties, and to him, not to them, are they accountable for the manner in which they discharge them. It is his doctrine they are to teach -- his laws they are to administer. The steward or overseer, though chosen, if such be the appointment of the Master, by his fellow-servants, is to be guided in managing the household, not by their will, but by the will of their common Lord. The minister of Christ who forgets this, and seeks in his official proceedings primarily to please those who have been committed to his charge, has lost sight of his high character as a servant of Christ. A fitter object of mingled blame, contempt, and pity, does not exist, than a man, bearing the name of a christian minister, who, instead of fearlessly proclaiming and impartially administering the laws of Christ, is the slave and the executioner of the prejudices of his people.
But though the Christian minister is not to be ruled by those whom he is appointed to rule -- is not to take laws from those to whom he is appointed to declare the law, he is never to forget -- what the very names of his office are all intended and fitted to keep constantly before his mind -- that he holds office in the church, not for his own aggrandizement and selfish interests, but for the benefit of his brethren -- not to gratify his own ambition or love of ease, but to promote their spiritual improvement, to secure their ultimate salvation; and under the influence of this conviction, like the steward who finds that in promoting his mater's interest, and the happiness of his fellow-servants, in the good order of the household, it is of great importance to be on good terms with those under his care, he will endeavour to "please his brethren to edification;" nay, he will seek to "please all men in all things, not seeking his own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved." (1 Corinthians 10:33) Such is the view there given us of the general nature and design of the christian ministry. -- John Brown (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I:389-391

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
-- The Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:19, 20)

There is an eerie similarity between the traits of authentic Christian discipleship and the traits of cultic discipleship. Of course, the difference between authentic Christianity fellowship and a cult is who is in control. If Christ is not in control, then the church becomes nothing more than an attempt to control men which equates to enslavement and a stealing of the soul. In pseudo-Christian movements leadership deifies itself and commands worship, control, and influence in the lives of subjects. Fallen man has deified his kings since the beginning of recorded history. Unfortunately the tendency continues in the church today. (See R.J. Rushdoony, Christianity and the State) Lamentably, it appears that the majority would prefer to have it that way.

But the urge to dominion does not disappear simply because the church does not speak of it. Instead, it reappears as an ugly and sinful struggle for power in the church; rightful dominion being neglected or denied, sinful dominion begins then to emerge. The life of the church becomes then an ugly struggle over meaningless trifles in which the sole purpose is sinful power and dominion. All too often this sinful urge to dominion is masked with hypocritical meekness.
It is very necessary therefore to recognize that the urge to dominion is God-given and is basic to the nature of man. -- Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 450

The criticism and rejection of the work of others by Christian leaders seems to often have its root cause in one's desire for preeminence. Pride and lust for power would tempt one to heretical departures from sound doctrine. Witness John Wesley's split with George Whitefield as presented by Arnold Dallimore in GEORGE WHITEFIELD.

G.K. Chesterton summed up well this sorry state of affairs by declaring, "The modern world is full of old Christian virtues gone mad." This statement reveals how man, duped by this enemy, misapplies and misappropriates the virtues of God and Christianity to mask his evil. The bottom line, according to Proverbs 12:10b, "But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." -- Rusty Lee Thomas

To be singular is no proof of being right. He is a fool who is proud of singularity for its own sake. The man who, from mere humour or some worse principle, will not accord with his fellow-men, but must have a way of his own, if he suffer for his pertinacity, may well be ashamed. But if a minority is treated with contumely or cruelty by a majority, because the minority maintain truth and do justice, while the majority support error and act iniquitously, were does the disgrace light? The dissimilarity, the opposition, of the opinions and conduct of Christians to those of the world, is not the result of caprice or a fondness for singularity. If they are "not of the world," it is "even as their Master was not of the world." The singularity of their character and manners is of the same general description as his. He was in the world, not following its course, but doing the will of his Father in heaven. They are in the world, not following its course, but doing the will of their Master in heaven. The world being what it is, is naturally dissatisfied with them, and manifests its dissatisfaction according to its nature. It cannot love the, it must hate them. -- John Brown (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, III:390

An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a church. -- J.C. Ryle, "The Fallibility of Ministers" in Warning to the Churches, pp. 93-121.

A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:30,31) See the annotation in The Reformation Study Bible.

For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. (Romans 2:24. See Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:21-23)

The Church has never been perfect. Far from it. But the total record should be examined. In doing so, the good far, far outweighs the bad. Besides, Christian belief is in Christ, not in Christians. . . .
Genuine Christianity must be distinguished from nominal Christianity. Some people have called themselves "Christians" who have lived in total opposition to the principles and teachings of the Master from Nazareth. But when we distinguish between name and reality, we see that genuine Christianity has been an unmixed blessing on the world. . . .
Christianity is comprised of those who have repented of their sins and truly believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and their Lord. In times past Christendom was comprised of those people living in "Christian" territories. Today, Christendom is comprised of true Christians and those professing Christians who have never experienced the saving grace of Christ. Many members of Christendom have lived lives that were totally unworthy of the name Christian. When people are unregenerate -- that is, if their hearts are not changed by Christ -- they are prone to do all sorts of ungodly and inhuman things. It doesn't matter whether they're atheistic Communists or clerics in the Church. And in the case of unregenerate Church Leaders, their evil actions have brought the blame of history upon Christianity.
There is a Church visible (Christendom) and there is a Church invisible (true Christianity). . . . The Bible points out that the visible Church is not the real Church of Christ. The real Church of Christ is invisible, and it consists of all who truly belong to God as His elect -- all those who will ever be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Judas Iscariot was a member of the visible Church of Christ, but not the invisible. . . .
The devil has been able to infiltrate the Church [Matthew 13:24-30, 37-39]. Thus, as Jesus forewarned, the Church contains believers and nonbelievers alike. . . .
While Jesus told us to love our neighbor and even our enemies, He did predict that Christianity would prove divisive per se [Luke 12:51-53]. . . .
Now, the Scripture teaches we are to be at peace will all, inasmuch as it is up to us (Romans 12:18). But we are to put Christ first in our lives . . . True faith can elicit a hostile reaction, even when practiced with a gentle and humble spirit. The division that Christ talked about here is the natural outworking of unbelief reacting against godliness, or belief reacting against ungodliness. . . . -- D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born, pp. 205, 206, 209, 210, 206

Selfishness and pride will blind even the gifted and learned to the truth. Lust for power and the will to play God will blind us to the truth. Intense nationalistic pride, political bent, alienation during secular schooling, or personal ambitions blind us to the "evident connection between Absolute Truth, sovereign authority, holiness, life, loving obedience, moral behavior, sanctification, justice, freedom (political, economic, and individual), social stability, and real progress. . . ." -- Preface, The Web Edition of Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal.

When people are unregenerate -- that is, if their hearts are not changed by Christ -- they are prone to do all sorts of ungodly and inhuman things. It doesn't matter whether they're atheistic Communists or clerics in the Church. And in the case of unregenerate Church Leaders, their evil actions have brought the blame of history upon Christianity.
There is a Church visible (Christendom) and there is a Church invisible (true Christianity). . . . The Bible points out that the visible Church is not the real Church of Christ. The real Church of Christ is invisible, and it consists of all who truly belong to God as His elect -- all those who will ever be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Judas Iscariot was a member of the visible Church of Christ, but not the invisible. . . .
The devil has been able to infiltrate the Church [Matthew 13:24-30, 37-39]. Thus, as Jesus forewarned, the Church contains believers and nonbelievers alike. . . . -- D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born, pp. 205, 206, 209, 210, 206

There is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianity was born for endurance; not an exotic, but hardy plant, braced by the keen wind; not languid, nor childish, nor cowardly. It walks with strong step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the firm word of condemnation against error, nor to raise it's voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext it is not of this world; it does not shrink from giving honest reproof, lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin sin, in whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not to discharge an explicit duty. Let us not misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat a viper may come forth; but we shake it off and feel no harm. The religion of both the Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity.... It is a betrayal of truth and righteousness. I know that charity covers a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit; crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height of attainment. -- Horatius Bonar (1818-1889

"Thus, the hierarchy of privilege descends from the large gainers from despotism, to the middling and small gainers, and finally down to the mass of the people who falsely think they gain from the receipt of petty favors. In this way the subjects are divided, and a great portion of them induced to cleave to the ruler, 'just as, in order to split wood, one has to use a wedge of the wood itself.' Of course, the train of the tyrant's retinue and soldiers suffer at their leader's hands, but they 'can be led to endure evil if permitted to commit it, not against him who exploits them, but against those who like themselves submit, but are helpless.' In short, in return for its own subjection, this order of subordinates is permitted to oppress the rest of the public.[47] (La Bo?tie, pp. 79-80)"

Now what? [July 2002, in face of the fraudulent accounting practices of Arthur Anderson, Enron, Adelphia, ImClone, WorldCom, Global Communications, Tyco, Xerox, and Merck, and others, costing shareholders and employees multiplied billions of dollars in losses] Do we look to our churches for moral guidance or, heaven forbid, help in addressing the greatest financial and moral rip-off in American history? I don't think so. They are out "saving souls" these days, advocating home schooling, and encouraging "tithing " from nouveau riche middle managers that support and carry-out the corrupt corporate culture of today. Where have they been on this issue that is certainly the "family values" issue of all family values issue! Family savings are being destroyed! -- An AOL member



Signs of Doctrinal Aberration, Negligence, and Abuse in the Reformed Church

  1. Ideas have consequences. See below: Singer, C. Gregg, Theological Interpretation of American History

  2. The use of corrupted translations of The Holy Bible. All modern translations except the AKJV, NKJV, and MKJV (each modified literal translations), attack the "most basic doctrine of all, divine inspiration of the text," and put at risk or weaken other cardinal Christian doctrine such as Eternal Judgment, The Ascension, and The Deity of Christ. All this has been done contrary to the Word of God found in Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Jeremiah 26:2, and Galatians 3:15. -- Wilber N. Pickering

  3. Altering the Westminster Standards by deleting hard sections from the original text, especially regarding the role of the magistrate, thus rendering the Church effeminate, powerless to stand for Christ in secular society, and thus exposing the Church to persecution by the world system. See John W. Robbins, The Church Effeminate.

  4. The Current Justification Controversy surrounding Norman Shepherd in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Theological Seminary from 1975 to 1982.

  5. The case of John O. Kinnaird in the OPC, the Monroe 4 (Barack, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson) in the PCA (and micro-denominations), and the widespread departure from Christ and his Gospel in professedly Reformed churches.

  6. The Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology. "The Auburn paradigm is a radical departure from the Reformed faith. It is not a refining of Reformed doctrine but rather a rejection of confessional orthodoxy in favor of sacramentalist, Arminian and Romanizing concepts. It is heretical because it strikes at the very heart of Reformed theology -- the doctrines of the atonement and justification by faith alone."

  7. Rewriting the Book of Psalms into metric verse for worship.

  8. Leadership talks Solo Christo, but a focus on Christ is lacking.

  9. Lack of the preaching of the Cross of Christ. The law cannot sanctify or justify "only the preaching of the Cross can produce true Biblical holiness." (Reisinger)

  10. Unbalanced theology. Positions that are out of focus. For example, preaching surrender to Christ, but unwillingness to stand for Christian Magistracy which protect Christians from the wicked. See the quotation of Greg Price above.

  11. Western civilization following the Reformation is the greatest example of Christian cultural conquest we have to date. The shameful abandonment of that heritage by the church has left us in our current desperate plight. That heritage will be restored only as the church awakens to reclaim her birthright and asserts the authority of the King of kings over every sphere of life -- including the political." -- Dennis Woods

  12. Giving heed primarily to the words of men, and practically ignoring the discourses, sayings, and doctrines of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  13. Failing to teach the doctrine of Christ as prophet, priest, and king.

  14. Not standing for Christ's Crown and Covenant in the family, church, workplace, and State.

  15. Disregarding and/or abandoning the Westminster Standards and The Covenanted Reformation of Scotland.
    *Robertson, O. Palmer, The Current Justification Controversy - Westminster Theological Seminary (Trinity Paper No. 63) [UNABRIDGED], ISBN: 094093163X 9780940931633.
    Contents: About the Author Foreword Introduction 1. The Beginnings of the Controversy 2. The October 1976 Paper 3. Reactions to the October 1976 Paper 4. The Issue before the Presbytery 5. The Downingtown Conference 6. The "Committee to Draw Up a Statement" 7. The Commission on Allegations 8. Implications for Church Union and Unity 9. The Removal of Mr. Shepherd 10. Challenge, Response-and Continuation 11. The Causes of the Controversy Index Scripture Index The Crisis of Our Time Intellectual Ammunition.
    "The Current Justification Controversy" O. Palmer Robertson
    (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2003).
    "These two issues [of The Trintiy Review] are excerpts from Dr. O. Palmer Robertson's book, THE CURRENT JUSTIFICATION CONTROVERSY, which is a detailed history of the controversy surrounding Norman Shepherd in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Theological Seminary from 1975 to 1982.
    "Dr. Robertson's book is essential background for understanding what is happening today with the case of John O. Kinnaird in the OPC, the Monroe 4 (Barack, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson) in the PCA (and micro-denominations), and the widespread departure from Christ and his Gospel in professedly Reformed churches.
    "In fact, some of the actors in Act 1 have reappeared in Act 2, despite the elapse of 20 years. More importantly, one can see arguments used 20 years ago to defend Norman Shepherd's views now being used to defend the views of men who are echoing his heretical opinions." -- The Trintiy Foundation
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=203a.html

    A Defense of Reformed Orthodoxy Against the Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology Brian Schwertley
    "Reformed believers need to be made aware that the Auburn paradigm is a radical departure from the Reformed faith. It is not a refining of Reformed doctrine but rather a rejection of confessional orthodoxy in favor of sacramentalist, Arminian and Romanizing concepts. It is heretical because it strikes at the very heart of Reformed theology -- the doctrines of the atonement and justification by faith alone. May God protect his precious church from this vile theological poison...
    "At the 2002 Auburn Avenue Pastor's Conference four speakers -- John Barach, Doug Wilson, Steve Schlissel and Steve Wilkins -- articulated what they themselves called a new paradigm in theology. These men set forth this new paradigm as an answer to their own perceived problems within Reformed theology as well as the inadequate manner in which they believe Reformed interpreters and theologians have dealt with `problem' passages in Scripture. The main theme of the conference centered on a new way to view the covenant which they referred to as `the objectivity of the covenant.'
    "In their lectures a number of traditional, confessional Reformed doctrines were rejected and replaced by the novel ideas of the speakers. Some of the standard Reformed doctrines that were rejected or redefined were: the covenant of works, the distinction between the visible and invisible church, the nature of baptism (especially relating to efficacy), the doctrine of perseverance (we are repeatedly told that real believers can fall away), the doctrine of the atonement (the speakers repeatedly separate the ground of salvation from its application in an Arminian manner), justification (sometimes faith is defined in a Romish manner as an obedient or working faith [the Norman Shepherd heresy], at other times perseverance is defined in a manner that makes it either a partial ground of salvation or co-instrument in justification), and assurance (the main answer to problems of assurance [we are told] is baptismal regeneration: `Look to your baptism because you were really saved and united to Christ in your baptism.')
    "Because the new paradigm set forth by the Auburn theologians is a radical departure from the Reformed faith and is heretical in many areas, we will briefly examine some of the most perverse areas of their teaching.
    "Not every area will be considered, for that would require a book-length response.
    "Further, some areas such as justification have already been discussed at length. (For example, many excellent articles have been written refuting Norman Shepherd's heretical view of justification. As far as this author can tell the Auburn doctrine of justification is essentially the same as Shepherd's. In fact, Shepherd was originally scheduled to speak at the Auburn conference but was replaced by John Barach because he could not attend.)
    "Therefore, this author will not spend time analyzing their view of this topic. One area that will receive a great deal of attention is the Reformed doctrine of the atonement. The Auburn teaching is a repudiation of the classic Reformed formulation of this doctrine . . .
    " `It is our hope and prayer that this brief analysis of their perverse doctrines will inoculate Reformed believers against the Romanizing paradigm of the Auburn four?' writes Brian Schwertley."
    http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/Auburn2.html
    A Defense of Reformed Orthodoxy Against the Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology
    The Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States (RPCUS) response to "the Romanizing doctrines of the new Auburn Theology" (set forth by Douglas Wilson, Steve Schlissel, John Barach, and J. Steven Wilkins) June 22, 2002
    http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/s36p93.htm

  16. Backing down from the issues of Christian Magistracy and Corporate Faithfulness and Sanctification.

  17. Disregarding and/or abandoning the Regulative Principles of Worship.

  18. Use of instrumental music in worship.

  19. Mistaking the power that comes from being the focus of attention of the assembly for the presence of the Holy Spirit -- vain glory.

  20. Not submitting to the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit in the assembly and in the lives of individuals, but rather desperately clinging to the power that comes from preeminence, thereby quenching the Holy Spirit.

  21. Replacing Christ in the life of the disciple. This amounts to spiritual incest, and the consequences in the spiritual life of the disciple will be similar to the consequences of incest in the emotional life of a child.

  22. An exaggerated sense of self-worth that casts a shadow on the Sovereignty and Omnipotence of the Triune God.

  23. Ordained men "taking the mantle" of leadership while erroneously assuming infallibility.

  24. "Glorifying wisdom, and law, and intellectual achievement to such an extent that they become means of salvation." (See 1 Corinthians 1:24)

  25. Authority hiding behind high and pure doctrinal truth to gain preeminence and power among men.

  26. The subtle shift from teaching pure doctrine to claiming infallibility (or the shift may be unspoken, but understood). At this point leadership has attempted to deify itself, the ultimate satisfaction of man's lust for power. Notice how the lust for power resembles the Cardinal Sin of Eden and the liberal trait of usurping the power to determine Truth and Falsehood, and thereby molding the world to their own liking.

  27. The doctrine of Sinless Perfection among professing Protestants negates the Gospel. If one can attain sinless perfection, then one does not need the Saviour. The preceding aberrations (and some to follow) are popish. And Chantry points out, "Popish demeanor reveals pride in the heart."

  28. Lording it over the flock, God's inheritance. "You will be sinning against Christ by allowing your pastor to be the Lord of your conscience -- and believe me, that is a grave sin!" (Reisinger)

  29. The pastor who believes that "when he preaches from the pulpit his message is God's Word. He is the `voice of God' in that assembly. One man challenged this concept and said, `My conscience is wed to Scripture alone.' The preacher responds emphatically, `Your conscience is under the authority of my preaching of the Scriptures'. Many Reformed preachers would not dare say that out loud, but they give every evidence of believing it in their hearts. They practice such an attitude in their ministries." (Chantry)

  30. "Lording it over the flock provokes church fights and splits. A domineering spirit in elders provokes mature men of strong minds and independent judgment to leave the church. These very ones would have the greatest potential for future leadership in the assembly. Dictatorial measures make lesser men craven and dependent, stunting their true growth. But it also has its harmful effects on the `lords over God's heritage.' It makes them egotistical and self-serving." (Chantry)

  31. "Arrogance and an overbearing spirit is never acceptable in elders. Popish demeanor reveals pride in the heart. Pompous and tyrannical treatment of subordinates almost universally attends position of authority in the world and in human institutions. Never is such deportment permissible in elders. Our Chief Shepherd has said, Ye know that the princes of Gentiles exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you!" (Matthew 20:25,26) -- Chantry

  32. "A church may be injured as much by tyranny as by anarchy." (Chantry) "The accusation of `anarchy' in a cult is always hurled by a paranoid power monger whose personal power had been challenged. Such men as they need to be exposed."

  33. Congregations become "leper colonies" made up of refugees from Romanism, anabaptist denominations, cultic movements, and other Reformed denominations.

  34. A wrong view of elder authority. Viewing them as "Lords and Masters." A bad man in a bad system is an untouchable pope simply because he is protected by the system." (Reisinger)

  35. Ignorance of, or neglect of, Martin Luther's doctrine of The Priesthood of all Believers, which lead to the doctrine of the equality of all men. (See "The Priesthood of all Believers," http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr1chb.html#priestab

  36. Breaking down the visible church into independent sects. "Christ instituted no sects in the Christian Church." That is, arbitrarily taking contrary positions doctrinally in order to "carve out a separate spiritual empire."

  37. Pastors interested in "building a little kingdom of personal power where their word was law." (See Samuel Rutherford, Lex Rex)

  38. Popularizing religion by catering to the flesh and worldly lusts in order to gain numbers.

  39. Adopting the practice of "minimal confessionism" in the early 19th century to expand church membership.

  40. Failure to catechize children.

  41. Abandoning children to the secular teaching of State education.

  42. Faithless, fatalistic positions that ignore the evident progress of God's redemptive plan in history, and the scriptural promise of unending progress in Paradise.

  43. Demanding "unquestioning submission to authority," a trait of cults, and a basic tenet of the Roman Catholic Institution.

  44. "They deny the church's authority over your soul, but hang on to the church's authority over your conscience." (Reisinger)

  45. The cultist "binds your conscience to the law in a manner that makes assurance of salvation and real joy nearly impossible." (1 Corinthians 1:24) (Reisinger)

  46. The Fruit of the Spirit is conspicuous by its absence: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. (Galatians 5:22,23)

  47. Warm hearted fellowship of believers becomes what Spurgeon called "a better representative of the law than of the Gospel."

  48. Audacity that decides advances in sanctification must be made at once. (Reisinger)

  49. Demanding perfection in others that they themselves are not able to attain, a perfection that is denied by Scripture.

  50. "Throwing the baby out with the bath water."

  51. Pugnaciousness. "The way of peace and the way of holiness lies side by side; rather they are one... That which bestows the peace imparts the holiness; and he who takes the one takes the other also. The spirit of peace is the spirit of holiness. The God of peace is the God of holiness." (Horatius Bonar) "He who thinks that he has holiness, though he has no peace, ought to question himself whether he understands aright what the Bible means by either the one or the other." (Reisinger)

  52. Abuse of children by provoking them to anger.

  53. Abuse of spouses by provoking them to anger.

  54. Abuse of subordinates by provoking them to anger.

  55. Power posturing. "The leaders spend a lot of time focusing on their own authority and reminding others of it as well. This is a necessary trait in such a system because their spiritual authority isn't real or genuine, so it has to be postured if there is to be any. The leader subtly replaces Christ or God over one's conscience." (Johnson and VanVonderen) Jesus says in Matthew 28:18, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."

  56. The practice of priestcraft (Dennis) and occult modalities often learned at seminaries.

  57. Stealing souls (Balodis). Association with the assembly gives a sense of enslavement. (Douglas)

  58. Creating and spreading false religion is the ultimate form of brainwashing, with the most horrific consequences. "It's a con game: Eastern meditation, witchcraft, divination, Science of Mind, psychic healing, holistic education--oh, the list goes on and on--it's all the same thing, nothing but a ruse to take over people's minds and spirits, even their bodies." (Peretti)

  59. Performance preoccupation. "In an abusive spiritual system, those running such a system will be preoccupied with the performance of their members: worthiness = performance (often perfectionistism).... This system doesn't really foster holiness or obedience to God, it merely accommodates the leaders' interpretation of spirituality and their need for control. It distorts God's unconditional love.
    "Obedience and submission is important. Such passages as Romans 13:1; I Peter 5:5; and Hebrews 13:17 ["Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you,"] stress both. For the purpose of balance, we have to add what Peter says in Acts 5:29, "We must obey God rather than men." (Johnson and VanVonderen)
    "Johnson and VanVonderen correctly add, "Out of context, obedience to leaders looks like good theology. Add the larger context and you will see that it is only appropriate to obey and submit to leadership when their authority is from God and their stance is consistent with His." (Johnson and VanVonderen in The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, p. 66)

  60. Unspoken rules. "These are rules which govern unhealthy churches or families but are not formally stated or written. Since they are not spoken verbally, you do not find out that the rule(s) exist until you have broken one.
    "The unspoken rule may come across like this: Do not disagree with the church authorities -- especially the pastor or your loyalty will be suspect. Silence becomes the fortress wall of protection, shielding the pastor's power position from scrutiny or challenge.
    "Of the unspoken rules, the can't talk rule is probably the most powerful. The thinking of this rule is: The real problem can not be exposed because then it would have to be dealt with and things would have to change, so it must be protected behind walls or silence (neglect or by assault -- legalistic attack). If you speak about the problem out loud, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. In some way you must be silenced or eliminated. (Johnson and VanVonderen)

  61. Hypocracy. The wicked always masquerade as righteous. Pharisaism.

  62. Believing the "end justifies the means," and "we have to beat them at their own game," both tenets of Romanism.

  63. Machiavellianism in leadership roles. Returning evil for good. Playing both sides of the fence, leadership tries to destroy those they cannot control. Good is evil, and evil is good. Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights. (Machiavelli)

  64. Rules of church order omit key doctrines necessary to remove corrupt leadership and to establish and maintain necessary Christian magistracy.

  65. Repression and suppression of the Truth in defiance of The Great Commission. It is possible to manipulate and control the flock by withholding the Truth, by "pulling the wool over their eyes."

  66. Not feeding the sheep.

  67. A laity ignorant of Scriptural knowledge.

  68. Leadership keeps classic Christian source documents to themselves.

  69. Pastors who can not bear the Berean spirit in maturing Christians.

  70. Obedience to God is really obedience to the Pastor and Elders which amounts to dethroning God and deifying self.

  71. Members are taught " `my duty is to obey my elder, regardless of whether he is right or wrong, and God will reward my obedience to his duly authorized servant.' Anyone who believes that nonsense has become a Roman Catholic in his view of church authority and is treating his pastor like a pope." (Reisinger)

  72. "When elders become obsessed with the submission of the flock, they have a view dangerously close to the autocracy of Rome." (Chantry)

  73. Demands to "kiss the pope's ring in submission."

  74. "Beating the sheep into subjection with the supposed `duly authorized office of eldership' and sending them home bleeding and wounded." This is just a form of Romanism. (Chantry)

  75. "The elders became conscious of nothing but the `authority invested in their holy office,' and they neglected to develop the gifts and graces in God's people.
    "The sheep are in total subjection to the elder because they believe that his is `responsible to God for their soul,' and their duty is to obey his directives without question. It is because the sheep believe that Roman rubbish that the `amazing thing' spoken of in Jeremiah can happen, and is happening, in our own day." (Reisinger)

  76. We are the only duly constituted local church in the world. "Get in on the ground floor, but you must submit to our authority."

  77. Separatists doctrine. Christ was not a separatist in his earthly ministry. We are still on earth.

  78. Isolationism that turns the group into a "leper colony."

  79. Fruitlessness.

  80. Abusive leadership is "responsible for destroying the power of the doctrines of grace." (Reisinger)

  81. Preachers "better at pushing poor pilgrims into the slough, and pushing them down to the bottom of it, than they are at helping a sinking pilgrim get out..." (Reisinger)

  82. Shunning of non-conformists.

  83. "When believers are taught to actually hate another believer simply because he dared to challenge the pastor, then the cultic mentality must be exposed." (Reisinger)

  84. "When a tyrant really gets control of the individual's conscience, personal revolt is nearly impossible. The poor sheep is scared of everything and everybody. When he is cut off from asking or sharing the questions and difficulties in his heart, then he literally has no one to help him." (Reisinger)

  85. Puffing up the authority of the visible church now, during its broken state, considering the bent toward degeneration as evidenced by the Dark Ages.

  86. Pastors that think sheep can be whipped and driven into conformity with pastoral wishes. (Reisinger)

  87. Pastors who think they can make sheep change to their way of thinking and believing.

  88. "They threw out priestcraft but kept clericalism." (Reisinger)

  89. Denominations that are institution oriented instead of Grace oriented. (Reisinger)

  90. "Mature men of strong minds and independent judgment leave the church because they are provoked by the domineering spirit of elders." (Reisinger) Eventually the church turns into a "leper colony."

  91. "Dictatorial measure that make lesser men craven and dependent, stunting their true growth." (Reisinger)

  92. Members that dry up spiritually.

  93. Excessive use of fear.

  94. Members living in fear of leaders and their authority over souls. "When you reach that point you are actually part of a cult, and you have totally given up your true liberty in Christ." (Reisinger)

  95. Their swollen image of self-importance suffers to much for them to relinquish the reins from young Christians they have been domineering as they grew in faith. (Reisinger)

  96. "Disagreements and questions are rigorously stamped out."

  97. Preoccupation with selfish ends of individuals and the "in group."

  98. "Inability to defend theology with the actual test of Scripture . . . when you cannot sit down with an open Bible and instruct, as well as learn, in gentleness . . . waving the creeds and saying, `thus saith our holy fathers in the faith'." (Reisinger)

  99. "Inability to exegete basic presuppositions from the Word of God, and therefore simply refusing to discuss it." (Reisinger)

  100. "The hallowed creed produced by our `Godly inspired forefathers' become a sword to silence anyone daring to ask a question. The creed and the pastor's personal power became the final authority over the church and the conscience of the individual." See J.C. Ryle, "The Fallibility of Ministers."

  101. "Self-importance and lording it over others is a shameful reality among modern ministers." (Reisinger)

  102. Power monger pastors use counseling as a means of controlling people. They encourage counselees to "open up every aspect of their life to their microscopic scrutiny." (Reisinger)

  103. "Sincere believers who have been `afraid and terrified' even to speak what was in their hearts for fear of the elder's discipline."

  104. "Sincere sheep who `have been scattered' because of the tyranny of pastors and elders." (Jeremiah 23:1-5) (Jeremiah 10:23) (Ezekiel 34:2-5) (Reisinger)

  105. Members run out of the church for "refusing to sell their conscience in `unquestioned obedience' to the eldership." (Reisinger)

  106. Lack of leadership accountability. Attempts at correction are ignored. Communication is ignored.

  107. A display of bitterness toward disparate groups.

  108. Attempts to establish a prelatic hierarchical order in a new denomination.

  109. Threatening behavior toward those over whom they believe they have control. What might be clinically diagnosed as sadism and masochism becomes the expected norm.

  110. Destruction of individuals they cannot control [shunning, excommunication, lack of communication, psychic attack].

  111. Controlled individuals display signs of brainwashing.

  112. Ungodly alliance of leadership.

  113. Pastoral authority used as a means to manipulate individuals and couples into personal loyalty to the pastor. (Reisinger)

  114. "Marriage relationships that improve when they got out from under legalism and fear." Loyalty to spouse should come before loyalty to a pastor. (Reisinger)
A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:30, 31) (Jeremiah 5:30,31) See the annotation in The Reformation Study Bible.



Other Resources

  1. "A Study Guide for the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) (The Westminster Standards) and Related Works"
    http://www.lettermen2.com/suggest.html

  2. "The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) (The Westminster Standards) and Related Works"
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr9cha.html#wcf

  3. *WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY (1643-1652), The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) (Glasgow, Scotland [Free Presbyterian Publications, 133 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6LE]: Free Presbyterian Publication, 1994). ISBN: 0902506080 (casebound) and ISBN: 0902506358 (paperback). Available from Crown and Covenant Publications. Also, available from Still Waters Revival Books). A Christian classic.
    " 'The product of Puritan conflict,' stated Shedd, reaching 'a perfection of statement never elsewhere achieved.' All that learning the most profound and extensive, intellect the most acute and searching, and piety the most sincere and earnest, could accomplish, was thus concentrated in the Westminster Assembly's Confession of Faith, which may be safely termed the most perfect statement of Systematic Theology ever framed by the Christian Church,' writes Hetherington (The History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines), p. 345. Concerning the Shorter Catechism, which is one of the items also included in this book, Mitchell notes: 'it is a thoroughly Calvinistic and Puritan catechism, the ripest fruit of the Assembly's thought and experience, maturing and finally fixing the definitions of theological terms to which Puritanism for half a century had been leading up and gradually coming closer and closer to in its legion of catechisms' (Westminster Assembly: Its History and Standards, p. 431). THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) is the greatest of all the creeds of the Christian church. The church of Christ cannot be creedless and live. Especially in an age of doubt and confusion, it is her duty to define and proclaim the one true faith. Nowhere has the Reformed church done this so effectively as in the WESTMINSTER CONFESSION [1646] and family of documents. This book represents Reformed thinking at its purest and best. It was intended, as part of the Covenanted Reformation taking place during its compilation, to be adopted as the binding confessional standard for every individual, family, court, church, and legislature in the British Isles." -- SWRB
    This is considered to be the definitive publication of the Westminster family of documents. It includes the following:
    1. To the Christian Reader, Especially Heads of Families, Mr. Thomas Manton's Epistle to the Reader,
    2. The Confession of Faith (1646), the full and original edition with Scripture proofs written out,
    3. The Larger Catechism with Scripture proofs written out,
    4. The Shorter Catechism with Scripture proofs written out,
    5. The Sum of Saving Knowledge,
    6. The National Covenant,
    7. The Solemn League and Covenant,
    8. A Solemn Acknowledgement of Publick Sins and Breaches of the Covenant; and a Solemn Engagement to all the Duties Contained Therein,
    9. The Directory for the Public Worship of God,
    10. The Form of Presbyterial Church Government, and
    11. The Directory for Family Worship.
    THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) is said to be the finest summary of THE HOLY BIBLE available. It is recommended for daily devotions. Among the ten greatest works in the English language.
    The Significance of The Westminster Standards as a Creed
    http://www.fpcr.org/blue_banner_articles/signific.htm
    Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) With Scripture Proofs
    http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/
    Scripture Index to the Westminster Standards (The complete Scripture index to the Westminster Confession (1646), Larger and Shorter Catechisms.) Available on Library of Presbyterian Heritage Publications [and] Protestant Heritage Press Available on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive.
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/index01.htm
    THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH (1646) with all its subordinate documents in searchable format is available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1, ISBN: 0921148674 9780921148678.
    Westminster Assembly and Related Documents
    http://www.covenanter.org/Westminster/westminsterhome.htm
    For commentaries on THE WESTMINSTER OF FAITH (1646) see the following topical listing:
    "The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) (The Westminster Standards) and Related Works"
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr9chc2.html#wcf
    Bordwine, James, A Guide to the Westminster Standards: Confession of Faith and Larger Catechism (Unicoi, TN: (The Trinity Foundation, 1996). ISBN: 0940931303 9780940931305.
    Includes a unique, 100-page topical index to both the Confession and the Catechism.
    Westminster Divines, The Shorter Catechism With Scripture Proofs (Carlisle, PA [P.O. Box 621, Carlisle 17013, USA]: The Banner of Truth Trust). ISBN: 0851512658.
    Arguably the greatest tract ever created, all factors considered.
    http://www.reformed.org/documents/WSC_frames.html
    Westminster Shorter Catechism Project
    "Click on any of the individual questions below to get the answer and Biblical references, as well as links to works by John Flavel, Thomas Watson, Thomas Boston, James Fisher, and John Whitecross, and others."
    http://www.shortercatechism.com/
    Westminster Larger Catechism With Proof Texts
    http://www.reformed.org/documents/wlc_w_proofs/index.html
    "The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) (The Westminster Standards) and Related Works: A Study Guide"
    http://www.lettermen2.com/suggest.html
    Heresies Defined and the Necessity of Heresies Explained, by George Gillespie, Scottish Commissioner to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/gillespie/ggilles09.html

  4. "Rethinking the Apostles' Creed," Clifton R. Loucks, The Trinity Review, Number 218, April 2003
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=201a.html

  5. *BROWN, JOHN (OF EDINBURGH, 1784-1858) Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 3 volumes (London, England: Banner of Truth Trust, 1990, 1967, 1852). Available on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive. A Christian classic.
    "Spurgeon says of this great commentary: `Of the noblest order of exposition. Procure it.' Elsewhere in COMMENTING AND COMMENTARIES, he wrote, `Dr. Brown's work must be placed among the first of the first-class. He is a great expositor.' Again, `Brown is a modern Puritan. All his expositions are of the utmost value.'
    "These volumes cover much of the Gospel of John, plus many portions of the other three Gospels. In them he reveals his encyclopedic mind, and a profound regard for the Bible and the very Word of God. In addition, it is seen why it was said that he had the best clerical library in the whole nation of Scotland.
    "There is little doubt in the mind of this reviewer that any reader of these volumes will become possessor of myriads of new insights into the Scriptures, and what they reveal of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is indispensable to the student of the Gospels." -- Jay P. Green, Sr.
    "Based upon the revised and enlarged edition of 1852. Rich in thought. Pastors will appreciate the writer's application of spiritual truths to the needs of men and women." -- Cyril J. Barber
    Recommended for daily devotions, as are all the books in the listing of "Books Considered To Be Among the Ten Greatest in the English Language."
    Also available in Google Books, full view, Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Illustrated in a Series of Expositions. ... by John Brown, published 1856 [Complete in 2 volumes. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers] original from the University of Michigan, digitized Feb. 17, 2006.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=SZl9u8v0Yi8C&dq=Discourses+and+Sayings+of+Our+Lord+Jesus+Christ&ie=ISO-8859-1&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0
    This University of Michigan digitized edition, that appears in Google Books, is available in paper from two publishers: (Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library, November 30, 2006 [Gardners Books, 2006]), 652 pages.
    "This volume is produced from digital images created through the University of Michigan University Library's preservation reformatting program." -- Publisher's Annotation
    And (Hard Press, November 26, 2007), 652 pages.

  6. *Rushdoony, Rousas J. (1916-2001), Institutes of Biblical Law, 3 volumes, ISBN: 1879998130. Available through Exodus Books.
    Volume 1, INSTITUTES OF BIBLICAL LAW, 890 pages, ISBN-10: 0875524109.
    "A monumental volume . . . Deeply explores the meaning and application of the Ten Commandments for today in civil government, social ethics, and personal conduct." -- GCB
    "Many consider this to be the author's most important work. With indices. -- Publisher's Annotation
    Volume 2, LAW AND SOCIETY, 752 pages, ISBN-10: 1879998238.
    "The relationship of Biblical Law to communion and community, the sociology of the Sabbath, the family and inheritance, and much more are covered in the second volume. Contains an appendix by Herbert Titus. With indices." -- Publisher's Annotation
    Volume 3, THE INTENT OF THE LAW, 252 pages, ISBN-10: 1879998130.
    " 'God's law is much more than a legal code; it is a covenantal law. It establishes a personal relationship between God and man.' The first section summarizes the case laws. The author tenderly illustrates how the law is for our good, and makes clear the difference between the sacrificial laws and those that apply today. The second section vividly shows the practical implications of the law. The examples catch the reader's attention; the author clearly has had much experience discussing God's law. The third section shows that would-be challengers to God's law produce only poison and death. Only God's law can claim to express God's 'covenant grace in helping us'. With indices." -- Publisher's Annotation
    Theft: Commentary and Cases of Conscience. A Listing Excerpted From THE INSTITUTES OF BIBLICAL LAW by Rousas John Rushdoony, 1973 edition
    http://www.lettermen2.com/theft.html

  7. *Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), Theological Interpretation of American History, revised edition (Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1981, 1975, 1974, 1964).
    This book portrays "the influence of theology and the changing doctrines in the life of the church on the pattern of American political, constitutional, social and economic development.
    "The author shows that the decline of constitutional government in this country is the result of the departure from historical Christian faith and the resulting rise of alien political philosophies. Particularly does he emphasize the intimate relationship between theological liberalism on the one hand and political, social, and economic liberalism on the other. This theological liberalism has been a major agent in the decline of the Constitution in the political life of the people and in the appearance of a highly centralized government." -- Publisher's Annotation
    "There is between the democratic philosophy and theological liberalism a basic affinity which has placed them in the same camp in many major political struggles.
    "This condition exists because theological liberalism shares the basic postulates of the democratic philosophy. . . .
    "Theological liberalism at heart has been a continuing protest against Calvinism, particularly against its insistence on the Sovereignty of God and the Total Depravity of the race. These two Biblical doctrines have often proved to be a stumbling block to theologians within the church as well as to the unbelieving world." -- C. Gregg Singer, A Theological Interpretation of American History, p. 290
    The result of theological liberalism has been the movement away from constitutionalism and away from liberty, and a movement toward collectivistic society and totalitarian regime.
    The scope of this early work of the author does not cover the Covenanted Reformation of the Church of Scotland between 1638 and 1650, or the Erastian Revolution, anno 1689, which was "utterly inconsistent with the covenanted constitution of the reformed church of Scotland, anno 1648."
    "The Erastian Revolution, anno 1689, was "utterly inconsistent with the covenanted constitution of the Reformed Church of Scotland, anno 1648."
    In fact, the relationship between Church and State has been in decline since 1661. "In early 1661 . . . the Scottish Parliament passed the Act Rescissory, which established the king as supreme judge in all matters civil and ecclesiastical, and which made owning the covenants [National and Solemn League] unlawful. These acts undid all the works of Reformation from 1638 to 1650 and made it high treason to acknowledge Jesus Christ as head of the church. . . ." See Act, Declaration, And Testimony, 1876, Part II.
    Another turning point occurred in 1758 with the reunion of the Old Side and the New Side of American Presbyterian Church. "This signaled the end of the influence of Calvinism in American Politics." For a detailed discussion see:
    "From Old School to New School" in Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church, by Gary North
    http://entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/html/gncf/Chapter02.htm
    An example of the positive influence of theological doctrine on American political development is the Presbyterian General Assembly meeting in 1774, in which the Assembly instructed local congregations to press for the dissolution of ties with Great Britain. The result was a flood of resolutions, the most important of which was the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence which became a pattern for our national Declaration of Independence. See, James Geddes Craighead (1832-1895), Scotch and Irish Seeds in American Soil the Early History of the Scotch and Irish Churches, and Their Relations to the Presbyterian Church of America ATLA 1988-0622
    In 1787 there were two conventions in Philadelphia: the Constitution Convention and a convention of the Presbyterian Church. "In 1787-88, American Presbyterians revised the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) in order to make it conform to the political pluralism that also lay behind the U.S. Constitution,(26) which was being ratified at the same time that the presbyteries were voting for the revision of the Confession. The Presbyterians removed that clause in Chapter XXIII:3 which had authorized the civil magistrate to call a synod for advice.(27) This was one of the last traces of the theocratic Calvinism of the Scottish Covenanters -- or Calvin's theocratic Calvinism, for that matter. (The final trace was the Confession's assertion that the failure to take an oath to a lawful authority is a sin [XXII:3]. That provision was abandoned in the 1903 revision, and Machen's Orthodox Presbyterian Church did not restore it in 1936.) From that time on, Presbyterians became defenders of a secularized republican order. They believed that God's civil covenant could be made on a common-ground confessional basis, without a mandatory covenantal civil oath, operating under a providential natural law order that did not mandate Trinitarian confession. Obedience to this natural order, they believed, would bring national prosperity.(28) This was the liberal worldview of English Whig politics, and no group in America was more dedicated to defending it than the Presbyterians.(29)" -- Gary North, Crossed Fingers, p. 106
    In 1788 the U.S. Constitution and the revised Westminster Confession were ratified. For a detailed discussion see:
    "Authority: Biblical, Confessional, Ecclesiastical" in Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church, by Gary North
    http://entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/html/gncf/Chapter03.htm
    See, A THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF AMERICAN HISTORY, Chapter 6, "Theological Liberalism After 1920 and its Political Consequence." See, the Time-line of decline in American society after World War I.
    After 1920 "Forces of liberalism were able to gain a commanding position in the liberal arts colleges and seminaries run by most of the major denominations. . . .
    "The denial of the inspiration and infallibility of the Scripture proved to be tantamount to a rejection of their doctrinal authority; one by one, the great evangelical doctrines of the past were rewritten in such a way as to be scarcely recognizable. . ." -- C. Gregg Singer, A Theological Interpretation of American History, p. 187
    "The basic issue is the reduction of the total scope of government, on both the federal and state level, to those spheres which are clearly conferred upon it by the Scriptures, and the surrender of those extra-Biblical powers which liberal political philosophies and practice have given to it during the last one hundred years or so. . . .
    "When Jesus Christ returns, this span of history will cease. Perhaps at this point the cleavage between the biblical position and the views of Hegel, Marx, Spengler, Toynbee, and other contemporaries, becomes most obvious. The modern mind simply cannot accept the idea that humanity does not control its own destiny. It refuses to believe that the ultimate manifestation of the glory of Jesus Christ is beyond all human manipulation, whether they be statesmen or educators. It denies that the sovereign Ruler of the universe will bring all sinful humanity to judgment in a final accounting for its long history of willful rebellion against His righteousness, goodness, and mercy." -- Gregg C. Singer
    The roots of liberty and limited government are in the Protestant Reformation. We believe the key to the maintenance of liberty and limited government is to be found in the Scottish covenanting struggle.

  8. Conspiracy in Philadelphia, Gary North
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north291.html

  9. *ROBERTS, WILLIAM LOUIS (1798-1864), The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism (New York, NY: R. Craighead, 1853), ISBN: 0524065543 9780524065549. Available on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive. ATLA 1991-2638.
    A magnificent catechism that sets forth the Crown Rights of The King of Glory and Lord of Lords. It also presents incontrovertible evidence that the United States Constitution is not a Christian document, and that it is, in fact, a slavery document.
    See also: THE SCOTTISH COVENANTING STRUGGLE, ALEXANDER CRAIGHEAD, AND THE MECKLENBURG DECLARATION, SECRET PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, CONSPIRACY IN PHILADELPHIA: THE ORIGINS OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, and A THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF AMERICAN HISTORY.
    "A manual of instruction, drawing from such notable authors as William Symington and J.R. Willson, presenting 'arguments and facts confirming and illustrating the 'Distinctive Principles' of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Chapters deal with: 'Christ's Mediatorial Dominion in general;' Christ's exclusive Headship over the Church;' 'The Supreme and Ultimate Authority of the Word of God in the Church;' Civil Government, the Moral Ordinance of God;' Christ's Headship over the Nations;' 'The Subjection of the Nations to God and to Christ;' The Word, or Revealed Will of God, the Supreme Law in the State;' 'The Duty of Nations, in their National Capacity, to acknowledge and support the True Religion:' 'The Spiritual Independence of the Church of Christ:' 'The Right and Duty of Dissent from an immoral Constitution of Civil Government;' 'The Duty of Covenanting, and the Permanent Obligations of Religious Covenants;' 'The Application of these Principles to the Governments, where Reformed Presbyterians reside, in the form of a Practical Testimony;' and finally 'Application of the Testimony to the British Empire.' A most important book, as we approach (possibly) the end of the great apostasy and will be in need of preparing for the dawning of the glorious millennial blessings to come; the days prophesied in which the church 'shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings' (Isa. 60:16)." -- SWRB
    Reformed Presbyterian Catechism, William L. Roberts D.D.
    http://archive.org/details/ReformedPresbyterianCatechism

  10. *Robbins, John W. (1949-2008, editor), Christ and Civilization, 2nd edition (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation), ISBN: 1891777246 9781891777240.
    "A new 48-page booklet. Includes a complete listing (in an additional 16 pages) of the books currently available from The Trinity Foundation."
    "Christ and Civilization"
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/200a-ChristandCivilization.pdf

  11. Knox, the Covenanters, and the Westminster Assembly (Edmonton, AB, Canada: Still Waters Revival Books, 1997). "Great historical teaching, Singer at his best! (3 audio cassettes)" -- SWRB

  12. The Covenanted Reformation of Scotland Short Title Listing
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr9chb.html#crsstl

  13. Baxter, Richard, William Lamont (editor) A Holy Commonwealth (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1994). ISBN: 0521405807.
    "A HOLY COMMONWEALTH is Richard Baxter's invisible masterpiece." -- William Lamont
    Contains 380 theses on government with commentary when available.

  14. *REFORMED PRESBYTERY (AMERICA, "STEELITE"), DAVID STEELE (1803-1887), JOHN THORBURN (1730?-1788), JOHN COURTASS (d. 1795), et al., Act, Declaration, And Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To, And Established In, Britain and Ireland; Particularly Betwixt The Years 1638 and 1649, Inclusive. As, Also, Against All The Steps Of Defection From Said Reformation, Whether In Former Or Later Times, Since The Overthrow Of That Glorious Work, Down To This Present Day (1876), (A new edition of the Ploughlandhead Testimony of 1761, the subordinate standard of the "Steelite" Reformed Presbytery, 1850). Available on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #1, ISBN: 0921148674 9780921148678.
    "And now, when time has proved that more recent Testimonies, Terms, and Covenants, have failed to preserve either unity or uniformity among those who framed them; it cannot be unseasonable to re-exhibit the original ACT, DECLARATION, AND TESTIMONY, which has been justly characterized as 'the most profoundly reasoned document ever emitted by the Reformed Presbyterian Church'." -- The Reformation Advocate Magazine, Vol. I, No. 8, December, 1875, page 267
    "Upholds the original work of the Westminster Assembly and testifies to the abiding worth and truth formulated in the Westminster family of documents. Upholds and defends the crown rights of King Jesus in church and state, denouncing those who would remove the crown from Christ's head by denying His right to rule (by His law) in both the civil and ecclesiastical spheres. Testifies to the received doctrine, government, worship, and discipline of the Church of Scotland in her purest (reforming) periods. Applies God's Word to the Church's corporate attainments 'with a judicial approbation of the earnest contendings and attainments of the faithful, and a strong and pointed judicial condemnation of error and the promoters thereof' (The Contending Witness magazine, Dec. 17/93, p. 558). Shows the church's great historical victories (such as the National and Solemn League and Covenant, leading to the Westminster Assembly) and exposes her enemies actions (e.g. the Prelacy of Laud; the Independency, sectarianism, covenant breaking and ungodly toleration set forth by the likes of Cromwell [and the Independents that conspired with him]; the Erastianism and civil sectarianism of William of Orange, etc.). It is not likely that you will find a more consistent working out of the principles of Calvinism anywhere. Deals with the most important matters relating to the individual, the family, the church and the state. Sets forth a faithful historical testimony of God's dealings with men during some of the most important days of church history. A basic text that should be mastered by all Christians." -- SWRB
    Act, Declaration, And Testimony (1876)
    http://www.covenanter.org/RefPres/actdeclarationandtestimony/acttitle.htm
    Act, Declaration, & Testimony for the Whole of our Covenanted Reformation (1876 Reformed Presbytery, America, Steelite)
    The Project Gutenberg text was prepared by members of The Reformed Presbytery North America using the Reformed Presbytery (America, Steelite) text of the 1876 edition.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13200/13200.txt
    The electronic text found at ManyBooks.com is the Project Gutenberg text.
    http://manybooks.net/pages/presbyteryr13201320013200-8/0.html

    Act, Declaration, & Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To & Established In Britain #1
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=81907517162
    Act, Declaration, & Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To & Established In Britain #2
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=926071233170
    Act, Declaration, & Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To & Established In Britain #3
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=92707111830
    Act, Declaration, & Testimony, For The Whole Of The Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To & Established In Britain #4
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=927071140420
    Steele, David, 1803-1887, and the Reformed Presbytery (America), Act, Declaration, And Testimony (1876)
    http://www.covenanter.org/RefPres/actdeclarationandtestimony/acttitle.htm

  15. Heresies Defined and the Necessity of Heresies Explained, by George Gillespie, Scottish Commissioner to the Assembly of Divines at Westminster
    http://www.truecovenanter.com/gillespie/ggilles09.html

  16. "Trinitarianism Verses Polytheism: Unresolved Questions of Article VI, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution" (dead link)
    http://members.aol.com/vtpa/pvtpa001.html

  17. "Timeline of the liberalization of the Presbyterian Church" in Crossed Fingers by Gary North
    http://entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/html/gncf/timeline.htm

  18. *CALVIN, JOHN (1509-1564), The Necessity of Reforming the Church (1543). Available on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive. Available in Library of Presbyterian Heritage Publications and Protestant Heritage Press CD-ROM Library. Available in The Church Effeminate and Other Essays.
    Available free online.
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm

  19. *Robbins, John W. (1949-2008, editor), The Church Effeminate and Other Essays (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2002), ISBN: 0940931540 9780940931541.
    Contents: Robbins: The Church; Witherow: The Apostolic Church; Ryle: The True Church; Lloyd-Jones: The Primacy of Preaching; Adams: Preaching to the Heart; Ryle: The Fallibility of Ministers; Crampton: Exclusive Psalmody; The Geneva Service Book of 1556: Scripture and the Ordering of Worship; Miller: The Christian Education of the Children and Youth in the Presbyterian Church; Calvin: The Teachers of the Church; Clark: The Presbyterian Doctrine of Ordination; Warfield: Paul on Women Speaking in Church; Clark: The Ordination of Women; Robbins: The Church Effeminate; Luther: On the Councils and the Church; Hodge: The Relation of Church and State; Calvin: The Roman Church-State; Dostoyevsky: The Grand Inquisitor; Burroughs: Episcopacy; Witherspoon: Secrets of Church Polity; McFetridge: Calvinism and the Church; Chan: The New Babylonian Captivity of the Church; Robbins: The Reconstructionist Road to Rome; a Lasco: The Abolition of Vestments; Hanko: Ought the Church to Pray for Revival? Hodge: The Great Revival of Religion, 1740-1745; Luther: The Power of the Word; Clark: What Is Evangelism? Clark: Art and the Gospel; Calvin: The Necessity of Reforming the Church; Ryle: Idolatry; Ryle: Pharisees and Sadducees; Machen: The Good Fight of Faith; Ryle: Apostolic Fears; Machen: The Separateness of the Church; Robbins: The Sin of Signing Ecumenical Declarations; M'Crie: Fundamentalism and Ecumenism; Calvin: The Unity of the Church; Robbins: The Church Irrational; Index; Scripture Index.
    The Necessity of Reforming the Church (1543), by John Calvin
    This is an online document.
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm
    Calvin's Commentary on Hosea
    http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/m.sion/calvhose.htm

  20. Calvin's Commentary on Hosea
    http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/m.sion/calvhose.htm

  21. Calvin's Commentary on Zechariah and Malachi
    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom30.html

  22. *PRICE, GREG, Biblical Civil Government Versus the Beast; and, the Basis for Civil Resistance. Available on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #26, ISBN: 0921148224 9780921148227.
    "This is the best modern testimony for the biblical principles of civil magistracy -- which were so prominent during the height of the Second Reformation -- that we have seen. Price documents the teachings of many of the major Reformers (and some of the church fathers) and in an easy reading manner simplifies what can at times become a very complex subject. This particular Reformation message, proclaiming Christ's Kingship over the nations (and the practical outworking of the same), has been buried from the view of the general public for some time now, but is once again being brought to light in this very helpful introductory book. A sobering appendix has been added (written by a friend of the covenanted Reformation) which shows why it is unlawful for a Christian to swear any oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. This appendix also compares the points of difference between classic (or historic) Reformed teaching and modern Reformed teaching regarding magistracy and religion. Special attention is given to the OPC, the PCA and the RPCNA and the changes that these groups have made to second Reformation confessional standards (concerning matters related to the civil magistrate). Statements by B.B. Warfield are also contrasted to the older Reformed views. You won't find a better easy-to-read and easy to understand introduction to this important topic -- a topic which impacts directly on every Christian's testimony for the crown rights of King Jesus!" -- SWRB
    "It is this author's contention that the modern churches have let go of this important piece of the faith [Christ's Kingship over the nations-- sk] once for all delivered to the saints. Thereby they have delivered the church, not to kings as nursing fathers, but to the cruel civil domination of the enemies of the true religion, their sheep being taught that they must submit passively to every pretended civil authority as the ordinance of God. By this defection, these leaders of the flock have also undermined the magistracy, allowing and even encouraging wicked men to remove this blessed ordinance from its foundation in God its creator, and from its subjection to Christ His King, thereby directly opposing God's benevolent ends in instituting civil government: 'Thus have [they] made the commandment of God of none effect by [their] tradition. . . . teaching for doctrines the commandments of men' (Matt. 15:6, 9). Furthermore, by their false teaching regarding civil government, they have made themselves guilty of the very sin of which we are often accused: opposing the ordinance of God. If this wasn't enough, however, consider that their sin is worse than that of the garden variety rebel, inasmuch as their opposition to God's institution is not so much practical as it is principal; and because of their position as teachers and guides of the flock of God. 'Be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. . . . For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth' (James 3:1; II Cor. 13:8). -- Greg Price (Biblical Civil Government Verses the Beast, p. 64)
    Biblical Civil Government Versus the Beast; and, the Basis for Civil Resistance, Greg Price
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BibCG_GP.htm

  23. *THORNWELL, JAMES H., Collected Writings of James Henley Thornwell (Banner of Truth, 1991), ISBN: 0524059632 9780524059630. Available on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive.
    Vol. I. Lectures on the Doctrine of God and on Divine Government (672 pages)
    Vol. II. The Doctrines of Grace; Sermons; Discourses on Truth (632 pages)
    Vol. III. Theological and Controversial; Rationalist Controversy: Reason, Revelation and Miracles; Papal Controversy; Baptism, Justification, Infallibility, the Apocrypha (824 pages)
    Vol. IV. Writings on the Church: Church Officers; Church Operations; Church Disciplines; The Southern Presbyterian Church, etc., Sermons and Appendices (640 pages)
    "J.W. Alexander once wrote the following of one of Thornwell's sermons, 'His sermon was a model of what is rare, viz.: burning hot argument, logic in ignition, and glowing more and more to the end.'
    "Henry Ward Beecher, the famous Northern liberal minister, wrote after Thornwell's death, 'By common fame, Dr. Thornwell was the most brilliant minister in the Old School Presbyterian Church, and the most brilliant debater in the General Assembly. This reputation he early gained and never lost. Whenever he was present in the Assembly, he was always the first person pointed out to a stranger.'
    "Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said of him, 'Thornwell was one of the greatest preachers that America has ever produced'." -- SWRB
    See particularly, "Relation of the State to Christ" and "National Sins: a fast-day sermon, preached in the Presbyterian Church, Columbia, Wednesday, November 21, 1860.
    THE RELATION OF THE STATE TO CHRIST "is the petition of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America to the Congress of the Confederate States of America, then sitting in Richmond, Virginia. It argues that though the newly formed Confederate Constitution was admirable in many respects, it still laboured 'under one capital defect,' that being that it was not 'distinctively Christian.' It asks the Confederate Congress to 'express the precise relations which the Government of these States ought to sustain to the religion of Jesus Christ.' Suggests 'the following or equivalent terms, to be added to the section providing for liberty of conscience: Nevertheless we, the people of these Confederate States, distinctly acknowledge our responsibility to God, and the supremacy of His Son, Jesus Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords; and hereby ordain that no law shall be passed by the Congress of these Confederate States inconsistent with the will of God, as revealed in the Holy Scripture'." -- SWRB

  24. Doctrinal Aberration, Signs of Abuse, and Negligence in the Reformed Church
    http://www.lettermen2.com/reformab.html

  25. The Reformed Presbytery in North America
    The thing to be done? Apparently, pickup where David Steele (1803-1887) left off with the Reformed Presbytery (America).
    http://www.ecn.ab.ca/prce/

  26. Reformed Presbytery In North America (RPNA, and related books and documents on Presbyterian Reformed teaching)
    http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/reformed-presbytery-rpna.htm

  27. The Albany Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian Church
    http://www.albanycrpc.org/CRPC.htm

  28. The Reformed Presbytery in North America -- Congregations
    http://www.ecn.ab.ca/prce/churches.html#Anaheim

  29. Reformation Principles Re-Exhibited: An Historical Witness & Brotherly Entreaty. Summary and Analysis of Changes within Terms of Communion of the Reformed Presbyterian Churches of Scotland and America from 1761 to the Present, and a Particular Analysis and Testimony Against the Present Day RPCNA, by Greg Barrow and Larry Birger, Jr., August 5, 2002
    http://www.ecn.ab.ca/prce/books/rpcna/rpcna.htm

  30. "Meeting Reconstituting the Reformed Presbytery (Covenanters) in North America (RPNA)" (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada" Still Waters Revival Books), an audio file.
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonID=71402231350

  31. Appendix A: Major Changes of the Savoy Declaration
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/wescoappa.html

  32. Appendix B: Major Changes of the PCUSA (1788-1958)
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/wescoappb.html

  33. American Revisions to the Westminster Confession of Faith
    http://www.opc.org/documents/WCF_orig.html

  34. Appendix C: Major Changes of the UPCUSA and PCUS (1958-1983)
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/wescoappc.html

  35. Unity and Uniformity in the Visible Church: Unity in the Truth
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr9cha.html#vcunity

  36. "The Current Justification Controversy" O. Palmer Robertson
    "These two issues are excerpts from Dr. O. Palmer Robertson's book, The Current Justification Controversy, which is a detailed history of the controversy surrounding Norman Shepherd in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Theological Seminary from 1975 to 1982.
    "Dr. Robertson's book is essential background for understanding what is happening today with the case of John O. Kinnaird in the OPC, the Monroe 4 (Barack, Schlissel, Wilkins, and Wilson) in the PCA (and micro-denominations), and the widespread departure from Christ and his Gospel in professedly Reformed churches.
    "In fact, some of the actors in Act 1 have reappeared in Act 2, despite the elapse of 20 years. More importantly, one can see arguments used 20 years ago to defend Norman Shepherd's views now being used to defend the views of men who are echoing his heretical opinions.
    "The Trinity Foundation hopes to have Dr. Robertson's book available in September."
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=203a.html

  37. "A Defense of Reformed Orthodoxy Against the Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology" Brian Schwertley
    "Reformed believers need to be made aware that the Auburn paradigm is a radical departure from the Reformed faith. It is not a refining of Reformed doctrine but rather a rejection of confessional orthodoxy in favor of sacramentalist, Arminian and Romanizing concepts. It is heretical because it strikes at the very heart of Reformed theology -- the doctrines of the atonement and justification by faith alone. May God protect his precious church from this vile theological poison...
    "At the 2002 Auburn Avenue Pastor's Conference four speakers -- John Barach, Doug Wilson, Steve Schlissel and Steve Wilkins -- articulated what they themselves called a new paradigm in theology. These men set forth this new paradigm as an answer to their own perceived problems within Reformed theology as well as the inadequate manner in which they believe Reformed interpreters and theologians have dealt with `problem' passages in Scripture. The main theme of the conference centered on a new way to view the covenant which they referred to as `the objectivity of the covenant.'
    "In their lectures a number of traditional, confessional Reformed doctrines were rejected and replaced by the novel ideas of the speakers. Some of the standard Reformed doctrines that were rejected or redefined were: the covenant of works, the distinction between the visible and invisible church, the nature of baptism (especially relating to efficacy), the doctrine of perseverance (we are repeatedly told that real believers can fall away), the doctrine of the atonement (the speakers repeatedly separate the ground of salvation from its application in an Arminian manner), justification (sometimes faith is defined in a Romish manner as an obedient or working faith [the Norman Shepherd heresy], at other times perseverance is defined in a manner that makes it either a partial ground of salvation or co-instrument in justification), and assurance (the main answer to problems of assurance [we are told] is baptismal regeneration: `Look to your baptism because you were really saved and united to Christ in your baptism.')
    "Because the new paradigm set forth by the Auburn theologians is a radical departure from the Reformed faith and is heretical in many areas, we will briefly examine some of the most perverse areas of their teaching.
    "Not every area will be considered, for that would require a book-length response.
    "Further, some areas such as justification have already been discussed at length. (For example, many excellent articles have been written refuting Norman Shepherd's heretical view of justification. As far as this author can tell the Auburn doctrine of justification is essentially the same as Shepherd's. In fact, Shepherd was originally scheduled to speak at the Auburn conference but was replaced by John Barach because he could not attend.)
    "Therefore, this author will not spend time analyzing their view of this topic. One area that will receive a great deal of attention is the Reformed doctrine of the atonement. The Auburn teaching is a repudiation of the classic Reformed formulation of this doctrine . . .
    " `It is our hope and prayer that this brief analysis of their perverse doctrines will inoculate Reformed believers against the Romanizing paradigm of the Auburn four?' writes Brian Schwertley."
    http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/Auburn2.html

  38. A Defense of Reformed Orthodoxy Against the Romanizing Doctrines of the New Auburn Theology
    The Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States (RPCUS) response to "the Romanizing doctrines of the new Auburn Theology" (set forth by Douglas Wilson, Steve Schlissel, John Barach, and J. Steven Wilkins), June 22, 2002
    http://www.reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/s36p93.htm

  39. *DURHAM, JAMES (1622-1658), Concerning Scandal (Dallas, TX: Naphtali Press, c1990, 1680). Additional Title: THE DYING MAN'S TESTAMENT TO THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND: OR, A TREATISE CONCERNING SCANDAL. Available (1659 edition) on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive. A Christian classic.
    "The Rise of The Following Treatise
    "Having had occasion to consider the Book of the Revelation, and being on the Epistle to the Church of Pergamos in the second chapter, ground was given to speak something of Scandal, by reason of several doctrines clearly arising from that place. Upon this occasion I did first essay the writing of something of the doctrine of scandal in general, intending only to have spent a sheet or two thereupon, as elsewhere on some other subjects. When this was brought to a close, I found the place to give ground to speak of public church offenses, as they are the object of church discipline and censures. And being convinced, that that subject was not impertinent to be spoken of, I yielded to spend some thoughts upon it also, which did draw to a greater length than at first was intended or was suitable for a digression. This being finished, as it is, and any more thoughts of this subject laid by, it occurred again to me to think of doctrinal scandals or of scandalous errors. And considering that the scandals mentioned in that place, are of such nature, and that such are very frequent in this time, I yielded also to put together what thoughts the Lord would furnish concerning the same, whereupon followed the third part of this treatise.
    "When this was even at the closing, there was a fourth part of the same subject that did occur to me to be thought on, which before that had never been minded, and that was concerning scandalous church divisions. To this my mind and inclination was exceedingly averse at first, as knowing it not only to be difficult in itself to be meddled in, but also exceedingly above me, who am altogether unsuitable to hazard on such a subject. Yet considering the rise of the motion, and how the Lord had helped through the other parts, I did resolve to condescend to follow it, at least so far till it might appear what was his mind to me therein, and accordingly did follow it till it came to the period (whatever it be) that now it is at.
    "This is the true rise and occasion of this treatise, and of the several parts thereof, and therefore I have continued its entry in the original mold thereof, to wit, in laying down some general doctrines from that place of Scripture, and if there is afterward any more particular relation to the second and third chapters of the Revelation than to other Scriptures, this simple narration of the rise thereof may satisfy any concerning the same. Whereof we shall say no more, but first lay down grounds of all from that text, and then proceed in the treatise, which is divided in four parts, upon the reasons formerly hinted."
    "The Grounds Of This Treatise
    "Among other things that troubled the church in the primitive times, scandal, or offense, was a chief one. The many directions that are given concerning it, and the reproofs that are of it, show that it is a main piece of a Christian's conversation to walk rightly in reference thereto, and a great evidence of looseness where it is not heeded. On verse 6 [Rev. 2], we show that this was a sole fault of the Nicolaitans to be careless of offending, or of giving of offense, and not to regard scandal; and here the Lord holds it forth to be so by comparing it with Balaam's practice (v. 14), which is aggreaged from this, that he taught Balak to lay a stumbling block before Israel. From which these doctrines may be gathered:
    1. That there is such a fault incident to men in their carriage, even to lay stumbling-blocks before others and to offend them.
    2. That men ought to walk so as not to offend others, or so as to lay no stumbling-block before them. So that it is not enough not to stumble themselves (if this could be separated from the other), but also they ought to be careful not to stumble others.
    3. The Lord takes special notice how men do walk in reference to others in this, and is highly provoked where he sees any guilty of it.
    4. The Devil has ever endeavored to have offenses abounding in the church, and to make some lay such stumbling-blocks before others.
    5. It is most hurtful to the church, and destructive to souls where offenses abound, and men walk not tenderly in reference to these; so that the Lord expresses it with a twofold woe (Matt. 18), as being a woe beyond sword and pestilence.
    6. We may gather that corrupt doctrine never [lacks] offenses joined with it, and that ordinarily those who spread that, are untender in this.
    7. That offenses often accompany the rise and beginning of any work of Christ's among a people; these tares of offenses are ordinarily then sown.
    8. That some offenses are of a public nature, and that church officers should take notice of such, and that it is offensive to Christ when they are overlooked and not taken heed unto.
    9. Church officers, even such as other ways are approved in their carriage and ministry, may fall in this fault, as by comparing the Epistles to Pergamos and Thyatira, is clear.
    10. When officers fall in this fault, it is yet no reprovable thing in members that are pure in respect of their own personal carriage, to continue in communion with such a church, the ordinances other ways being pure." -- Author's Introduction
    "In this work Mr. Durham, in opening and examining the different scandals which deface the visible church, causing both the professed people of God, and the heathen to stumble and fall in the snares of sin and the devil, shows carefully and clearly the various means of avoiding and remedying these offenses, and what the people of God in their various places and stations must do to maintain the beauty of Zion in godliness and holiness, in purity and in peace.
    "James Durham's work on scandal and offense is the first of several books Naphtali Press plans to publish by 17th century Scottish Presbyterians. Many of the works of this group of writers are classic statements on the subjects they treat. This book of Durham's is such a work.
    "John Macleod (SCOTTISH THEOLOGY) says, `His book on the Scandal of Church divisions has long been looked upon as the Scottish classic on its topic.' John Macpherson (DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH IN SCOTTISH THEOLOGY) says, `Taken all in all it is the very best book we have on the subject.' According to James Walker (THE THEOLOGY AND THEOLOGIANS OF SCOTLAND): `He is the author of a book which once was very famous. For a hundred years and more you find it constantly referred to. Unhappily, as in so many other instances, it has a forbidding, or at all events not an attractive name. Yet I am not sure that anywhere a better idea is to be obtained of our old ecclesiasticism, and of its freedom to a large extent from the severity and rancorousness which have been so often attributed to it, than from the book `On Scandal,' by this judicious man, who, with his thorough, searching, cumbrous intellect, reminds you not seldom of John Owen.'
    "The work is divided into four parts. The first deals with scandal and offense in general, where he defines these terms, and discusses private offenses between individuals, and how they are given and taken. In the second part he writes concerning public scandals, or such that need to be in some way taken notice of by the government of the church, and the various scriptural teachings on the order, implementation, and motive of church discipline. The third is about scandalous errors; the spreading of error, why it spreads, the Lord's design in it, Satan's devices in spreading error, and the duties of Christians in a time when error prevails. Of particular interest is a lengthy treatment of the minister's duty toward those seduced to error, where the four steps of discovery (or trial), conviction, admonition and rejection of an heretic are discussed. The last part concerns scandalous divisions in the church, how they arise, the evil of them, grounds for unity, things to overlook in order to unite, things to do in order to unite, and how to unify where the division concerns differences in church government.
    "Excerpted from The Dying Man's Testament to the Church of Scotland, or, A Treatise Concerning Scandal by James Durham. Copyright. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved." Publisher's Annotation
    "This book ought to be required reading in seminaries and, indeed, for all who would serve as elders in Christ's church. It will repay careful study and breathe grace into our handling of the disciplinary problems that often confront us. Sessions will find real blessing if they study together Part Two [public scandals], especially." -- Gordon J. Keddie, Semper Reformanda, vol. 2 No 3
    "The appearance of a new and handsomely reset edition of James Durham's classic and unique work on ecclesiastical discipline is a timely and welcome event in these days of laxity in doctrine and morality within the church. The author was a Covenanter who ministered in the Church of Scotland during the Cromwellian interregnum. Possessed of a fragrant saintliness and an irenic spirit, he completed this volume on his deathbed, at age 36, under the title, 'The Dying Man's Testament to the Church of Scotland.' Durham grieved over the divisions that racked the Christian community of his time and was concerned that church discipline not be abused either by flagrant neglect or excessive rigor. The weighty scriptural balance he brings to his subject is unequalled." -- Gordon J. Keddie, Semper Reformanda, vol. 2 No 3
    "The book is divided into four parts -- Part One: Concerning Scandals in General -- dealing with offences between individual Christians. Part Two -- Concerning Public Scandals -- dealing with church discipline. Part Three: Concerning Doctrinal Scandals -- dealing with the spread of error in the church. Part Four: Concerning Scandalous Divisions -- dealing with divisions between godly men occasioned by such things as different outlooks and practices. The editor has spared no effort to make this old classic readable and useful." -- Austin R. Walker, Banner of Truth, Issue 337
    "In this work Mr. Durham, in opening and examining the different scandals which deface the visible church, causing both the professed people of God, and the heathen to stumble and fall in the snares of sin and the devil, shows carefully and clearly the various means of avoiding and remedying these offenses, and what the people of God in their various places and stations must do to maintain the beauty of Zion in godliness and holiness, in purity and in peace. This edition is based on the text of the edition printed in 1680, with revisions to contemporize the spelling, punctuation, and usage. This book has long been looked upon as the Scottish classic on this topic." -- GCB. A Christian classic.
    Concerning Scandal (extracts)
    http://www.naphtali.com/scanextr.htm

  40. *Ryle, J.C., Warnings to the Churches, ISBN: 0851510434 9780851510439.
    "I see this tendency to lean on man everywhere. I know no branch of the Protestant Church of Christ which does not require to be cautioned upon the point. It is a snare, for example, to the English Episcopalian to make idols of Bishop Pearson and `the Judicious Hooker.' It is a snare to the Scotch Presbyterian to pin his faith on John Knox, the Covenanters, and Dr. Chalmers. It is a snare to the Methodists in our day to worship the memory of John Wesley. It is a snare to the Independent to see no fault in any opinion of Owen and Dodderidge. It is a snare to the Baptist to exaggerate the wisdom of Gill and Fuller and Robert Hall. All these are snares, and into these snares how many fall!
    "Infallibility is not to be found in the early fathers, but in the Bible.
    "What are the best of ministers but men -- dust, ashes, and clay -- men of like passions with ourselves, men exposed to temptations, men liable to weaknesses and infirmities?
    "It is amazing to observe how vast a man's intellectual attainments may be, and yet how little he may know of the grace of God.
    "We have no right to expect anything but the pure Gospel of Christ, unmixed and unadulterated -- the same Gospel that was taught by the Apostles -- to do good to the souls of men.
    "Peace without truth is a false peace; it is the very peace of the devil. Unity without the Gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of Hell.
    "False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism.
    "It was controversy that won the battle of Protestant Reformation.
    "Three things there are which men never ought to trifle with -- a little poison, a little false doctrine, and a little sin.
    "A church may have good forms and regularly ordained ministers, and the sacraments properly administered, but a church will not see conversion of souls going on under its pulpits when this doctrine [Justification by Faith]is not plainly preached.
    "Once let a man get wrong about justification, and he will bid a long farewell to comfort, to peace, to lively hope, to anything like assurance in his Christianity. An error here is a worm at the root.
    "An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a church.
    "True Gospel in the pulpit, true Gospel in every Religious Society we support, true Gospel in the books we read, true Gospel in the friends we keep company with -- let this be our aim, and never let us be ashamed to let men see that it is so.
    "Let the meekness of St. Peter in taking a reproof be as much our example as the boldness of St. Paul in reproving." -- J.C. Ryle "The Fallibility of Ministers" in Warning to the Churches, pp. 93-121.
    The Fallibility of Ministers, by J.C. Ryle
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=182
    "Pharisees and Sadducees," J.C. Ryle
    http://members.ozemail.com.au/~rseaborn/pharisees_and_sadducees.html

  41. Vinet, Alexandre Rodolphe (1797-1847), An Essay on the Profession of Personal Religious Conviction and Upon the Separation of Church and State Considered With Reference to the Fulfilment of That Duty, ISBN: 0790574845 9780790574844.
    "This duty [public acknowledgement of faith in Christ by leaders] is, even in our own times, very imperfectly understood. The best illustration of its importance and obligation ever given, is to be found in [Alexandre] Vinet's masterly treatise, "On the Profession of Personal Religious Conviction." -- John Brown (of Edinburgh, 1784-1858), Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, II:339

  42. *Bonar, Horatius (1808-1889), Words to Winners of Souls, ISBN: 0875521649 9780875521640. A Christian classic.
    "WORDS TO WINNERS OF SOULS, by Horatius Bonar, is addressed primarily to ministers of the Gospel. It is wondrously effective in its message to those called to preach the precious words of the Scriptures. However, the usefulness of the book is not confined to ministers, but has a message for all witnesses of Christ. The same spirit, sincerity, and fervency is needful for all witnesses, whatever their calling in life. There can be but one goal to winners of souls, to lead the lost sinners around them to that 'resting place where doubt and weariness, the stings of a pricking conscience, and the longings of an unsatisfied soul' may be satisfied, in Christ Jesus. In Him alone will all these be changed into holy joy, peace, and everlasting happiness." -- Jay P. Green, Sr.
    "Bonar opens the book with an appeal for ministers who are awake. That is, he laments the state of a church that has convention centers full of clergy, but barely a bathtub full of true shepherds. . . . From there he moves on to paint a portrait of a `living ministry,' that is, a ministry that is alive with passion and awake to the realities of heaven and hell, sin and salvation, meaning and futility. . . . In chapter 3 Bonar begins to name, with great candor and force, what he calls `ministerial defects.' That is, those areas of pastoral ministry which are most vital, but most neglected. . . . In chapter 4, one of the most moving and inspiring (and humiliating) chapters I have ever read, Bonar quotes the Scottish Ministerial Confession of 1651. This is, in short, a corporate confession of the varied (and detailed) sins of the ministers of the church of Scotland. This alone is worth the book. It is telling, convicting (in the truest sense of the word), and I think, exemplary. In the final chapter, Bonar ends on a more hopeful note (the hug after the beating) and points us to a vision of revival in the ministry. . . ." -- Reader Comment

  43. *Johnson, David, and Jeff VanVonderen, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, October 1, 2005), ISBN: 0764201379 9780764201370.
    "Manipulation, shaming, `using' other people -- that's in the church, too. Spiritual abuse happens when authority figures use spiritual means to gratify their desires for importance, power, or intimacy. Because abusers use spiritual-sounding language, their followers are trapped in legalism, guilt performance, and begrudging service. Johnson and VanVonderen explain how to identify spiritual abuse, break the cycle of abusive spiritual dynamics, and encourage both abusers and victims to repent and recover." -- CBD
    "In a breakthrough book first published in 1991, the authors address the dynamics in churches that can ensnare people in legalism, guilt, and begrudging service, keeping them from the grace and joy of God's kingdom. Written for both those who feel abused and those who may be causing it, THE SUBTLE POWER OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE shows how people get hooked into abusive systems, the impact of controlling leadership on a congregation, and how the abused believer can find rest and recovery.
    "David Johnson has been the senior pastor at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, Minnesota, since 1980. During this time, the church has grown from a congregation of 160 to 3,000 people. A much sought-after speaker, he is a graduate of Bethel College and received his theological training at Bethel Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His "Growing in Grace" radio broadcast is syndicated internationally. David and his family live in Minnesota.
    "Jeff VanVonderen is an internationally known speaker on addictions and church and family wellness. He has worked as a counselor in both residential and outpatient treatment settings, as well as in the religious community, taught at the college level, and is the author of several books. He makes his home in California." -- Publisher's Annotation
    "The difference between churches that use manipulation and those that practice grace is like night and day. . . .
    "Van Vonderen and Johnson warn people who read the book not to use what they have learned as a weapon, but to take action only in the proper spirit. Of course, any time someone takes action in a church, real problems will become visible. My question in every case is: are those problems caused by those speaking out, or have they been there all along and are only now being exposed. . . ?
    "It is fair, it is doctrinally solid, and it gives effective counsel. There is something beneficial for everyone. . . leader, wounded Christian, or loved ones of people in either group." -- Reader's Comment

  44. Chantry, Walter J., "The Christian Ministry and Self Denial," Banner of Truth Magazine, November 1979, pages 22,23.

  45. Chantry, Walter J., Shadow of the Cross: Studies in Self Denial, ISBN: 085151331X 9780851513317.
    "Self denial is a practice which lies very near to the heart of true religion. Without its exercise there can be no conversion to Christ. Qualities most basic to a Christian frame of heart --notably humility and meekness -- would dissolve without its active expression. . . .
    "Why did Jesus Christ die? There are many sides to answering such an important question. But under the influence of the Spirit, the apostle teaches that our Lord's death was not designed to provide selfish men with eternal life while they remained abandoned to self-serving. A vital part of Christ's intention was to redirect the motivation of all whom his blood shedding would make alive. As he struggled up Calvary's hill and bled upon it, his aim was to eradicate self-love and implant the love of God in the hearts of men. One can only increase as the other decreases." -- Walter Chantry

  46. *Rushdoony, Rousas J. (1916-2001), Christianity and the State (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books), ISBN: 9996717755.
    "The need to return to a Biblical doctrine of civil government is evidenced by our century's worldwide drift into tyranny. Humanism invariably rushes in to fill the world's theological vacuums: the need of the hour is to restore a full-orbed, Biblical, theology of the state. This work sets forth that theology." -- GCB

  47. Reisinger, John G., "When Should a Christian Leave a Church?" (Parts 1-3), Solo Christo home page.
    Solo Christo Online
    http://www.cet.com/~dlavoie/solo.christo/

  48. *Bridges, Charles, The Christian Ministry, With an Inquiry Into the Causes of its Inefficiency (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust). ISBN-10: 1428610979. A Christian classic.
    "Bridges was a minister in England into the nineteenth century. . . . This book has been considered a classic book for ministers almost since it was written in 1829. . . ." -- Jay P. Green, Sr.

  49. *Machiavelli, Niccolo, The Prince (Oxford University Press), ISBN: 0192833979 9780192833976.
    This famous analysis of statesmanship and power, lauded by the world system and read by practically all politicians, will give insight to those who may still not understand power politics in Washington. But to fully understand the current situation in the Federal government even the discerning person must work in a Federal office or within the corporate limits of the District of Columbia for at least a year. A secular author.
    The Prince, Nicolo Machiavelli
    http://books.mirror.org/gb.machiavelli.html

  50. Dennis, John, (1657-1734), Priestcraft distinguish'd from Christianity, 3rd edition (London, England: Printed for J. Roberts, 1718).
    Shewing: I. That wicked priests are the real antichrists mention'd in Scripture.--II. That the corruption of the laity in all Christian states proceeds from the corruption of the clergy.--III. That there was a more general vertue in the grossest times of paganism, than there has been since our Saviour came into the world.--IV. That there is a more general vertue in other parts of the globe, than in the Christian world.--V. That there was a more general vertue in our own nation in the times of our ancestors, than there is in our own times; and that priestcraft, and corruption of manners, have increas'd together.

  51. Dennis, John (1657-1734), The danger of priestcraft to religion and government: with some politick reasons for toleration, occasion'd by a discourse of Mr. Sacheverel's intitul'd The political union &c., lately printed at Oxford: in a letter to a new-elected member of Parliament (London, England: printed in the year 1702).

  52. Dennis, John (1657-1734), The select works of Mr. John Dennis ... (London, England: Printed by J. Darby, 1718).
    Notes: v. l. Poetical works. Priestcraft dangerous to religion and government. Proposal for putting a speedy end to the war, written upon the death of Charles II of Spain. Essay upon publick spirit. Essay on the operas after the Italian manner.--v. 2. Iphigenia, a tragedy. Liberty asserted, a tragedy. Appius and Virginia, a tragedy. A plot and no plot, or Jacobite credulity, a comedy. Priestcraft distinguish'd from Christianity. The grounds of criticism in poetry. Letters upon several occasions, written by and between Mr. Dryden, Mr. Wycherley, Mr.---, Mr. Congreve, and the author.

  53. BARROW, REG, AND DOUG WILSON, Saul in the Cave of Adullam: A Testimony Against the Fashionable Sub-Calvinism of Doug Wilson (editor of Credenda/Agenda Magazine); and for Classical Protestantism and the Attainments of the Second Reformation. Available on the SWRB Puritan Hard Drive. Available on Reformation Bookshelf CD #10-30, ISBN: 0921148852 9780921148852.
    "Demonstrates in an email debate (of 170, 8.5 inch by 11 inch, pages) between Doug Wilson (editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine) and Reg Barrow (president of Still Waters Revival Books) how violations of the regulative principle of worship (i.e. the Second Commandment) are grounds for excommunication. Also gives specific examples of how modern 'Reformed' Christians (e.g. John Frame) and denominations are in violation of the Second Commandment and are tolerating false and idolatrous worship. Contains many quotations from major Reformation works and confessions in defense of the regulative principle of worship representing the classical Protestant position on worship.
    Saul in the Cave of Adullam, Reg Barrow and Douglas Wilson
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Saul.htm

  54. Douglas, James, The system of Methodism further exposed; and the wiles of priestcraft investigated: being a refutation of the calumnies contained in the pamphlet of the Rev. Mr. Farrar, entitled "The condemner of Methodism condemned;" with a further development of the plans adopted by the Wesleyan preachers to enslave their followers, and establish a system of universal tyranny and priestly dominion (S.l.: Printed for the author, by J. Mitchell, 1814).

  55. Appendix D: "Pseudo-Christian Movements: A Selection of Works"
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrrappd.html

  56. Sloan, James, Priestcraft unmasked, or, The Whore of Rome, alias Mystery Babylon the Great: the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, that hath made all nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, stripped of her gay and fascinating [sic] attire, and shown in her genuine form, which is that of a filthy painted harlot (Sloansville, NY: Printed for the author, James Sloan, late member of Congress from New-Jersey, 1829).

  57. Howitt, William (1792-1879), A Popular History of Priestcraft in all Ages and Nations, 276 pages, ebrary, Inc.
    "Two Evil Principles: Kingcraft and Priestcraft; Paganism; Mythology of the Assyrians and Syrians; Establishment of Monkery (monks); Popish Arrogance and Atrocities; Jesuits and Inquisitors; English Church; Ministerial Plan of Irish Church Reform; Clerical Incomes; Evils of the system of Church Patronage; Retrospect view of of the Effects of Priestcraft."
    Also available in abridgment, William Howitt's abridgment of his popular History of Priestcraft, reprint edition (Kessinger Publishing, February 1, 1998, and London: England: Effingham Wilson, 1834).

  58. The behaviour of the clergy, as well as their traditions, destructive of religion, or, a succinct history of priestcraft, throughout all ages, 2d edition (London, England: Printed for A. Dodd [etc.], 1731).

  59. Anonymous, Priestcraft Exposed, (New Haven, CT: Carter and Henderson).
    Notes: A poem, in two columns.

  60. Kraut, Ogden, The four crafts: doctorcraft, lawyercraft, priestcraft, kingcraft (Salt Lake City, UT: Pioneer Press, 1994).
    The Mormon doctrine of the priestcraft.

  61. *Johnston, Jerry, with Bill Stern, The Edge of Evil: The Rise of Satanism in North America (Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1989), ISBN: 0849906687 9780849906688.
    Foreword by Geraldo Rivera. "Amid the hoopla and shock of occult mysteries and Jerry Johnston's trans-continental investigation he ferrets out the truth. The intoxication of satanic power, the mind-warping of Satan's new children isn't easy reading, but it is must reading for every parent, educator, and teenager desiring to be protected. . . . Jerry Johnston's profound impact on young people and their parents has been acclaimed by educators, clergy, mayors, media personalities, politicians, and President Reagan coast-to-coast
    . . . . Johnston is considered an expert on youth culture and trends. . . ." -- Publisher's Annotation

  62. Jacquie Balodis, Soul Stealing: An Overview of Satanic and Black Witchcraft Ritual Abuse and Brainwashing
    This book has been discredited by one experts on cult/occult crime because of alleged known practices of the author after writing the book.

  63. Margreta Klassen, Soul Stealing, Abuse of Intimate Power: A Narrative Memoir.

  64. *Singer, C. Gregg (1910-1999), From Rationalism to Irrationality: The Decline of the Western Mind From the Renaissance to the Present (Philadelphia, PA: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1979) and a reprint of the P&R Publishing edition of 1979 (Wipf and Stock, 2006), 479 pp.
    "Now, frankly students, this course is presented from obviously the Reformed Theology. I hold unabashedly, unashamedly to the whole of Reformed Theology as we find it specifically in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Longer and Shorter Catechisms.
    "At the same time I hold to a position in regard to Apologetics generally known as Presuppositionalism, and particularly that view held by Cornelius Van Til.
    "This book is an attempt to enlarge and to broaden the scope of Van Til's own Apologetical system, and also his Epistemology. By that I mean, and I worked this book with him, so anything that I say is not to be construed as a criticism of Cornelius Van Til. I might add he wrote me a letter. He is delighted with this book. But what I did was to take his principles, both of Apologetics and of Epistemology, and apply them to all realms of modern thought.
    "Dr. Van Til, for good and sufficient reason, sought to limit to the main stream of what we might call pure Philosophy, that is from Saint Thomas, well even before them, back to the Greeks, but particularly in the more modern period, from Saint Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham (Occam), down through Descartes, the Rationalists, the Empiricists, down to Kant and Hegel, and of course Modern Philosophy and Modern Theology. Very seldom has he gone into what we might call the arena of Political Philosophy, or the arena of Social Thought, or the arena of Psychology and Psychiatry, the realm of Educational Philosophy, and into Art, Music, and so on, to the Fine Arts.
    "This book is an attempt to apply his system, and show what happens when the Western mind has forsaken his principles, or the principles which he has espoused, and turned into its own way. And thus the book called FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY. The thesis being that the Rationalism inherent in Saint Thomas and the post-Thomists, and more particularly, and more openly, in the Philosophy of the Renaissance, and Descartes, and Spinosa, and Leibniz has, as it's gained momentum in the modern world, brought Western Culture to its knees. We are living, as I would think, in the death throws of the Western Cultures, the Western Civilization." -- Dr. C. Gregg Singer, in the introductory address to his course in Apologetics soon after FROM RATIONALISM TO IRRATIONALITY came off the press in 1979
    Apologetics: #01: Classical and Medieval Thought #1
    Dr. C. Gregg Singer, Apologetics, 56 min.
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=2250511453
    "Locke endeavored to set forth a political philosophy which would anchor his democratic political thought on what he felt were the firm foundations of his empiricism. However, his insistence that nature has bestowed upon mankind certain basic and inalienable rights was an assumption quite contrary to his empiricism. His denial of conscience as an innate possession or quality makes it impossible for men to know that they possess the rights of life, liberty, and property. The very concept of a human right is moral in nature and has its basis of authority in the human conscience. It is thus impossible for men to know through the senses that they have these cherished human rights. Granted that it was far from Locke?s intention to undermine or destroy the traditional English concept of personal rights, his empiricism removed from his political thought the necessary foundations on which a government could be built for the protection of these rights. His empiricism supported neither the idea that men have such rights nor that they are inalienable. (p. 61)
    "Underlying the secular and naturalistic assumptions of the thought of the Enlightenment was a related and equally serious problem. In their political and economic thought the leaders of this era were passionately devoted to the pursuit of freedom, and yet they seemed to be completely unaware of this incompatibility between their quest for freedom on the one hand and their reliance upon natural law on the other. How can an impersonal and deterministic concept of law produce and sustain a meaningful concept of freedom? Blindly convinced that there was no problem involved in the contradiction, the leaders of the Enlightenment pushed boldly ahead in the quest for political and economic liberty. However, their failure to recognize the issues involved in this quest led not only to the disaster of the French Revolution but to the growth of the totalitarian political and economic philosophies which first appeared in Hegel and Marx during the nineteenth century and reached their culmination in the totalitarianism of the twentieth century." (p. 73) -- quoted at the blog, IMAGO VERITATIS: Post-modern Reformed Paleo-orthodoxy.
    Singer used this as textbook for his course in Apologetics. Epistemology is a recurring theme throughout the textbook and the course. The series of 24 addresses on Apologetics is available free online. See "Apolgetics" under:
    Works of C. Gregg Singer
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr3ch.html#cgsinger

  65. Robbins, John W. (1949-2008), Cornelius Van Til: The Man and the Myth (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation). 31296
    "The actual teaching of this eminent Philadelphia theologian have been obscured by the myths that surround him. This book penetrates those myths and criticizes Van Til's surprisingly unorthodox views of God and the Bible." -- John W. Robbins

  66. *Robbins, John W. (1949-2008, editor), The Church Effeminate and Other Essays (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2002), ISBN: 0940931540 9780940931541.
    Contents: Robbins: The Church; Witherow: The Apostolic Church; Ryle: The True Church; Lloyd-Jones: The Primacy of Preaching; Adams: Preaching to the Heart; Ryle: The Fallibility of Ministers; Crampton: Exclusive Psalmody; The Geneva Service Book of 1556: Scripture and the Ordering of Worship; Miller: The Christian Education of the Children and Youth in the Presbyterian Church; Calvin: The Teachers of the Church; Clark: The Presbyterian Doctrine of Ordination; Warfield: Paul on Women Speaking in Church; Clark: The Ordination of Women; Robbins: The Church Effeminate; Luther: On the Councils and the Church; Hodge: The Relation of Church and State; Calvin: The Roman Church-State; Dostoyevsky: The Grand Inquisitor; Burroughs: Episcopacy; Witherspoon: Secrets of Church Polity; McFetridge: Calvinism and the Church; Chan: The New Babylonian Captivity of the Church; Robbins: The Reconstructionist Road to Rome; a Lasco: The Abolition of Vestments; Hanko: Ought the Church to Pray for Revival? Hodge: The Great Revival of Religion, 1740-1745; Luther: The Power of the Word; Clark: What Is Evangelism? Clark: Art and the Gospel; Calvin: The Necessity of Reforming the Church; Ryle: Idolatry; Ryle: Pharisees and Sadducees; Machen: The Good Fight of Faith; Ryle: Apostolic Fears; Machen: The Separateness of the Church; Robbins: The Sin of Signing Ecumenical Declarations; M'Crie: Fundamentalism and Ecumenism; Calvin: The Unity of the Church; Robbins: The Church Irrational; Index; Scripture Index.
    The Necessity of Reforming the Church (1543), by John Calvin
    This is an online document.
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm

See also: The sovereign grace of god: his everlasting mercy and lovingkindness, The doctrine of man (human nature, total depravity), Selection of covenant heads for positions of leadership, and so forth, and so on



Related WebLinks

  1. The Necessity of Reforming the Church (1543), by John Calvin
    This is an online document.
    "Calvin rebukes the spirit of toleration which masquerades as 'moderation.' The reformer states:
    In a corruption of sound doctrine so extreme, in a pollution of the sacraments so nefarious, in a condition of the church so deplorable, those who maintain that we ought not to have felt so strongly, would have been satisfied with nothing less than a perfidious tolerance, by which we should have betrayed the worship of God, the glory of Christ, the salvation of men, the entire administration of the sacraments, and the government of the church. There is something specious in the name of moderation, and tolerance is a quality which has a fair appearance, and seems worthy of praise; but the rule which we must observe at all hazards is, never to endure patiently that the sacred name of God should be assailed with impious blasphemy; that his eternal truth should be suppressed by the devil's lies; that Christ should be insulted, his holy mysteries polluted, unhappy souls cruelly murdered, and the church left to writhe in extremity under the effect of a deadly wound. This would be not meekness, but indifference about things to which all others ought to be postponed.
    "The perceptive reader will see many parallels between the spiritual climate of Calvin's day and the religious chaos in our own society. If religious corruptions required reformationthen, similar corruptions demand serious reform today. We witness the sad spectacle of Protestant churches fascinated with liturgical rites and innovations in worship. Prominent 'evangelical' leaders have endorsed a peace pact with Rome.[3] Many 'reformed' denominations tolerate evangelistic methods and gimmicks built upon Pelagian presuppositions. If anything, Calvin's tract demonstrates how far modern Protestants have declined from the doctrines and practices of the Reformation. The Necessity of Reforming the Church is more than just an historic monument to the Reformation. It is a spiritual manifesto, calling us to repentance in an era of gross religious corruption." -- Publisher's Annotation
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm

  2. Luther's Commentary on Galatians, "who hath betwitched you, that you should not obey the truth." (Galatians 3:1 excerpt), English translation by Erasmus Middleton, B.D., edited by John Prince Fallowes, M.A., Pembroke College, Cambridge
    http://www.lettermen2.com/luther1.html

  3. Luther's Commentary on Galatians, "That He might deliver us from the present evil world." (Galatians 1:4 excerpt), English translation by Erasmus Middleton, B.D., edited by John Prince Fallowes, M.A., Pembroke College, Cambridge
    http://www.lettermen2.com/luther2.html

  4. The Westminster Confession Larger Catechism, Questions 103-106
    http://www.reformed.org/documents/wlc_w_proofs/index.html

  5. The Pharisee and The Publican, by Martin Luther
    http://www.markers.com/ink/mlpharpub.htm

  6. A Warning to Believers, by Charles H. Spurgeon
    http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/history/spurgeon/web/ss-0030.html

  7. The Fallibility of Ministers, by J.C. Ryle
    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/reviews/journal.asp?ID=113a.html

  8. "Beware of Men," Trinity Review, July 1999
    http://trinityfoundation.org

  9. Karlberg, Mark W., The Changing of the Guard: Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (Unicoi, TN: The Trinity Foundation, 2001).
    A critical discussion of Westminster Seminary's anti-Reformational and un-Biblical teaching on the Doctrine of Justification.
    "The Changing of the Guard", Mark W. Karlberg
    http://trinityfoundation.org/reviews/last.asp

  10. Reed, Kevin, The Decline of American Presbyterianism (A Book Review of Gary North's CROSSED FINGERS: HOW THE LIBERALS CAPTURED THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/decline.htm
    Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church, by Gary North
    http://entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/html/gncf/table_of_contents.htm

  11. *North, Gary, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), ISBN: 093046432X 9780930464325.
    "Political pluralism is not simply a political philosophy; it is a theology. This theology teaches that there must never be a nation that identifies itself with any religion." -- Publisher's Annotation
    "This book presents a new vision of politics and a new vision of America, a vision self-consciously tied to the Bible. . . . Dr. North, a trained historian, seeks to lead us from this downward spiral to full recovery." -- GCB
    Institute for Christian Economics Freebooks.com
    http://www.freebooks.com/

  12. Mind Control
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrrappd.html#mciac

  13. "Spiritual Discernment"
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr6ch.html#sprtldscrn

  14. What Do the Churches and the Cults Have in Common: Spiritually Abusive Systems (dead link)
    http://members.aol.com/vtpa/churcult.html

  15. Are the Covenanters a Cult?" by Michael Wagner, PhD
    http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/covenanters-no-cult.htm

  16. *Enroth, Ronald M., Churches That Abuse: Help for Those Hurt by Legalism, Authoritarian Leadership, Manipulation, Excessive Discipline (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992).
    "What makes a church abusive? Usually it's not doctrinal deviation but intimidating behavior: legalism, authoritarian leadership, manipulation, and excessive discipline. Enroth names abusive groups, shows you how to recognize them, and lists `red flags' that may indicate when a church is drifting into trouble. Most importantly, Enroth offers help to Christians who've been hurt by abusive churches." -- CBD
    "Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps; The Assembly; Body of Christ Fellowship (Piecemakers); Boston Church of Christ; Christian Growth Ministries; Church of Bible Understanding; Church of Jesus Christ Forever; Church of Our First Love; Church of the Great Shepherd; Christian Growth Ministries; Community of Jesus; Emmaus Christian Fellowship; Faith Assembly; Faith Tabernacle; Fellowship of Christian Churches and Ministries; Great Commission International; Maranatha Christian Ministries; No-Name Fellowship/C-U (Champaign-Urbana) Ministries; River of Life/Truth Station; Set Free; Two-by-Two's; University Bible Fellowship; Victory Chapel (Potter's House); Vineyard; Word of God Community."

  17. Uncovering Churches That Abuse People (dead link)
    http://members.aol.com/vtpa/question.html

  18. The Biblical Test of Character for Candidates for Public Office, all Civil Servants, Magistrates, Judges, and all Lawyers (dead link)
    http://members.aol.com/vtpa/pvtpa002.html

  19. Appendix D: "Pseudo-Christian Movements: A Selection of Works"
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrrappd.html

  20. Signs of Destructive Cults and Satanism (dead link)
    http://members.aol.com/vtpa/pvtpa004.html

  21. ADULLAM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, A Testimony Against the Prominent Errors of Our Times,
    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/testprom.htm

    Books Considered to be Among the ten Greatest in the English Language
    http://www.lettermen2.com/tengreat.html

  22. "Corporate Faithfulness and Sanctification"
    http://www.lettermen2.com/bcrr9chb.html

  23. How to Find a Book
    http://www.lettermen2.com/findbook.html

  24. Combined Interactive Contents for The Web Edition of Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal
    http://www.lettermen2.com/combtoc.html



Disclaimer: Weblinks and related resources listed are given only for purposes of research.
Views and opinion expressed at other web sites do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of this webmaster.
Arrangement of weblinks does not in any way indicate that independent authors or webmasters hold similar views and opinions.
Researchers are urged to exercise the utmost discernment in navigating the World Wide Web. See the topical listing "Spiritual Discernment."


E-mail: Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal at Lettermen2@aol.com

Home: Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal

Web Layout - Lettermen Associates
Updated - July 13, 2012 Lettermen Associates