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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Friday, March 11, 2011

Update: How Far Has the Presbyterian Church in America Fallen?

Update: How Far Has the Presbyterian Church in America Fallen?

It seems that my public remarks in response to a public statement by Brook Larrison, pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church, Wauchula, Florida was not well received. In response to my remarks in the blog article, How Far Has the Presbyterian Church in America Fallen?, I received the following certified letter in the mail from the moderator and session of Faith Presbyterian Church:

March 9, 2011

Charlie J. Ray

The Session of Faith Presbyterian Church in the Spirit of Christ, wishes to express to you our deep concern for your Christian witness and character, in light of your posting on your blog, Reasonable Christian, with the lead article, “How Far Has the Presbyterian Church in America Fallen?” dated February 22, 2011.

In this article you repesent that you have partaken of the Sacrament of Communion in the worship service of Faith Presbyterian Church. One of the church's Ruling Elders has bore witness that you indeed have taken of the Communion elements in the past. Since you are not a member of FPC and since the Lord's Table is open only to those who are members of FPC or members in good standing of their Evangelical church, the Session had requested of you on Sunday, February, February 27, 2011 to produce the contact information of the church which has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over you. Our request has been met with silence. Unfortunately, the Session is left to conclude that you consider yourself above our spiritual authority while you attend Faith Presbyterian Church. As such the Session, is left to conclude that one, either you are a member in good standing and will not produce the information, for fear of being exposed to your Evangelical church, for your harsh attack upon Faith Presbyterian Church, Rev. Larrison and the Presbyterian Church in America, or second, you are not a member in good standing of any Evangelical church, which means you have misrepresented yourself to the Session and congregation of Faith and have with forethought and defiance partaken of the Sacrament of Communion in clear rebellion against the spiritual oversight of the Session of this church.

Therefore, the Session of Faith Presbyterian Church, Wauchula, Florida, hereby denies you future access to the Sacrament of Communion until such time as you truly repent of your misleading and false statements contained in your opinion blog of February, 22, 2011, and until such time as you can produce such testimonials that you are indeed a member in good standing of some Evangelical church.

The Session of Faith Presbyterian church,

B. T. Larrison, Emerson Jones, Joe Vance

It would be odd that I refused to comply with a request as to what church I belong to since in conversation I have several times told Brook Larrison that I was a member of Christ Church Longwood, in Longwood, Florida and that the pastor there is David Knox. Furthermore, I never received any phone calls or e-mails from Brook Larrison at any time saying that there was a problem with my Christian testimony.

It is clearly marked on my blog that I have both a bachelor of arts and a master of divinity from accredited schools. I have also been ordained as a prison chaplain with both the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention at different points in the past. I was also a Free Methodist youth minister and an ordained deacon with the Reformed Episcopal Church at one time.

The accusation that I have misrepresented myself is utterly ridiculous. The idea that I think the authority of Faith Presbyterian Church does not trump Holy Scripture, however, is absolutely true. I hold to the doctrine of the priesthood of believers and the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. It would necessarily follow that if church members are subject to the authority of a local congregation then those who are in service to that congregation are under the authority of Holy Scripture as the final Word of God and the final authority.

If, however, a minister or a congregation opposes God's Word, then it is up to whoever is willing to sound the alarm to do so publicly. As I stated in my other blog article, the pastor, Brook Larrison, openly approved of the Roman Catholic Church as a true church and a legitimate way of salvation for those who are members of that church. I stand by my main point in that article that such ministers and such churches who support justification by works righteousness are preaching another gospel and another Christ (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 4).

I have never made my position a secret, even to my former pastor, David Knox of Christ Church Longwood. I have always held that Anglo-Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and the Roman Catholic Church are teaching another gospel and are synagogues of satan. In saying so, I stand in the tradition of the Protestant Reformation:

Chapter 25: Of the Church


1. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.1


See also: WLC 64




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1 Eph. 1:10,22,23; Eph. 5:23,27,32; Col. 1:18


2. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel [not confined to one nation, as before under the law], consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;1 and of their children:2 and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,3 the house and family of God,4 out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.5


See also: WLC 62




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1 1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Cor. 12:12,13; Ps. 2:8; Rev. 7:9; Rom. 15:9-12


2 1 Cor. 7:14; Acts 2:39; Ezek. 16:20,21; Rom. 11:16; Gen. 3:15; Gen. 17:7


3 Matt 13:47; Isa. 9:7


4 Eph. 2:19; Eph. 3:15


5 Acts 2:47


3. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life to the end of the world: and doth, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto.1




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1 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11,12,13; Matt. 28:19,20; Isa. 59:21


4. This catholic Church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible.1 And particular Churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.2




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1 Rom. 11:3,4; Rev. 12:6,14


2 Rev. 2 and 3 throughout; 1 Cor. 5:6,7


5. The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error;1 and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan.2 Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth, to worship God according to His will.3


See also: WLC 61




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1 1 Cor. 13:12; Rev. 2 and 3; Matt. 13:24-30,47


2 Rev. 18:2; Rom. 11:18-22


3 Matt. 16:18; Ps. 72:17; Ps. 102:28; Matt. 28:19,20


6. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ.1 Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; [but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God.2 ]




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1 Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22


2 Matt. 23:8-10; 2 Thess. 2:3,4,8,9; Rev. 13:6


In the light of the above, I can only conclude that either Brook Larrison does not agree with the Westminster Confession of Faith or that he does not understand it. I believe it is the former and not the latter.

Clearly membership in the visible church is predicated only upon a true profession of the Christian faith and not on membership in a congregation. This is particularly true since the vast majority of Evangelical churches today are Arminian and therefore have more in common with the semi-pelagianism of Rome than with the doctrines of grace as they are taught in Holy Scripture and in the Protestant Reformation.

The doctrine by which a true church or congregation stands or falls, according to Martin Luther, is the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Since the Reverend Brook Larrison directly opposed that doctrine by affirming that those who are members of a church that officially and methodically teaches doctrines directly opposed to Holy Scripture and the Westminster Confession of Faith as well as contrary to the doctrines of Scripture outlined in The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, I can only conclude that Mr. Larrison is an advocate of works righteousness rather than justification by faith alone. I am open to hearing his response in writing but unless and until he repents or explains his endorsement of the Roman Catholic Church as a true church and that members of that church can be saved despite their open acceptance of the official teaching of the RCC then I cannot offer my endorsement of Mr. Larrison or Faith Presbyterian Church, Wauchula, Florida.

Regarding my view of the Presbyterian Church in America, it is a well documented fact that the PCA has openly refused to discipline several of its ministers who openly preach and teach the heresy of the Federal Vision view. You can see many articles on that topic at the blog of Wes White, Johannes Weslianus, who is a PCA pastor in South Dakota. R. Scott Clark has also documented the problems with the Federal Vision in the PCA at his blog, Heidelblog.

What is ironic here is that Brook Larrison has my cell phone number since I called him last week after Doc Helveston had a major stroke and was hospitalized. He also has my e-mail address. I never received any formal request for information concerning my membership in an Evangelical church. This is despite the fact that I taught Sunday school at Christ Church Longwood, Longwood, Florida and that I preached from the pulpit several times at Christ Church.

It seems obvious to me that Mr. Larrimore thinks that the priesthood of believers is rescinded at Faith Presbyterian Church and that he and his session do not have to answer to God or to God's Holy Scriptures. Every believer has the right to call out false teaching and to do so publicly when such teaching is presented publicly. Unless and until Mr. Larrison explains why someone who agrees with the official teaching of Rome can be saved I cannot in good conscience recommend Faith Presbyterian Church to any true Christian believer.


Sincerely yours in Christ,


Charlie J. Ray

P.S.  The anathemas of the Council of Trent stand as the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church to this day.  I would also add that failure to read an exhortation to self examination prior to administering the Lord's Supper constitutes a violation of the principle of a duly ordered ministration of the sacrament.  The failure to use the biblically instituted elements of bread and wine is also a violation of that same principle.






--
Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer

4 comments:

Wes said...

I resent this article. I am from South Dakota not North Dakota.:) Please let me know the name of the church of which you are member so that I contact them about charges over so gross a misrepresentation.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Christ Church Longwood:). It's an Evangelical congregation in a liberal denomination, The Episcopal Church. I suppose I'm guilty of liberalism because I'm a member of an Evangelical congregation which is fighting against the liberalism in its own denomination?

If that standard is applied, I guess that makes Gerald Bray a non-Christian? And the entire Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church in Australia??

Charlie

Kepha said...

Charlie: Haven't spoken in a while. Before you get too hard on the PCA, about a decade ago they defrocked a man named Burke Shade in the Illiana Presbytery. He was a FV advocate. I don't know if he's changed any since.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Peter, what is ridiculous is when the PCA ordains Arminians as Teaching Elders and then those elders endorse the Roman Catholic Church as a true church simply because it adheres to the three ecumenical creeds. Gimmee a break.

And to top it off I get excommunicated for standing for the truth? Please!

I will be attending the Associate Reformed Church in Bartow, Florida from the looks of things.

I forgot to mention that the PCA in Wauchula uses the NIV as well. I don't like that translation since it's basically a paraphrase in certain places.

Charlie

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