Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 12, 2009






Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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A fellah donated a loudspeaker to the church that I served over 30 years ago in memory of his wife.

Recently, my wife asked how much $ has been generated to support KD; which prompted a blurt, "Well, yeah, sure, uh, I'd like to make a little $ off it after enough comes in for Kathie and me to pay off our church's expansion and, uh, you'll, uh, know if anything's comin' in if you see a chrome pony parked next to the Caliber which I can now buy for less than I still owe, uh, on it but, uh, it's more about saltin' and shinin' than $."

$.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc

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A presbytery - go back to yesterday's KD for a definition with the dirty details - without much heart - Hint! Hint! - sent their Gestapo, uh, representatives to meet with a church's pastor and elders because they decided their conscience proscribed sending $ to that presbytery because its, uh, witness was so anathema to their understanding of Biblical Christianity.

It was an apocalyptic moment for that church's pastor and elders; and, uh, representative of the increasing breach in mainline denominations.

Reasoning of pastor and church: "Because of what we believe, which we believe is consistent with our understanding of Biblical Christianity as supported by our Book of Confessions and Book of Order, we don't feel we can ask our members to send $ to you which you will use in ways that contradict what we believe."

Response: "We really don't care what you believe. We just want your $. We expect you to send in your $. It's what you owe us as members of our denomination."

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkRIbUT6u7Q

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It's a problem that won't go away in mainline denominations.

$.

"They" want it and "we're" increasingly resistant to sending $ to support personnel and programs that offend our sense of Christianity as personified in Jesus, prescribed in Holy Scripture, and upheld by our constitution so far yet so precariously.

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I was told, "You realize that if you get enough people to stop sending $ to us, we'll have to lay off people and maybe even shut down the machinery of our denomination."

I replied, "The problem being..."

$.

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My position on this is so well documented that there's no need to repeat it; though I kinda did in the previous sections of this KD.

But a recent exchange has prompted me to rethink - reimagine if you'd like - the whole, uh, uh, uh, deal.

Though our giving to the franchise is voluntary according to the constitution so far yet so precariously, I was confronted by a respected friend who said withholding or redirecting or whatever $ that used to go to the denominational coffers - "When a coin in the coffer rings, a soul..." - is breaking covenant.

Geez.

I don't wanna do that.

So I asked some folks around the globe who are much smarter than yours truly to weigh in.

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Parenthetically, if you stop sending $ as some kinda protest or dissent, an honored tradition that is disappearing thanks to the ecclesiastical thought police, you'll get threatened.

For example, churches are told they won't be allowed to send representatives to meetings.

WWWooooooooooooo, hit us with your best shot!

Pastors are told they better like where they are.

I do.

Of course, I've been threatened over the years.

Somebody takes me into a back room and says they're thinkin' about chargin' me with upsetting the peace and unity of the franchise - Come to think of it, purity never comes up! - because I write about stuff - the word is disclosure - that upsets people and ask questions that people shouldn't be allowed to ask and...

Whoa.

I say, "Sticks and stones will break my..."

No smiles.

So I say, "Bring it on, pals! I've always said, 'You show me where I'm wrong according to our constitution's understanding of Biblical Christianity and I'll shut up and publicly apologize for being wrong; but if it's because I'm not into your bastardization of Christianity, bug off!'"

I'm always working on making new friends.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLrrBs8JBQo

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Be that as it is, let's talk about something really consequential before hearing from the experts - the NFL's final four:

Steelers - They are, by far, the best team left in
the playoffs. Aside from what I've said in previous
KDs, Tyler Palko could suit up and the Steelers
win the biggest bowl. They're that much better.
Speaking of Pitt which forsook Flacco for Palko,
ain't no way a rookie from Delaware is gonna
lead the dirty birds over Iron City's fav. I don't
care if Poe's team has a real killer at LB, forget
it!

Cardinals - Uh, who said to watch out for 'em? That
Eric Liddell at QB is awesome and that wideout
redeems what Pitt did to Flacco.

Eagles - So close so many times. Can you
say Vikings or Bills?

Ravens - Go back to review of the Steelers!

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Staying on $, let's get back to the reasons and rationalizations and bizzaro logic for sending it to those who use it in ways anathema to Biblically Christocentric conscience.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itXbYH8X5Y0

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A simple word from San Diego: "Offerings rendered unto Baal are as decadent as offerings unto a corrupt, anti-Biblical denomination. How would God distinguish the latter from the former?"

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From one of the few intelligent liberals left in the PCUSA near Happy Valley: "There should be no per capita assessments anyway! It's all about mission because counting heads is a very silly way to measure a church."

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From a really smart conservative in my presbytery: "Isn't a covenant basically a contract? And if one party violates the terms of the contract, doesn't that typically release the other party from having to discharge its obligations? So, by ignoring clear constitutional provisions relating to fidelity, chastity, and by ignoring directives from the GA concerning educational materials, and lobbying efforts, etc. (the list goes on and on), certainly a case could be made for the leadership in the PCUSA violating the covenant with its member churches...So by what standard are member churches judged and deemed responsible for paying per capita? Again, those who cry so loudly for equality seem to feel more equal than others. Sorry to keep referencing Orwell, but he really seems to have some pertinent things to say."

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The preceding's wife: "Matthew 7:6 comes to mind. There is no covenantal fidelity because the people who wish to push anti-Biblical and anti-constitutional stances have broken covenant with those of us who wish to remain faithful to Him, His Word, and our church constitution."

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An old friend in Indiana: "I have suggested our session here stop all payments to GA. GA is using money to fund meetings that make decisions that are destroying our denomination and investing in things that are opposed to the mission of the true Church. We may not be able to save the PCUSA; but we will not fund its destruction...We have stopped feeding the beast...The pleas from the other side that our action is covenantal infidelity is ridiculous. They keep changing or ignoring the covenant and we are supposed to keep paying the expenses for things we don't believe in. I don't think so...You can perhaps see why my presbytery has never sent their welcome wagon to my door."

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From somebody in my presbytery who is coming out of the closet: "Signs of the coming PCUSA apocalypse: (1) The same people who tell evangelicals that it's not proper to use wealth and property as an expression of discontent find it important to control evangelicals by demanding that they give up the same; (2) Speakers at presbytery meetings use their opportunity to call people who respect both Jesus and His Word to repentance, choosing to ignore the need to call those whom Jesus and Word tell us must repent; (3) Brothers sell out brothers for the sake of a mess of pottage, the ingredients of which are public opinion, ecclesiastical approval, and political keester-smooching; (4) Elders know better than clergy what is and is not a real sermon, as opposed to a soap box; (5) The measure of one's faithfulness is determined by per capita assessments; (6) The bottom line is no longer about heaven and hell, but about financial participation; and (7) A congregation's value is based on its contributions to the judicatories, not on how it is contributing to its community."

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From a former EP who is a pastor in Michigan: "God is the God of the covenants. Our faithfulness is to Him, not our organizations. However, if we make a covenant with an organization by God, we need to honor it unless God leads otherwise. This does not apply when we are not a participant in making the covenant or if the higher or judicial church authority says it is not binding. When dealing with a fellowship that you are in a historical covenant, if the fellowship is faithful, Calvin calls us to honor it...If a presbytery is faithful to God's Word and a General Assembly that is not or vice versa, it does make the decision harder, but a church might give per capita to the one they believed was faithful."

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From Oregon: "Regrettably, there's only one way to stop a bureaucracy and that's in the wallet. People vote with their wallets and their feet."

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From Pennsylvania: "It's simple, KD! If the denomination is faithful, fork over! If not, stick a fork in it!"

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From Florida: "We withhold because the denomination has broken covenant with us! I have been ostracized for not being obedient to the PCUSA. What about obedience to Him?"

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From Pennsylvania by way of Texas: "Evangelicals who pay per capita are chumps...It shows them that we're still on the plantation and that they can still count on our help in maintaining the slave quarters next to the big house...Our covenant with God demands our full allegiance. Our vows were made to God alone and we dare not switch allegiances. God gives us money to be used according to His revealed will and our covenant with Him is expressed when we refuse to turn over the money of His people to unjust and unbiblical pursuits. To do any less than withhold would be to violate our covenant fidelity to Him who gives all good gifts...When they close Louisville and turn back the power to the people, then and only then can we talk about funding common pursuits. No taxation without representation! Sic Semper Tyrannis!"

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From that really smart lawyer for one of the nation's most influential para-denominationals: "I agree that payment of per capita expresses covenantal fidelity, and those sessions which withhold or redirect per capita are expressing their understanding that the denomination has broken covenant and been unfaithful to the Lord according to the Bible and our constitution."

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From a voice crying in the wilderness of our presbytery: "I am not in covenant with their lordship of the libido of the sexual revolution. I have nothing in common with them because they have nothing in common with Biblical Christianity. I must not give them a penny!"

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From Florida's champion of Not One Penny: "Crying the blues about possible staff cuts is more encouragement than anything."

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From a newswoman in the South: "They are asking you to be faithful to an agreement which they have broken faith with by turning over the money to a bureaucratic institution that they happen to control!...How are you being unfaithful by refusing to make payments to those who broke faith?"

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Near football's Hall of Fame: "You cannot demand a gift!...The only way to stop the liberals is to starve the bastards out financially. Otherwise, they won't go away. And as long as they stay around, they will not cease and desist from their heresies, perversions, and apostasies which they wish to impose despite the will of the people and our constitutional standards...The only way to get their attention is to cut them off at the pocketbook. No covenant with Hell!"

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A constitutional expert and businessman from the Volunteer State chimes in: "The laity have been stripped of all representation...as more and more ordained but not serving clergy and seminarians get voting rights. Most PCUSA seminaries graduate liberals who are not Biblically based or Christocentric...The only way for elders within the church to shout disgust at the leadership of the PCUSA is through their pocketbooks."

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From a very, very, very smart theologian who has just been called to one of the most visible posts of leadership in one of the most influential para-denominationals in the world: "Jesus calls us to be fishers of men, yes. But no where can I find Jesus encouraging anyone to dress like bait."

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Well, it looks like most of 'em agree that it's a covenantal question.

God?

$?

I think I read some red letters about that in the...

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Blessings and Love!

1 comment:

Toby Brown said...

A cast of thousands for this Disclosure!

Too bad our PCUSA evangelical peanut gallery keeps getting smaller. Or is it?

Keep 'em coming!