By Parnell McCarter


The controversies and troubles in the RPNA(GM) denomination are chronicled at http://reformedveritas.blogspot.com/ .  Here is my perspective on the troubles:


1. One of the main advantages of Presbyterian church government is that power is diffused and decisions are made with a multitude of counselors. "in multitude of counselors [there is] safety" - Proverbs 24:6

The closer an organization gets to one-man rule (or handful of men rule), the more it runs in danger.

This principle is violated whether it be a large organization with one universal Pope, or a small one with effectively one congregational leader (as is the case with independency quite often), or a small-
medium one with just a handful of leaders (which can be a real problem the closer one gets to *micro*-presbyterian denominations).

2. "Societies" , "house churches", etc are not the solution to problem 1. Indeed, often there either 1 person calls the shots (but in an even smaller setting), or else it tends towards the problem
of "every man did [that which was] right in his own eyes."

3. One error that at least in part is leading to this effect is that people are chasing some "better" church that could possibly be created than already exists. Instead of settling on a church that meets
bottom line conditions (I suggest what those should be at http://www.puritans.net/news/biblicalrealism021207.htm ), they are looking for the "best" or "most faithful" church that is or could be
created. It is like chasing the wind.

4. Another error is looking for a church where one does not have to bend to any decision one disagrees with. My view on this is at http://www.puritans.net/news/bend021907.htm . (Keep in mind that
there is a difference between bending to a decision versus having to agree with that decision.)

5. When a group of people falls into some of the errors above, there can be more of a tendency to demand that members state their agreement with every decision made, or else more and more division into smaller units.

6. In over-reaction to the above, some people move towards the other extreme and settle for a church which has loose subscriptionism or erroneous confessional and worship standards.


7.  The RPNA(GM) is simply another manifestation of the historical Cameronian error.  This errors runs afoul of the scriptural principle described in the Westminster Confession as follows: "Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrate's just and legal authority, nor free the people from their obedience to him…"  (see http://www.puritans.net/news/magistrate072804.htm ). 


8.  Just as England had to recognize the soundness of the Church of Scotland in the Solemn, League and Covenant, those denominations which have chosen to be separate from the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland for the reasons they have (eg, the Dutch Reformed churches because they want Christmass, etc; Cameronians because of their revolutionary political philosophy, etc.; APC because they wanted to attend Romish Masses; ...), will have to change their positions on these matters before there can be unity.  Just as in the Solemn, League and Covenant, it would be necessary for the wrong parties explicitly in writing to acknowledge and rehearse all of their past faults, but it would be necessary to start on a new course in accordance with the Biblical doctrines outlined in the Westminster Standards.