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Images of Jesus

By Peter Kemeny

Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 4.54.02 PMPortrayals of Jesus in religious art, Sunday school curriculums, evangelistic films, and stain glass windows are commonly accepted as good and helpful. Depictions of our Savior abound during the Christmas season. What shall we make of this?

Representations of Jesus, though usually well-intentioned, overlook the second commandment’s injunction that we make no “carved image” of God (Exodus 20:4). The Westmin- ster Catechism (question 109) explains that the second commandment forbids “making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever.”

Sincere Christians sometimes say that pictures of Jesus serve as an aid to their devotion. One lady explained, “Looking at Jesus’ face in the stained glass window helps me to focus as I worship.” The problem with using images of Jesus as a devotional aid is that these pictures cannot but misrepresent Jesus. This is because Scripture tells us nothing about Jesus’ physical appearance, apart from an allusion in Isaiah 53:2 that the Messiah “had no beauty that we should desire him.”

Some may say, “Well, that’s okay,” but such a standard would be unac- ceptable in other circumstances. Before I met my wife, Becky, I talked to her on the phone for three weeks. Had I said to her, “I’m carrying around in my pocket a photograph of another woman, and every time I look at it, it reminds me of you,” she would not have been flattered. Neither is God flattered at visual misrepresentations.

Inaccurate representations of Christ also can repel people from Christian- ity. The nineteenth century portrayal of a gentle Jesus, meek and mild, an almost effeminate looking man, has turned more men away from Christi- anity than we can imagine.

Peter Barnes, in a helpful booklet on the second commandment, writes that artists cannot portray Christ in the full glory of His deity, so they are generally forced to attempt to portray Him only in the humility of his manhood. They cannot attempt to paint heaven, so they confine themselves to earth.

They leave aside the exalted Christ, whose glory blinded Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, and at whose feet the apostle John fell ‘as dead’ (Acts 9:3-9; Revelation 1:17), and they restrict themselves to conjectures as to His human form. But Scripture allows no such separation between the two natures of Christ.

Even in the period of His humilia- tion, now forever past, it was the fact that He is God that made Him the Savior. Those who portray Christ in visible form must, as Thomas Watson said, portray a “half Christ.” And if we only see Christ as a man, we have missed the stupendous truth at the heart of the gospel, “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see! Hail the incarnate De- ity!” (“Seeing Jesus,” Banner of Truth).

Rather than drawing our thoughts of Jesus from physical representa- tions, we should draw our conception of Jesus from the Bible. Scripture reveals a Christ who embodies, in Jona- than Edwards’ words, an “admirable conjunction of diverse excellencies,” a breathtaking Savior whose attributes cannot be captured on canvas.?

Peter Kemeny is pastor of Good News Presbyterian Church in Frederick, MD.


The Chaplain’s Conflict

Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 1.47.54 PMA Tribute to Renwick C. Kennedy

The popular television series, M*A*S*H, brought America’s public face-to- face with one of the most engaging elements of citizen soldiery – life inside an evacuation hospital. But it’s today’s reruns that are unsettling to historian Tennant McWilliams.

“… while this noted fictional evac lives on, the historical evac of World War II, Korea and Vietnam… is dead,” he said.

This became a reality when McWilliams read and thoroughly researched the war diaries of ARP Minister Renwick C. Kennedy. This resulted in The Chaplain’s Conflict, which delivers an honest look at actual day-to-day life in a real-life WWII Army evacuation hospital. Kennedy’s story goes deeply and fairly into the most funda- mental issues of war.

McWilliams first met Kennedy in 1961, when he visited an uncle in Oak Hill, AL. When he arrived, Kennedy was rocking on the front porch with Uncle Bill. Following introductions, Rev. Kennedy spoke with McWilliams briefly. “I recall his stature that day as just under six feet,” McWilliams said. “I also remember his accent – a rounded blend of Old South and Ivy League.”

After Kennedy left, McWilliam’s uncle showed him a post-WWII article by Ken- nedy in a 1940s issue of Time Magazine. It was a scathing criticism of certain Army behaviors during WWII, which fitted into a slowly bubbling-up realism about “the war.” Uncle Bill remembered how – in December 1945 – Kennedy sat in the same rocker on his porch, trying to sort out his recent life as a chaplain in the 102nd Army Evacuation Hospital. His tour of duty as an Army chaplain had taken him from Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge and on to the liberation of Germany.

When Kennedy died, he left McWil- liams all his papers – 5,000 letters, plus sermons and diaries with detailed recordings on how his world as a US Army chaplain unfolded each day. “Through his letters and diaries, this scholarly preacher had recorded in striking real- ism what he had experienced with the 102nd Evac,” McWilliams said. “By comparison, this made the unit’s official records in the National Archives at best a skeletal, if still crucial account.”

Following Kennedy’s Footsteps

An intellectual as well as a minister, Kennedy was compulsively fascinated with war and perplexed by its implications for good and evil, not just for the world abstractly, but also for himself concretely. After reading more and more of the diaries, McWilliams and wife, Susan, decided to venture to Europe retracing not only the basic trail of the 102nd through Europe, but also every village, schoolhouse, chateau, and muddy intersection – not to mention every stone wall, pasture and orchard.

During a full year of uninterrupted work, they found elderly locals who where eager to share their remembrances, down to specific doctors of the “American tent hospital” – especially in saving the lives of local children. One resident produced a diary showing an entry: “Captain Kennedy from Alabama sat with us in front of the fireplace in the grand salon and listened as we talked about German atrocities that ended only as the Americans liberated our village.”

The evac diary McWilliams shared moved some to laughter, others to stoic analysis and still others had no words at all – just tears. Regardless of age, these people embraced Captain Kennedy’s chronicles as one more reminder of war’s reality and of citizen-soldiers from America, who had liberated Europe some 50 years ago.

“For Ren, and indeed for any sane human in touch with the personally philosophical nature of war – it also was ‘the chaplain’s conflict,’” McWilliams said.

ARP Minister Goes to War

Ren Kennedy was the product of a storied South Carolina family and Pres- byterian leaders dating back to the Scottish Reformation. He was the son of an ARP minister, and was himself an ac- tive ARP minister for nearly 50 years.

He attended Erskine College, and went on to Princeton Theological Seminary. He accepted a pastorate at Camden ARP Church in south Alabama in 1927, married, and a started a family. McWilliams said his Wilcox County ministry connected him with people from all walks of life, preparing him for what lay ahead.

He also traveled from Camden to Prosperity ARP in Marion Junction, AL, on the second Sunday of each month. And he assumed the pastorate of Bethel ARP in Oak Hill, AL in 1953. He served as clerk for the TN/AL Presbytery for 36 years.

“He was a very unique individual,” said Jane Shelton Dale of Camden, AL. “I’m glad I grew up with him as my minister. Many people who grew up in the church before me – some the age of his children, have commented that they never had any idea what he experienced during the war, until they read McWilliam’s book.”

Finally, out of modern Christian values, civic duty, and longing for overseas adventure, he wanted to be in the US Army, targeting fascism. In the year prior to joining the Army, he laid out his moralism about war in a guest sermon at the Oak Hill ARP Church titled, “The Christian and the War.”

In it he said, “ … In war, nothing whatsoever is sacred and anything at all may be violated… Jesus said killing is a sin, and war is the supreme collec- tive sin of the human race… The State is waging the war, not the church, and I am a citizen of the State… If American entry into the war violates Christian- ity, the alternative promises to violate it still more, and I choose between the two evils and support the war.”

He also preached that WWII was not God’s will, but it was his judgement – coming inexorably upon men who violated his spiritual laws. “He sees how horrible war is, but he saw it was necessary to kill to combat the evil of Hitler,” McWilliams said.

The Final Days

In March of 1945, after allies took Remagen Bridge, and the US troops took Ludendorff Bridge, the 102nd was set up in the former Kurhaus Hotel in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. Chaplain Ken- nedy methodically visited casualties in wards and offered Sunday services. His duties ran the gamut from counseling soldiers on pending divorces to those being sent home for “homosexuality.” Like most, he witnessed constant dev- astation and death around him.

His commanding officer had told him on several occasions how valuable his counsel was on various issues. An efficiency report read: “A sincere, understanding officer with an outstanding sense of diplomacy, capable of handling the most delicate situations… gaining him respect and admiration of all persons contacted.”

On March 28, the end of the war was prematurely announced. With Easter Sunday coming soon, Kennedy optimis- tically reviewed a sermon he had writ- ten in April, 1941, for his Camden, AL, church. He decided to preach the same sermon for the Easter Sunday service. It was a standard, but eloquent “Ken- nedy talk,” McWilliams said, about the reality of resurrection, not vague hope framed by Matthew 28:6 and Judges 13:23, and interlaced with humanistic quotes from Shakespeare.

Later, Kennedy wrote, “… one of the best services I have ever had in the Army.” That afternoon he went sightseeing in Bonn, visiting the home of Ludwig von Beethoven before return- ing to the Kurhaus via new pontoon bridges across the Rhine at Remagen. “… peach, pear, plum, pansies, violets, shrubs were in bloom.” Compared to recent circumstances, Easter 1945 “was indeed good.”

But the final days of fighting in Germany lasted from April through October. On May 8, the radio brought news of the surrender of Germany. V Day in Europe brought speeches from Churchill and a Victory Day celebration, but did little to dim the war’s reality: “… four deaths in the 102nd hospital in the last few days…” his war diary read.

Then came the liberated POWs from every army imaginable. The most unusual counseling during this time was with six men who were accused of raping two girls ages 14 and 18 at Bad Neuenahr. Kennedy spent hours with the men, first in his office, then at the stockade, seeking truthful information and counseling them on the legal proceedings they were facing.

Then, “a boy from Arkansas with a complex personality,” confessed he was guilty of both rapes. He claimed he committed the crime because people believed he was a homosexual, when he was not. Two days later, he “somehow stole a pistol and shot himself in the heart – dead,” the diary reads.

There are records of so many atrocities Kennedy had to deal with as a chaplain. He saw a lot of sad and tragic things, but he never missed an opportunity to savor the surrounding non-Army scene – accepting invitations from others to take part in activities off base.

At first he traveled by train, but soon found himself in possession of a chaplain’s jeep and trailer. The jeep was quickly dubbed Alabama. The vehicle took he and his buddies on regular road trips, including iconic points of London, and his favorite jaunt into Shakespeare territory.

Coming Home

Sunday, November 25, 1945, Kennedy returned to his pulpit and a packed house at Camden (AL) ARP Church. After emphasizing how important it was for “democratic Christians” in the US not to make the same mistakes in the post-WWII era that had been made after WWI, he explained that due to his “leave of absence,” the congregation was due a “report.”

Ten-year-old Betty Gaines sat two rows from the front that Sunday with her friends. Fifty years later she recalled, “…we were at an irreverent age, just little hell-raisers in a small town, with no comprehension of serious mat- ters. But when he got to the part where he said something about sparing us the horrible details of death, his voice quivered, and he stared down right at us. I’m telling you, we understood that something serious and horrible had happened.”

Kennedy later stated, “I don’t know what the war has done to me, but I do not regret it.” For the next 30 years, he pastored the ARP churches of Camden, Marion Junction, and Oak Hill. However, he always missed the GIs he served with and their surrounding world of war.

In 1970, at age 70, plagued by em- physema, he retired first from academic life at Troy State College, where he had gone from a part time teacher to executive assistant to the president – with lobbying duties in Montgomery. He still did not want to stop being a minister. “He just wanted to be a part of an environment with far more daily talk about great books and compelling ideas…,” McWilliams said. Four years later, he retired from the pulpit. He died of cancer in 1985.

“The chaplain’s conflict over the war – how he struggled with its good and evil, and related tension between happiness and sadness and logic and emotion – forced this already beauti- fully educated man to grow into a more worldly and sophisticated human,” McWilliams said.



Do We Really Accept the Doctrines of the ARP Church?

UnknownIn 1875 the Presbyterian Church in Canada was formed. Up until that time the various Presbyteri- an groups in Scotland had replicated themselves here in Canada with a va- riety of mission works which, largely through Scottish immigration, had become quite numerous.

For some time before 1875 there had been discussion about the possi- bility of union, but for reasons which were mostly cultural and traditional, it took quite some time for union to come about.

One National Presbyterian Church

What the various expressions of Presbyterianism had in common was their ethnicity and their professed ad- herence to the Westminster Standards, the Confession and its Catechisms. The problem was that while they all agreed on paper that the Westminster Standards were their confessional ba- sis, just how that played itself out in each group varied considerably.

For this reason, some Reformed Presbyterians and Free Church Pres- byterians declined to take part in the union movement and some of those congregations continue in those de- nominational affiliations to this day. However, the vast majority decided to put aside their differences and unite to form one national Presbyte- rian Church.

United Church in Canada Formed

As you might suspect, this lowest common denominator, confessional- ism, was the breeding ground of larg- er troubles. While much worthwhile mission work took place in the west and north, not everyone was happy. Presbyterians who were scattered thinly across Canada’s vast landscape began looking around; and because many had begun to see their confes- sional standards as historical rather than authoritative documents, this spirit of lowest common denominator confessionalism soon led to church union talks with Congregationalist churches and with the Methodists. In 1925 the Congregationalists, Meth- odists, and the vast majority of Pres- byterians united to form the United Church in Canada (UCC).

Clearly a reformed theological un- derstanding of the Church had been lost. It had been lost not in 1925 but generations before then. The UCC soon became a socially active and a theologically liberal mainline church that stood for nothing resembling re- formed Christianity.

Another Departure from Orthodoxy

Unfortunately, the Presbyterians who remained behind often did so for reasons other than confessional fidelity. W.W. Bryden, principal of Knox College, the leading theological school of the continuing Presbyteri- ans, wrote a book called, Why I Am a Presbyterian. Polity, tradition, and some theology formed his arguments, but Bryden was not confessionally or- thodox. In fact, he was a devotee of the then rising star of neo-orthodoxy – Karl Barth.

Bryden’s teaching and ideas satu- rated the denomination. With no

authoritative Bible and no authorita- tive Confession, Canadian Presbyteri- anism found itself adrift. The depar- ture from orthodoxy was slower than in the UCC but it was just as certain.

A Clear Lesson

If our confessions cease to have any real authority in the life of the Church, we will end up adrift and find ourselves with nothing to say to the world around us. Certainly con- fessions, apart from the Word and Spirit, will save no one and will not guarantee a living Church. But when our Confessions are subscribed to as a vibrant theological summary of what we believe the Spirit of God through the Word of God teaches us, then they form a reliable bulwark against the destructive tide of modernity in which so many before us have floundered.

The question stands before us, “Do we really accept the doctrines of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, as founded on the Word of God and as the expression of (y)our own faith, and do [we] resolve to adhere there- to? (FoG 9.30.3)


Connections…strengthening our journey

charity screenedLast year, WM President Sherry Bartlett’s timeline connected us with the past through our biblical roots and our history. The “journey” continues into the future. Let’s concentrate this year on the connections we can make now to strengthen our journey into this world’s unknown future and into the known future of eternity.

In His wisdom, God (who needed nothing because He is complete in himself), connected as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, making man for His own glory. Before the foun- dation of the world, He predestined in love those who would be con- nected to Him. He put the first of His human creations in a garden, where He connected with them by nurturing a relationship. Their fall was not a surprise. Indeed, it was part of the plan, because the Son at the climax of history would come to earth to reconnect those chosen people to God, and the Holy Spir- it would teach those people about that reconnection and about their connection to each other.

But because of the fall, while our connection as believers with God is perfect through the Son, our connections with people are not.

Connecting is really another way of saying “love.” If we are will- ing to love, then we are willing to connect.

Colossians 2:1-3, “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Paul points out:

1. A reference to knitting. For each one of our grandchildren, I have knitted what I call a “napghan.” The current one is for grand

No. 10, Leo Emmanuel. The colors of the napghan are green and blue on a white background – the colors of the seal of Emmanuel College, where his family serves as mission- aries. Taken separately, unconnect- ed, the skeins are nothing but color and yarn. Connected by knitting, they become something beautiful.

2. Paul says that connecting is a struggle. He struggled directly for the people God had given him in Colossae and Laodicea, but he also struggled for us; for future genera- tions. One of those struggles we can have is illustrated by boxes.

We build a box around ourselves – our comfort zone. Our boxes are based on how we were raised; our ethnicity; what we have decided is correct in behavior, dress, speech patterns; generally, what we are comfortable with. But we also put other people in boxes. We meet

them and then we sort them by the same criteria. We are comfortable with them if we can assign them to a box we understand – one we can manage. God wants us to open our boxes and connect with others to make a beautiful picture that re- flects His love.

3. Most importantly, we are given the reason to connect – to love, in verse 2 & 3. Paul struggled to con- nect with the people so he could help them understand God’s mys- tery, the gospel. We need to struggle to escape from the boxes, from the comfort zones we put ourselves in. We need to struggle not to put peo- ple in boxes so that we can “man- age” them. We need to love enough to want to knit together with others so we can encourage them and help them understand God’s mystery, the gospel.

So I hope this will be a year of connections. Are you going to be

stuck in the box with others waiting outside because they don’t fit? Or are you going to tip your box over and spill out to join with others to make a beautiful picture?

I move that we get out of our boxes, use our imaginations, and connect with others in love for our sakes, for their sakes, for future generations, and for His glory. May He bless our efforts.?


Pray for Moderator Kingswood’s Son

Please pray for Moderator Jeff Kingswood’s son.

As some of you already know our 15 year old son, Philip, was burned in a house fire yesterday.  He received 3rd degree burns when a fry pan of oil ignited and set the kitchen on fire.  Philip was injured trying to put out the fire and get his grandfather out of the house.  Samuel Kenter was there and called neighbours for help and he then helped evacuate Rev. Campbell.  Philip has very serious burns on his left hand and forearm and his left foot and calf.  He is in the burn unit at the Victoria Hospital in London, ON.  The doctors are projecting three to four weeks of surgery and skin grafting before Philip will be able to return home.  We appreciate your prayers and your many acts of kindness to us already.

Yours in Christ,

Jeff and Joan


What Does Subscription Mean?

By Brian Murray

As was pointed out in the last Emphasis article, the main principle behind the question of confessions of faith is the principle of truth.

The ARP is a confessional church because we believe God revealed absolute truth in the Bible. The function of a confession is simply to faithfully sum- marize that unchanging truth of God. To argue at this point would be to argue not against confessions, but against the doctrine of scripture itself.

In the second part of this article, we will be dealing with a far more divisive issue (even within the ARP Church); namely, the level of subscription required to a confession of faith within a denomination.

As soon as we begin to deal with the question of subscription to confessional standards, we are not dealing with the issue of truth per se, rather, with the issue of authority. In other words we are essentially dealing with the question of who has the ultimate authority to determine a faithful summary of God’s Word.

Generally speaking, there are three answers to this most fundamental question. We will briefly summarize these three positions and then assess the im- portance of the issue of subscription within the ARP Church.

Full Subscription or Tight Subscription?

As the title would suggest, this ap- proach puts the emphasis of doctrinal authority on the church as represented by her courts. In this position, it is the duty of the courts of the church to collectively write and approve a confession of faith. It is also the duty of the courts of the church to amend those same con- fessions if they are determined by the courts to be contrary to God’s Word.

As such, individual office bearers, as well as congregants, are bound by those confessions in their entirety so long as

they are members of the denomination. This position places the collective church, as represented in her courts, as the final authority in doctrinal matters in the church – and makes the individual subservient to the church in matters of doctrine. In this position, it is the confession of faith as written that articulates what the individuals in a denomination believe.

System Subscription or Loose Subscription?

This position places the emphasis of doctrinal authority on the individual within the broader context of the church. Here, one is said to adhere to the basic system contained in a confession of faith, but is left free to agree or disagree with the particulars of his church’s confession of faith. In this po- sition, the confession of faith serves as a helpful guide when it comes to doctrinal particulars; but the individual is left free to adopt or reject those particulars as they are represented in the confes- sion of faith.

In terms of assessing what a particular denomination believes, a confession of faith only serves to articulate a general system; anything beyond this must be determined by ascertaining the particular beliefs of individuals within a denomination.

The Middle Way

The final position seeks to uphold the authority of the church, while at the same time giving the individual the lib- erty of his own conscience. Like the full subscriptionists, this position ascribes the authority of adopting and amend- ing confessions of faith to the church as represented by her courts.

Further, these confessions are gener- ally binding and publicly represent the belief of a denomination. Where this po- sition differs from the full subscriptionist position is in the ability of the individual to take personal exceptions to the particulars of the adopted confessions.

As an individual takes an exception to the confession of faith, the church courts determine whether or not the exception is acceptable. And if so, the individual vows not to publicly teach against the adopted confession. In this way, it is thought, that the individual is able to maintain a liberty of conscience and at the same time the church is able to maintain an outward authority in doctrinal matters. This system, however, guarantees only an external cohe- sion of belief.


As one can see in these very basic summaries of the different subscription positions within the church, the issue is not primarily one of truth. Representatives of each position can honestly and unanimously confess the Bible as the authoritative and absolute truth of God.

The issue is that of final authority when it comes to determining principles of truth from the Bible. Each of the positions summarized in this ar- ticle approach this issue of authority from a radically different perspective and as such, a unified position regarding subscription becomes essential to the peace and unity of the church.

The ARP as a denomination is crystal clear on her position regard- ing the Bible as the authoritative and absolute truth of God. However, we have yet to make clear our position regarding this most fundamental and essential issue of subscription. We are a confessional church; the question remains: what does subscription mean for us??

Rev. Murray is the associate pas- tor at Grace Church, Woodstock, ON, Canada.


Words Matter

UnknownAs I write this column, the world has just received word that Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, have been blessed with a little boy. The new prince is now third in the line of succession to the throne upon which his great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, sits. For most of you reading this article, this is an interesting piece of celebrity trivia. But for those of us living in the United Kingdom, or in Canada, this has real implications.

When someone from abroad becomes a Canadian citizen, they pledge loyalty to the Queen “and her heirs and successors.” My oldest son’s commission as an officer of the Canadian Army in the Royal Canadian Engineers is issued in the name of the Queen and signed by the governor general as her representative. We are reminded that we live in a constitutional monarchy and that this has real implications for us as citizens.

In 2008, Prince Charles, the new prince’s grandfather, announced that in order to reflect the cultural diversi- ty of England and the Commonwealth (when he is crowned king), he would no longer be identified as “Defender of the Faith.” This would be the first time that designation had changed since the reign of Henry VIII.

Instead, Prince Charles suggested the title: “Defender of the Faiths.”

When the Anglican church responded that this was nonsensical, the Prince countered with, “Defender of Faith,” and there the matter rests. Such a change would require an act of Parlia- ment, and there is much speculation that Queen Elizabeth intends that her grandson Prince William should as- sume the throne without Charles first becoming King. Whether or not that comes to pass is of interest to some, but outside the point of this article.

The point I am getting to is that language matters. It matters whether we say “faiths” or if we delete the definite article. The exact words and the shape and context of those words have very definite form and convey different meanings as a result.

Screen shot 2013-08-15 at 3.54.30 PMDefining Words

When we speak about our Con- fessional Standards, the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechism, we say that we subscribe to them. Our ministers and elders are expected to answer this question in the affirmative: Do

you accept the doctrines of the Asso- ciate Reformed Presbyterian Church, contained in the Westminster Con- fession of Faith and Catechisms, as founded on the Word of God and as the expression of your own faith, and do you resolve to adhere thereto?

We do not subscribe to the vague idea of a Reformed understanding of Christianity, but we vow to uphold and adhere to very specific words that define and explain what we believe the Bible, as the Word of God, teaches the Church on a variety of subjects.

The idea of a loose subscription must be seen to be nonsense. Words and their specific arrangement have meaning. When we speak of sub- scription, we speak of agreeing with, and promising to teach, the doctrines summed up in our Confession and Catechism. That is why the Church is so careful in changing them. They are not simply historic documents that speak of attitudes in a distant part of our history. They are what we say we believe, down to the smallest words, and that matters. We are a Confes- sional Church. Words matter.?


Letters to the Editor

Screen shot 2013-08-15 at 3.22.42 PMDear Editor,

I was awarded the Eagle Scout badge Nov. 1, 1962. In those days, we did not have a lot of equipment but enjoyed the many benefits that Scouting had to offer. It continues to be a guiding influence for me to this day. I am saddened deeply that the Boy Scouts have been harassed, sued, and “dragged through the mud” for a number of years, in order to force this fine boy’s organization to succumb to the militant homosexual push in America and the world today. I am also saddened that God’s church has been drawn into this situation through no fault of its own. I have

always stood for God, His Word, and His church. Homosexuality is always identified as sin in both testaments. My stand remains the same, therefore I cannot support the Boy Scouts of America’s present ideals incorporating homosexuality.

This is not compatible with God’s Word that still rules in the world today. The Scriptures exhort us to “flee even from the appearance of evil.” I hope the ARP Church does not take a cavalier attitude in this matter and will stand united for our God.

Sincerely, Jim Coleman Elder Due West ARP Church

Don’t Forget the “C” in ARP

Fathers and Brethren, Let me congratulate you (and especially Moderator Jeff Kingswood) for a smooth, successful and profitable June meeting of the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, (the ARPC). Please note that I said the ARPC, not the ARP, (which is the title of this publication).

I did not expect to add something else to my thankfulness to you in this note, but the practice of calling our denomination “the ARP” seems to be more and more widespread and needs to be corrected.

There is the PCA, (middle word? church!) the PCUSA, (second word? church!) the EPC, (last word? church!), the RPCNA, (third word? church!), the OPC, (last word? church!)… I could go on, but that’s probably enough to see that the title of all of these contain the word “church” – regardless of where it comes in the title.

We too, are a church, not a magazine, and as much as I like this publication, it isn’t the whole denomination, which is by definition, a church! There, I said it again, that word which is assumed, omitted, forgotten – whatever. We need to start a movement to call our beloved denomination either the Associate Reformed Presbyterian

Church or ARPC, which ever suits us at the time – and be accurate about who we are.

Ron Beard Principal Clerk of Synod (ARPC)


Catawba Presbytery 2013 Summer Highlights

Granted honorable retirement to Sinclair B. Ferguson effective July 31, 2013, and presented him a Certificate of Appreciation. Granted honorable retirement to J. Allen Derrick effective October 31, 2013, and pre- sented him a Certificate of Appreciation. Received Mark I. McDowell and Dariusz M. Brycko as Students of Theology effective June 11, 2013. Both men are members of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC. Approved James Klukow as interim supply of the Blacksburg (SC) Church.

Removed Soren L. Kornegay from the rolls as a Student of Theology.

Heard the Middler sermon of Justin D. Brickey.

• Heard a report from the Old Brick Church Commission that a special service will be held at the Old Brick Church on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, at 3 p.m. Dr. Barry Dagen- hart, moderator-elect of Presbytery, will preside at the service. Dr. Mark E. Ross will give the historical context for the ser- vice. Rev. James W. McManus, pastor of the Bethel Church, will deliver the sermon.

• Acting on authority given by the Presbytery, the Commission on the Minister and His Work received Dr. William J. Larkin, effective June 11, 2013, from Palmetto Presbytery, PCA, and approved his call to become Visiting Professor of New Testa- ment and Missions at Erskine Theological Seminary effective July 1, 2013.

• Approved a liability insurance policy for the Presbytery with Church Mutual Insur- ance Company effective June 15, 2013.

• Introduced J. Barry Dagenhart, pastor of the First Rock Hill (SC) Church, as the new moderator effective July 1, 2013.

• Introduced Daniel K. Felker, elder from the Centennial Church, as the new vice mod- erator/moderator-elect. Felker will become moderator on July 1, 2014.

• Expressed appreciation for the faithful and dedicated service of retiring modera- tor, Michael S. Evans, elder from Arsenal Hill Church.

Guy H. Smith Stated Clerk/Administrator



Second Presbytery Summer 2013 Highlights

Heard the report of a special committee to investigate the challenges and opportuni- ties in receiving ethnic congregations.

• Approved the recommendation that New Days Korean Church (Atlanta) follow the procedure outlined in the special committee report in seeking admittance to Presbytery.

• Approved the amended call to Anthony R. Locke by First ARP Church of Tucker, GA.

• Noted that ONA approved our request regarding funding for the RUF work at Newberry College (SC) in the amount of $25,000 per year for three years.

• Approved the recommendation that Presbytery contribute $25,000 per year for three years for the RUF work at Newberry


Calvin Draffin Stated Clerk

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