When we in the ARP Church are confronted with the history of Erskine, what do we say? Have we hastened to obey God? Knowing the “right thing,” have we attempted to do it? The 2013 meeting of General Synod is the time for us to “Carpe Diem” and “hasten” to obey God.
The enclosed article below is by Mr. Craig Mutton. Mr. Mutton and his family are members of the Unity ARP Church, Piedmont, South Carolina. “Let me make it clear that I have not spoken out because I like to participate in controversy. In fact, I hate confrontation. I would much rather see our denomination in the place of Psalm 81:13-16 than in the place of Psalm 109:6-15.
The meeting of the General Synod did not end but fizzled out like a wet firecracker for want of a quorum at about 8:00 PM on Thursday, June 7. I am still depressed. How does one describe the 2012 meeting of Synod? Erskine, Erskine, Erskine, Erskine ad infinitum, ad nauseum. And Wolves.
What’s Going on at Erskine? Have You Noticed That Reality at Erskine Ain’t as Real as It Is Outside of Due West?
How is the ARP Church an “external influence” (like the Alumni Association, EC Foundation, the Due West Subway restaurant, and the homeowners’ association) and not an “internal influence”? If Erskine administrators say they are under Synod’s Manual of Authorities and Duties, how is the ARP Church an “external influence” and not an “internal influence”? An “external influence” cannot do the above things. Yet the ARP Church is now identified as an “external influence” by the administration. Oh, the irony of the howling contradiction! And, pray tell, how is it that SACS and ATS are not turning flips over these things?
Here on the verge of the meeting of the General Synod of the ARP Church, are we watching as Erskine College and Seminary becomes the handmaiden of the EC Foundation? The Erskine administration and board (EBOT) are declaring the independence of Erskine from the ARP Church, threatening retaliations from SACS, and sending reports to General Synod that are poorly crafted attempts at dissimulation, obfuscation, disinformation, and slight-of-hand.
Last week, an unsigned “attack piece” was released by EBOT Chairman Joe Patrick as an official response from the EBOT to the signers of the Minority Report. It flings double-speak, half-truths, misdirection, avoidance of findings, unctuous pseudo-piety, self-justification, and threats of reprisals like water at the signers. WHY? They were caught by the signers of the Minority Report in their treachery and exposed with their drawers down!
The Erskine Theological Seminary Self-Study Report was finished and distributed in January. At 465 pages, the document is a massive chronicle of the monumental failure that ETS has become as a result of the feckless leadership these last years. What the Editor of ARPTalk has been reporting for the last four years and the Moderator’s Commission report from the “Snow Synod” now has a stamp of validation.
An Open Letter to the Participants at the Monday Pre-Synod Meeting at Reformation Presbyterian Church
I think most of us who were participants in the 2011 General Synod of the ARP Church arrived at Bonclarken discouraged and left for home encouraged. Honestly, I expected more and deeper division amongst us; however, I returned home with a renewed hope for unity and renewal in the ARP Church.
Enclosed is the motion by Dr. Rob Roy McGregor that was adopted by the 2011 General Synod that condemns the PCUSA for allowing the ordination of those who are avowed, practicing homosexuals.
Well, the June/annual meeting of the General Synod of the ARP Church has come and gone, and the Editor of ARPTalk is not depressed. The Editor, in fact, was surprised by both the actions of the Erskine Board of Trustees (EBOT) and the General Synod (GS). Included is a recounting of the highpoints of the meeting of the 2011 General Synod with commentary.
Is the Executive Board of General Synod being manipulated so as to function as the equivalent of an ecclesiastical BISHOP for the General Synod of the ARP Church (GSARPC)? As the ecclesiastical ARP BISHOP, the Executive Board would have the authority to veto and/or modify the actions of the GSARPC in certain matters. Certainly, the members of the EBGS have the right of their opinions; however, they do not have the right to act as an ecclesiastical ARP BISHOP and reverse and/or modify the actions of the GSARPC that are clear and unambiguous.
The SACS report and its recommendations represent a clear threat to ANY religious body that seeks to hold the trustees of denominational colleges and seminaries accountable to missional criteria. This report is a declaration of war on the Christian Church in higher education. The little ARP Church now finds herself as the Dutch Boy with a finger in the dike attempting to hold back the terrorist assaults of secular agnosticism/atheism that seeks to silence the voice and witness of Christianity in higher education. Our prayer is our fellow faithful denominations will join us in this struggle that is also their struggle.
Upon receiving my packet for the meeting of General Synod I was hoping for an Erskine report that forthrightly and humbly recognized the disaster that has fallen upon Erskine over the last year. But no, the hauteur elite of Due West have once again produced a piece of disingenuous obfuscation emblematic of all that is aberrant and dysfunctional at Erskine College and Seminary.
So, the Newberry judge has continued the restraining order that Erskine Board members, David Chesnut, Richard Taylor, and Parker Young, requested against the The ARP Church has appealed the judge’s ruling. So, what does this mean? What can we in the ARP Church do?
One of the ARP Synod’s greatest detractors gives a very revealing response to ARPTalk(28).
This issue of ARPTalk (number 2) contains my reflections and the reflections of others on the meeting of our 2008 General Synod. I direct you to the attachments: Jim Corbitt—Moderator’s Committee on the Executive Committee; Jeff Kingswood—A Canadian View of Synod; Tom Shoger—On Giving (Tom’s recollections of his speech to the Synod on why people [...]