Split peas...


(Click here for the names.)

With the comments being submitted to this blog concerning Westminster Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly (RPCGA) defrocking four elders of St. Peter church in Bristol, Virginia (including R. C. Sproul Jr.), it seemed good to David and me to post this 2004 picture of all the pastors of the RPCGA at the denomination's 2004 general assembly. A week ago a subset of this group voted "unanimously" to defrock another subset of this group.

"All the world is mad save for me and thee, and sometimes I wonder about thee."
(Jesus prayed concerning His disciples) "I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are." (John 17:11)


If Satan can keep them fighting with eachother it is easier for him.

It seems everything is getter smaller....micro-devices, micro-trends, micro-denominations, micro-breweries....

So what do you call a micro-denomination that has split?

If you search for the term microdenomination on Google, it asks, "Did you mean microcontamination?"



So, let me get this straight. Six of them (or, if given fantastic growth maybe 10) voted to defrock the other four? Maybe the denomination was getting too tough to manage and should have just split. They could have the Uber-Conservative Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Like We're Hipper Than That Other Reformed Prebyterian Church Denomination Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Forgive my sarcasm and irreverance. I must get it from my wife. :)


I assume that those at the GA were each representing churches.

I don't know much about this situation,but sometimes it happens that people in power cause problems that need to be remedied; sometimes someone is really right and someone else is really wrong. Power seems to highlight deficiencies, which Satan attacks, and leadership qualities in one area (vision, for example) are offset by horrific deficiencies in another.

One thing I've been curious about lately, something only peripherally related to this situation, is why reformed churches seem prone to splintering while the Lutheran church still has only 4 denoms that I know of (one of which is the obligatory liberal denom)... Just been wondering lately why that is. Someone compiled a list of these denoms...


Jack's pipe

Have you ever said anything in one or two sentences?

Not that I can recall.

No on has a monopoly on divisiveness - there are something like 25 Lutheran denominations in the United States.

Perhaps we might ask whether the points at issue here, specifically that of the practice and propogation of paedocommunion would be allowed in the larger, established Reformed denominations - PCA, OPC, RPCNA, EPC, etc.

Once one has answered that question, one can more readily assess this situation.

A second matter might be to assess what has actually been confessed to by the Session of St. Peter, and to determine how one would deal with that.

Micro-denoms are an easy target. Perhaps micro anti-historical and anti-confessional theology should be as well.

You are right, a cursory search reveals. I have never seen or heard of the other 20+.

Sigh...I made split pea soup a couple days ago. Now I'll be crying through the rest of the leftovers....

Lord, have mercy on Your Church. Grant purity and peace to all the little pieces of Her, no matter how small and broken. Grant Her truth and justice, correction and repentance, obedience and gratitude, courage and patience, trust and joy, faith and hope and most of all love...'til She is made one as You are one, and Your kingdom comes. In Jesus' name, amen.

I changed my mind. Not about the prayer, but about the sighing and tears. They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, but the truth is that God will make the lemonade out of the lemons or, in this case, the soup out of the split P's. And we can give thanks, trusting that He has a recipe even better than the very delicious one from "The New Basics Cookbook" by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. That's what I used for my split pea soup, with one exception. The recipe called for sherry, which I didn't have, so I substituted the leftover communion wine from last Sunday...and a bit more than was called for. Poetry in a bowl: the split peas as a metaphor for our divisions and the wine -- the final ingredient to be added, the surprise ending that the soup didn't know about but the cook did -- as a metaphor for our oneness.

Mr. Howard, perhaps my metaphors are a bit ludicrous -- I do not claim to be a very good poet. But in the midst of my grief over the events of the past week, the recipe gave me some comfort, and I will not disdain the providence that brought these metaphors to my mind. My point was not about soup, but about God's strong right arm that will bring good out of this situation and will ultimately bring unity to His Bride. I hope, whatever else you think about current events, that you do not find those thoughts ludicrous.

Readers will note that the links Mr. Stanley Howard provided above have been removed. In my judgment, those links were not the sort of thing this blog ought to publicize.

Several members of Westminster Presbytery have defrocked several other members of Westminster Presbytery. By quoting the old Quaker statement about "all the world" being "mad," we were not implying that either of these two groups of men are mad, but that concerning split peas (presbyterians), a time inevitably comes when there's no one left to split off from and, finally, we're left only with ourselves. You know, kind of like Carl MacIntyre.

This again illustrates why David and I ask everyone to use real names and real E-mail addresses. People should not be talking about the Reformed Presbyterian Church (GA)'s problems unless they are willing to identify themselves.

Thanks for your understanding and support in this request, dear brothers and sisters. It's a joy to have you as friends.


My apologies both for using an old email address that I was unaware had been cancelled (probably due to lack of use) and posting a link that you disapprove of. I don't remember at this point what link it was that I posted that you disapproved of. But I do remember making a comment objecting to silly statements here about soup recipes in the midst of four Presbyterian ministers being defrocked. That really seemed inappropriate by making light of a very serious situation, and it still seems inappropriate.

Mr. Howard, you are attempting to read my heart. For the record, you are not doing a very good job.


I'm mystified by your comment. But I'm not at all interested in further debate with you, because you aren't the subject of discussion here. Nor will I be a party to seeing this discussion go down a rabbit trail.

I stand by what I said. Your comments about soup recipes, in the context of the seriousness of RC Sproul Jr's defrocking, were silly and inappropriate. Furthermore, they only served to take a very important discussion completely off topic. For me to say so is no attempt to read your heart, but merely an objective observation of your actions. The one and only comment I would make regarding the motives of your heart (and not that I'm in any way concerned with your motives) is that I hope that you would take my observations to heart.

Dear Mr. Howard,

Consistently I find Valerie to be a wise theologian speaking from her Divine calling. Her metaphor was a direct equivalent to many other such metaphors throughout Scripture that point from the most common objects of this life back to the One Who made them and His Truth. Never does the use of these objects trivialize the spiritual reality they are used to illustrate.

Jesus was not trivializing the discussion of unbelief by warning his disciples against the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees; Paul was not trivializing the subject of the honorable calling of shepherd by warning the Corinthians not to muzzle the ox (how demeaning that metaphor could be!); nor was the Prophet Isaiah trivializing the grace of God by calling it wine and milk.

So I'm thinking that to listen to our wives, daughters, and mothers-in-Israel carefully will sometimes lead to our realizing that, as Jonathan Edwards constantly points out, every single part of God's creation is an image-bearer of Divine Truth--a copy that points back to it's Maker's archetype.

Warmly in Christ,

Tim Bayly

Tim, thanks very much for your kind words.

Mr. Howard, you are mystified by my comment because you have not been able to conceive of any explanation of it other than that I was "making light" of this situation, despite my explanation demonstrating that I was not making light of it. You have no objective evidence that I was making light of it -- that is a judgment of motives.

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