Catawba Presbytery Spring Meeting

I just returned from Catawba Presbytery's Spring meeting at York ARP Church in York, SC.  It was a good trip, with Jim Griffith joining me for the long drive.  York ARP has a beautiful and historic sanctuary (c.1920) right in downtown York.  They also have a good history of the ARP on their site.

Highlights of the meeting included:
  • Needed discussion of the requirements of Presbytery for specific cost of living increases for pastors.  We voted for cost of living "adjustments" with no specific percentage mandated by Presbytery from here on out.  This should allow room for increases/decreases as appropriate for individual church communities.
  • Approval of the Indian Land Mission.  Up to now, this has been an exploratory work.  Now it will be an official Mission Development with plans for it to grow to a particularized church in the next few years.
  • Transferring of a pastor from another presbytery who provided an opportunity for challenging discussion on two things: First, the Framework view of Creation (each day is symbolic) vs. Apparent Age view (each day is 24 hours and God created full mature specimens during each day). Second, the Continental view of Sabbath rest (leisure/recreation is okay) vs. the Puritan View (leisure/recreation is not okay).
  • News of a Senior Adult conference in Columbia this May, which should be a good experience for some of our Sweet Agers here at EPC.
  • An update regarding ministry openings in Catawba Presbytery: there are now 10 churches in need of pastors.
  • Of course, the best part of any Presbytery meeting is re-connecting with other pastors and elders who serve God's kingdom.



    " And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
    Them said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach."(Nehemiah 2.13 and 17 )

    The global financial crisis that is hitting many countries, and breaking down a large commercial institutions, financial, industrial, etc., is hitting hard also to institutions and churches.
    Many of these churches had their origin in the northern hemisphere countries, where rampant consumerism of the capitalist system, especially in the U.S. (now suffering from an acute recession), are now facing major economic problems which required them to discontinue support programs to reduce their budgets, cut staff, cut salaries, etc..
    It is a time where many churches that had a high economic status, will now have to adjust the belt for a while. Perhaps God is allowing this situation, with the purpose of the church to reflect on his license, careless about his life and about where your real basis: the money or Mamon, or the faith of Christ.
    However, it is also a time when the church will have to review their structures, and initiate changes. You'll need a re-make in all areas: in its form of government, in its doctrines, in their meetings and worship in their temples and places in his pastoral leadership, as do the scriptures, and so on.
    The Berlin Wall that the names have been built around the church, which has been divided for many decades the churches of Christ, which will now be demolished so that an aperture is greater unity in the body of Christ.
    It is likely that many churches try to maintain their structures, but to do so will have to adapt to the new order of things that emerges after this crisis, with the consequence of becoming apostate. But the churches to leave their old structures, probably adptaran the structure of the primitive church, to maintain their spirituality.
    If Nehemiah saw the spiritual reality of the church today, probably cry as it did with Jerusalem destroyed.
    So to paraphrase the words of Nehemiah, I would say to the church today: "You see the evil that we, the church is spiritually desolate and its gates burned by sin. Stand up and us build the spiritual walls of the church and most are not in shame. "


    "And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
    And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not beleft here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."(Matthew 24,1-2)

    When the disciples were surprised to hear this answer from the Lord. The place that had for centuries been the center of religious worship for the Jews would be destroyed. But what the Lord wanted to show his disciples that the structure was never the same as human spiritual and therefore such structures were not in place.
    Religiosity is that structure that will soon disappear, but to survive is trying to take new forms, one of them is called denominationalism. The denominationalism is an evil that exists in churches and that, instead of uniting the divided people of God and the Church of Christ.
    Unfortunately there are many Christian denominations that based on systems, doctrines, forms of government, rites and human, are setting up an authority far beyond the biblical teaching. Such "Christian denominations are the temple looked astonished disciples, because these names give (the man willing to receive God) pleasant and enjoyable ways to have an encounter with God "but they are just mere religiosity.
    Expanded site with good sound, many people effusive, comfortable seats, and anything profound teachings are the names of the keynote today.
    I personally think that just as the Lord proclaimed the end of the Jewish religious representation in the Temple of Jerusalem, so also the religion of these names and collapse came to an end. What will be the sign of the destruction of these churches or denominations? The discontent of the Christians have sus'propias denominations.
    Perhaps this will soon emerge a more spiritual and more freedom, without a human structure, a unit where the Lord Jesus Christ is our only Shepherd and the Holy Spirit our Temple

  2. Prophet- You may have some interesting points but they're lost in a rambling article. Please keep your comments in a "comment-able" length rather than cutting and pasting articles.

  3. Hey Brian - it sounds like y'all had a good Presbytery meeting. Here in 2nd, we had a little more 'discussion' about some issues that took us to 5 pm! Then, it was 2.45 hr drive home - got to love those days!


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