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Appendix C - Mr. Bacon falsely claims that the Puritan Reformed Church has rejected modest means of reconciliation.

Mr. Bacon writes:

However, because more modest means have not prevailed; because these men

desire not a dialogue but a diatribe; because they have such a public profile and have since May of 1996 made their case in a public way, it has now become necessary for us to answer their error in a public way (Defense Departed).

In as much as it has become a matter of public record (in Mr. Bacon's, A Defence Departed) that the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton allegedly has not availed itself of the "modest means" employed by Mr. Bacon and several other men in order to be reconciled to the Reformation Presbyterian Church, let it further become a matter of public record (by the following correspondences) that by several modest means the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton earnestly, gently, and respectfully sought to address the significant issues that led to their dissociation. The Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton made several different suggestions in correspondences to the Reformation Presbyterian Church as to how they might informally meet together in order to discuss the reasons for their dissociation, but not once did they receive any correspondence from the Reformation Presbyterian Church stating a willingness to meet with them informally (to the contrary, all that the PRCE received were threats of censure for contumacy from the Reformation Presbyterian Church if they refused to appear as cited).

In effect, the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton was told that the only way the Reformation Presbyterian Church would meet with them was if they officially appeared before their court (thus compelling the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton to recognize the lawful jurisdiction of the Reformation Presbyterian Church which was the very point at issue). Although the Session of the PRCE was cited to appear officially in the courts of the RPC and threatened with censure for contumacy if they did not appear (Note: contumacy is an obstinate resistance to lawful authority), the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton attempted to explain respectfully in its correspondence that their unwillingness to accede to these "citations" was not contumacious, but rather conscientious (i.e. it was not due to a rebellious spirit against God or any lawful court, but rather it was due to a submissive conscience to God and His Word).

Furthermore, let the reader observe that the letters sent to the Reformation Presbyterian Church by the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton contain sincere entreaties and earnest pleas that the Reformation Presbyterian Church might agree to meet with the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton in an unofficial setting in order to discuss any and all issues related to their dissociation and in order to pursue a faithful reconciliation in the truth. Such an informal meeting required neither the Reformation Presbyterian Church nor the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton to acknowledge either the lawfulness of one another's courts or the legitimacy of actions taken by either side. Is it a spirit of contumacy when one declares his sincere desire to talk with brethren (in order to be reconciled in the truth), but only desires that brethren accede to one request for the sake of conscience? "Brethren, let us meet informally."

In the correspondence published on First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett's web page, Pastor Price writes (October 19,1996):

Brother, here we reach an impasse. For you maintain that we must recognize your jurisdiction and compear before your courts which is to (sic) in effect to declare our dissociation to be sinful. We maintain that we cannot recognize your courts until we have settled certain issues that led to our dissociation. Thus, we cannot discuss our dissociation apart from the matters of truth and conscience that led to our dissociation. If I might paraphrase the problem: You want us to make null and void our dissociation and begin by admitting our sin in that matter by compearing before your courts; whereas we want to begin by discussing in an informal forum the reasons which led to our dissociation. Dick, we can no more concede to this request, than our protesting forefathers would acquiesce to the demands of the Resolutioner Assemblies to compear before their pretended courts. If you maintain the only way to resolve these issues is first to appear before you and confess our sin, then we will never get to the matters that led to our dissociation.

Mr. Bacon refuses an informal face to face meeting with the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton.

Mr. Bacon responds (October 20, 1996):

Yes, and I also could not in good conscience concede to your request. So in what way do you think things will change by having a coffee­klatch type meeting? I do not see that as a solution.

Why wouldn't Mr. Bacon talk to us informally? We simply asked for a face to face context in which we could explain our dissociation and carefully listen to any objections made? How would this violate Mr. Bacon's conscience?

While Mr. Bacon very forthrightly declares how meeting together with the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton is against his conscience, he shows his double standard and his lack of concern for our case of conscience when he sinfully says:

By the same token, if they [the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton ­ GB] believed their position to be true regardless of the state of their conscience, they could have brought an overture to the Reformation Presbyterian Church (Defense Departed, emphases added).

Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh (Matthew 18:7, AV).

How can Mr. Bacon say we should have overtured the Presbytery "regardless of the state of our conscience?" What faithful minister counsels people to act, "regardless of the state of their conscience?" Should we do evil that good may come? This clearly shows how far Mr. Bacon is willing to go in order to avoid any attempt at reconciliation except on his terms and in submission to his authority. This, again, is a sad commentary on the credibility of his counsel and his integrity as a minister.

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men (Acts 24:16, AV).

While the Scripture clearly teaches us not to do evil that good may come, we ask where the Scripture teaches that the men of the pretended presbytery of the Reformation Presbyterian Church were required to speak with us only in the official context of a judicatory? Mr. Bacon, in saying that he could not in good conscience concede to our request, needs to produce a scriptural reason (and perhaps an historical reason would be helpful as well) for his case of conscience. He needs to demonstrate where the Scripture teaches that brethren should not informally meet together as individuals for the purpose of reconciling differences. This we are certain he could never do since we know that the Word of God teaches that we must be ready and willing to reconcile with any offended brother who is willing to meet with us.

Matthew Henry comments:

If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he ought not to complain of it to others, as is often done merely upon report, but to go to the offender privately, state the matter kindly, and show him his conduct. This would generally have all the desired effect with a true Christian, and the parties would be reconciled. The principles of these rules may be practised every where, and under all circumstances, though they are too much neglected by all. But how few try the method which Christ has expressly enjoined to all his disciples! In all our proceedings we should seek direction in prayer; we cannot too highly prize the promises of God. Wherever and whenever we meet in the name of Christ, we should consider him as present in the midst of us (Matthew Henry Commentary on Matt. 18:15, emphases added).

Furthermore, Mr. Bacon says it would be against his conscience to meet with us in what he terms, a "coffee­klatch type meeting." This is to disparage the reconciliation process before it has even begun. If anyone, even those who will not recognize our church court, should wish to reconcile a matter of offence with us, we should meet with them privately and endeavor to begin the process of reconciliation. How can we start the process if we refuse to meet?

Furthermore, Mr. Bacon says:

First, it is our intention by making the correspondence between the PRCE and other members of the Reformation Presbyterian Church and its churches public, to demonstrate that we have, in fact, made use of more private and modest means of reconciliation. We will leave it to the reader to determine for himself if the PRCE session has been reasonable or easily entreated (Defense Departed).

Since Mr. Bacon desires the reader "to determine for himself if the PRCE session has been reasonable or easily entreated" (Defence Departed), why did he not give to the reader particular public communications that passed between the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton and the Reformation Presbyterian Church? The reason is obvious ­ it is because these public correspondences are so damaging to the case he wishes to make (i.e. the slanderous allegations he has made concerning the so­called obstinacy exhibited by the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton).

The Reformation Presbyterian Church (in its correspondence with the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton) desired to address first the way in which the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton dissociated (and the reasons subsequently), whereas the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton desired to address first the reasons for their dissociation (and the way subsequently). The Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton argued that the only means by which one can know whether the way in which they dissociated was lawful, was to know first whether the reasons for which they dissociated were lawful. If the reasons for dissociation proved groundless, then the way would likewise prove groundless. However, if the reasons for dissociation were warranted by biblical and historical testimony, then the way in which they dissociated would likewise prove warranted. The Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton realized that if they officially appeared in the court of the Reformation Presbyterian Church and thereby recognized their lawful jurisdiction, they would by their actions deny the very biblical and constitutional principles that led to their dissociation. "Give up your principles and your conscience, confess that you sinned in the way that you dissociated, and then we may meet together" was the message coming from the Reformation Presbyterian Church. The Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton responded, "We long to be reconciled in the truth, and we are willing to meet in any informal setting possible in order to discuss both the reasons and the means of our dissociation, but to ask us to lay down our biblical and constitutional principles or offer our conscience on the altar of compromise is unreasonable ­ that we can never do!"

The Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton argued that the Reformation Presbyterian Church was not a lawful court of Jesus Christ, and therefore no other resort remained to the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton except to dissociate. It is again worthy of note that of the four original ministers who identified themselves with the Reformation Presbyterian Church (Mr. Bacon, Mr. Robinson, Dr. Crick, and Mr. Price), three of them (Mr. Robinson, Dr. Crick, and Mr. Price) concluded that the Reformation Presbyterian Church was not a lawfully constituted court of Jesus Christ (each of these three ministers subsequently dissociated ­ see Appendix B). Of the three original ruling elders serving on Sessions identified with the Reformation Presbyterian Church (Mr. Seekamp, Mr. G. Barrow, and Mr. Dohms), two of them (Mr. G. Barrow and Mr. Dohms) concluded that the Reformation Presbyterian Church was not a lawfully constituted court of Jesus Christ (each of these two ruling elders subsequently dissociated). After the dissociation of the three ministers and two ruling elders mentioned above, the Reformation Presbyterian Church was left with one minister (Mr. Bacon), one ruling elder (Mr. Seekamp), and one Session (First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett). Although the mere number of men that dissociated from the Reformation Presbyterian Church does not in and of itself determine the lawfulness of their reasons, it should drive the cautious reader to explore the reasons why such a vast majority of these men dissociated.

If the Reformation Presbyterian Church sincerely cared for the souls of the Session and Congregation of the Puritan Reformed Church Edmonton (believing they had fallen into some serious schismatic error), why would the Reformation Presbyterian Church not agree to meet with the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton in an informal setting (whereby their consciences before God and His Word would not be violated) in order to convince them of their error and in order to reclaim them to Christ? Is that using authority for the purpose of edification (even conceding for the sake of argument that the authority of the Reformation Presbyterian Church was lawful)? Is it being easily entreated not to concede to a sincere request to meet with brothers in an informal setting so as to avoid offence of conscience before God and His Word? Is it seeking to restore brethren in a spirit of gentleness when earnest pleas are made to meet in an informal setting and all that is received in return is a threat of censure for contumacy?

It should also be interjected that it was not Mr. Bacon who first initiated personal correspondence to be reconciled with the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton, but rather the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton (through Mr. Price) who first initiated personal correspondence with Mr. Bacon (Oct.18, 1996) with prayerful anticipation that such correspondence might lead to a reconciliation between brothers in Christ. It was the express desire of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton to use modest means by which to be reconciled in the truth with the Reformation Presbyterian Church. It should also be noted that it was Mr. Price who last corresponded with Mr. Bacon (Jan.9, 1997) and that it was Mr. Bacon who ended the personal correspondence with Mr. Price just as some of the significant issues that divided them were being addressed. Mr. Bacon never gave to Mr. Price a reason why he abruptly ended his correspondence (although Mr. Bacon subsequently published on his web page that it was allegedly due to Dr. Crick and Pastor Robinson speaking with the PRCE). Those who have read Appendix B will readily see that neither Dr. Crick, nor Pastor Robinson, needed the PRCE to convince them that a lawful vow was never taken to constitute the RPC presbytery. The facts and events surrounding the alleged vow speak so clearly for themselves that everyone present at that meeting (except the Rowlett Session of course) has independently concluded that Mr. Bacon and Mr. Seekamp have misrepresented the matter.

The reader is invited to read the following correspondence which passed between Mr. Price and Mr. Bacon and to judge for himself whether Mr. Price was obstinate or whether Mr. Price was respectfully pursuing reconciliation in the truth. Let the reader judge whether it was right for Mr. Bacon to refuse a meeting of all the ministers and elders when the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton continually offered to clear our differences. More modest means did not prevail because Mr. Bacon was not willing to use more modest means. What more modest means could have been proposed, under the circumstances, than to meet together informally as brothers in order to discuss the matters related to the recent dissociation? Mr. Bacon says that he refused to do this because he didn't see what such "a coffee­klatch meeting" would accomplish. Perhaps he would have been proved right, but the fact is that the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton was willing to try, but (as the evidence clearly demonstrates) he was not. Offers from the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton to meet face to face have always been and continue to be open. For Mr. Bacon to accuse the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton of rejecting modest means of reconciliation is a slanderous lie. The evidence is clear and simple. The Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton offered to meet informally with the Reformation Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Bacon said, "No." No amount of lying or misrepresentation can cover up that fact.

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour (Ecclesiastes 10:1, AV).

Let the reader judge for himself from the correspondences that follow who evidenced and displayed modest means of reconciliation and a spirit of gentleness in their communications.



Letter #1 ­ April 13, 1996, from Mr. Seekamp (Stated Clerk of the Reformation Presbyterian Church) to the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton.

The biblical and historical reasons for the nonattendance of the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton at this meeting of the Reformation Presbyterian Church had been communicated to them prior to this meeting of Presbytery. It was made clear that nonattendance was not due to personal issues at all, but only due to matters of conscience related to biblical and constitutional principles. Furthermore, an earnest plea and desire for reconciliation in the truth had been communicated to the Reformation Presbyterian Church in the letter of dissociation sent by the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton. This was the first response received by the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton from the Reformation Presbyterian Church subsequent to their dissociation. In this first official communication from the Reformation Presbyterian Church already the charge of contumacy is laid upon the table.

From: Dave Seekamp
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 1996 11:01 PM
To: 'prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca'; 'lwdohms@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca'
Cc: 'dbacon@airmail.net'; 'scotkirk@aol.com'; 'TWorrell l@aol.com'
Subject: 2nd Notice to Appear before the Presbytery

Dear Edmonton Session members,

As Clerk, I have been asked to convey the following message to you. Here is the official action of presbytery from the meeting held 4/6/96.

It was moved and seconded that in light of the Edmonton session's non­appearance at the presbytery meeting, that we cite them a second time to appear. This meeting is to occur in Charlotte, NC on June 22, 1996 to convene at 9:00 AM. If they do not appear at this meeting charges of contumacy will be filed against them.

The motion passed without opposition.

In view of this motion, the Edmonton session is cited the second time to appear before the Presbytery of the Reformation Presbyterian Church on June 22, 1996 at 9:00 AM. We will notify you of the exact location in Charlotte, NC as soon as this is determined.

The reasons for appearing are as formerly stated: "..the Edmonton session is summoned to appear to personally explain the rationale for, and consequences of, their recent adoption of the Covenants, National and Solemn League, in addition to, the Terms of Communion as set down in the RPC North Britain of 1761".

Additionally, during the presbytery meeting held 4/6/96, it was moved, "that we remind Elder Greg Barrow of his duty to keep the Presbytery informed about his progress as a man under care". Please consider this memo as a reminder directed to Elder Barrow and forward this communication to him.

Please notify us upon receipt of this mail.

For Christ's Kingdom and glory,

David Seekamp
Clerk of Presbytery
Reformed Presbyterian Church


Letter #2 ­ April 20, 1996, from the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton to Mr. Seekamp (Stated Clerk of the Reformation Presbyterian Church).

This is the first response of the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton to the citation and threatened charge of contumacy issued by the Reformation Presbyterian Church. Let the reader compare both the tone and the modest means used in the public correspondence of the Reformation Presbyterian Church and that of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton.

Date: Sat, 20 Apr 1996 12:22:16 ­0600
From: prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca
Subject: /u/010/prcedm/mail/Notice

Mr. David Seekamp
The Clerk of Presbytery
The Reformation Presbyterian Church
April 18, 1996

Dear Brethren,

We acknowledge receipt of your correspondence (dated April 15, 1996) concerning "a second notice to appear before the Presbytery." We request that the clerk please provide us with minutes from the most recent meeting of the Presbytery as soon as he is able.

The motion passed by the Presbytery ("It was moved and seconded that in light of the Edmonton session's non­appearance at the presbytery meeting, that we cite them a second time to appear. This meeting is to occur in Charlotte, NC on June 22, 1996 to convene at 9:00 AM. If they do not appear at this meeting charges of contumacy will be filed against them.") begs the very question which this session has already put to the Presbytery in our correspondence of March 27, 1996: Is the Reformation Presbyterian Church a duly constituted court of Jesus Christ? Not only have we maintained that the constitution of The Reformation Presbyterian Church is unfaithful to the terms of communion established by our covenanted and presbyterian forefathers of The Second Reformation (cf. our correspondence of March 27, 1996), but we also maintain that The Reformation Presbyterian Church is not duly constituted for the fundamental reason that no formal vows have yet been taken by officers of The Reformation Presbyterian Church to any constitution. Certain subordinate standards and a subscription statement have been adopted by The Reformation Presbyterian Church, but no formal vows have yet been publicly taken by any officer in owning these as subordinate standards. Churches that profess to be reformed have universally maintained that a binding union is established between a church officer and a church when he publicly promises (vows) and owns the constitution of the church before witnesses. This is even required by A MANUAL OF THE PRACTICE OF THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF SCOTLAND (pp. 123­127). This formed the reason why The Reformation Presbyterian Church at its meeting of July 22, 1995 in Snellville, Georgia rightly chose not to censure Mr. John Cripps for breaking any vows, for he had not broken any formal vows which constitutionally bound him to The Reformation Presbyterian Church. Thus, brethren, if you maintain that you are lawfully constituted, we request the Presbytery to produce from the minutes of presbytery formal vows which any officer has taken to the constitution of The Reformation Presbyterian Church (as distinguished from motions which only adopt certain documents as subordinate standards of The Reformation Presbyterian Church).

Brethren, until you present us with answers to these constitutional questions, we cannot own you as a duly constituted court of the Lord Jesus Christ. For these reasons we have necessarily declined the jurisdiction of The Reformation Presbyterian Church. We are not acting from a spirit of contumacy at all, but from a biblical and historical necessity to establish duly constituted order and authority within a church court before it can lawfully rule on behalf of Christ. Therefore, we believe the Presbytery cannot lawfully (de jure) cite us to appear before it as a true church court (even if it does so de facto), nor can it lawfully charge us with contumacy if it be not a lawfully constituted church court. We plead with the Presbytery to answer these questions. We do not desire to remain separated from you brethren. The issue of a duly constituted authority cannot be avoided.

Furthermore, we have made known our willingness to discuss these matters with the Presbytery. In our e­mail correspondence to the Presbytery (March 27, 1996), we stated this to be our desire, and in phone conversations with the Presbytery through the Moderator before the last Presbytery meeting, we assured the Presbytery of our willingness to meet with them via conference call. We waited to see if the Presbytery desired to meet with us, but we received no communication to that effect. Though unable to afford the expense of flying our entire session to Rowlett, we willingly consented to appear before the Presbytery by conference call to discuss our actions. Thus, we did not wilfully refuse to "appear" before the Presbytery on even the first occasion. Concerning "the second notice" to appear, we request that the venue of the meeting be changed to Edmonton since we have borne a greater financial burden in previous meetings due to the greater distance we have had to travel. If the Presbytery should yet choose to meet in Charlotte, NC, we must decline appearing personally at that meeting (for financial considerations), though we would yet be willing to consider the possibility of a conference call on that date. We do not consider our non­appearance at these meetings for financial reasons to be the result of contumacy on our parts. Such a trip for our entire session would cost us in the vicinity of $3,000 (Canadian). Our church budget will not permit such an expenditure. So you see, brethren, we are not refusing to discuss these issues with you, nor are we refusing to meet with you. Please seriously consider our request for a change of venue if you desire to meet with us personally, or consider a conference call on June 22 if you desire to discuss these matters with us at that time in Charlotte.

We acknowledge as well that we have received the Presbytery's motion (of 4/6/96) "that we remind Elder Greg Barrow of his duty to keep the Presbytery informed about his progress as a man under care." Brethren, since we have declined the jurisdiction of The Reformation Presbyterian Church due to its absence of duly constituted authority as a church court, we must maintain that Mr. Barrow was never under care of a truly constituted Presbytery. We implore you to join with us in establishing a duly constituted Presbytery that is agreeable to the Word of God and to the standards of our covenanted and presbyterian forefathers of The Second Reformation. To that end shall we continue to work and pray.

For Christ's Crown And Covenant,
The Session of Puritan Reformed Church


Letter #3 ­ April 23, 1996, from Mr. Seekamp (Stated Clerk of the Reformation Presbyterian Church to the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton.

Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 07:49:10 ­0700
From: Dave Seekamp <davese@MICROSOFT.com>
To: 'Greg Price' <prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>, 'Lyndon Dohms' <lwdohms@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>
Cc: 'Richard Bacon' <dbacon@airmail.net>, 'Jerry Crick' <scotkirk@aol.com>, 'Tim Worrell ' <TWorrell l@aol.com>
Subject: RE: Response to Second Notice from Presbytery

Dear Pastor Price and Edmonton Session,

As Clerk, I acknowledge the receipt of your correspondence. Your response will become part of the records of the case. I will be forwarding a copy of your correspondence to Pastor Robinson since he is not on email.

A full copy of the minutes from the April presbytery meeting will be mailed out very soon.

In the Lord's Name,

Dave Seekamp

 

Letter #4 ­ May 13, 1996, from Mr. Seekamp (Stated Clerk of the Reformation Presbyterian Church) to the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton.

In this letter Mr. Seekamp makes certain allegations against the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church for which (to his credit) he subsequently repented and was forgiven. Thus, this letter and the following one are only included to give a faithful transmission of public correspondence that passed between the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton and the Reformation Presbyterian Church.

Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 17:57:53 ­0700
From: Dave Seekamp <davese@MICROSOFT.com>
To: 'Greg Price' <prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>, 'Lyndon Dohms' <lwdohms@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>
Cc: 'Richard Bacon' <dbacon@airmail.net>, 'Jerry Crick' <scotkirk@aol.com>, 'Tim Worrell ' <TWorrell l@aol.com>
Subject: RE:2nd Notice to Appear before the Presbytery

Dear Edmonton Session:

This is an official response to you from the Clerk of the Presbytery. The previous notice will be mailed to you by certified letter and will constitute the 2nd notice to appear according to our book of order adopted at the last meeting of Presbytery: A Manual of the practice of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

The place of meeting, date and time of the meeting remain the same as in the previous communication:

With reference to the cost considerations, this was never an issue as long while you were committed to the Presbytery. Speaking for the Presbytery (I may be overruled when we convene), we may be willing to provide financial assistance under the following conditions:

1) If you're purpose is to come and repent, recognizing your vow breaking with us by your disassociation, then some kind of financial assistance might be possible. Otherwise, you need to pay your own expenses. We are not interested in financing a pattern of vow breaking with respect to vows made before the Lord. Please send me email if this is your purpose for attending.

2) Also, it is necessary that you make your reservations within the next 4 days of the receipt of this letter in order to get the lowest fares possible. Considering the appraisal of the costs, you should find something for substantially less than a $1000. Pastor Bacon found tickets (at the time of your previous response) for less than $600 round trip with one connection through a travel agency.

It is not necessary for all the members of your session to appear. Your church is entitled to one vote in presbytery according to our book of order. If the church has a pastor, he also has a vote as a member of Presbytery. However, neither are able to vote in their own case. As a member of presbytery, Pastor Price's attendance is required. Believing in representative government as we do, one or more members of your session can represent the other session members before presbytery.

Best regards in the Lord's name,

David Seekamp
Clerk of Presbytery


Letter #5 ­ June 19, 1996, from the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton to Mr. Seekamp (Stated Clerk of the Reformation Presbyterian Church).

Especially note the reference made to the many brotherly attempts initiated on the part of the Puritan Reformed Church to speak with the men of the Reformation Presbyterian Church concerning reconciliation. Where were the attempts on the part of the Reformation Presbyterian Church to use modest means to be reconciled to the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton?

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996 22:43:35 ­0600
From: prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca
Subject: /u/010/prcedm/mail/seekamp2
To: The Reformation Presbyterian Church

David Seekamp, Clerk of Presbytery
June 19, 1996
From: The Session of Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton

Dear Brethren,

In light of your upcoming meeting of Presbytery (June 21-22, 1996) in Charlotte, NC, we believe it would be advantageous to address several matters that have been communicated to us from members of presbytery since your last meeting (April 6, 1996) in Rowlette, TX.

1. We have been cited a second time to appear before presbytery, and if we do not appear we will be charged with contumacy. As we made clear in our communication to presbytery by e­mail (April 18, 1996), we have been willing to address the issues related to our dissociation and continue to be willing to do so. This fact is established by our communications with presbytery via the moderator before the last presbytery meeting in Rowlette (April 6, 1996), wherein we agreed to meet with presbytery by means of conference call. We understood this would be acceptable to presbytery since Dr. Crick would be attending that meeting of presbytery by means of conference call as well. However, we were not contacted to set up a conference call. Why were we not contacted? Contumacy implies an obstinate refusal to hear or listen. For the record, we were willing then to speak with you, and are still willing to do so. Our willingness to address the matters of our dissociation is further evidenced by the number of phone calls (approximately 8) we have made to members of presbytery. Would you honestly accuse us of obstinately refusing to talk with you? Since presbytery has not initiated a single phone call with us, has the presbytery demonstrated as much willingness to talk with us as we have with them? If presbytery sincerely views our session as having been led astray, where is presbytery's willingness to talk with us by conference call so as to lead us back into the paths of righteousness?

2. In a recent e­mail communication (May 13, 1996) from presbytery via the clerk, it was stated, *This is an official response to you from the Clerk of the Presbytery. . . . Speaking for the Presbytery (I may be overruled when we convene), we may be willing to provide financial assistance under the following conditions: (1) If you're (sic) purpose is to come to repent . . . .* We call the presbytery's attention to the fact that the presbytery has not yet charged us with a sin for which to repent. This appears to us to be a case of having been found guilty by presbytery before even having been charged with a specific sin (a violation of the ninth commandment or any faithful book of church order). Upon your supposition that we are yet members of presbytery, is this proceeding by due process of law?

3. One of our stated reasons for not appearing in person before the members of presbytery (namely, our present financial circumstances), appears to be dismissed by presbytery via the clerk (in an official presbytery communication by e­mail, dated May 13, 1996) as either irrelevant or fabricated since *this was never an issue as long while (sic) you were committed to the Presbytery.* As a matter of record, we asked the presbytery to consider meeting in Edmonton in an official communication (dated March 8, 1996) and in unofficial communications (both verbal and e­mail). We have discussed this as one of the significant issues for not attending the meeting at Rowlette and Charlotte in recent session meetings as well. In all previous meetings of presbytery, our representatives have travelled by far the furthest distance and have incurred the most significant costs. Since presbytery has no evidence to the contrary, why does presbytery cast doubt upon our testimony as if it were spurious? If evidence to the contrary is available, please provide such evidence.

4. The presbytery apparently refuses to accept our willingness to meet with them by conference call, and yet it agreed to have Dr. Crick attend the last meeting of presbytery by conference call. We were cited for not appearing because we did not appear in person. Did Dr. Crick appear in person at the last meeting of presbytery? This appears to us to be an inconsistency. Why is Dr. Crick's excuse acceptable and ours unacceptable?

5. Does presbytery have unanimity amongst itself as to when individuals were constituted as members of presbytery by virtue of public and formal vows? Were formal vows to be united as members of presbytery taken at the first meeting of presbytery (October 1, 1994), or the second meeting (January 28, 1995), or the third meeting (July 22, 1995), or the fourth meeting (April 6, 1996), or were they taken on any previous occasion? We have received a diversity of opinion from the members of presbytery to such a simple question? Such should not be the case if the answer is so clear. This is our reason for not officially recognizing the constituted authority of presbytery to cite us to appear before it. Beyond the matters related to our differences in terms of communion, we wish to communicate to you that at no time in the process of determining the wording of our form of subscription did we conceive or in any way understand that we were taking formal vows. We can only ask that you believe our sincere testimony. Can you cite for us any presbyterian body that was constituted implicitly without formal vows?

6. Our session would propose that we meet as brothers in a neutral location (such as Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, or Calgary) to informally discuss our differences. Due to the difference that exists in our terms of communion, we cannot in good conscience meet together formally in the context of a church court. If the conference call arrangement is not acceptable to presbytery, we ask presbytery to meet with us in person at a location that will considerably minimize our expenses.

We do pray that you will seriously consider the matters we have raised at your meeting in Charlotte, NC, June 21­22, 1996. We do love you as fellow brethren in Christ and do pray that there might yet be a reconciliation of significant issues that presently separate us.

Respectfully,

The Session of Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton

P.S. Since the moderator cannot receive this communication by e­mail, please see that he receives a copy. Please confirm that you have received this communication.


Letter #6 ­ June 20, 1996, from Mr. Seekamp (Stated Clerk of the Reformation Presbyterian Church) to the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton.

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 12:10:08 ­0700
From: Dave Seekamp <davese@MICROSOFT.com>
To: "'Greg Price'" <prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>
Cc: 'Richard Bacon' <dbacon@airmail.net>, 'Jerry Crick' <scotkirk@aol.com>, 'Tim Worrell ' <TWorrell l@aol.com>
Subject: RE: Presbytery/Charlotte

Your communication has been received. I will suggest that the Presbytery as a whole should answer the points you have raised.


Letter #7 ­ October 18,1996, from Mr. Price (Pastor of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton) to Mr. Bacon (Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett).

This was an earnest attempt initiated on the part of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton to continue to seek reconciliation with Mr. Bacon. There intervened a series of communications between Mr. Price and Mr. Bacon which were abruptly ended (for no stated reason at that time) by Mr. Bacon (Jan. 9, 1997, cf. the communication below).

Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 17:42:01 ­0600 (MDT)
From: prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca
To: Richard Bacon <dbacon@airmail.net>
Subject: Request To Dialogue

Dear Dick,

Members of our session have communicated with other members of The Reformation Presbyterian Church in the past several months. However, we have not corresponded directly with you or your session. I would like to know if you would be interested in engaging in a dialogue with me concerning any matters related to our dissociation, or matters related to our convictions concerning church or state? As we have expressed in writing and in verbal communication, so I emphasize again: We do desire to be reconciled together as one body again. However, the conscientious reasons for our necessary dissociation must first be addressed. If you are interested, you may begin by stating your question, observation, conviction etc. I hope to hear from you soon.

Respectfully,

Greg L. Price


Letter # 8 ­ November 23, 1996.

Date: Sat, 23 Nov 1996 20:27:27 ­0800
From: Dave Seekamp <davese@MICROSOFT.com>
To: "'Richard Bacon'" <dbacon@airmail.net>, "'Jerry Crick'" <scotkirk@aol.com>, "'Greg Price'" <prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>, 'Greg Barrow' <gbarrow@portal.connect.ab.ca>, 'Lyndon Dohms' <lwdohms@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca>, 'Tim Worrell l' <TWorrell l@aol.com>
Subject: Called and Ordinary Meetings of Presbytery

Dear Fathers and Brethren,

The moderator has announced a called meeting of Presbytery on Saturday, December 7, 1996 to be convened at 11:00 AM in Rowlett, Texas at the First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett, 8210 Schrade, Rowlett, Texas.

The stated purpose of this pro ra nata meeting is to consider the Petition received from Elder Seekamp and reports that have been circulated regarding the character of Pastor Bacon.

The ordinary Fall meeting of Presbytery will be on Saturday, January 25, 1997 to convene at 9:00 AM. This meeting will be held in Simpsonville, SC at the Scottish Presbyterian Kirk of the Covenant, 119 Woodcliff Court, Simpsonville, SC. More details will be distributed regarding this meeting very shortly [emphases added ­ GB].

Best regards in the Lord,

David Seekamp
Clerk of Presbytery


Letter #9 ­ December 3, 1996, from Mr. Price (Pastor of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton) to Mr. Bacon (Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett) and Mr. Seekamp (Clerk of Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett).

The following personal note was issued by Mr. Price upon receiving a communication from Mr. Seekamp (cited above ­ Letter #8) concerning a call to a special meeting of the Reformation Presbyterian Church to be held in Rowlett, Texas in order to address reports concerning problems within the Rowlett congregation. Is this the correspondence of one who does not care to use modest means in order to be reconciled with brethren? What more (short of ignoring our conscience) could have been done to demonstrate our sincere desire for reconciliation?

Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 09:07:51 ­0700 (MST)
From: prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca
To: Richard Bacon <dbacon@airmail.net>, David Seekamp <davese@Microsoft.com>
Subject: Prayer

Dear Brothers,

I wanted you to know that neither myself nor our session takes delight at what we have read concerning the grievous situation in Rowlett. To the contrary, our hearts are grieved. We do not bear you any animosity. We have sought (by God's grace) to prevent a root of bitterness from springing up in our hearts, so that we might yet be reconciled to you, our brothers. Our concerns are yet of a theological nature, and not of a personal nature. Please know that sincere prayers for a righteous settlement of the problems in both church and family are offered up on your behalf [emphases added ­ GB].

The God of our fathers be with you,

Greg

 

Letter #10 ­ January 9, 1997, from Mr. Price (Pastor of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton) to Mr. Bacon (Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett).

This is the final personal correspondence between Mr. Price and Mr. Bacon. The series of communications between Mr. Price and Mr. Bacon (which had been initiated by Mr. Price) were abruptly ended (for no stated reason at that time) by Mr. Bacon. Several months later, the web page for the First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett posted that the reason Mr. Bacon ended his personal correspondence with Mr. Price was due to the continued contact between the PRCE and the other ministers of the RPC. This communication has been included in order that the reader may see for himself that there was exhibited no spirit of obstinacy by Mr. Price, but there difficult questions proposed by Mr. Price for which Mr. Bacon provided no answer at the time nor since.

Note: the headings and dates to all of the following correspondence are supplied by Greg Barrow to assist the reader.

Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 21:44:15 ­0700 (MST)
From: prcedm@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca
To: Richard Bacon <dbacon@airmail.net>
Subject: Re: Request To Dialogue (fwd)

Dick,

We are finally getting settled in from our move and hope I will be able to reply to email messages more regularly.

Mr. Price wrote from a previous letter (12­18­96):

The problem we faced was one in which we had come to firm convictions that the terms of communion in the Reformation Presbyterian Church were contrary to the biblical and covenanted reformation as attained to in the Church of Scotland (1638­1649). We then realized the Reformation Presbyterian Church was not rightly constituted by virtue of what I just mentioned as well as by virtue of not having formally taken vows as church officers. We yet believe we acted appropriately in dissociating ourselves and then calling the Reformation Presbyterian Church to repentance in light of the unconstituted establishment of the Reformation Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Bacon responded in a previous letter (12­19­96):

That was NOT the problem you wrote to us about in February (nor earlier still in December). You did not express that this was a case of conscience at that time and in fact as late as February continued to assure me that separation was NOT on your agenda.

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

It was not a case of conscience until March. When it became a case of conscience we wrote to you explaining our reasons for dissociation. The reason separation never came up in our email correspondence in December or February was because we were not considering it at that point in time.

Mr. Bacon writes in a previous letter (12­19­96):

In your opinion, the RPC was not rightly constituted prior to March of 1995 [1996 ­ GB]. So, please explain what irremedial position the the RPC had taken that prohibited your calling the presbytery to repentance prior to your departure?

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

We never indicated that the situation in the RPC was *irremedial.* We stated we could not be apart of a *pretended* presbytery which had not been lawfully constituted and whose terms of communion were contrary to our own. We have always maintained that our dissociation from the RPC could be remedied if the constitutional issues and terms of communion were resolved.

Mr. Price writes in a previous letter (12­18­96) concerning the wording of the subscription statement:

It is true that we sinfully agreed to accept the statement to which you refer above. We have repented of our sin and have asked the Reformation Presbyterian Church and the Puritan Reformed Church to forgive us for agreeing to what we now believe to have been perjury on our parts in disowning the SLC [Solemn League and Covenant ­ GB]. What did you precisely understand the following statement to mean: "It is not necessary to take the covenant of the three kingdoms"? This seems to be one of the most significant issues that separates us. We (the session of Edmonton) understood that we were abjuring the Solemn League and Covenant as not obligating us (as did Bruce Robinson). Can you explicitly explain whether you believe the Solemn League and Covenant is perpetually binding upon posterity (and if you believe it is, what aspects of the covenant bind posterity?). Are only blood­line descendants bound? Are any nations today bound by the SLC? Are any churches so bound?

Mr. Bacon replies in a previous letter (12­19­96):

The very fact that you are using such terms as "sin and repentance" indicate that you regard the SL&C as the rule of faith and conscience. "Not necessary" means that God alone is Lord of the conscience. I do not have Bruce Robinson's testimony as to "what" he understood. If he so understood it as you do, then why did he not leave the presbytery at the same time you did? Why has he not communicated to the presbytery?

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

We do not regard either the National Covenant (NC) or the Solemn League and Covenant (SL&C) as *the rule of faith and conscience.* We do regard these covenants as subordinate standards that are agreeable to the Word of God which is "the only infallible rule of faith and practice." Thus, because these covenants (and all the standards emitted by the Westminster Assembly) are agreeable to the Word, approved by a lawful General Assembly, and specifically bind the ecclesiastical and national descendants of Scottish, English, and Irish Presbyterianism, we're bound to them.

Dick, was it necessary to subscribe the Westminster Confession of Faith? Why was it necessary to subscribe the WCF but not the SL&C? Was it necessary for Rutherford, Gillespie, or Brown to swear these covenants? To say that it is necessary to take these covenants (or the WCF), or to say that it is sinful not to take these covenants is not to make them our infallible rule of faith and practice, nor is it to deny sola scriptura (if such were the case we would condemn both the first and second reformation for the reformers insisted it was necessary (not for salvation, but for faithfulness to the precepts of God) to own faithful covenants and confessions. They are "a" rule of faith and practice (not "the" rule of faith and practice) because they are agreeable to and founded upon God's Word. Such was the position of our reformers:

[Note: Mr. Bacon never answers the questions put to him in this section ­ GB]

Register of the Council of 24

12 November 1537. It was reported that yesterday the people who had not yet made their oath to the reformation were asked to do so, street by street; whilst many came, many others did not do so. No one came from the German quarter. It was decided that they should be commanded to leave the city if they did not wish to swear to the reformation.

26 November 1537. Some people have been reported to have said that it was perjury to swear to a confession which had be dictated to them in writing. . . [Farel or Calvin] replied that if the contents of the written confession were studied carefully it would be seen that this was not so, but that it was a confession made according to God. Examples from holy Scripture (in Nehemiah and Jeremiah) proved that the people should all be assembled to swear to keep faith with God and observe his commandments (Cited in The Reformation in Germany and Switzerland by Johnson and Scribner, p. 138).

What ever we are obliged to believe and profess as the saving truth of God, that we may lawfully swear to profess, believe and practice, that the bond of faith may be sure: but wee are obliged to believe and profess the national confession of a sound church. . . . and we also swear a National covenant, not as it is mans word, or because the Church or Doctors, at the Churches direction, have set it down in such and such words, such an order or method, but because it is Gods Word, so that we swear to the sense, and meaning of the platform of confession, as to the Word of God; now the Word of God, and sense and meaning of the Word is all one; Gods Law and the true meaning of the Law are not two different things. . . . Therefore it is all one whether a Church swear a confession, in express words of Scripture; or a covenant in other words expounding the Scriptures true meaning and sense according to the language and proper idiom of the Nation and Church; for we swear not words or a platform as it is such, but the matter, sense, and meaning of the Scriptures of God set down in that platform. . . . To swear to the true religion, the defence and maintenance thereof is a lawful oath; as to swear to any thing that is lawful and lay a new band on our souls to perform holy duties, where we swear a breach, and find by experience there hath been a a breach; is also a dutie of moral and perpetual equity . . . (The Due Right Of Presbyteries, Rutherford, pp. 132­134).

At the treaty of Uxbridge, the propositions for religion (of which the confirming of the covenant is the first and chiefest) were acknowledged to be of such excellency and absolute necessity, as they were appointed to be treated of the first place. . . . But their offence which still refuse to take the covenant is not only sinful in itself, but a great dishonour to God, a great scandal to the church, and withal a disobedience to the lawful ordinance of authority (Miscellany Questions, Chapter XVI, Gillespie, pp. 85, 86, 87).

It is a moral duty to abjure all the points of Popery, which was done in the national covenant; and it is a moral duty to endeavour our own reformation and the reformation of the church, which was sworn to in both covenants; it is a moral duty, to endeavour the reformation of England and Ireland, in doctrine, worship, discipline and government, which was sworn to in the league and covenant; it is a moral duty to purge out all unlawful officers out of God's house, and to endeavour the extirpation of heresy and schism, and whatsoever is contrary to sound doctrine, which was sworn to there also; it is a moral duty to do what God had commanded toward superiors, inferiors and equals, which, by the league and covenant, all were bound unto; and, therefore, the covenants are strongly obliging, being more absolute than other covenants, because they bind et vi materiae et vi sanctionis, ­ *both by reason of the matter and by reason of the oath, and so are perpetual, Jer. l.5. . . . * (An Apologetical Relation, John Brown of Wamphray, p. 173).

Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just imposed by lawful authority (Westminster Confession of Faith, 22:3).

Dick, all of the authorities cited above indicate that it is *necessary* to

take a lawful covenant and not to do so is sin.

Mr. Price addresses in a previous letter (12­18­96) why the PRCE has not broken any vows:

I couldn't agree with you more. However, our yeas cannot be yeas if our yeas lead us to sin. In such a case our yeas must become nays.

Mr. Bacon replies in a previous letter (12­19­96):

Exactly. You have made the SL&C the rule of faith and practice. By referring to the non­necessity of taking a particular covenant as a sin, you have made it the (or at least "a") rule of faith and practice.

(WLC 3) What is the word of God?

The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.

(WSC 2) What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?

The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

Did the reformers contradict themselves in the necessity of taking lawful covenants, oaths, and vows? According to your view they must contradict their own standards, for WCF 22:3 affirms that it is a sin not take a lawful oath.

Mr. Price addressing the dissociation of the Puritan Reformed Church from the Reformation Presbyterian Church states in a previous letter (12­18­96):

Our request for such a meeting as we proposed did not imply that nothing at all had happened. This meeting was intended to address exactly that issue: What has happened? Brother, how we handle disagreements in our marriage is one thing and whether or not we are married is another thing. What we are addressing is the matter that we could not discuss our "disagreements" while pretending as if we were married (when we believed we were not married).

Dick Bacon replies in a previous letter (12­19­96):

I disagree with you. On the one hand we have a group claiming that it made UNLAWFUL vows (I do not refer here to rash vows, since such must be kept). Yet for you to be released from those vows, you have the burden to demonstrate that those vows were, in fact, unlawful. We do not believe that it is possible for two men to become lawfully married (or for one presently in the state of matrimony to vow to marry another, etc.); however, it is necessary for a couple who have lived as married to demonstrate that their vows were non­binding.

Greg Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

I took no vows. No one took vows for me. Furthermore, approving the wording of a subscription statement and formally taking subscription vows are two different matters altogether. Moreover, even if (for the sake of argument) vows were taken, they cannot bind if they require us *to do any thing forbidden in the word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded* (WCF 22:7). Since it was stated in the supposed formation of the RPC that it is *not necessary* to take the covenant of the three kingdoms, it would be necessary to disavow such an unlawful vow for the reasons cited above.

Mr. Price clears up a miscommunication in a previous letter (12­18­96):

You counted correctly. Math never was my favorite subject. I think I may have meant to say *these issues* rather than *three issues.* Oh well.

Mr. Bacon agrees in previous letter (12­19­96):

That makes sense.

Mr. Price asks in a previous letter (12­18­96) for clarification regarding Mr. Bacon's recollection of discussion surrounding the statement adopted at the "organizational meeting" in Atlanta, GA (Oct.1, 1994): "It is not necessary to take the Covenant of the three kingdoms."

I must confess, I do not remember the discussion. If you do, please jog my memory. I believe that meeting was taped as well. Perhaps the tape would reveal what was said.

Mr. Bacon replies in a previous letter (12­19­96):

Quite simple really. Necessity implies some rule other than Scripture which binds the conscience. If you wish to take the SL&C (which I assume you have done), no bother to me. However, the term "necessity" implies precisely the position that y'all have now taken ­ which I believe to be directly contrary to the doctrine of sola Scriptura.

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

If we have violated sola Scriptura by making the SL&C a necessity, so have the Westminster divines. For they made it such a necessity that not to take it meant enduring the censures of both the church and state.

Mr. Price discusses in a previous letter (12­18­96) the willingness of the RPC to meet with the PRC:

No, I never suggested that you had stubbornly refused to discuss these issues of conscience with us. However, neither did you agree to meet with us as we proposed so as to discuss these matters. Furthermore, we did not receive any official response to our concerns which were addressed to the Reformation Presbyterian Church (except to note in the minutes that our Overture was not in the right form. We agree that under circumstances that would allow us to remain in a rightly constituted presbytery, we should take the steps outlined above. But that is the very assumption that has not been proven (Was it rightly constituted?). As we continued to indicate by means of email communication to the presbytery, we wanted to talk. We just could not do so while considering ourselves members of a presbytery that was not rightly constituted.

Dick Bacon replies in a previous letter (12­19­96):

Your accusation that I did not agree to meet with you is simply not true. We had a meeting of Presbytery scheduled to meet in Feb. of 1995 [1996 ­ GB]. We were all willing to postpone that meeting until April in order to give your session time to prepare its case and to prosecute an overture. That does NOT demonstrate an unwillingness to talk, brother ­ quite the opposite in my opinion. Again, if in February of 1995 [1996 ­ GB] you believed that Presbytery was not rightly constituted, you could have brought that information, proved your case, called us to repentance, and so on. I cannot see from any of your argumentation thus far (including that which was sent to the Presbytery in March 1995 [1996 ­ GB] and which you did not then follow up), that the Presbytery has done anything of an irremedial nature.

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

You were unwilling to meet with us in any setting except one in which we would have to recognize your jurisdiction. We were willing to come to a meeting when you held your presbytery. We only asked that such a meeting with us not be held while you met in some "official" capacity.

Mr. Bacon writes in a previous letter (12­12­96) regarding the Revolution Settlement:

(2) It was a compromise of the position previously taken by the kirk of Scotland with respect to uniformity of religion.

Mr. Price replies in a previous letter (12­18­96):

I would add, it was an abominable abjuration of the covenanted reformation.

Mr. Bacon responds in a previous letter (12­19­96):

Yes, that is a more inflammatory way of saying the same thing.

Mr. Price attempts to clarify the question in a previous letter (12­18­96):

I am sorry if the question was too vague. Perhaps this may communicate my concern more clearly: Do we have a duty to dissociate ourselves from all ecclesiastical descendants of the Revolution Settlement Church of Scotland (i.e. all those churches that disown or disregard the attainments of the second reformation in their constitutions)?

Mr. Bacon responds in a previous letter (12­19­96):

See, that depends entirely on how you view "attainments." What is one person's "attainment" is another's "traditions of men." As far as the moral and perpetual obligations of the SL&C, I find them fully spelled out in the documents produced by the Assembly, including the Confession, Catechisms, Form of Presbyterial Church Government, and Directory for the Publick Worship of God, etc. And I adhere completely to those moral and perpetual obligations (attainments, if you prefer).

Mr. Price responds again in the present letter (1­9­97):

Then why was it necessary at the time of the second reformation to take the SL&C at all? If it did not add any thing by way of moral or perpetual obligation why was it the first and chief document emitted by the Assembly? If it was a moral obligation for them to take the SL&C, why is it not a moral obligation for us to take it? Do you consider the SL&C an attainment or a tradition of men?

Mr. Bacon asks in a previous letter (12­12­96) what the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland being a descendant of the Revolution settlement in its constitution has to do with the PRCE's dissociation:

(4) What has that to do with us or with anything that took place prior to your letter of disassociation?

Mr. Price replies in a previous letter (12­18­96):

With all due respect brother, it has everything to do with our letter of dissociation. For the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland has adopted in substance the original constitution of the Free Church of Scotland which adopted in substance the original constitution of the Revolution Settlement Church of Scotland. In other words, there is a direct line of ecclesiastical descent from the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland to the Revolution Settlement Church of Scotland. I have already described the constitution of the Revolution Settlement Church of Scotland to be an abominable abjuration of the attainments of the second reformation (cf. Plain Reasons For Presbyterians Dissenting by Clarkson). Since one of those points of sinful and wilful abjuration was the neglectful silence concerning the previous burning and burying of the sacred covenants of Scotland and thus the necessary implication that "it was not necessary to take the covenant of the three kingdoms," and since this was the language adopted toward the SLC at the first meeting in Atlanta, and since the Reformation Presbyterian Church subsequently adopted the standards of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, it is directly to the point of our concern as to what you presently believe concerning the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (which church has not yet set the record straight concerning her own sinful abjuration of the attainments of the second reformation).

Mr. Bacon responds in a previous letter (12­19­96):

But you have not spelled out, other than your desire to take a 17th century vow for three (count'em) kingdoms precisely WHAT is the abjuration of and what the attainment is. Are you seriously suggesting that not aligning ourselves with a 17th century document is sinful (that seems to be what I've read thus far in both your overture and your posts)? If so, then you have made that 17th century document the rule of faith and practice. Necessity is not laid upon me to hold the traditions of men ­ else God shares the throne of my conscience with mortals.

Mr. Price responds again in the present letter (1­9­97):

Who are the *posterity* bound by the SL&C (articles I & V)? Furthermore, "all his majesties dominions" are comprehended as descendants upon whom obligations fall (that includes Canada and the U.S.). Do you really think the passage of time releases posterity from its obligation to lawful covenants (*Are you seriously suggesting that not aligning ourselves with a 17th century covenant is sinful?*). Yes, the covenants are of moral and perpetual obligation upon "posterity." We are both national and ecclesiastical posterity to those who swore the SL&C.

Mr. Bacon answers the question in a previous letter (12­12­96) ­ whether or not he believes the US constitution is immoral (but does not answer either the question as to who are the posterity bound by the Solemn League and Covenant or who are comprehended as descendants under the phrase, "all his majesties dominions"):

(5) It is an immoral constitution. I think the second part of your question was intended to ask a moral question, but I cannot tell what it is.

Mr. Price replies in a previous letter (12­18­96):

Since you believe the U.S. Constitution is immoral, ought a Christian to hold an office which would require him to take an oath of allegiance to the constitution (and further, ought a Christian to vote for any one that will be required to take an oath of allegiance to the constitution)?

Mr. Bacon responds in a previous letter (12­19­96):

Of course not. One may not promise to sin. Why are you just now getting around to asking these questions?

Mr. Price discusses subscription vows in a previous letter (12­18­96):

Thus, if I understand correctly the above biblical citation and response, you do believe that church officers may take subscription vows for other church officers without their consent or approval, or without such being understood by those witnessing the vows. Again I ask you to cite any presbyterian book of church order to that effect. You later imply that you agree that Mr. Barrow did not take vows for me. So what is the point of your argument here? Biblical covenants or vows that bound succeeding generations, were understood by those who were present that such was the case.

Mr. Bacon responds in a previous letter (12­19­96):

And I so understood the promises I made on July 22, 1995. I made those promises for me. Mr. Seekamp, as the duly appointed representative of the First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett, made them for the church. Any subsequently elected officers of FPCR must adhere to the same subscription.

Mr. Price answers in the present letter (1­9­97):

The only problem is that it was not made clear that constitutional vows were being made.

Mr. Price continues from a previous letter (12­18­96):

This is precisely my point, this was not the case as it relates to me (i.e even assuming for the sake of argument that Mr. Barrow took a legitimate vow by which he himself is bound, no one understood that Mr. Barrow was taking a vow on my behalf of Mr. Price).

Mr. Bacon agrees in a previous letter (12­19­96) that Mr. Price did not take any constitutional vows:

I agree that your status was not being represented by Mr. Barrow. I do, however, understand that he was there for the Edmonton church qua church.

Mr. Price responds again in the present letter (1­9­97):

Yes, he represented the Edmonton Church, but he did not know he was taking a vow.

Mr. Price asks in a previous letter (12­18­96) concerning the videotape of the meeting where the constitutional vow was allegedly taken:

Dick, I intend no disrespect, but I must ask: Why have you had access to this video tape while others have been denied access to this video tape? I understand Bruce Robinson asked David Seekamp if he could view this tape and was denied access to it.

Mr. Bacon responds in a previous letter (12­19­96):

I have no knowledge of others being denied access to anything. The videos are mine. They are not and never have been regarded as an official document or property of the presbytery. Since Mr. Seekamp does not have access himself I'm not sure how he could "deny" access to another.

Mr. Price asks for a copy of the tape in the present letter (1­9­97):

Would you please send me a copy of the video of that meeting (July 1995)? I will gladly reimburse you for your expenses.

[As of January 2, 1998, Dick Bacon has not yet responded to this request ­ GB]

Mr. Price writes in a previous letter (12­18­96) concerning the proper method of correcting erring minutes of presbytery as it applies to the alleged vows that were taken July 22, 1995:

My point in directing you to the Free Presbyterian Book of Church Order was to demonstrate that minutes (even approved minutes) may be subsequently corrected if they are found to be in error. Moreover, since there is no higher court to which to appeal in such a matter, the presbytery itself may subsequently correct its own minutes if they are in error. To maintain a contrary position is to say that error that is formally approved, is error that can never be corrected until there is a higher court. Is that your understanding of approved minutes?

Mr. Bacon replies in a previous letter (12­19­96):

Not at all. Nor has anything I have said implied such. What I "have" stated is that there is an onus probandi that falls to those who believe that approved minutes are incorrect.

[Note: Is there not yet sufficient warrant (prima facie) to question whether the minutes accurately reflect what occurred in the meeting of July 22, 1995 when three of the four ministers and two of the three ruling elders on Sessions agree that no vows were taken? ­ GB]

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

I would think that the testimony of a ruling elder and the moderator to the effect that no recollection of vows being taken would be sufficient to warrant further corroboration from other sources or other witnesses such as video tapes.

Mr. Price discusses in a previous letter (12­18­96) the subscription statement that Mr. Bacon identifies as a constitutional vow:

Dick, the nature of the motion (it appears to me as I read the minutes) was simply to approve the subscription statement as one by which officers would subsequently be admitted into the presbytery. If it were clearly understood by all to be the case that they were formally taking vows then it is unclear to me why it was necessary to add the notation that this motion constituted vows on the part of all who voted. Thus, this is the reason why we have appealed to a tape of the meeting to determine whether that notation was made clear. For without that notation, I would not understand that the motion was any more than a motion to approve of the wording of the subscription statement. Whether our session approved of the subscription statement at that time is not really relevant to the issue. Even if we maintain we did approve of the wording of the statement and that our approval was so indicated by Mr. Barrow's vote, the issue of whether vows were consciously taken still remains.

[Note: And the question as to why Mr. Bacon refused to produce the video tape of this meeting continues to be an issue. Since he has the video tapes that could beyond a shadow of doubt once and for all demonstrate that vows were taken by those men present at the July 22, 1995 meeting, why has he not produced them? This was a major cause for the dissociation of three ministers and two ruling elders. If he possesses evidence that they took vows, why has he not produced it? ­ GB]

Mr. Bacon replies in a previous letter (12­19­96):

OK, we disagree on this point; but please allow me to assume your pov [point of view ­ GB] for the sake of some agreement. If it is the case that Mr. Barrow did believe the subscription statement was the one by which officers would *subsequently* be admitted to the presbytery, why did he vote for it? Was he willing *at some future unspecified date* to subscribe it? If so, then how might he or any other conscionable reader have understood the term "covenant" as used in the document? If he later changed his mind, and believed that it was an unlawful requirement that would "at some future unspecified date" become necessary for officers to subscribe, then why was it necessary to withdraw "prior" to that future date coming about, when there was still opportunity to call the presbytery to repentance?

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

At that point in time, he did approve of the wording of the subscription statement. That is why he voted for it. I have already addressed why it was necessary to withdraw from the presbytery in the manner we did.

Mr. Price asks in a previous letter (12­18­97) for a videotape of the July 22, 1995 meeting in question (wherein vows were allegedly taken):

I cannot possibly understand how if that were understood by all, how the majority of officers who were present at that meeting deny that such formal vows were consciously taken. Again I request you to provide me with either a copy of that tape or a transcript of the tape that would help clarify this whole matter. Thanks Dick.

Mr. Bacon replies in a previous letter (12­19­96):

Well, I cannot understand how people who have behaved in the manner that has been done will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and expect to be exonerated. But obviously you disagree with me on that. You say that you are asking "again." Please produce a copy of your first or subsequent request.

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

I do believe I had previously requested a copy of the tape (I do not have the time presently to look back at the email messages), but even if you are correct, I request that you send me a copy of the tape (at my expense of course).

Mr. Bacon writes in a previous letter (12­19­97) regarding his willingness to dialog as a private believer:

As I have stated to you in previous posts, I am fully willing to "dialog" as a private believer. Further, that is all either of us has done. I would say the same thing is true of any correspondence you may have had with Messrs. Robinson and Seekamp, or Dr. Crick. None of these things has come before Presbytery for resolution.

Mr. Price asks in the present letter (1­9­97):

With Mr. Robinson's and Dr. Crick's dissociation from the RPC, do you believe there is yet a presbytery?

[Note: This question was never answered by Mr. Bacon ­ GB]

Mr. Bacon writes in a previous letter (12­19­97) regarding the propriety of the PRCE's dissociation:

You do not think you have done anything wrong. I think the session of Edmonton PRC has behaved itself badly. I think you have been hasty and rash. Further, I think some of the statements that you made to me prior to the March 1995 [1996 ­ GB] disassociation were misleading at best.

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

None of my statements were misleading at the time they were written. They represented my views. It was in the month of March that we realized we must dissociate in order to be faithful to the Lord.

Dick Bacon asks in a previous letter (12­19­96):

What else would you like to "dialog" about? I think I've answered your five questions, but if I have been unclear about any of it, let me know and I'll try to clarify my positions.

Mr. Price responds in the present letter (1­9­97):

Could you cite any divine of the first or second reformation that holds your view that if a confession or covenant is considered "necessary" to take, that by that fact it replaces the Word of God and denies sola Scriptura?

[Note: This question was never answered by Mr. Bacon. This is significant in that Mr. Bacon has in effect condemned the whole reformation with his position that it is not necessary to swear Covenants and Confessions of Faith that are agreeable to the Word of God. How can it be a denial of sola Scriptura to swear a biblical Covenant or Confession when it is the Scripture itself (as the alone infallible rule of faith and practice) by which the Covenant or Confession is judged to be one to which a nation or church can swear? ­ GB]

This concluded the email conversation between Pastor Price and Mr. Bacon. Mr. Bacon ceased communication without informing Pastor Price or the Session of the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton.

Finally, I ask Mr. Bacon to name those "many men" whom he claims have attempted to use modest means of reconciliation with us. The only man I can name who used a godly approach toward the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton was Mr. Todd Ruddell (though, at that time, not even a member of the Reformation Presbyterian Church), and though his argument was seriously flawed, his tone was exemplary. We ask Mr. Bacon to describe how these so­called "many men" used modest means to reclaim us from our alleged errors. We do not know to whom he is referring and would be willing to examine his evidence if he cited it.

Now that the reader has had an opportunity to hear both sides of the story let him judge who it was that would not use more modest means of reconciliation.

I close this Appendix with a quote from John Calvin:

For what were we to do? The only terms on which we could purchase peace were to betray the truth of God by silence.... What else, then, at the very least, could we do, than testify with a clear voice that we had no fellowship with impiety? We have, therefore, simply studied to do what was our duty (John Calvin, The Necessity of Reforming the Church, p. 184)

The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee (1 Samuel 24:12, AV).


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