Letters To The Editor
I just got in the latest issue of P&RN. I was especially angered by Dr. DeCaro. He seems the epitome of the classic yankee abolitionist. Anyone that can idolize the murdering terrorist John Brown and speak derogatorily and falaciously about Gen. Robert E. Lee needs his head examined and should receive no recognition from an ecclesiastical body that claims to honour truth, justice and God's Word. I am very, very disappointed in Redeemer's association with such a character and the promotion of such misinformation.
Lasting, real racial reconciliation cannot be built upon sentimentality and historic myths. People like Dr. DeCaro and churches that promote such heretics are a hindrance to a real Christian solution.
David N. Beckmann
Presbyterian Church of Boatswain Bay
Grand Cayman Island, BWI
Dear Editor: It is good to establish contact with you from so far off! and thank you for the email reply. Very recently, we received your Winter 1997 issue and should like to note that we have enjoyed your paper, P&R News, and the more intimate picture it provides to those afar off, of processes in our Church, together with a certain frankness, of great value in a body which must worship God in spirit and in truth, not in
appearance and contrivance. We should like on our part to share an item with you. Through many amazing ways, our local church has prepared a Web site at http://light.iinet.net.au/~wwww which to some extent can laugh at miles and minimise the time element in our distancing from you in this land. With well over one million words, it has taken some time to prepare and includes several publications, some not made elsewhere.
A specialist Christian Apologetics referral and information centre, it makes provision for discourse and query, disputation and confirmation, and maintains the Bible is not only true, but demonstrably provides the only stable and valid base for thought; that its message in testable portions noted, is the only world view in the area which meets scientific method adequately; and provides verification extensively in many fields, both inthe humanities and in scientific modalities.
Called World Wide Web Witness, it has scope for youth, communication, members, provides allegories and much Christian news, sometimes specialising in Israel, to whose Prime Minister we have sent the URL and one of the publications in it. We praise the Lord, that from his Office, a warm reply was obtained.
We praise God also that my son, an elder in our church here in Adelaide, has been both willing and able, despite a heavy schedule at his University post, to put in the technical work
without which this could not have been done. My daughter has supplied the art work and my wife, Margaret, faithful support.
We praise God for His goodness to us all in our tiny body, and would enjoy your fellowship, request your prayers and suggest you investigate the site. Email address is:
Warmly in Christ,
Rev.Dr. Robert Donaldson
The Australian Presbyterian Bible Church, Adelaide
Thanks for sending P&R News to our Clerk of Session. He has shared his copies with me. I appreciate your solid stand for biblical faith, while at the same time exposing error--as sinners saved, but in the process of being sanctified, we need both!
Please send me a personal subscription . . . . We are one of the 'oldest' PCA congregations in Canada, having recently celebrated our 20th Anniversary as a congregation. We have begun a new daughter church in the Vancouver suburb of White Rock. Our Anniversary Guest Preacher was Pastor Phil Kayser of our Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Omaha, Nebraska. Phil joined our congregation in 1979 and then went to study at Covenant College (where he met his wife, Kathy--Kathy was from Omaha) and Westminster Seminary (West).
"And my God will meet all your needs, according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:9).
In His Grace & Love,
Pastor Doug Codling
Faith Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, BC
Thank you again for your insightful articles in your paper. They have helped me to see something more clearly, something that I have been thinking about for a long time. Why does the Presbyterian Church seem to be ashamed of its heritage, theology and distinctives? History and current events have shown that, since before the beginning of this century we have tried to be
more Episcopal, Baptist, or Charismatic rather than boldly Presbyterian and Reformed. We have also eagerly pursued the idols of our age as well--modernism, marketing, and man-centered entertainment. We have tossed aside the biblical heritage and distinctives that sustained our forefathers under the persecutions of Europe and through the troubled times at the founding of this country. It seems to me that if we feel that we cannot succeed as Presbyterians, then we should surrender the field rather than become a pale imitation of someone else.
In the arena of ideas, God and History have always admired the bold and the sincere, whether they agreed with them or not. They respect those who say what they mean and mean what they say, and then act like they believe it as well. We profess that we follow the Westminster Standards as containing the doctrine that is found in the Scriptures, yet so often we pick it apart piecemeal cafeteria style, and it all comes apart. That is because it is an integrated whole. It is also damaged when alien or incompatible systems are imported into the Church, especially those whose aspects are rooted in Sacerdotalism, Arminianism, and Mysticism. These strike against the gospel of sovereign grace and the sufficiency of Scripture that we should hold so dear, because they are so man-focused. We should have a recognizable continuum with our forefather's profession of faith because they bequeathed it to us for our care. Few things should be altered or removed in our faith and practice without grave compunction, because they compose our unique identity, message and perspective that we bring to the table. We should not want to build on any other foundations, but our own solid ones, lest we only become the Parrot Church of America. We have a wonderful, biblical message to tell to the nations about the covenants, God's grace, worship and polity, exactly where the most erosion has occurred. You have chronicled some of these in your publication. This rejection seems rooted in envy of those who have apparent success and numerical growth, or in the lack of knowledge of our glorious heritage. We should seek to preserve and expound the light that our forefathers shed on the Scriptures, preserved for us all in our Standards. And by God's grace perhaps shed a little light ourselves, in continuity with the deposit of faith we have. Let us not forsake this for the tenets of others so swiftly, brethren. Let us hold fast to what we have stood for historically, in line with the Apostolic and Early Church. Let us keep our wells as pure as
possible and let God judge. Our confession is deep enough, wide enough, and rich enough, and adaptable enough to cope with all the things the world will throw at us. Let us be faithful to our
confession, heritage, and distinctives by God's grace in a world that hasgrown so cold and gray and Laodicean about the things of God.
Rev. Shawn Keating, Madden, MS
Dear Dr. Smith,
I read with interest your coverage of the Redeemer(PCA) Church's meeting that honored Malcolm X and Martin [Luther King, Jr.]. It reminded me of the 1960s, when many white, liberal ministers flocked to Selma and other points south to demonstrate their new-found "racial awareness." As the Civil Rights movement played out, these "racially conscious" clergymen elevated their involvement to a holy Cause, a self-righteous attitude that viewed their ideas of "social justice" as the epitome of Christian service and commitment.
Now 30 years later, a 1990s version of the Cause appears in the form of Messrs. Trulear and DeCaro, who ostensibly have added a new quirk--the evocation of a militant Muslim and an angry abolitionist to the hallowed halls of Sainthood. Now Martin K. I can understand--we are all aware of his Greatness, his sanctimonious status as the Martyr of the 20th Century, promoted by his fawning admirers as the Deliverer of his down-trodden, impoverished people. Martin was the darling of the left-wing
press and the liberal politicians who carefully and effectively duped millions of Americans (even Christians) into supporting his agenda. Who could not be impressed and influenced by this government-manipulated and media-crafted image of Martin K.? But Malcolm X? And John Brown?
It was stunning to hear DeCaro's applause and approval of Malcolm X, to claim that he was "an instrument of God" and to classify John Brown as a staunch Calvinist. A rather perverse instrument I would say, from a man who advocated violence and racial superiority, who among other things said, "We have a common enemy--the white man. He's an enemy to all of us."1 And Malcolm knew what to do with enemies, too--when asked about white liberals he responded, "I don't go for any non-violent white liberals. If you are for me . . . then you have to be willing to do as old man John Brown did."2 Malcolm also claimed that the Mau Mau was the "first and foremost liberation movement on the African continent."3 (To refresh our memories, the Mau Mau was a ruthless terrorist organization headed by Jomo Kenyatta that featured secret oaths, witchcraft, bestiality, superstition, brutalities and murder. It successfully fomented racial strife, violent attacks on private property and unspeakable atrocities, all in the name of liberation--communist style.)
And what about old man Brown? What did he do? Here, DeCaro could learn something from Malcolm because he admired "old Brown" as a man of violence who could get the job done. John Brown, the Kansas Jayhawker, who led his sons on the infamous Pottawatomie massacre on the evening of May 23, 1856--who coolly put a bullet through old man Doyle's brain, then watched approvingly as his sons hacked to death Doyle's two sons and two other settlers with double-edged sabres.4 This, of course, was for a good Cause, mind you, for to John Brown, like Malcolm, white men (Southerners) were his enemies (God's, too) who deserved to die by his "righteous" sentence.
All of which leads me to conclude--either Trulear and DeCaro are incredibly naive and woefully ignorant, or they really do understand and believe in the twisted, perverted ideas of Malcolm, Martin, and Brown? Either way, it's a rather disturbing thought that we have churchmen of this ilk in leadership positions, and
even more disturbing that they would be harbored by a PCA congregation.
John Vouga, Harrisville, PA