Category Archives: RPCNA

The Pacific Coast Presbytery of the RPCNA has a new website

Pastors of the Pacific Coast Presbytery of the RPCNA

Men of the Pacific Coast Presbytery of the RPCNA

Here is the new website of the Pacific Coast Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA)

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Grace and Truth Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA) is a new work in Harrisonburg, VA

Grace & Truth Reformed Presbyterian ChurchA new church plant has started in Harrisonburg, VA! Grace and Truth Reformed Presbyterian Church is a work of the RPCNA. From their website:

“Grace & Truth Reformed Presbyterian Church is a Mission Church established in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ through thePresbytery of the Alleghenies, which is an organized group of congregations of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). On June 25th, 2013, the Presbytery of the Alleghenies met during the 2013 RPCNA Synod Meeting and received the core group of families in Harrisonburg, VA as a mission work. This is an excerpt from the minutes:

“The Church Extension Committee recommended the group in Harrisonburg, VA be organized as a Mission Church with the Trinity RPC Session serving as the TGB (temporary governing body). The recommended was approved. Pastor Jerry O’Neill offered prayer establishing the Harrisonburg group as a Mission Church in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ the King and Head of the Church.”

The temporary governing body, consisting of Pastor Steve Bradley, Elder David Merkel, Elder Tony Gazo, and Elder Brad Stewart, met as a Session on July 9th, 2013. They decided that Grace & Truth RPC will begin evening worship services at 6:00 pm on the first and third Lord’s Days beginning on August 4th, 2013, at Good Shepherd School, 342 Neff Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA. On the second, fourth, and fifth Lord’s Days, Grace & Truth will meet at 6:00 pm at Good Shepherd School for a time of fellowship and Bible Study.

The next step for the Mission Church is to become an independent, fully-organized congregation by God raising up a Session of elders in Harrisonburg, Virginia, for the oversight of the congregation. Also, there will need to be a Board of Deacons responsible chiefly for the ministry of mercy and stewardship.”

Grace & Truth Reformed Presbyterian Church will be meeting at the Good Shepherd School, 342 Neff Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22801″

RPCNA: A New Church Planting effort in Dallas, TX

A new church plant is forming in the Dallas, TX area. Dallas Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship is a new work of the Midwest Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). This small group has been meeting since February and started worship services this past Lord’s Day.

Holiday Inn in PlanoMeeting Location:
The Holiday Inn Express
700 East Central Parkway
Plano, TX 75074

 

 

Schedule:
9:30 am – Bible Study (all ages)
10:45 am – Worship
12:00 pm – Lunch! (Bring your own sack lunch)
1:00 pm – Open ended fellowship, sermon reflection, and psalm singing until everyone decides to go home!

“The New Covenant is like a marriage bond between God and His people. Their meeting each week properly brings joy and delight. So the saints sing Psalms to God.”

From the RPCNA Directory for the Worship of God:

“7. The New Covenant is like a marriage bond between God and His people. Their meeting each week properly brings joy and delight. So the saints sing Psalms to God.

8. The heartfelt singing of praise is an element of public worship. The Psalms of the Bible, because of positive biblical warrant, their inherent excellence, and their divine inspiration, are to be sung in the public worship of God, to the exclusion of all songs or hymns of human composition. They are to be sung without the accompaniment of instruments, since these are not authorized for New Testament worship. For the sake of unity, the Psalm versions used in the praise of God should ordinarily be those approved by the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. Psalms, or portions of Psalms, should be chosen for the appropriateness of their content within a particular service of worship. If only a portion of a Psalm is sung, careful attention must be given to the larger context. Congregations should not fall into the habit of using only certain favorite Psalms, and sessions should consider a plan of singing systematically through the Book of Psalms.

9. The people of God are to sing thoughtfully, reverently, and enthusiastically, with grace in the heart. Careful attention should be paid to the music and to the leading of the precentor, that the praise might resound with a beauty reflective of the glory of God and His holiness. Those chosen to be precentors should have the marks of Christian maturity and the gifts to perform this function. They should lead the singing in a simple, orderly, and dignified manner. They should not interject interpretations or comments on the content of the Psalms sung. One of the fruits of the Reformation was the restoration of the biblical practice of congregational singing. A choir may be formed to help lead the praise, but singing must not be left to the choir. Congregational singing ought always to be the norm.

10. The Psalms have a depth of meaning and beauty that will repay the most careful study. It is vitally important that the congregation understand what is sung. Therefore, it is helpful for the elders to make brief comments on the Psalms sung. It is particularly helpful if one of the Psalms is selected for a more substantial, succinct explanation by an elder before it is sung. Attention should be given to how the Psalm reveals the work of Christ and the blessings of the New Covenant.

The RPCNA Directory for the Worship of God, F-4

The Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship is meeting in a new location

The new location for the Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship (RPCNA) is:

The Doubletree Hotel Tucson-Reid Park
445 S. Alvernon Way,
Tucson, AZ 85711-4198

From their website:

“Our morning worship begins at 9:50 AM & Evening Worship at 4:30PM

Today, our worship seems unique, even strange to some.  We sing only the 150 Psalms without the use of instruments.  Strange as it may seem, for thousands of years, this was the norm in the church.  (see Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, Ancient Praise for a brief history of Psalm singing)

We hold to what is called the ‘Regulative Principle of Worship’, which states that God is only to be worshiped as He has revealed in His Word (Deut. 12:32). What God commands is to be employed in worship; if God does not command something, then it is forbidden.

This means that a simplicity of worship will be obvious as Word-centered worship is offered to God. The Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship will have the following elements in her public worship:

  • Reading of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
  • The Preaching of the Word of God in an expository manner.
  • The Prayers of the saints and on behalf of the saints.
  • The collecting of gifts and tithes to sustain the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.
  • The singing of Psalms without instrumentation.
  • The New Testament Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship (RPCNA) is committed to the full inspiration and authority of the Bible in all matters of faith and life. We believe that the truth of Scripture is knowable and necessary for salvation. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). Since Christ commissioned the church to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19), we believe it is part of our duty to, set forth the truth of Scripture clearly and publicly by way of preaching and teaching, and creeds and confessions, so that they may be to taught to observe all that Christ has commanded (Matt. 28:20).

In light of the above, we believe that the most comprehensive and accurate summary of what the Bible teaches is to be found in the Westminster Confession of Faith, together with the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The Westminster Confession was completed in England in 1647 as a comprehensive statement of Christian belief and practice, with the desired intention of helping Christ’s church become unified in doctrine, government, and worship (John 17:11). In addition to the Westminster Standards, we also maintain the Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, which is our continuing and contemporary application of the Word of God to our current culture and context.

Each of these documents is considered to be subordinate to, and correctable by, the Word of God. We hope that you will take some time to read our Confessional Standards and contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

For a theology of New Testament worship, please see “The Worship of the Church.”

The Tucson Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship (RPCNA) is a new work planted by the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Phoenix AZ.

The “Reformed” in our name refers to our adherence to the biblical principles reasserted in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Reformers reasserted that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. We stand with our forefathers in affirming the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura” – the conviction that the Scriptures are God-breathed and sufficient for all matters of life and godliness (2 Tim. 3:16).  Our spiritual heritage particularly comes from the Reformation in Scotland and the Scottish Covenanters.  “Presbyterian” refers to our form of church government. Each congregation is under the oversight of a plurality of elders, who are also part of broader courts known as Presbyteries and Synod.

Our heartfelt desire is to worship God according to His will, in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). We desire to glorify Him in our lives as individual Christians and as a body of believers united to Jesus Christ our Lord. If you live in the Tucson area, or are planning to move or visit here, we invite you to come and worship with us!”

Reports of the RPCNA Committee on Psalmody (1887-1892)

More wonderful additions from the Old Light Covenanter website. I hope there are more to come! Some biographies are also included of the ministers involved.

1887 (Isaiah Faris), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 25:242-244
1888 (C.D. Trumbull), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 26:231-233
1889 (T.C. Sproull), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 27:286, 287
1890 (D.B. Willson), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 28:232-234
1891 (J.C.K. Milligan), The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 29:267-270
1892 (R.M. Sommerville) — The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, 30:231-235

“We need as a church to explain to our members from time to time, as well as to exhibit to the churches around us, why we adhere to the exclusive use of the Psalms in the worship of God. We need to do this because of the natural inclination of man to substitute the human for the divine, and to consult his own feelings, even in matters of worship, rather than the revealed will of God. The question in all such matters is not what is most pleasing to human sense, but what does God require.”

From the Old Light Covenanter and the American Covenanter websites, a Report on the Synod’s Committee on Psalmody (RPCNA):

“The question of the matter of praise is not now, and never has been, an open one in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, yet it is one upon which many church members need line upon line and precept upon precept. We are surrounded by those who are hostile to the exclusive use of the Book of Psalms as the praise book of the church; many temptations are thrown in the way of some members of our church to use hymns of human composition in divine service, and some say we are very narrow-minded and bigoted because we confine ourselves to the hundred and fifty Psalms of the Bible. We need as a church to explain to our members from time to time, as well as to exhibit to the churches around us, why we adhere to the exclusive use of the Psalms in the worship of God. We need to do this because of the natural inclination of man to substitute the human for the divine, and to consult his own feelings, even in matters of worship, rather than the revealed will of God. The question in all such matters is not what is most pleasing to human sense, but what does God require. Were we at liberty to consult our own inclinations no doubt many would substitute some other book in place of the Bible, to be read in family worship and in the house of God. Who among evangelical Christians will affirm that we ought to displace the Bible by any other book, because, forsooth, it would be more pleasing and attractive to the perverted taste of man? It is not denied that many hymns of human composition are beautiful in thought and expression, and instructive as well, yet that does not warrant us in using them in divine worship. The horse is a beautiful animal, and useful, too, more beautiful in many eyes than the ox; there are many who have a fancy for dogs and will not hesitate to say that they are more beautiful than goats, yet under the law the horse and the dog were unclean and to offer them in sacrifice would have exposed the offerer to the just displeasure of God, while bullocks and goats were appointed and acceptable offerings. We should beware of offering to God that which he has not prescribed, lest we provoke him to anger, and bring down upon us his righteous judgments.

No one will deny that there is warrant for the use of the inspired book of Psalms. It will not be denied that God gave these Psalms to the Jews as their book of praise. All scholars admit that the “hymn” which Jesus sang just after the institution of the sacrament of the supper was selected from this book; and it is capable of demonstration that when Paul, by the Spirit, enjoined on the Ephesian and Colossian Churches the singing of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” he meant no other than the inspired songs of the Bible. We are frequently commanded to praise God, but never to make a hymn to be sung in his praise. To use hymns of human composition in religious worship without divine warrant is daring presumption; it is to say that “God’s Spirit acted niggardly in doling out an insufficient supply of praise songs;” and it is to profess that we are wiser than God. Let us beware of charging God foolishly.

Since we cannot consistently and conscientiously sing anything except the Psalms of the Bible in divine worship we ought not to seem to countenance the use of other songs in such service. It is damaging to the conscientious convictions of our members to frequent even houses of worship where such corruptions of worship prevail. To do so is to enter on a course which is almost certain to end in defection.

While contending for the exclusive use of the inspired psalter, it is the bounden duty of the church to provide for use in all her services a version of this book of praise as free as possible from blemishes, so as not unnecessarily to give occasion to others to scoff and deride. It is quite generally admitted among ourselves that the Scottish version of the book of Psalms with all its excellencies is far from perfect. The demand is growing louder and louder year by year for something more smooth and agreeable not only to poetic taste but to the original. Shall this demand be heard? If so, what shall be done? Shall we return to the ancient mode of praise and chant the Psalms or shall we have an amended version? Synod has already given its endorsement to the use of chants, yet few are ready to introduce them into the public worship of God. A revised version of the psalter seems to be necessary. The committee appointed by Synod one year ago to prepare such a version, is ready to report. Since the work of that committee will come before Synod for direct action, we refrain from expressing our judgment at this time. One thing we do desire to urge on Synod, to wit: The importance of seeking agreement and harmony on the part of all psalm-singing bodies in the use of the best version of the psalter, the combined scholarship and poetic talent of the churches can produce. When all the psalm-singing churches present a united and harmonious front in this matter, we can with better grace invite the other churches to unite with us in the use of the inspired Book of Psalms.

There are yet other matters of importance in the praise service of the church. The first that we will mention is that we sing with the spirit and with the understanding, also. The mere use of the Scripture Psalms in the service of praise is only solemn mockery unless the heart also be employed. That the heart may be employed we need to understand the sentiment of the psalms. The custom of expounding a portion of sacred song on the morning of each Lord’s day is well adapted to promote a better understanding of the psalms, and ought to be perpetuated. Along with this all should earnestly seek the enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit.

It is also of great importance that we sing skillfully. To this end the voice must necessarily be cultivated to sing in time and in tune. Too little attention is paid to this in many of our congregations, hence our congregational singing is in some cases a laughing-stock to those around us. Singing classes should be organized in all our congregations, and practice in the service of song should be kept up.

Your committee would recommend the adoption of the following resolutions:

1. That we enjoin upon all members of the Church to refrain from the use of hymns of human composition as a service of worship on week-day or on Sabbath, as being a violation of that command which forbids the worship of God “in any way not appointed in his word.”

2. That steps be taken at this Synod to secure the co-operation of all the psalm-singing churches in America in preparing a version of the Book of Psalms in harmony with the original and with poetic taste, upon which all may unite.

3. That we urge upon all the members of the church to use means to improve the congregational singing of the church.

4. That we renew the recommendation of the Psalm-Singer, edited by the Rev. George Warrington, of Birmingham, Iowa, as an able and faithful exponent of the teachings of God’s law as to the service of praise, and urge upon the members of the Church to give the paper a liberal patronage for the sake of their families and for the advancement of the cause.

Respectfully submitted,

J. C. McFEETERS,
J. F. CARSON,
JOHN AIKIN,
WM. LYNN,
Committee.

Report of the Synod’s Committee on Psalmody, 1888 found here and here