EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN ALLIANCE
This concerns the organisation of a body to facilitate joint action from those in basic accord on major matters of the faith, in the Presbyterian field, and forward testimony of unity in Christ. Movements in the largest Presbyterian body leave a gap for this.
The matter of internet liberty, or lack of it, earlier in view in the S.A. Parliament, has already loomed. This posed a threat to Biblical presentations on the internet, just as the Equal Opportunity Bill of 2007 has brought challenge to biblical testimony more generally. Such events illustrate the prudence of proceeding to provide a basis for joint action, just as the words of Christ, to Bible believers in John 17, provide the major motive.
Commencing for purposes of growth and function, as The Evangelical Presbyterian Alliance, we are seeking to forward this provision.
Members may be
individuals or bodies, but churches, elders or pastors may feature.
Firstly, these stand fast in Christ, God as man, the Redeemer, crucified, bodily risen and to return (Acts 1:7ff., Luke 24).
Secondly, they also rest by faith in Christ, saved by grace without works, covered by His finished work (Hebrews 9:12-28), enabled by His power (Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 3:16, 6:10), and limit Christian fellowship to those of like precious faith, so that neither are works added to the work of grace for the irrevocable gift of eternal life (Ephesians 1-2, Romans 3, 10, John 10:9,27-28), nor traditions to the word of God (Mark 7:7ff., Galatians 1:6-9, Proverbs 30:6).
The basis of
agreement in Christ is this:
The Bible as the infallible, written word of God,
immediately inspired by Him
and alone authorised for doctrine to man:
its substance, criterion and test
(Matthew 5:17-20, Isaiah 8:20, 34:16, 59:21, Jeremiah 23:23ff., I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter 1:18ff., II Timothy 3:16, Revelation 22:18-10, John 14:21-23).
The Biblical system of doctrine, delivered in the Westminster Confession or the
Scots Confession of 1560.
c) Parallel: The love of God as stated in I Timothy 2:3-4, II Peter 3:9, Colossians 1:19ff..
3. The purpose is to facilitate joint action in Christ for kingdom purposes, to attest unity for testimonial purposes in terms of John 17, on a sound basis, and to provide for occasions of fellowship in the faith.
4. On the contrary, the alliance does not co-operate with the Church of Rome, with organisations that do, or with the principle that the end justifies the means.
5. The Alliance is not at this point conceived as a legally registered body, but a functional and agreed fellowship, one which is however formally adopted, and apt for action.
1. The Unity Thrust. Presbyterian unity has a testimonial value. It is not the essence of Presbyterian Churches to be independent; and avenues of joint action and fellowship deserve attention. As in the body, particularity is important; so also is unison (I Cor. 12:19-25). A GAP has arisen, which is better filled.
2. The State Lack. Presbyterian testimony in S.A. is exceedingly small overall, accentuating the need. This State however, is not the limit of the fellowship, nor is Australia. Faith can act with the Lord alone; yet wisdom may seek co-operation, if that is available (Ephesians 4:13, Proverbs 24:6).
3. An Informed Body. With Jesus Christ as Head, we need an informed body, increased in impact, DV, by multiplicity of graciously functioning parts (Ephesians 4:16), ready for early and specialised action in view of the movements of our times, and the dangerous challenges they provide.
4. Special Services. Increased fellowship on sure foundations (I Cor. 3:11, Isaiah 28:16) aids growth and facilitates wise co-operation when need arises (Ephesians 2:19-21).
5. God not man. As systems tend this way or that, and only the Bible is pure enough as a basis, so the love of God as Biblically stated, needs emphasis, lest vulnerabilities of Presbyterianism become actualities, marring its value (John 17:17).
6. The Evangelical Outreach. Spiritual unity, following the words of Christ, helps towards evangelical outreach (John 17:8,21 Matthew 5:17-20).
Thus overall, the aims and needs are:
Testimony to the Lord's Christ, Joint Service in and for Him,
Seemliness, Solidarity and Evangelical Outreach, Heartfelt Biblical Co-operation, Strategic Preparedness, Counsel (Proverbs 11:14).
Further, when there is ONE HEAD, what attests that fact not only in word, but in deed, can be an intrinsic testimony.