It has been one year since I was suspended by the Council of Elders and Deacons of the Jesus, Lord of All Presbyterian Church for alledgely teaching against infant’s baptism and tithing. Though it is true that I hold believer’s baptism from a New Covenantal view , instead of the generic baptist reasons (e.g- not directly commanded by the Lord, no infant baptism example int he NT, baptism is by immersion only, faith is always connected with baptisms) – I have not yet taught it beyond the two elders then (Bro Sam & Romy) and the board secretary-Geordel Libao.
As for tithing – it was the view and agreed decision of the elders before (Elder Vic Ebojo, Romy dela Cruz and myself-as well as Pastor M) in 2001+ that we will no longer be preaching tithing since it is not commanded by the Lord in the New Testament, nor the NT example does not presuppose a tithing scheme. The epistle to the Hebrews trumpets the view that with “a change in the priesthood-here is a necessary change in the law’. It was Pastor M’s assertion that tithing is the NT scheme and he wrongfully accused me that I did not asked his permission to preach it at Rosario Christian Fellowship.
I do not need his permission -since it was already an agreed position not to impose tithing. He lost it during the elders meeting then in early 2000+ and secretly subsumed his views from us -until a time when I am in voluntary relief from office of the elder and board secretary in 2008. Immediatley after he suspended me -he taught tithing at Jesus,Lord of All Presbyterian Church-and was met with doubts by some of the members.
And so why was I suspended? This is my guesses fromt he one year of trying to out the pieces together:
1. Pastor M-through his wife’s influence-was feeling overshadowed by my efforts in training (the elders and other members) and guiding the church corporately (since I practically taught them how to conduct meetings and annual church visioning and planning). He thinks I am out to get his job from him. He did not believe the vision I shared with him about multiplying outreaches with him-since he is the ordained pastor of the church.
2. Pastor M does not want to start the disciplinary inquiry regarding a family in RCCF since this might affect the giving or tihtng of this church. At that time he is receiving additional P 3,200.00 a month from this endeavor.
3. My preaching against tithing was construed as against grace-giving (which I envisioned as more guilt-free and more generous way to live as a Christian)..He fears that his additional income will be reduced this way.
4. Supposed faithfulness to Westminster Confessions-when in actuality he made a public act supporting the baptist interpretation of baptism last May 2008 during the church outing -when he wanted to re-baptized the covenant children-especially with his daughter. It is true that I no longer subscribed to the Westminster Confession because of its covenant theology. It tends to flatten the rich biblical theology of the redemptive historical covenants by subsuming it under the so-called ‘Covenant of Grace’. It smacks of hypocrisy. He made a mistake publicly-and I corrected him privately (whispering the correction in his ears during the public baptismal act). But I mentioned my change of views through texting-and he rewarded my discretion by announcing my suspension to the whole congregation in less than a month’s time.
This without a trial where I can present my views to the elders nor to the board deacons who where reluctant to discipline me-but was persuaded by Pastor M. If these things were doen through the use of the church order- we will be both discipline. I know it but I preferred to not to accuse him at the Southern Presbytery so that he can retain his job -for the sake of his two children.
But I am still without justice-and I can no longer use my preaching and teaching gifts. The baptist church where my family and I worships-still does not trust me enough and my belief system. And so I am reconsidering of finding a small church or group who will allow me to use my God-given gifts-or if this situation remains as it is – I will just burn inside. I might reconsider joining a CRC church here in San Pedro-since the ‘Three Forms of Unity’ is better worded and less restricting compared to the Westminster’s Standards. Though it have a covenant theology- it is not as thoroughly worded as the Westminster’s. It is also not as narrow in interpreting the Sabbatarian laws. I hope I can find my peace sooner.