RCUS Church Looking for a Pastor

There is an RCUS church in Herreid, South Dakota (about 15 miles from where I live), whose pastor has just accepted a call in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a fairly small church, but very stable. The outgoing pastor is Lee Johnson, author of the blog Two-Edged Sword. He is leaving in July. He is a good friend of mine. The church is an excellent place to begin ministry for a young, inexperienced minister (maybe someone straight out of seminary), since they have experienced elders there, although it would also be a great place for any age of minister. They take very good care of their ministers. Please, only very confessional folks (no exceptions at all to the Three Forms of Unity) should consider applying. One does not have to be ordained in the RCUS. They will accept as stated supply someone outside their denomination, although that person would have to be examined by the classis. I am especially interested in seeing if there is a good PCA man who is confessional, who might be interested. There is a parsonage. The cost of living is quite low, and thus the salary, while not extravagant, is more than livable. There is Reformed fellowship for the said pastor, since I am there, and the Baptist pastor in Herreid is also Reformed (a really great guy with a phenomenal sense of humor). Anyone who is interested in this ought to contact Vern Ochsner, the one heading up the consistory at the moment. His number is 605-437-2772.

19 Comments

  1. Roger Jensen said,

    June 9, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Why is it that the RCUS places a higher emphasis on the creeds than God’s Word, The Bible? I have found through experience that whenever someone poses a question to a RCUS pastor or elder, the reply is always, “The Heidelberg says…”

    Why isn’t the Bible consulted by RCUS pastors and elders????

  2. greenbaggins said,

    June 10, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Roger, I do not think that is fair. The confessions are summaries of Scripture. Therefore, quoting the confessions is a short-hand way of referring to the Bible. Lee Johnson preaches expository sermons on the text of Scripture, for instance. So it is not fair to say that because someone quotes the confession or the catechism that therefore they are not referring to Scripture. Did the framers of the confessions not do extensive exegesis in order to come up with their summaries?

  3. David Rondo said,

    June 10, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I think Roger makes an excellent point. God is not allowed to speak through Scripture, unless it’s in the language of creeds and confessions. I suppose that’s one reason why we use the label “Reformed”–past tense. Our churches are no longer reform-ing..

  4. greenbaggins said,

    June 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

    David, you are off in your estimation. That is a horrible generalization that simply is not true. It seems to me to come from the place of saying that confessions are outdated. And it is especially not true of Lee Johnson, whom I know very well. It also seems to have the problem of not recognizing that the confessions is the way the churches that have subscribed to them have agreed to read the summary of saving doctrine in the Bible.

  5. Ken Pierce said,

    June 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Lane,

    I agree with you. It would be helpful of those critical of creeds to list the problems they have with such creeds, and where such creeds differ with Scripture.

    It’s all somewhat ironic, because as an RCA kid, I was going to argue that the 3 Forms Yoke is easier, and burden lighter, than the Westminster Standards! They are not as precise or thorough, which is not always a bad thing.

  6. drollord said,

    June 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    -“I have found through experience that whenever someone poses a question to a RCUS pastor or elder, the reply is always, “The Heidelberg says…”
    -David Rondo and Roger, what’s the problem with saying “The Heidelberg says” or quoting the confession if it is accurately summarizing Scripture? Do you want to look at the Scriptures, seeing if the confession is summarizing them or not? That’s what Reformed confessions do: drive you to the Scriptures that you’d be edified and confess the same as the confessions do.

    “God is not allowed to speak through Scripture, unless it’s in the language of creeds and confessions.”
    -David Rondo and Roger, why wasn’t God allowed to speak here then? You are putting your own Words before God’s? Why aren’t your individual assertions just as much subject to the same scrutiny as the confessions?

  7. Lee said,

    June 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks Lane for posting this. Let me also say that this is a great church and I have very much enjoyed my time in Herreid. If I might add just one thing. While a stated supply is possible, the church would greatly prefer a regular pastor. So, those wishing to only be a stated supply will get pushed to the back of the pile behind those who wish to become the full time pastor.
    Again thanks Lane for posting this for our church.

  8. GLW Johnson said,

    June 11, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Well, I see that the heirs of Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone are still around. Their motto-“No Creed but the Bible!’ actually meant ‘No Creed but the Bibble…as I privately intrepret it… as I come to the Garden alone while the dew is still on the roses and the voice I hear,falling on my ear…’

  9. mary kathryn said,

    June 11, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Lane – I couldn’t find a way to email you on here, but just wanted you to know that Alynn passed on this info to Adam, who is looking for a pastorate right now. I also copied your blog post above and emailed it to him. Thanks – MKC

  10. David Rondo said,

    June 11, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Drollard,

    What happens when there is tension between the Bible and the confession? Do we try to fit the square peg of the bibilical text into the round hole of our creed?

    GLW,

    Every Christian holds to what they believe based upon their interpretation of Scripture (by God’s grace through His Spirit) and their personal judgment. Confessions and creeds are a help, I’m not against them…but I don’t gag the Word of God with them either and determine that such and such a text can only mean “fill in the confessional dogma”.

  11. GLW Johnson said,

    June 11, 2009 at 9:21 am

    DR
    I would recommend you read R.Scott Clark’s recent book ‘Recovering The Reformed Confession’.

  12. rfwhite said,

    June 11, 2009 at 11:21 am

    It seems fair to say that one of the tensions between anti-confessionalists and confessionalists issues from the fact that confessionalists ordinarily require their candidates for the official ministry to subscribe to confessional documents. Anti-confessionalists complain that such a practice elevates the confessional documents to the status of Scripture, and so they prefer to use historical confessional documents (if they prefer a written confession at all) as guideposts to aid in interpretation instead of as standards for official ministry. It further seems that both positions are liable to abuse, though both sides have valid points. Anti-confessionalists, on the other hand, are correct when they keep historical confessional documents in their proper place, subordinate to Scripture. Confessionalists are correct in seeing that confessional documents, when received and adopted as official standards, are in effect identical to the Scriptures: on other than a theoretical level, there is real difficulty in distinguishing between the two when the content of confessional documents is received as articulating the system of doctrine taught in Scripture.

  13. David Rondo said,

    June 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    GLW,

    Thanks for the recommendation….

    RFW,

    Well said.

  14. Uri Brito said,

    June 11, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Confessions are helpful to express the faith in its particular contextual era. It’s time to gather the smart minds in the Reformed world and re-consider language, context and new challenges. I think Pastor Rayburn, Frame and others would agree.
    Uri

  15. Ron Henzel said,

    June 12, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Uri,

    Are you saying the confessions need to be modified? How so?

  16. David Rondo said,

    June 12, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I would agree with Uri. Most of the confessions were written during times of controversy…and inevitably come up imbalanced in some areas. The high Calvinism of some of the confessions comes to mind….

    It is always helpful to reexamine them, and update the language for modern usage when appropriate.

  17. GLW Johnson said,

    June 14, 2009 at 6:20 am

    I get the uneasy feeling that if Rayburn and Frame were heading up the revision committee Norman Shepherd’s views on justification would get shoehorned in -which would in effect nullify the Westminster Standards as well as The Three Forms of Unity

  18. drollord said,

    June 14, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    David Rondo et al.,
    “What happens when there is tension between the Bible and the confession?”
    -The confession must bow to the text confessing the same as what the text(s) say. The Reformed confessions state that clearly. Yet the question remains: why can’t we use them in response to a question? Have they erred and if they have, where and what’s correct?

    Minor point here: D-R-O-L-L-O-R-D not “Drollard”

    Uri,
    “Confessions are helpful to express the faith in its particular contextual era. It’s time to gather the smart minds in the Reformed world and re-consider language, context and new challenges.”
    -This statement fails to recognize that the Reformed Confessions address truths that are applicable to the Church throughout history. The writers of the confessions consulted other confessions to help. We’re not going to let the doctrines like justification, etc. fall to the side because it isn’t addressed contextually. Besides, it’s hard enough to get people to acknowledge the doctrines confessed within them as it is. Hence Recovering the Reformed Confession being written.

    GLW,
    -Good book recommendation. It is an extremely helpful book.

  19. Rusty said,

    October 28, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I think we may be missing the point here. Be it confessions written long ago, or biblical scriptures used in contexts outside the intent, the true measure of right and wrong is change. Has the word of the almighty God changed the person who believes? If so, and the tree bears good fruit, why argue about someone reading a particular book? We are to take on the character of Jesus Christ. This is the true power in that name. It is not any word we say, but the power that is His that cleanses us. Thus, if some are saved by reading confessions…praise the Lord! If others are saved by not…praise the Lord! This sounds much like an ancient arguement that Paul addressed about circumcision. Look to the heart! Love in Jesus Christ to all.

    R.C. Wells


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