Indictment of the PCA Standing Judicial Commission | Exhibit 20

The Member Vows for the Standing Judicial Commission are provided in the Operating Manual for Standing Judicial Commission, annexed to the PCA Book of Church Order, year after year. Every teaching elder and ruling elder elected to the SJC must sign this contract. Yet, has amassed a preponderance of evidence that would seem to indicate a deleterious disjunction between what the SJC members profess in their vows and what they actually do.

“The history of the church is filled with doctrinal conflict. … How, then, should doctrinal conflicts be resolved? The good news for us is that we do not need to guess or come up with a model or method—in Acts 15, the Holy Spirit has given us an inspired account of how to deal with doctrinal conflict. … when doctrinal conflict arises in the church today, we should recognize that it is best to seek a resolution instead of letting that conflict fester and cause division. The church should be united in its testimony before a watching world. Seeking help beyond the local church is readily available in my Presbyterian context, which has a series of graded courts to which appeal can be made. …
Seeking help is valuable only if the broader church is willing and able to help settle doctrinal conflicts. That is what we see the church doing in Acts 15. … The history of the church is filled with examples of such resolutions to guide us. …
Doctrinal conflict provides an opportunity for the church to take a clear stand for the truth of God’s Word. We should look to the work of the Holy Spirit within the church to aid us in our faith and practice.” 

“Resolving Doctrinal Conflict,” Tabletalk, March 2022, Vol. 46, No. 3, Fred Greco, senior pastor of Christ Church in Katy, Texas; also a PCA Standing Judicial Commission Officer — one of four de facto gatekeepers who routinely decide which cases arising from all the presbyteries are “administratively in order” — and who concurred to dismiss, out of hand, literally every single formal opportunity (total six Complaints over three years) that Benyola set before the Court to answer and repair serious scandal in their denomination. 

“Talk is cheap and lies are expensive.” 

— “Walking Contradiction,” William Joseph Armstrong, 1995

“… so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” 

— Luke 2:35

Acts 24:22-26
On two separate occasions Paul appeared before Felix. Both times Felix put off dealing with Paul and his message. As a political leader Felix demonstrated distorted priorities, a mistake that may have had eternal consequences. …
2 Timothy 3:1-9
A leader who lacks self-discipline shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that his or her followers don’t know what’s going on. Even for those leaders who try their best to cover their actions, their foolishness is generally made apparent to everyone (v. 9). How’s that for a sobering thought! …
Acts 17:10-12
The Bereans possessed ‘noble character’ because they examined the Scriptures to make sure that what Paul had taught them was true. Note that Paul wasn’t threatened by their investigation. Effective leaders have the wisdom to know that truth will only be validated by scrutiny.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, pp. 567, 574, 583 

The Effects of Concealment
What has brought the Presbyterian church to such a pass? … in a contradiction that could be recognized, one might think, not merely by theologians or experts but by every man, Christian or otherwise, of ordinary sound common honesty and common sense—what has brought such a church, with such a constitution, into its present anomalous state?
The answer to that question is plain Secrecy has done the business—secrecy and the discouragement of open and free discussion of the condition of the church.
If the destructive forces had exhibited themselves in their true light, the peace and purity of the church would have been restored long ago, but as it is the work of undermining the church has gone forward in the dark.
At times, indeed, it has seemed, despite all that the ecclesiastical machinery could do, as though light were to be let into the darkness. … the facts about the state of the church were concealed; the cancer that was sapping the church’s life was permitted to continue its destructive work in the dark.
The Menace of Secret Courts
It is in judicial cases, of course, where secrecy is most clearly opposed both to general principles of ethics and to the whole spirit of the New Testament. In the time of Henry VIII there was in England a secret court called the ‘Star Chamber.’ It was an instrument of tyranny, and against it the great principle of ‘open court’ was finally set up. That principle is at the very foundation of our Anglo-Saxon liberties. It is certainly in profound accord with the Word of God. Yet that principle is being crassly violated at the present moment in the Presbyterian church.
Moreover, the General Assembly of 1931 has sent down to the presbyteries for their examination an entire new Book of Discipline, prepared by the stated clerk, in order that opinions about it may be expressed by the presbyteries before March 1, 1932, or a little later, so that, after the results of such study are embodied in it, it may be sent down finally next May.
That new Book of Discipline expressly provides that ‘in all cases of judicial process, the judicatory shall sit with closed doors’ (Minutes, p. 280).
At present, a judicatory may sit with closed doors; it may do so at any stage of the case, by a two-thirds vote. That rule makes full provision for exclusion of publicity in certain kinds of cases where publicity might be inimical to public morals or the like; certainly it makes full provision, when taken in connection with the general authority of a judicial body over its own procedure, for the maintenance of good order and for the discouragement of attendance by mere curiosity-seekers.
But the proposed new rule is of an entirely different kind. It allows no discretion whatever. It provides not that judicatories may sit behind closed doors, but that they must sit behind closed doors, even in cases where the most elementary considerations of fair play demand that open court should be held, and even where the accused person is convinced that by being deprived of an open trial he is being deprived of an inalienable right.
Suppose, for example, that a case should come before the Permanent Judicial Commission, which, as we pointed out last month, is, so far as all indications go, a very one-sided court. Would any advocate of the evangelical contention in the church think he could possibly have a fair hearing if such a court held its sessions in secret? And even if the proceedings were fair, could the world at large ever possibly be convinced that they were fair? Would not the basest suspicions inevitably be aroused? Can anyone imagine a situation more disgraceful to a church that bears the name of Christ?
For my part, I confess that the very notion of ‘judicial process behind closed doors,’ of ‘secret court,’ is a sinister and disgraceful notion, while the notion of ‘open court’ is at the basis of everything that is fair and above-board. That principle is true in the state. It is true with tenfold force in the church of Jesus Christ. The church, we think, should not be less anxious but more anxious to avoid suspicion than is the world at large.
A Proposed Presbyterian Inquisition
… It tends, namely, to destroy the old Presbyterian liberties and put the plain man in the church more and more at the mercy of the gentlemen who control the ecclesiastical machinery. … the abolition of open court is the worst of all. The meaning of this feature is perfectly plain. It involves nothing less than the setting up of a secret inquisition in the Presbyterian church.
That step, if it is finally taken, will do two things. In the first place, it will subject the church to the contempt of those who are without—a contempt compared with which all the real or supposed reproach of public ecclesiastical trials is as nothing. Even if these secret courts are fair, their very secrecy will prevent normally minded people in the world at large from ever thinking that they are fair.
But in the second place, as a matter of fact, these secret courts will not be fair. Darkness is a great breeder of sin, and the sin of oppression and unfairness is one to which ecclesiastical courts are notoriously exposed. I do not know altogether why that is so. Perhaps it is because in ecclesiastical courts hatred and oppression are so apt to be concealed by the words of piety and love. In the pursuit of showy and unusual virtues, the simple, homely virtues are so apt to be lost from view. The great ecclesiastic thinks that of course he is above them, but Satan catches him at the unguarded point. At any rate, simple fairness to unpopular men and to the adherents of unpopular causes has, as history teaches, not always been a very marked characteristic of ecclesiastical courts. I am bound to say, for my part, very deliberately, that if this provision of the new Book of Discipline goes into effect, if a secret inquisition is thus set up in the Presbyterian Church, I had far rather take my chances in the pursuit of simple justice in even the weaker civil courts, presided over by politically appointed judges who make no profession of religion, than in these secret courts of my own church.
Very sad will be the lot of the plain man, unpopular with the ecclesiastical officials, if he ever falls into the clutches of this secret inquisition. He will be free, indeed, from civil penalties; his body will be safe. But his reputation and his livelihood will be at the mercy of these star-chamber courts that shun the light of day.
Dangerous Overtures and How They Were Sent Down
The present existence of secret courts, with the proposal that all courts be secret, is only one extreme manifestation of a tendency that has made itself felt in many ways in the recent history of our church, and that has come to a head just at the present moment in proposals of a particularly tyrannical kind.
The tendency to which we refer is the tendency to check open discussion and deprive the plain man of his right to be heard in opposition to the ecclesiastical machinery. …
The Policy of Secrecy
The present anomalous condition of the church has been brought about, we observed further, by a policy of concealment in councils and courts. If the destructive forces had been exhibited in their true light, they might have been checked long ago; but as it is, they have carried on in their undermining labors in the dark.
This policy of secrecy is particularly disgraceful in cases of judicial process, where it runs counter to all the fair and honorable traditions of the Anglo-Saxon race, to say nothing of the teachings of the Word of God. In that field, the evil is actually being practiced today; a secret trial has just been completed in the Synod of Philadelphia. Such procedure is an offense to fair-minded people everywhere, and it is a disgrace to a church bearing the name of Christ. Yet if the proposed new Book of Discipline goes into effect, the evil will be made universal and obligatory, and a secret inquisition will thus be set up in the Presbyterian church. …
But the tendency to check open discussion has also proved to be disastrous when applied to the legislative and administrative functions of the church. We traced a few of its workings … how in general it was made to operate against any fair hearing for the rank and file.” 

— J. Gresham Machen, “The Truth about the Presbyterian Church,” Christianity Today, November 1931, December 1931, January 1932 

“God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” 

— II Timothy 2:25-26 

“But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.” 

— Psalm 26:11-12 

“Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.” 

— Psalm 62:9 

“Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’
Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” 

— Jeremiah 23:23-25, 28-29

“The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone in silence
when it is laid on him;
let him put his mouth in the dust—
there may yet be hope;
let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
and let him be filled with insults.
For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
or grieve the children of men.
To crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the earth,
to deny a man justice
in the presence of the Most High,
to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
the Lord does not approve.” 

— Lamentations 3:25-36 

“O you who turn justice to wormwood
and cast down righteousness to the earth! …
They hate him who reproves in the gate,
and they abhor him who speaks the truth. …
Seek good, and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you,
as you have said.
Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. …
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” 

— Amos 5:7, 10, 14-15, 23-24 

“… in … danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night … And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.” 

— II Corinthians 11:26-31 

“The ‘sin’ for which the most faithful ministers of the church were condemned was, in the last analysis, the ‘sin’ of refusing to obey the church even when obedience to the church meant disobedience to Christ. By carrying their appeals through all the courts of the church and having them dismissed by the church’s supreme court, those who were condemned were assured that their condemnations were not simply temporary actions of ill-advised presbyteries. When the General Assembly, on June 1, 1936, affirmed the condemnations of these ministers, it officially placed its stamp of approval on grievous and heinous sins of the presbyteries and synods. The assembly by its official judicial action set up the church as the supreme authority over the consciences of its members; the authority of the church was placed above the authority of God; Christ, the supreme Head of the church, was dethroned. This was in direct contravention of the teaching of the Bible and of the Westminster Confession of Faith (Chapter I, Section X), and, in the eyes of many, it constituted official apostasy.” 

The First Ten Years: The Orthodox Presbyterian Church 1936-1946, Robert S. Marsden

“Thus with one stroke Machen was denied the right of having his day in court to prove that the order which he disobeyed was an unlawful order. It remains almost incredible that a Presbyterian court should thus have flouted the most elementary principles of justice. That it happened can only be attributed to a shocking disregard of the basic Protestant principles that God alone is Lord of the conscience and that the Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice by which all controversies are to be judged.
The Verdict
As a matter of course Machen thus was not accorded an opportunity of defence. And so the verdict of ‘Guilty’ rendered on March 29 could be foreseen. The judgment was that he should be suspended from the ministry. Appeal was taken to the Synod and ultimately to the General Assembly, but both Synod and Assembly (the Syracuse Assembly of 1936) rejected the appeal. And so one of the most extraordinary developments in modern church history came to pass.
There was widespread astonishment at the nature and results of the trial. …
The possibility of the eventuation of a separation from the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. was in view for many years as the strenuous efforts at reformation seemed to be of little or no avail. If Machen had yielded to the course calculated to give him the utmost personal happiness and ease, he would long before have left the Presbyterian Church. Added to the coldness or hostility with which his reformatory labours were generally greeted was the bitter and depressing experience of being made the object of abuse and slander. But considerations of principle restrained him from precipitate action. Machen did not share the widespread depreciation of the doctrine of the visible church which had found expression among many fundamentalists who remained in the organized churches or had come to more consistent expression in contemporary undenominationalism. Nor did he hold to independency. He was nothing more nor less than a Presbyterian. Moreover, as a minister in the Presbyterian Church his zeal to uphold the Constitution was second to none. Indeed to a large extent the issue of the day, as he viewed it, was whether the Constitution was to be maintained. Accordingly, his was not a sense of estrangement from or slackening of loyalty to historic Presbyterianism. Not he but those who were proving unfaithful to their vows, he felt, should have taken the honest course of leaving the church. Schism, moreover, and for the same basic reasons of principle, was abhorrent to him. On one occasion he spoke of it as ‘a very heinous sin’. Separation from a church could be countenanced only if it was demonstrated that that organization had abandoned the authority of the word of God for another authority, only, that is, if it proved thereby that it was not really a church of Jesus Christ. Under such circumstances, however, it would virtually be an act of schism to remain, for then one would be separating oneself from the true church of Jesus Christ. …
In this atmosphere of tyranny preparations were made for eventualities through the organization of the Constitutional Covenant Union on June 27, 1935. As the central features of its constitution it adopted articles on Purpose and Pledge which precisely delineated its character. … it stated: 

The purpose of this Covenant Union shall be to defend and maintain the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.—that is, to defend (1) the word of God upon which the Constitution is based, (2) the full, glorious system of revealed truth contained in the Confession of Faith and Catechisms, commonly called (to distinguish it from various forms of error) the ‘Reformed Faith’, and (3) the truly scriptural principles of Presbyterian church government guaranteeing the Christian’s freedom from implicit obedience to any human councils and courts and recognizing instead, in the high biblical sense, the authority of God.” 

J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir, Ned B. Stonehouse, pp. 577-578, 581-582, 584 

The life of Pontius Pilate provides a brief lesson on the dangers of politically motivated leadership. He knew that Jesus was innocent of any wrongdoing. He was certain of what was morally right; his wife had confirmed this just minutes earlier. Matthew leaves no doubt that Pilate possessed the power to release Jesus, a man whom he knew to be innocent.
But then there was his career and his political standing with the Jewish leaders. He knew that his life would be much easier if the people under his jurisdiction were to oppose him only mildly than if they were to become hostile. Pilate had a choice: He could either do what was morally right or what was best for his career and his convenience. His legacy as a weakling and a scoundrel records the sad outcome of his choice.
Leaders live regularly with that choice. Rarely does rejecting the moral high ground produce the intended outcome for the long haul. If for one minute you doubt the truth of that statement, just ask Pilate to fill you in on the details of his experience.  …
Great leaders will never sacrifice obedience to God to achieve political success or favor. …
Hezekiah was a king of Judah who destroyed pagan idol worship, cleansed God’s temple and encouraged personal obedience to God’s law. But Hezekiah’s spiritual reforms were short-lived; unconcerned about the future, Hezekiah never formulated plans to keep his reforms alive.
Leadership Passages
10:1-4: These verses comprise a stern warning for leaders who oppress others for personal profit. …
A passion for justice and righteousness is an irreplaceable foundation for moral leadership.
Leadership and People
Zephaniah was a respected leader and prophet in Judah. Even though he had direct access to the king, Zephaniah refused to allow his powerful position to compromise his convictions but rather used his influence with the king to bring about needed civil and religious reforms. …
Leadership Passages
2:3: The only protection from God’s wrath is an attitude of humble submission to Him.
3:1-4: Ungodly leadership, such as existed in ancient Jerusalem, produces treachery and anarchy and calls down judgment upon itself.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, pp. 748-749, 798-799, 813-814

Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor over the rebellious district of Judea. Over the years, cynicism and concession weakened his uncompromising, just leadership. Though he never doubted Jesus’ innocence, Pilate sacrificed the truth because of political pressure and approved the execution of an innocent man.” 

— ibid., p. 819

“If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?” 

— Proverbs 24:10-12 

“O house of David! Thus says the LORD:
‘Execute justice in the morning,
and deliver from the hand of the oppressor
him who has been robbed,
lest my wrath go forth like fire,
and burn with none to quench it,
because of your evil deeds.’” 

— Jeremiah 21:12 

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” 

— Corinthians 16:13-14 

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” 

— Hebrews 4:12-15 

An Advertisement to the Pious and Judicious Reader
“A perfect enumeration and description of scandals can be made in no book, but in the Scriptures; and when all is done, must we not refer to that? All scandals are punishable as well as any; to inflict penalties on some and not on others as bad or worse is inexcusable partiality. Why should not presbyteries duly constituted, especially the greater [ones], be accounted at least as faithful, intelligent, prudent [as an individual curate], and every way as competent judges of what is scandal [or] what not, according to Scriptures, and that without arbitrariness and tyrannicalness, as any civil court, committee or commissioners or whatever? Ruling church assemblies are entrusted with the whole government in the church, consequently, with this and every part. The best reformed churches allow to their presbyteries power to keep scandalous persons from the ordinances … Therefore, no new thing is desired but what is commonly practiced in the Reformed Churches, whom we should imitate as far as they lead us on towards purity and perfection.” 

Jus Divinum Regiminis Ecclesiastici, p. 46 

“Therefore, whenever it becomes necessary to abandon either religion or the peace of society, any princes whatsoever that do not put religion before peace, by the most heinous crime knowingly and deliberately make themselves guilty of mocking church discipline, not to say of letting divisive heretics get off scot-free. Theodore Beza on I Timothy 2:2, Annotationes majores in Nouum Jesu Christi Testamentum (1594), 444.” 

— ibid., Appendix I, Additional Translations, p. 320 

“Should those be admitted to the Lord’s Supper who show by what they profess and how they live that they are unbelieving and ungodly?
No, that would dishonor God’s covenant and bring down God’s wrath upon the entire congregation.
Therefore, according to the instruction of Christ and his apostles, the Christian church is duty-bound to exclude such people, by the official use of the keys of the kingdom, until they reform their lives. …
The kingdom of heaven is closed, however, by proclaiming and publicly declaring to unbelievers and hypocrites that, as long as they do not repent, the wrath of God and eternal condemnation rest on them. …
How is the kingdom of heaven closed and opened by Christian discipline?
According to the command of Christ: Those who, though called Christians, profess unchristian teachings or live unchristian lives, and who after repeated personal and loving admonitions, refuse to abandon their errors and evil ways, and who after being reported to the church, that is, to those ordained by the church for that purpose, fail to respond also to the church’s admonitions—such persons the church excludes from the Christian community by withholding the sacraments from them, and God excludes them from the kingdom of Christ.
Such persons, when promising and demonstrating genuine reform, are received again as members of Christ and of his church. …
Can those be saved who do not turn to God from their ungrateful and unrepentant ways?
By no means. Scripture tells us that no … slanderer, robber, or the like will inherit the kingdom of God.” 

Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 82, 84, 85, 87 

“The keys of the kingdom aren’t given for power trips. They are given so that in opening the door, many may walk in, and in closing the door, many would be duly warned and seek the only door that leads to eternal life.” 

The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, Kevin DeYoung, p. 153 

“Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift.” 

— Don Vito Corleone, on the day of his daughter’s wedding, 1945


03/02/2023: The Office of the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly reports to the Complainant the Decision on Complaints, SJC 2022-17,-18,-19, that “The SJC finds the above-named Complaints are administratively out of order, and cannot be put in order, because Mr. Benyola is no longer a member of any congregation of the PCA, and thus lacks standing in these Cases.”
Now the SJC refuses three additional opportunities to rule according to the Holy Scriptures and the PCA Constitution, so this highest Court once again contradicts its very own common-sense judicial precedence set by most of the same officers and commissioners against the same Session and the same Presbytery on a similar case less than three years prior. 

(Final Decisions of the Standing Judicial Commission for Case Nos. 2022-17,-18,-19, the (second, third, fourth) Complaints of Peter Benyola versus the Central Florida Presbytery

Alleged violations (errors and/or delinquencies) by the Standing Judicial Commission 

Primary standards: Genesis 18:25, 44:16, Leviticus 19:15, II Chronicles 7:14, 30:18-20, Psalms 11:3, 76:11, 116:18-19, Proverbs 3:27, 24:11-12, 31:8-9, 28:9,13, Ecclesiastes 8:11, Jeremiah 21:12, Lamentations 3:34-36, 5:14, Ezekiel 9:4, Zechariah 8:16, Malachi 2:7-14, Matthew 3:8, 5:22, 18:16-17, 13:1-6, Luke 17:3-4, 19:14,27, Acts 20:27-28, I Corinthians 5:6-8, II Corinthians 6:3-8, Galatians 6:2, James 1:22-25, 3:1,17-18, I Peter 2:1,12-17 

Secondary standards: WCF 1.10; 23.3,4; 30.1; 31.1-3; WLC Q.99.6-8; WSC Q.14, 76-78; BCO Preface I, II.1-7; 1-1,-5; 3-2,-3,-5,-6; 11-2,-4; 13-7; 14-6,a,b,c,g,k; 14-7; 25-11 (cf. SJC 93-3, M22GA, 1994, pp. 110-123); 38-4; 40-4; 43-1,-3 (cf. SJC 2019-13, M48GA, 2021, pp. 796-800); RAO 15-5.b; 17-1.4; OMSJC 2.1; 16.1 


04/09/2023: After conversations in which key Central Florida Presbytery representatives had committed to assisting the Complainant with obtaining redress for the St. Paul’s Session’s wrongful attempts at discipline and slander against his good name, and after the SJC has refused to fulfill its constitutional responsibility as a higher Court, Benyola reengages the Presbytery and registers another Credible Report. This Report against “important delinquenc[ies] [and] grossly unconstitutional proceedings of such [lower] court” requests “Review and Control” over the Session of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Inc., so the Presbytery can censure the delinquent Court, and obtain the lower Court’s record of his resignation of membership recorded in the membership book and erasure of his name from the roll, according to SJC judicial precedence and Florida law. 

(Credible Report Requesting Presbytery Review and Control over a Rogue Session


04/19/2023: The day after its 118th Stated Meeting, the Stated Clerk of Central Florida Presbytery reports to the Complainant that “the Presbytery’s Judicial Commission finds the request to be administratively out of order, and cannot be put in order, because Mr. Benyola is no longer a member of any congregation of the PCA. The finding was sustained without objection by vote of the Presbytery.”
Besides that the Presbytery’s reasoning and the ruling welches on what its Judicial Commission had committed to Benyola, this latest error of the Presbytery is constitutionally untenable because a person’s membership standing is not required in order for a Court having appellate jurisdiction to receive a Credible Report: BCO 40-6 provides that “In process against a lower court, the trial shall be conducted according to the rules provided for process against individuals, so far as they may be applicable,” and one does not technically have to be a member of the PCA in order to file charges, because a Presbytery is required to investigate allegations, “however originating” (BCO 31-2). It is not an individual who submits a credible report which makes the report credible, but the factual substance and information in a credible report which makes the report credible.
The Stated Clerk closes his letter, 

“Peter, this concludes all matters placed before this presbytery by you.” 

(Central Florida Presbytery Response to (third) Credible Report

Alleged violations (errors and/or delinquencies) by the Central Florida Presbytery 

Primary standards: Genesis 18:25, 44:16, Exodus 20:16, Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 10:16, II Chronicles 30:18-20, Psalms 7:12-16, 10:2,7,15-18, 11:1-3, 19:7-14, 24:3-6, 26:4-5, 31:8-9, 34:11-22, 37:27-33, 40:4, 50:14-23, 52:1-4, 53:4, 55:2-3, 56:5-7, 71:10-11, 74:4-5, 76:11, 78:72, 86:14, 94:16,20, 101:5-8, 106:3, 109:1-5, 116:18-19, 140:1-5,9-11, Proverbs 1:29-31, 3:27, 10:23, 11:1, 12:19, 18:5,13,17, 20:23, 22:22, 24:11-12,23-25,28-29, 28:9,13, Ecclesiastes 3:16, 5:1-9, 7:7, 8:1-5,11, 9:17, 10:5,8-10, Jeremiah 11:18-20, 15:15-21, 20:10-13, 21:12, 36:27-32, Lamentations 3:34-36, 5:14, Ezekiel 9:4, 33:1-9, 34:1-10, Amos 5:7,10,14-15,23-24, Zechariah 1:2-6, 8:16, Malachi 2:7, Matthew 3:8, 5:10-12,22, 18:16-17, 22:21, 23:1-5,13-25, 28, Luke 17:3-4, 19:14,27, 21:12-13, Acts 20:27-30, Romans 1:32, 2:1-3,17-21,23-24, 13:1-6, I Corinthians 1:10-11, 5:6-8, 13:6, II Corinthians 6:3-8, 11:26, 12:20, Galatians 6:2, Ephesians 4:31, 5:6-12, I Timothy 3:2,15, Titus 1:5-7, Hebrews 12:15, James 1:22-25, 3:1,17-18, I Peter 2:1,12-17, 5:1-4, Revelation 2:9, 3:9 

Secondary standards: WCF 1.10; 15.6; 20.1-4; 22.1-6; 23.3,4; 30.3; 31.1-3; WLC Q.99.6-8, 111-114, 130, 143-145, 151; WSC Q.14, 76-78; BCO Preface II.1,4; 11-2,-4; 13-9.e,f; 14-7; 27-1,-2,-3,-4,-5; 29-1,-2,-3,-4; 31-2,-5; 32-2,-3,-6.b,-17,-20; 34-1,-2,-3,-5; 35-3; 40-4,-5,-6 

Tertiary standards: RONR (12th ed.) 61:22; 63:7-9, 13, 35



“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” 

United States Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, “What Publicity Can Do,” December 20, 1913 

“Some instances of that have presented themselves within a few days which have fired my imagination. If the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the sun disinfects. You see my idea; I leave you to straighten out and complete that sentence.” 

Louis D. Brandeis letter to Alice Goldmark, February 26, 1891, in Letters of Louis D. Brandeis 

“According to the Westminster Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian church, the invisible church is to be distinguished from the visible church. The invisible church consists of the whole number of those who are saved; the visible church consists of those who profess the true religion, together with their children. There is absolutely no warrant in Scripture for supposing that any particular branch of the visible church will necessarily be preserved. Always, it is true, there will be a visible church upon the earth, but any particular church organization may become so corrupt as to be not a true church of Christ, but (as the Confession of Faith puts it) ‘a synagogue of Satan.’
Now the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America has certainly not become a synagogue of Satan. The hostile forces in it are indeed very powerful, and in some sections of it they are dominant, but the majority is still Christian. But the point is that we have absolutely no warrant in Scripture for holding that the Christian character of this particular church or of any other particular church will necessarily be preserved. The question whether this church will remain Christian or will become non-Christian (as so many other ecclesiastical bodies throughout the world have done) will probably be determined in the next five to ten years. …
No organization and no party in any organization can be recognized as Christian when the works that it brings forth are the specious double use of traditional terminology and all manner of chicanery and deceit. By that test again many parties today are condemned. ‘By their fruits shall ye know them,’ said our Lord. A party cannot be recognized as Christian merely because, in a purely external and physical way, it bears the name of Christ; it cannot be recognized as Christian if, in its corporate capacity—we are not speaking about the relation of individuals to Christ—it brings forth Satan’s works.
But if the twofold test is met—if, in the first place, the doctrine or the message is right, and if, in the second place, the result is not deceitfulness, but truth—then many a despised company of believers, many a hopeless minority, is to be recognized as a true church of Christ. It is to be so recognized by us, and above all, it is actually so recognized by our Lord. And what warmth of fellowship we enjoy, in these days of stress and strain, with many Christians of many names who are our true brothers in Christ! How hollow is the external unity of committees and boards, and how deep the true unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!
If, then, the true church is to be found in many places and under many names, for what does the true church stand, and why do we Presbyterians think that it is found in greatest purity in the Reformed or Calvinistic faith?” 

— J. Gresham Machen, “The Mission of the Church,” The Presbyterian, April 8, 1926 

“Such are my ecclesiastical and theological views. If they disqualify a man … I only request that it should be based upon the true ground—that if the real objection to me is found in my ecclesiastical views and my consistent carrying out of the implications of them, my character should not continue to be maligned by making alleged ‘temperamental defects,’ or harshness or bitterness or the like, the reason for what is done. If zeal for the defense of the Presbyterian church—even a zeal that many think excessive—disqualifies a man … then I only ask that the fact should be made clearly known.
I venture, however, to hope that you will bring in no such report. … I venture still to ask that you do not content yourselves with a technical opinion but that you express your judgment regarding the charges that have been brought against me. Whatever the form of your report with regard to the legal aspects of the case, I seek and respectfully request public vindication at your hands. …
Perhaps it may be objected that if we continue to be tolerated, we shall harm the church by an insistence upon the maintenance of a strict view of its doctrinal standards. … The truth, after all, will prevail. If we are wrong, we shall come to naught. Surely it would be better to tolerate our teaching and to refute it in public discussion than to engage in a method of suppression which clearly would involve a breach of faith.” 

— J. Gresham Machen, “Statement to the Committee to Investigate Princeton,” 1926 

“The LORD made it known to me and I knew;
then you showed me their deeds.
But I was like a gentle lamb
led to the slaughter.
I did not know it was against me
they devised schemes, saying,
‘Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
that his name be remembered no more.’
But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously,
who tests the heart and the mind,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
for to you have I committed my cause. …
I did not sit in the company of revelers,
nor did I rejoice;
I sat alone, because your hand was upon me,
for you had filled me with indignation. …
But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior;
therefore my persecutors will stumble;
they will not overcome me.
They will be greatly shamed,
for they will not succeed.
Their eternal dishonor
will never be forgotten.
O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous,
who sees the heart and the mind,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
for to you have I committed my cause.
Sing to the LORD;
praise the LORD!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
from the hand of evildoers.” 

— Jeremiah 11:18-20, 15:17, 20:11-13 

Part II. Power of the Church
Chapter II. The Rule or Law of Church Power
“III. In what light are the office-bearers of the Church to be regarded, in accordance with the doctrine that the Bible, and the Bible only, is the rule of Church power?
The answer to this question is equally plain and obvious as in the former case. They are ministerial and subordinate, having no authority or discretion of their own, and being merely ministers or servants to carry out the will and execute the appointments of Christ. They are not masters to do their own will, or act at their own discretion, but servants, held bound to submit to the will and carry out the instructions of another. There is a magisterial and supreme authority in the Church; and there is a derived and subordinate authority, accountable to the former. The one belongs to Christ as Head of His Church, the only law or limit of His authority being His own will; the other belongs to the Church, or the office-bearers of the Church, the law or limit of their authority being the power intrusted to them by their Master, and the instructions given to them by Him. In reference to the office-bearers of the Church, of whatsoever place or authority in it, they, if they keep within their office, are but the instruments in the hands of Christ Himself, acting in His name, ruling by His authority, and carrying into effect no more than His instructions. It is true here, as in other respects, that ‘the disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.’ Their office is wholly ministerial; their authority is wholly derived and subordinate. They are not ‘lords over God’s heritage,’ licensed to act according to their discretion or caprice, and independently of any authority but their own. They are not free to administer word, or ordinance, or authority, as from themselves, and independently of the Head that is over them. In all their duties and functions they act only for Christ, and therefore must keep within the strict limits of His commission. The rights and privileges of Christ’s Church are protected from the caprice and arbitrary encroachment of the office-bearers, by the restraint of Christ’s express authority over them; and underneath His crown, and sheltered by it, is found the liberty wherewith Christ has made his people free. The functions of the office-bearers of the Church are ministerial, not lordly.
IV. In what light are the decisions of the Church or its Courts to be regarded, in consistency with the great principle that the Bible, and the Bible only, is the rule of Church power?
We have seen that the laws of the Church, in so far as they can be regarded as valid, are declaratory and not enactive. We have seen that the function of the office-bearers of the Church is ministerial, and not lordly. And now, when the office-bearers, in the lawful administration of their office, proceed to apply the laws of Christ to any particular case, as the circumstances or emergency may demand, and when, acting not for themselves, but for Christ, they pronounce a judicial decision,—in what light is that judgment to be regarded, and to what extent, and in what manner, is it binding upon the conscience? Here, too, the answer is not far to seek or difficult to find, determined as it must be by a reference to the great and fundamental principle that the mind of Christ, revealed and expressed in the Bible, is both the rule and the limit of Church power. If the judgment or decision pronounced in the lawful exercise of their authority by the Church or its office-bearers be in accordance with the principles of the Word of God, that decision was before pronounced in heaven; and it is both valid and binding upon the conscience, not only because it is consistent with God’s Word, but also because it is a decision lawfully pronounced by a lawful tribunal appointed by Christ for the purpose. ‘Verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ (Matt. 18:15-18) But, on the contrary, if the judgment pronounced by the Church or its office-bearers, although in the lawful exercise of their office, be itself unlawful, if it be inconsistent with the mind of Christ as expressed in His Word, then the decision is itself invalid, and the authority by which it was pronounced does not make it binding on the conscience. No judgment of any Church whatsoever can bind the conscience, except in so far as, and no further than, it is grounded upon the Word of God. And in the case of the last resort, when remonstrance and argument and persuasion have failed to induce the Church to reconsider or reverse its own decision, as incompetently or invalidly given, there is yet one remedy, and an ultimate one, reserved to the member against whom the decision is pronounced: he may transfer the case for judgment to a higher tribunal, and for relief and freedom to his own conscience may take appeal from the act of the Church of Christ on earth to the judgment of Christ Himself in heaven. Under the solemn protection of an appeal so taken, his conscience shall be free, and the sin shall not be on him, but on his judges. The acts of the Church are binding and valid only in so far as they are ratified by Christ, and in accordance with His Word.” 

The Church of Christ, James Bannerman, pp. 229-231 

“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” 

— I Corinthians 4:2-5 

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” 

— Philippians 3:12-16 

The Price Of Vision
‘In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord.’ — Isaiah 6:1
Our soul’s history with God is frequently the history of the ‘passing of the hero.’ Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died — I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? or — I saw the Lord?
My vision of God depends upon the state of my character. Character determines revelation. Before I can say ‘I saw also the Lord,’ there must be something corresponding to God in my character. Until I am born again and begin to see the Kingdom of God, I see along the line of my prejudices only; I need the surgical operation of external events and an internal purification.
It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. ‘In all the world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee.’
Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.” 

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, July 13 

“‘In Amos’s time, the people of Israel were prosperous. But with that prosperity they lost their spiritual edge. God was furious with them for compromising His principles in order to make a buck. In this passage Amos tells the people to ‘straighten out their act’ and seek good, not evil,. (vv. 14-15). Being familiar with biblical truths and failing to live by them is extremely dangerous. That’s the line Amos’s contemporaries had crossed.’
[Judson Polling and Bill Perkins, The Journey, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996.]
The leaders who should have administered justice didn’t. Instead they cast away righteousness (v. 7). But before judgment fell on them, God offered an opportunity for repentance and restoration. He called them to turn back to Him (vv. 1-15). In order to please God, the leaders needed to exercise justice and righteousness (v. 24). The imagery in this verse is profound. In contrast to streambeds that are dry much of the year, justice should flow from the nation like a river. Just as plant and animal life flourish where there is water, so human life flourishes where there is justice and righteousness.
What was true of ancient Israel is still true today. People thrive in a setting in which fairness and justice are practiced. How would those closest to you evaluate the way you treat people? Would they say that you’re biased or that you play favorites? Or are you fair and just? …
In its fullest sense, the quest for true justice is a by-product of the pursuit of God over all other things. Read Zechariah 7:8-14 to see how true justice is expressed.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, pp. 290-291, 294 

“And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.’ But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. ‘As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.’” 

— Zechariah 7:8-14

“The experience of one of the saints concerning the verity of God’s promises, of the certainty of the written privileges of the Lord’s people, is a sufficient proof of the right which all his children have unto, and ground of hope for their partaking in the same mercies in their need; therefore, David, to prove his general doctrine, set down in the first part of the verse, saith, the Lord will hear me when I call unto him.” 

A Commentary on the Psalms: Two Volumes in One, on Psalm 4:8, David Dickson, pp. 16-17

Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me; say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. From his petition for himself, learn, 1. Such as take part with God against his enemies, the Lord will take part with against their enemies: if any plead against the believer with verbal calumnies and slanders, the Lord will be their party: if any will oppose the godly with violence, the Lord will oppose them; for this prayer of one of the godly is as good as a promise to all: plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. … He can quiet the hearts of his own in the midst of persecution, and make them fearless in persuading them of their salvation, everlasting at least; and this may fully satisfy, if the Lord say unto their soul, I am thy salvation. …
Though the enemies of Christ and the godly advance in the prosecution of their hurtful devices, yet shall they be forced to retire with shame: they shall be turned back and brought to confusion who devise their hurt.” 

 — A Commentary on the Psalms: Two Volumes in One, on Psalm 35:3-8, David Dickson, pp. 184-185 

“David’s early troubles arose from the wicked malice of envious Saul, who no doubt prosecuted his persecutions under cover of charges brought against the character of ‘the man after God’s own heart.’ These charges David declares to have been utterly false, and asserts that he possessed a grace-given righteousness that the Lord had graciously rewarded in defiance of all his detractors. Before God, the man after God’s own heart was a humble sinner, but before his slanderers he could with unblushing face speak of the ‘cleanness of his hands’ and the righteousness of his life. He who is not able to plead innocence at the bar of human equity knows little of the sanctifying power of divine grace. There is no self-righteousness in an honest man knowing that he is honest, nor even in his believing that God rewards him in providence because of his honesty, for this is often a most evident matter of fact; but it would be self-righteousness indeed if we transferred such thoughts from the region of providential government into the spiritual kingdom, for there grace reigns not only supreme but also alone in the distribution of divine favors. When a gracious man who has been slandered stoutly maintains his integrity, and vigorously defends his character, it is by no means in opposition to the doctrine of salvation by grace, nor is it any kind of evidence of a Pharisaic spirit. A godly man has a clear conscience, and knows he is upright. Is he to deny his own consciousness and despise the work of the Holy Ghost, by hypocritically making himself out to be worse than he is? A godly man prizes his integrity very highly, or else he would not be a godly man at all. Is he to be called proud because he will not readily lose the jewel of a reputable character? A godly man can see that, in divine providence, uprightness and truth are sure to bring their own reward in the long run. May he not, when he sees that reward bestowed upon him, praise the Lord for it? Indeed, must he not show forth the faithfulness and goodness of his God? Read the cluster of expressions in this and the following verses as the song of a good conscience, sung after safely riding out a storm of defamation, persecution and abuse, and there will be no fear of us rebuking the writer as one who set too high a price upon his own moral character.” 

Daily Treasure: 366 Daily Readings from Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon, on Psalm 18:20-24, ed. James Renihan, p. 55 

“Lord, plead against those who plead against me; strive with those who strive against me; contend with my contenders. If they urge their suit in the lawcourt, Lord, meet me there, and beat them with their own weapons. Every saint of God shall have this privilege: the accuser of the brethren shall be met by the Advocate of the saints. If my adversaries try force as well as fraud, be a match for them: oppose their strength with your strength. Jesus does this for all his beloved; he is both intercessor and champion for them; whatever aid they need they shall receive from him, and in whatever manner they are assaulted they shall be effectually defended. Let us not fail to leave our situation in the Lord’s hand. The help of man is vain, but the intervention of heaven is ever effectual. What is here asked for as a boon may be regarded as a promise, to all the saints; in judgement they shall have a divine advocate, in warfare a divine protection. …
God is the champion, the true knight-errant of all the oppressed.” 

Daily Treasure: 366 Daily Readings from Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon, on Psalm 35:1-10, ed. James Renihan, p. 92