The Excommunication of
Members of The Christmas Conspiracy!

Kevin Craig, author of The Christmas Conspiracy!, was formally tried and excommunicated by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, from a church pastored by Greg L. Bahnsen.

Through the tireless efforts at mediation by John Frame, professor at the Westminster Theological Seminary (now at Reformed Theological Seminary), a reconciliation was achieved, and the ban of excommunication was lifted.

The Issues

According to the church ("Covenant Community Church"), the issues were not theological or doctrinal, and did not involve any "heresy." The charge was "slander," in that I said all Christians who were not in solidarity with The Christmas Conspiracy! -- and specifically the Reformers of the 16th century -- were "fascists," and linked the Session of the church to those beliefs and practices. I also called the purveyors of certain doctrines (with which I disagreed) "judaistic."

The words were found primarily in a response to a Covenant Community Church Position Paper, "Is it Our Moral Obligation to Attend Church?" I answered No. I claimed that part of The Christmas Conspiracy! was the end of all churches. Obviously this strained my relationship with the church. Bahnsen had been tutoring me with a view to ordination in the OPC (!), and my "anarchist" views were stubbornly adhered to and intricately developed. It was becoming obvious that my views and those of the Session were worlds apart. The publication of a paper against "attending church" -- ready to be passed out to the entire church -- was perhaps the last straw. While insisting that I was not charged with any doctrinal deviations, the Session objected to the language I used in that paper.

The Resolution

Upon reflection, I realized that my language was not designed to be persuasive or winsome, but was divisive and egotistic. It created an "us-them" environment. I have learned a great many such rhetorical strategies, and am still plagued by them. Although I did not retract any of my theological conclusions regarding church or state, I apologized for my rhetoric, explained my commitment to avoid such rhetoric in the future, and was un-excommunicated.

The lunch date I had scheduled with Bahnsen the week of his death would unquestionably have been a heart-felt and cordial time of fellowship. I await a glorious reunion.

Use your browser's "back" button to return to the previous document.

I would appreciate your comments. Please write me at

Vine & Fig Tree Home Page

The Christmas Conspiracy!