My Photo
Name:
Location: United States

I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Monday, January 14, 2008

John Armstrong’s Meddling

John Armstrong’s Meddling--Again!

There are still some things in life I don’t understand. One of them is when people outside of a particular denomination feel that they have to weigh in on certain issues. A case in point is John Armstrong’s blog about the PCA (Jan. 12, 2008; “The PCA Divided Again by the Charges Against Steve Wilkins.”) I’m not certain that it’s all that beneficial for those outside a denomination to express their opinion on a matter, unless it is of a very serious nature. If say, the Southern Baptist Convention denied the Trinity—which they haven’t—then that would be just cause to weigh in on the issue because it would impact the SBC and Christianity in a big way. If, on the other hand, the SBC made a statement on the use of alcohol among Christians—which they have—then I must confess that I don’t feel much compunction to voice my opinion except maybe to say, “I’ll drink to that!”

I preface my remarks this way because it seems that John Armstrong believes he’s the watchdog for the PCA. My rebuttal is: Thanks, John, but I think our denomination can handle it without your help. Moreover, if you are an ardent member of the Reformed Church in America I might suggest that you devote a little time and effort into policing the ills in that denomination. It was bad in Bavinck’s day and the American counterpart hasn’t improved much.

Anyway, just to walk the reader through what Armstrong is complaining about this time, I’m going to cite certain of his comments verbatim and then comment on them in an attempt to set the record straight. He begins this way: “Sadly, some leaders in the Presbyterian Church in America refuse to tolerate what they perceive to be ‘deadly errors.’ I am not suggesting ‘deadly errors’ should be tolerated, not in the least, but let's be honest here. This debate is about whether or not the errors themselves, assuming they are errors, are indeed “deadly.” Additionally, this is about whether or not the person who holds the supposed errors really denies the Westminster Confession of Faith (WSF) or not.”

I’m assuming that WSF stands for Westminster Standards of Faith, but back to the opening salvo. First, why is this situation “sad?” John might not like it, but that hardly qualifies it as “sad.” So at the outset we’re dealing with tendentious language. Without even giving the briefest of outlines as to why the PCA made the decision it did at its last General Assembly in Memphis, John has declared the situation “sad.” That’s sad.

Second, John says that “some” leaders in the PCA refuse to tolerate the unidentified and undefined problem. Here John is very accurate, especially if by “some” you mean more than 80%. When the vote was taken on the floor of the GA, at least 80% of the PCA delegates acted, according to Armstrong, in an intolerant manner.

Third, it is also of interest that Armstrong chose to place the words, “they perceive to be” in bold italics. What in the world is this supposed to mean? Was Armstrong on the floor of the GA? Had he done the requisite research on what was transpiring? Even if he had, could he vote? No. This is a huge slur and slam. 80% + of the delegates thought they knew what they were doing, but no, John, sees that we only perceived a problem in the Federal Vision. Whose perception is important here? Is it only Armstrong’s? Who appointed him to be the watchman over Jerusalem? Why should we pay any attention to what he thinks? He is a member of a denomination (the R.C.A.) that needs to do a lot of housework and he’s out critiquing the P.C.A.? Why don’t you start at home, John? How do we even know what the delegates perceived? Was a survey conducted? Was Armstrong at the GA? I was and I am here to say that the Moderator handled the discussion on the floor of GA in a very orderly, decently and equitable fashion.

But as he has done in the past, Armstrong proceeds to meddle in something that is outside of his church affiliation and to make all kinds of judgments based—on many occasions—on distortion of the facts. Let me provide you with some examples of what I mean. In order to do this, I’m going to use Armstrong’s words. “This debate is about whether or not the errors themselves, assuming they are errors, are indeed ‘deadly.’ Additionally, this is about whether or not the person who holds the supposed errors really denies the Westminster Confession of Faith (WSF) or not. This is an honest debate, in the formal sense, for sure. And Presbyterianism allows elders to have this struggle. (This is a matter for more thought but I seriously doubt that this ‘type’ of presbyterian practice can thrive, and help a groups [sic] of churches grow, in the new century. Clearly, the next generation has no tolerance for it at all. Sadly, many in my generation really love it and thrive on it, preferring rational debates about doctrine to actually dealing with real people in pastoral and missional ways.)” My initial response to this as a P.C.A. pastor is that this is a slap in the face from a man who doesn’t know what he’s talking about—and that is the kind version.

Once again Armstrong has set himself up as the arbiter of what is erroneous and not erroneous. Thanks ever so much, John! We were just stumbling along being intolerant until you came along to enlighten us. Now I am certain that a meticulous, fair arbiter like John has read the entire document from the General Assembly, but it has just slipped his mind to report to the gentle reader that the word “deadly” does not appear in either the Declarations or the Recommendations sections. In the 9 Declarations there is a kind of refrain to explain the unanimous findings of the committee: “…is contrary to the Westminster Standards.” A committee of technical theologians, a professor, and pastors examined the teachings of the Federal Vision and found them contrary to the Westminster Standards. They presented that to the General Assembly; the matter was debated on the floor for quite a while; a vote was taken; and the Declarations and Recommendations carried. So what is the problem? How does this affect Armstrong and why in the world does he feel obliged to weigh in on the matter now? This all went down in June of 2007. Was it a slow news day for Armstrong’s blog?

The GA believed—overwhelmingly—that the Federal Vision positions are contrary to the Westminster Standards. One can only wonder what it means when Armstrong writes, “This is an honest debate, in the formal sense, for sure.” No, it’s quite actual for those of us in the P.C.A., the O.P.C., and the U.R.C. That is why all three of these churches wrote reports, came to similar conclusions, and condemned the Federal Vision. Perhaps Armstrong and N.T. Wright can team up and write a book with the title What Saint Paul Really Says about the Federal Vision.

Then Armstrong—now turned prophetic—offers a piece of information that no one asked for. Dr. Armstrong, this may come as a shock and a blow, but I really don’t care what you think will thrive and help churches grow in the new century. Clearly, the R.C.A. isn’t thriving spiritually and neither are the hip, cutting edge P.C.A. emergent-wannabes. The next generation thankfully is not characterized by Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, Spencer Burke, Don Miller, or Brian McLaren. There are still some sentient ones in the “next generation,” although they are on the endangered species list. Armstrong obviously has a crystal ball.

The last statement (Sadly, many in my generation really love it and thrive on it, preferring rational debates about doctrine to actually dealing with real people in pastoral and missional ways.) really angers me. Armstrong ought to be ashamed of himself, but he’s too busy defending the indefensible. That’s right, John, everyone who disagrees with you just loves and thrives on holding (and winning—you forgot that slur) rational debate—as opposed to, say, irrational debates. It really cheeses me off that Armstrong—who is so loving and caring; especially to those who agree with him—would make such a stupid statement! I don’t use that word a lot, but in Armstrong’s case I’m willing to make an exception. Is he the only one dealing with real people in pastoral and missional ways? How does he know what we’re doing in our churches? I suppose I should conclude that the people in my congregation are computer generated. Anyone who voted against the Federal Vision is neither pastoral nor missional in Armstrong’s view. Give me a break! I cannot begin to tell you how much I resent what Armstrong said. It is simply unconscionable.

Note Armstrong’s language about those who disagree with him: They are defenders of “strict confession” who approach their rather militant judicial approach. There are few things or people more militant that meddling do-gooders. I mean this is the most disgusting and undocumented rant I’ve read in a while. If by “strict confession” defenders he means that the Intolerant Gang adheres to the Covenant of Works then yes, then we’ll have to change our name to the Militant Intolerant Gang.

Armstrong complains because the P.C.A. followed its Book of Church Order in bringing charges against Steve Wilkins. And your point is John? Do you even know where the R.C.A. Book of Church Order is? Or, just for fun, you might want to consult the Church Order from the Synod of Dordrecht. It says pretty much the same thing. What is your problem? Someone should have sent an overture to the GA saying, “When you discuss this matter, please remember that Steve Wilkins is John Armstrong’s friend.” Steve is a big boy. He’s a theologian. He has chosen his path deliberately and consciously. I would be ashamed to have a man from another church affiliation doing what I am perfectly capable of doing myself—defending my theological position—especially more than half-a-year later and one who doesn’t have a horse in the race. For someone who has no horse in the race, Armstrong has certainly managed to make outlandish, unsubstantiated accusations and vague, general assertions.

This will come as a shock to all but Armstrong left the pastorate in 1992 to counsel. Is this blog supposed to, in any way, pass as counsel? Armstrong wonders how pastors that spend a lot of time on the Internet pastor their flocks. That’s a legitimate question that they/we will all have to answer to God for. But if this is the best counsel Armstrong can offer I suggest finding another job, because this was yet another one of his unsubstantiated blogs taking a shot at the P.C.A. John, why don’t you entertain us with a blog dealing with the many problems in the R.C.A.?

Labels:

61 Comments:

Blogger SolaMeanie said...

What do you suppose is the root of all this? I noted Armstrong's apparent "shifts" a few years ago, but I wasn't quite sure where he was going with it all. I was a bit worried that he was "going home to Rome." Who knows.

Does he approve of the Federal Vision? Does he say what his own stance is on that question? I'd like to know!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Yes, John went south a few years ago and since that time has bounced around and tried almost everything. He is favorable to Norm Shepherd, N.T. Wright, the FV, & McLaren. I'm just tired of him taking shots at the PCA. It's not that we're without our problems. His blog was just so far off base I had to write a reply and try to set the record straight. BTW, he does appreciate much in Rome as well as with Eastern Orthodoxy. Go and figure.

9:30 PM  
Blogger gullchasedship said...

Just wondering if you could comment on the similarity between Federal Vision covenant theology and Dutch Liberated covenant theology, since you have some experience in the Liberated tradition.

4:26 AM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

The actions of the Star Judicial Chamber of the PCA are so openly wicked and evil, and so totally tyrannical, that is makes the Papacy look like small potatoes by comparison. All Christians in all kinds of churches should be appalled by this tyranny, and it is certainly fine for Armstrong, myself, and others to comment on it.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Kim from Hiraeth said...

Jan. 12, 2008; “The PCA Divided Again by the Charges Against Steve Wilkins.”

With 80% of the delegates in agreement, how in the world can he characterize the PCA as being divided?

Ridiculous. I'm off to read the original post. (I guess I like having my blood pressure go up)

7:11 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

James,
Tyranny by declaration? What it means is that you don't like it. Sorry, but that doesn't cut it. Come up with something substantially better.

7:25 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

James,

"Star Chamber?" Don't you think that's a bit overheated?

7:26 AM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Dr Fin said...

I don't have a dog in this fight so I guess I can't say anything.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

James,
I find your language offensive and way over the top. You were at GA, weren't you? Why didn't you step up to the microphone and say all of this then? Is it correct to suppose that you are bringing an overture to the next GA to deal with the demonic, Romish previous GA? Given your vitriol, I'd like to hear you say it on the floor of GA. Clearly, you have strong feelings about this. Make them public in a church orderly fashion.
You wrote, "You are blind, and need to pray for salvation from bondage. Also, the fact that the ignorant PCA GA blindly voted to accept the distortions and downright lies of the FV Report is only evidence that these men are easily misled and are too busy to investigate matters for themselves. The PCA is now virtually a tyranny, and I'm overwhelmingly happy not to be part of it."
Thanks, James. Everyone who doesn't see things as you do is blind, ignorant, willing to accept distortions and downright lies, easily misled, and too busy to investigate matters for themselves. Wow! A modicum of humility might serve you well.
As insightful as you are, I'm a little surprised that you did not apply the same standards to John Armstrong's complaint against the PCA. If you were at the GA, then fairness would dictate that you would criticize John for his crass, gross, and glaring inaccuracies, right?

9:22 AM  
Blogger gullchasedship said...

Just curious when you're going to get to my question.

9:25 AM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Gullster,
I believe that the CanRef is vulnerable to the teachings of the FV. Time will tell.

James,
Okay, you're pleased that I'm offended. I'm not so much offended as I believe that you are simply wrong. You complained, "...allows virtually no time for discussion so that not only FV person even gets to the mike..." Really? Were you and I at the same GA? I put in my blog that the Moderator went back and forth giving equal time to both sides. Didn't he, James? Yes, he did.
Any being with a modicum of social graces understands that your language is excessive. But, if you think it appropriate, come to the floor of GA this year and use it. Again, I'm surprised that you didn't step up to the mike in Memphis.
If you can hear me smiling in this, good. Obviously, you don't know me well enough to think that a sucker-punch like your last thread is going to offend me. Right now, you are acting offensively, but, hey, it's a free country. But if you wonder why people find some FV people obnoxious, re-read your thread.

11:26 AM  
Blogger gullchasedship said...

I now know that you think that the CanRef are susceptible to FV theology.

I'm still wondering about my original question, which I will restate. How similar, in your view, are FV covenant theology and Liberated covenant theology?

11:34 AM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:51 PM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:52 PM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

James,

Accusing a group of pastors of lying is pretty serious. Please give specific examples of how they lied.

1:54 PM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

No, Mr. Jordan, the Louisiana Presbytery has not examined Wilkins in a way that accords with the BCO. Not that it should matter to you, last I heard you were saying the entirety of WCF 7 would best be tossed and redone from the bottom up; little surprise the SJC should determine your friend appears to be out of accord with the Standards & that LAP should have instituted process. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this has all been discussed ad nauseam and it's quite pathetic to watch you and your fellow Federal Visionists continue with the propaganda.

Anyone interested in the other, supposedly "Bapterian" side of the debate can glean a lot of useful information from the Green Bagginses, which are, in Mr. Jordan's eyes no doubt, a group of reprehensible liars.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

James,
Okay, here's the deal: I don't mind debate and discussion, but it is unseemly to call someone like R.C. Sproul a clown.
Here's what's funny: You followed the debate online, but didn't bother to interview Sproul personally before you resorted to petty name calling.
Either clean up your language or you're gone. You are obnoxious, but I'm more than willing to debate the issues. You must, however, clean up the language.
Also, I'm rather surprised that you didn't refer the mean on Sola to the many writings available from the FV folks.

Gull,
At what points? Baptism? Covenant obedience?

4:04 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Ron,

If you think Mr. Armstrong is meddling, you should review Doug Wilson's history.

One point of order,

Armstrong complains because the P.C.A. followed its Book of Church Order in bringing charges against Steve Wilkins.

Actually, the SJC has served an indictment against the Lousiana Presbytery for failing (1) to adequately handle Pr. Wilkin's differences with the Standards, and (2) to find a "strong presumption of guilt" that Pr. Wilkins was out of accord with the Constitution--upon which finding they ought necessarily to have instituted process.

See PCA Indictment of Louisiana Presbytery. And the attached Citation.

4:08 PM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Mr. Jordan,

For the rest, you chaps clearly are not interested in the Bible and the Reformed confessions, so there's no point in continuing with you. And, you clearly despise Presbyterian church government, since the LA Presbytery has TWICE investigated Wilkins and found no ground for charges. You are not presbyterians at all.

You establish your judgement based on a few comments on a blog. Nevermind the fact that the LAP did not follow the BCO in it's investigations. Truly, it is a shame to be disowned by so preeminently Presbyterian a man.

4:29 PM  
Blogger gullchasedship said...

Both, I guess, since from what I've been raised with in the Liberated tradition and what I've read from the FV, the one demands the other.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Mr. Jordan,
You wrote, "If you don't think Sproul is a clown, you obviously did not watch his performance at GA." I was sitting right behind him while he was standing at the microphone. But most assuredly, you had the better vantage point. It is a matter of perception, Mr. Jordan. I believe that if you go back and review what Dr. Sproul said it had little to do with a performance and more to do with a plea for a proper, historical understanding of justification by faith.
It seems that in light of all that has been written and said on both sides of the aisle justification is at the center of this controversy.

Further, you said, "I don't need to interview him." Why, then, do you insist that the interim committee needed to interview the FV men--even though their views are well-known via their writings--but you don't need to interview a man such as Sproul, but are willing to call him a clown and cast aspersion upon him? Who gave Mr. Jordan such a privileged position? I'm willing to guess that it was none other than Mr. Jordan himself. Handy. Convenient. That way you can require of others things that you will not require of yourself.

Then you add, "For the rest, you chaps clearly are not interested in the Bible and the Reformed confessions..." Really? That is an amazing deduction. Kyle said it best. Who is interested in the Bible and the Reformed confessions, Mr. Jordan? Is it only you? Why? What qualifies you to be the arbiter of such matters? Does anyone judge you or have you set yourself up as above the fray; as the one who is always right.
You know, even if you were right--which you aren't--you would have lost the audience in the meantime because you speak so poorly of brothers in Christ.
Perhaps you think it is cool, but I have not spoken with a more arrogant person in a long, long time.
In this whole discussion you have only resorted to name calling. Have you even considered the possibility that Louisiana Presbytery could have been mistaken? Has such a thing ever occurred in Church History?
It is so kind of you to wash your hands of those that you judge not to be Presbyterians. Who washes their hands of you? Who appointed you Mr. Presbyterian?
I trust that if you are a pastor that you will show your rantings to your Elders. If they approve of such writing, they are not much better off than you are.
I've been around the block a few times, but I have never encountered a man who calls himself Reformed, who speaks of his fellow Reformed Christians as you do. You may think it's bravado, but it really is something else.
This is my last correspondence with you. I refuse to continue along the lines you're wanting to take this discussion.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Mike in Placentia, CA said...

Kyle (a post or two up),
Since there are some in the Louisiana Presbytery who have come to a different conclusion than the majority of that Presbytery, why did they not pursue what has always, always been open to them, and that is to bring charges themselves? (Be sure to catch the irony here ... the Presbytery is being required to confess they erred in their conclusion regarding TE Wilkins, while not a single charge has been filed against TE Wilkins from any member within that Presbytery. The SJC is evidently a means by which the gagged, oppressed members of the Presbytery can find relief, I suppose.) Why hasn't the SJC asked or required the men in that judicatory (the Presbytery of Louisiana) to exercise their responsibility? If there is going to be an 'super court' in the PCA, should it not be the court of last resort? But getting back to my thought, the SJC appears to say that the entire Presbytery is wrong and that it needs to repent, but it is unwilling to first direct some of the minority position members (I know there are some) and require them to follow the regular process of filing a charge?

Some will reply that the SJC procedure is in the PCA's BOCO, so this is following the BOCO. Well, yes, it is, and I'm confident none of you in the PCA will complain when the SJC decides about some matter in your Presbytery that you all thought (as a judicatory) was decided. I'm also confident that you will all applaud a process within Presbyterianism that allows for no appeal. After all, the PCA did vote for the SJC.

And while this may have all stemmed from an inter-Presbytery complaint, again, where is the cry to have the BOCO followed at the lowest levels first within the PCA? The PCA is attempting to hold the Presbytery responsible for a non-action that no individual elder in that Presbytery has seen fit to pursue. Too busy? Too much trouble? Not worth it for the peace and purity of the church? Time to get some new elders, imo.

'Debate' is seriously curtailed on the floor of the PCA's GA. That's certainly an 'outsider's' opinion, but the mass size of the PCA's GA simply makes such a process next to impossible. The clock, not the importance of the matter, is what moves things on the floor of the PCA's GA. It is my understanding that the way the PCA has structured itself and the GA (not delegated, but rather any and all elders who wish to attend and participate may) was one of the big factors in the establishment of the PCA's SJC. If I have that all wrong, please feel free to correct me. I, too, watched the PCA's GA last year dealing with the FV report, and while the business was extended for some time beyond the original allocated time, it was quite evident that there were many - I assume on both sides - who never got to speak who were standing at the microphones.

For the sake of being clear, my name is Mike Pasarilla, and I am not in the PCA. I am the pastor of Grace OPC, Costa Mesa, CA, a congregation of the Presbytery of S. CA of the OPC. I am in Pastor Gleason's neighborhood.

Blessings in Christ,
Mike

7:48 AM  
Blogger Mike in Placentia, CA said...

Kyle (again),

This blog cut out the first couple of paragraphs of my post ... too long-winded, I suppose.

Would you please document how "the Louisiana Presbytery has not examined Wilkins in a way that accords with the BCO." What step(s) did the Presbytery not follow? And if the SJC had the Presbytery go back and do it a second time, what error was made the second time?

Or is it that the SJC has determined, in its deliberations, that 'obviously' there was reason to pursue TE Wilkins further (judicially) and 'obviously' the Presbytery erred in coming to the 'wrong' conclusion?

If the Presbytery erred in the process, if "the Louisiana Presbytery has not examined Wilkins in a way that accords with the BCO," what are those errors?

In my opinion, the SJC appears to be in disagreement with the Presbytery's decision (not just once, but twice)and wants a different outcome. Thus, it is now requiring the Presbytery to 'repent' or face a charge.

It would be interested to see what the charge is, as I think the SJC will not find a place to make a charge stick in terms of process. The fact is, Presbyterianism does mean that we can come to conclusions that other brothers would not. But then there should be the established process that is the blessing of Presbyterianism ... bring charges, have trials, appeals, etc. Yes, long, tedious, etc. ... A commission from which there is no appeal s so much more 'to the point' is it not?

Blessings,
Mike Pasarilla

7:58 AM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:32 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Perhaps this discussion would be better served if we could tone down the histrionics?

As an aside to this discussion, and I don't mean this necessarily toward the FV people, but I have seen people say they believe in justification by faith alone, but what they say and do elsewhere seems to give the lie to their claim. I can remember once when Robert Schuller was asked on TBN about the specifics of what he believes in light of others accusing him of false doctrine/heresy. He kept waving a Reformed doctrinal statement at the camera, insisting that was what he believed. However, when you read his books, anything but Reformed theology comes out. The line about Jesus dying on the cross to sanctify our ego trips is infamous.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Full disclosure: I am a former PCA member who is now a member of an OPC church. I recently transferred membership due to relocating.

Pr. Pasarilla,

Since there are some in the Louisiana Presbytery who have come to a different conclusion than the majority of that Presbytery, why did they not pursue what has always, always been open to them, and that is to bring charges themselves?

As for this concern, I can do no better than refer you to Andy Webb's "Case of the Missing Kamikaze Presbyters." I would suggest that the complaint about procedure here is precisely that-a complaint about a procedure that is explicitly the right of any communing member of the PCA in BCO 43.1-and it is entirely too much to make into some bizarre conspiracy to oust Pr. Wilkins for personal/political reasons (as both Doug Wilson and James Jordan suggest). Ordinarily, charges are drawn up at the request of presbytery once presbytery has found a strong presumption of guilt.

LAP first publicly exonerated Pr. Wilkins; when Central Carolina Presybtery filed a memorial with the SJC, the SJC declined to take original jurisdiction (as per the first resolution of the memorial), but requested the LAP appear before the SJC (as per the second resolution of the memorial), and instructed the LAP to do a proper reexamination of Pr. Wilkins. When LAP reexamined, they found no strong presumption of guilt and so did not institute process-which meant that charges were not filed on behalf of LAP.

This history is recalled in the "Complaint Against Louisiana Presbytery" which was filed with SJC by several LAP members.

Would you please document how "the Louisiana Presbytery has not examined Wilkins in a way that accords with the BCO." What step(s) did the Presbytery not follow? And if the SJC had the Presbytery go back and do it a second time, what error was made the second time?

I suggest you take a close look at all of the links I have provided in this thread for your answers.

You may not like SJC as a matter of procedure (I'm inclined to agree with you here), and perhaps it is not entirely Presbyterian with regard to the historical case, but your dislike of the proceduce does not nullify SJC as part of the PCA's established process. The fact of the matter is that General Assembly has approved this proceduce, and General Assembly may, if it so chooses, instruct SJC to retry a case, or it may at some point even dissolve SJC altogether.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Mr. Jordan,

While you freely accuse others of violating of the 9th commandment, you might do well to educate yourself on the actual procedure in the PCA; as it stands, you have seriously misrepresented it.

Pr. Pasarilla,

I read this again:

In my opinion, the SJC appears to be in disagreement with the Presbytery's decision (not just once, but twice)and wants a different outcome.

I'm not sure whether your opinion will be changed by considering the documents I've suggested you inspect. But if we're going to speak of appearances, I daresay it appears to me that Federal Vision advocates and sympathizers know full well that their views do not seem entirely within the realm of Westminsterian thought, and sensing the importance of the current case for their standing or falling, they have been fanatic and hysterical in their denunciations of the supposed evil, politicking, conspiratorial actions of the PCA. Witness Mr. Jordan's own hysterics in this very thread:

The actions of the Star Judicial Chamber of the PCA are so openly wicked and evil, and so totally tyrannical, that is makes the Papacy look like small potatoes by comparison.

Since this was not the "verdict" desired by the antichrists of the Star Chamber, they threaten the presbytery! I stand by my words. These actions are nothing less than demonic, and evidence that the PCA is being given over.

The very fact that the PCA would set up such a Star Chamber, which is beyond appeal, is more evidence. Not even the Papacy has such power, nor claims such power.

You are blind, and need to pray for salvation from bondage.

Those of you who lie repeatedly about the beliefs of ordained ministers of Christ, and who rape and divide His church, are going to hear far worse in time to come.

The PCA committee was a pack of liars.

I saw them lie and say they had actually read and studied the supposed FV material. All out there for the world to see. No fear of God before their eyes. What I gather bothers you is that people outside the PCA can see this abomination and the tyranny of your evil Star Chamber and can comment on it. Yes, we can. It's appalling. Luther was treated far better. But I assure you, lying about God's ministers and tearing up the bride of Christ is far more serious than being seen as obnoxious on some blog.

You should really step back and take a look at your collective appalling behavior -- your misrepresentations, your character assassinations, your lies, and your tyrannies -- and do something about it; because if you don't, the Lord of the Church most certainly will do something about it.


Who made this man a prophet?

3:27 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Kyle,
It was a self-appointment while the rest of us were out being heretical and Popish.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Sean Gerety said...

The idiocy continues. Justification by faith alone has nothing to do with the FV matter, since all FV exponents affirm completely and wholeheartedly the historic protestant and Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Really? I haven't come across ONE FV proponent who holds to the P&R doctrine of JBFA. Why your buddy Wilson doesn't believe there is any such thing as "faith alone." He and his fellow false teacher Doug Jones contend believing is doing.

But if the PCA SJC is "so openly wicked and evil" and is comprised of "antichrists" as you (insanely) assert, perhaps you can convince ALL of you fellow FV teachers and pastors to leave the PCA ASAP? That would save the SJC a lot of work.

On a personal note, please remember to take your meds before commenting in the future.

6:08 AM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:47 AM  
Blogger rjmckelvey said...

James Jordan said: You have to be amazed at the morality of the gods of the PCA. Among normal decent people, if you said I was beating my wife, and I said, "No, I'm not," that would be it. Innocent until proven guilty. Not in the PCA. No, there has to be an investigation. So, the investigation conducted by those nearest to me comes back and says, "Nope, he's not beating his wife." Among normal decent people that would be enough.

But not for the gods of the PCA. No, they demand another investigation. The second investigation, by people close to me who know me, comes back and says, "Nope, he's not beating his wife." Now among normal decent people that would be more than enough. But not for you evil men, and not for your gods. Your gods come back and say, "Either find this man guilty of beating his wife or we will cut you out of our denomination." THAT's the PCA.


Mr. Jordan, Do we not have reason to begin calling you, King James I? It is ironic that your own definitive judgments much more clearly resemble the arbitrary, subjective, and oppressive policies of the Star Chamber under James and his son Charles than anything the PCA has done in the proceedings concerning Steve Wilkins and the LAP. The difference between your own tyrranical "court" proceedings and those of the PCA is so astounding and grievous, it is almost beyond belief.

You chose the analogy of wife beating when speaking of this case. Your logic is terribly deficient, since it demands that no evidence for the abuse exists, which makes the further proceedings unjust.

However, in the PCA case, it was the evidence that demanded that further investigation be carried out. Let's say that I was beating my wife and denied it and my closest friends supported my claims. At the same time, video and audio clips and written admissions verified the abuse. Would it be unjust for the investigation to continue? I fail to see the force of your argument here. Is it possible that your own judgments involve a politically-motivated attempt (so much like the Star Chamber was given to!) to justify a charge (backed by some of the harshest rhetoric possible)without any real objective ground on which to stand?

I was but no longer am a part of the PCA. I have never found it to be a denomination that ever was hasty to proceed against that which it deemed to be theological error. On the contrary, I have been concerned that it moved too slowly in its pronouncements against the FV. Thus, I rejoiced to hear of the conclusions of the SJC in this matter, since I knew that they were carefully reached. I find it amazing that you would call such a development tyranny and appalling that those who rendered these judgments be regarded as antichrists.

Mr. Jordan, I grieve that such a weak argument would be backed with such strong prophetic language. I cannot automatically conclude that men such as Mr Meyers and Mr Wilkins endorse all of your pronouncements about the "apostate" PCA. If they do, how can they in good conscience remain? If not, are you (given your judgments) not obligated to do all that you can to urge them to leave?

10:42 AM  
Blogger Sean Gerety said...

Jordan writes:

Your history of deliberately misreading and distorting the views of ordained ministers

Who has distorted the views of which ordained minister and where? Where is your argument? It seems to me that you like to wear that "ordained minster" button as if it were a shield to deflect any criticism against your false gospel.

There may be ordained minsters that teach your aberrant and defective gospel, but they are no minsters of Christ and they are all the more culpable for following teachers like you. No wonder you're fleeing with your tail between your legs. Men like you hate the light, that's why you chose instead to conspire behind closed doors.

For those who want to see what men like Jordan say when they think no one is looking, please see:

http://federal-vision.blogspot.com/2008/01/bag-o-snakes.html

10:52 AM  
Blogger Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Um, I came here because it was listed on the TeamPyro blog as one of the links that Phil Johnson is reading.

I don't know how to describe this post and thread. It's rather unsettling.

I'm currently in a little tiff with the "internet monk" and it's very tame compared to the rhetoric here.

Pax in Christ alone.

2:48 PM  
Blogger gullchasedship said...

Just curious, Reverend Gleason, now that Jim Jordan's gone, whether you could get to my question sometime.

Thanks.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Gull,
Yes, but you need to realize that I had a manuscript to correct, a mom who is dealing with the possibility of having a baby with handicaps, a local church that is having several problems, I'm particularizing one of our church plants this Sunday afternoon, and I have to preach on Sunday. In addition, I am the Stated Clerk of our Presbytery and we're meeting on the 26th and I have to get all the material ready.
Other than that, I have nothing to do except to take my wife to breakfast outside at the beach tomorrow morning.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Tim Bushong said...

Wowsers- I'm an elder in a CREC candidate church and I gotta tell y'all- we do not appreciate Mr. Jordan's approach AT ALL. Uncool- just unnecessary and downright divisive.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Mark T. said...

Tim,

You need to contact any number of the pastors who oversee churches that have left the CREC and you might read “Gnostic Accountability” to learn the true nature of the CREC’s form of government.

4:10 AM  
Blogger gullchasedship said...

Reverend, I understand and I can wait.

But to be a little more specific in my question, I've read a fair bit of FV material. I can see differences between Liberated theology in their eschatology, liturgy, and communion practices. I see little difference between the two in covenantal theology, particularly in the area of covenant obligations, which is what's getting much of the press.

You're getting up in arms about this theology now. You spent a number of years pastoring a church in the Liberated tradition and didn't get worked up about it then. What are you seeing in the FV that I'm not seeing?

Thanks.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Gull,
Very briefly: It is not correct to say that I did not combat the Liberated views on covenant, especially in Canada. When I first got there I had two elders who believed that there was no salvation outside of the CanRef church. I spent a great deal of time explaining traditional covenant and most particularly Bavinck's doctrine of the covenant, but to little avail. I was always "suspect" even though I had one of Schilder's daughters in my congregation in Holland. The CanRef view of Baptism still puzzles me and I argued about the Arminian strand of theology that reared its ugly head in CanRef theology. They're good folks generally, but I am thankful to the Lord that I'm out of there.

7:17 AM  
Blogger gullchasedship said...

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Do you agree, then, with my assessment that the FV and Liberated views of covenant and baptism are very similar?

8:07 AM  
Blogger James Jordan said...

Gentlemen,

I hereby ask your forgiveness for my several overheated posts over the last few days. I have deleted all but the first, which is the only thing I had any right to post to you; to wit: that there is nothing wrong with anyone's commenting on the public actions and behavior of certain parties in the PCA, behavior that is public and that some regard as shocking and scandalous.

I was out of line in my comments here, partly because the rhetoric I employed is not appropriate in a public blog, and partly because, being neither in the PCA nor a presbyterian, anything beyond a general expression of concern or horror at how these affairs are being conducted is inappropriate.

I allowed my friendship with persons I believe are being wrongfully persecuted to inflame my language, and I wrote in anger, and I should not have done so.

So, please forgive me for having troubled your waters, and be assured that it will not happen again.

Sincerely,

James B. Jordan

8:24 AM  
Blogger Tim Bushong said...

"Tim,

You need to contact any number of the pastors who oversee churches that have left the CREC and you might read “Gnostic Accountability” to learn the true nature of the CREC’s form of government."

Hi Mark-

Brother, you're not helping your position much by the polemical nature of the link to which you sent me, with your inclusion of phrases like "so-called", "monkey boys", and obviously the "Gnostic" reference. Not very Christlike- if this is the level of discourse that you choose to use, then you're actually driving a guy like me further away. I'm not unteachable, but come on...

10:36 AM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Mr. Jordan,

For my part I accept your apology, so far as it goes. I still think the rhetoric in your first comment is well over-the-top. That you think the Papacy looks like small potatoes by comparison reveals either an astonishing ignorance of history, or an unnecessarily malicious judgement of the men involved.

But, that will be between those men, you, and God.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

James,
Thank you. Your apology is accepted.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Sean Gerety said...

About that so-called “apology” from Jordan. I’d like to know what exactly he is supposed to be apologizing for? As far as I can tell he deleted a couple of posts which were just further reiterations of his already insane rant against the courts of the PCA.

He clearly stands by his comments since they were not removed. Here are Mr. Jordan’s relevant comments:

“The actions of the Star Judicial Chamber of the PCA are so openly wicked and evil, and so totally tyrannical, that is makes the Papacy look like small potatoes by comparison.”

So what exactly is he supposed to be apologizing for again?

8:06 AM  
Blogger Mark T. said...

For the record, James Jordan “apologized” for nothing. If you reread his comment you’ll see that he never apologizes; he never expresses any sorrow; and he never uses the word “sin.”

8:22 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

All,
We were distressed about the inappropriate words and tone that James Jordan used. All of his comments were highly unseemly. He did, however, say this: "I hereby ask your forgiveness for my several overheated posts over the last few days."
Maybe that is as good as it gets. As Christians, we forgive, knowing something of the degree and extent to which we've been forgiven, and move on.

9:55 AM  
Blogger gullchasedship said...

Precisely.

Thanks, Reverend, for reminding us of that.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Calvin said...

Mr. Gleason,

Indeed in the past there were many CanReffers who would say "there is no salvation outside this church"... There may well still be many but I and many others do not say this anymore. In fact I would say that, by my best estimation, the common position of the CanRef churches today is changed on this as well.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Calvin,
In answering the gullster's question I was not inferring that everyone in the CanRef was sideways. I was simply commenting on how it was when I was in the CanRef church. It is also interesting that during the "Gleason era" that there were 6-7 of us that came in from "outside." (As far as I know, I was the only one to have been a pastor in the Dutch sister-church.) But now we are all gone.
Anyway, there are good folks in CanRef. We still have great friendships with a number of them--all over Canada.
My concern was--and still is--that because of their inability to articulate their position on Baptism and covenant sufficiently, that a number of theologians have questions about what they actually believe.
Even though they detest Kuyper's position on Baptism--rightly--I found them sometimes coming in the back door. But again, perhaps it was a problem of not being able to articulate the matter. Bavinck is crystal clear, but my study of him, Bullinger, Olevianus, Ursinus, and Calvin tends to make me question some of the CanRef explanations of Baptism and covenant.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Rattle said:

"But as he has done in the past, Armstrong proceeds to meddle in something that is outside of his church affiliation and to make all kinds of judgments based—on many occasions—on distortion of the facts."

Writing about LACK OF INTEGRITY. YOU ACCUSE the RCA, the CRC, the Emergent types... AND YOU HAVE DONE THE EXACT SAME THING.

I believe John Armstrong is EXACTLY what you asked for - in bibilcial terms it's something like "take the log out of your own eye before you try to fix the sight of someone else."

YOU EVEN DARED to accuse someone of NOT interviewing R.C. Sproul????

YOU HAVE PLAYED THIS CARD WITH THE ENTIRE WORLD... you say "I don't need to interview or even talk with someone else. They put it in writing."

I say you are pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Mr. Gleason - Your post and comments counter EVERYTHING you have preached at me.

Amazing how the biblical text has bitten your butt.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Randy,

YOU EVEN DARED to accuse someone of NOT interviewing R.C. Sproul????

YOU HAVE PLAYED THIS CARD WITH THE ENTIRE WORLD... you say "I don't need to interview or even talk with someone else. They put it in writing."


The FV crowd has accused the PCA committee that composed the report on the FV of all sorts of evil because the committee did not interview FVers or have FVers for members. Ron is simply pointing out the hypocrisy of some who decry R.C. Sproul without having interviewed him, meanwhile denouncing the committue for not interviewing FVers.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Jonny McCormick said...

popular post...

12:37 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Randy,

I thought you were leaving.

I'm very sorry to see you couldn't keep your word and stay away.

And then you dare to take up the words of the judgment of Christ for the church in Laodicea which was LUKEWARM in its love for Christ! Calling Ron "pitiful, poor, blind and naked." If there is anything you cannot say is that Ron is lukewarm about the Savior! And this from a man of theological tolerance?! Oh wait, tolerance for everything but intolerance...I missed that part.

It's a terribly sad reality that emergent people, like yourself, who are "following God in the way of Jesus" are the ones who pass judgment.

Talk about lacking integrity..."Pot to kettle: You're black!"

Why don't you leave, like you said you would, and show some integrity. Keep your word, and leave.

Let those who are effected by the theology of the federal vision debate the issue openly. Unfortunately, emergent-types are so far gone in terms of the satisfaction theory of the atonement that they don't have a sense of the great cost of redemption.

Now, people in the FV deny an unchangeable decree of election and the perseverance of grace. This IS a salvation issue. Let those effected by it in their denominations debate it.

Sadly, I wonder if my own denomination even cares about it anymore.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
We never know whether you are going to be a member of the visible or invisible church.
I would simply point you to John MacArthur's assessment of JA in his book "The Truth War." On p. 20 he writes about JA and his changes: "But after reading "Beyond Foundationalism," Armstrong wrote a series of articles in his ministry newsletter declaring that he has changed his mind about several vital points of doctrine--including faith and understanding, the sacraments, the doctrine of revelation, and Christology--among other things." Armstrong himself wrote, "If there is a foundation in Christian theology, and I believe that there must be, then it is not found in the Church, Scripture, tradition or culture."
If you want to criticize me for being opposed to such statements, then I'm convinced that it says more about you than about me.
This may sound strange to your ears and your disposition, Randy, but I will always oppose such an approach to God's truth. Personally, I don't care what you think and putting words in all caps will not change me or embarrass me in the least.

10:52 PM  
Blogger DJP said...

Until I got to the bottom, I was going to say:

I don't know why everyone is so upset at this Jordan guy. All he ever writes is, "This post has been removed by the author."

But now... never mind.

(c;

6:03 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Dan,

I like it much better when it says "This post has been removed by a blog administrator."

ZZZZAAAAPPPP!

7:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home