Archive for October 2009

Siouxlands Schizophrenia

October 27, 2009

schizophreniaIt appears that the Siouxlands Presbytery (SLP) of the PCA (the home Presbytery of Greenbaggins’ Lane Keister) is in the process of re-investigating one of their own TEs (teaching elder), Greg Lawrence, who is strongly suspected of advancing the Neolegalism of the Federal Vision. I say “strongly suspected” because an investigative committee appointed by the Presbytery already found “a strong presumption of guilt” in the teachings of Lawrence as it relates to the FV. It should be noted that the original request to investigate Lawrence’s Federal Vision was denied by the Presbytery claiming “insufficient evidence.” Only after a complaint was filed and later sustained by the PCA’s Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) did the Siouxlands Presbytery finally appoint the investigative committee that found Lawrence’s views out of accord with the church’s confessional standards by a 4 to 2 margin. For the record, I contacted Wayne Golly, Stated Clerk of the SLP, requesting a copy of the committee’s report since I was curious to see what the findings of the committee were and what these men were voting on. He told me the committee report “is not available for distribution beyond the members of SLP.” You can bet Siouxlands church members will similarly remain in the dark concerning the committee’s findings. However, not all is darkness. According to the Aquila Report:

Advocates of the committee recommendation were concerned about TE Lawrence’s statements that we are united to Christ and get new life in the water rite of baptism. They also argued that his teaching that in baptism even the non-elect in some sense receive new life, forgiveness of sins, adoption, and union with Christ was contrary to the Standards affirmation that such benefits only accrue to the elect. They believed that he was creating “a parallel soteriological system,” citing the General Assembly’s Federal Vision Report.

OK, so what’s next? At least according to the PCA’s Book of Church Order (BCO 31-2) following this investigation and the finding of a “strong presumption of guilt” in the case of Lawrence, “the court shall institute process, and shall appoint a prosecutor to prepare the indictment and to conduct the case.” Well, not so fast. This is the PCA after all.   Instead of proceeding to trial according to the established rules, the Siouxlands Presbytery completely rejected the committee’s findings and voted instead to exonerate Lawrence.

One of the two dissenting votes on the investigative committee, TE Joshua Moon, made the motion to dismiss the findings of the committee and his motion carried by a 24-13 margin.  That is a significant majority.  Oddly, the motion to exonerate Lawrence, also in response to another motion made by Moon, only carried by 20-17 with one abstention.  So at least 4 or 5 presbyters (depending how you want to count the abstention) are opposed to exonerating Lawrence, but are also opposed to the committee’s recommendation that Lawrence’s doctrines be tried based on their findings.

It appears that the Siouxlands Presbytery is more than a little schizophrenic in dealing with the Federal Vision and those suspected of advancing this particular false gospel

Well, it looks like the Siouxlands Presbytery may get another shot at figuring out where it stands or fails to stand concerning the advancement of the Federal Vision as it appears they’ve “repented” of their earlier decision to render the findings of investigative committee null and void and have appointed a new committee to investigate Lawrence. (more…)

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The Art of Understatement

October 12, 2009

endthefed

“I believe that concentrating too much on on the Fed “conspiracy,” one that works hand in hand with Congress, gives the system more credit or blame than it deserves and distracts from the more important issue of bad ideology.”  -Ron Paul, End the Fed,121

The irony is that the conspiracy mongers (and you know who you are), as well intentioned as they may be, or as seemingly plausible their loosely “connect-the-dots” theories may be, greatly help to perpetuate the Fed and keep its actual freedom destroying function from ever entering into the public consciousness.  That’s because those who are always looking to tie everything to some conspiratorial knot make the whole thing so much easier to dismiss as just another product of the fevered minds of wackos.

Fiducial Jokesters

October 2, 2009

federal-vision-figure-heads1

It is gratifying when on occasion others have drawn the same conclusion that you have even when so many others seem perpetually oblivious to the painfully obvious.  For a number of years I have been saying, or rather yelling, that there is no such thing as justification by faith alone in the Federal Vision.  For that reason I have called men like Doug Wilson, Steve Wilkins, Steve Schlissel, Peter Leithart, Mark Horne, Jeffery Meyers, Norman Shepherd, John Kinnaird, and a host of others heretics.  Feel free to include N.T. Wright and the followers of the so-called New Perspectives on Paul in that list, but for my purposes here I just want to pick on Federal Visionists and not the other dogs that travel in their pack.  Identifying such men as heretics  would seem to be a biblical imperative like the one found in Romans 16:17, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”  Some like R. S. Clark are uneasy about calling these notable false teachers heretics, and even refuses to do it, even though he admits, “The FV is a profound corruption of the gospel masquerading as the Reformed faith.” You’d think if Clark really believed that he’d be right there following the Apostle Paul’s lead sounding the alarm that these men are indeed accursed to hell (Galatians 1:8).  And, it’s for this reason men like Clark refuse to identify these FV teachers as heretics, because, he says, he’s “not anxious to see folk in hell.”  Well, neither am I, but I am quite confident that neither R. S. Clark or I  have that kind of juice.  I would rather that all of the above mentioned self-styled Christian teachers would repent of their identified and deadly doctrines.  Yet, even with all the official statements and studies condemning their doctrines, these men remain entrenched, solidly committed to their corrupt gospel “masquerading as the Reformed faith.”

What seems to leave more than a few TEs and REs (teaching and ruling elders) bewildered, and hesitant to mark these men as they should and instead call them “brothers,”  is that some of the FV’s leading advocates and defenders will from time to time claim to believe in justification by faith alone.  The question is, why does anyone believe them?  Even the current Antichrist in Rome recently told a general audience that “Luther’s phrase: ‘faith alone’ is true if it is not opposed to faith in charity, in love.” Should we just assume that Razinger (aka Benedict XVI) has abandoned Romanism and is now a Protestant; a Christian?  Why is it “charitable” to believe the profession of ersatz-Reformed pastor with a Roman soteriology and not when the same is said by Roman bishop with a funny hat?  Shouldn’t we assume because the pope said “faith alone is true” that the divide that has separated Protestants and Catholics for centuries is nothing more than an ancient artifact from a time when everyone wore funny hates?   Of course, what may seem to be an issue of semantics to some is a matter of life and death to others.  For example, concerning the above mentioned papal affirmation of Luther’s phrase, “faith alone” R. S. Clark points out,  that the whole question comes down to that little conditional “if”: (more…)


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