Lots of activity in the Siouxlands Presbytery. The first is that it looks like Federal Visionist Greg Lawrence will finally be tried for teaching doctrines that are contrary to the Standards (more specifically doctrines contrary to the Gospel). To say that it’s about time is an understatement. Wes White was exonerated by the committee appointed to examine him concerning the charge that he violated the Ninth Commandment on his blog and in references he has made to FV pastor Greg Lawrence. According to White the committee “stated that there was no Constitutional prohibition on the mere act of reporting public events and that they could find no misrepresentation in the material presented.” A different committee appointed to examine Brian Carpenter for the exact same charge did find a “strong presumption of guilt” that Carpenter violated the Ninth Commandment on his blog and in references he made to FV pastor Joshua Moon. However, before proceeding to trial a committee was formed to attempt to convince Carpenter of his sin.
What is interesting in this last case is that a review of the charges leveled against Carpenter by Moon’s session at Good Shepherd church in Minnetonka, MN, along with the respective evidence used to support each charge, are virtually identical to the charges leveled against White. Yet, in the one a committee exonerated White and the other came back with a strong presumption of guilt in the case of Carpenter. Now, I have been following Carpenter’s blog postings at the Happy TR for some time and I assume the job of the committee now instructing Carpenter will be to convince him that there was willful and calculated misrepresentation in the material he presented. Not an easy task since so far as I can tell there wasn’t any and what he posted in the past has been repeatedly corroborated by the public record (even if the Siouxlands Pres has tried to suppress much of it) and corresponding posts that have appeared on Wes White’s blog, Lane Kiester’s Greenbaggins blog, Scott Clark’s Heidelblog, and elsewhere. So it would seem that it is now a sin to tell the truth in the Siouxlands Presbytery, either that or just mentioning Joshua Moon’s name is a violation of the Ninth Commandment.
Interesting too my piece, Siouxlands Schizophrenia, featured rather prominently in this case, as if Carpenter was even remotely responsible for anything I wrote. For example, in support of their complaint against Carpenter, Good Shepherd offered as evidence:
1. From Blog, “Puritanboard,” on 10-27-2009 05:14 PM:
TE Carpenter provides a reference to Sean Gerety’s post, “Siouxlands Schizophrenia God’s Hammer.” It’s an article laced with name calling and negative pathos. Gerety states, “TE Moon is insane,” and calls him a dog.[ii] Referring people to this article has negative results. This blog discussion lead to what the WLC describes as, “Backbiting, detracting, tale-bearing, whispering, scoffing, reviling, rash…misconstructing [sic] intentions.” This correspondence has the overall effect of prejudicing the truth of TE Moon’s association with FV.
Carpenter’s sin is that he provided a link to my post. What they don’t mention is that he also added this caveat when referring others to my post:
I don’t necessarily agree with every jot and tittle of S.G.’s post, and he does have a history of bomb throwing.
It is a fine line between grief and anger sometimes, and I’ve crossed it myself more than once.
Setting the issue of his invective aside, he does seem to have something of a handle on the issues.
Bomb throwing or not, nothing Brian Carpenter or Wes White or Lane Kiester have written played even the slightest role in my reference to Joshua Moon as “insane” or a “dog.” Besides, anyone who is remotely aware of the Siouxlands Presbytery’s bumbling in their (mis)handling of the Lawrence case to date will certainly agree that it is hard to have any “positive pathos” concerning their ability to correctly adjudicate any case even against the most brazen false teacher. Frankly, I think Joe Ratzinger could probably remain a pastor in good standing in that Presbytery. What the men of Good Shepherd fail to grasp is that it is what Joshua Moon has said that gave rise to that very accurate observation and appellation. First, concerning the charge of insanity, here is what I wrote:
According to the Aquila Report, this same Joshua Moon said on the floor of the Presbytery, and this time in his own defense,
“that he believes that no reprobate person ever gets justification, and that he believes that the baptized reprobate do get forgiveness of sin in some real sense.”
Now, read that again. I certainly hope that those words attributed to Moon are accurate, because if they’re not then the folks at the Aquila Report have some explaining to do. Of course, if they are correct, then not only is the Siouxlands Presbytery schizophrenic, but TE Moon is insane (I’m not exactly sure why Moon was mentioned by name in the earlier Aquila Report and not in the October, 26 Report when Moon’s defense of Lawrence was cited again with the above addition).
Notice that my calling Moon insane was contingent upon the assumption that Moon’s views as reported were correct. At the time I was still open to the possibility that the report could in fact be inaccurate and that I was withholding final judgment in the matter of Moon’s grasp of reality. However, it seems that Moon does hold to the above blatant contradiction concerning the imagined justification of the reprobate. For example, Moon argued:
I do not believe that any but the elect are justified. However one reads the parable of the unmerciful servant (which I do think is about forgiveness and its revocation), I think it is preposterous to assert that anyone but the elect are in fact justified by God in any effectual or saving sense at all.
And concerning the parable of the unmerciful servant Moon explains:
We are told by the complainants that you cannot attribute forgiveness of sins to the potential reprobate. But that is clearly wrong. The unmerciful servant, Jesus says, was ‘forgiven his debt.’ He moved from a state of condemnation to true and real forgiveness. This was no pretended forgiveness. Yet the servant was finally apostate, failed to live up to the grace shown to him, and so the privilege of that forgiveness was revoked.
So, and according to Joshua Moon’s own words, it is perfectly accurate to say that he believes that “no reprobate person ever gets justification, and … the baptized reprobate do get forgiveness of sin in some real sense.” That’s just crazy and if pointing that out is a sin I fail to see it. Maybe someone should form a committee.
Concerning the appellation “dog,” and in fairness, I didn’t single Moon out by any means but included his former employer and mentor, Jeff Meyers. Now, while I do consider Moon and Meyers “dogs,” I confess that name is probably not the most accurate. Wolves would certainly have been more accurate and biblical as both of these men are wolves pretending to be sheep and who continue to play this charade with the blessing of their respective Presbyteries. As Jesus warned; “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” And, let’s face it, any self-styled minister of the Gospel who claims that the apostasy of an individual entails a failure “to live up to the grace shown to him” and that forgiveness is a “privilege” that can be “revoked” is quite properly classified as a member of the canine family. So, unless I’m missing something, it seems to me that in the case of Moon and Meyers the name fits.
The other interesting thing concerning the charges against Carpenter is that the committee investigating him concluded that his
actions and character has had this result: “prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbor,” and “endeavoring or desiring to impair it,” before the PCA courts have made a ruling regarding TE Moon’s view.
If things couldn’t get any stranger in the Siouxlands their entire argument that Carpenter violated the Ninth Commandment comes down to the bizarre notion that nobody is a Federal Visionist unless the Siouxlands Presbytery say they are and saying otherwise is a sin. Therefore, to publicly identify someone as being a Federal Visionist the Siouxlands Presbytery must first rule that the person is a Federal Visionist, of course making it logically impossible to ever charge anyone with being a Federal Visionist. As I’ve said before, when it comes to the false gospel of the Federal Vision the Judaizers in Paul’s day never had it so good.