Quick Update on the Siouxlands

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.

Explore posts in the same categories: Siouxlands Presbytery, Uncategorized

11 Comments on “Quick Update on the Siouxlands”

  1. Wes White Says:

    If it is a sin to link to your blog, then surely what you said was sin. Have any of these men come and confronted you with your sin?

  2. Sean Gerety Says:

    Not one, either privately or otherwise.

    However, someone on Puritan Board (which I am not a member) said:

    I suppose he could have changed lunatic to ignoramus to be charitable. But you’d have to be really, really ignorant to say

    “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.”

    Then there was this exchange on Greenbaggins:

    Brian Carpenter said,

    October 27, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Wow. Sean Gerety just threw a firebreathing temper tantrum against the Siouxlands Presbytery.


    David Gray said,

    October 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    >Sean Gerety just threw a firebreathing temper tantrum

    Actually by his standards I thought he was remarkably calm…

    Brian Carpenter said,

    October 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    That was calm? Seriously? C’mon!

    He all but called me an FV stooge and a coward on his blog when I challenged him on his tone.

    I bet his wife has to tie a pork chop around his neck just to get the family dog to play with him.

    GLW Johnson said,

    October 28, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Actually, this was one of SG’s better analysis in that he didn’t end up lynching Van Til as the real evil genuis behind the FV ( Van Til is to SG and the late John Robbins what Professor Moriarty was to Sherlock Holmes) That’s an improvement, wouldn’t you say?

    I should point out that Gary Johnson above has shown nothing but contempt for John Robbins and myself over the years, yet even he approved of my analysis.

    FWIW I wrote your Stated Clerk when I found out that my piece was being used as the basis for a complaint against Carpenter. I couldn’t imagine how it could possibly be used against Carpenter and I wanted to contact those directly who were using it, and without my permission, to tar him.

    Here is what I wrote:

    Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 6:52 PM
    It has been brought to my attention that a blog piece of mine, Siouxlands Schizophrenia, was used by someone in your Presbytery as part of a complaint against Brian Carpenter.

    My expressed permission was never given to anyone in your Presbytery allowing them to use my published material in their complaint. If someone wanted to complain against me personally, my blog is always open to dissenters.

    If you can, please provide me with the name and addresses of those who used my published work without my permission.

    Thank you.

    Sean Gerety

    Here is the one and only reply I received from anyone in your Pres:

    Sun, Jan 31, 2010 at 10:43 PM
    Dear Mr Gerety,

    Your correspondence with the Siouxlands Presbytery is acknowledged. The Presbytery will consider the matter at its next Stated Meeting in April.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    PJ Morgan
    Stated Clerk

    I have never heard a peep since.

    Of course, I’m not surprised. Everyone knows that the charges against you and Carpenter are completely phony and are nothing more than a self-righteous ploy by Lawrence and Moon and their corrupt sessions to shut you and Carpenter up or simply force you to leave the PCA. If this was anything other than just staged moral outrage you would think at least one of these men would have the moral fortitude to at least confront me concerning any error in my piece so that I might repent and correct the record.

    No one did.

  3. Sean, has it ever occurred to you that God might not be pleased with the way you conduct this blog, your conversation, the reputation you have made, your speech? Has it occurred to you that a TE is being accused of violating the 9th commandment by QUOTING your blog? Does that not worry you? You seem to hold, at least on paper, a high regard for what the church thinks and declares, or does that only apply to FVists?

    Have you ever taken a big step back, and asked yourself what character you are in the story of God’s redemptive history? If all the FV stuff were a movie, and you were in the theater watching it, what character would you be? Would you like him? And let’s assume that the essence of your speech is correct, that it is true. Satan quoted truth for his own motifs. Don’t console yourself that you are right. Maybe you are. But very often there’s a deeper “right” than ” being right.”

  4. Sean Gerety Says:

    More proof that the FV men have no arguments in defense of their anti-Christian system when all they can do is level frivolous charges against their critics. The most recent is the phony Ninth Commandment charge against Dominic Aquila for having the gall of publishing a piece by John Otis on his blog exposing another PCA proto-papist teaching in the Metro New York Presbytery.

    You give me hope Daniel, admittedly not for your soul.

  5. Hugh McCann Says:

    #9 ~ “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”.

    In this, our Presbyterian friends find these applications:

    “The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.”

    AND ~

    “The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbors, as well as our own, especially in public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth; passing unjust sentence, calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong end, or perverting it to a wrong meaning, or in doubtful or equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of the truth or justice; speaking untruth, lying, slandering, backbiting, detracting, talebearing, whispering, scoffing, reviling, rash, harsh, and partial censuring; misconstructing intentions, words, and actions; flattering, vainglorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God; aggravating smaller faults; hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession; unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense; evil suspicion; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any; endeavoring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy; scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such things as are of good report, and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering what we can in others, such things as procure an ill name.”

    Many of these are proper out-workings of the commandment, based on other Scriptures. Short answers: Speak truth; don’t lie.

    If Sean has published truth, and accurate assessments of heretics and their heresies, then we need to judge him (and others likewise defending the truth) with the same charity Mr. Foucachon calls for toward those who have apparently published heresies.

    Scripture requires at least two witnesses to secure a conviction. We await Presbyterial proceedings to hopefully determine true guilt or innocence of those charged.

    We all are prone to slander and thinking evil of others, but we are just as likely to wimp out and not speak up when professing Christians are committing real sin, speaking evil, or teaching false doctrine.

    Titus 1:9 calls us to the biblical balance: [An elder] must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (ESV)

    These men are to help “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

    “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Eph. 4:12-15).

    In this way, the body of Christ is protected, and more importantly, the honor of Christ upheld.

    Speaking the truth in love doesn’t mean being nice to the bad guys. Paul sure wasn’t to Alexander, Hymaeneus, or Philetus!

  6. Hugh McCann Says:

    What’s sad, Sean, is the loosing from its biblical moorings of American Presbyterianism.

    Thankfully, it’s documented in Robbins &
    Thornwell & others.

    But when the Bible and Holy Spirit are usurped by creeds/ confessions (ever-changing and rarely properly used – to defend the truth), the resultant vacuum has to be filled with SOMETHING.

    Like Anglicanism, Presbyterianism is sadly filling its Scriptural/ spiritual void with the traditions of men, sacerdotal ceremonies, and really lousy theology!


  7. Rick Says:

    Daniel Foucachon:

    Please explain what you mean by the words, “There’s a ‘deeper right’ than ‘being right.’”

  8. J.Kru Says:

    none but the elect are justified.
    some who are not elect are justified
    you have an illogical (“insane”) statement.

    (as above)
    “justified [or “forgiveness”] in some [undefined here] sense”
    you don’t have an illogical statement. You have to parse what, precisely, is the difference between “temporary forgiveness” and justification.

    Do we have any sense of what he claims “temporary forgiveness” to be?

    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.

  9. evergreen Says:

    You guys are defining things way too much. That’s why there’s so many arguments going on between reformed Christians. Everyone wants to establish their understanding as the standard against which to judge heresy. The theoltogizing, though, could put Aquinas to shame. It’s simply too much hair-splitting. Trust me. An outsider looking in will be astonished. The average layperson is nowhere near all of this. It sounds just crazy. The whole westminster project is just out of control. Those documents need to be set aside. We need to get back to the Bible and what C. S. Lewis termed mere Christianity. The rest of it is hardly comprehensible and extremely divisive. It sounds very fanatical. Why is there so much discussion surrounding such obscure matters? You really can’t afford to engage the BIble at that level in a denomination that’s bound by the Westminster documents. No wonder people are being questioned and trials are ensuing. You just opened up a can of worms. You set yourself up for it. You have these dolcuments and then people wish to look further into docitrinal matters and then if someone sees something someone else doesn’t it boils down to heresy and court trials.

  10. Hugh McCann Says:

    Dear E-green,

    Then GO to Lewis and the Bible.


  11. evergreen Says:

    Thank you, Mr. McCann. I do. And I will. And yes, it’s oh sooooo not Presbyterian. Oooohhh!

    Evergreen–may the good Lord be with you down every road you take! Be courageous and be bold and in your heart you’ll always stay—forever-young!

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