Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

As many of my readers already know, Peter Leithart is one of the most high profile and prolific defenders of the Federal Vision in the PCA and has made it clear that the reason he didn’t simply leave the PCA for the FV CREC (the false church he labors in)  is because he hopes that a favorable verdict in his case will aid other Federal Visionists in the PCA who have come under attack.  I don’t want to see that happen.

PCA pastor Jason Stellman, who is leading the prosecution against Leithart, needs help mostly to help cover the costs of flying out and housing witnesses for the prosecution.  He has set up a fund to that end.   Although it may not seem that way at times, I sincerely love the PCA, and, despite thinking it is still a lost cause, would like to help get my former denomination back.  I’ve never asked for perfection, but I do expect whatever denomination or church I join to faithfully preach the gospel and to actively tolerate no other.  That hasn’t been the case in the PCA for a very long time, but thanks to the efforts of a handful of men like Pastor Stellman that all might change, God willing.

Make no mistake, this will be a decisive battle and one that I’m more that willing to help in ways more than just writing words on a blog.  I can assure you, I’m not a wealthy man by a long shot, but before I encourage others to give to this cause I opened up my checkbook first.  It’s not a lot, but I hope and pray it helps.  And I hope and pray you will help to.

Here’s Jason Stellman’s request for help:

_______________________________

Well, this is the first time I have ever done anything like this, so bear with me….

As many of you know, the Pacific Northwest Presbytery will be trying Peter Leithart on five doctrinal charges, and the trial will take place on June 3-4. Countless of you have voiced to me your support of this endeavor since the process began back in October of 2007, and I know that many more will be watching these events with great interest.

The reason for this post is to ask individuals and churches to consider contributing financially to a fund that the prosecution will draw from in order to try our case. The main need for funds is due to the cost of providing air fare and lodging for the witnesses that we plan to call. Obviously the prosecution desires to argue the best case possible, and so those of you who oppose the Federal Vision can be assured that your contributions will be used to that end. And of course, whatever funds that are sent but are not needed will be returned with many thanks. Make checks payable to:

Exile Presbyterian Church
PMB 132
14241 Woodinville-Duvall Rd.
Woodinville, WA, 98072
Attn: Prosecution Fund

And if those of you who publish blogs would be so kind as to spread the word, I would be much obliged.

Thank you. Posted by Jason Stellman at 10:31 PM

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32 Comments on “Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”

  1. Gus gianello Says:

    Dear Sean,

    I will give what I can. Also I would recommend to him setting up a paypal charity account.

    Gus

  2. Sean Gerety Says:

    Good idea Gus. You might want to suggest it to Stellman (and with some info on how to do it).

  3. Cliffton Says:

    Are the verbal testimonies of the witnesses insufficient?

  4. AZTexan Says:

    Cliffton: Stellman explained in the comments section of his original posting that, in this case, the witnesses must be present for cross-examination by the opposition; therefore mere affidavits are indeed insufficient.


  5. @Cliffton: The defense has the right to cross-examine the witnesses, which can’t be done with a written statement alone.

  6. Cliffton Says:

    So is that a yes?


  7. Depends on what the testimonies need to be sufficient for.

  8. Steve M Says:

    Sean

    Thanks for letting me know about this. I sent a check using online bill pay at my credit union, but I agree that paypal might make it easier for some who wish to contribute.

  9. Cliffton Says:

    Witnesses testify to the truth. By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established. The authority of the Word of God is the Word of God. Witnesses testify to that authoritative Word. And there is to be no questioning of that Word. We are called to defend the Gospel and not the institutions of men. The false teacher must be understood as already judged. The institutions that have not already judged such a man are themselves judged.

  10. Sean Gerety Says:

    Clifton, no one is obligated to give to this and if you think it unnecessary or should be handled by other means, by all means don’t give.

    My view is if it helps Stellman build a solid case and one that can be used by the SJC to overturn a very likely innocent verdict at the presbytery level then I’m happy to help out. Of course, in God’s providence it is always possible that by having the witnesses present (whoever they are) and cross examined the men of the PNWP might be persuaded that the theological views of Leithart do qualify as another gospel and an appeal by the prosecution side can be avoided.


  11. Seeing that the issue is what Leithard believes and teaches, it would seem that personal witnesses are very minor evidence, and rather


  12. his books and sermons. But if an individual has firsthand knowledge that goes beyond Leithart’s writings/sermons, then Leithart has a right to confront (cross examine) that witness (in person).


  13. I have firsthand knowledge that goes beyond Leithart’s writings/sermons. Will the donated money pay my way as well? I’d be part of the defense of course.

  14. Sean Gerety Says:

    LOL. Good one Daniel. I’m sure DW will give you all the cash you need in order to testify and then some. 🙂

  15. bsuden Says:

    Speaking of DW, he cut short the little Rudolph Hess imitation of dropping in behind enemy lines (as it were) over at GBaggins. My curiousity and keyboard was piqued, but DW was then no more. Oh well.

  16. Stephen Says:

    Layertheologian, DW are the initials for Doug Wilson, the monarchial bishop of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC), Federal Vision heretic, and Daniel Foucachon’s bishop.

  17. bsuden Says:

    DW is the pope for the CREC in Moscow/LaLa Land where rubbing alcohol is oatmeal stout http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/two-baptisms-or-one/#comment-86867
    IOW DW might be able to mouth the orthodox faith, but he still manages to turn a blind eye to the rest of the motley crue.
    For instance, Leithart’s little fable at the end of The Baptized Body tells us that there are 3 types of believers. Hypocrites, genuine that fall away and genuine that persevere.
    Not.

  18. Lauren Says:

    Don’t you think it is pretty sad that you have to pay and ask others to sacrifice in order to defend the truth to your own denomination? What does that say about the character of the denomination? What a pathetic waste of God’s time and resources.

  19. Sean Gerety Says:

    Not sure I’m following you Lauren. How is giving in order to aid the prosecution in their defense of the gospel qualitatively different then, say, giving to support missionaries in spreading the gospel?

    Don’t get me wrong, I could care less whether you or anyone else gives to this effort, but from my point of view it is at least something tangible some of us can do in the fight against the false gospel of the Federal Visionists apart from just writing, complaining and praying .

  20. Lauren Says:

    Defending the truth of the gospel is the right and duty of every Christian. Peter Leithart has been approved and ordained by the PCA to teach the Federal Vision out of bounds in the CREC – the bastion of the Federal Vision heresy. Therefore, that decision officially defines and establishes the character of the PCA. The denominational leadership has already determined that this is the spiritual direction in which they want to take the PCA. It is up to these leaders – not the members – to prove otherwise. For, a denomination can only go as far as its leaders.

    It’s going to take a Japanese earthquake and a tsunami of churches to leave the PCA in order for the denomination to take this false teaching seriously and take the appropriate action. Having experienced a church court proceeding, I can testify that truth and justice are not the order of the day in those courts – just a lot of political manuevering. One has to ask themselves – am I defending the gospel or defending the PCA’s existence? There’s a big difference.

  21. Steve M Says:

    Lauren

    You wrote,”Defending the truth of the gospel is the right and duty of every Christian.” I agree. It is, however, becoming increasingly difficult to find a denomination that is doing just that. Perhaps you might share the name of a denomination that is so doing.

    It seems that even denominations with sound beginnings are turning to toleration of false gospels (which are really no Gospel) within mere decades.

  22. Lauren Says:

    The PCA as a denomination has decided to keep false teachers such as Peter Leithart and Jeffrey Meyers and several others. You as a Christian have the duty and freedom of conscience to decide whether you can live with that reality. If you are a PCA member, you have to ask yourself, “Do I want to be a member of a denomination that currently tolerates and promotes a false gospel?” This is not a controversy over secondary doctrine but one that strikes at the heart of primary biblical doctrine – justification by faith alone.

    I can’t answer for your conscience. I can only answer for my own. Our former presbytery tolerates and promotes the Federal Vision and violently goes after anyone who opposes them. So we had no choice but to leave the PCA.

    Denominations are not ordained institutions of God. Actually, I believe God hates them because they are merely man-made organizations that tend more to divide people rather than unite. We are now members of a wonderful but imperfect church – (aren’t they all, especially if we are one of their members). Our church has its issues but we are totally convinced that the senior pastors have demonstrated a solid commitment to preaching the truth of the Gospel.

  23. David Reece Says:

    Steve, this is why I think the Westminster Confession is not clear enough/good enough any more. I think we need a Scripuralist denomination. I don’t mean members would have to be Scripturalist, but all ordained men would need to subscribe the Scripturalism. I think that this trial should be the last chance for the PCA. I am seriously considering leaving the OPC. I think the John Kinaird case might have been the point of no return for the OPC.

  24. David Reece Says:

    Lauren,

    How is a denomination different from recognizing other congregations as being fellow professed Christians?

  25. Lauren Says:

    In Asia, except for the Roman Catholic church, there are no denominations – you would have to go to each individual church to determine where they stand on primary Biblical doctrine. What is very disconcerting is that when we were in the PCA, MTW started sending missionaries who introduced NT Wright and the Federal Vision to some of the fledgling churches in Asia. Since we were involved in PCA missionary work in that part of the world, we could not in good conscience partner with folks who were poisoning the mission field.

    I am no expert on denominational distinctives, Steve, but one thing that sticks out to me are comments I have heard from those who have visited or were once members of the PCA churches in our community that have capitulated to the Federal Vision. What is noticably absent from these churches is the fruit of the Spirit -love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, self-control, meekness, faith. If I were looking for a church, I would prayerfully seek out a church that demonstrates those spiritual qualities whether it be Baptist, Presbyterian, or even Independent. Jesus said you can identify a tree by its fruit; a bad tree produces rotten fruit and a good tree produces good fruit – it’s that simple. Some who have left the PCA are determined never to darken the door of an organized church again because of the hatred and abuse from Federal Vision false teachers and presbyteries and sessions who promote and tolerate a false gospel. It took three years before one of our dear families decided to visit our church. Several others have now started attending worship and the youth ministry. We are so grateful to God for bringing healing and restoration to these dear brothers and sisters.

    Believe it or not, no one denomination has a corner on the truth. I believe God has used the Federal Vision false gospel to expose and bring some of the snobby arrogance of the PCA down a notch or two.

  26. Steve M Says:

    Lauren

    The passage to which you make reference deals with false teachers(false prophets that come in sheeps clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves). Therefore the bad fruit spoken of is false teachings or bad doctrine rather than the observable behavior of these teachers (they appear to be sheep. they disguise themselves as sheep). We should in no way tolerate false teachers even if we observe them living otherwise pious lives or even if they appear to be “nice people”.

    Truth is paramount. We dare not set it aside for unity.

    Our only source of truth is Scripture. It is getting more difficult to find a fellowship that unfeignedly subscribes to that view.

  27. Lauren Says:

    Doesn’t false teaching produce bad fruit? And, doesn’t Paul identify the good fruit as being the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians? Jesus cursed the fig tree because it had leaves but no fruit. The leaves refer to the false piety that you describe.

  28. Steve M Says:

    Lauren

    In context the bad fruit of false teachers is their teachings. The fact that Paul also uses the word fruit to describe the results of the Spirit working in the believer does not mean that fruit always refers to behavior. Many times the same word is used in different ways in Scripture.

  29. Max Says:

    I know little to nothing concerning the federal vision, but I know much about Wright. He is a theologian of the highest calibre, always seeking to express the faith in as accurate and global a sense as possible. His work is carefully done and superbly written. I give him two thumbs up!

  30. Max Says:

    Also, who’s misrepresenting Wright? Who’s saying he’s not authentic or orthodox?

  31. Kris Says:

    Max, You say, “but I know much about Wright. He is a theologian of the highest calibre (sic)…” and yet you know nothing of FV? How is this so?

    Also, who’s misrepresenting Wright? Who’s saying he’s authentic and orthodox? Might that be you?


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