Wall Writing

Federal Visionist Jeff Meyers remains a PCA pastor in good standing for now, but his days are numbered.  Admittedly, the PCA’s wheels of ecclesiastic justice are considerably rustier than their secular counterparts, but even without any oil they do continue to turn.  While admittedly a bit convoluted, the Standing Judicial Commission recently agreed with a complaint against the Missouri Presbytery’s (MOP) 2011 investigation of Meyers and that there was a “strong presumption of guilt” requiring Meyers be brought under process.   According to the SJC:

We find that MOP erred in failing to find a strong presumption of guilt that TE Meyers holds views contrary to the Westminster Standards (BCO 34-5) when MOP conducted its investigation.

However, since the time the complaint was made against the MOP investigative committee and when the SJC finally took up the complaint,  Meyers was brought under process and his views were again vindicated by the MOP, consequently this recent decision sustaining the complaint against the MOP is moot.

Fortunately (or unfortunately for Meyers), there is a complaint now before the SJC against the not guilty verdict in favor of Meyers.  Further, Meyers views haven’t changed in the slightest between the time of his investigation and his trial, therefore it would follow that the complaint against Meyer’s not guilty verdict will similarly be sustained and Meyers will be thrown out of the PCA and the MOP disciplined.  Of course, this all is premised on the assumption that the courts of the PCA are not completely schizophrenic and that they won’t end up both affirming and denying the same thing.  Which means that Jeff Meyers should begin looking for a new job outside of the ministry (the preferred option) maybe at his local gun shop (Meyers is evidently quite a shot) or local fast food joint, or start making preparation now for his exodus to Doug Wilson’s Federal Vision mock Christian denomination, the CREC.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Heresies, Jeff Meyers

29 Comments on “Wall Writing”

  1. Hugh Says:

    Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin… ?

  2. Hugh Says:

    Methinks thou art too optimistic, Sean. I doubt his days are numbered.

    While ecclesiastical schizophrenia may be hard to self-diagnose (and harder still to escape), that’s prolly not the root here. The PCA is unable to go for it when it comes to defrocking.

    With this case, the SJC will simply accept the MOP’s findings. After all, the latter did what was required of them: They took up the issue of “a strong presumption of guilt”* and found the defendent not guilty. Case closed.

    Unless the SJC
    [1] finds the MOP utterly incompetent, and
    [2] wishes to (re)try the case themselves,
    this matter is closed.

    * What a wretched and evil phrase!

  3. Sean Gerety Says:

    I’m not prone to optimism Hugh. I don’t see how the SJC can accept the MOPs findings without now contradicting their finding of a strong presumption of guilt regarding the investigative committee. Basically, it would have to be a complete reversal.

    The finding of a strong presumption of guilt was premised on Meyer’s own testimony to the committee, the same testimony he gave at his trial. Did the presumption of guilt somehow vanish during the trial? Again, I don’t see how the SJC could arrive at that decision without doing a complete about face.

    Also, there is precedent for finding the MOP incompetent per the Wilkins trial and the LAP.

  4. Hugh Says:

    Sean,

    Did the presumption of guilt somehow vanish during the trial?
    Apparently so; he was cleared, no? That loaded, perjorative phrase “presumption of guilt” does NOT prove guilt, but it does easily lead to a mere assumption of guilt.

    Again, I don’t see how the SJC could arrive at that decision without doing a complete about face.
    Not w/o precedent, is it? And again, the MOP found him “not guilty,” all the “presumption of guilt” the contrary notwithstanding.

    Also, there is precedent for finding the MOP incompetent per the Wilkins trial and the LAP.
    Did the SJC overturn or reverse an LAP decision? I do not recall.

  5. Sean Gerety Says:

    Apparently so; he was cleared, no? That loaded, perjorative phrase “presumption of guilt” does NOT prove guilt, but it does easily lead to a mere assumption of guilt.

    He was cleared by the same MOP that found no presumption of guilt to warrant a trial. The SJC disagreed with the MOP regarding their investigation and sustained the complaint based on the evidence presented in their investigation. Consequently, I can’t see how the SJC reviewing the trial evidence could possibly come to a different conclusion that Meyers is somehow not guilty without now completely reversing itself. Always possible, but I have to think they realize it would be a major scandal if they did.

    Did the SJC overturn or reverse an LAP decision? I do not recall.

    Yes they did and they required the LAP start process against Wilkins, but in the meantime Wilkins ran away. Supposedly the LAP repented of their earlier decision not to start process against Wilkins but by then it was too late.

    Basically, Meyers could leave now and if the SJC upholds the complaint against the verdict of not guilty he would avoid getting the left foot of fellowship (which this troublemaker sorely deserves).

  6. Hugh Says:

    Then it depends on the case made by Missouri Presbytery to the Standing Judicial Committee that the MOP [1] did in good order investigate, try, and exonerate Meyers; and that [2] their findings outweigh the committee’s concerns (re: presumption of guilt), and so sway the SJC to concur with the MOP’s decision?

    I can’t see how the SJC reviewing the trial evidence could possibly come to a different conclusion that Meyers is somehow not guilty without now completely reversing itself.
    Unless there is heretofore unseen evidence or a persuasive argument given them by the MOP…?

    In the Lousiana incident, the presbyters were faulted for not even trying the case? So that one never got as far as Meyers’ case?

  7. Hugh Says:

    R.S. Clark weighs in on wall writing @ his Heidelblog:

    PCA Commission: There Should Be A Presumption of Guilt

    The Standing Judicial Commission of the Presbyterian Church in America ruled that the Missouri Presbytery erred when it failed to find a

    strong presumption of guilt that [Teaching Elder] Jeffrey Meyers holds views contrary to the Westminster Standards (BCO 34-5) when it conducted its…investigation of his views and writings.

    The commission is appointed to act on behalf of the entire General Assembly of the PCA. The case came to it as a complaint against the Presbytery. The vote was 14-1. Three members recused themselves and 6 members were absent.

    This case began in 2004 when the Missouri Presbytery began investigating the Federal Vision theology (hereafter FV). In June, 2007 the PCA rejected the Federal Vision theology root and branch in a series of 9 declarations. GA approved give recommendations regarding the FV. Later that summer supporters of the FV published a “Joint Federal Vision Profession” to which Myers was a signatory.

    In March, 2010 the Missouri Presbytery received a “letter of concern” signed by 29 PCA elders calling attention to the fact that Myers was teaching FV doctrine, which is contrary to the Westminster Standards, and asking for an investigation into the matter. An investigation began the next month and the committee reported that they found insufficient evidence to find a “strong presumption of guilt.” Two members complained against the action of presbytery and the body formed a committee to investigate the complaint. In April of 2011 presbytery voted to deny the complaint. This prompted a complaint by ten elders (five teaching and five ruling) against the ruling that there was “insufficient evidence to raise a presumption of guilt” regarding Myers’ teaching of the FV. The SJC heard the matter in October, 2011.

    While the matter was pending before the SJC, the Missouri Presbytery conducted a trial of Rev Myers in April, 2012. He was acquitted on five charges. Therefore, the SJC says, “any further action on this Case is moot.”

    Though I have read it, I am not expert in the PCA Book of Church Order (BCO). This ruling seems to be a slap on the wrist but I cannot tell if it this ruling is a procedural or substantive slap on the wrist (or both) nor do I know whether an appeal of the April, 2012 Missouri Presbytery verdict is possible or forthcoming. I did not see anything in chapter 43 that would forbid a complaint against such a decision except the filing deadline has passed.

    The will of the PCA General Assembly in 2007 was clear. Thus far, two of the signatories of the 2007 FV Profession have faced trials and both have been acquitted. In 2007 the PCA SJC ruled that the Louisiana Presbytery erred in not finding a “strong presumption of guilt” in the case of the Rev Steve Wilkins, a signatory to the Joint FV Profession, who removed himself and his congregation to the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches. Several of the other signatories are not in the PCA and thus beyond the discipline of orthodox Reformed church assemblies. There was another FV-related matter in the Siouxlands Presbytery (2010) as a result of which the SJC ruled that there was no strong presumption of guilt.

    It seems that where regional bodies have attempted to bring to bear the judgment of the higher and broader assemblies regarding the FV success has been limited. We may ask why this is and what it means. The logic here seems to be clear:

    1. Proponents of the FV produced a statement
    2. TE X signed the FV statement
    3. Ergo TE X is a proponent of the FV

    The PCA GA has declared the FV contradictory of the standards. Therefore, the teaching of TE X must be outside the standards. Somewhere, however, the process breaks down. Church assemblies and courts are messy and imperfect but the recent history of the judicial phase of the FV controversy does raise interesting questions.

    ~ END ~

  8. Lauren Says:

    I’m a little confused as to the timeline here. Complaints, exonerations, presumptions – which is the latest to come down the pike that Meyers has to deal with now?
    I thought after all this time, the Meyers case was put to rest and the PCA just plods along wearing the shackles of a false gospel.

  9. Lauren Says:

    Perhaps after all this time, the host of this false gospel is starting to realize that she is getting eaten up and swallowed by this parasite called the Federal Vision. Membership in the PCA has declined pretty dramatically.

  10. Bob S Says:

    Well, I would have thought Obamacare was a slam dunk with the Supreme Court, but never underestimate the power of the weasels. Same goes for the ecclesiastical variety. Myers should resign if he is honorable before they could ask him to leave, but again maybe the PCA strikes me as more pragmatic and political than presbyterian.

    And what I still want to know is what about this SJC business? Seems to be a rather hierarchical and unpresbyterian way of doing things. From what I remember of Dabney, a commission should have a quorum to stay afloat for voting on regular business, but when big and divisive issues come up, if you are a member of the assembly, you are a member of its commission and can show up and vote. Otherwise bureaucracy entrenches itself.

  11. Lauren Says:

    I think the PCA is afraid to go after this guy because the denomination has been so saturated with the Federal Vision that other churches will get the gumption to leave and follow him to the CREC. I know one church in particular that has been itching to go to the CREC since 2005. Meyers’ leaving would be just the perfect opportunity.

  12. Hugh Says:

    We await publication of Can the PCA Be Saved? (Uh, No.) from Gerety & Kuo.

  13. Hugh Says:

    Good point, Lauren.

    As long as men like Meyers and Leithart remain,
    the PCA corrodes,
    good men continue to do nothing of substance,
    and so the FV-ers need not flee.

    Parasites take over and destroy from within, eh?
    Why leave while there’s a host to feed on?

  14. Sean Gerety Says:

    “nor do I know whether an appeal of the April, 2012 Missouri Presbytery verdict is possible or forthcoming.”

    I have it from a good source that there is a complaint filed against that decision. I think Meyers should take the hint.

  15. Hugh Says:

    Per my 4:06 pm Hallowe’en post, SJC will cave, saying MOP carried out the committee’s instructions.

  16. Hugh Says:

    Sean,

    Complaint, schplaint. It’ll get nowhere. The PCA is a safe haven for FV-ers.

    Ms Kuo has so attested, as have you in your book. Meyers is as safe as Leithart.

  17. Lauren Says:

    Especially since the Missouri Presbytery is home to the denomination’s seminary – the factory that helps to produce this poison.

  18. Hugh Says:

    Ka-ching!

    Can the PCA be Saved? No Way!

    by Sean Gerety & Lauren Kuo, due out 2013, P&R Pub.

  19. Lauren Says:

    You know, this Federal Vision heresy has been a plague on the PCA for nearly ten years now. I think that over time there will be a group of godly pastors and churches who will get sick and tired of carrying the albatross of the Federal Vision around their denominational necks. When they do, I think they will break off and form a new denomination that will return to the truths of Scripture. Wouldn’t that be refreshing? How about it, Mississippi Valley Presbytery?

    You would think that churches and presbyters would be so weary of this endless series of impotent complaints and court cases. This has been such a drag on the denomination’s ability to proclaim the Gospel. As the Bible says, you cannot serve two masters. How can the PCA leadership expect God to bless the denomination when there is a false gospel being served up in the camp?

    People who have left the PCA churches here feel an incredible sense of relief and a fresh wind of the Spirit. They wonder why they allowed themselves to stay under such oppression and heaviness for so long. I am so glad that God gives every believer the freedom of conscience to examine the Scriptures for themselves and discern whether or not a teaching is true. There is nothing in the Bible that directs us to wait for some church court to decide whether or not we should stay or go. On the contrary, the Bible uses words like “flee”, “stay away”, “have no fellowship with…”, “avoid”, “be on your guard”,etc. I don’t get the impression from these terms that a believer is supposed to hang around for ten years and hope that a court one day corrects the situation.

  20. Lauren Says:

    Uh Hugh, I appreciate your confidence, but I think Sean will do a pretty terrific job on his own. And, you can probably tell from my comments that I have no desire or ability to save the PCA or any organization. 🙂

  21. Hugh Says:

    Of course not; but an exposé…?

  22. Hugh Says:

    This reply just in from a PCA presbyter somewhere:

    >>I’d like to address Lauren Kuo’s sad misunderstandings and mad misrepresentations below.

    You know, this Federal Vision heresy has been a plague on the PCA for nearly ten years now.
    >>Ya know, th real plague is you Bible-thumping, crypto-Lutheran types, if ya wanna know the truth. (And you DON’T!)

    I think that over time there will be a group of godly pastors and churches who will get sick and tired of carrying the albatross of the Federal Vision around their denominational necks. When they do, I think they will break off and form a new denomination that will return to the truths of Scripture. Wouldn’t that be refreshing? How about it, Mississippi Valley Presbytery? You would think that churches and presbyters would be so weary of this endless series of impotent complaints and court cases. This has been such a drag on the denomination’s ability to proclaim the Gospel.
    >>We’re fine, thank you. The pew-warmers’ checks are just fine and starting over would mean a drop in revenue – I mean, in the extent of the blessing we’d be! The onyl thing we’re sick of is you Fundy-types banging on about gospel-this and grace-that…!

    As the Bible says, you cannot serve two masters. How can the PCA leadership expect God to bless the denomination when there is a false gospel being served up in the camp?
    >>Bbecause we stay in, and are faithful to our wonderful, inclusive denomination, He’s obviously blessing us: giving is UP!

    People who have left the PCA churches here feel an incredible sense of relief and a fresh wind of the Spirit. They wonder why they allowed themselves to stay under such oppression and heaviness for so long. I am so glad that God gives every believer the freedom of conscience to examine the Scriptures for themselves and discern whether or not a teaching is true.
    >>There you go again, you antinomian, citing the Bible alone as your authority. Thank God we have sola scriptura (with confesssional addenda), not solo scriptura! “Freedom of conscience” = buzz-words of the anarchist.

    There is nothing in the Bible that directs us to wait for some church court to decide whether or not we should stay or go. On the contrary, the Bible uses words like “flee”, “stay away”, “have no fellowship with…”, “avoid”, “be on your guard”,etc. I don’t get the impression from these terms that a believer is supposed to hang around for ten years and hope that a court one day corrects the situation.
    >>No, we agree. A believer is supposed to leave the adjudicating to the wise and prudent, and focus on his/ her tithe. Keep moving along, there’s nothing to correct here.

  23. justbybelief Says:

    Hugh,

    “>>No, we agree. A believer is supposed to leave the adjudicating to the wise and prudent, and focus on his/ her tithe. Keep moving along, there’s nothing to correct here.”

    This is so true, it made be laugh out loud…in a sad kinda way.

  24. Jeff Says:

    Lauren,
    “>>People who have left the PCA churches here feel an incredible sense of relief and a fresh wind of the Spirit.”

    Where do they go? I’m a former dispy, now firmly in the reformed camp, but having real trouble finding a church. Tried a CREC in Kirkland, Wa until I realized what FV was, then tried a PCA in woodinville where a certain pastor swam the tiber. Now gingerly attending an OPC, but running into rules I find legalistic, like no communion for me unless I become a member…

    Wish I could find a URCNA church to try – I’ve very much enjoyed Kim Riddlebarger’s teaching and the whole whitehorseinn troop, but alas, no church in my area.

    Where do these people go when they get out from under the FV yoke?

  25. Lauren Says:

    Boy, Hugh, you had me believing for a second you were for real! But here is a follow-up to your scenario: It’s called Be Happy
    http://rdkgal.blogspot.com/

  26. justbybelief Says:

    The Trinity Foundation’s latest news letters (The Church Irrational Part 1 and 2 by J.R.) are excellent and seem to me to apply here.

  27. Hugh Says:

    Yea, verily, Eric! Hear, hear!

    As well the tome from whence they be culled:

    http://www.trinitylectures.org/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=65

  28. justbybelief Says:

    “Now gingerly attending an OPC”

    Be very careful in the OPC. Many, if not all, are afraid of antithesis. They would sell the truth down the road in a New York minute for their beloved OPC–or what they would call, ‘the peace and unity of the church.’


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: