Archive for June 2013
Recently some of the unfounded comments made by Ron Gilbert on this blog and to me via email prompted me to again read John’s resignation letter from Midway Presbyterian Church. In this “John Robbins Quick Quote” I would just like to focus on the unbiblical and very un-Presbyterian notion that John’s departure from the PCA was somehow a sinful breach of office while he was an Elder at Midway. I would also recommend those interested to carefully read the reasons John gave for resigning his position here. However, since John’s good name has been attacked and he is no longer here to defend himself against one embittered former Trinity Foundation employee, and others who seem to think that it is somehow never proper. even sin, for an elder to leave, you can call this “John Robbins Speaks From the Grave”:
Lest someone accuse my family and me of breaking our membership and ordination vows by resigning from the Session and the church, the PCA Book of Church Order recognizes and permits such resignations. Furthermore, these actions are taken in fulfillment of my vow to “strive for the purity, peace, unity, and edification of the church.” There can be no Christian purity, peace, unity, or edification except on the basis of the Gospel. Subjection to the Elders is not absolute, but limited by the phrase “in the Lord.” When Elders refuse to correct men who are teaching a false gospel; when Elders criticize those who do their duty by identifying false teaching as false; and when Elders fail to warn the sheep of danger, to remain submissive to them is to be rebellious to Christ.
Long and short, and from the smattering I’ve been able to catch, it’s a farce.
For those interested, and so far as I can tell, every challenge to the Standing Judicial Commission’s upholding the exoneration of Federal Visionist Peter Leithart by the Pacific Northwest Presbytery has been shot down . . . except one . . . Overture 19. Overture 19 is going to be decided on tomorrow. While I pray I’m wrong, don’t be surprised if this too is ruled out of order.
You can watch a live stream from the GA here. No doubt God’s will will be done, but don’t get your hopes up that the GA will require the SJC to rehear the Leithart case. It’s fair to say the FV is a protected and affirmed scheme of salvation by faith plus works in the PCA.
OOPs, spoke too soon. I thought business was coming to a close as I typed the above.
The Moderator just ruled Overture 19 out of order. The Moderator just ran roughshod over the remaining conservatives in the PCA.
Looking at the above I think a little clarification is in order. I said the Moderator ran roughshod over the remaining conservatives in the PCA, but that isn’t quite accurate. I called them “conservatives” because those opposing the SJC decision in the Leithart case identify themselves as “conservatives.” That may not be completely accurate because I suppose the FV men view themselves as “conservatives” and are probably viewed that way but the “big-tent-everything-to-everybody-broadly-evangelical-Kellerites” who really don’t care either way about adherence to the WCF or even Calvinism per se except in the most mild and palatable sense. Basically, you’re not going to hear much or anything about election, reprobation, or predestination in most of these churches and they’re generally indistinguishable from your local praise-the-Lord Arminan church sans altar calls. Besides, the FV sprang out of theonomy which, at one time, was considered the über right of the PCA. Militantly post-mill and dedicated to applying Bahnsen’s dictum: “the abiding validity of the law in exhaustive detail” (I guess they decided that part of that “exhaustive detail” included justification).
No, these men who attempted to challenge the SJC’s inexcusable ruling in the Leithart case were men who simply think the Gospel matters and that the doctrines espoused by men like Leithart, Meyers, Moon, Lawrence and many others represent “another gospel” and those who teach these doctrines rightly come under Paul’s anathema in Galatians 1:8,9 — even if they don’t come under the anathema of the PCA.
What I suspect happened, and this is just my two-cents, was that the Big Tenters don’t care one whit about Leithart or the Federal Vision or the New Perspectives or any of those things. They’re an annoyance and discussing these nuanced doctrinal matters doesn’t help to attract new members. Plus, it’s just dirty laundry. From their perspective the FV is a fight among conservatives anyway and voting to let the Liethart decision stand was a good way to either 1) drive those annoying conservative-confessionalists-anti-woman-officer types from the denomination, or, 2) emasculate them to the point where they learn to behave while they’re being ignored, which is what happened anyway. My guess is the answer is both. The only question is will those who love the Gospel stay in the PCA and learn to shut up and stop disturbing the peace in the name of purity, or, leave. Either way, both the FV heretics and the milquetoast Big Tenters win.