First, let us define the word "defrock" (see also laicize). A frock is/was a gown or robe worn by the clergy, thus to "defrock" them is to remove their status as a minister. Another question would be, who has the power to do such a thing and for what reasons. Historically, ministers have been defrocked for committing criminal acts, either secular or ecclesiastical. Further, a minister may be defrocked for unethical or doctrinal issues, especially if the minister is found to be dishonest and unrepentant when questioned about the matter. A minister may even voluntarily be defrocked if he or she seeks to follow some other direction in life, such as marriage for a minister who had taken a vow of celibacy (source).
But who has the authority to defrock a minister? Traditionally, and especially within the Reformed Christian community, a "pastor" is ordained by another Church or board of elders/pastors. Typically, a person doesn't just decide one day, that they will call themselves "pastor". It then is, within the authority of the church, board, or person who conferred the ordination to also be able to rescind it. Sometimes even the congregation over which a pastor presides may have the power to rescind at least his or her pastorate over that congregation.
The specific issue which I want to address, involves a man who is a leader within the heretical movement called the "Hyperpreterist Movement". Advocates of hyperpreterism, typically advocate at least four main tenets.
1. That Jesus came back once and for all in spiritual sense in the 1st-century.
2. That the resurrection of the believers was non-physical and in the 1st-century.
3. That the judgment of the wicked and righteous was in the 1st-century.
4. That there is no end of sin or culmination of God's plan with the world.
Having presented the main beliefs of hyperpreterism, the Christian should see why I call this fellow a "fake pastor", but this is not the only reason he is a fake. In the year 2002, this man was asked by a group of his fellow hyperpreterists, if he would pastor a congregation. Since he had no official ordination from an existing denomination (as none would dare ordain such a man), he presented a convoluted plan to more or less ordain himself. According to documents from the man and his congregation, he claims:
This fake pastor, knew from the start that at least in the Reformed Christian method his pastorate would be seen as fake, as illegitimate. So, he claimed that there was an "unsettled condition" that allowed him to take up the pastorate of his own accord. What was the supposed "unsettled condition"? None other than his hyperpreterism. That issue is perhaps the MOST settled condition in the Church; for while different denominations may disagree on mode and method of baptism, on the significance of the Lord's Supper among many other things, however the Church is UNITED in affirming the exact four points that hyperpreterism denies.
But the fake pastor wanted to make sure he gave himself even more cover, so he invited to officiate his "ordination" a man who was a pastor yet had fallen into the heresy of hyperpreterism. The fake pastor wrote:
Why all this if the fake pastor thought he could just take it upon himself? He even further states that he had a certificate notarized by a Notary Public of the state of Florida -- as if the state can sanction clergy in the USA. This alone is alarming that this fellow seemed to think this.
Now, fastforward to November 20th 2009. Dr. Birks, the man who at the very least was used by Frost to "add" his claim as being a pastor has rescinded that ordination:
"Since Mr. Frost has consistently made reference on-line to his being ordained by Dr. Birks, we believe it is appropriate to make these charges [to defrock] and their consequences known to the general readership by posting them here as an announcement on our website." (source
Frost was invited to challenge the charges against him but declined. Eventually it was voted that he would have his ordination rescinded. Since that time however, Frost has tried to claim he was never ordained by Birks. Whether that is the case or not, Frost clearly used Birks' and the others present to at least give him a cover of legitimacy. (see details with Frost's rejoinder)
What is sad, is that of the one hyperpreterist website that has actually posted on this very, very significant issue the responses have been more against Birks and to call Frost to account for his initial pandering for legitimacy and now his denial of it. Frost has a reputation of just this sort of pandering where he uses others to make himself look valid -- such as claiming he is "Reformed" when hyperpreterism is completely outside the scope of anything within the pale of Reformed.
At any rate, it is good to see that this fake "pastor" has finally been defrocked. My desire now is to see Birks himself repudiate his own association to the hyperpreterist movement (What is the Preterist View?@@AMEPARAM@@/docinfo/18090239?access_key=key-2gjp9sljqxbc70f4nrr7@@AMEPARAM@@18090239@@AMEPARAM @@key-2gjp9sljqxbc70f4nrr7).