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TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Something from the Aquila Report

Siouxlands Presbytery Sustains Complaints, Answers Overture

for those who've been following the Siouxlands Presbytery case

The Presbytery of the Siouxlands met for a called meeting on October 20, in Watertown, S.D. to hear two complaints and an overture.

The complaints concerned the Presbytery’s actions at its stated meeting in September. The complainants alleged that the Presbytery erred in several areas, most importantly in finding “no strong presumption of guilt in any area” of views of TE Greg Lawrence concerning the “so-called Federal Vision.”

The Presbytery “repented of its hasty actions” and formed a new committee to further investigate the views of TE Lawrence and report its findings and recommendations at the next called meeting in January of 2010.
 

bouletheou

Puritan Board Freshman
He also affirmed 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.
A motion was made to the effect that the testimony be deemed sufficient to fulfill the requirements of BCO 31-2, and that no strong presumption of guilt should be found.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
TE Lawrence? I didn't know they were on to me!

Seriously though, I'm glad to see this.
Might someone who considers this a positive thing explain it?

It's difficult to see how it can be spun as a good thing.

As I understand, they appointed a committee.

They rejected the conclusions of the committee.

Complaints were filed.

They took steps to make sure that the complaint wouldn't go beyond presbytery, appointed a new committee to cover the ground already covered, and endorsed theology which appears to be out of accord with the standards.

Have I misread the story? Do I have a fundamental misunderstanding of what has happened?

Correction of my understanding would certainly give me a comfort that I don't have at this point.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Now Edward's confusion has me confused :)

Isn't this saying that the Presbyters decided their endorsement of this quasi- baptismal regeneration was wrong, and so they'll have another hearing in Jan, and maybe decide then that this isn't OK?

We should all pray. There have been a few times in my current PCA church, where some idealistic young sweet guy has made a comment in casual conversation about trusting the polity of the PCA and the safeguards of our system and so forth, in a way that seems to be putting their trust in the system and the structure. Now my pastor who is older and wiser has commented on occasion that an entire presbytery can go off, so maybe it takes time for the idealism to die in these fresh out of seminary guys. I want to get a little flag and write " Machen, PCUSA, GA" on it and wave it in front of them but I've managed to keep my mouth shut, but we should all be really praying for the PCA. That last vote at GA related to deaconesses went the right way in my opinion, but there were so many votes from the minority that it was seriously scary. I'd hate to see a repeat of Machen's days in ten years or less.

Tim, thanks for the update.
 

LeeJUk

Puritan Board Junior
In the words of Ian Paisley of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster...



EKKKKKKKKKKKKKLESIAAAAAASTICAL RELIGGGGGIOUS DARKNESS!
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Looking at the process so far, PCA presbyterian polity, it is working exactly as it is supposed to.

Because there is recent case precedent on this (Louisiana Presbytery), there will be quick action by the Presbytery now, and lots of people willing to assist them if they need help discerning the theological issues (probably even from Louisiana Presbytery, also).
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Looking at the process so far, PCA presbyterian polity, it is working exactly as it is supposed to.

Because there is recent case precedent on this (Louisiana Presbytery), there will be quick action by the Presbytery now, and lots of people willing to assist them if they need help discerning the theological issues (probably even from Louisiana Presbytery, also).
Didn't the rejection of the committee report come after the Louisiana situation was resolved? And if the Presbytery wants to do the right thing, why the new committee?

I wish I could be as charitable as many in evaluating what is going on, but unfortunately, experience colors my view.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Edward,

I'm not sure we have complete information as to the machinations of process presently occurring in this Presbytery.

In Louisiana, a three man committee was formed to investigate a teaching elder promoting "federal vision" and it ruled 2-1 that the teaching was not serious error. Then, rather slowly as I recall, the majority there finally accepted the committee report by a narrow margin.

Then, that presbytery decision was appealed to SJC which ordered compliance by the presbytery with the PCA constitution (which is what the SJC is there to uphold, the PCA Constitution- Westminster Standards and Book of Church Order).

It was said by the majority there that there was some confusion as to what exactly the SJC had required them to do, but in the end, they went through the process and found no serious error by a narrow majority.

Later, a complaint to SJC resulted in a preliminary finding that the presbytery failed to protect the church from harm, trial was set... the Presbytery majority recanted, the main perpetrator left the denomination the night before he would have been served process to stand trial (the trial he had demanded for a long time before). He fled to the Confederated Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC) which received him. That Communion's most visible leader is a Mr. Doug Wilson.

Not the same situation here at all.

The Presbytery, up front knows they are going to be scrutinized and, based on their actions, knows they made a mistake. There are guidelines to help them discern, and people experienced in the issues. They have a quick report back.

Despite "federal vision" promoters saying for years and years no one understands their issues- the study committees and many prominent teachers have made their complexity understandable.

At best they confuse the gospel. At worst, they deny it.

Neither is acceptable for one who would presume to teach God's people.

This Presbytery has many fine biblical, reformed brothers, including Reverend Lane Keister- and they know all this.
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
He also affirmed that he believes that no reprobate person ever gets justification,
Would this qualify as an equivocation of the term justification? As in future justification ala NT Wright et al? In that case, of course they don't "get" it, as they don't keep on keepin on...
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Not the same situation here at all.

The Presbytery, up front knows they are going to be scrutinized and, based on their actions, knows they made a mistake. There are guidelines to help them discern, and people experienced in the issues. They have a quick report back.

Despite "federal vision" promoters saying for years and years no one understands their issues- the study committees and many prominent teachers have made their complexity understandable.
But I don't understand why they will 'get it now' and they didn't 'get it' when the SJC acted before, or when the committee erected pursuant to the SJC action issued the report that was rejected.

It isn't like they haven't already had two chances to address the problem.

Background here:

Presbytery of the Siouxlands Exonerates Member Suspected of Federal Vision Teaching, Complaint to SJC Contemplated
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
boule...that was interesting as a fuller investigation, but talk about bad attitude. It seems dripping with contempt instead of anguish and grief that these things happen, and the humility that only by grace are we all not FV.

Also, the PCA committee report against the FV got a favorable vote by an overwhelming majority. Don't get me wrong, I do see things to make me worry about the future of the PCA apart from God keeping us on the narrow path. But this blogger, whoever he is, has one nasty critical attitude. It is nowhere as bad as he is trying to make it out to be.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
debate that included direct questioning of Moon was evidently quickly cutoff and the motion was called finding “no strong presumption of guilt” in the case of Moon.
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.
My 7-11 Year olds in my SS class wouldn't say that. They would say that is silly. So what should we call that, and how should we react to a Presbytery that thinks such statements are cute?

If I hadn't seen first hand arminians and baptists being ordained in the NorCal Presbytery, or a confessional elder in a session with a quorum being humiliated by an elder of a neighboring church who was invited to slander the confessional elder at a church meeting and nobody doing anything about it I wouldn't have believed it possible in the PCA.

But elder Moon is far too typical of the PCA and I'm glad Dr. Aquila, who is as brilliant as he is wise, has shed light on the underbelly of the PCA. Outrage is healthy in a case like this. These people need targets painted on them.
 
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Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Only one thing to consider in the spirit of Christian charity and truth between us, the source here has been banned from Greenbaggins site for violations of such.

Charitably, the subcommittee came to another result, and this is being reviewed, and we know there are many faithful men of God involved here as the process proceeds.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Did you or anyone else complain against the offending actions of the presbytery? Did you or anybody else file charges for the slander? Was there even a solemn protest?

I'm not singling you out or trying to pick on you. I want to use this as an opportunity to make us all think. You may even have lacked standing to do anything. But I'm willing to bet that you are not the only one who saw these things and didn't like them, and that at least one of those people had standing.
By all means single me out since it's a subject I harp on all the time! Yes, when I was a member I filed charges with the ordaining baptists and arminians and with the help of some people on this board and I won. I'd left the PCA when the elder slamming happened, and tried to get a couple members to do something after they complained about it, but none would. The illegal (or so I assume) church purpose statement is linked to below, and I've posted it often, but to my knowledge no one does anything about it. Since there are only 3 churches that seem to care about the BCO I understand, though, since the elders there are overloaded with activities related to reforming that particular presbytery. It's the "pew potatoes" that disappoint me.

At Trinity, a woman may serve the church in any way that a male layman may
Deacons at Trinity may hold their credentials as either ordained or unordained. In keeping with the ordination requirements of the PCA, ordained deacons must be in substantial conformity with the Westminster Standards, must be men, and are elected by the congregation and ordained as per BCO 24. Unordained deacons are appointed by the Session (as per the process in BCO 9-7). Those who pursue the unordained deaconate may take broader exceptions to the Westminster Standards, or may prefer for other reasons not to pursue ordination. Unordained deacons may be men or women (cf. Rom.16:1).
Trinity Presbyterian Church

Now I'm in an OPC where they actually do radical things like take minutes of session meetings, have people with grey hair on the session, etc..and it's refreshing.
 

bouletheou

Puritan Board Freshman
Tim,

I didn't know your history other than what I read in your profile. Good job.

Very few people seem to realize that being outnumbered by one's ideological opponents makes not one whit of difference where this process is concerned. Anyone with the intelligence to understand and the intestinal fortitude to pursue may make use of the process to great effect.

One should not be ignorant of the cost, though, or one will falter on the way. It will most likely make everyone mad at you and some will hate you (in Christian love, of course.)
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
Tim,

I didn't know your history other than what I read in your profile. Good job.

Very few people seem to realize that being outnumbered by one's ideological opponents makes not one whit of difference where this process is concerned. Anyone with the intelligence to understand and the intestinal fortitude to pursue may make use of the process to great effect.

One should not be ignorant of the cost, though, or one will falter on the way. It will most likely make everyone mad at you and some will hate you (in Christian love, of course.)
The cost is exorbitant, and intentionally so by my estimation. Enough to bring many a faithful member to sore vexation and exhaustion. Whatever the motivation, the PCA appears often to be as professionally protectionist as the legal trade, albeit with far less intestinal fortitude and accountability than that fair guild, much to the detriment of the sheep within her fold.
 
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