Misdirected Apology?

Wes has posted Jeff Meyers’s apology. In that apology, Meyers apologizes for intemperate language in sometimes short, sarcastic sentences. I am somewhat puzzled by this. My question is this: why is he giving this apology to the Missouri Presbytery? Were these statements directed towards the MOP, or towards individual members of the MOP? I am not calling into question the sincerity of this apology by any means. I am just wondering whether Meyers is facing the right direction with this one. As the recipient of some of those short, sarcastic comments, I don’t feel apologized to.

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62 Comments

  1. RCUS Friend said,

    January 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Meyers may want to start with the RCUS:

    Message: 3
    Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 09:07:57 -0500
    From: “Jeffrey J. Meyers”
    Subject: Re: RCUS on NTW

    On Sep 20, 2005, at 8:38 AM, kbush@… wrote:

    Bishop Wright mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he had
    received the letter. I don’t know about a response.

    How do you respond to a holier-than-thou micro-denomination that
    believes you preach another Gospel? He’s got better things to do,
    IMHO. He shouldn’t throw his pearls into a pen of swine. Let the
    dead bury the dead.

    Jeff Meyers
    St. Louis
    PCA

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bbwarfield/message/21580

    When these comments became public, he said:

    Since the comments are now public I do not disown them. If I
    were making a public statement about the RCUS report I would indeed
    say much more and explain myself with greater care, but I doubt if I
    would say anything less that what I said on Wrightsaid. When I
    originally wrote that note I said that I had only glanced at the
    report, which meant that I had only read it once. Once was enough.
    Now that I’ve gone back and read it more carefully I have the same
    opinion: If NTW is going to respond to critics, and I believe he
    must, he ought to take the time to consider those critics who have
    made the honest, scholarly effort to understand him before casting
    stones. Responding to a report that is so evidently hostile and so
    narrow in its understanding of Reformed tradition would be a waste of
    time. When I first read through the report, the “grounds” given for
    their first recommendation made it evident to me that they neither
    understood NTW nor had they made the necessary effort to do so. And
    the tone of the report IMO is indeed holier than thou.

    Someone will no doubt now ask me the question that was asked earlier:
    why can’t I be as lenient with the RCUS as I am to Wright. There’s
    no double standard here. The reason is simple. The language and
    conclusions of the report are outrageously uncharitable to NTW. My
    assessment used strong language to point that out. Maybe it was too
    strong, too harsh, but it was designed to have a rhetorical effect,
    not a literal meaning. In other words, I am not at all suggesting
    that in every way the RCUS denomination or it’s ministers are
    “swine.” It’s the document and the way they have treated NTW in that
    document that is swine-like and doesn’t deserve a lengthy response.
    If NTW ever begins to treat other Christian ministers like the RCUS
    men have treated him – self-righteously anathematizing them on such
    flimsy pretexts – then my own criticisms of NTW will become more severe.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bbwarfield/message/21592

  2. Andrew Voelkel said,

    January 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    The document seems to answer your questions as to why he offered this apology and to whom it was directed.
    It says:
    “the committee requested TE Meyers to examine his heart and submit a formal written apology for his contributions to this toxic climate. In response to this request, TE Meyers humbly and thoughtfully submitted the following written apology to MOP (dated December 6, 2010), which is a confession of error for the part he played in the acrimonious discussion/debate”.

    Since the presbytery judged his apology to be a humble one, I doubt that it was written sarcastically. You may simply have read his words in the worst possible light.

    This post (and others I have recently read) are leading me to believe that “hurt feelings” are at the heart of this controversy, just as much as theological differences are. If that is the case, the controversy may be hard to resolve even if the theological problems can be resolved.

  3. TurretinFan said,

    January 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    “Since the presbytery judged his apology to be a humble one, I doubt that it was written sarcastically. You may simply have read his words in the worst possible light. ”

    LOL

    The apology letter says:

    I sometimes responded intemperately, especially when commenting on internet blogs and discussion lists. Most of these instances were short, sometimes sarcastic sentences typed out quickly without stopping to think about how they would be received.

    I don’t think the author of this blog post meant to say that apology was itself sarcastic, but rather that the apology was for “intemperate language in sometimes short, sarcastic sentences.”

    At least, I think you should give the author of this post the benefit of the doubt as to what “in sometimes short, sarcastic sentences” modifies.

    -TurretinFan

  4. Andrew Voelkel said,

    January 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks TurretinFan; I think you are correct. I must have been reading the post in the worst possible light. I certainly thought he was saying something he wasn’t. Apologies to poster on that reading/interpretation error.

  5. Methuselah said,

    January 16, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I don’t think the apology was directed at the MOP at all. I think it was directed at the offended parties. It was given to the MOP for the MOP to make official and public, and so that the presbytery could witness an act made toward reconciliation.

    I feel that Meyers is facing the right direction in this, and maybe we all should be less quick to suspect and more quick to forgive.

  6. Ken Pierce said,

    January 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    The fact that he considers the RCUS an irrelevant micro-denomination is telling, I think. It is not that. Micro-denominations tend to separate themselves over small particularities.

    The RCUS is the small, faithful remnant of the once-mighty German Reformed church, decimated in the aftermath (IMHO) of Schaff and Nevin.

  7. Kevin+ said,

    January 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Ken, FYI the denomination in question has no historic roots to the German reformed church. Rather it is a micro-denomination formed by (the actions of) Joe Moorecraft when he split with the PCA in the early 80’s. The immediate cause was (as Joe says) 6 day creationism. The climate in N GA was tense due to the Theonomic issue, however & that may have played a role.

  8. Kevin+ said,

    January 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Should have been clearer. The post by JM seems to refer to the RPCUS, not the RCUS & that is the direction that his comments seemed to be directed. Since the action in question in the WS group thread was the action of the RPCUS.

  9. Ken Pierce said,

    January 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Reformed Alphabet Soup confusion.

    How interesting, though, that the whole Alphabet has condemned FV with univocal voice, from the RPCUS to the RCUS!

  10. January 16, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    So can someone clarify for me, did Meyers offer his assessment of the porcine properties of the RCUS (The Reformed Church in the United States) or the RPCUS (the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States)?

  11. David said,

    January 17, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Must we assess the man’s apology too? His theology and every published word have been dissected on blogs. Must everything be analyzed for imperfections?

  12. Dean B said,

    January 17, 2011 at 10:19 am

    David

    I am sorry that you thought we were assessing TE Meyers apology. “Maybe the analysis was too strong, too harsh, but the analysis was designed to have a rhetorical effect, not a literal meaning.”

  13. January 17, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Andrew @ 2.

    “This post (and others I have recently read) are leading me to believe that “hurt feelings” are at the heart of this controversy, just as much as theological differences are. If that is the case, the controversy may be hard to resolve even if the theological problems can be resolved.”

    I think you’re absolutely right. It’s easy to say it’s about the “purity of the Gospel,” but when people are acting hurt and offended, it becomes clear that it touches much more – namely, man’s pride, denominational pride, institutional pride, and theological pride. And that goes for both sides of this controversy. I appreciate Meyers letter of apology. A good first step that both sides of this debate should follow.

  14. Benjamin P. Glaser said,

    January 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    The RPCUS condemned FV in June of 2002 after the 2002 Auburn Avenue Pastor’s Conference. The RCUS did not condemn it until 2009.

    So according to the timeline Rev. Myers must be speaking of Joe Morecraft’s group. Ironic considering the attempt by some to tie Theonomy to FV by GBA.

  15. Darrell Todd Maurina said,

    January 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    If the posts have been quoted correctly in both places … read the “if” carefully … it means Rev. Meyers did not take the time to know which denomination he was criticizing.

    Granted, by the standards of some in the PCA, both the RPCUS and the RCUS are tiny. More importantly, the RCUS has a very long theological history, it’s been in existence as a de facto separate denomination for most of the last century, and since the UCC merger with the E&R has unquestionably been a separate body, and it is therefore at least arguably less worthy of the “microdenomination” tag than the RPCUS. Furthermore, Rev. Meyers, unlike some in the PCA “big steeple” churches, can be expected to understand that size is not the only measure of relevance.

    We’ve all made mistakes, including slips of the pen or typos on the keyboard. It would be a truly sad turn of events if a typo more than five years ago contributed in any significant measure to this uproar.

  16. January 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Daniel, re #13,

    So, to whom to you think that Meyers was apologizing? To MOP? To Redskins fans? I’m still not sure. I agree with Lane that it certainly doesn’t seem to be directed towards those against whom he directed the previous intemperate language and hostility.

    For the record, for the 29 signers of the LOC (I think that I can speak for all in this one regard) this is about preserving the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, and all to God’s glory alone. It has nothing to do with hurt feelings on our part. But I understand how it makes good press in Moscow by deflecting the real issues.

  17. Bryan Peters said,

    January 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Rev. Myers was referring to the Reformed Church in the United States, the remnant of the German Reformed Church. In May of 2005, they adopted the Report of the Special Committee to Study the New Perspective on Paul. At the Synod’s direction, the clerk sent a copy of the report to N.T. Wright with a exhortation to repent of his errors. The report is available here: http://www.crcchico.com/covenant/npp.pdf

  18. Reed Here said,

    January 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I’m not going to argue an “ought” here. Instead I want to suggest an action consistent with brotherly love.

    If you’ve been offended by Rev. Meyer’s comments at some point or another, here is a chance to see this covered by the Blood. Rev. Meyers, for whatever shortcomings you may feel it has, has nevertheless offered a sincere apology based on the merits of Christ. (No one point out that he’d word this differently; not significant for my point here.)

    Take him up on his apology. Contact him, clarify with him, seek to be at whatever peace you can with your brother.

    Then, IMO, it would be a more appropriate time to criticize his apology’s shortcomings.

    If there still are valid disagreements with Rev. Meyer’s theology to be noted, spending a lot of time on this particular sub point is not all that important to that task. Maybe we could drop the speculations here? It is a tad unseemly.

  19. Andrew Voelkel said,

    January 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Clarification & Suggestion —

    By speaking of “hurt feelings” I do not mean pettiness, nor do I mean to minimize the seriousness of the debate. When we (people made in God’s image) are treated poorly, we often experience a righteous anger; and that righteous anger, if not dealt with through forgiving the perpetrator, can lead us to sin against the person who has sinned against us. That is my experience at least, and that is what I believe is complicating this theological controversy.

    And since it is easier to forgive when we have received an apology, some of the players in these debates may still need to contact Jeff personally to discuss grievances (per Reed above). The apology in the Report simply seems to be an apology to Meyer’s Presbytery, which is an appropriate body to apologize to in a matter like this. Others who deserve an apology may be getting one; but we shouldn’t expect to find those apologies in the one he submitted to his Presbytery.

  20. curate said,

    January 18, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Reed, your email is no longer current. Please email me.

  21. rcjr said,

    January 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Gents,
    Some of you may be aware of the leaked contents of a discussion on Bib Horizons about my views on fv. (Ironic, isn’t it, that my fv friends are yelling at me for not being fv while my non-fv friends have constantly accused me of being fv, but that’s better put in the guilt by association thread). Just wanted to let you know, for what it’s worth, when that discussion was first leaked I received a gracious and thorough apology from Jeff. If I recall correctly, I received a few such apologies, from others who were skewering me on their back stoop. My experience is that it is better to accept apologies rather than dissect them.

  22. Reed Here said,

    January 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Amen.

  23. JWT said,

    January 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    RCJR: I couldn’t agree more, however this post does not dissect anyone’s apology; it asks to whom Meyers apologized: “I am just wondering whether Meyers is facing the right direction with this one. As the recipient of some of those short, sarcastic comments, I don’t feel apologized to.”

    You predicate your point on acceptance: “My experience is that it is better to accept apologies rather than dissect them.” But you cannot accept an apology that no gave you just as you cannot dissect something that you do not posses.

    In this instance TE Meyers apologized to his presbytery for offences that he committed against others instead of apologizing to the parties whom he offended, which in this case includes the entire Reformed blogosphere.

  24. David Gray said,

    January 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    >>In this instance TE Meyers apologized to his presbytery for offences that he committed against others instead of apologizing to the parties whom he offended, which in this case includes the entire Reformed blogosphere.

    I daresay there are many Reformed bloggers who don’t feel the need for an apology from Meyers.

  25. rcjr said,

    January 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    JWT,

    Fair enough. I was referring to my own desire not to dissect the apology I received from Jeff. If the accusation is, “He only apologized to the presbytery, not to those on the receiving end of his vitriol” then it is at least false on my account. And I don’t know how I would know if he personally apologized to others that he had wronged. If I yell at my wife and children, and apologize to my wife that doesn’t mean I haven’t or won’t apologize to my children. I should note also that when that snippet of bib horizons dealing with me came out, not a single member of the many in the Reformed blogopshere that had also falsely accused me of embracing fv sent me an apology. Not one, including people who regularly comment here.

  26. greenbaggins said,

    January 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    RC, I don’t know about an apology, but I think I remember asking you about it in private, and you explained that you were not FV. Am I remembering correctly here?

  27. greenbaggins said,

    January 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I should reiterate here that I am not questioning Meyers’s sincerity or motives. I made that plain, I trust, in the post. I am merely pointing out that apology by proxy is not apology. I am just asking whether he really needs to apologize to his Presbytery. Did he offend his Presbytery? I tend to doubt it. I intend no sarcasm, no second-guessing of motives, or anything of that sort. I am merely asking if this step was necessary. A blanket apology on his blog or something like that would certainly count as “facing the right direction.”

  28. rcjr said,

    January 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I’m not sure Lane, but I do know I have no memory of you making an fv accusation toward me. I have often commended you for your care on this issue. Nor am I perturbed at you that some of your guests have been so free with the accusation against me. The only apologies I’m still hoping for are from all those who recklessly accused me of being fv to begin with. They should have known better to begin with. If they ever read the fv guys calling me names, that should have settled it once and for all.

  29. Mark Horne said,

    January 19, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Hey, Lane, it’s up to you but I volunteer the opinion that I’m reading some pretty harsh claims about another man’s moral character in some comments (especially #XX).

    I know you think I’ve crossed this line sometimes, and you may decide I’m wrong in this case, but I ask you to consider Bob’s value to your blog.

    Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I’m sorry to bother you.

  30. January 19, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Mark,

    Apparently one of the other mods took care of the situation, but that left your comment as the # that you highlighted as particularly problematic. I changed that number to XX so it doesn’t look like you are critiquing yourself. :-)

  31. January 19, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Lane,

    Your #27 says it for me as well. Not a question of sincerity, but rather of targeting. That’s using a judgment of charity towards Meyers in this matter. There are other possibilities as well.

  32. JWT said,

    January 19, 2011 at 8:24 am

    RCJR:

    “I should note also that when that snippet of bib horizons dealing with me came out, not a single member of the many in the Reformed blogopshere that had also falsely accused me of embracing fv sent me an apology. Not one, including people who regularly comment here.”

    If you are not FV, then I’m not sure why you think someone needs to apologize to you because according to your federation FV is perfectly orthodox and within the bounds of Westminster. However, if you, like your father, believe that FV is not within the Reformed pale, I certainly understand why you would take offense.

    That said, I am not aware of anyone who has accused you of being FV, though I know multitudes who believe that the CREC is the de facto home of the Federal Vision and, strangely enough, who also believe that the CREC is the de facto home of self-ordained ministers, lawfully deposed ministers, and ministers seeking asylum from legitimate church discipline. And it just so happens that the discipline being fled is always FV related or else scandalous abuse of office, such as you and your session committed. In both cases, however, it’s a form of corruption — doctrinal corruption or personal corruption.

    So, speaking for myself, when I see someone join the CREC, as you did, it’s just easier for me to say, “He’s FV,” which in my shorthand simply means “He’s corrupt.”

    Do you think it’s possible that I am not alone in my conclusion?

  33. rcjr said,

    January 19, 2011 at 8:46 am

    JWT,
    There are a few questionable factual statements in your response here. Among them, though such is not an exhaustive list, is that the CREC has declared fv within the pale. The CREC never declared any such thing. Second is that corrupt and fv are in some way synonyms. If these terms are synonymous, I suggest we should all confess to being fv, since we are all corrupt. To suggest that it is fair to accuse me of being fv because of unrelated sins of mine is precisely the kind of sloppy thinking that concerns me.

  34. Ken Pierce said,

    January 19, 2011 at 8:53 am

    First, the whole apology thing –please, people. Man up. Jeff Meyers doesn’t have to apologize to me for sharp comments. I mean, read the church fathers, read Calvin, and Luther. We live in a wimpish age.

    I was so grateful when Dr. Sproul, Sr., as a lone voice, and to much ridicule, got up on the floor of the Memphis GA (something which is very out of character for him) and called the FV out for what it is. The impertinence of one of our foremost theologians daring to call for us to defend the gospel! How gauche!

    Second, let’s function in reality. Dr. Sproul, Jr. says thee CREC has not declared FV within the pale. It has examined probably the chief FV proponent and found him within the pale. It has received Steve Wilkins as within the pale. Peter Leithart is planting a church within the pale. This is a distinction without a difference. The CREC clearly regards the FV as very much within its pale.

    And just to note, I am not accusing R. C. Sproul, Jr. of any FV sympathies.

  35. JWT said,

    January 19, 2011 at 9:14 am

    RCJR:

    You misquoted me. I did not say “the CREC has declared fv within the pale.” I wrote, “according to your federation FV is perfectly orthodox and within the bounds of Westminster.”

    If this statement is not correct, then can you please correct it.

  36. rcjr said,

    January 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

    JWT,
    I’m sorry but I’m not seeing the distinction. What is contained in “fv is within the pale” that is not contained in “perfectly orthodox”? Or is the distinction between “declared” and “according to your federation”? If the latter, I’m not sure how the same charge could not be made against the PCA. That an institution, especially a confederation as opposed to a denomination, contains men, who are ordained by their local churches, who believe x, doesn’t mean the confederation itself has determined x to be a good thing. I doubt many of us would want to suggest that Dr. Piper is an open theist because his association of churches includes Greg Boyd. And for the record, the CREC is not my federation. The church I planted in Virginia is a part of the CREC, but I am no longer a member of that church, having moved to Orlando a year ago. That said, happy to be corrected and to correct, if a. I can come to understand how I misquoted and more difficultly, b. if I can figure out how to edit comments.

  37. Ken Pierce said,

    January 19, 2011 at 9:44 am

    There are those of us in the PCA actively opposing the FV. Is that true in the CREC?

    That Piper does it is not in itself an argument, but it does bear pointing out that Baptist churches are congregational, not connectional, properly speaking.

    What is more, local churches do not ordain pastors in the PCA, presbyteries do.

    Subtle, but very important, distinctions.

  38. JWT said,

    January 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

    RCJR:

    I didn’t know you moved, thanks for the correction. Where is your membership?

    Yes, the latter. I never said the CREC “declared” anything. I observed that the CREC is the de facto home of the FV and that according to CREC the FV is perfectly within the pale of orthodoxy. They have not declared as much; they have just acted according to the principle. This is just my observation.

    The PCA, however, has declared FV outside the bounds of its constitution and is in process of smoking out FVists who, to a man, insists that their novelties are consistent with Westminster and who, to a man, invariably land in the CREC — the de facto home of the FV.

  39. rcjr said,

    January 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

    That’s absolutely right Ken. I’m with you 100%- subtle but important distinctions, that seem to be lost on some who argue that the CREC is fv. Given the polity of the CREC, what would it look like for someone therein to “actively oppose” fv? Federations, like Baptist churches, are also congregational, not connectional, properly speaking. Federations, like Baptist churches, ordain men at the local church level as well. Critics can fault the CREC for being a federation and not connectional all they wish. But they shouldn’t can’t convict the whole for what parts have done or believed.

  40. rcjr said,

    January 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

    JWT,
    Though I’m confident it won’t solve the over-arching problem, I hope you can see, while our posts crossed in cyberspace, how I would reply. To suggest that the CREC considers fv within the pale of orthodoxy is rather problematic given its polity. Though the CREC hasn’t declared anything about fv I’ll concede the obvious- there are certainly a great many connections as you point out. But when that in turn becomes reason to convict a man in the CREC it becomes the fallacy of division. There are many churches and ordained men in the CREC who like me self-consciously and publicly disagree with fv.
    As for me, my membership is at Saint Andrews here in Sanford, and my ordination is with the Covenant Presbyterian Church.

  41. JWT said,

    January 19, 2011 at 10:27 am

    RCJR:

    I don’t want to derail this thread any more than I have already, but the CREC Constitution represents its assemblies as presbyteries, even though it is technically a confederation. So if there’s any confusion on this point, let’s be clear about the reason for it.

    The fallacy of division is irrelevant to my point that the CREC is the de facto home of the FV. If the Federalis don’t appreciate this fact, then it behooves them to remove the FV from their ranks. Unfortunately, this is not possibly because as you note, their polity does not permit them to function as presbyterians. Why then do they call their assemblies presbyteries. Oh silly me, it’s called the fallacy of equivocation.

    But I’m curious why you believe people owe you an apology for mistakenly calling you FV, even though you assembled as a presbytery in the de facto home of the FV.

  42. David Gray said,

    January 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

    >But I’m curious why you believe people owe you an apology for mistakenly calling you FV, even though you assembled as a presbytery in the de facto home of the FV.

    Because making inaccurate statements about others is reason for apology if you are a man.

  43. rcjr said,

    January 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

    JWT,
    I have not quibbled with your statement of the CREC as the de facto home. In fact I conceded the many connections. I have argued, however, that anyone who then concludes that all men who are ordained in churches that are in the CREC are therefore guilty of believing fv is guilty of the fallacy of division, and also guilty of slandering or libeling (sorry, can’t remember which is which). When I went into the CREC I was not required to a. affirm anything besides the WCF b. ordain anyone who believed in fv c. affirm that fv was within the pale. I certainly noticed that there were fv people around (though one could argue that when I went it there were far more recognizable fv names in the pca than the crec). Lusk, Barach, and Wilkins all came in after I was in. None of them were brought into my “presbytery” in which I served. Again brother, fault the CREC for calling these things presbyteries. I agree with you. Fault them for being congregational. I agree with you. Fault those churches and presbyteries that allowed in fv guys. I agree with you. Fault those who actually believe in fv. I agree with you. On the issues I agree with you. Which is why I don’t like being accused of believing this stuff. And don’t like the defense, “Hey, he was in the CREC. Who could possibly blame us?” It is just false and sloppy to conclude that CREC equals FV. I am living proof of that.
    Thanks for the conversation. I hope its been helpful for some.

  44. Ken Pierce said,

    January 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

    David,

    Real men need no apologies.

    If that’s not a line from True Grit, it should have been.

    I wonder if St. Nicholas ever apologized for busting Arius in the mouth?

  45. David Gray said,

    January 19, 2011 at 10:44 am

    >Real men need no apologies.

    True but real men do make apologies.

  46. JWT said,

    January 19, 2011 at 11:25 am

    RCJR:

    Do you really believe that calling a person FV is defamatory?

  47. January 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

    JWT,

    It is inaccurate if they aren’t, and the FV label does carry implications in orthodox Reformed denominations. Shouldn’t we strive for accuracy? Is God glorified by any error we make? We all make a multitude of mistakes, but we should strive by the Spirit’s power to be as accurate as possible.

  48. David Gray said,

    January 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    >> Shouldn’t we strive for accuracy? Is God glorified by any error we make? We all make a multitude of mistakes, but we should strive by the Spirit’s power to be as accurate as possible.

    Amen.

  49. Jeff Cagle said,

    January 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Ken (#44):

    I wonder if Luther ever apologized for telling Zwingli, “You have a different spirit!” at Marburg.

  50. Jeff Cagle said,

    January 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Just to defend RCJR a bit: I know of at least one pastor in the CREC who is positively anti-FV.

  51. rcjr said,

    January 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    JWT,

    If I believe FV to be in error, and I do, and I believe it a bad thing to believe error, and I do, then it would seem to follow that to be called fv is in fact defammatory. Am I misunderstanding the question?

  52. Darrell Todd Maurina said,

    January 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Jeff Cagle said in 50 on January 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm: “Just to defend RCJR a bit: I know of at least one pastor in the CREC who is positively anti-FV.”

    Why is he pastoring in the CREC?

    I know people who years ago liked the CREC’s view of church government or were very much attracted to classical Christian education. I can think of several former Congregational pastors who ended up in the PCA who seriously considered the CREC many years ago, and I can see why such people may have joined the CREC prior to the FV controversy. However, it seems that CREC has long since become identified with much more than those two issues.

    I can understand being a member of a local CREC church if it’s the only Reformed church in the area, but I’m not sure how (or perhaps better, why) someone who is positively anti-FV would be able to effectively pastor in the CREC.

    Remember, you’re not talking do a jure divino Presbyterian here. I get the church government issue that elders are responsible for shepherding their own sheep, not sheep in someone else’s church, and that the test of ecclesiastical fellowship between churches is lower than for local church membership. That’s not my point.

    Maybe some of the CREC people here could enlighten us on why they believe the CREC should not be viewed as a de facto Federal Visionist denomination?

  53. Jeff Cagle said,

    January 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    DTM: A congregation calls, and there it is.

  54. JWT said,

    January 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Bob:

    I agree that accuracy is critical; I asked the question, however, to make the following point:

    If I accidently described you as a retired US Army lieutenant, hopefully you would not believe that I defamed you. My inaccuracy would have been an honest mistake (assuming I didn’t know better) based upon my ignorance of your rank and uniform. But if I described you as a jihadi soldier for al Qaeda, you would be justified if you believed I defamed you.

    However, if you once wore a US uniform while you were also an active member of al Qaeda and I described you as a jihadi, then I really don’t care if you say, “Hey, I retired from the US forces,” because that’s beside the point. You were in the camp; you joined forces with Allah’s jihadis against the US. You prayed with them and you watched, if you did not actively participate, as they waged war against the US.

    This is just my opinion, but if RCJR takes offense at someone mistakenly calling him FV, then I believe it’s his problem. If he doesn’t like the FV, great, I’m happy to hear it. Then again, if he’s so opposed to it to the point that he believes the name is slander, then he shouldn’t have joined the CREC in the first place.

  55. January 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    JWT,

    I think that rcjr addressed the issue nicely in #51. I just think that if we truly believe WSC and WLC Q&A #1, then I don’t see how you can defend your position. rcjr laid out his beliefs relative to FV here as he has elsewhere for a few years. If we believe him, and I do because he lives up to his words in this regard, then game over. If we were wrong in our assumptions relative to rcjr and FV, we should admit as much and glorify God through our humility.

  56. rcjr said,

    January 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    JWT,
    Brother, I’m afraid as I noted before that you have your facts wrong. I have had to repent for any number of sins. Failure to submit to the discipline of the RPCGA is not one of them. Having been disciplined, and having submitted to that discipline, and having repented, I was freely and genuinely released from the jurisdiction of the RPCGA, by the RPCGA. If you want to call that fleeing lawful church discipline, go right ahead. It makes as much sense as convicting me of fv for those things for which I had to repent. I’m not particularly excited to rehash those difficult days over the internet. But once again, your post reduces down to-” Because of those difficult events, you are no good, and any stick is good enough to beat you with. That it didn’t fit makes no difference at all. You deserve it.” The truth is I deserve far worse, but not from you.

  57. January 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    JWT – One of the other mods beat me to pulling your last comment. I missed it originally because we cross-posted. Your last comment was way off topic and a personal attack against a fellow commenter. Please refrain from further such comments. All are welcome to post here as long as they follow the rules. Thank you for your cooperation.

    rcjr – I apologize for missing the offending comment a few minutes ago. I have been trying to keep up with the discussion this afternoon as I am able. Thank you for coming to GreenBaggins and engaging in open discussion with this community. You continue to be welcome here.

  58. January 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    (2Sa 16:5) And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came.

    (2Sa 16:6) And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.

    (2Sa 16:7) And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:

    (2Sa 16:8) The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.

    (2Sa 16:9) Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.

    (2Sa 16:10) And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?

    May we all understand that it sucks not being a man above reproach. We all also should desire to have a good name. After all it reflects upon the Lord.

    I hate it when others don’t protect the name and reputation of our brethren. May we have good men on our side as David did. But may we also have a heart as David did.

    I have a question. Why would anyone want to tied into so much leaven as the CREC has? That is dumb founding.

  59. AJ said,

    January 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Paul said to christians in Corinth, “Now I beseech you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be PERFECTLY JOINED perfectly joined together in the SAME MIND AND IN THE SAME JUDGMENT.” (1 Cor 1:10)

    The Church is ONE (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13, CCC 813-822)
    Jesus established only ONE Church, not a collection of differing churches. The Bible says the Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23-32). Jesus can have but ONE spouse that has the ability to decide, make and pass a judgment to settle a dispute:

    Matthew 18:17

    Jesus said, ” if he refuses to listen even to the CHURCH, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (anathemized)

    His Church also teaches just ONE set of BELIEFS and doctrines, which must be the same as those taught by the apostles (Jude 3). This is the unity of belief to which Scripture calls us (Phil. 1:27, 2:2: John 17:11,1 Cor 1:10)

    Peace

  60. Robert Berman said,

    January 20, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Granted that Scripture is replete with balancing truths, this is one side of the coin:

    “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
    And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.” (Prov 19:11)

  61. Bryan Peters said,

    January 20, 2011 at 8:38 am

    In the case of the RCUS comments, we’re not just talking about a blogwar between two individuals. Instead, we have a PCA minister who has referred to an entire Reformed denomination as a “pen of swine.” That sounds like an ecclesiastical pronouncement upon the spiritual state of the RCUS that merits a specific apology if the MO presbytery values Reformed ecumenism.

  62. Jeremy Bunch said,

    January 22, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Well, I realize I’m a little bit late to the discussion here. Fridays are my days to catch up with FV gossip on the internet. While I usually shy away from posting like this, the temptation to add something worthwhile was too great. But you’ve asked for a little CREC perspective to this discussion (#52), so here goes.

    First, R.C. Jr. is one of the humblest men I’ve met. I know of very few other men who have a more profound understanding of the depths of the doctrine of total depravity because he is not afraid to expresses that doctrine personally, and when combined with his Reformed understanding of grace, we have something very genuine and edifying. We need a lot more men like that.

    Second, unless R.C. Jr. has changed his views, after an intense, yet cordial, discussion/debate with him over FV issues, we FVers are at worst Lutheran in parts of our theology (I would hold to what you would call FV). Whether or not that cuts us out of the Reformed camp entirely is debatable at best. Whether or not that cuts us out of the fold entirely is a ridiculous assertion that I would grant R.C. Jr. would also see as ridiculous. It should be noted that some anti-Fvers would hint that we are.

    Third, the CREC is not the “official” home of FV, as TE Brian Carpenter purported on Wes White’s blog a few days ago. It would appear that R.C. Jr. is making the same point here. The CREC may be an unofficial denomination that is friendly to FV homesteaders, but that is different than being “official.” To my knowledge there are pastors within the CREC, including R.C. Jr who was previously in the denomination, who do not agree with FV theology, generally speaking. Yet there are some who recognize the validity of FV views as being within the realm of Reformed theology. Just so you know, we view y’all as being within the reformed realm.

    Finally, I think it is very clear that Pastor Meyers was charged to look back and examine his own actions of the last several years that relate to this debate. It seems very apparent that his apology was genuine, and the nature of its communication appears to extend to all, internet community and all. Continue to disagree with his theology if you will, but reading it as I did, you should all feel, including you Green Baggins, as if a brother genuinely asked you for forgiveness.

    One more – if the FV matters clearly are a hot topic that continues amidst our communities, that is proof that the debate is still alive and well. Anti FVer claims that ecclesiastical means have settled this debate once and for all is certainly not reflected by the tone of these blogs. Pastor Wilson has most recently invited R. Scott Clark to a debate on some of these matters yet again.

    Blessings,
    Jeremy


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