Niceness or Love?

Among members of the PCA, there is a huge dissatisfaction with how blogs are run today. Lack of love, harshness, unfounded accusations, and many like things are par for the course, they say. There is certainly an element of truth to this. Many people do not exercise self-control in what they say on the internet, because it is more anonymous. They say things to another person or about another person, which they would probably not say if that person were standing there in front of them. This is a large problem on blogs, and I certainly cannot claim that my blog (including my own statements) has been immune from this problem.

However, there is another side to this question, that raised by the title of the post. Most of the people I have seen talk about this issue are confusing niceness and love. By the former term, I mean never saying anything harsh towards someone else. By the latter, I mean seeking the best interests of the other person in an unselfish way. These are not the same things! Let me demonstrate from the actions of Jesus, surely one of the best places to go in examining this question.

Jesus used the proverbial carrot or the stick, depending on the audience. If He was talking to sheep, or to the disciples, or to ignorant Gentiles, He typically used the carrot (though He addressed His dense disciples on occasion with somewhat sarcastic harshness, and Peter once with downright non-sarcastic harshness). He was patiently instructing them about Himself, and about salvation in Him. When He was talking to the wolves (the scribes and the Pharisees), He wasn’t “nice” but rather quite harsh. If Jesus were to blog today about FV guys and use the words “whitewashed tombs,” would He fall foul of the niceness police? He probably would. But would anyone dare to accuse His words against the Pharisees of being unloving? I would hope not. He was loving the sheep by protecting them! It is possible to be loving and yet harsh. This does not compute with the niceness police of today. It is not even a possibility, if you read some accounts. Again, I am not panning exhortations to patience, kindness, politeness or anything else. Those are excellent and wonderful things. What I am doing is saying that there are wolves about, and we should not be “nice” to the wolves. If we are, matters will result in fully satisfied, content, sheep-filled wolves. We will “nice” the wolves straight to the dinner table full of lamb chops. Unless the niceness police wish to deny that there are any wolves about whatsoever, they need to be more discerning about distinguishing the audience. At the very least, they could extend the benefit of the doubt, the judgment of charity, towards those who believe they are addressing wolf problems, and not impute wrongful motivations to bloggers who are trying to protect sheep from the depredations of wolves. Instead, the least harshness, the least lack of niceness, is automatically judged to be from the devil, and lacking completely in the fruit of the Spirit.

One last thing I would ask the niceness police. Is it possible for a teaching elder to be in good standing in the PCA and be a wolf at the same time? Does being in good standing require niceness from everyone else? If so, I could complain about treatment I have received from the FV guys, and others in the PCA. I am not going to do so, however, because defending the sheep means getting scratched by the wolves. What I notice, however, is that the niceness police never slap the wolves’ hands when they take a swipe at confessional ministers in the PCA, if those confessional ministers have been outspoken against liberal creep in the PCA. Something to ponder.

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61 Comments

  1. Concerned PCAer said,

    July 2, 2013 at 10:53 am

    You asked: “Is it possible for a teaching elder to be in good standing in the PCA and be a wolf at the same time?”

    Let me ask this a little differently: How does one affirm the vow to “promise to be zealous and faithful in maintaining the truths of the Gospel and the purity and peace and unity of the Church, whatever persecution or opposition may arise unto you on that account?” and thus in no uncertain terms denounce a fellow ordained PCA minister who is in “good standing,” who has been exonerated of false teaching by the courts of the church, as a “false teacher” and a “wolf” and denounce his teaching as damning to the soul if believed, and for this to be consistent with the vow: “Do you approve of the form of government and discipline of the Presbyterian Church in America, in conformity with the general principles of Biblical polity?” and “Do you promise subjection to your brethren in the Lord?” What happens if (and when) these vows are finally and irrevocably in conflict?

  2. July 2, 2013 at 11:18 am

    […]   —Lane Keister, Niceness Or Love? […]

  3. greenbaggins said,

    July 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Jared, the answer is really quite simple: leave. I will not be staying in the PCA for much longer, I think.

  4. July 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

    It does seem like “niceness” is a decidedly one-way street. (If one is faced with being “nice” or defending the doctrine of justification by faith alone, it would be “nice” if he chose the latter.)

    And if courts or councils err (and they do err), it does not promote the peace and purity of the church for a reaching elder(s) to sit idly by and say nothing about it.

    And peace is far more than the absence of conflict, otherwise we would have no purpose for church discipline or the courts of the church.

  5. July 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Edit: “teaching elder”

  6. Jason Van Bemmel said,

    July 2, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I believe one can affirm support for the form of government and discipline of the PCA while disagreeing vehemently with the decisions reached by her courts. I believe true unity must be based on truth and a commitment to a common confession, so I believe such a commitment requires openly condemning false teaching, even when it is being taught by a PCA TE in good standing. Open and honest and non-anonymous or secretive debate and disagreement,even protest, is right and proper. What is not right and proper is smiling and being nice while plotting in secret to undermine and overthrow a brother or a group of brethren in good standing.

  7. Justin said,

    July 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    It seems as though those who would defend orthodoxy are expected to remain silent or risk being “an unloving meanie.” It seems as though this is true in denominations and, on a larger scale, in societies as well.

    This is similar to what happened to Presbyterianism in America not all that long ago, IMO. It just might be happening again.

  8. Frank Aderholdt said,

    July 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Much has been written about the “wussification” of our nation. There’s a parallel to that in the church. “Plain speaking” is equated to a lack of love. Calling a thing what it is, is considered overly harsh. A go-along-to-get-along, peace-at-any-price approach is the very essence of love.

    The default setting of many Christians seems to be suspicion toward anyone who sounds a trumpet blast of warning. Smile and take it all, and you’re fine. You may even be rewarded with plum Committee assignments. Speak out with prophetic (Word-based) judgment, and you need to be silenced.

    You’re right on the mark, Lane: The PUBLIC scolding of other men in the PCA by GA Moderators, denominational officials, and official publications (byFaith magazine) is almost 100% directed to “conservatives” and confessional men. Several of us can testify that byFaith regularly censors comments contrary to the party line.

    The circling of the wagons occurs at astonishing speed when, for example, a celebrity urban pastor is questioned concerning some of his public statements, or a seminary professor is criticized for some of his writings. Let one young feller (or a senior citizen like me) write one little sentence that’s less that perfectly gracious, however, and you’d think the blogs are seething with hate speech.

    Solution? Keep doing what we’re doing. Strive to be a model of accuracy and Christian charity wedded to an uncompromising stand for the truth. And, as annoying as it may be to the Powers That Be who paint with a broad brush, keep asking, “Exactly what are you talking about? Be specific. Examples, please.”

  9. Frank Aderholdt said,

    July 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    By the way, it’s always been like this in the PCA. The ink was barely dry on the signatures from the first General Assembly in 1973, when The Presbyterian Journal (not an official publication) turned its sights on those wicked “TR’s.” In fact, in some ways the criticisms today are more subtle and indirect than in the 1970’s. You’re free to call that progress if you wish.

  10. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    July 2, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Excellent post, Lane!!

    “I will not be staying in the PCA for much longer, I think.”

    Wow. Praying for you and your family as you are Pastor, Provider, and Protector of your family. Godspeed to you.

  11. tominaz said,

    July 2, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Fran & Lane – your comments are right on. We were definitely “scolded” by the retiring moderator’s sermon at GA; so much so that my wife and I questioned whether we could go to worship on Wednesday and Thursday – we were happily surprised and blessed. Lane, there are number of us like you – waiting and watching. I give it to next year’s GA; let’s see what overtures arise @ the power of the SJC and quashing dissent and minority reports. and what kind of mischief the others seek to perpetrate.

  12. james jordan said,

    July 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    When the PCA ceases to be Calvinist, where will you guys go next, the SBC?

  13. Sean Gerety said,

    July 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    And speaking of wolves. Perfect timing Jimmy. Still envisioning taking another stab at a neo-legalist cult like the one in Tyler. Tx? Oh, yeah, it’s called the CREC. My bad.

  14. July 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    […] the wall says. Following a series of disappointing outcomes at the 41st PCA General Assembly, one confessional minister (Teaching Elder or TE in PCA terms) has suggested that he may not be in the PCA much longer. […]

  15. james jordan said,

    July 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Interesting. I just learned of the existence of this James B. Jordan theonomist character in the last few days when someone else on here mistook me for him. Now I’m learning he’s involved with CREC, and CREC is apparently related to FV. Well, when the PCA stops being Calvinist, I guess you now have another option besides joining the hostile takeover of the SBC.

  16. July 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Lane – I ask you to hold out until the October SJC meeting. If the SJC heeds the presbyteries and takes up the Leithart case, and if some of the procedural revisions that I and others are working pass next GA, there will still be hope.

  17. Reed Here said,

    July 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    James: you continue to demonstrate you are criticizing what you don’t know. I expect if you hit the pause button and did a bit more learning on what you seek to criticize, you might find some who will take up your challenge.

    Please, abide this moderator’s request that you make comments relevant to the topic of the post. If you continue your veiled (and uninformed) diatribe against Calvinism in every comment then I’m just going to trash all your comments.

  18. Greg said,

    July 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Bob, we’ve also got the Myers case. Is it still possible to get that to October SJC?

  19. greenbaggins said,

    July 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Bob, I am not leaving immediately. Indeed, there are quite a lot of things that would have to happen first, the SJC case being only one of them.

  20. July 2, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Greg,

    Not on this round. There was no overture to have the SJC retry that case. That may yet come, though. Or, charges could be brought on bases that weren’t used in the first trial. First, though, we have to get the Meyers trial out of MO Presbytery to the SJC. The fat lady definitely hasn’t sung on these guys’ errant teachings.

  21. andrew said,

    July 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Can I make a friendly comment, albeit from someone who know relatively little of the denominational scene in the US?

    Please, please do not, for more than 30 seconds, consider a new denomination, or an independent congregation. I don’t get the impression this is being much considered, but just in case …

    Splintering is is a great weakness of Presbyterian churches in the UK: there is virtually no concept of church unity at all, other than some ‘spiritual’ variety. Recently, some Church of Scotland congregations have left over the issue of homosexuality, and one admires their bravery. But rather than affiliate with some other denomination (there are half a dozen conservative Presbyterian denominations in Scotland, each boasting about ten members in each congregation), so far they just go off on their own, oblivious to the demands of unity.

  22. Greg said,

    July 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Re: #8 “Several of us can testify that byFaith regularly censors comments contrary to the party line.”

    Add one more person to that list.

  23. July 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    RE #8 & #22,

    Another +1. I have one from just the other day. No emotion, just facts, but apparently inconvenient facts.

  24. July 2, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I appreciate Bob’s and Lane’s forthrightness on these issues and Amen! to Lane on “niceness.”

    I agree with those who are exhorting confessionalists to use established processes/procedures. Process and procedure is good. As lower case p presbyterian and capital R Reformed minister, I’m committed to a certain degree of inefficiency in the defense of truth and justice. Good policy is intended to protect the truth and righteousness. Were the Lord interested in efficiency, he would have instituted episcopacy but he did not.

    Not all ecclesiastical/institutional processes, however, are created equal. Over time, institutions can develop bad procedures for a variety of sometimes good reasons. Institutions respond to concrete situations by creating new laws/policies. Case law and policies pile up and before we know it, we have our own canon law unintentionally impeding the work of the church in defending the gospel.

    As the confessionalists in the PCA assess their position and the way forward the first thing they must do is set priorities. They must be churchly and churchmen, as Lane and Bob (and others) are saying but churchmen must put the Word and the gospel first.

  25. tominaz said,

    July 3, 2013 at 10:33 am

    #8, #22, #23 + 1 more

  26. tominaz said,

    July 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    #24 Dr. Clark,
    I’m not certain, particularly after GA 41, that the PCA is a “deliberative body.”

  27. July 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    On controversial issues, we no longer deliberate. Rather, secret political parties maneuver to avoid or bypass deliberation and fix votes.

  28. Bill Campbell said,

    July 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    In #1, Concerned PCAer said, “…who has been exonerated of false teaching by the courts of the church,…”
    May I point out that that is inaccurate, that Leithart and Meyers have been exonerated by only their respective presbyteries? The recent SJC decision re Leithart did not address the substance of the issue, only whether the prosecution at PNWP had proved it’s case. The decision was that it hadn’t. Leithart’s actual views have yet to be examined by GA (or a commission of same), let alone exonerated.
    The first GA I attended was the 14th in Philadelphia. The moderator was Frank Barker, the stated clerk was Morton Smith. I recall that someone giving a report (I believe it was Jack Williamson) asked the moderator for help in perfecting a motion. The clerk and the moderator gave assistance. It seems to me that there is considerable concern re Leithart in the PCA, and it’s no secret. (Perhaps not a majority, but certainly a large minority.) Where, I ask, is the help is getting the fundamental issues addressed? I sincerely hope that we see more progress than the issue being ruled out of order, or referred to a committee/commission that refuses to take it up. October should be an interesting month.

  29. Jared said,

    July 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Bill Cammpbell:

    From the SJC’s ruling, upholding the Presbytery’s action, notice the approving language of the SJC calling Leithart’s views a matter of “semantics” and declaring they can be “in conformity to the Standards.” The declaration of “nonendorsement” at the end means that they do not believe Leithart’s doctrines (they are not Federal Visionists themselves), but as far as what is in the Record of the Case (The book The Baptized Body, the Leithart’s various statements from the trial, etc), we must conclude that they are allowable by the SJC and an acceptable exposition of the gospel:

    [From the SJC opinion on case 2012-5]:

    11 Presbytery’s Commission, however, concluded unanimously that the Prosecution did not
    12 prove TE Leithart’s guilt with regard to the five charges against him (hence the finding
    13 of “not guilty” on each of the five specifications) and, with regard to all the examples
    14 noted above (and other issues), TE Leithart’s differences with the Standards amounted to
    15 semantic differences. They noted that in his testimony that TE Leithart qualified many
    16 of his more provocative statements in ways that the Presbytery’s Commission concluded
    17 brought them into conformity with the Standards. In addition, the Presbytery’s Commission
    18 pointed out that TE Leithart expressly affirmed his subscription to specific statements in
    19 the Westminster Standards that were included in the indictment or raised during the trial.
    20 Presbytery overwhelmingly adopted the verdicts recommended by its Commission. We
    21 do not find that the Complainant provided sufficient evidence that TE Leithart’s
    22 statements affirming his subscription to the Standards were incredible or that Presbytery’s
    23 decision in finding TE Leithart “not guilty” of the five charges was in error.

    I commend the dissent of TE Aquila and RE Haigler to you on this matter:

    5 Crucial to the SJC’s conclusion is the statement, “TE Leithart’s differences with the Standards
    6 amounted to semantic differences.” As we demonstrate below, this is clearly not the case.
    7 His differences with the Standards are substantive, substantial, and do strike at the vitals of
    8 the system of doctrine taught in the PCA Standards.
    9
    10 Crucial also to the SJC’s decision is the statement, “Finally, we reiterate that nothing in this
    11 Decision should be construed as addressing (or thereby endorsing) in general TE Leithart’s
    12 views, writings, teachings or pronouncements.” Again, this is not correct. The SJC says his
    13 variances with the standards are semantic; that is, as understood by the SJC, TE Leithart’s
    14 views are Confessional. The SJC cannot avoid the effect that its affirmance of this case
    15 declares and condones the Constitutionality of Leithart’s views. Couching the affirmance in
    16 terms of evidentiary insufficiency or any other rationale for deference to PNWP is mistaken,
    17 and further, this does not work to preserve and protect the peace and purity of the church.
    18
    19 Again and again, the SJC says in various ways the prosecution did not prove its case. But
    20 the correct issue is whether the 740 page ROC exposes numerous examples of TE Leithart’s
    21 views being out of accord with the Constitution; and the pointed answer is yes, as shown
    22 below.

  30. Sean Gerety said,

    July 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Jared writes

    … notice the approving language of the SJC calling Leithart’s views a matter of “semantics” and declaring they can be “in conformity to the Standards.”

    There is no “semantic” range that can make the following statements conform to the Westminster Standards (although maybe to the standards of apostates like James Jordan and Doug Wilson):

    “Yes we do have the same obligations that Adam and Abraham and Moses and David and Jesus had namely the obedience of faith. And yes, covenant faithfulness is the way to salvation for the doers of the law will be justified at the final judgment.

    Again, the analogy that I used yesterday is an analogy having to do with marriage (inaudible) the temporary faith is like a, the relationship of two spouses who are heading for divorce. And their marriage is, doesn’t just differ from a healthy marriage in duration, it differs in all kinds of ways.”

    The above were just a couple of the anti-Christian quotes by Leithart lifted directly from the trial transcript. The PCA GA has been absolutely derelict in its duty in overturning the complete miscarriage of justice of the lower courts, that, along with our clueless friend Jared here, thinks the above is even remotely in conformity with the Standards of the PCA in particular and Christianity in general.

  31. Jared said,

    July 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Sean, I’d encourage you to read the entirety of the exchange here (also recognizing that I am “Concerned PCAer”). I am not agreeing with the SJC, (MUCH the opposite) but merely pointing out that what they did was to say that Peter Leithart’s views are, according to them, within the bounds of the Westminster Confession, contra Bill Campbell’s assertion that the SJC did not exonerate Leithart’s views. This is considered an act of the GA in our polity.

    This means according to the SJC now, the views of Leithart as contained in the case are merely “semantic” differences and compatible with the Standards (their words, certainly not mine). To state this is not to agree with it, but to bring clarity to the fog. Hence I quoted the dissent with approval. You have no idea how much I disagree with SJC decision on this, but what we must not be “clueless” on is what the SJC decision did.

  32. Sean Gerety said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

    And, here’s another piece of unequivocal absolutely heretical bile from the pen of Leithart – the man who is said to be in conformity with the WCF:

    Membership in the corporate body never occurs without a personal connection with the Lord of that body. You can’t be part of the Bride without being married to the divine Husband. Coming into the body through baptism means entering into a personal relationship with the Triune God, a relationship in which we are favored, accepted, given access to the Father and the table of His Son . . . Everyone who is baptized — every one — is brought into the body of Christ, ordained to be a priest before God, married to Jesus, and brought into the family of the Father, into the circle of God’s personal favor (The Baptized Body, 83-84).

    Here’s the message: you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ via baptism. Belief is optional. There are no semantic gymnastics that could make the above conform with anything found anywhere in the Standards. And, to think the SJC could find no fault in the PNW “decision in finding TE Leithart ‘not guilty’ of the five charges was in error.”

    Now, I know we don’t need to retry the Leithart case here, that’s already been done as Lane is an expert in Leithart’s corrupt thought, but this too only illustrates just how spiritually bankrupt the PCA has become when it cannot, or will not, identify gross heresy being taught by one of its so-called “minsters.”

  33. Sean Gerety said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:11 am

    This means according to the SJC now, the views of Leithart as contained in the case are merely “semantic” differences and compatible with the Standards (their words, certainly not mine).

    Fair enough. However, I know you claim that you are “not an FV advocate (properly speaking at least),” but you have consistently been more than a little sympathetic to much of the nonsense being advanced by antichrists like Leithart, Wilson, Meyers, Lawrence, Moon, Jordan, and others discussed on this blog. Let me just say, you don’t seem like one of their enemies … and if you’re not their enemy it’s hard to see how you can be Christ’s friend.

    So, perhaps you can forgive me for not reading your remarks in the best light.

  34. Jared said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I think you have me confused with a different Jared.

  35. Sean Gerety said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Could be,especially when people don’t post using their full names.

    I’m sorry if this was just a case of mistaken identity. So, just so there is not mistake, you’re not this Jared: http://tinyurl.com/ncbkghd

    That said, I do agree with you and the SJC decision states in on uncertain terms that Leithart’s views are within the bounds of the Westminster Confession.

  36. Sean Gerety said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

    should be “no uncertain terms”

  37. July 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Sean,

    Is this a little more helpful for you? I haven’t read that much from Meyers, Lawrence or Moon, but I’ve no qualms about admitting I’ve learned a great deal from Wilson, Leithart and Jordan. I’ve also learned tons from people like Sproul (Sr.), Beale, Stott, Bruce, Erickson, Grudem, Horton, Poythress, Boettner, Kuyper, Spurgeon, Van Til, Bahnsen, McDowell, Craig, Tozer, Pink, Robertson, and a multitude of others. We all have our flaws, we all are broken mirrors. Fortunately the love of the Father is gracious, the blood of the Son is thick, and the power of the Spirit overcomes our inabilities and inadequacies (even if you disagree).

  38. Jared said,

    July 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Nope. I am this Jared though:

    http://theaquilareport.com/arlen-specter-leithart-and-the-pca-sjc/

  39. Sean Gerety said,

    July 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    @Jared L. Yep, better. Flaws are one thing, denying Christ and His finished work is quite another. I don’t consider the denial of justification by belief alone and imputation a broken mirror. I consider that a case of the blind leading the blind.

  40. July 5, 2013 at 12:06 am

    […] the wall says. Following a series of disappointing outcomes at the 41st PCA General Assembly, one confessional minister (Teaching Elder or TE in PCA terms) has suggested that he may not be in the PCA much longer. […]

  41. SDuladmi said,

    July 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I have a general question on Federal Vision. James Jordan has been appearing on this blog which directing me to Mr. Jordan’s new blog. On that blog he has called the Apostle Paul a “little gnostic heretic” and said it is time we no longer take Paul seriously. My question is this: does this reflect on the current doctrinal positions of all the Federal Vision leaders, or have they disowned him, or is this all a very new direction for James Jordan and there has yet to be a fall out from it? What is the story here? A Christian who says the Pauline epistles are not worth taking seriously is in a much different doctrinal place than a Federal Vision person.

  42. Reed Here said,

    July 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Different James Jordan. The one you’re reading appears to be part of a reactionary group who seriously misunderstand reformed theology.

  43. July 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    In the end, that’s what I dislike about the “niceness police” — it effectively prohibits debate. One thing about erring on the side of harshness is that it clarifies what’s actually at stake, whereas an overtly “nice” debate often proceeds by suggestion and innuendo. Critiques are enveloped in a haze of plausible deniability, such that every response to those critiques can be met with a “but that’s not what I’m saying at all, you’re missing the nuance,” and then the debate inevitably shifts onto the terrain of tone. Of course, the highlight is the omnipresent concern-trolling, the patronizing recommendations that “you’ll attract more flies with honey,” etc. The entire strategy of the niceness police is a strategy of delegitimation, a performance that places the niceness police on the side of reason and moderation while the violator is an irrational, easily irritated crank.

  44. SDuladmi said,

    July 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Oh, OK, I just read comment 15 above. I’d read Lane’s statement saying it was James Jordan and assumed the Federal Vision James Jordan. Well, thanks for the clarification.

  45. July 6, 2013 at 3:01 am

    […] Sien ook: Niceness or Love? […]

  46. July 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Marty,

    Thanks for your insightful comment. In our fallen condition, If some cannot win with the Confession or facts, one uses arguments about sweetness and tone to distract the group and try to obtain their sympathy. We need fewer honey merchants and more men with chests in the PCA and the Reformed community at large.

  47. July 6, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Bob,

    More men with hairy chests… and bigger beards too. We should keep the honey merchants though, so we can make some tasty mead.

  48. Reed Here said,

    July 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    SDulami: yeah, I did the same at first. No prob.

  49. July 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    jared, RE #47,

    Or Honey Lager. There’s some good stuff brewed on Granville Island in Vancouver.

  50. July 7, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Isn’t it strange that when somebody criticises a gross heretic, the niceness police immediately press “unloving” charges against the accusers. Yet surely the bigger question is this: is it “nice” or “loving” to lead people to hell by teaching justification on account of good works? Doing that is not loving; indeed, it is hard to imagine anything more hateful.

    Regards,

    Daniel

  51. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 8, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Come on guys….. throw the “niceness” crap out the window
    ….Speak the Truth [ the whole truth, and nothing but the truth] in Love…
    SO HELP YOU GOD

  52. locirari said,

    July 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Fallacies of irrelevance aren’t very sexy when they are called as such. But they sure get plenty of mileage in theological debates these days. Some proponents of the “Broadening Church” and some FV types (maybe sometimes the same people?) waste lots of our time talking about a lack of niceness. It makes sense though. If you had a revisionist program that needs to dodge tough exegetical and historical questions, wouldn’t you talk and talk about how mean the other side is?

  53. July 16, 2013 at 12:41 am

    One last thing I would ask the niceness police. Is it possible for a teaching elder to be in good standing in the PCA and be a wolf at the same time? Does being in good standing require niceness from everyone else? If so, I could complain about treatment I have received from the FV guys, and others in the PCA. I am not going to do so, however, because defending the sheep means getting scratched by the wolves. What I notice, however, is that the niceness police never slap the wolves’ hands when they take a swipe at confessional ministers in the PCA, if those confessional ministers have been outspoken against liberal creep in the PCA. Something to ponder.

  54. Deb said,

    July 19, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Hi Lane, great post. I have a question along this line. Is it possible for a teaching elder to be in good standing in the PCA and be a Senior Minister of another congregation in another denomination (Trinity Reformed Church, a CREC congregation) at the same time?
    Because that is what Dr. Leithart’s bio states on the New St. Andrews College website. It seems to me this ought to be some sort of conflict with PCA’s book of church order. Am I missing something?

  55. Reed Here said,

    July 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Deb, yes a PCA TE can hold such a position, termed “out of bounds” (I.e., of the boundaries of his Presbytery, not in one of the churches in his Presbytery). This is overseen by the Presbytery of the TE. It involves confirming up front that the man will not be hindered from preaching/teaching our doctrinal standards. Presbytery is to follow up annually with the TE to verify things. He continues to be an active member of his Prsbytery. Leithart’s situation is not formally a problem with BCO.

  56. Deb said,

    July 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks Reed! It seemed strange, so I’m glad you helped explain. Have a blessed day.

  57. July 21, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Deb,

    One small caveat. Normally work out of bounds is not approved to a work that is hostile to the gospel and the home denomination. Leithart’s work is both. He works for Wilson, who has expressed rabid hostility towards officers and bodies in the PCA, and the CREC is the current home of Federal Vision, which perverts the gospel. So although Reed is correct in the abstract, the situation with Leithart and PNWP is troubling.

  58. Timothy said,

    July 29, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Reblogged this on Timothy J. Hammons and commented:
    Posted with Jody in mind. Please don’t confuse why I’m posting this. Jody is NOT a card-carrying member of the “niceness police” but a victim of the “niceness police.”

  59. July 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

    […] especially teaching and/or morals that are leading people astray. Thirdly, the cwaga folks have confused love with niceness. In this aspect, they have drunk the culture’s koolaid that states that everyone’s […]

  60. August 1, 2013 at 12:08 am

    […] the CWAGA folks have confused love with niceness. In this aspect, they have drunk the culture’s Kool-Aid that states that everyone’s opinion is […]

  61. August 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    […] especially teaching and/or morals that are leading people astray. Thirdly, the cwaga folks have confused love with niceness. In this aspect, they have drunk the culture’s koolaid that states that everyone’s opinion is […]


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