Faithful pastors and elders suffer with Christ...

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. (Hebrews 13:12-14)

Saturday, I wrote about my gratitude for the unity and peace of our own congregation, Church of the Good Shepherd. Since then, I've been thinking about how our unity came to be and I realize how central the battles a number of us went through in another prior congregation were for the development of this unity. In our prior congregation, the central issue was the refusal of a small group of influential leaders to allow any exercise of correction or rebuke by the congregation's elders. They considered anathema even the most private forms of church discipline.

It was a painful ordeal, but the Holy Spirit used it to produce the unity and peace of Church of the Good Shepherd we presently enjoy--including, now, ten years of loving and peaceful congregational meetings.

This comes to mind as I read of attacks other pastors are suffering, particularly our dear brother, Pastor Doug Wilson. David and I are not surprised Doug is under attack. He's a strong leader with biblical convictions, and he's at his greatest precision and boldness in preaching those convictions where the Evil One has focused his attack and there's a breach in the wall. But instead of other church officers giving thanks to God for raising up such a warrior, Pastor Wilson is the object of much envy and resentment. Like all of us, Pastor Wilson is a sinner in both his conduct and doctrine and we are confident he appreciates the licks he takes for his sin.

But taking his licks from fellow presbyters, his children, or his wife is a far cry from having any Tom, Dick, or Harry set himself up as a judge over every word of his pastoral conversations and session meetings extending years into the past and posting those judgments on this gabfest and gossip-pool known as the internet. Need I point out that Doug Wilson is not the only one suffering such persecution?

In both the church and secular world, leaders have lost the manly traits and pander to their constituency. Church officers are given to mollycoddling, equivocation, and self-doubt. One of my favorite cartoons shows a consultant meeting with a pastor in his office. The wall holds a graph of the congregation's attendance trends and they're down, down, down. Pointing to the graph the consultant says, "I'm no expert in these things, but I think it might help if you didn't end every sermon with, 'But then again what do I know, anyhow?'"

Pastor Wilson preaches, teaches, and leads as if he has received the good deposit and intends, come hell or high water, to pass it on to reliable men...

He has a mission and he's missional about his mission--you know, sort of like Bruce Willis. Moderns love these traits in movies, the Super Bowl, and on Wall Street, but they hate them in the church. The church is supposed to be all about me, my tastes and preferences and insecurities and felt needs. And when I leave church each Lord's Day, I'm supposed to feel uplifted--passionately uplifted.

No surprise, then, that the leadership methods of the Apostle Paul, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and Jonathan Edwards are despised even while we continue to claim that we honor their doctrine. Men today bitterly resent any strength they don't have and fasten upon a leader's weaknesses, proclaiming them to the world in the hope of hiding or justifying their own rebellion, or of dragging them down to their own level--the principle apparently being that effeminacy loves company.

Yet which has done more harm to the souls of Christ's church today? Church officers who have been angry and sarcastic while correcting their sheep? Or church officers who have been timid and silent, and have failed to correct their sheep? Given a choice, I'd rather my children were pastored by a red-blooded man who would err in the direction of the Apostle Paul who, you remember, wrote:

Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offence of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! (Galatians 5:11, 12)

It's sad how glib believers can be, pulling texts out of Galatians to condemn whatever they want to condemn as "legalism," while never considering the Apostle Paul's affect, his rhetorical method, nor what application that method ought to have to the methods used by pastors and elders today. Similarly, we speak of Jesus sweet and tender but forget His scorched-earth method with the pastors, elders, and seminary professors of His time. Remember all those "Woe to you" warnings He gave them?

The solution to the weakness of our leadership today is not to become chest-thumping, fire-breathing, macho megalomaniacs, but to imitate Edwards and Knox and Calvin and Luther as they imitate the Apostle Paul and His Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Then we will correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience, understanding that we live in a time when men will not put up with sound doctrine but will surround themselves with preachers who say what their itching ears want to hear.

With that burned into our brains and consciences, we'll not take up the cudgel against other men superior to us in zeal and courage, but will praise God for them and pray for their sanctification and continued boldness. And yes, we may have to rebuke them (or, more likely, be rebuked by them) publicly every now and then--just as the Apostle Paul publicly rebuked the Apostle Peter in front of the Galatians. But such is the stuff of the life of the godly. Our Father loves and, therefore, chastens us.

Speaking of chastening, I've been preaching through Galatians and our text, recently, was Galatians 5:13: "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." In his commentary on this text, Martin Luther acknowledges his own weariness of fighting against the antinomian, libertine, "sin that grace may abound" souls in the church of his time. He writes:

All boast themselves to be professors of the Gospel, and all brag of Christian liberty, and yet serving their own lusts they give themselves to covetousness, pleasures, pride, envy, and such other vices. No man does his duty faithfully, no man charitably serves the necessity of his brother. The grief of this makes me sometimes so impatient, that many times I wish such swine which tread precious pearls under their feet, were yet still remaining under the tyranny of the Pope; for it is impossible that this people of Gomorrah should be governed by the Gospel of peace.

But then Luther goes on and acknowledges that pastors are equally tempted by this error and that God has designed His own scheme of protection for us, particularly persecutions, contempt, and ingratitude:

Moreover, even we which teach the Word, do not do our duty with so great zeal and diligence in the light of the Gospel, as we did before in the darkness of ignorance. For the more certain we be of the freedom purchased unto us by Christ, so much the more cold and negligent we be in handling the Word, in prayer, in well-doing, and in suffering adversities.

And if Satan did not vex us inwardly with spiritual temptations, and outwardly with the persecutions of our adversaries, and moreover with the contempt and ingratitude of our own fellows, we should become utterly careless, negligent, and untoward to all good works; and so in time we should lose the knowledge and faith of Christ, forsake the ministry of the Word, and seek an easier kind of life for the flesh.

I don't know about you, but he's got my number.

So then, praise God for men like Pastor Doug Wilson. Praise God, also, for the discipline He places faithful shepherds under in order to keep them faithful. Luther ends the section:

Let every man therefore endeavor to do his duty diligently in his calling, and to help his neighbor to the uttermost of his power. This is what Paul here requires of us: "Serve one another through love." These works do not set the Christians at liberty, but shut them under bondage, as touching the flesh.

Comments

Thanks for the post, Tim. Very encouraging, convicting, challenging and comforting to me as a pastor. It's particularly timely for some of the issues I'm facing right now. It's another word from the Lord to press on and not shrink back in fear. Praise God for the unity and peace in the congregation you have now. I'm trusting God for the same.

The last time I checked, Doug Wilson wasn't a member of the Great Lakes Presbytery or in any other PCA presbytery, so aren't you being a hypocrite by airing your thoughts on Doug Wilson's "sufferings" on the Internet while launching an attack on his detractors for doing exactly the same? How are you different than any "Tom, Dick, or Harry" setting yourself up as judge over those critics? By whose authority are you acting?

What is even more galling is that you misrepresent the complaints about Wilson as occurring "years in the past"? The discussions between Christ Church and the E-Free Church over the former elder have taken place in recent months. It might abate your future embarrassment if you received your facts from more than one source (Wilson). (Prov. 18:17)

I must say, Patrick Poole raises a good point.

I'm also concerned that Pastor Wilson has quite possibly set himself up as judge and jury over the Westminster Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly. They recently defrocked R C Sproul Jr, and his entire session. This is no light thing. I was aware of this, and grieved by it. Yesterday I came across an extremely scurrilous website about R C Sproul, Jr, which also contained allegations about Doug Wilson. I immediately emailed the firm that was hosting the site, and I'm glad to say that it's now been removed.

But one thing troubles me, and maybe you could get to the bottom of it. One of the allegations against Pastor Wilson on that site was that he is talking to and or encouraging Sproul Jr about the possibility of Sproul Jr being ordained and joining the denomination Wilson belongs to, the CREC. This would be so highly unethical that I dismissed the possibility out of hand. I refused to believe that Pastor Wilson would have such little respect for the RPCGA that he would treat their judgments as a trifle, and worthy of no respect by other churches. But something is nagging at me, and I'm starting to wonder if that allegation isn't true. After all, even though it was a scurrilous website, some of their allegations against R C Sproul Jr quite obviously appear to be true.

So Reverend Bayly, could you please ask Pastor Wilson to clear the air, and issue an unequivocal statement that he is not discussing with R C Sproul Jr in any form, either verbal or written, and has not in the past month discussed with R C Sproul Jr in any form, either verbal or written, the possibility of R C Sproul Jr, and/or his session, and/or St. Peter Presbyterian Church joining themselves to the CREC?

An unequivocal statement to that effect would go a long way toward clearing the air.

Patrick,

In another place (http://patrickpoole.blogspot.com/2006/02/christian-journalistic-hypocrisy.html), you wrote this:

"Dr. Dobson is not even a Christian; Ralph Reed has been a sleezeball for years; and Tom Minnery (the FotF Vice President for Public Policy) is in fact The Antichrist (a story I'll leave for another day)."

And, we're supposed to think you sought out the comments of Dr. Dobson, Ralph Reed, and Tom Minnery before feeling confident to make that kind of assertion?

It might abate your future embarrassment if you plucked the beam out of your own eye before admonishing someone else for what you suppose is the mote in theirs.

He didn't saying "occuring years in the past", he said "extending years into the past". Big difference. It's like Mitch Hedberg's joke:

"I used to drugs . . . I still do drugs, but I used to, too."

If I may amend my request, to remove the possibility of any Clintonesque evasions:

So Reverend Bayly, could you please ask Pastor Wilson to clear the air, and issue an unequivocal statement that neither he nor anyone with his knowledge and approval is discussing with R C Sproul Jr or any of his fellow deposed elders in any form, either verbal, electronic, or written, and that in the past month neither he nor anyone with his knowledge and approval discussed with R C Sproul Jr or any of the other deposed elders in any form, either verbal, electronic, or written, the possibility of R C Sproul Jr, and/or his session, and/or St. Peter Presbyterian Church joining themselves to the CREC?

as to the post: well said

as to the comments: you've got to be kidding me

...Would you also make sure that Mr. Wilson clarifies exactly what his favorite candy bar is.

There are serious allegations-and not just from the website I mentioned-that Pastor Wilson is interfering in the affairs of another conservative, Bible believing denomination, and working to render their judgment and discipline of R C Sproul Jr null and void. And you compare asking about that to a triviality like demanding to know what his favorite candy bar is? You should be ashamed of yourself. It's a simple yes or no question, and it's not one that Pastor Wilson should be afraid of being asked.

Brothers, I tire of asking this but would you each, please, identify yourself accurately? Particularly in discussions where the potential for conflict is high, we need to make it as simple as possible for others to approach us privately. Using fake names and E-mail addresses is an insurmountable obstacle to that end. That's why David and I have an unenforceable rule that each person identify himself and give an E-mail address.

This is never meant to be punitive, but only to promote godliness in our communication.

Mark: "...and it's not one that Pastor Wilson should be afraid of being asked."

Then go ask him and leave Rev. Bayly out of it. That's my point.

btw - Christo is actually my name (well, nickname at least)

Friends, would you please call me "Tim." I'd be grateful.

No, that wasn't your point at all. If that had been your point, you would have told me to ask Pastor Wilson myself. It wasn't your point. Your point was that the question is trivial, as trivial as asking what Wilson's favorite candy bar is.

Leave Reverend Bayly out of it? I didn't bring him into it. He's the one that wrote about Pastor Wilson, and how wrong it is that's he's suffering injustices. And I agree. But there are allegations that Pastor Wilson is himself involved in an effort to frustrate the judicial efforts of another church, and Reverend Bayly should be aware of them. Now that he is aware, and since he brought up the subject of injustice with respect to Pastor Wilson, I don't think it's out of line to ask him to ask Pastor Wilson the simple yes/no question.

As far as identity, my screen name is a variation of my real name. I'm uncomfortable giving my real name and email address, due to the situation. I'm currently enrolled in a Reformed seminary, and I have close friends and associated with ties to both Pastor Wilson and the RPCGA. I honestly don't know what to think about this, but I have enough faith in Doug Wilson that if he replied in the negative to the question, I'd be satisfied, and so would others. And what does it matter what my name is? What if I'm named Hillary Clinton or Brian McLaren? What difference would that make? Either the allegation is true, or it's false. And the allegation is out there. And it can be cleared up immediately if Pastor Wilson would issue a flat denial. That Reverend Bayly is reluctant to ask him, after having spent so much time blogging about justice and honoring church discipline these past months, and then bringing up Pastor Wilson, then I think that reluctance is very telling. I'll take it that he's very concerned that the answer would be either positive, or a no comment. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm afraid I'm not. Either way, it's Reverend Bayly's blog, and if he'd rather I didn't comment under a pseudonym here anymore I won't.

Please ask him, Reverend Bayly.

Dear Mark, seminary is a good time and place to learn the courage of using your real name in controversy. If the Lord gives you a particular call, you will quickly learn the dangers anonymous criticisms pose for the souls who send them, the souls who receive them, and the unity of the church. So without meaning to beat a dead horse, it is my request that all of us use our real names and E-mail addresses. There isn't one of us who would find it difficult to make a case for taking part in these discussions without identifying ourselves. So let's all, equally, shoulder this good discipline.

Second, if you've read the official correspondence related to Dr. R. C. Sproul Jr.'s defrocking released by his accusers to the public, you're aware that the tensions between Dr. Sproul and his presbytery have been building for many months due to a growing realization on both sides that there was a considerable degree of doctrinal incompatibility. At any point during that time, it would have been entirely proper for Dr. Sproul and his fellow elders to approach other ecclesiastical fellowships concerning the possibility of transferring to another fellowship more compatible with their understanding of God's Word. An obvious candidate for such a transferral would be the fellowship that Pastor Wilson is a part of, the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals.

There's no basis whatever in presbyterian polity or the Word of God for declaring such conversations "inappropriate" if they were held prior to the initiation of discipline. And if they were held prior to R. C. Jr.'s defrocking, it would be impossible for them not to continue as additional factors enter the equation--principal among those factors, the disciplinary actions now carried out by his presbytery and his impending trial.

For example, Pastor Wilson hears of R. C. Jr.'s defrocking and calls him on the phone to ask whether he plans to defend himself against the charges or simply renounce jurisdiction? R. C. Jr. answers the question, at which point Pastor Wilson counsels R. C. Jr. concerning the path of biblical wisdom in the situation.

Immediately, let me remind you, friends, that this is only a hypothetical conversation. I have had no personal communication with any of these brothers about the matters under discussion. But when I think it all through, it seems obvious to me that R.C. Jr. and his elders need to watch their steps, carefully, and get outside counsel before proceeding in any direction. Further, two men I think would provide them wise counsel in this situation are Ken Sande and Doug Wilson.

Of course, some are attributing the worst of motives to Pastor Wilson and R. C. Jr., but what else is new?

Sure Tim. I guess it's easier to just put Rev Bayly than to see which brother I was refering to!

Thanks, brother.

Fr. Bill quotes from one of my unrelated blog posts yesterday:

"Dr. Dobson is not even a Christian; Ralph Reed has been a sleezeball for years; and Tom Minnery (the FotF Vice President for Public Policy) is in fact The Antichrist (a story I'll leave for another day)."

And Fr. Bill makes the following comment:

"And, we're supposed to think you sought out the comments of Dr. Dobson, Ralph Reed, and Tom Minnery before feeling confident to make that kind of assertion?"

To which I reply: Fr. Bill, I have worked in public policy for a number of years on many different levels. I have had personal and professional contact with all three of these men, most particularly Tom Minnery, and I can say based on my own personal experience that Ralph Reed is in fact a sleezeball (one only needs to read the recent news to confirm this, but I knew it from my own experience long ago); Dr. Dobson, who vehemently rejects the substitutionary atonement of Christ, is in fact not a Christian; and Tom Minnery is in fact a moral reprobate. My personal experience with these men in the past is more than sufficient to arrive at these conclusions without having to consult them.

So with that said, I have to ask Tim yet again:

"...aren't you being a hypocrite by airing your thoughts on Doug Wilson's "sufferings" on the Internet while launching an attack on his detractors for doing exactly the same? How are you different than any "Tom, Dick, or Harry" setting yourself up as judge over those critics? By whose authority are you acting?"

Inquiring minds want to know!

Dear Patrick, I don't think I am but I'll leave it up to you and our other readers to judge.

Tim,

I appreciate the response, but here's the problem: your brother's most recent post on this blog invokes divine condemnation on any of us who might judge; and yet you tell us it's up to us to judge. Quite a trap you two have set up. Or is that the basis of your post for tomorrow heaping even more condemnation on any of us for taking up your invitation to judge?

In fact, you are being intentionally evasive with your response. You are a smart man (and I want to treat you as such), so I assume you understand the heart of my charge of hypocrisy on your part. You are very quick to publicly criticize and impugn the motives of Wilson's critics, but stand mute when it comes to explaining how your public criticism of them differs in any respect in form or forum from their public criticism of Wilson. Yet when I put that question to you directly, you punt the ball.

In light of how forcefully you spoke in your initial post in this thread, it seems incumbent upon you as the instigator of this debate and the charge you have publicly laid against Wilson's critics to explain the qualitative difference between your criticism of Wilson's detractors and the critism of Wilson's detractors themselves. As someone at the working end of your initial attack, I would hope you would be as forthright and complete in your answers as I have been in stating my objection.

>your brother's most recent post on this blog invokes divine condemnation on any of us who might judge; and yet you tell us it's up to us to judge.

Cute but obvious. Note your distortion above, David didn't invoke "divine condemnation" on any judgement, just that outside biblical guidelines (which he provided in line with his understanding). Presumably you think David Bayly's injunction against inappropriate judgement will prevent anyone from judging at an apple pie contest as well. I suspect you know perfectly well that the word "judge" in English can have a variety of meanings, particularly with theological overtones, and that Tim's use differed from David's.

David (Gray):

I admit that I am assuming that David's (Bayly) comments today were directed, if not at me, then certainly critics like me. He is making the case (and I believe that I'm being fair here) that my public criticisms (and criticisms like mine) fall into the range of biblically-prohibited judging. I, of course, reject that. The public statements and public conduct of public figures is rightly open to criticism, no matter how much clerical garb Doug Wilson and the Bayly's would try to hide it behind.

I do think that it would be more helpful to the discussion, I think, if Tim and David would be less oblique in identifying who "those" people are that they believe they are targeting, because they clearly have SOMEONE, if not SOMEBODYS, in mind. But of course when they do that, they realize that they have fallen into their own pit: they are engaging in the very same conduct that they are presently condemning others for. It is my contention that oblique references notwithstanding, they are guilty of what they are quick to label and condemn in others, like me. If they chose to do that, since this is a public forum, I think there's nothing wrong with that.

But that is the very point under dispute, isn't it?

But getting back to your point, David (Gray), I have to apologize because I believed that the readers here would recognize and appreciate that there was an ever-so-slight bit of tongue-in-cheek in my most recent comments with reference to David's article today and Tim's response above. In that friendly spirit (while this conversation is serious in tone, I do think thus far it has been friendly in conduct--for the most part), I was intentionally equivocating on their respecitive uses of "judging". In that regard, you are correct; though in attributing malice to such, you're not. I freely admit that it seems I was being too subtle, and that my serrated edge is dull. My apologies to the readers, and to Tim and David as well. I do wonder if someone is going to tell me now that I have to read Doug Wilson's book on sarcasm?

>In that regard, you are correct; though in attributing malice to such, you're not.

Glad to hear it!

dave

Dear Patrick,

First, I don't think you've properly summarized my brother, David's, post. He's not "invoking divine condemnation on any of us who might judge." Rather, he's warning against unscriptural judgments and working to describe what sort of judgments are unscriptural. Clearly, both David and I acknowledge that certain judgments are both good and necessary, and that the proper exercise of judgment begins in God's household--not the U.S. Supreme Court, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, or Hollywood.

So no, I'm not judging you for judging me. You ought to judge everything I write or speak by the Word of God and I do assume that is what you are doing when you call me a "hypocrite." If you're right in this judgment, it's not the first time I've been guilty of this sin. You may be right, brother; I may be applying one standard to Doug Wilson's critics and another to myself.

As to whether I'm being intentionally evasive in my replies, I'd say not. To make an informed decision not to defend oneself is not the same as being intentionally evasive. I did the former, not the latter.

Why might I decide not to defend myself? For many reasons, some of which might include that I believe such defense would consume my life for hours and days on end; that I believe such defense would not be effective in silencing the accusations; that I believe such defense would make much of tertiary points in my original post, allowing those points to obscure the post's central thrusts; and so on.

Of course I understand the heart of your charge of hypocrisy, and I don't resent that charge. But again, if I were to defend myself against every charge levelled against me, it would be my life's work--and quite boring, to boot. As to whether I'm a smart man, there are probably quite a few academics here in Bloomington ready to gainsay you on that one.

Have I been quick publicly to criticize Pastor Wilson's critics? No. I've sat on this one for eight years now, saying almost nothing about it either publicly or privately. But it's sickened me the whole time and I will no longer fail to give honor where honor is due. Eight years ago, I received a nine page letter from a prominent professional theologian attacking Pastor Wilson's book, "Reforming Marriage," and it was apparent to me then that the attack was anything but an objective discourse concerning biblical matters over which men of good conscience may disagree. And more recently, I received another private communication from a prominent Christian leader that criticized Pastor Wilson in a manner that grieved me. So again, no, I do not believe I have been quick to speak about this matter publicly. If anything, I think I ought to have spoken up earlier.

One final matter. You say that my own criticism of those criticizing Pastor Wilson is "identical" to the very criticisms of Pastor Wilson I'm opposing. This is just plain wrong. Never have I said, or even implied, that all criticism of Pastor Wilson is wrong. But when it came to naming the criticisms I thought were right and those I thought were wrong, I mentioned criteria that might be used to separate the two categories of criticism--just and unjust.

It's up to you and our other readers to apply those criteria. The other side, though, has not shown any restraint in their specificity. Rather, they've named names. It's Doug Wilson they're after--make no mistake about it.

As to my instigating this debate, not at all; I've only added my one cent to the conflagration, trying to exhort men of God to show honor where honor is due. And with David and me, we have no hesitation in saying that honor is due our dear brother, Pastor Doug Wilson.

I'm confident men of good conscience will see that my initial post was not an attack upon anyone, but rather a defense of someone--the godly and wise Pastor Doug Wilson.

Warmly in Christ,

Tim Bayly

Tim,

Once again I appreciate your continued response, but I have to say that your extensive and wandering justification for hit-and-run tactics is deplorable. You publicly attack Wilson's critics, like myself, and when I turn your own words back around to you, you say "I don't have to respond to every charge, blah, blah, blah." Are you really contending that you are not answerable for your public statements? Especially when they are made in your own forum?

As I said earlier, for my part I have no doubts that your initial post and David's post today were directed at me personally, as the chief detractor of Wilson on this blog recently. Whether that's true or not is really irrelevant at this point, because you both have left it to us to freely infer with you indefinite use of "those", "they", etc. To broadside somebody(s), as you and David have both undeniably done in these last few posts, and then run away and hide from any blowback criticism is really low-rent. I think better of you than that.

And to David Gray: I made an apology; your response to it, however, was tasteless. Get some class.

**"...for my part I have no doubts that your initial post and David's post today were directed at me personally, as the chief detractor of Wilson on this blog recently."**

Patrick, I have not thought of you as a "detractor," let alone the "chief detractor of Doug Wilson on this blog recently." Rather, I've thought of you as a man trying to serve as an umpire in whatever might be said on this blog about Pastor Doug Wilson's detractors--a worthy goal, I might add. Sadly, though, I cannot see matters as you do. God bless you.

>And to David Gray: I made an apology; your response to it, however, was tasteless. Get some class.

I must assume that once again you are trying for humour. I was pleased to hear I was mistaken in attributing malice. Your response is mystifying (as it really isn't particularly funny).

This came to my attention today and I was wondering if anyone can validate the truth of this:

"The CREC is taking oversight now over the congregation of SP, while the session is still under the RPCGA. So no one from SP has to meet with the RPCGA representatives while they are here because the RPCGA does not have jurisdiction, due to the session never entering the congregation in the denomination according to the BOC of the RPCGA."

I am also wondering if Doug Phillips has taken an official position on this matter as he is supposed to have an upcoming conference with his own father and both the younger and elder R.C. I looked but couldn't find any information.

What I am curious about is this....In the Presbyterian form of government, the ecclestical authority structure is not to be questioned, rulings up the chain of command are to be accepted. Why then is anyone questioning the presbytery in this matter? I was under the impression that those who hold to these views of church authority believe that it is mandatory to accept the rulings of other reformed bodies. What am I missing?

For the record, I have seen faithful pastors suffer for Christ. I have also seen faithful laymen suffer at the hands of unfaithful pastors and elders. Even Ken Sande and Peacemakers recognize this truth and are now offering teachings and workshops on spiritual abuse.

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