CREC Finally Gets Around To Posting RC Sproul Jr ReportPosted: June 14, 2006 Filed under: CREC, Doug Wilson, RC Sproul Jr Leave a comment
CREC Moderator Randy Booth has finally posted the CREC Commission Report on [the defrocked] Saint Peter
Presbyterian Church. He did so some three weeks after Peter Kershaw had already posted it, along with some Reviews.
On May 15 Mr. Booth had posted this:
“The CREC Pastoral Commission for Saint Peter Presbyterian Church in Bristol, TN will post its Report in this location within the next two weeks.”
Better late than never. What took you, Randy? The reason for the delay is actually pretty obvious (more on that later).
Along with posting the CREC Commission’s Report, as well as the names of the ten Reformed Elders that signed off on the Report, Mr. Booth also states:
“Several families, who were formerly a part of SPPC, have (with the full blessings of the Commission and Saint Peter Presbyterian Church), established a new church in near-by Abingdon, VA. This church is Christ Church of Abingdon.”
Given that the definition of “several” is “Being of a number more than two or three, but not many” I have to wonder how fifteen families could possibly qualify as “several,” especially for a church as small as Saint Peter already was. With the departure of the Abingdon parish, Saint Peter lost one of its three parishes, hardly the trivial matter that the mere loss of “several families” would imply. Once again Randy Booth is demonstrating a Wilsonian dishonesty.
The CREC Commission Report was “Reviewed and Signed By” ten Reformed Presbyterian pastors:
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT:
At their request, I have reviewed the report of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches’ Pastoral Commission pertaining to the assistance of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church (SPPC) of Bristol, TN. I commend their evident pastoral care, their good faith in showing respect to matters of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and the apparent godliness of their intentions. While I am not qualified to comment on the pastoral judgments in this report, I am impressed with the sincerity, thoroughness, and sensitivity of their deliberations. I hereby offer my support to this process and urge the broader Church to pray for SPPC as they pursue their future actions under the guidance of this pastoral commission.
This statement differs rather dramatically from the one contained in the actual letter that the CREC Commission first sent to the ten Reformed pastors all the way back on April 14, the same letter they also first attempted (in vain) to get the RPCGA to sign off on:
We are not asking you to reinvestigate the SPPC situation, nor even to concur with all of our counsel: we are asking you to support the pastoral efforts of the CREC Pastoral Commission by signing your name to the following statement:
The men of the CREC Pastoral Commission, seeking to assist the Saint Peter Presbyterian Church [SPPC] of Bristol, TN, have labored in good faith in the service of a sister church. While honoring the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of other denominations, the CREC Pastoral Commission has provided appropriate, biblical direction and counsel to SPPC. Having read the CREC Commission Report to SPPC, I hereby offer my support for their report as an example of sound pastoral counsel and urge the broader Church to pray for SPPC as they seek to learn through their trials, pursue peace and unity, and honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter Kershaw published a Review of the letter to the ten Reformed men and demonstrated what an utter sham it was. Could it be that as a direct result the CREC promptly went back to the drawing board and started all over again? It would appear so. If the CREC were made up of honest men with honest agendas they wouldn’t have to be doing so much back-peddling.
In any event, in the end the CREC Commission Report was:
Reviewed and Signed By:
- Brent Bradley, M.Div., Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church [PCA], Kingsport, TN.
- Daniel J. Dillard, M.Div., Pastor of Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church [OPC], Bend, OR.
- George Grant, Ph.D., Director of King’s Meadow Study Center and Teaching Pastor at Christ Community Church [PCA], Franklin, TN.
- John Mabray, M.Div., Pastor of Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church [EPC], Lynchburg, VA.
- James McDonald, Pastor of Crown and Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church [CPC], Katy, TX.
- Richard D. Phillips, M.Div., Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church [PCA], Coral Springs/Margate, FL.
- Michael Schneider, M.Div., Senior Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church [PNP], Valparaiso, FL.
- Roger Schultz, Ph.D., Pastor of Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church [RPC], Lynchburg, VA.
- David Shank, Pastor of Covenant Reformed Church [FORC], Harrisonburg, VA.
- Roger Wagner, D.Min., Pastor of Bayview Orthodox Presbyterian Church [OPC] in Chula Vista, CA.
What do any of these men have to gain by going public with their support for RC Sproul Jr and the CREC? With most of them I could only speculate. But with a couple of them I can do better than speculate.
James McDonald makes sense, as a “protest” signature, if you will. He asked to leave the RPCGA almost immediately after RC Jr was defrocked, a decision with which he allegedly disagreed. McDonald wasn’t given a vote in the decision because he hadn’t been a member in the RPCGA for the requisite one year period to have Presbytery voting rights. So he voted with his feet instead. Now there’s a fine way to keep your vows to submit to the authority of your Presbytery!
McDonald didn’t request to be transferred to another denomination. Rather, he asked to be released into independency. Not very Presbyterian of him on that score either! His buddy and fellow RC Jr paedocommunion conspiracy cohort Marion Lovett also left the RPCGA at the same time, and in the same defiant way. Together they’ve now formed the Covenant Presbyterian Church Presbytery.
Presbyterian denominations have most typically been formed over significant doctrinal disputes, but not the CPC. Presbyterian denominations have always been formed by ordained Presbyterian Elders, but not the CPC. McDonald and Lovett were deposed by the RPCGA. The CPC will always have the legacy of having been founded by two deposed men who left their former denomination in protest because they disagreed with their Presbytery for having exercised church discipline against one of their own, RC Sproul Jr, who came as his own accuser and confessor, and who rather than appealing the Declaratory Judgment and waiting to stand trial on additional charges begged to be released. Much like the CREC, the CPC is “Presbyterian” in name only. Don’t be surprised is RC Jr ultimately winds up in the CPC himself.
Big surprise here though with George Grant. Here all this time I’d thought George was a real bright man. George has a reputation for doing dilligent research, but obviously he dropped the ball on this one. George Grant was likely swayed in his decision by the fact that he’s close personal friends with RC Sproul Jr and Doug Wilson. In all likelihood he was just returning a favor to his buddies.
If anyone has some insights on what the connections might be with the other men feel free to comment.
Of course, the timing on all of this is truly remarkable. Probably all of these ten Reformed Presbyterian pastors are now cringing over the fact that they’ve given their endorsement to the CREC, and the CREC is so tightly coupled in so many people’s minds with its founder Douglas Wilson, and Doug Wilson is now embroiled in the biggest scandal of his “scandal-ridden career.”
I’d be willing to bet that had the pedophilia scandal been outed a month earlier the CREC Commission would have never come up with ten Reformed Presbyterian pastors anywhere who would have signed on. But now it’s too late. Let’s hope that their good names (most of them, after all, probably do have good names) aren’t tarnished by Wilson’s scandal.
This article is republished with the permission of the author.