Contending For Truth - Ligonier Ministries Lawsuit Scandal

Monday, May 08, 2006

Challies Dumps Forum Because of RC Sproul Jr?

On March 9, 2006 Tim Challies started a thread on his blog to report "live" on the Ligonier Ministries National Conference. Some discussion ensued there about the fact that RC Sproul Jr was speaking at the conference, even though he'd just been defrocked by the RPCGA just a little over a month prior. To say the least, some people were offended by that (myself included) and posted their objections in that thread. The blog moderators quickly stepped in and squelched any and all discussion of the RC Sproul Jr scandal. They also deleted several posts. Given the hostile environment arrayed against any open discussion on the issue, I didn't even bother to post there.

Then on March 13 moderator David made the following post:

"Those of you who want to discuss the Sproul Jr. issue can go here to start your own discussion. Once again, this thread is not the place for that."So, I did just that, at http://www.challies.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2329 Hits to that particular discussion thread rapidly climbed to over 4000, far more than any other discussion thread there had ever generated so rapidly.

Then in early April, without any prior notice, Tim Challies jettisoned the entire forum and replaced it with a new one, minus all the content of the old one. His excuse? "Frankly, I am exceedingly tired of having to wade through so much spam and trash and perversion just to keep the forums running. Maybe I'll investigate another option--one that does a better job of keeping out the trash."

So Tim dumps the entire forum supposedly because he's having trouble with spam. He changes over to an entirely new forum without even bothering to first investigate if the new forum software does any better a job of keeping the spam out: "Maybe I'll investigate another option--one that does a better job of keeping out the trash." Does this story sound a little thin to anyone, or is it just me?

If you now look at the Challies forum you'll find on the average day that it's full of postings for pornography, penis expanders, erection drugs (viagra), vallium, venereal disease medications, etc. If Tim was having problems with spam before, he at least had taken some measures to keep it out so that it was reasonably safe to view. Now he's installed software that obviously does nothing to keep out the filth. Now I can't even let my kids (or my wife) to get anywhere near his forum. Tim claims to have junked the old forum software because of spam problems? Yet now he's got far more obvious spam problems than he ever had before.

Is the format and structure of the new forum better than the one he took down? Not even close. The new forum has zero structure, and only one category--"General Discussion." Tim Challies' new forum is a useless Pile 'O Crap, not even close to what Challies had before. Come on Tim! What's the real reason you dumped the forum?

Call me suspicious but I think there's a direct correlation between the thread I started and Challies pulling the plug on it so shortly after. And because I'm not the only suspicious guy out there, someone was thoughtful enough to have saved all the pages from that thread, and they were gracious enough to ask if I wanted them. Evidently they're eager to see them reposted, and since it's obvious that Tim Challies is too intimidated to host them himself, I'll repost them here, in their entirety.





Challies Dot Com Forum Index » General Discussion



RC Sproul Jr defrocked teaching elder teaches Ligonier Conf



Was it right for Dr. Sproul to have RC Sproul Jr speak at the Ligonier Conference?
No
71%
71% [ 5 ]
Yes
28%
28% [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 7

Author Message
Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 3

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:32 pm Post subject: RC Sproul Jr defrocked teaching elder teaches Ligonier Conf

The issue of RC Sproul Jr's appearance on stage at the Ligonier Conference is obviously one that has offended a great many people, as evidenced by some of the posts that remain (those that the moderators haven't already deleted) at http://www.challies.com/archives/001716.php

For example, Paige Duncan made some very valid points where he said (comment 13), "Is it right to just seem to sweep this whole thing under the rug, and do conferences as if nothing had happened? And Dr. Sproul's sin became 'universal' when he was defrocked. We, if expected to sit under his teaching, have the right to know of the status of this issue."

But then obviously there were other commenters in that thread who for the sake of "let's just keep it edifying" did in fact elect to sweep it under the rug, at least for now, and probably forever. I don't necessarily agree that that particular thread would have been the wrong place to discuss it, but in order to not offend those who wished to keep the topic of discussion "happy and upbeat," or what they termed "edifying," I didn't offer any comments there during the time of the conference.

Now that the conference is over I've started this topic here to address the issue of RC Sproul Jr as a defrocked teaching elder continuing to function as a biblical teacher with no biblical authority. Sproul Jr. continues to teach and assume a mantle of authority that was stripped of him by a Presbyterian denomination. His father has aided and abetted RC Jr's rogue pursuit by putting him on the podium behind a pulpit right alongside legitimate ministers of the gospel. Dr. Sproul is sending a message to the church, and the message is loud and clear. Those who refuse to hear the message are either living in denial or, as Paige Duncan put it, trying to "sweep this whole thing under the rug."

Dr. Sproul may think that he's just helped his son, but I would say that all he's really just done is undermine his own credibility. Certainly my own opinion of him isn't near what it once was. Does anybody think for a second that Dr. RC Sproul would have put any other defrocked Presbyterian minister on the podium with him? Clearly Dr. Sproul is just playing favorites.

Is that all that leading Reformed theologians think today of church discipline? Apparently they take church discipline seriously until the subject of the discipline is the son of a highly esteemed Reformed theologian. I just find the whole thing repulsive and embarrassing.

**********
This issue was not "swept under the rug," it was not allowed where it wasn't appropriate. If you resent the fact that order is kept here, I'm sure you can find a place where it is not. If you stay here, learn to live with the rules of this forum. - Moderator


Lin



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 4

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:18 pm Post subject: Thanks

Thanks for setting up this forum...even though no is posting yet. I was starting to get a bit worried over this. I left the seeker-mega church because of the lack of church discipline and eventually saw the truth about the whole movement as I really studied scripture. It all fits together if you really think about it.

I am somewhat new to reformed thinking and discernment has been a big issue with me since my 15 yr. experience with the mega church. I can understand all sides of this issue as it relates to Jr. teaching at the conference. (Sometimes it is hard to see the big picture when you are right there and this may explain Sr.'s behavior)

Still, Sr. has lost lots of credibility. There has not been enough time for people to see true repentence and his public statements are less than convincing. Not to mention the issue has not entirely been resolved from a legal standpoint.

Most dismaying, of course, are the reformed posters on blogs using the same arguements for Sr. and Jr. as our friends in the seeker/emergent movement use against reformers.

We all know how this works and the reason the scripture is clear on rebuking and removing someone from teaching in such situations. Jr. is up on stage teaching during the conference...so what are most of the attendees most likely to be thinking about while he is teaching?

No matter how much we may love Sr. and his teachings/writings we must speak out on this if we are to have any credibility at all. I have contacted the conference organizers on this.

It also shocked me that the conference was as well attended as it was. Does John McArthur have anything to say on this? He just did a 3 part series on discernment lacking in the church. The conference was not technically a church but it was the Body of Christ uniting to learn. Some of these pastors/leaders who have been so eloquent on the shortcomings of the seeker/mega/emergent church movement need to be eloquent on this issue, too.


Joel
Token Papist


Joined: 23 Jul 2004
Posts: 752
Location: Moses Lake, WA

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:37 pm Post subject:

Call me an ignorant mackeral-snapper, but I don't understand what all the flap is about Sproul fils. What exactly has he done to render him unfit for regenerate company? Also, the use of the word "defrocked" brings up a question: Given the number of denominations under the Calvinist umbrella, how much force does one denomination's censure carry in other denominations? Is there a 'full faith and credence" kind of thing, or is it just worked out on a case-by-case basis? Is there a Reformed church in which Sproul could still preach? _________________ -- Joel B. Martin jbmartin@nwi.net
"Suffer me that I may speak, and after that I have spoken, mock on."
Job xxi, 3


ALLAN



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 630
Location: Nelson NZ

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:04 pm Post subject:

What GOD thinks about him teaching at Ligonier is what is important, and not what disagreeing christians think
And for every time when the Spirit has backed up a duly constituted eldership, like with Peter, He has also backed in history what another eldership would have deemed a self-appointed rebel and trouble-maker.

I understand he has left the denomination that defrocked him, with their blessing?

All the same, I don't think he should have got up and ministered SO SOON, bit like a widow marrying a week after burying her previous mate! And particularly without any explanation, when it would have been known what was in the forefront of everyone's mind.

So often when we suppress something, saying we want to protect GOD'S reputation, it is in fact, OUR reputation that worries us, and so we merely end up achieving the opposite result for both!
_________________
I am not what I ought to be
I am not what I want to be
I am not what I hope to be
But by the grace of God
I am not what I was.

(Rev. John Newton)


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 386
Location: Georgia

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:15 pm Post subject:

Wow! Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater...

Because of one potentially bad decision to keep Sproul Jr. on as a speaker, some of you are willing to chuck, not only the entire conference, but the whole Ligonier Ministry as well. Never mind that the conference is NOT a church, and the podium is NOT a pulpit in a local church.

Sproul Jr. didn't even speak at the conference! He spoke ONE TIME at the Pre-Conference Seminar on the subject of marriage. The conference proper didn't start until 7PM Thursday evening with the keynote speaker, John MacArthur.

Come on, people...use some of that discernment you are claiming others should have used. I am not defending Sproul Jr (that is for him to do), but I am defending the effectiveness of the conference and Ligonier Ministries. I was there all week, and I can tell you that Sproul Jr. speaking Thursday morning at the Pre-Conference Seminar had no negative outcome on the usefulness or effectiveness of the conference whatsoever. Will it affect Ligonier Ministries...only time will tell, but I personally don't think it will. Neither do I think it should.

Lin,
You have said that Sproul Sr. has lost "lots" of credibility. I disagree. And again, only time will tell. Also, your comments comparing this somehow to the seeker movement is beyond my understanding. Can you elaborate on that?

Frank Vance,
You have some derogatory and even harsh comments and characterizations of Sproul Sr. and some of the commenters on the thread about the conference, and all I can say is, you must have some kind of inside track on everythng to make the kinds of remarks you have made about Sr. and about those with whom you disagree. Your accusation of sweeping the issue under the rug is unfounded. The moderators preferred to have this discussion take place in this forum rather than on a blog that was setup and intended to provide information about what was taking place during the conference...not what you or others thought about the issue of Sproul Jr.

As you can see and attest to, they welcomed you to start a discussion about that very subject...so how is that sweeping an issue under the rug?
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Lin



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 4

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:10 am Post subject:

Voice of the sheep, Here is what I mean by comparing this to the seeker movement: The reformed movement has rightly spoken out about the seeker/mega/emergent church movement for lacking church discipline, lacking discernment, not preaching the full gospel, etc., etc. I think this situation with RC Sproul, Jr. is parallel in the lacking of discernment and discipline. Do we practice what we preach? Another poster alluded to this is about disagreeing Christians. I do not believe this is about disagreeing Christians at all. We have Gods WORD (Hopefully not the Message Bible )to go by in this situation. If you have not read the judgement by the Presbytery, you may want to take a gander. While I am not in that denomination and do not think a few of the charges are that big of a deal. However, Jr. did agree to pastor within their rules. There are some other charges that are very serious and are still pending for both public and personal legal outcomes. So Jr. was teaching at a 'pre-conference' for pastors/leaders in the church. No, the conference (or pre-conference) was not a "church" but I think you are splitting hairs. Is that a Bill Clinton arguement? I do not understand your baby and bathwater analogy. Jr. has not publicly repented..unless he did so at the conference and we did not hear about it. This could be because of legal proceedings and he cannot comment. Doesn't it make sense that he should stay off stages (Christian teaching) until this is all sorted out, the legal proceedings over and he makes some sort of public statement? I am sorry you think that by my post I meant that Ligonier minstries should cease to exist. Not at all. I am disappointed in Sr, though. I thought he had more discernment than this but it is hard when it is your own son. I do understand that. If he thinks his son is innocent, can he not say so?. As far as time telling us anything...time, in this case, has nothing to do with it for me. I know this situation must hurt many and many are defending someone they love and I totally understand that. Personally, I feel very badly for both father and son in this matter. [/quote]


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 3

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:23 am Post subject: Can a defrocked man be a Bible teacher?

ALLAN wrote:
All the same, I don't think he should have got up and ministered SO SOON, bit like a widow marrying a week after burying her previous mate! And particularly without any explanation, when it would have been known what was in the forefront of everyone's mind.

Exactly my point (and thanks for putting it better than I did). People would be embarrassed to see a widow remarry the week after his spouse died (and they'd also be suspicious). I'm ashamed and embarrassed, as a Reformed man, to see what's going on with RC Sproul Jr, and I'm even more ashamed and embarrassed of Dr. Sproul. I used to have a lot more respect for the man than I do today. Yes, I feel sorry for him and the terrible position his son has put him in, but that doesn't excuse his decision to put his son on the podium with Reformed men who have never been defrocked.
Joel wrote:
What exactly has he done to render him unfit for regenerate company?

RC Sproul Jr hasn't been excommunicated, so it's not a question of whether or not he's fit for regenerate company. The issue is how is he fit to continue functioning as a Bible teacher after he was stripped of that mantle by his denomination? Has some other denomination exonerated him? Has he been reordained? If being stripped of his ordination were no big thing, then why was it such a big thing for him to become ordained in the first place?

Credentials are a very big thing in Reformed circles. Just read any Reformed preacher's bio. Do they not make a big deal over their ordinations? And if it's a big deal to be ordained, it can't be a non-event to be defrocked.

Quote:
Given the number of denominations under the Calvinist umbrella, how much force does one denomination's censure carry in other denominations?

It carries a lot of force, or at least it used to carry a lot of force. There was a time when being defrocked would have been a disgraceful thing -- it used to matter, at least to people of Reformed faith. That appears to be one of the points that Lin made -- Reformed churches today are strikingly similar to the fast and loose ecclesiology and seeker-friendly discipline that Reformed preachers claim to disdain. Reformed people have traditionally honored and respected church discipline, but today too many are becoming autonomists, and there is no better example of that than RC Sproul Jr. The fact that Dr. Sproul is publicly honoring his son's autonomist ways doesn't make it right. All it does is undermine Dr. Sproul's credibility.

Quote:
Is there a Reformed church in which Sproul could still preach?

Yes, he could preach for his father (as he just did), and he could preach in his father's church, Saint Andrews Chapel which has no denominational affiliation. He could also preach at St. Peter Church in Bristol where his congregation voted to make him their Elder again, just a couple days after his denomination defrocked him. But doing so doesn't make it right. Before he does any more preaching or Bible teaching he should seek to be exonerated by some other denomination or confederation, and it appears as though he's already got something in the works with the CREC. But few Reformed people view the CREC as a legitimate denomination anyway, and they're certainly not a Presbyterian denomination. RC Sproul Jr claims he's a Presbyterian. Is there any bona fide Presbyterian denomination that would even consider examining his case that resulted in his being defrocked? That seems really doubtful.

Oh, and Lin, a few of the charges really "are that big of a deal." It looks like the RPCGA thought that RC Sproul Jr's stealing another denominations tax ID number and committing identity theft was a pretty big deal. Well, at least at one time, Reformed people would have considered such a thing a good reason for giving an ordained preacher the boot. Nowadays about all that matters is if he's a good teacher. Character and personal integrity doesn't seem to be much of an issue any more (1 Tim 3:1-7).


wildjoy



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 125
Location: Brazil

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:57 pm Post subject:

Quote:
Before he does any more preaching or Bible teaching he should seek to be exonerated by some other denomination or confederation,
Wouldn't it be more biblical if he sought to be reconciled to his own denomination? (Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6.1)

wj
_________________
There is no such virtue as temperance in spiritual feasting. --Jonathan Edwards


Joel
Token Papist


Joined: 23 Jul 2004
Posts: 752
Location: Moses Lake, WA

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:40 pm Post subject:

wildjoy wrote:
Quote:
Before he does any more preaching or Bible teaching he should seek to be exonerated by some other denomination or confederation,
Wouldn't it be more biblical if he sought to be reconciled to his own denomination? (Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6.1)

wj


I agree. Getting himself "exonerated" by another denomination would smell suspiciously like those priests who switch to schismatic groups so they can marry, or live as homosexuals, or something like that.

I had a look at the declaration of the RPCGA, but since Presbyterian is a foreign language to me, I'm kind of confused as to exactly what Sproul did. The word "heresy" was uused in one place, but except for a reference to an "Auburn Avenue direction" (a phrase I also donn't understand), I don't see any doctrinal issue. The problem seems to be that he handled members in a high-handed manner. Can anbody explain the offense in simple terms, annd what Sproul would have to do to rectify the situation?

I also noticed references to not having a trial, but simply voting him out, which I gather is of questionable legality under the denomination's laws. A Catholic bishop could "defrock" a pastor unilaterally (we call it "removing faculties," because it affects only his priestly functions, not the character of his ordination), but Presbyterians are much more democratic than that, and I would have thought a trial would be a requirement for the defrocking to be taken seriously outside this congregation.

Sorry if these sound like basic questions, but I'm pretty unfamiliar with Reformed church politics.
_________________
--
Joel B. Martin
jbmartin@nwi.net
"Suffer me that I may speak, and after that I have spoken, mock on."
Job xxi, 3


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 3

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:01 pm Post subject:

Joel wrote:
Can anbody explain the offense in simple terms, annd what Sproul would have to do to rectify the situation?

The offenses are already very simply and clearly spelled out in the Declaratory Judgment, and there's a lot more in there than just their unbiblical "discipline" of the Austin family and others. There's also the matter of RC Sproul Jr's identity theft of another denomination's tax ID number. That's something that RC Sproul Jr could yet be criminally charged for.
Quote:
I also noticed references to not having a trial, but simply voting him out, which I gather is of questionable legality under the denomination's laws.
Actually it's not all of "questionable legality" nor is it even particularly unusual. Just because you may be unfamiliar with it doesn't make it "questionable." You can find a pretty decent explanation of it here, and there's also some other helpful information available in this Open Letter.


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 386
Location: Georgia

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:58 pm Post subject:

How far does this removal of authority reach? Is Sproul Jr. fit to teach anyone else? Does this removal from eldership apply only to the formal teaching ministry of church, or does it go further? Is there any situation where he would still be okay to teach?
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Lin



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 4

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:39 pm Post subject: Where and when can he teach?

Voice of the Sheep,

Those are good questions but I would read up on this situation before I asked those kinds of questions. From what I have read that is official and other things like open letters from members, etc., I would say he needs to get out of ministry altogether. Even if a tenth of what I read in the judgement declaration and open letters are true, he does not need to be teaching or ministering to anyone...ever. At least, I would have a hard time taking his teaching to heart. But then, I am gun shy having just left 15 years of what I would call watered down false preaching in a seeker environment.

What many do not realize is that people moved from all over the country to be a part of this church plant at great personal expense. The Austins are a case in point.

After the open letters from some members were sent to the presbytery, Jr. wrote a contrite letter to the Austins which is good but the timing of the letter is suspicious.

The case of the Tax ID is very serious not to mention the abuse of Presbytery rules and the emotional abuse of members including the edict from Jr. to his congregation to shun even the children of parents he was disciplining. And his reasons for the discipline of the parents is not even biblical or a part of the presbytery rules! They had to do with communion for and Baptism for children. As I read it, Jr was pro and the parents against. Going as far as to tell the parents that if they did not baptize their mentally disabled daughter she would go to hell.

Still, as I read it, the congregation recently voted to reinstate him as a non voting elder. This does not surprise me but it does sadden me.

Nothing else is mentioned about the Tax ID abuse. Except that there are some public and personal legal proceedings still open which I take to mean this is far from over.

If we are going to take our faith seriously we have to stand up for truth and expect very high biblical standards from our leaders. There has been quite a bit of talk that this should not be discussed on blogs, etc. There have even been accusations of blogging on this to be gossip. And, that it is a private matter for his church, etc.

I must disagree totally. Sunlight is a very good disinfectent and abuse repellant. If we are to be salt and light we must do so within our faith as we do in our culture. Now, if we did not have access to the Presbytery Judgement Declaration all this would be speculation and could be classified as gossip.

Very sad situation. May God be Glorified even out of this mess!


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 386
Location: Georgia

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:55 pm Post subject:

Quote:
Those are good questions but I would read up on this situation before I asked those kinds of questions.


I have read up on this...both the formal judgment and open letters.

Quote:
Even if a tenth of what I read in the judgement declaration and open letters are true, he does not need to be teaching or ministering to anyone...ever.


Does that include his own family? His wife and children? If so, who is to now teach and lead them for the rest of their lives? Remember, you said he shouldn't be teaching or minsitering to ANYONE...EVER.

Is their NO room for reinstatement in the future, no room for making amends in your eyes? For-ever is a really long time. Are you sure you are willing to stand by that?
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


david



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 755
Location: North Dakota

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:26 pm Post subject:

Does anyone involved in this discussion know the whole story? If not, I suggest that you are not entitled to much of an opinion on it. I see some strong opinions on things that might or might not be true. I would be very fearful of spouting off about a brother without full knowledge of the situation. Gossip is not becoming, or acceptable, and you will give an account for all of your idle words.

What are you going to do if you find you have been wrong? Are you going to personally and publicly apologize to parties you have slandered? If so, will your apologies undo damage done?

Right or wrong, I would hate to be in your place - short on facts and long on mouth.
_________________
David

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:6)


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 386
Location: Georgia

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:24 pm Post subject:

David...I'm with you. I have read what there is to read out there about this issue, and it seems that many are going way beyond even what action has formally taken place. I think that is dangerous. I'm sure people will think I am defending Sproul Jr. because of these comments...and I guess to some extent I am...not as to his innocence or guilt, but moreso concerning how we should be acting toward him right now.

This kind of thing seems to bring out the worst in people (Christians), who are well known for being the only army that shoots its wounded - self inflicted or not.

My Pastor's sermon this past Sunday was on 'patience', as he has been covering the fruit of the Spirit...and I think right now we could all exercise a little patience and restraint over this situation. If some consider that sweeping this issue under the rug, then so be it...I consider it wise and prudent to go slow on this one.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon









Challies Dot Com Forum Index » General Discussion



RC Sproul Jr defrocked teaching elder teaches Ligonier Conf


Was it right for Dr. Sproul to have RC Sproul Jr speak at the Ligonier Conference?
No
66%
66% [ 6 ]
Yes
33%
33% [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 9

Author Message
Lin



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 4

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:06 am Post subject:

Sorry Guys, But he was defrocked sometime in Jan and in March he is teaching on a stage to pastors in a conference sponsored by his father. Are you saying we have no right to question the validity of that?

David if you know for a fact some things that I have posted are wrong please enlighten me and I will happily admit my fault. That is part of the problem. We are only hearing the side of the Judgement put out by the presbytery. How have we gone way beyond what formally took place? Can you elaborate?

Voice, I am afraid I cannot reply to the silliness of his being able teaching his own wife and kids. I think that is a bit of a stretch but meant to sideline the topic at hand. But I do understand the spirit in which it was written and admire you for your defense of someone you obviously love very much.

Think on the verse below...The Holy Spirit makes pastors/elders overseers of the church that Christ bought with His Blood.

Jr. mislead his flock in many ways and broke the law using another churches TAX ID number without their permission. This was not just some mistake or accident.

Check out ACTS:
26Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, 27for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God,[c] which he obtained with his own blood.[d] 29I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. 32And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.

Please remember, this all started because some of us questioned the decision to let him teach at a pastors conference (or pre-conference) so soon after all this came about.

This will have to be my last post on this subject. Unity is not always a good thing. I am real big on the Priesthood of the Believers and that is certainly part of where I am coming from on this issue. I believe we must hold our leaders accountable while at the same time submitting to them, praying for them and of course we must know our scripture to make sure we are not being led off a cliff with them.


david



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 757
Location: North Dakota

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:51 am Post subject:

The discussion going on here has nothing to do with "holding our leaders accountable" since Sproul Jr. is not one of our leaders.

I can't point out who is right or wrong, and I have no interest in doing so. I don't know all the facts of the matter, so I am not qualified to make any judgments about it. If I never do learn the details about it, Then I will never even have a right to an opinion. I'm not going to pontificate based on partial information. To do so is extremely foolish.

If I wanted to know, I sure wouldn't come here to read gossip, I would go to the source. And I would have no expectation that either side would tell me anything, because I am not a member of their church or denomination. I don't expect to be privy to their business.

Also, I'm mature enough to wait to see what kind of information is made public by the parties involved, rather than demand to know right now or I'll hold my breath and bang my head on the floor.
_________________
David

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:6)


Joel
Token Papist


Joined: 23 Jul 2004
Posts: 752
Location: Moses Lake, WA

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:08 am Post subject:

On the whole, I have to agree with David, since I know even less about it. But I'd be curious what the other folks' opinion would be of Jr. if this incident for which he was defrocked hadn't taken place. Had he up to then impressed you as a good, Godly teacher?
_________________
--
Joel B. Martin
jbmartin@nwi.net
"Suffer me that I may speak, and after that I have spoken, mock on."
Job xxi, 3


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 390
Location: Georgia

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:24 am Post subject:

Lin,
Since you apparantly are not willing to hang around and discuss your comments, I will not take the time to respond to them.

All I will say, though, is...please, when you have at least two paths to take in how you talk about someone else when a situation like this comes up...it is always better to err on the side of caution, restraint, and respect. For, if time proves that you were too cautious, too restrained, and too respectful...you can always become more hardline in your stance. But, if you start out going over the edge with your judgments, it is very difficult to cross back over that line and undue what you have already been done, especially if some or all of what you have taken such a hard stance on is, down the road, proven to be not as serious as once portrayed (I am not syaing that is the case here, but as a possible example).

Just one speaking from experience.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 10

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:00 pm Post subject: Ignorance Is Bliss

david wrote:
Does anyone involved in this discussion know the whole story? If not, I suggest that you are not entitled to much of an opinion on it. I see some strong opinions on things that might or might not be true. I would be very fearful of spouting off about a brother without full knowledge of the situation. Gossip is not becoming, or acceptable, and you will give an account for all of your idle words. . . Right or wrong, I would hate to be in your place - short on facts and long on mouth.
.
Now that sounds real judgmental, David. I wouldn't deny that you are clearly a man who is "short on facts and long on mouth," but that doesn't give you any right to project your ignorance onto others. And yours, David, appears to be a willful ignorance.

I've done a lot more than apparently you have, David. I've thoroughly read the public RC Sproul Jr defrocking documents. It seems to me that what you're doing, David, is to violate the 9th commandment by accusing Lin, and probably me as well, of being gossips. Before making such allegations maybe you should familiarize yourself with the definition of gossip. Our discussion here doesn't even begin to touch on anything that is of a private or confidential nature. It's all public information, concerning a very public person, of a very public incident, which is corroborated by public documents. By definition we're not gossiping, David. But I would agree that it would be best for you to not make any comments, since of your own admission you're ignorant of the facts. If you were to comment it would just be ignorant speculation, and that could lead to gossip, and God will certainly hold you accountable for every idle word.
david wrote:
The discussion going on here has nothing to do with "holding our leaders accountable" since Sproul Jr. is not one of our leaders.

David, RC Sproul Jr may not have had any direct influence as a "leader" in your family, or in your home school group, or in your church. If you've never read any of his books, or gone to hear him speak at a conference, or he's never spoken in your church. then again, you should probably just not make any comments here because it doesn't concern you anyway. If it doesn't concern you, and if you haven't even bothered to familiarize yourself by reading the public documents, then your comments might be easily construed as gossip. However, I can assure you that RC Sproul Jr has had widespread leadership influence in many other families, especially home school familes, and even entire churches. His speaking itinerary is evidence of that, so please don't deny the obvious. RC Sproul Jr is a leader, and for years he's been a very influential and a very public leader, and he continues to try to exercise his "leadership" even though he's been defrocked.
Highlands Study Center web site wrote:
"R.C. is associate pastor of teaching of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church, and Founder, Chairman and Teacher of the Highlands Study Center. He has written or edited nine books, and contributed to several others. He once wrote for World magazine, and for the Covenant Syndicate. . . At the Highlands Study Center, R.C. teaches the Tuesday Night Bible study for the community, most of the Highlands Academy classes, the resident students, and serves as executive editor of Every Thought Captive. When not busy teaching, or playing with the children, he is making homebrew."

Not only has RC Sproul Jr been a "leader," he's still pawning himself off as a "pastor" even though he's been defrocked.
Quote:
I don't know all the facts of the matter, so I am not qualified to make any judgments about it. If I never do learn the details about it, Then I will never even have a right to an opinion. I'm not going to pontificate based on partial information. To do so is extremely foolish.

For a guy who's concerned about not pontificating, and that you're "not qualified to make any judgments," you've been doing a lot of pontificating and judging anyway.
Quote:
If I wanted to know I sure wouldn't come here to read gossip

So apparently what you're saying is:
1. I don't want to know (ignorance is bliss)
2. I don't think anyone else should know either.
3. Anyone who does know shouldn't be entitled to have an opinions about it, or at least any opinions which are less than favorable of RC Sproul Jr. If anyone says anything negative about RC Sproul Jr we'll accuse them of being a "gossip."
Quote:
I would go to the source. And I would have no expectation that either side would tell me anything, because I am not a member of their church or denomination. I don't expect to be privy to their business.

I don't share your ignorance is bliss sentiment. RC Sproul Jr is my business, and he's the business of the tens of thousands of Christian families and hundreds of churches and home school groups that he's had a direct leadership influence on. Unlike you, David, because I don't relish the prospect of being ignorant, I do have an expectation that both sides tell me something, in fact everything. And thankfully they already have.
Quote:
Also, I'm mature enough to wait to see what kind of information is made public by the parties involved, rather than demand to know right now or I'll hold my breath and bang my head on the floor.

I'm not advocating you hold your breath and bang your head on the floor, David. I'm just advocating that you open your eyes. Stop living in denial. The "information is made public," past-tense, and it happened almost two months ago.

David, you're the best proof yet that there are folks here who, to quote Paige Duncan, want to "sweep this whole thing under the rug."


david



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 757
Location: North Dakota

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:10 pm Post subject:

Frank, you've done a good job of misrepresenting everything I've said.

Let's see if you can do some simple math.

a + b = c

a = known facts about the Sproul Jr. controversy
b = facts not yet known about the Sproul Jr. controversy
c = appropriate judgement for or against Sproul Jr.

You want to arrive at c without first solving b. It is that simple. You get an F in elementary arithmatic.

When this whole thing is over (it is not yet), and the dust has settled, b will most likely become a known quantity. I am content to wait until then. In fact, I have no choice but to wait. Premature speculation is profitless, and puts you at risk of being guilty of slander.
_________________
David

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:6)


vesselsofmercy



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 52

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:39 pm Post subject:

Whatever the specifics of what Sproul Jr. did, I don't know, but I think what's being overlooked here is that the church where he ministers did a congregational vote and overwhelmingly agreed to keep him on as pastor. At least that's what I understand, and if that's not true I do apologize.

I would be inclined to be satisfied with congregational decisions, being a Baptist. In fact, all this makes me all the more glad I am a Baptist and not a Presby.

Now before you Pres'bians get in a rage, let me say also that I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy blogging with you guys, and it does break my heart to a degree to see good calvinists going at each other like this.

In any case, give this some time before coming to drastic judgements, both for the truth's sake and for RC Jr's sake.
_________________
J.D.


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 10

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:12 pm Post subject:

david wrote:
You get an F in elementary arithmatic.

Thank you David. And you get an A+ for subterfuge.
Quote:
When this whole thing is over (it is not yet), and the dust has settled, b will most likely become a known quantity.

Now here is a great mystery. David represents that he knows little to nothing about the RC Sproul Jr defrocking case: ". . .so I am not qualified to make any judgments about it." Yet all he's done is make judgments and proclamations about it, and condemn anyone as a "gossip" and now a "slanderer" who won't keep silence. David now even claims to know that "this whole thing" isn't "over yet." How could he know that? How can he be both ignorant and knowledgeable at the same time? Has the RPCGA revealed something to him that they haven't told anyone else? Is the RPCGA planning on overturning their own judgment?

David, you speak as though there's another chapter to this book. But there isn't another chapter. The RPCGA defrocked RC Sproul Jr. End of story. And this isn't a nice litte fairy tale "And they lived happily ever after" story. This story has a very sad and tragic ending.
Quote:
I am content to wait until then. In fact, I have no choice but to wait. Premature speculation is profitless, and puts you at risk of being guilty of slander.

I'm at risk of no such thing. My knowledge and my comments are based upon public information -- specifically the Declaratory Judgment of the RPCGA. Your opinions on the matter appear to be based upon mere speculation about unsubstantiated rumors. Isn't that the very basis of gossip?


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 10

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:24 pm Post subject:

vesselsofmercy wrote:
Whatever the specifics of what Sproul Jr. did, I don't know, but I think what's being overlooked here is that the church where he ministers did a congregational vote and overwhelmingly agreed to keep him on as pastor. At least that's what I understand, and if that's not true I do apologize.

No apology necessary vessel. You're quite right. And you're only making my point. RC Sproul Jr is an autonomist in rebellion to the church authority that ordained him and later defrocked him. When he got the boot from the denomination that ordained him, he then turned to his own congregation to seek legitimacy of his rule from them. No man is recognized as a ruler or a leader without some type of imprimatur. Before, RC Sproul Jr was a Presbyterian, and very proud of being a Presbyterian. He disdained congregationalism, but now he appears quite comfortable with congregationalism.
Quote:
In any case, give this some time before coming to drastic judgements, both for the truth's sake and for RC Jr's sake.

I haven't made any judgments against RC Sproul Jr. That was for the RPCGA, and they made it. That IS the truth, and for truth's sake I think it only appropriate to now discuss what is to be done about RC Sproul Jr, a man who was defrocked, yet he continues masquerading as a pastor and a Bible teacher. And there are Reformed people here, and even some Presbyterians, who aren't even offended by that? Odd. And the fact of the matter is, vessel, that even Baptists have the good sense to know what to do about it when a Baptist minister is defrocked.


david



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 757
Location: North Dakota

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:42 pm Post subject:

Evidently, your reading skills are as poor as you math skills.

I didn't say I know "little to nothing" about it. I said I don't know all the facts, so I'm not qualified to draw a conclusion.

I also have not said anyone should "keep silence." I have said they should not draw conclusions based on incomplete information.

Quote:
The RPCGA defrocked RC Sproul Jr. End of story.

Not so:

RPCGA Judgment Against Sproul Jr. And Elders (the link you already supplied)
Sproul Jr.'s and Elder's Repentance
RPCGA Response

I don't believe even this is the end of the story.
_________________
David

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:6)


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 390
Location: Georgia

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:47 pm Post subject:

The more I read the judgment the more convinced I am that the main issue for this action was the paedo-communion issue. It defintiely gets the most ink in the declaration.

It appears that paedo-communion was one of the main issues surrounding the Austin family situation at the church.

Why in the world would the RPCGA admit a church that advocates paedo-communion when they knew going in what Sproul Jr's position was?

I noticed in the judgment that St. Peter Church requested to be removed from the RPCGA denomination because of the differences over communion.

Why did the RPCGA denomination wait THREE YEARS before taking action on the mission churches that were setup by St. Peter Church as discussed in the judgment?

As I was typing out this post, I skimmed through the entire judgment again, and the overarching topic throughout the document appears to be this issue of paedo (infant)-communion...allowing children to partake in the Lord's Supper.

I would ask those reading this to read through the declaration a few times and see if you do not see a common thread throughout the judgment. I am not saying it is the only issue, but it certainly gets the most attention.

I conclude that the RPCGA could have possibly avoided this whole mess had they NOT admitted St. Peter into their denomination knowing all along what their view of paedo-communion was. I am not laying the whole blame on them, but I think they should bear some responsibility.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 10

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:23 pm Post subject: RC Sproul Jr defrocked for duplicity

voiceofthesheep wrote:
The more I read the judgment the more convinced I am that the main issue for this action was the paedo-communion issue. It defintiely gets the most ink in the declaration.

So "most ink" equals "main issue"? So based upon that logic, what would you say would be the "main issue" of the Bible? Did you know that the subject of money has a lot more ink devoted to it in the Bible than the subject of faith? Is money more important than faith?

Paedocommunion was the main issue? No, not hardly. The main issue was a pattern of duplicity, and RC Sproul Jr's practice of paedocommunion, in defiance of his Presbytery's rules, is just one of a number of issues that proved his duplicitous nature:
RPCGA Declaratory Judgment wrote:
"The consistent pattern of actions taken by these men are duplicitous in nature, and demonstrate that they willingly and knowingly act in an arbitrary fashion in violation of their vows of ordination and in violation of our denomination’s Book of Church Order. Most importantly, their actions manifest that they lack the qualification for the ministry (1Timothy 3:1-7). It would be unwise to allow these men to continue to hold an office for which they are not qualified."

Don't overlook the fact that RC Sproul Jr stole the tax ID number of another denomination. That's a criminal act.

Oh, and David, if what you mean by "I don't believe even this is the end of the story" is that RC Sproul Jr could wind up getting criminally indicted and going to jail, then I'd be in agreement with you.


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 390
Location: Georgia

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:44 pm Post subject:

Quote:
So "most ink" equals "main issue"? So based upon that logic, what would you say would be the "main issue" of the Bible? Did you know that the subject of money has a lot more ink devoted to it in the Bible than the subject of faith? Is money more important than faith?

Sorry, Frank, I failed to fully explain myself..and that seems to be a dangerous thing to do around you. I did not mean to imply that the sheer number of words devoted to the issue of paedo-communion means that it was the main issue. What I meant was, it seems to be one of the issues at the heart of the situation with the Austins, it obviously IS a main issue with respect to the RPCGA declaration, and it also seems to have been an issue even before St. Peter Church was allowed to join the denomination.

With respect to your statement that more ink is devoted to money than faith in the Bible...PROVE IT. Do you know this for a fact...or are you basing your belief off of what you read somewhere? I'm not saying you are wrong, I would just like to know where you got that information. It appears to me that faith is one of the underlying and overarching themes from Genesis to Revelation, so I find it hard to see how money gets more "ink" than faith (of course, it would depend on your definition of "ink" with repect to these two subjects in the Bible).

I am curious... do you, Frank, believe that we need to treat Sproul Jr. as an unbeliever?
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 10

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:05 pm Post subject: So what's the point of ordination?

Voice, I've got no intention of going off on rabbit trails with you or anyone else here. The money vs. faith argument wasn't the issue. You were the one that raised the argument that "quantity of ink equals main issue," or at least that's what your argument appeared to be My assertion is that's usually false logic. Thank you for now correcting yourself.
voiceofthesheep wrote:
I am curious... do you, Frank, believe that we need to treat Sproul Jr. as an unbeliever?

I do not. My assumption is that he is a believer, and should be treated accordingly, and should be held accountable accordingly. Sproul Jr wasn't excommunicated. He was defrocked. He needs to be treated accordingly, and held accountable accordingly. He continues preaching and teaching as though nothing at all had happened to him on January 26, 2006. So what was the point in his original ordination if having it stripped from him doesn't change anything?


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 390
Location: Georgia

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:51 pm Post subject:

Quote:
The money vs. faith argument wasn't the issue. You were the one that raised the argument that "quantity of ink equals main issue," or at least that's what your argument appeared to be My assertion is that's usually false logic. Thank you for now correcting yourself.

Frank, I must say that you come across as pretty contentious. I did NOT correct myself, I clarified my earlier comments. Though, I know it makes you look better to say that I corrected myself. The money/faith example was yours - I didn't come up with that - and all I was doing was asking where you got it, as you were using it to make your point.

You seem to be happy enough to go down other trails in previous posts in discussing the ignorance or others, etc., etc. Why won't you at least tell us where you are getting your information on the money/faith "ink" in the Bible. The Sproul issue is pretty much a finished one. He was defrocked... he's still teaching...many like you want him stopped...some like me want to use a little restraint in our personal judgments. Subject closed.

I think those reading this stuff would be interested to know where you get your information that the Bible talks more about money than faith. It should be easy enough to answer...and it may prove to be good discussion material until something else worth discussing comes to light on the Sproul issue. Surely you don't have anything new to say about the Sproul thing...I mean...it is pretty clear where you stand...it is pretty clear where I stand.

What do you say...can you provide the source for the money/faith comparison?

Before you go and call me contentious - or something worse - for wanting to know where you are getting your information...I am NOT saying you are wrong...I just want to know how you know what you say you know that you know...'cause I don't know...as I'm sure you will point out to me...ya know???
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon

Challies Dot Com - Putting The "Fun" In Fundamentalism



Challies Dot Com Forum Index » General Discussion



RC Sproul Jr defrocked teaching elder teaches Ligonier Conf


Was it right for Dr. Sproul to have RC Sproul Jr speak at the Ligonier Conference?
No
70%
70% [ 7 ]
Yes
30%
30% [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 10

Author Message
Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 13

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:56 pm Post subject:

voiceofthesheep wrote:
Subject closed.

Oh really? Says who? And you say that I'm the one that "comes across as pretty contentious"?
Quote:
I think those reading this stuff would be interested to know where you get your information that the Bible talks more about money than faith.
That I seriously doubt, and it wasn't the subject of this discussion anyway. But any pretext for a rabbit trail, I suppose. http://www.fpch.org/treasure.htm


phil_g_k



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Toronto ON

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:21 pm Post subject: RC Sproul Jr. defrocked...

Can anyone please point me to where RC Jr. repented.
Not that he needs to repent before being forgivin.
When re-instated by his congregation did he admit to his shortcomings and ask for forgivenss?
As to whether he should have been permitted to address a pre-convention seminar or not, I believe due to the timing and all things considered he clearly should not have.

philip
_________________
While we look not at the things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 corinthians 4:18


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 13

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:43 pm Post subject:

Here's an example of how RC Sproul Jr and his Session "repent": Saint Peter Session letter ot "repentance" to the John Austin family

Needless to say John Austin wasn't impressed. Here's his response: John Austin reply

In response to the Saint Peter Session's letter of "repentance" Chad Degenhart posted a very humorous: How Not To Apologize


phil_g_k



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Toronto ON

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:02 am Post subject: RC Sproul Jr. defrocked

Thanks Frank!
That was one of the most bizarre things I've ever read!
That statement of repentance makes Martha Stewart look like a 'flagellant'.

One has to wonder why such a 'flip-flop' occured between the time RC Jr. issued his personal letter and the insult that the Austin family received in the guise of a statement of repentance from the Session. There certainly
doesn't seem to be any inkling of any effort to make ammends. As Mr. Austin points out the blame shifting, and duplicity render this a laughable facimile of a letter of repentance. Laughable that is if it weren't so very sad.
I'm sure the Austin family is greatly relieved that they have been 'released' from this abuse and now have permission to follow their conscience.

Where can I find info regarrding the tax # issue. While we here in Canada do try to maintain a presumption of innocence 'till proven guilty, I gotta confess to you, I'm begining to feel like Nancy Graceless on this one.

There are no 'winners' in this story and I would pray that we all take a look
at ourselves to unsure our actions are Glorifying the Church and Our Lord.

philip
[/i][/b]
_________________
While we look not at the things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 corinthians 4:18


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 407
Location: Georgia

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:02 am Post subject:

Let's see...a two page letter of admission of sin, repentance and request for forgiveness, replied to with a seven page letter of critique, hostility and bitterness. The Austins can say they have forgiven these leaders, but their words and actions do NOT bear that out. There is clearly a high level of hostility here on the part of the Austins...and maybe even rightly so...but that does NOT justify their response.

Quote:
Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. - Matt. 18:21-22


The instruction to forgive does not come with a biblical mandate to critique the request for forgiveness. The Austins clearly have a lot of bitterness toward these leaders, which they need to deal with. The true fruit of the Spirit of patience would have been for the Austins to receive this letter from Sproul Jr. and the others with a "Thank you, we forgive you", and then quietly go on their way. Instead they took it as an opportunity to return the favor of mistreatment by lashing out at these men. Regardless of what Sproul Jr. and these others did or did not do, I believe the Austins took this great opportunity to show a true spirit of love in devotion to Christ, and they turned it into a victory for the flesh.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


phil_g_k



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Toronto ON

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:14 am Post subject: RC Sproul Jr. defrocked

Voiceofthesheep,
What letter of repentance were you reading? It couldn't have been the same as Frank linked. If it was, we sure have a vast discrepancy of what constitutes sincerity!

Respectfully.
philip
_________________
While we look not at the things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 corinthians 4:18


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 407
Location: Georgia

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:11 am Post subject:

The instruction from Christ in the Bible says nothing about our making a judgment about the sincerity of the one who has sinned against us, or in making public retorts against them. Are we not simply instructed to forgive...and if they come back and sin against us again, are we not instructed to simply forgive again?

Believe me, my desire - had I been in the Austin's shoes - would have also been to let Sproul Jr. and the others have it and good once I had the audience. And no matter how right I would have been regarding my case...I would NOT have been in the right to respond, at least not publicly anyway. How did the Austin's letter become public? How did anything but the official declaration by the RPCGA become public?

What good did all this extraneous information serve...but to add fuel to the fire. Oh, how we are prone to bite and devour one another.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 13

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:09 am Post subject:

phil_g_k wrote:
Where can I find info regarrding the tax # issue.

There's quite a bit of detail on it at http://hushmoney.org/RC_Sproul_Jr-defrocking-docs.htm

voiceofthesheep wrote:
Let's see...a two page letter of admission of sin, repentance and request for forgiveness, replied to with a seven page letter of critique, hostility and bitterness.

That sounds pretty judgmental, voice. Are you really a "voice of the sheep"? It sure doesn't sound like it. You're judging motives of "sheep" and imputing ill-will, "hostility and bitterness" to sheep, when you don't even know the Austins. You've probably never had to deal with anything like what they've dealt with. Considering what they've been through they sound like pretty gracious, and yes even forgiving people. But it doesn't look like they're fools either. They know there's thousands of other sheep in churches all over America that have been battered just they've been, and I thank God that they and other Battered Sheep are going public with their tragic stories of ecclesiastical abuse. What the church of Jesus Christ needs is accountability, not sweeping abuse under the rug (read the Austin's The Journey Out).

Have you ever been in a church and been subjected to the kind of ecclesiastical tyranny masquerading as "discipline" that the Austin family did? Were you ever "disciplined" unbiblically and in defiance of your denomination's constitution? Have you ever been shunned by your entire church? And have your children ever been shunned by your entire church?

Why don't you just read their letter for what it says rather than trying to project ill-will on them? Even if the Austins are bitter, that's not your problem to worry about. Interesting that you now want to hold the Austins accountable to biblical standards, but you appear so eager to avoid doing the same with RC Sproul Jr. Hmm. But since you're so concerned about biblical standards, let's see what the Bible says. I can assure you it doesn't say what you claim it says:
voiceofthesheep wrote:
The instruction from Christ in the Bible says nothing about our making a judgment about the sincerity of the one who has sinned against us, or in making public retorts against them. Are we not simply instructed to forgive...and if they come back and sin against us again, are we not instructed to simply forgive again?

Now don't get me wrong, voice. I completely agree that forgiveness is a good thing. We should forgive. For our own well-being we must forgive, especially when it becomes apparent that our offender won't ever genuinely repent. But are you trying to hold the Austins accountable to a standard even higher than God himself uses? Isn't forgiveness conditional upon repentance?
Quote:
"Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him." Luke 17:3

There's that "if he repent" clause in there that seems to indicate that forgiveness is predicated upon repentance. And what is repentance? Do these statements qualify as repentance?
  1. I'm sorry if it offends you that we have beer kegs and that the men pass around whiskey bottles at our church functions. But we're Presbyterians so we smoke and we drink. You really just need to get over it.
  2. I'm sorry if I offended you about giving alcohol to my children in plain view of your own chldren. But I've decided that my drinking and my children's drinking is 'drinking in moderation.' If you keep telling me that I need to stop 'drinking in moderation' then I think you'll cause me to stumble.
  3. Hey, we're sorry if our order to the Saint Peter congregation to shun your entire family, including your five children, might have hurt you. But it's all just a big misunderstanding. You see, we never actually told anyone to shun you. We just sort of put in a 'request to our membership to refrain from contact with your family.' We never really ordered them to do anything. So you see, if they shunned you it's really their fault, not ours.

Clearly that's not repentance. It's just excuses, self-justification and blame-shifting. Apparently you find that acceptable conduct for ordained pastors. Thankfully the RPCGA didn't find it acceptable. RC Sproul Jr would have been better off not ever having written such a sham letter of repentance, because he made an utter mockery out of what repentance means and he set an absolutely horrid example for his Saint Peter congregation.

Yours isn't the only statement I've seen on the internet blasting John Austin for going public. What's amusing to me is to see the great concern so many RC Sproul Jr defenders have over "going public" when it's RC Sproul Jr who's being talked about. But did anyone care when it was the John Austin family that was being publicly disparaged? They have a ministry too, a ministry to home schoolers, and as I understand it their ministry really suffered when it was publicly disclosed that they were "under discipline" and that their entire family was being shunned. Now there's something that won't help a family's public image! Many people assumed that the Austins were guilty of some really horrible sins. After all, churches don't ordinary shun entire families over just some trivial doctrinal disagreements, do they? But in this case that's exactly what had happened.

Now that the Austins been vindicated by the RPCGA, don't they have a right to go public with that information to salvage their own reputations that were decimated by RC Sproul Jr? Even still, from what I can ascertain, voice, it wasn't the Austins who went public with those documents. It looks like it was Peter Kershaw who went public with it (he was another former Saint Peter member). So if you've got a beef with anyone about taking things public you should take it up with Mr. Kershaw.


Last edited by Frank Vance on Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 407
Location: Georgia

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:33 am Post subject:

Frank asks:
Quote:
Have you ever been in a church and been subjected to the kind of ecclesiastical tyranny masquerading as "discipline" that the Austin family did? Were you ever "disciplined" unbiblically and in defiance of your denomination's constitution? Have you ever been shunned by your entire church? And have your children ever been shunned by your entire church?

Yes, Frank...I have. I had THIS VERY THING happen to me and my family. And I had the opportunity - and most certainly the right, in my mind - to go public with it to the whole congregation and the world so that others could be warned to watch out for themselves so the same abuse would not happen to them(in fact, I struggled with that very decision of whether it was my duty to let others know what had happened). And as hard as it was not to lash back out...we walked away in silence.

You can - and have - turned this into something personal against me by your initial comments in your last post.

I have NEVER defended Sproul Jr. throughout all of this. What I have questioned is the manner in which this thing is being handled, both in public and in private. If you can't discern the difference, there is nothing I can do about that.

Scripture says nothing about doing what the Austin's did in lashing back out against their former leaders. And me saying that in NO way is defending those leaders.

Quote:
Now that the Austins been vindicated by the RPCGA, don't they have a right to go public with that information to salvage their own reputations that were decimated by RC Sproul Jr?

No, I don't believe they have any right from Scripture to do that. The RPCGA made the vindication public by the declaration. I don't see how the Austin's letter did anything to salvage their own reputation. What it did was to show how hurt they are and how bitter they have become through this (I probably would be too), but where in Scripture does it say that we have a right to take action to salvage our reputation?
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 13

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:10 pm Post subject:

voiceofthesheep wrote:
Yes, Frank...I have. I had THIS VERY THING happen to me and my family. . . And as hard as it was not to lash back out...we walked away in silence.

I'm truly sorry to hear of that, voice. I'm also truly sorry to hear that you just "walked away in silence." So are the tyrants still battering the sheep in your former church? And how many more sheep have unwittingly joined that church since then that could have potentially been otherwise steered away, were it not for your silence? And by the way, I don't advocate that you or anyone else "lash back." I do advocate confronting sinners, and that includes tyrants masquerading as pastors. And if they fail to repent we should hold them accountable. And once they've been held accountable -- in this case held accountable to the point of being defrocked -- and they still refuse to repent (continuing to teach and preach after being defrocked is a pretty good indication of refusal to repent) then they need to be publicly exposed as the unrepentant sinners they are.

Quote:
You can - and have - turned this into something personal against me by your initial comments in your last post.

I won't claim that you made it "personal" voice, but you did attack John Austin, and I don't see that there's any call to do that. If John Austin has any sins or faults that's a topic of discussion separate and apart from this one. However, you were the one who first made this statement:
Quote:
All I will say, though, is...please, when you have at least two paths to take in how you talk about someone else when a situation like this comes up...it is always better to err on the side of caution, restraint, and respect. For, if time proves that you were too cautious, too restrained, and too respectful...you can always become more hardline in your stance. But, if you start out going over the edge with your judgments, it is very difficult to cross back over that line and undue what you have already been done, especially if some or all of what you have taken such a hard stance on is, down the road, proven to be not as serious as once portrayed

You appear to be applying a double standard, because what you have said here you only want to apply to RC Sproul Jr, but not to anyone else, especially John Austin. Your "caution, restraint and respect" are selective and very narrowly focused.


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 407
Location: Georgia

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:29 pm Post subject:

Quote:
You appear to be applying a double standard, because what you have said here you only want to apply to RC Sproul Jr, but not to anyone else, especially John Austin. Your "caution, restraint and respect" are selective and very narrowly focused.

How do you figure that I am applying a double standard? Where have I said that I only want to apply what I said to Jr., and not to anyone else? How have I been uncautious, unrestrained and unrespectful toward the Austins. I have merely pointed out another aspect of looking at all of this, which is to evaluate the reply given by the Austins. I don't see how I have violated my own comments, because I don't see that I have gone over the edge with my judgments.

Quote:
If John Austin has any sins or faults that's a topic of discussion separate and apart from this one.

John Austin's actions and words relating to his response to his former leaders is NOT a separate discussion from this. YOU are the one who linked to his letter in this very thread. So why can we not look into it? I think it is a fair topic to look at. I mean, how many stakes can you drive into the defrocking of Sproul anyway? He has been defrocked, his congregation has reinstated him and the others, you and others don't like it, it may very well be wrong for him to still be in the pulpit...okay, we've all heard that many times over.

What is wrong with taking a look at another aspect of this whole thing?
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Lin



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 6

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:09 pm Post subject: I know, I know....

I said I would not be back to comment on this but there are some interesting happenings on this subject:

1. http://www.littlegeneva.com/?p=405

Here is a link to a fundraising letter by Laurance Windham one of RC.s Elders who was defroked or whatever you do to an elder. I did not believe this at all until my cousin, who is PCA, called me and told me she got this same exact e-mail and sent me a copy! The letter contains information that is certainly not genuine which does not help the case. Tell me, how can you be defrocked without censure? Isn't that alone censure? These guys are the masters of spin.

2. Sr asked Whitefield Seminary to remove his endorsement. (This is where Ken Talbot teaches)

3. Word is out that RC apologists are flocking to websites trying to tell posters that discussing this on the web is a sin and constitutes gossip, etc. Don't know if this is true or not but would explain some of the strange posts from apologists I have seen. Most are ignoring facts.

For the record, I think RC Jr. abused his authority in all of this. I think the Austins have actually shown restraint. They are more than right in bringing this matter to the public...but actually I think Kershaw did that. Austin has shown to be the bigger man in all this. And he has NO power to abuse!

Here is how it works and I have seen this work at so many churches. If someone brings out 'facts' about a situation they are attacked as being gossips and unforgiving or better yet, not having Mercy. When someone is given power and authority as RC Jr has and abused and found guilty by the Presbytery, it is imperative that they are rebuked and outed. How else is there any accountability? Frank is right...not doing so perpetuates the abuse. You may have to answer for doing that! Following Christ is no picnic..it requires we deny self which means denying our own security sometimes. I know I have been there.

The other nine families that left did so by using personal excuses rather than face RC Jr's wrath. Seems Austin, by what we have read, tried to do it in a more biblical way and suffered for it. Let's face it, in these circles the Sprouls have real power. The Austins have none.

Sheep, you need to do some serious study on Biblical forgiveness to understand it fully. This is one of the most abused teachings in the Bible. I did not understand it either until recently when I underwent a serious study. Did you know there are two standards for forgiveness? One for believers and another for non believers? I did not either!

I won't go into it in depth here but read each NT verse or chapter on forgiveness and look at the context in which it was written. Notice that repentence is NOT required for forgiving unbelievers. True repentence is required for believers. As a matter of fact, if they do not really repent, we are told to put them out of the church.

I repent of telling you I would not be back to post again. Please forgive me.

Now, Voice, are you affliated with the Sprouls at all?


Lin



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 6

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:20 pm Post subject: oops almost forgot

I forgot something:

Jr. is on the agenda to speak/teach at the Generations Conference in May of this year. The subject of the conference is...are you ready....Honor.

As my mom used to always tell me...People will always fail you but Jesus never fails.


phil_g_k



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Toronto ON

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:25 pm Post subject: RC Sproul Jr. defrocked

To voiceofthesheep,
Thanks for sharing your views with regard to this topic. Although I don't share your conceptual requirement for the quality of ones forgivness, I will concede that in reading the following;

From Dr. Ken Talbot Moderator Of The Westminster Presbytery RPCGA:
....Finally in recognition of our Authority and Proper Proceedings according to the Book Of Church Order, regarding your deposition from the ministry and in light of your confession and repentance to the above mentioned issues, we accept your word, that you have knowingly and willingly given true repentance in the spirit of humility, hereby grant you your request to be 'dismissed from your jurisdiction of the General Membership of The Westminster Presbytery'.

As I am certain, these men are in a much better position than I to understand the nature and quality of RC Jr.s' 'True Repentance' and have obviously determined that they're satisfied. I can, in good faith concur.

I would also like to thank Frank for pointing me to the factual documentation that has helped me to understand the FACTS of this case, that I may base my conclusions on them as opposed to rhetoric, and innuendo.

For Truth.
philip
_________________
While we look not at the things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 corinthians 4:18


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 407
Location: Georgia

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:03 pm Post subject:

Lin,
Talk about gossip and speculation! Is there NOTHING you have heard ("the word is out") about this situation that you won't repeat or speculate on?

Goodness gracious!!! The reason I have attempted to put forth a case for restraint is because of individuals like yourself repeating every little thing they hear and read from other blogs and reports...and then adding in their own personal speculation on things. This is so detrimental.

Thank you for attempting to correct me on forgiveness, but I believe Christ is clear on the matter, and right on point to this whole situation of sincerity or lack of it. I believe Peter's premise for asking Jesus about forgiveness of a brother only up to seven times was because he figured if the brother had to come back that many times, then he must not be sincere in his request for forgiveness. But Jesus answers by saying he (Peter), you, me and all Christians are to forgive as many times as we are asked by our brothers to forgive them.

It amazes me of this thinking that because someone urges restraint, they are automatically defending the actions of Sproul Jr and the other elders. Please go back and read the things I have posted...I have NEVER defended the actions of those who were defrocked. I have put forth suggestions and thoughts on the benefits of showing caution and restraint in making our personal declarations and judgments.

Quote:
Now, Voice, are you affliated with the Sprouls at all?

Yes, Sproul Jr. is my brother...he's part of my family...and if you are a child of Christ, he's your brother too. Please, have a little respect for him (and the others) as brothers in Christ.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon

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RC Sproul Jr defrocked teaching elder teaches Ligonier Conf
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Was it right for Dr. Sproul to have RC Sproul Jr speak at the Ligonier Conference?
No
58%
58% [ 7 ]
Yes
41%
41% [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 12

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voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:11 pm Post subject:

Philip,
Thank you for your comments. I think sometimes people (I'm not implying you here) mistake forgiveness in this instance with restoration of office, and that is NOT at all what I have been referring to. Forgiveness naturally implies sin on the part of the one being forgiven...but it also come with consequences.

I am not suggesting that since these defrocked leaders asked for forgiveness that eveything should go on as normal. There IS consequence for sin, and there IS a biblical mandate to forgive our brothers and sisters whenever they ask for it.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Lin



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 8

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:03 pm Post subject:

>>Thank you for your comments. I think sometimes people (I'm not implying you here) mistake forgiveness in this instance with restoration of office, and that is NOT at all what I have been referring to. Forgiveness naturally implies sin on the part of the one being forgiven...but it also come with consequences.

I am not suggesting that since these defrocked leaders asked for forgiveness that eveything should go on as normal. There IS consequence for sin, and there IS a biblical mandate to forgive our brothers and sisters whenever they ask for it.
Quote:
>>>

Voice, If you had said this from the very beginning, we would not have had to go through all of this. You seem to be changing your tune here. But things are 'back to normal" anyway as RC has been voted back in. I must tell you that this church sounds a bit cultish to me.


As to your understanding of forgiveness: Read the parable Jesus tells Peter after he tells him to forgive seventy times seven. Study the example he uses. Look at what the master does to the servant because he did not truly repent. Now, if we look at this parable from the point of new of your previous posts, the person who told the Master about what the servant did was wrong in your eyes.

Also, there is a Biblical mandate to rebuke and remove unrepentent people, too. The problem here is what is true repentence? Words on a piece of paper? Only time will tell and no one waited to see if it was geniune or not. You can forgive someone without re-instating them into a leadership position.

RC is a public figure. He abused his position. I think people should forgive him but run from any of his teaching tha unwise people are allowing from him at this early date. The issue has been from the start his teaching and preaching. Period. It has never been about his forgiveness. In any event, I am more concerned about the sheep he has abused as my brothers and sisters than I am for him right now. He has some very good protection.

And, you forgot the chide me about mentioning the upcoming conference where he is speaking...the one on HONOR.


Lin



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 8

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:05 pm Post subject: How did I do that?

On my last post, I managed to put my comments in a quote...how did I do that?

Any way it should be visa versa. Duh.


phil_g_k



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Toronto ON

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:51 pm Post subject: RC Jr. defrocked

I saw somewhere an admonishment:
"Don't Feed the Trolls!!'
And was going to ask;' what are Trolls? '
I no longer feel the need to ask!
philip
_________________
While we look not at the things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 corinthians 4:18


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:06 pm Post subject:

Sorry Philip, but you lost me on the trolls comment. Did I miss something?

Lin,
On my very first post to this thread I said this:
Quote:
I am not defending Sproul Jr (that is for him to do), but I am defending the effectiveness of the conference and Ligonier Ministries.

I made it clear that I wasn't defending Sproul Jr. or his actions, or anything concerning his current status or on-status.

Also, on the parable after Jesus instructs to forgive up to seventy times seven:
You are making a common mistake of reading something into every single detail of the parable. Parables were not meant to be used in that way. Read Matthew 18:34 & 35 - the last two verses of the parable - Jesus explains the meaning...
Quote:
"And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."


The meaning of the parable is not about repentance, as you stated, but true forgiveness. The slave who had been forgiven would not forgive the one indebted to him, therefore he also would not be forgiven.

I still urge restraint on the part of all regarding additional rumors and speculative comments.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


rks



Joined: 20 Dec 2004
Posts: 62

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:40 am Post subject:

So what if this keeps happening? It sounds like it has been going on for a while, but the Austins and the Kershaws are the first ones who have had the nerve to take a stand. How many times are we supposed to "show restraint" and keep "forgiving" him? That doesn't make sense to me. You can forgive him without allowing him to still be teaching etc. Shouldn't we err on the side of caution? Especially when it comes to the abuse of power. Shouldn't HE be the one showing restraint by not getting up infront of people for a while, teaching and preaching God's word. Isn't there some verse in the bible about teachers being held to a higher standard?


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 18

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:25 pm Post subject: So what are the consequences?

voiceofthesheep wrote:
I think sometimes people (I'm not implying you here) mistake forgiveness in this instance with restoration of office, and that is NOT at all what I have been referring to.

Thanks for qualifying your meaning here. But let me point out that I've not raised the issue of Sproul Jr's "restoration of office." The issue is that Sproul Jr was in fact removed from his office by being stripped of his ordination, but he refuses to leave the office. Isn't that rebellion to the authority that ordained him? Isn't he now functioning as an autonomist?
Quote:
Forgiveness naturally implies sin on the part of the one being forgiven...but it also come with consequences.

And what, pray tell, have been the consequences? None that I can see. He's still preaching and teaching just like he was before. The guy won't go away, and little wonder with so many of his true believers encouraging him to stick around. The whole thing just makes me sick. It reminds me of those Jimmy Swaggart true believers that kept hanging on and sending him money and giving him speaking engagements for months after he'd been defrocked by his denomination. So what's the difference in our view as Reformed people of church discipline and the views on church discipline of Pentecostals? I'm Reformed because I hold to the integrity and consistency of Reformed teaching with Scripture. But of what value is Reformed theology if it's not put into practical application? We haven't got a thing to be proud of if our church discipline isn't any better than the tongue-speaking holy rollers.

So voice, what specifically should be the consequences in RC Sproul Jr's case? You have carefully avoided naming even one consequence, although you've been very diligent about issuing us various warnings like ". . .it is always better to err on the side of caution, restraint, and respect". In other words, say nothing and do nothing to oppose RC Sproul Jr's autonomist rebellion. It would appear from your rhetoric here that the only consequences are going to be that we must show "forgiveness, restraint, and respect." Oh, and let's not forget your blaming the Austins for "hostility and bitterness. . . and they turned it into a victory for the flesh." Yup, that sure sounds like some bigtime consequences for RC Sproul Jr.
Quote:
I am not suggesting that since these defrocked leaders asked for forgiveness that eveything should go on as normal.

Sure you are. Your own words prove that's exactly what you want -- "go on as normal." Show RC Jr "forgiveness, restraint, and respect." Do nothing, say nothing, and let him continue getting away with his business as usual tactic.
Quote:
There IS consequence for sin. . .

Examples? (and please make them specific to the RC Sproul Jr case). Thank you also for calling it "sin." I quite agree. RC Sproul Jr is in sin for rebelling against the church authority that ordained him and then defrocked him, by continuing to preach and teach as though nothing had happened. Anyway, please do give us some specific examples of what should be the consequences of not only RC Sproul Jr's defrocking, but the church's response to his continued rebellion against that defrocking.


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 411
Location: Georgia

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:00 pm Post subject:

Quote:
Thanks for qualifying your meaning here. But let me point out that I've not raised the issue of Sproul Jr's "restoration of office."

Frank,
Why are you replying to something that wasn't addressed directly to you as if it was? I was directing that comment toward Philip.

Quote:
And what, pray tell, have been the consequences? None that I can see.

He's been publicly defrocked. Regardless of the fact that the congregation at his church reinstated him and the others, this thing is now out in the open...in the public eye. If you don't think that is going to have consequences, I think you are fooling yourself.

Quote:
He's still preaching and teaching just like he was before. The guy won't go away, and little wonder with so many of his true believers encouraging him to stick around.

If the congregation at his church wants to reinstate him and the others, in defiance of the defrocking, then that is something they will have to answer for. I think the best thing the RPCGA denomination could have done would have been for them to NOT release the church from its authority, even though the church had requested it...at least, not until they were officially under the authority of another denomination. Instead, they released St. Peter Church from the denomination. I would like to have seen what Sproul Jr and the others would have done had they remained under the authority of the RPCGA.

Quote:
The whole thing just makes me sick. It reminds me of those Jimmy Swaggart true believers that kept hanging on and sending him money and giving him speaking engagements for months after he'd been defrocked by his denomination.

You've been reading (and are now parroting) too much of the junk found elsewhere on the web at places like the littlegeneva blog.

As to the rest...for now...I agree with Philip about the trolls.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


phil_g_k



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Toronto ON

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:25 pm Post subject: RC Jr. De-frocked

Frank,
To infer that the RC JR. de-frocking has gone consequence free, quite frankly shows superficiality with regards to this sad affair.. He may not have been left swinging from a tree (as some of you would have it ) but, if one were to take anything from the www.Littlegeneva site, it seems to me that they’re very much revelling at the consequences of de-frocking and removal from the Westminster Presbytery.

As Littlegeneva seems to delight in relaying:

>From the Laurence Windham Family;
…. I am appealing to you for financial support for my family. The situation has left the church, the session and the Highlands Study Center’s viability in question. Each of us who labor in this part of the kingdom is hopeful that things will be back to normal in a few months.

And as some of the posters at that site write;
Harry offers, “This “quagmire” is their own doing…:
David points out, being desposed is a censure.
Harry further adds: But they could never again become elders in the RPCGA, and no other denomination is going to ordain them either. If another denomination considers trying the case, the RPCGA will turn over to that denomination the entire case file, most of which has not been made public.

Now Frank, It is pretty evident to me that things are definitely NOT back to normal. And although RC Jr. would hope that they were and will be. I doubt they ever will .Fact of the matter is Frank, it is my prayer, that they never will be ‘back to normal.’
As I have said, they may not be paying the price that you and others would extact of them, but do I need to remind you all that vengeance is the Lords.
There is nothing stopping him from teaching those who choose to be taught by him.
The same as there is nothing from stopping you from not learning from him. Or anybody else as so you so choose. Although I do believe that we should remain teachable, I do accept that sometimes our narrow mindedness doesn’t always allow for that.

Regards ,
philip
_________________
While we look not at the things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 corinthians 4:18


phil_g_k



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Toronto ON

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:56 pm Post subject:

Sorry, should have been,
the price that you and others would exact of them,
_________________
While we look not at the things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 corinthians 4:18


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 18

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:57 pm Post subject: Re: RC Jr. De-frocked

phil_g_k wrote:
He may not have been left swinging from a tree (as some of you would have it ) but, if one were to take anything from the www.Littlegeneva site, it seems to me that they’re very much revelling at the consequences of de-frocking and removal from the Westminster Presbytery.

I can't and I won't speak on behalf of Little Geneva. I speak on my own behalf only, and I don't appreciate your lumping me in with anyone else, whether it be Little Geneva or otherwise. I haven't quoted one single thing from Little Geneva, so what makes you think I'm speaking on their behalf? Why don't you just judge me for my opinions alone, okay?

Secondly, I resent your allegations that I would want to see RC Sproul Jr swinging from the business end of a rope. That's simply outrageous! I don't know how I could have made my sentiments any more plain, and I don't recall any of my sentiments including descriptions of hemp ropes, firing squads, boiling oil, or even tar and feathers. But for the record I'll state my opinion on the matter again, and so as to not confuse you, I'll state it again real simple. There was a time when everyone clearly understood that when a minister was defrocked he went and found himself another livelihood to provide for himself and his family. I'm not an ordained minister, and I'm not ashamed to have to be a hard-working callouses on my hand day-job man. A little hard work might do well in building some character and ethics in those four defrocked men.
Quote:
Now Frank, It is pretty evident to me that things are definitely NOT back to normal.

Then you're seeing something that I'm missing, because from my vantage point (and granted I'm no member of Saint Peter, and I'm not on staff at Ligonier, and maybe you are, or maybe you have some other inside information that I'm not privy to), things are business as usual. RC Sproul Jr is still teaching and preaching, Isn't he? Almost two months after they were defrocked RC Sproul Jr and Laurence Windham are still listed at the Highlands Study Center web site as Saint Peter Pastors: "R.C. is associate pastor of teaching of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church." "Laurence Windham is senior pastor at Saint Peter Presbyterian Church." So defrocked men are still the pastors of Saint Peter church? So what exactly has changed even though they've been defrocked? Not much that I or anyone else can readily see. Am I the only one here who perceives how crazy that is?
Quote:
As I have said, they may not be paying the price that you and others would extact of them, but do I need to remind you all that vengeance is the Lords.

Vengeance? Who said anything about vengeance? All I'm recommending is that those four defrocked elders do what I do -- go find an honest livelihood that they're qualified for. They were pronounced "not qualified" to be church Elders. So what could be more plain than you go find another line of work when you've had that pronounced by the Presbytery that ordained you? Vengeance has got nothing to do with it. If you're not qualified for the job you need to go find something you are qualified for.

Vengeance isn't the issue (at least for me it's not). The issue is that these men have made a mockery of the Presbyterian system of government that I've come to esteem. If they didn't want to abide by the rules they should have never become Presbyterians in the first place, and they should have never raised their hands and sworn those vows. It's just amazing to me that they were so quick to accuse John Austin of being a "vow-breaker." Yet now those same men have no problem with violating their own vows with impunity. Talk about hypocrisy.


phil_g_k



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 17
Location: Toronto ON

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:22 pm Post subject: RC Jr. defrocked

Frank,
Please accept my apologies for 'lumping you in'.
I now realize that it was not you that directed me to that website. It was in fact Lin.
I am also sorry for the reference of swinging from a rope (hemp or otherwise). That was extreme and I should not have directed that towards anybody. It was, as you say, a 'ridiculous' assertion that I had no right to attribute to anybody.

Quote:
The issue is that these men have made a mockery of the Presbyterian system of government that I've come to esteem. If they didn't want to abide by the rules they should have never become Presbyterians in the first place, and they should have never raised their hands and sworn those vows.

To this I heartily agree.


Quote:
things are business as usual. RC Sproul Jr is still teaching and preaching, Isn't he?


He is still preaching and teaching. He has not switched vocations. I believe he should stop preaching and teaching. Many people believe that he should stop. That in itself, to me, constitutes a change in the status quo. For, he once enjoyed the respect of many people. He has lost the respect and support of a considerably large following. Rightly so in my opinion.

No, I don't believe, that although he's still in business, it is bisiness as usual.
On that we may continue to differ.

Once again, please accept my apology for my offensive misrepresentation
of your allegiances. And the unwise tone with which I used in that misrepresentation.

philip
_________________
While we look not at the things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 corinthians 4:18


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 18

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:38 pm Post subject: Re: RC Jr. defrocked

phil_g_k wrote:
No, I don't believe, that although he's still in business, it is bisiness as usual. On that we may continue to differ.

I would concede the point that Sproul Jr has probably lost a lot in terms of credibility. It seems to me that he's not helping his own credibility to continue preaching and teaching. He'd be wise to remove himself as far as possible for at least a year or two and then approach some denomination at that time to be examined and see if he could be rehabilitated.
Quote:
Once again, please accept my apology for my offensive misrepresentation of your allegiances. And the unwise tone with which I used in that misrepresentation.

Thank you philip. That was a very gracious and kind apology, which I gladly accept, and yes I do forgive you. Thanks.

I won't be holding my breath for any similar note of apology from voiceofthesheep for this though:
voiceofthesheep wrote:
You've been reading (and are now parroting) too much of the junk found elsewhere on the web at places like the littlegeneva blog.

Voice, I'm very capable of forming my own opinions without having to read anyone's blog, whether it be Little Geneva or otherwise. Thank you. Maybe some day you'll figure out that it's entirely possible to have a number of different people in the world who may have the same opinion on the same subject and, just maybe, they've never had any dialogue between them and, just maybe, they don't even know each other and, just maybe, there isn't some vast conspiracy taking place between them.


debtor2grace



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 191
Location: South Carolina

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:53 pm Post subject:

Christ Saves

"when a sick man needs a physician
sometimes the healthy come cutting
instead of stitchin'
when he's locked by indecision
the selfish make him more dyin'
than he is livin'

one thing i've learned through my wrong ways
one thing i've found in my day
Christ saves

when a man falls from position
the crusade starts on a mission
to make him feel more damned than he is forgiven
when the righteous come in trippin'
they take your words and they start twistin'

it makes you lose trust in 'em

one thing i've learned through my wrong ways
one thing i've found in my day
Christ saves"


fanatic1



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Georgia

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:08 am Post subject:

I have been following this thread from it's inception without comment and it astonishes me that we can or even would think of behaving this way.

I see one side that believes that an Elect should be banned from any involvment with the corporate body that has expressed a desire to forgive.

I see the other side that believes that patient consideration be given to the matter in the hope of witnessing true repentance and rejuvination for this group of Elect.

I have made my decision as to where I stand, but it will not be punctuated by the stomach churning vitrol I see here.

Thought provoking disscussion = yes
anger, resentment, etc. = no

Challies Dot Com - Putting The "Fun" In Fundamentalism



Challies Dot Com Forum Index » General Discussion


RC Sproul Jr defrocked teaching elder teaches Ligonier Conf


Was it right for Dr. Sproul to have RC Sproul Jr speak at the Ligonier Conference?
No
61%
61% [ 8 ]
Yes
38%
38% [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 13

Author Message
Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 23

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:29 am Post subject: Forgiveness or negligence?

fanatic1 wrote:
I see one side that believes that an Elect should be banned from any involvment with the corporate body that has expressed a desire to forgive.

Now you too presume to put words in my mouth, and the mouth of anyone who opposes Sproul Jr masquerading as a pastor when he's been defrocked. I have no desire, whatsoever, that RC Sproul Jr "should be banned from any involvment with the corporate body that has expressed a desire to forgive." And I haven't seen anyone else here express that desire either, anymore than I've seen anyone here express a desire to form lynch mob (although that accusation too was formerly made). Why is it that people like you, fanatic, insist on putting words in my mouth and the mouths of others? How interesting that you would play very much the same game of spin that RC Sproul Jr plays. But I won't be guilty of making the same kind of leap of logic error against you that voice made against me and imply that you're not perfectly capable of engaging in such behavior all of your own volition.

I've said before that I believe that RC Sproul Jr is probably a Christian believer (at least he certainly professes his faith in Christ) and that he should be treated accordingly and held accountable accordingly. But he's not a pastor if he's been defrocked, and he should stop pretending to be a pastor and a Bible teacher. He should take a seat in the pews with all the other laymen, for a laymen he now is.
Quote:
I see the other side that believes that patient consideration be given to the matter in the hope of witnessing true repentance and rejuvination for this group of Elect.

Now there's something we both agree on, at least in part, so it's not just "the other side" that believes that, fanatic. I too hope to at some point in the future witness "true repentance and rejuvination for this group of Elect" (assuming they're elect). But the fact is we haven't seen much evidence of "true repentance and rejuvination," have we? Some have tried to argue that there's been repentance, but the evidence shows that there's just been a whole lot of blame-shifting, excuses and self-justification. And even if it could be successfully argued that there has been genuine repentance to all the Saint Peter families that RC Sproul Jr and his defrocked elders have wounded and injured (the evidence shows that they have never repented), repentance cannot of itself restore a defrocked man to office.

What we don't agree on, fanatic, is that what is called for is "patient consideration be given." We as Christians aren't called to sit on our dead behinds when sin is in the camp, especially when the sin is being perpetrated by someone who has been in a leadership capacity. We're called to action. Show me one example in Scripture to the contrary. Accountability is one of the hallmarks of the Christian faith. One of the marks of any true church is church discipline (so said the Reformers). One of the marks of a false church is a desire to sweep sin under the rug, and it's often done in the name of "forgiveness." But that's not forgiveness, it's just negligence, and sometimes it's even just plain cowardice.


Last edited by Frank Vance on Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:45 am; edited 2 times in total


fanatic1



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Georgia

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:43 am Post subject:

I never stated which side was which.

I will wait to see, without judjment, if repentance is real or not.
I am thankfull that when I returned home to my Fathers house that he accepted me back with open arms and didn't send me away.


fanatic1



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Georgia

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:48 am Post subject:

I would agree that he needs to "stand down" if his congregation says so, if they ask him to remain as a leader then he better show the evidence of repentance and serve accordingly


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 23

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:18 am Post subject:

fanatic1 wrote:
I would agree that he needs to "stand down" if his congregation says so, if they ask him to remain as a leader then he better show the evidence of repentance and serve accordingly

Congregationalism? "Let the people decide!" That's what you're advocating, isn't it? Vox populi vox dei -- the voice of the people is the voice of God.

RC Jr has for years stated that he's a Presbyterian because he knows he needs to be under authority. He knows he needs accountability:
RC Sproul Jr wrote:
"We are firmly committed to the Westminster Standards. We are under the authority of a denomination that is terribly serious about the Confession, and committed to church discipline. We submit to our presbytery on matters dear to our heart, on issues of communion and church discipline. How could we possibly be a cult?" Highlands Study Center Squiblog, August 9, 2005


So now that he doesn't like the consequences of church discipline when it's exercised against him (although he certainly doesn't mind getting to exercise it himself against others) it's his prerogative to not submit to the Presbyterian authority that ordained him and then defrocked him? And so now he's free to just walk away from Presbyterian government that he claims to have so highly esteemed for years and become a Congregationalist? Is it just me or doesn't anyone else here see how two-faced that is?

And is it not interesting that RC Sproul Jr thinks that one of the indicators of a cult is that cults have an autonomist leader unaccountable to any authority? At least that's what he used to say. But he's probably changed his views on that one too now.


fanatic1



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Georgia

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:10 pm Post subject:

no what I am saying is if his congregation accepts his appology and he is truly repentant then I will not cast the first stone without first allowing the work of the Spirit to use this to Glorify. Strict adherance to the Scripture is the only thing I am advocating and absolutely nothing else. I love the Scripture and would never promote anything to the contrary.


rks



Joined: 20 Dec 2004
Posts: 63

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:31 pm Post subject:

It seems that RC Jr. doesn't like authority. He should submit to the authority he put himself under. Why is it so wrong to expect that from him? He should expect it from himself! Why is that being judgmental? Don't we do that with all authority figures? We expect them to obey the rules! When they don't, they are (or should be) pulled from whatever office they hold. It seems that within the church, our leaders should be held to an even higher standard of accountability. It has nothing to do with forgiveness. That is a seperate issue. Forgiveness does not mean everything goes back to the way it was. If he had an affair, and then "repented", should we just forgive him and then allow him to keep on being a pastor? Or what if he was caught stealing? (oh wait a minute, I think he was!) The point is, with any kind of power and authority, comes responsability. If he cannot be responsable, then he should not have the power. I guess there is nothing anyone can do if people in his church still choose to sit under him and his teaching. But it is not wrong for others to try and get the truth out to people. This whole idea about "keeping silent" doesn't make any sense to me. If a church leader is harming someone, you should warn people! How do you think all of those priests were able to keep on abusing kids? Because people kept quiet. There is no virtue in that.
He is supposed to speak at our area homeschool graduation this year. I was so excited to hear him. And then this happened. I'm not so excited anymore.
I didn't really know too much about RC jr. It was Sr. that had such an impact on me spiritually. I guess that is why this has bothered me so much. Not because I am a big fan of jr. But because I couldn't understand why his father was still letting him speak at the ligoneir conference. And I believe Sr. is still speaking at Jr.'s conference on "Honoring your Father and Mother" So I guess as far as they are concerned, it is buisness as usual.


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 23

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:50 pm Post subject: Lawful Oaths and Vows

fanatic1 wrote:
no what I am saying is if his congregation accepts his appology and he is truly repentant then I will not cast the first stone without first allowing the work of the Spirit to use this to Glorify.

This isn't about "casting stones." It's about maintaining the purity of the church by enforcing church discipline against those who have claimed that they submit to the discipline of the church, and who have taken vows to submit to the discipline of the church, but then when they're disciplined they just pick up their marbles and go home:
RC Sproul Jr wrote:
"When we first came here to plant Saint Peter Church, and to start the study center, we understood the importance of accountability. I know me well enough to know that I could fall off some theological deep end, and maybe take some poor souls with me. And so I sought out a denomination with some history behind it, with a confession I believed in, and placed myself, and later the church, under... authority..." Every Thought Captive, Disassociating

Laurence Windham wrote:
"As you may remember, the main purpose of a presbytery is the enactment of oversight and discipline. It is to serve as a court of appeals when the local session cannot bring justice."Every Thought Captive, Who Cares?

So what's the point of taking vows to obey a Presbytery, and the judgments and church discipline of the Presbytery, if when anytime you don't like their judgments you can just take your marbles and go on home?
fanatic1 wrote:
Strict adherance to the Scripture is the only thing I am advocating and absolutely nothing else. I love the Scripture and would never promote anything to the contrary.

Agreed. But there's a major defect, or at least a major oversight, in your reasoning. You're not dealing with the issue that I've raised repeatedly. Does not the Scripture that you claim to cherish require that we keep every vow that we have made? Did not RC Sproul Jr take a vow to the RPCGA as a condition of his ordination that he would obey the government of the RPCGA? And now that the RPCGA has defrocked him and declared him "not qualified" to be a pastor and an elder, is it not a blatant violation of his vows for him to continue doing so anyway?

Certainly RC Sproul Jr isn't ignorant of "lawful oaths and vows." In fact he made a Basement Tape recently on that very subject:
Highlands Study Center wrote:
"A culture that denies the reality of truth is a culture that denies that vows are vows. We are men of lying lips, and we dwell in a land of lying lips. We are called, however, to be a people whose yea is yea, and whose nay is nay. This conversation looks at waht the Westminster Confession of Faith calls Lawful Oaths and Vows."

Isn't RC Sproul Jr a vow-breaker? Isn't he a vow-breaker of the worst kind -- a preacher who preached against the wickedness of breaking vows, and yet he is a vow-breaker himself?


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 415
Location: Georgia

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:12 pm Post subject:

Wow...the comments are getting fast and loose, as is the speculation. What is the purpose of going further and further beyond the original declaratory judgment by the RPCGA? And now we are making speculations about other areas of theology of Sproul JR? This is exactly how this sort of thing usually progresses...uh, DIGRESSES.

If statements and conclusions are going to be made, shouldn't we accurately portray the truth? If my facts here are wrong, please correct me (I have full confidence that you will). Remarks have been made such as these:

Quote:
but then when they're disciplined they just pick up their marbles and go home:

anytime you don't like their judgments you can just take your marbles and go on home?

It seems that RC Jr. doesn't like authority. He should submit to the authority he put himself under.

So now that he doesn't like the consequences of church discipline when it's exercised against him ... it's his prerogative to not submit to the Presbyterian authority that ordained him and then defrocked him?

And so now he's free to just walk away from Presbyterian government that he claims to have so highly esteemed for years and become a Congregationalist?

Is it just me or doesn't anyone else here see how two-faced that is?


Is it not true, according to the declaration by the RPCGA that Sproul wrote a letter in December of '05 requesting to be removed from the denomination? Is this not before the January '06 declaration? The RPCGA is the one that released Sproul Jr and the others from its authority. Is there evidence somewhere that they walked away from the RPCGA in defiance? Were they still under its authority after the declaration, or did not the RPCGA release them?
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 23

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:17 pm Post subject:

voiceofthesheep wrote:
Is it not true, according to the declaration by the RPCGA that Sproul wrote a letter in December of '05 requesting to be removed from the denomination? Is this not before the January '06 declaration? The RPCGA is the one that released Sproul Jr and the others from its authority. Is there evidence somewhere that they walked away from the RPCGA in defiance? Were they still under its authority after the declaration, or did not the RPCGA release them?

You already clearly know the answers to your own questions, and I'm not following your point. Were you trying to make a point?


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 23

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:09 pm Post subject:

voiceofthesheep wrote:
Because of one potentially bad decision to keep Sproul Jr. on as a speaker, some of you are willing to chuck, not only the entire conference, but the whole Ligonier Ministry as well. Never mind that the conference is NOT a church, and the podium is NOT a pulpit in a local church.

RC Sproul Jr clearly understands himself that just because he's preaching and teaching from someone else's podium other than Saint Peter church, that doesn't mean he's not preaching and teaching to the church. In fact, he's himself has said just the opposite:
RC Sproul Jr wrote:
"From there we move to the broader church. When, for instance, I speak to a homeschool conference, I am ministering to the church at large, and rightly so. I haven’t wandered from my calling, but am fulfilling it." Highlands Study Center Squiblog, That Thing We Do


debtor2grace



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 192
Location: South Carolina

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:14 pm Post subject:

It appears to me, Frank, that you ahve some sort of mad-on for the whole RC Sproul, Jr. situation. It has consumed you as evidenced by your starting this thread and replying to everyone who posts an opinion on the matter. You've weighed in. Now get on your knees and pray for the man!


voiceofthesheep



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 415
Location: Georgia

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:49 pm Post subject:

Quote:
You already clearly know the answers to your own questions, and I'm not following your point. Were you trying to make a point?

The point is...that IF what I said is true about Sproul Jr. requesting to be released from the denomination PRIOR to the defrocking, then HOW can you and others accuse him of "taking his marbles and going home" because he didn't like the RPCGA's ruling?

IF what I said is true about Jr requesting to be removed from the denomination PRIOR to the declaration, then you can't use his being released from the denomination - BY THE DENOMINATION - as a charge against him for not hanging around and staying under the RPCGA's authority.

That's my point. And all I'm trying to say with that is, let's make sure we are being accurate in our portrayal of the facts of this situation, instead of making up more allegations about these men on unfounded untruths.
_________________
"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. —C. H. Spurgeon


Frank Vance



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 23

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:47 pm Post subject: RC Sproul Jr's history of public hissy fits

voiceofthesheep wrote:
That's my point. And all I'm trying to say with that is, let's make sure we are being accurate in our portrayal of the facts of this situation, instead of making up more allegations about these men on unfounded untruths.

And your point is so noted. I didn't intend to be "making up more allegations," but I'll admit that perhaps my "portrayal of the facts of this situation" by using the phrase "taking his marbles and going home" could have inadvertently caused confusion. Sorry if the metaphor may not have been entirely fitting. However, where it fits is in the fact that rather than appealing the Declaratory Judgment, which if he disagreed with it he should have appealed, and an appeal was certainly his right, "he took his marbles and went home." Now when it first happened it didn't look that way. What it looked like at first was that he was accepting the judgment and asking to be released from the Presbytery. "Taking his marbles home" only became apparent after the RPCGA released him from membership (and yes that was done at his request).

You don't object to a judgment by not appealing, and then plead to be released from the jurisdiction of your Presbytery, along with submitting a letter of apology that includes, "We want to thank you and the brethren of Westminster Presbytery (RPCGA) for your friendship, kindness, and gracious patience shown to this Session over the past four years." Such actions would only indicate that you fully agree with the judgment pronounced against you. But RC Sproul Jr then turns right around, after publicly agreeing with the RPCGA's judgment against him, and even thanking them, and then he starts putting out public statements to say how much he now disagrees with the judgment, and even blaming the RPCGA and implying that they were unjust to him. This is what I meant to convey by saying "he took his marbles and went home." The metaphor implies childish and immature conduct, and it was primarily for that reason that I used it.

Publicly bashing the RPCGA after RC Sproul Jr had given them a letter thanking them for their "friendship, kindness, and gracious patience" makes it look like the letter was nothing more than a ruse to get out of the denomination. Sproul has since taken those comments off the Highlands Study Center web site, but that hasn't been the end of the bashing. In the most recent incident Laurence Windham bashed the RPCGA under the guise of a fund raising letter. Obviously their "repentance" was a sham.

It wouldn't be the first time RC Sproul Jr wound up "taking his marbles and going home." He has a history of bashing denominations that don't do things his way (as though he's the one in charge), even when all they did was to do things exactly by the book (their BCO), and even though when RC Sproul Jr is ordained by a Presbytery he takes a vow to submit to and obey the Presbytery's government and the BCO (if you don't like the terms of the BCO then you shouldn't take a vow to obey it). Yet when things don't go his way he bashes his Presbytery. His brief stay with the ARP, and the way he bashed them when he left, is a classic case in point of "taking his marbles and going home." And it hasn't taken long for RC Sproul Jr and Laurence Windham to start bashing the RPCGA too.

I probably could have better made my point by saying, "RC Sproul Jr has a long history of throwing hissy fits when things don't go his way with the Presbytery that has ordained him." And RC Sproul Jr's hissy fits, and Laurence Windham's hissy fits have always been done in a very public way, generally through their Every Thought Captive publication and often through the HSC blog. When they bash someone they make a point of ensuring that as many people as possible know about it. Their bashing can also be quite defamatory and outrageous. Notice in particular in Laurence Windham's Open Letter to the Associate Reformed Prebyterian Church his reference to the ARPC not knowing their butts from a hole in the ground.

8 Comments:

Blogger Frank Vance said...

I received an email from a gentleman who heads a prominent ministry. He thanked me for the fact that I'm using my name, while he ridiculed all the anonymous bloggers who he says are "slandering" RC Sproul Jr. Ironically, he then asked me to keep his identity anonymous. I'll honor the request, but needless to say it gave me quite a chuckle.

I'll repost here just a brief portion of his email and my response to him today, as it may help to clarify an issue that others may have.

> First, as is evidenced in your
> poll to approve or
> disapprove of Jr. speaking at the conference, it is
> laughable that you first
> show % responses and then only 7 votes were cast.

Did you vote? If not why not? Probably for the same reason that most people who view such posts don't vote. That link received over 4000 hits before Tim Challies took the site down. Lots of hits, few votes.

The reason only 7 out of 4000 people voted is probably because in order to vote you have to first create an account, and most people won't go through the trouble of doing that. The real story isn't how few people voted but how many people viewed the thread in a very brief timeframe.

5/20/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Why are you providing a link over at challies.com to a post on your site that is almost three months old?

It appears like you are trying to generate hits to your site...or are perhaps getting bored and need to stir up the pot a little bit on your favorite subject of Sproul, Jr.

Like all other tabloid topics that come and go...this one too is dead. Keep beating it if you want, but I fear you are only making yourself look worse than you already did.

If you think Tim shut down his entire forum because of your one thread, you may have just a little too high a view of yourself when it comes to forum discussions.

-Brian Thornton

7/18/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Thanks Brian for expressing your concerns. Had Tim left his forum up this wouldn't have become an issue. I'm not looking to generate hits. I'd much rather he would have gotten the hits.

Contrary to your ill-informed opinion the RC Sproul Jr scandal is not only a current and ongoing event but it's a historic event that's likely to get talked about for months to come. It's anything but over. As just one example check out these links:

With Wooly Mittens On
Many Thanks and Saint Peter

As far as Tim taking down his forum I don't really know what to think about it. Mere coincidence? Maybe. But I do find the timing of it all, and his excuses for doing so, really suspicious.

7/19/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger voiceofthesheep said...

Well, I tried posting yesterday under the selection below of 'other', because I couldn't remember my login info for my Blogger account. But, As I figured, you apparently didn't approve it to be posted to your site, since I haven't seen it appear yet. So, I found my login info, and here is my post that you wouldn't post yourself:

You've got a rather high view of yourself, eh, Frank? Do you honestly think your thread on RC Jr shut down the forum over at challies.com?

Do you have nothing better to do than to post comments on an almost three month old story over at Challies?

What's the real motivation? Things dying down and getting bored? Need to stir up the controversy because it is not at a fever pitch as you would like? Needed to drum up some hits to your site, so you thought you would go over to challies and post some comments on a dead topic?

Can't you find something, or someone else to focus on? Do you have anything worth listening to that is not centered around Ligonier?

I can tell you have a passion for this subject...but, give it a rest...unless you have something new that is worth saying.

One final thought, you seem to really enjoy hacking away at others...it is sad to watch (or read, as the case may be).

7/19/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger voiceofthesheep said...

My bad for not noticing that my initial post was, in fact, posted...my apologies...

7/19/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

No apology necessary Brian/voiceofthesheep. In fact I'm glad you goofed because I wasn't getting the connection the first time you posted. It's good to see you back. I had a lot of fun dialoguing with you over on the Challies forum before Tim took it down. So would you like to go at it again? Thus far it's not looking like much of a challenge though.

"Do you have nothing better to do than to post comments on an almost three month old story over at Challies?" What gave you the impression that I don't have anything better to do? Just how much time did you think it took me to put up this little blog and maintain it? I have a lot of other things going on in my life Brian, so don't delude yourself into believing that this is some kind of big effort for me.

Now Brian why don't you just admit that you're really galled by the fact that I reposted this particular Challies thread here? Why does it upset you so that Tim wasn't able to permanently deep-eighty-six it? Looking back over your posts are you now embarrassed by your obsequious defense of RC Sproul Jr?

If it were now a "dead topic" as you claim that it is then obviously no one would care about it, and if no one cared about it then no one would be coming here. But my blog stats are showing just the opposite. It'd be nice if lots of those visitors were coming from Challies but no, sorry, they're not. So I'll grant you that Challies readers may not care, or maybe they do care but they just haven't seen that link from there to here. But a lot of other people do care. Most of them are coming from Google and Blogger searches as well as several other blogs that I'll not name at this time. Geographically the biggest number of hits I'm getting are coming out of Florida. Interesting, don't you think?

Do come again Brian, but next time please try and bring some kind of substantive argument with you. Anything less just makes you look foolish.

BTW you should really consider changing your handle from voiceofthesheep to something like voiceofthesycophants or voiceofthebootlicks. The way you've defended RC Sproul Jr is disgusting and not at all convincing of anything but your personal devotion to the guy.

7/20/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

You couldn't be more wrong about the Challies Forum. The fact that you are willing to actually post without being factual or trying to at least even partially investigate the matter proves that you simply have an Axe to grind. Tim tried everything within reason to keep his forums around due to their huge popularity. If you had been around during the times that his entire website was taken down due to the spam that his forums were generating you would, perhaps, understand. In any case, I repost here a comment that I just left at challies.com in regard to your handling of this situation. Hopefully it will clear things up a bit.
As one who helped Tim moderate the forums and tried to help turn the tide against the spam he was receiving, I can tell you that it was overwhelming......unbelievably overwhelming. About the time we thought we had a good solution, it would get worse than before. I miss the forums greatly, but there was no practical way to successfully eliminate all of the horrible trash that was being thrown Tim's way in the forums. It grieves me to see that Vance would act so harshly without having all the facts. Hopefully, Tim's latest post will succeed in clearing this issue up. I have found that Tim is quite level-headed in his posts, and, even when dealing with controversial subjects or personalities tells it like it is without being defamatory or hurtful in his remarks. This has been my experience all along the way here at challies.com and I am thankful for the thoughtful way in which Tim handles things such as this. Keep up the good work, Tim. I look forward to reading your book upon its completion.
Now, if only *others* could be so level-headed, respectful, prayerful and measured in their response....Your conspiracy theory about why the forums disappeared at challies.com couldn't be more off-target.

Sincerely,

Mike Bryant
http://themindofmike.com

9/07/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Vance said...

Thanks Mike for your comment but Tim has already set the record straight. I'm amused by how such an innocent observation on my part that Tim Challies' dumping of his forum when he did and how he did was "suspicious" could get blown out of all proportion by you into allegations of a "conspiracy theory."

In any event I've apologized to TC and we've come to terms.

Today (9-7-06) Tim Challies posted an article about me entitled Sinner In the Hands Of An Angry Blog. Funny title, but not particularly fitting, in spite of what Tim or anyone else thinks of me. Carla Rolfe (sweet lady -- I wish there were more people in the world like her) earlier today brokered a peace treaty between us. You can also find my reply to TC on his blog.

9/07/2006 06:50:00 PM  

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