Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Federal Ignorance, Part 2

Yesterday we considered the reason that Jeff Meyers gave for rejecting TRs and, with them, the Westminster Confession of Faith, at least by implication. Meyers wrote:

There was a time in my ministry when I believe that I encouraged Reformed snobbery. Many years ago, after an evening service, I walked out to the parking lot and joined a group of men who were talking about our church. They were praising our worship and our doctrine. At first I felt proud. Then they started to belittle the Lutheran church down the road. Crypto Arminians. They turned to the generic evangelical congregation in our neighborhood. Idiots. Dumb evangelicals. Before long it was, “I thank God that our church has such pure doctrine and preaches the Word so faithfully and that we are not like those stupid Lutherans and crazy evangelicals.” Well, I didn’t go home that night feeling all that justified.

That was something of a turning point in my ministry. I realized that I was a big part of the problem. My TRish kind of talk about the glories of the WCF had led to this.

I guess I don’t have a problem with Presbyterian laymen and women being a bit eclectic about theological and systematic formulations. In truth, I probably encourage it. It keeps us humble about our own theological tradition. It leads us to better behavior, too. Less sectarian and more catholic.

Today, let’s examine the fruit of Meyers’ conversion from Westminster to Federal Vision. More specifically, I want to consider whether his rejection of TR theology has produced any more humility in his church, whether it has encouraged “better behavior” within his congregation, and if the fruit of his ministry is “less sectarian and more catholic.” And to answer this question, I introduce one exhibit — Mr. Mark Horne — Meyers’ fellow minister in the PCA. Therefore, please take into account the following posts and ask yourself if abandoning the WCF has produced more humility, improved his behavior, and made him less sectarian and more catholic:

In “Dealing with MARS, part 3,” Mr. Horne wrote,

Who are these evil people? Where are they found? What presbytery or classis examined them and allowed them into our midst? What study committees have been erected to expose such error? Where do I sign up to do my part to rid the church of them?

Please bear in mind that Mr. Horne framed these rhetorical question to describe esteemed professors — Christian brothers — from a reputable seminary, who adopted a position opposing the Federal Vision. Also note that, later the same day, Mr. Horne took time to libel another Christian brother, writing, “Andy, you continue to show that you are of the Father of Lies.” Now, I may be wrong, but in both instances Mr. Horne’s choice of words seem slightly stronger than merely calling someone “idiots” or “dumb evangelicals.”

If I read Lane Keister correctly, Mr. Horne used this post (which he has since removed) to call his fellow PCA minister “a Satanic, non-sanctified, non-academic, non-intellectual, discipline-averting (internet vs. church courts), wickedly insinuating troubler of the PCA.” You have to read about it here. Of course, the point is that, hopefully, Pastor Jeff Meyers has trouble sleeping because of Mr. Horne’s rhetoric; but I doubt it.

“Classic mob justice” isn’t much better. Here Mr. Horne impugned the integrity of the PCA’s Ad Interim Committee with belittling, disrespectful language, something condemned, or at least strongly discouraged, by Jeffrey Meyers.

The post titled “The committee biased? No, all the people who matter were included.” is a good example of Mr. Horne thumbing his nose at his fathers and brothers in the faith, as well as his denomination, and it illustrates the absence of submission and humility in a minister of the gospel. Notice Mr. Horne’s “me first” point of view:

No one counts but the groups represented on the committee. No one else matters. We have no need to include anyone, to recognize their years of service, to regard them in any way as brothers, except in acknowledging the need to condemn and marginalize them by this stacked committee — which isn’t stacked because no one else counts.”

The title of this entry, “Humbly do it because we say so,” represents Mr. Horne’s sarcastic attempt to heap disdain on humility in order to maintain sectarian defiance. Perhaps this constitutes Meyers’ idea of “a bit eclectic about theological and systematic formulations.”

Mr. Horne titled this post with a question, “Does Clark know what it means to have a conscience?” which he answered in the opening line: “I see no evidence that he does.” He may think himself humble and catholic, but I am confident that most people would disagree.

The post titled “Look how cute I am standing next to the PCA study committee!” plays off of Doug Wilson’s “stacked committee” tirade and once again demonstrates Mr. Horne’s contempt for his fathers and brothers in the faith (as well as his preference of Wilson over communion).

The innuendo in “Normally I would want to hide this for the sake of the guy’s reputation” is a pathetic ad hominem and a disgraceful attempt to exemplify humility and good behavior, if that’s what Mr. Horne intended.

I could cite many other examples of shameful conduct by Mr. Horne, but these should suffice. And please note that he wrote all of these posts during a 30-day stretch in May and June of this year, when providence afforded him (and Meyers) an opportunity to exhibit their commitment to humility and good behavior. Unfortunately, Mr. Horne went to great lengths to document in writing that he is an absolute embarrassment to the Christian ministry — a man completely oblivious to his petulant outbursts and childish behavior that would shame any normal person, let alone a true ambassador for Christ.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I cannot understand why Jeffrey Meyers could not countenance “Reformed snobbery” while he apparently approves Federal Vision rancor. I believe, therefore, that Meyers’ pretext for ditching TR theology, i.e. the prideful snobbery it bred in his congregation, is a pile of baloney simple because the immediate fruit of his ministry — Mark Horne — is actually worse than any kind of “Reformed snobbery” (whatever that is), which supposedly pushed him away from Westminster.

Jeffrey, I have one word for you: Visionist, see thyself.

2 comments:

David said...

Mark,

It really isn't o.k. for you to post this stuff anonymously.

I am NOT an advocate of the FV. In fact I am from the Warfield wing of the Reformed churches. I am just trying to encourage you to rethink what you are doing here.

1. It is o.k. to publish ideas anonymously.
2. It is not o.k. to criticize individuals anonymously.

In Christ,

David A Booth

Mark T. said...

David,

I welcome your comments and before I answer you, I'm curious to hear your argument.