Thursday, November 29, 2007

Doug Wilson on church discipline

Yesterday David Linden posted this on the BB Warfield list and it deserves everyone’s attention. I know that Wilson follows my blog closely, so I’m republishing it for two reasons: First, to give him a chance to correct the record and, second, when he does not correct the record to establish his utter contempt for all authority but his own:

Dear friends,

I have not been around enough and in touch enough to comment on all that has been happening related to Federal Vision issues. Probably members of this list know that the United Reformed Churches of N. America also has a study committee looking into the FV.

The famous Auburn Ave. Presbyterian Church pastors’ conference of 2002 had (and I quote from memory) a remarkable quip by Douglas Wilson. It was in a Q. & A. time. Fairness requires that we recognize that remarks in such a content may be what we blurt out without careful consideration. It is not the same as speaking from careful preparation. Yet what we blurt out may be revealing in the sense that it can be what we really really think and the admission got loose.

Sorry for all the buildup, but I also add that I have no knowledge of Douglas Wilson saying something like this on any other occasion, nor have I heard any retraction. Maybe others can help. Some have transcripts of all that was said at that conference. If he has said something that corrects this, I would love to hear it. I will also CC to him.

The matter of discipline came up in denominations for discussion. Some holding to the AAPC views could face discipline. Maybe (I said maybe) some desired for approval in church courts that their views were “within bounds.” Whatever the context Wilson said that going that route was “playing on their field.” I hope someone has the full quotation. (Remember at that point in time these views were not called FV, but AAPC teaching.)

What struck me when I heard that comment on the tape was:
  1. This reveals a real “us vs. them” attitude, and
  2. even worse, it discounted the integrity of our church courts. In other words, “we” will not find genuine fairness there from “them.” The presumption being that the “they” do not have a true understanding of these disputed truths.
In other words the remark had in 2002 some flavor of schism. In that same Q. & A. segment no one countered that remark. Sometimes blurts are blotches. I hope Douglas can give a wiser word on this.

With blessings on all who love our Lord Jesus Christ (and His gospel) in sincerity,

David H. Linden
Member of Bethel URC, Calgary, Alberta

Thank you.