Monday, November 12, 2007

One Year Ago Yesterday

One year ago yesterday the Church of the King–Santa Cruz (COTK) announced its withdrawal from the CREC with an exceptionally well-written statement that left no room for anyone to misunderstand its meaning — or its point. Accordingly, pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, consciously and deliberately connived behind the backs of COTK’s leadership, over the course of two years, to split their congregation into two churches, because he had a private beef with the pastor, P. Andrew Sandlin.

And, not surprisingly, Douglas Wilson responded to COTK’s statement right on queue, according to his built-in algorithm, which drives him to chill any kind of negative criticism about himself or his institutions. Consequently, he dispatched his monkey boys to pressure COTK into removing the statement from their website. COTK obliged its former fellow confederates by redacting Wilson’s name from the statement and offering the unabridged transcript to anyone upon request. Moral of the subplot: “Be careful what you ask for.”

Ironically, while Wilson may have succeeded partially in stifling COTK, he could not stop Google whose cache had stored COTK’s original statement. Within days several bootleg sites appeared on the web, taking the edge off the chill. This website has the best documentation; this website has the best graphic. Moral of the subplot: “Google bows to no pope.”

However, in honor of this anniversary, I want to note the CREC’s account of Wilson’s pastoral care for COTK as recorded in their annual meeting minutes. You will recall that the elders of the COTK asked their fellow confederates in the CREC to redress Wilson’s actions against COTK, hoping that their fellow confederates would fulfill their biblical and constitutional charge by checking Wilson’s sinful behavior — if not disciplining him altogether. And on the surface, COTK had a slam-dunk case against Wilson for up and down violations of the CREC Constitution, in addition to Holy Scripture. Think about it. The man knowingly exploited the powers of his office to subvert the COTK elders’ biblical and constitutional charge in order to split the church because he had a personal vendetta against Andrew Sandlin. Sounds like a no-brainer — especially when you consider the vows that all confederates must promise prior to joining the CREC. And we all know that CREC boys are covenant keepers, not covenant breakers:

Do you, with all the officers of your church, commit yourselves in faithfulness to the churches in this Confederation: to keep with them the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, to pray for them, to comfort them, to encourage them, to admonish them, and to rule with them in accordance with the Constitution of this Confederation and in full submission to the Word of God? (CREC Book of Procedures, Article V/3/b)

But when COTK appealed to the CREC, they neglected to consider the monkey-boy factor, i.e. monkey boys live to please the Little Man Behind the Curtain (LMBC) regardless of vows, creeds, confessions, constitutions, or Scripture. Furthermore, monkey boys intrinsically understand their obligation to smooth over the rough spots created by the LMBC whenever the fallout from his sin spills into the public arena and raises questions about his character.

Please read the CREC account of the COTK affair and try to make sense of it. Better yet, try to harmonize it with COTK’s statement:

Moderator Wilson distributed a written report issued by Moderator Booth of the CREC Council on his work with Christ Church, Moscow and Church of the King, Santa Cruz. . . .

4:31 p.m. — Presbytery recessed for the day.

Friday, October 27, 2006

8:04 a.m. — The meeting was called to order by Moderator Wilson. . . .

Elder James Ratliff offered a report on Church of the King, Santa Cruz, CA, with commentary on the actions of the Moderator of Anselm Presbytery [Douglas Wilson].

In his capacity as Moderator of Council and as chairman of the committee mediating between the sessions of Church of the King, Santa Cruz, CA, and Christ Church, Moscow, ID, Pastor Randy Booth offered a response to Elder Ratliff’s concerns.

Moderator Wilson responded to Elder Ratliff’s concerns with special reference to the question whether the CREC is a “church.”

06/10/27:3 Motion (Schlect/Tuuri) to receive the report of the Moderator of Council with commendation.

The maker and seconder of the motion restated the motion as follows: “Motion to acknowledge receipt of this report with commendation.”

Motion (Ewert/Jones) to amend the motion to read as follows: “Motion to receive this report and commend the action taken.” The motion to amend carried.

The main motion carried as amended.

Elder James Ratliff reported that the session of Church of the King had complied fully with the requirements made of them by the mediation committee.

Pastor Garry Vanderveen led the Presbytery in prayer.

10:27 a.m. — Presbytery recessed for a short break.
10:39 a.m. — Presbytery reconvened.

06/10/27:4 Motion (Schlect/Hatcher) to specifically acknowledge our moderator’s constitutional and pastoral prerogative to advise formation of a new mission church in the Santa Cruz area if he believes it prudent, urging him all the while to act with due charity toward Church of the King and, in light of the present situation, in regular conference with Joost Nixon, Garry Vanderveen, and Ralph Smith.

Motion (Ewert/Broesamle) to amend the motion by assigning the moderator of council to be chairman of the new committee, instead of the moderator of Anselm Presbytery. The motion carried 14–11.

11:12 a.m. — Presbytery recessed for a brief discussion among the moderators of the Presbyteries and Council.

11:13 a.m. — Presbytery reconvened.

Motion (Stoos/Nixon) to table the main motion. The motion to table the motion carried.

Pastor Dennis Tuuri, Moderator pro tempore of Anselm Presbytery, assumed the chair.

Pastor Douglas Wilson spoke about the issue of the moderator’s personal involvement in the business of Presbytery, and the practical difficulty of a moderator being asked to recuse himself precisely when he is the one most in position to solve certain problems.

Douglas Wilson resumed the chair.

06/10/27:5 Motion (Schlect/Hatcher) to specifically acknowledge the Anselm moderator’s constitutional and pastoral prerogative to advise formation of a new mission church in the Santa Cruz area if he believes it prudent, urging him all the while to act with due charity toward Church of the King and, in light of the present situation, in regular conference with Joost Nixon, Garry Vanderveen, and Ralph Smith. The motion carried. . . . (2006 Anselm Presbytery Minutes, pages 7–9, emphasis original)

From reading this account you would never know that “Moderator Wilson” actively divided COTK in half. In fact, it leaves the distinct impression that Wilson helped plant a CREC “mission church” in Santa Cruz and that whatever happened relative to COTK, the confederates received Moderator Wilson’s account of the event “with commendation.”

But you would never know that the CREC monkey boys ratified by vote the complete surrender of their constitutional authority to one man, authorizing him to sin with impunity, so that he may walk about, seeking whom he may devour. Moral of the story: “Be careful whom you let devour, because it’s only a matter of time before he devours you.”