Friday, December 7, 2007

Anonymity Part II

Before I resume my defense of anonymity, I need to debunk the myth that Douglas Wilson is effectively accountable to anyone, because he cannot get through a sentence with the words “anonymous accuser” or “anonymous witness” without invoking accountability. And of course, we all know that Douglas Wilson is accountable to someone — a session of elders, a band of confederates, the civil magistrate — someone, for his words and behavior. At least that’s the impression he leaves. But impression isn’t reality, except in the land of DUMB, and accountability does not exist simply because someone implies it.

This brings us to the following article in the Christ Church Constitution, which states:

Removal of PASTORS, Elders, and Deacons
If an elder believes himself to be fit for office, but two or three believers hold that he is unfit, these two or three witnesses should request a special session of the elder board where they would be allowed to present their case (1 Tim. 5:19). If the elders unanimously decide that the case has merit, that elder, depending on the gravity of the charges and his response to the correction, will be rebuked in the presence of the heads of households (1 Tim. 5:20), or will be removed from the office of elder (1 Tim. 3:1–7; Tit. 1:5–9), or both.

While Christ Church encourages her pastor(s) toward a long-term view of the ministry, in the providence of God, changes in a pastor’s call to a particular church arise for both righteous and sinful reasons. In cases involving moral failures requiring disciplinary proceedings, the disciplinary process for the removal of a pastor is the same as for other officers. For cases that do not involve moral failures or disciplinary proceedings (e.g., Acts 15:33–41, Romans 15:22–33, 1 Corinthians 16:5–12), the procedure for terminating the call of a pastor, thereby dismissing him from service at Christ Church, is as follows: If a pastor desires to terminate his call, he shall duly inform the session of his desire. In the case of an involuntary termination of his call, a pastor may be recommended for dismissal from service at Christ Church by a unanimous vote of the session (excluding said pastor). In such a case, the pastor may have recourse to the electors by calling for a vote to either sustain his call as pastor or not (with an option to abstain). If the electors sustain his call by a two-thirds majority vote, the other elders must afterwards either concede to his call or refer the matter to the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals for binding arbitration. (Christ Church Constitution)

Please notice the twofold use of the word “unanimous” and the four layers of insulation protecting Wilson. In the event of charges, the elders must vote unanimously that “the case has merit” (also notice the built-in ambiguity — “merit” does not equal “guilt,” which gives him room to maneuver if the case has merit). If the “merit” is sufficient for removal, then the elders must vote unanimously to remove Wilson. If this vote passes, Wilson can lobby the congregation to overturn the unanimous vote of their elders. Finally, if the elders don’t like it, they can take the matter to the CREC — just as Andrew Sandlin and Church of the King–Santa Cruz did. And these are only the constitutional hurdles. The Kirk constitution omits the part about many of the Kirk elders’ financial dependence on Wilson and his institutions, such as Logos School, NSA, or Canon Press, where Wilson sits on the boards with other Kirk elders, which creates a hopeless conflict of interest for every one of them. Do the math. No one can touch Wilson without a unanimous vote of the elders, the majority of whom depend upon him for their livelihoods.

So let’s say you’re one of Wilson’s 12–15 (I lost count) hand-picked elders and you work at Logos School, where he is a lifetime board member sitting next to three other hand-picked elders on the board. Furthermore, let’s say that your conscience (I know, it’s a stretch) bears witness that you must remove Douglas Wilson from the ministry because he is an offense to the gospel. Moreover, you know that if you vote your conscience and at least one other elder does not share your conviction, then Wilson will see to your unemployment quicker than you can say, “Duck.” Now, do you vote your conscience or do you stick your finger in the wind?

Obviously this self-serving system of “accountability” does not constitute any meaningful accountability. Wilson chose his hirelings to serve as elders precisely because he knew they understood their role in life was to worship the Lord their Doug — not to hold him accountable. This is why monkey boy Mike Lawyer stuck a dagger in Bob Mattes’ back in the “Attack From Moscow” and no Kirk officer peeped. He, like the rest of them, was serving the Lord his Doug — to whom they all give account.

Think about it. Mike Lawyer makes $50,000 a year (plus or minus a few), has a few children, a truck payment, and a mortgage. He’s stretched to the max. And he knows that if Wilson questioned his loyalty to the Lord his Doug, he would terminate him in a heartbeat just as he did all the others (BG, CL, DS . . . the list grows), and that’s just the economic penalty. Aggravating this conflict, Lawyer knows that no legitimate Christian church would ever call him to the ministry after they see all the Doug scat on his resume. The man is hopelessly conflicted.

In a sense, Wilson has trapped the Kirk elders in worse positions than anyone else in the Kult. But don’t feel sorry for them. They’re the ones who sat idly by and consented to his iniquity — the threats, the abuse, the intimidation, the reviling, the treachery, the false witness, the blasphemy — you name it. Indeed, they sanctioned this sewage, they can drink it to the dregs.

But the point is that Douglas Wilson has rigged the system. The Christ Church Constitution grants the Kirk elders no real authority to hold Wilson accountable. It’s merely the document establishing their castrated office, which insures that he will never answer to anyone in any meaningful, biblical way. And they know it. They know, just as he knows, that they have no authority over him whatsoever.

So every time Wilson points to those black holes in the universe called elders, saying, “They hold me accountable,” just remind yourself that he’s fulfilling Scripture, which says, “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).

Thank you.


David Gadbois said...

It would be worth putting up a post on the CREC's Constitution. There is absolutely no method in the Constitution for removing ministers. The only thing that a judicial trial can lead to is the removing of a congregation.

Mark T. said...

Excellent idea; I shall bang one out today or tomorrow.