Friday, January 18, 2008

Worse Than None

The official Federal Vision Damage Control Unit swung into action this morning, trying to rehabilitate James Jordan’s complete meltdown on the worldwide web. Accordingly, the Federal Visionists successfully compelled their Godfather to post a comment on two blogs to seek forgiveness for “several overheated posts” and for “having troubled your waters.” Here is his comment in full:

Gentlemen,

I hereby ask your forgiveness for my several overheated posts over the last few days. I have deleted all but the first, which is the only thing I had any right to post to you; to wit: that there is nothing wrong with anyone’s commenting on the public actions and behavior of certain parties in the PCA, behavior that is public and that some regard as shocking and scandalous.

I was out of line in my comments here, partly because the rhetoric I employed is not appropriate in a public blog, and partly because, being neither in the PCA nor a presbyterian, anything beyond a general expression of concern or horror at how these affairs are being conducted is inappropriate.

I allowed my friendship with persons I believe are being wrongfully persecuted to inflame my language, and I wrote in anger, and I should not have done so.

So, please forgive me for having troubled your waters, and be assured that it will not happen again.

Sincerely,

James B. Jordan

As confessions go, this is about as offensive as Jordan’s original sin, which he happily affirms. So let’s take it point for point:

I hereby ask your forgiveness for my several overheated posts over the last few days.

Jordan seeks forgiveness for the sin of “several overheated posts,” though he leaves the word “overheated” undefined. What does he mean by “overheated”? Does he refer to a grown man throwing a sinful temper tantrum, or does he think he got a little too hot under the collar, so to speak? I once had an “overheated” engine, but I didn’t attribute sin to it, and my wife has “overheated” my coffee on occasion, but neither she nor the coffee committed sin. So we’ll have to see what Jordan means.

I have deleted all but the first, which is the only thing I had any right to post to you; to wit: that there is nothing wrong with anyone’s commenting on the public actions and behavior of certain parties in the PCA, behavior that is public and that some regard as shocking and scandalous.

Okay, he deleted all his comments from “John Armstrong’s Meddling Again” except the original comment, which is another way of saying exactly how much forgiveness he seeks because the original comment is no less offensive than all the reviling that followed it. In fact, it laid the foundation for everything else he wrote. Of course, this explains why he still believes the actions of the PCA are “shocking and scandalous.”

I was out of line . . .

This strikes me as an understatement. In 1 Corinthians 5:11 Paul does not instruct the Church to excommunicate “railers” because he believes reviling is merely “out of line.”

I was out of line in my comments here, partly because the rhetoric I employed is not appropriate in a public blog. . .

Jordan believes that his language was “not appropriate in a public blog” and he clearly implies that his language is absolutely appropriate for non-public-blog discourse, such as we see on the Biblical Horizons yahoo Group. In other words, this stipulation — this one single condition — protects the soul of Jordan’s conviction, which makes room for the abundance of his heart. His entire so-called confession hangs on this one line.

. . . and partly because, being neither in the PCA nor a presbyterian. . .

Off point, but this is a clear admission that the CREC, where he holds his membership, is not presbyterian, and to my knowledge he is the first confederate to make this admission.

. . . and partly because, being neither in the PCA nor a presbyterian, anything beyond a general expression of concern or horror at how these affairs are being conducted is inappropriate.

This admission is similar to Prince Blog’s admission that while he knows nothing about the PCA’s BCO, he still reserves the right to comment on the PCA’s proceedings. Of course, neither Beelzeblog nor James Jordan acknowledge that their Federal Visionist peers in the PCA affirmed the PCA’s form of government by covenant and all the boohooing in the world after the fact doesn’t remove their covenantal obligations. More importantly, however, when men admit their ignorance relative to a certain subject, it behooves them to refrain from editorializing on that subject. If a man does not understand presbyterian polity, then why would he pass judgment on the very polity he freely admits he doesn’t understand? In other words, Jordan shouldn’t even offer “general expression of concern or horror at how these affairs are being conducted” when he does not know how these affairs are being conducted. One follows the other in logical sequence. But the working assumption with all the Federal Visionists is that THEY are the authorities on all things ecclesia.

I allowed my friendship with persons I believe are being wrongfully persecuted to inflame my language. . .

And if he was any kind of friend to Wilkins, he would urge him to honor his vows. Further, if Jordan had any brains, he would take a moment to learn presbyterian polity. It might keep him from using words such as “wrongfully persecuted.”

. . . and I wrote in anger, and I should not have done so.

This apparently defines the word “overheated.” He “wrote in anger.”

So, please forgive me for having troubled your waters, and be assured that it will not happen again.

The whole “troubled waters” metaphor strikes me as one more poke in the eye. First, it casts Jordan in the role of the angel in John 5. Second, it plainly diminishes the magnitude of his sin. What’s the big deal? — he troubled the waters.

Charles Spurgeon, writing under the pseudonym John Ploughman, coined the proverb, “A good excuse is worse than none,” to convey the point that when confessing your sins, it’s always best to come all the way clean, and refusal to admit the whole truth only aggravates your sin. In this instance, Jordan’s confession furnishes us with a good example of peacemaking Federal Vision style: Hold to your sins; humble not yourself; and concede no points of fact. In other words, his confession is worse than none.

Thank you.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this.

Besides the fact that it's a righteous rebuke of a fraudulent apology, it brought to light sin in my own life where I have not asked forgiveness properly.

-Anonymous9

Machaira said...

This guy is unbelievable. What Mr. Jordan gives with one hand he takes away with the other. This FV attempt at damage control couldn't be more transparent.

Jeff Meyers said...

Remove the picture. It is not yours to use without my permission. This is a blatant violation of copyright laws. You have stolen an image I created and used it on your site without my permission.

You apparently think it's funny to use it again, to violate the sixth commandment twice, instead of simply acknowledging your error and removing my property from your website.

I'm not going ask again.

Thank you.

Jeff Meyers

Mark T. said...

Pastor Braveheart,

I really want to get along with you, so please take a deep breath and compose yourself. I have politely asked you to point me to the US Copyright Code that you allege I have violated. If you cannot, then I sincerely ask you to refrain from aggressive, hostile comments alleging violations of the Sixth Commandment (murder).

Thank you.

Daniel Kok said...

Unfortunately I will have to agree with you Mark. I say unfortunate because I like to think I can take an apology at face value but this is near impossible as you pointed.

I don't have a problem with Jordan commenting on the PCA judicial process but he clearly thinks that the PCA is so full of liars and cheats that we should join him in his public rebuke. Insane.

Part of me says stay out of this but I think it right to stand up and support our brothers in the PCA. They are using the courts of the church to pursue discipline for the benefit and well-being of the flock: the third mark of the true church; I say bravo.

Anonymous said...

In case it is difficult in those funny glasses to find the relevant section of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107. Here it is in black and white:

The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

No copyright infringement here, move along, nothing to see.

Mark T. said...

Daniel,

Please note that Jordan never apologized or expressed sorrow for his sin. In fact, his confession never used the word “sin.” It was no more a confession than an apology. He confessed nothing and he’s sorry for nothing.

anonymous8 said...

Would it be unfair to put a highlight pen once again on the fact that Pastor Meyers doesn't have his Ten Commandments down as securely as he perhaps might?

Mark T. said...

Let’s just say that Meyers’ grasp of the Decalogue indicates that he is no more qualified for the ministry than he is to practice law.

Anonymous said...

Check out this new and edifying blog on the Federal Vision: www.neh-intothelight.blogspot.com

Mark T. said...

Anon,

Do you know who hosts this site?