Thursday, February 14, 2008


I put this on Green Bagginses last night but it took a while for approval and may have got lost in the shuffle. It’s a response to a string of comments by Burke Shade where he creatively revises the history of his defrockment and his subsequent reception into the CRE:

Mr. Shade,

You are absolutely correct. The minutes for the Christ Church elders’ meeting do not say that you spoke with the pastor of Christ Church before the PCA lawfully defrocked you; they merely say that the pastor of Christ Church made motion to receive you and your congregation as a fraternal delegate in the CRE and the Kirk elders voted unanimously to approve his motion.

Consequently, given your implication and the plain meaning of the minutes, I must conclude that the Kirk session groupthinked to bring you into the CRE even though none of them ever spoke with you and the PCA had not defrocked you because your trial was not finished. Makes perfect sense. The CREC looks even more responsible now.

I’m sure this explains why the Christ Church minutes report that your trial was not a barrier to you and your church being accepted into the CRE:

Doug Jones reported that the ad hoc committee concerning Burke Shade recommends that we should not send out the current letter, and that we should wait while Chris Schlect and Doug Jones continue to work through the trial materials, before they make a further recommendation. Doug Wilson reminded the elders that we have already agreed this situation is not a barrier to Burke Shade and his church being accepted into the CRE, and that he has communicated this to Burke. The elders agreed that, further review of the material, the burden of proof is on the committee to overturn our previous decisions, which would only happen if new, clear information against Burke appears. The elders would like a report from the committee by July 27. This recommendation considered as a motion passed. (Christ Church Elders’ Meeting Minutes, July 13, 2000)

And this certainly explains why they had already brought you into the CRE as a fraternal delegate:

— Motion (DW/GH) to seat Cornerstone Reformed Church, Carbondale, IL (Burke Shade, pastor). After discussion, the motion passed 5-0. (CREC 1999 minutes, p. 1)

Furthermore, you are correct when you note that “the people who left EPC asked for those things, not me.” They asked for the money, the hymnals, and the furniture in the same letter where they requested Illiana Presbytery to dissolve its relationship with you:

We request that Evangelical Presbyterian Church agree to dissolve its relationship with Pastor Burke Shade immediately, allowing us to call Pastor Shade as Pastor of our newly formed Church. We understand that he would be ministering “out of bounds” pending final decision of Presbytery.

I’m sure they did this without your knowledge or approval, just as the pastor of Christ Church motioned to bring you into the CRE without your knowledge or approval. Or perhaps this is an example of the sheep laying down their lives for the shepherd. Either way, it gives you highly implausible cover, which is consistent with the FV MO.

Finally, while your claim that two denominations held your membership simultaneously — one as a defrocked minister and one as a minister in good standing — makes sense to you, it’s more evidence that you and your fellow confederates are under a lot of pressure. Trust me, I understand. It must be positively unbearable. You must feel a little like Roger Clemens and a lot like Hillary Clinton. Like Clemens, the testimony of your closest allies contradicts your story and, like Hillary, the overwhelming votes against you (from seven Reformed denominations) look like a landslide of epic proportions. The truth is surrounding you as the walls are caving in. You’re cornered and crushed. But take hope, Mr. Shade, for as the Congresswoman said to Clemens today, “I’m sure you’re going to heaven.”

PS: The issue of anonymity is not a matter of boldness as you suggest; it’s a matter of the Fearless Leader’s Al Capone-like traits. But for what it’s worth, I could handle you and Jeff Meyers at the same time, with or without his platform shoes.

Thank you.