Thursday, February 7, 2008

Think Al Capone Part 1

Without a doubt, Green Bagginses is the best resource on the web for understanding the external aspects of the Federal Vision. Whether you want to learn about the nuts & bolts of each point where the FV diverts from orthodoxy or whether you’re interested in the latest development in the Reformed church as it relates to the FV, Green Baggineses is the blog.

For example, in the last few days two members of the PCA’s SJC posted some helpful comments on Green Bagginses regarding the resignation of Steven “Machen” Wilkins. But it’s possible that some people missed them because of the volume of traffic Pastor Lane sees. So I shall repost them here and offer some of my own comments in Part 2:

Bill Lyle said,
It seems to me, from Wilkins own words:

“. . . Presbytery’s decision not to conduct a trial of me was influenced by the stated unwillingness of some to submit to the outcome of a presbytery trial if that trial resulted in a decision in my favor. Some of the members of the Presbytery informed us that they had already decided to file a complaint against the decision of the Presbytery to the SJC if a trial by the Presbytery exonerated me — regardless of what the trial evidence showed. They also acknowledged that the SJC would reverse any decision which exonerated me.”
  1. He never took seriously the vows he took before the God and His people — see PCA BCO 21-5. 3, 4, 6, 7. (Could it be that Wilkins crossed his fingers when he took these vows and answered affirmative?)

  2. Now I may be wrong, but for a simple person like me I guess he is stating the following:

    Now I will submit to a trial only if the following conditions are met:

    • Everyone in LAP must submit to the ruling of the presbytery.

    • All members of LAP must forgo their rights to complain and therefore PCA BCO 43 will cease to exist for this trial.

    • That in LAP — PCA BCO 14 does not exist, nor does PCA BCO 14-6 a, b, c, g, i.

  3. That he, Wilkins, can see into the heart of all 24 men on the SJC and knows beforehand how they will vote on this matter.

  4. That he, Wilkins, can see into my heart and knows how I will vote.

  5. That he, Wilkins, believes the highest court of the PCA is the Presbytery.

  6. That he, Wilkins, would only submit to LAP only if he could control the outcome of the trial and if there was a chance he could not do so, he fled. I guess this means he knows in his heart that his theology may not stand under any kind of examination.

  7. That the men on the SJC lied when they took their vows before God and the church RAO 17-1.
Mark T. said,
Hi Bill,

Pursuant to BCO 38-3, do you know if the SJC became the court of original jurisdiction after LAP pled guilty to the second specification of the PCA Indictment? If so, then would this mean that LAP does not have the authority to receive Wilkins’ resignation pursuant to BCO 23-1?

Dewey Roberts said,
Hi Mark T.,

The question you asked Bill would require a comment from him that he can’t give at this time. The SJC has not yet taken up those questions and it will have to be deliberated by that body and a decision will have to be made about such matters. It would be wrong for either Bill or myself or anyone else on the SJC to comment on what BCO 38-3 says concerning the aspects of this case which are still before the court.

I would like to point out to some on this board who often decry the SJC for not discussing matters face-to-face with Steve Wilkins that such a conversation with a party to a case which is either before the SJC or potentially may be before the SJC is strictly forbidden by the constitution of the PCA. Doug Wilson has tried to get a lot of mileage out of his “charge” against the SJC that we have never talked with Wilkins. Our constitution forbids us to do so! Think Al Capone. Capone wiggled out of several cases which the government brought against him by jury tampering. The members of the SJC are the jury of the highest court in the PCA. Would Wilson really want the SJC members to engage in despicable jury tampering? If Steve had remained in the PCA he would have had his opportunity to talk face-to-face with the SJC. He chose to leave instead. So, wise people will take what Wilson says with a grain of salt and consider them to be equal.

Steve Wilkins was one of my best friends at seminary. I have roomed with him at PCA General Assemblies. We have eaten together on many occasions. It gave me no joy that he might be tried before the SJC, but I would have done what I do in every case. I would strictly apply the constitution of the PCA to the record of the case without respect of persons. Wilson called the SJC a kangaroo court. What is a kangaroo court? I think it is a court where the law is ignored and matters are decided by personal favoritism — either for or against someone. The only thing Wilkins or anyone else has a right to expect out of any PCA court is an impartial decision based on the constitution of that body. Personally, I am a strict constitutionalist — and Steve Wilkins knows that very, very well.

Bill Lyle said,
Hi Mark T.

Dewey Roberts answered your question of me. See RAO 17-1 and SJCM 7.

GLW Johnson said,
Bill and Dewey

I do hope people who are echoing Wilson’s line take note of what you two have posted here. DW has, from time to time, lampooned the PCA critics of the FV as being “Baptyrians” — but as Andrew Sandlin discovered, Wilson is not a Presbyterian after all (and his analysis and defense of Wilkins likewise displays that he is woefully ill-informed about the Presbyterian polity) rather — and this is really unique — DW is a “Episcobyterian.”

Bill Lyle said,

IMHO — It seems as those who are shooting down the process, have an attitude of “Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

greenbaggins said,
Bill and Dewey, thanks very much for commenting. Your comments are quite helpful.

Dewey Roberts said,
Thanks Lane!

I read your blog frequently. I finally just got tired of Doug Wilson’s campaign of “disinformation” against the PCA and the SJC. I have told friends of mine that Wilson is a prolific writer, but not a profound thinker. Nothing illustrates that better than his disinformation against the SJC. He truly does not know of what he speaks. One of the lost tools of learning is to do “critical” thinking — not criticizing thinking. Critical thinking helps us to look at issues objectively and to be aware of our own biases. The next time Wilson posts something negative about the SJC, I am going to ask him two questions: First, can you show, Mr. Wilson, where or how the SJC acted contrary to the constitution of the PCA? Second, can you show, Mr. Wilson, what constitutional rights belong to members of the CREC to prevent this “travesty” about which you complain concerning the PCA? I hope for his sake that Wilson has the wisdom to lie low because I have taken the measure of a “man of his talents” and have concluded the emperor has no clothes. I won’t let Wilson get by with trying to wordsmith his way out of these questions. He will either have to quote chapter, paragraph and line or he will be exposed as a master of disinformation.

P.S. If Wilson doubts me, I would recommend that he contact James Jordan’s pastor, Mickey Schneider (who is a minister in the CREC), under whom I apprenticed in 1973.

Dewey Roberts said,
Hey Doug,

I have laid the gauntlet down to you (in Wilkins’ Rationale) about all the false accusations you have made about the SJC for these past several months. My basic position about you is that you are a propagandist of disinformation. You artfully weave disinformation about the PCA and SJC into comments about known facts. That is always the best and most effective way to disinform. But your gig is up.

Now my advice to you would be to call Mickey Schneider when you get a chance and ask him about me. After you do so, I think you will probably decide that you don’t want to engage me in a battle of wits. Why? Because I won’t chase rabbits with you and I won’t let you get away with your nonsensical, ill-informed statements about the SJC any longer. I will force you to face the facts of the constitution of the PCA which will effectively cut your comments off at the knee. And I will make you show how the CREC is “better” by quoting from your constitution (that should be interesting!). After all, people who live in glass houses (like the CREC) don’t need to throw stones at those who have a historic Presbyterian constitution (like the PCA does).

Doug, it is your choice. Either go away quietly. Or, I am going to expose you to the blogging world as just a bully who is a propagandist of disinformation. It is your choice.

Thank you.


Rick P said...

GLW Johnson said:

[quote]Wilson is not a Presbyterian after all...rather...DW is a “Episcobyterian.”[end quote]

I've thought for some time the CREC should be renamed the 'Confederation of Reformed Anglo-Papists.' However, in light of Sean Gerety's and John Robbins' book _Not Reformed At All_, perhaps it would be more accurate to call them the 'Confederation of RABID Anglo-Papists'?

This is in line with the more appropriately titled *Feral* Vision's apparent goal of anxiously desiring to devour the Shepherd's sheep.

Mark T. said...

They are rabid. They’re also Paptists.