Monday, March 17, 2008

Not Even a Mutt

Last November, Dougzilla blogstomped all over Bob Mattes and, by extension, the PCA for plugging my fully documented anonymous attack blog. I believe that at the time Reformed Musings speculated about the Fearless Leader’s ministerial credentials as well, which compelled the Great Protector to give this account of his ordination to the ministry:

Our church was planted by an Evangelical Free Church in Pullman, Washington. The early leadership of our congregation, which included me, formed under their oversight. So no, not self-ordained and not self-installed. . . . (“Standing Google Commission”)

Not much, I know, but those are his words and that was his story; but I’m not sure if he’s sticking to it because today he posted the following comment on Green Baggins in response to a few hecklers who noted that he has no ministerial credentials:

And, joking aside, I actually have been ordained. I tell the story of that in the back of Mother Kirk, for those who have a need to follow up on it. I was not ordained in accordance with any regular Reformed protocols, and I would describe my ordination as irregular, but there.

The demand for regular ordination (in an all or nothing fashion) coming from Presbyterians is kind of funny. With Calvin, we simply have no record of his ordination one way or the other. But with John Knox, the father of all presbyterial-apostolic-successional ordinations, we know exactly how it happened. A rag-tag “congregation” with no formal identity as a church, holed up in St. Andrews Castle after the assassination of Beaton, called him to the ministry, and so then, Bob’s yer uncle. So in order to be legitimate, you have to be able to trace it back to that, as though the ministry were a line of pure-bred spaniels. I say it again. Heh.

The Fearless Leader’s tip inspired me to rifle through the piles of doug poop in my doug kennel for my copy of Mother Kirk, in order to transcribe the account and save the three people who might actually care about this fairytale the trouble of ordering the book and losing 20 bucks. I found the book beneath a load of doug manure. Here is his story as he told it in 2001:

Having written this book, I must now apologize, at least in part, for how the book came to be written by someone like, as the Victorians used to say, the present writer. At the time of writing, I have been a minister of the Word for twenty-three years. But how that came about contains more than a few ecclesiastical irregularities.

I came to the University of Idaho in the fall of 1975, fresh out of the Navy, and ready to study philosophy. My intention was to study various unbelieving philosophies and to then get involved in some kind of evangelistic literature ministry in a university town somewhere. Right around the same time, a church was being planted in our town by an Evangelical Free Church in a nearby community. The fellowship was successfully planted, but this new church never affiliated with the Free Church. This was not due to any doctrinal or personal differences; it was due mostly to the fact that it was the seventies. I was at the organizing meeting for this church and wound up as one of the guitar-playing songleaders. The best way to describe this would be to say that it was some kind of “Jesus people” operation.

After about a year and a half of meeting, the man who had been doing the preaching (ordained by a Baptist denomination) announced that he had gotten a job elsewhere and that he was moving. We were on our own the following Sunday. As I said, it was the seventies. The idea of going into pastoral ministry had not occurred to me, but when it did, I didn’t like it very much. Nevertheless, as things turned out, I was up in front with the guitar. That was my call to the ministry; I knew all the chords. I began to preach.

Our church had been planted by an established denomination, but we had no constitution, no doctrinal standards, no established leadership. I started what we called a “responsible brothers” meeting to fill the void of leadership — ad hoc elders. We knew from the Scriptures that we needed to be governed by elders, but we didn’t have any. We received some teaching on elder qualifications from the pastor of the Evangelical Free church that had established our church, and as a result different men among the responsible brothers removed themselves from consideration. In this situation, I presented myself to the congregation and asked them to bring forward any objections to my holding office of elder within the next few weeks. If no one did, then I would assume the office. As it turned out, no one did, and I have been working with this congregation of faithful and longsuffering saints ever since.

All this, as I said earlier, was highly irregular, and I would rather be dead in a ditch than to go back to that way of doing ecclesiastical business. . . . (Douglas Wilson, Mother Kirk [Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2001] 267–268)

No honest man could call this act of self-will “an ordination” — not even irregular. Indeed, if that’s ordination then Toto was a flying monkey. Nevertheless, this trail of doug droppings should help everyone understand that words have no meaning to Douglas Wilson. They’re just gusts of hot air blown out of a bottomless pit of deceit whenever the evil one needs to correct another inconsistency.

And the moral of this story is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians: “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.”

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Was "concision" deliberate?

Mark T. said...

Affirmative: I let it stand for the double entendre.