“NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. ” So said the boys of Python.
When you are righteous in your own eyes there is nothing out of bounds when it comes to behavior. Think about it… If one is saving Christendom from the rot of Arianism, then Alexander can be excused if he let fly a few invectives against Arius. Right?
But, what if you are wrong in your assumptions? What if your flaming tongue is not directed against a modern day Nestorius? What if your invective is cutting into a faithful minister of the Gospel Believing/Professing Church of almighty God? What then?
One anti-FV blogger has mused that the way a straying airman under his command mended his ways is a model for the elders within the Louisiana Presbytery to deal with Pastor Steve Wilkins.
I will try and summarize his tale. It seems that the writer of the blog, Bob Mattes, served our country in the Air Force. He was in command of some kind and was in the process of seeing that an airman under his command was removed from active service by way of a courts martial. Apparently the airman was charged with a crime. The smooth operation of the removal process was gummed up when a friend of the young man offered an alibi for the time-frame in question.
Colonel Mattes (I assume he was a colonel but I don’t know for sure) decided that he would talk to the friend in person and had him standing tall in front of him and even read him is rights (just to let the young man know the seriousness of the affair). The young man was scared straight and recanted his alibi for the delinquent airman.
It appears from the narrative that the good Colonel ended up with the right results. His use of office to intimidate a young airman resulted in the conviction of a dirtbag (that’s military talk for a member who is a drag on his unit and whose mere presence is a detriment to good order and discipline). We can all rest easy knowing the CO rooted out one of the military’s misfits.
But, what if the airman had been telling the truth? What if standing in front of the old man, with the senior enlisted leader of your unit right there as well, caused the young man to abandon truth and righteousness to protect his job? What then?
In the case of the SJC… what if they are wrong and this committee is calling other elders onto the carpet and threatening their ministries, while Pastor Wilkins and they are in fact guilty of nothing? All of Mr. Mattes’s urging to abandon Pastor Wilkins to his fate is reprehensible if he is not guilty of anything. No, I take that back… It is reprehensible to use the authority of the Church to brow beat someone even if you believe them to be guilty. They should not lord their authority over others the way the Gentiles do. Or so I’ve heard
Bob Mattes, ends his advice to the Louisiana Presbytery with these words:
The SJC has given Louisiana Presbytery the opportunity to plead guilty by February and fix its errors. That would certainly cause the least additional disturbance to the peace of the denomination. The alternative would be for Louisiana Presbytery to try to defend the indefensible and stand by Wilkins and his aberrant Federal Vision theology, which has already been rejected by the PCA almost unanimously.
By being loyal to the wrong people, Louisiana Presbytery will undoubtedly further harm and disturb the peace and purity of the church. As with the young airman years ago, Louisiana Presbytery needs to learn not to be loyal to the wrong people.
That’s a lesson worth learning-then and now.
Get it? We have given you every opportunity to plead guilty! What is wrong with you people and your misplaced sense of loyalty? Confess to your witchcraft, accept the authority of the
PopeSJC and all will be forgiven. Torquemada would be proud.