15 March 2010

Lamentations: A Canonical Response

For all the readers of this blog (like four out of the five) who are not Presbyterian, take a look at these two posts (first and second) from Jason Stellman, minister in the PCA, who has been engaged in disciplinary issues (on the prosecutorial side) for last two years or so. Say what you want about the PCA, but this guy embodies exactly the kind of demeanor one ought to have in the midst of church discipline.

Two points worth highlighting:
  1. Stellman rightly suggests that it is with tears that such discipline is to be undertaken. Or, less sentimentally, in his own words, "I have absolutely no desire to prosecute a case against a good man and godly scholar simply to prove a point and set legal precedent for other NAPARC churches to follow," and " I just can’t seem to shake the feeling of emptiness—not to mention the bitter taste in my mouth—that this whole process has occasioned."
  2. He also states what should be obvious to everybody, but doesn't come across often enough when speaking to certain Westminsterians (and other strict subscriptionists, to be sure): "While I believe that the mechanics of that salvation are most biblically set forth in the Westminster Standards, to insist that all who reject our system of doctrine are therefore preaching a false gospel is patently ridiculous."
Another matter entirely is the issue of church discipline itself, a non-existent mark of the church today. Would that all churches practice discipline with exactly the same attitude set forth here by Stellman.


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