"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reformed "Authority"

This is a comment I left at the Reformed site Green Baggins:

I am glad they exonerated Lawrence, and my former pastor Josh Moon. The confession you all subscribe to says all disputes are to be resolved by scripture. That is what everyone here is doing, and you all are doing the best you can. When I read Rev. Dr. Moon, or TE Lawrence, or most of what has been written here in these comments, I think to myself “sounds fair enough”. You all have very good points, and take the scripture at its word as best you are able.

The obvious problem is you all disagree as to WHAT the scripture is saying.

That is problem one.

Problem two comes in when your own authorities decide a matter, and those who are supposedly in submission to that authority decide they will just ignore it in favor of their own! (Comment #36,)

And all those who disagree with their exegesis are “Christ’s enemies” (#100)!

Hmm, well, having been someone you would probably accuse of being an “FV” guy myself fro having believed in baptismal regen and paedocom, (although I would have just called myself a bible believing Reformed Christian) and having known Josh Moon and many men like him which you accuse of being FV, all I can say is have fun in your tiny denomination. If you are willing to turn on men like Moon and lawrence and refuse to even call them brothers, and call them “enemies of Christ”, and yet these men agree with you on so very much, much more than most evangelicals certainly, then you will just have to leave the PCA and start your own new micro-denomination I guess (gee that is a new concept). When will it end?

What do the worker bees in the pew do? I was one of those guys. No theological training beyond bedtime theology reading and R.C. Sproul videos. But I desperately loved Reformed theology. But when someone like me starts to agree with Wilson AND Sproul, Horton AND Leithart, both “sides” sounded biblical to me. Who gets to decide who is right and who is wrong? what do I do then?

You cannot answer that question. All you will say is “read the scriptures” or on a bad day you will say “listen to me read the scriptures”. But in the end, when I cannot choose who is right or wrong, and both sides sound scriptural, what do I do? Who do I listen to? Who is right and who is wrong? Where is the authority which is supposed to be so solid in the Reformed polity when the GA passes down a verdict and people choose to ignore it anyway? Doesn’t that prove who is really in charge? Doesn’t that prove that that person will only agree with the GA decision if it agrees with their opinion?

Instead of “semper reformanda” or “sola Scriptura”, I have a new suggestion for the 21st century Reformed motto:

“When I submit (so long as I agree), the one to whom I submit is me.”


Though I am now a Catholic, I still long for unity with you brothers. Ironically, some here would not consider me a brother as a Catholic OR an FVer. I can’t win.


David Meyer


  1. The lack of unity even within Reformed theology turned me off and this is why I am joining the Catholic Church. Early in 2005-2006, I had breakfast with a group of men from the OPC. They talked about how they would not join Ian Hewitson's church because of his affinity to Norman Shepherd. They felt that their prized doctrine of justification was at stake. On a separate occasion, Wicksell called me from New Mexico to discuss some of the people he was following: Leithart, Wilson, and Sproul, Jr. I was surprised at the polarization of camps within Reformed theology. I had a hard time reconciling all these views, so I reached out to the highest authority I knew in the OPC: the steering committee. They unanimously told me that FV was heresy because anything that depends on something other than Christ (works) for salvation should be disregarded. I deferred to their judgment, but years later, I began to look into FV vision again. What scared the steering committee was how close it resembled Roman Catholic theology. Of course, you and I know better, but I almost see a sliding scale: traditional presbyterianism --> FV --> Anglican or Orthodox --> Catholic Church.

  2. Amen bro. The divisions are breathtaking. When men like you and me try to sort it out, we are left with the conclusion that these important decisions are riding on our shoulders... which for me at least is frightening.

    The steering commitee you mention seems to be infected with a case of A.B.C. virus. (Anything But Catholic)
    If it is true, it is true, whether Catholic or not.
    They arrogate authority to themselves and tell you to follow them. I say to them "who are you?"