Thursday, January 31, 2008

Steve Wilkins leaves PCA for CREC

I've been waiting for the dust to settle before posting this article. Rev. Steve Wilkins has been at the center of the Federal Vision controversy for the last few years. It had been alleged that his theological views were out of step with the Westminster Confession of Faith. An investigation had been launched into the presbytery's handling of the matter and it was found guilty of failing to adequately examine Rev. Wilkins and deal with his theological differences with the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Last Sunday (1/27/08) Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church voted without dissent to leave the PCA and retain Rev. Steve Wilkins' as their pastor. They are now considered a mission church of the CREC (Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches).

What precipated this decision was the guilty plea of Louisiana Presbytery to one of two charges of misconduct brought by the Standing Judicial Commission of the PCA. The vote to plead guilty occurred about a week earlier at a meeting of the presbytery. For several days the outcome of that meeting remained a secret until a previously unknown internet post was found. The guilty plea paved the way for Rev. Wilkins' to be tried by the Standing Judicial Commission and a trial was planned in early March. But before the SJC could issue its summons to Rev. Wilkins Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church held its congregational meeting and voted to leave the PCA.

You can read about the details here Reformed Musings This blog is published by Ruling Elder Bob Mattes who served on the PCA Ad Interim Committee whose report received a near unanimous vote of approval at last year's General Assembly.

Rev. Doug Wilson of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho and leader of the CREC has also weighed in on this matter. His comments can be found here BLOG and MABLOG

It is unfortunate that Wilson characterized Rev. Wilkins as "a member in good standing of the Louisiana Presbytery and consequently may transfer his membership according to the PCA BCO (38-3a), with the presbytery simply recording the action." Fact of the matter is that Wilkins was about to be tried for teaching things inconsistent with the Westminster Confession of Faith and he chose to flee than take the risk of being found guilty and possibly being disciplined. That doesn't speak well of his integrity nor of the CREC which has thumbed its nose at the disciplinary procedures of the PCA more than once.


Shortly after posting this article I came across Steve Wilkins' explanation of why he and his church are leaving the PCA. You can read it in its entirety right here: Steve Wilkins & AAPC's Letter Detailing the Reasons for Leaving the PCA

Those familiar with Presbyterian polity will notice an error in his theological views. While he affirms submission to his Session (board of elders) and his presbytery he fails to affirm the same submission to the denomination and its highest court (the General Assembly). Our ordination vows do not pit "presbytery" vs. "General Assembly" and allow someone to submit to one without the other. Subjection to the brethren is subjection to the denomination as a whole via its courts. Again, this does not speak well of Rev. Wilkins or of his church.

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