Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Missouri Presbytery rules on Jeff Meyers Complaint

Well, the news has broken that Missouri Presbytery has denied the complaint filed by two of its members that its investigation of TE Jeff Meyers was flawed.  The photo says it all. 

Truth be told I never expected a different outcome from Missouri Presbytery.  All along they have proven reluctant to consider the possibility that one of their members had strayed from the Westminster Standards.  Their initial attack against the 29 signers of the "Letter of Concern" indicated that they were less concerned about the purity of the church than relationships and protecting one of their own (along with their own reputation).  Obviously they see themselves as the theological norm for the PCA - what they permit should be permissible for all 70+ presbyteries and what they forbid should be forbidden in all 70+ presbyteries.  So much for the Westminster Standards and the historic interpretation of those standards. 

As one who signed the original Letter of Concern I was contacted by both sub-committees of Missouri Presbytery who were conducting that investigation.  Only a small portion of what I communicated back to those committees was ever incorporated in their 123 page report exonerating TE Meyers (here).  What's galling about all of this is their accusation that the Letter of Concern was selective about TE Meyers' writings and didn't do justice to the full corpus of his work.  Yet, their investigation actually ignored the topics I personally asked them to investigate (complete with Meyers' own words along with dates and where he posted them on the internet).  And, instead of using the Letter of Concern as a starting point to conduct their own investigation they never went beyond that document.  Furthermore, I made the following request to the committee chair investigating TE Meyers' theological views:
In your investigation I trust that Missouri Presbytery would review Rev. Meyers' exceptions to our standards classifying them per RAO 16-3.e.5 and including this in the presbytery minutes.
What I hoped was that Missouri Presbytery would put a rest to all of this wrangling by clearly examining TE Meyers with regard to any exceptions he has to the Westminster Standards and classifying them per the standards noted above.  Instead Missouri Presbytery ignored the question.  They allowed TE Meyers to hide behind the word 'scruple' (a word not recognized by our constitution) and never really bothered to investigate whether his views have changed over the last 17 years. 

I would also note that once the Letter of Concern went public (something I had nothing to do with) TE Meyers issued an apology to his presbytery that was also posted on the internet.  That apology achieved two ends: First, it disarmed the presbytery by asserting that he had used intemperate and imprecise language when debating on the internet, nothing more.  Second, that apology became the demarcation of what Missouri Presbytery would investigate.  Since many of the citations in the Letter of Concern were dated to a certain period of time when TE Meyers was engaged in "intemperate and imprecise theological debate" and he was "sorry" for being unclear, Missouri Presbytery didn't pursue those things.  In the end TE Meyers absolved himself of all responsibility and Missouri Presbytery said, "Fine with us." 

For those who want to learn more go here.  For those who understand what is at stake consider this comment found at the same link: 

The truth is we have a rogue, rebellious presbytery, one that has shown itself out of accord with the mind of the General Assembly expressed in 2007.

More fundamentally, we have an entire presbytery that does not understand salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

That our denominational seminary sits right in the heart of it does not pass unnoticed.
As an alumnus of that school I am less than thrilled by what I see happening.  Furthermore, having completed my internship in Missouri Presbytery and knowing several who labor in its bounds, my opinion of that court has dropped significantly.

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