You are hereR.C. Sproul, Jr., Defrocked

R.C. Sproul, Jr., Defrocked


By John - Posted on 28 February 2006

A website called The Pearcey Report is reporting that R.C. Sproul Jr. and two other men have been removed from the office of the Westminster Presbytery. The judgment of the elders declared: "It would be unwise to allow these men to continue to hold an office for which they are not qualified..." Some of the reasons quoted are "...spiritual abuse of members and attendees of St. Peter Presbyterian Church, as well as financial irregularities that include the “identity theft” of another church’s Federal Tax I.D. number."Read the Pearcey Report article here

A Jan. 28 2006 update by Peter Kershaw

Public documents regarding the actions

Read the Westminster Presbytery Judgment here (PDF)

Flakinde's picture

First one to use the H word against Jr. get's slapped in the hand with a smelly codfish . . .

Pro 24:17 Do not be glad at the fall of your hater, and let not your heart have joy at his downfall:
Pro 24:18 For fear that the Lord may see it, and it may be evil in his eyes, and his wrath may be turned away from him.

Alexander Rodríguez

Virgil's picture

hahahah...I know what you mean. I was tempted to say something like "this was the guy who called us heretics" but hey...additional words are really not that necessary.

Virgil's picture

Nice scripture, A-Rod. I really appreciate seeing that.

Writerx's picture

Okay, I'm sensing there's some history with this guy and preterism. I've heard of R.C. Sproul, the author and partial preterist, but what's the big deal about Jr. here?

I guess it must be a fairly bitter history, as no one seems to be in sackcloth and ashes.

-A.J.

Virgil's picture

AJ, I have been perusing the documents and "evidence" on this whole situation. It seems to be a personal and bitter war between factions in the Presbyterian Church. I don't know what's with reformed people and these bitter vile attacks on others and each other..they are pretty much eating themselves alive...I don't get it. I guess when they got tired of calling us heretics they turned on their own leaders.

Writerx's picture

No, no, no. I don't care about that. I'm talking about this guy vs. preterism. I was wondering if there was some history between Sproul Jr. and preterism. Apparently he called us heretics at some point or what not. I was wondering why there was a hint of rejoicing that he was exposed for fraud.

-A.J.

P.S. I'm reformed.

Virgil's picture

I certainly don't rejoice, but I do find it ironic when his own people are threatening him with excommunication. For a while back a few years ago he was on an anti-preterist crusade. I really don't know what all came out of it because I stopped paying attention to him. I hope these allegations are false and he gets back to whatever he was that he was doing...

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

I've only read the Peter Kershaw article. And the last paragraph is most interesting:

"RC Sproul Jr and his defrocked session are known to have been in negotiations with the CREC since the first of January. Though St. Peter Congregational Church voted to reinstate their defrocked elders, it remains to be seen if the CREC (or any other denomination that St. Peter solicits an imprimatur from) will defy the RPCGA's judgment and re-ordain the defrocked men."

It will be worth watching to see if one state-incorporated demonination will flatly ignore the quasi-ecclesiastical jurisdiction of another state-incorporated denomination after a change of the church name.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Jer's picture

Did anyone else read the Westminster Presbytery Judgment PDF? Does anyone else find the continued references to "the Book of Church Order" troubling? Regardless of the other charges, these gentlemen are being called out because they were not "authorized" by the Westminster Presbytery to start a church. Hmm...

Dr. Talbot writes, "Undersection B10:10A of the Book of Church Order, all mission churches are established by the authority of Presbytery and must be properly processed according to the requirements under Section B10:10."

I am always interested to see how "Sola Scriptura" plays out in real life.

Virgil's picture

Jeremy, I noted the very same irony as well. A denomination priding itself in "sola scriptura" repeatedly invoking a man-made document to judge someone, not to mention the fact that the whole process reeks of bureaucracy.

Now I am not suggesting Sproul may not be guilty of what they are accusing him of, but that does not take away from the irony of it all.

mazuur's picture

I did and was thinking the same thing. I found it to be very scary personally.

Rich

-Rich

mazuur's picture

After thinking about it for a while, I couldn't help but conclude as I have done in the past, that that is where creeds will always lead you.

Rich

-Rich

mazuur's picture

Jer,

Check out the vows of ordination one has to take with this group. These are in that Judgement that was passed down on R.C. Sproul Jr. you mentioned. The first two really crack me up.

1. Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of life, faith and practice?

2. Do you sincerely receive and adopt the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures?

Yeah, so much for "Sola Scriptura".

I have a friend at my work that's part of this group. One day he was telling my how he had to sign a statement before he was allowed to join the Church. One of the requirements was that he would never drink any alcohol. What really blows my mind is he agreed the Scriptures do not teach against drinking, it merely addresses drunkenness. You know somebody has a grip on you when they will make you agree to things that go aganist you own conscience.

Through further discussions with him I have discovered they do not celebrate Christmas, or any other "Christian" holiday. He will not even watch a movie that contains the character of Jesus in it, such as "The Passion". He says that is forbidden by the 2nd Commandment because you are placing a face on Jesus, which in turn is making an idol of worship.

I have come to the conclusion personally, that the Church he belongs to, while they may be acceptable theologically in Christendom, I see as a sociological cult. Now, I don't treat him as such, I joke around with him, I go out to eat lunch with him, I treat him as one of my best friends, but boy have we had some disagreements on some doctrines. In fact, because I am a Preterist, to him I am a heretic and outside the faith. So, we have pretty much agreed to just be friends and not discuss doctrine.

I gave him a copy of Max King's book "The Spirit of Prophecy" and hope some day he reads it. But, I don't see that happening any time soon.

Rich

-Rich

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Rich,

Your assessment of the situation in these groups jives with my experience. Very good explanation. They may be Christian brothers, but they are sociological cultists.

Hey, here is an analogy for the situation. If Christians are one big family, why does it surprise us that some of our brothers and sisters are a little "out there." Every big family has a few strange members. Sometimes that strangeness is just fine, sometimes it causes major problems. That is how I think of my old friends who are still stuck in these stagnant groups.

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

Jer's picture

Rich,

I think Tim is right. All families have people who are "out there." I'm probably on someone's list ;) We're all at different levels of understanding and maturity. Hopefully, we can learn how to be patient with each other.

mazuur's picture

Jer,

Did I state or imply something different?

You say "I think Tim is right", as if I was wrong, yet he agreed with me.

I agree we are all at different levels of understanding. I remember when I was very stiff in what was "orthodox" and what was "heresy", and believe me, Preterism would have fallen under the category of heresy. I wouldn't have even given the time of day to someone who said Christ had already returned. I would have just labled them a heretic and moved on in life.

Concerning "list", like I said, my friend at work considers me a heretic because I'm a Preterist. So, I guess I'm on his list. That's ok I have come to find that being on a list isn't do bad after all.

Rich

-Rich

Jer's picture

Why the 'tude, dude :) I was agreeing with you.

To quote Sgt. Hulka: "Lightin' up, Francis" :D

mazuur's picture

Jer,

I didn't mean it with any 'tude. I was confused by what you said and thought it was because I might have implied something I didn't mean to:)

Rich

-Rich

Ed's picture

I've met Jr., back when he was PCA. Anyone else notice how many denominations he has been a part of (and changing again).

PCA
ARPC
RPCGA
and now CREC.

Who or what is the church here? I mean, I could tell you a story that would make you cringe. My former pastor started in the RPCNA, went to the RPCUS, and is now Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian Church.

With Sproul, he seemed to have been moving to a more strict form of Presbyterianism denominationally, but now is going against that authority towards the CREC (Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals, which include Reformed, Presbyterian, and Baptist congregationalists).

My former pastor has gone from a strict Presbyterian group (RPCNA) to even MORE strict groups. These groups get smaller and smaller due to their strictness.

What happened to grace? I mean, Sproul et al didn't give any and now they are reaping what they sowed. It is sad, but it is biblical proof that God is not mocked. Let's stop laying on people requirements that God never laid on them. To quote Rushdoony, "Do you think you are holier than God?" These men must.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

Ed, this whole thing is a spectacle to be amazed by. I am just in a daze over the deonominationalism involved in these infights and the huge egos fighting these battles.

Orthodox's picture

Hey- it's not like R.C. Jr. has been defrocked by the Eastmaxter Wyslian Deformed Cult of Specific Dis-assembly- cuz that'd be really bad or something. Mike Smith of pharisees.org has been listing Jr. as a chief pharisee in training for years.

Donone's picture

I spent some time last night reading all the documents. Apparently St Peters was a haven for homeschoolers who also wanted a simple agrarian lifestyle and many families moved to the area by reading Sproul Jrs idealistic basement papers. When doctrinal disagreements arose, the elders must have been quite heavy handed and apparently practiced a form of shunning. As a former PCA pastor I found that fuzzy relationship between the old and new covenant to be the source of most of the tensions in conservative Presbyterians. I also continue to believe that RC Sproul Senior is a full preterist in his heart and long ago figured out the answer to the tensions he found in reading "The Parousia". He's just letting the ideas he helped release do their work in the body of Christ. Just my opinion.

Jeff's picture

My opinion as well... may the Lord bless him (Sproul Sr.). For me it started from hearing a broadcast of Renewing Your Mind on the Last Days According to Jesus, and later buying that book followed by Russell's Parousia.

It must be really heartbreaking for Sr. I'm a father myself and my boys are still young. But I know I don't want to be in his shoes.

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Donone,

I got a very polite note from R.C. Sproul Sr a few months ago in response to a copy of my book I sent him to review.

Seems he suffered a partial stroke a while ago which limits him in his academic activity. Especially reading. I think you are right he is full-pret at heart, but don't expect him to go public on anything else on the issue. He is concentrating on his teaching and preaching responsibilities.

His book will make a few full-prets in the end, though. Partial preterism is the "rest area" many people take advantage of,

Blessings,

Tim Martin

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