To avoid blog wars with the discussion Forum I moderate I need to separate myself from it and express that these are my musings separate of that Confessional Discussion Forum.
This is in response to your post here.
“Jason did understand the gospel and decided it was not the answer for him. I repeat, it was not that he misunderstood it, and has departed in ignorance. Jason grasped it, confessed it, was ordained to it, promised to defend it, and then defected consciously from the system of doctrine he promised to uphold. “
Note to a Pastor,
In all due respect I have a few problems with your blog concerning Jason Stellman and his turning to the Roman Papist Church. Yes, you may know Jason. I have been acquainted with him for years also. If you mean he knew the Gospel the way that Horton and his Clan know the Gospel then I would have to say that Jason knew a Truncated Gospel. Especially in light of how Dr. Michael Horton defines it in his three minute clip on YouTube and the Westminster California site. I have listened to him and the White Horse Inn Panel for hours discussing the Great Commission and the Gospel. I believe that poor Jason had a Truncated view of the Gospel and Covenant Theology.
Your attention drawing to Jason’s Narcissism is quite commendable if you are spot on. If it is a man trying to strive to know what he believes then you might be incorrect. I have seen this departure happen with other Presbyterians also. I actually address some of this situation and issues on a theological discussion forum that brought your blog to my attention. Gotta love Dr. Clark..
Dr. Scott Clark states…
The ISSUES should be engaged. I’ve been doing that on the HB. Responsible representatives of the Roman church should be engaged but not everyone speaking up just now meets that test.
I responded with this…
Jason might not be considered one who meets that test. But he is one who is being noted. He is worthy to be dealt with just as the Papists that Calvin dealt with in his time.
Having watched Jason do what he did I have to say that I can understand why some people get mixed up sometimes. At least Jason has the integrity to voice his understanding. Is he cocky? Maybe. I know many of our kind who have been accused of being ungracious and know-it-alls also. Okay, my hand can be raised on that also.
I have had a few friends cross from the Presbyterian side to Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and the New Paul Perspective due to a struggle with trying to understand Covenant Theology in relation to law and gospel (or grace). Some of you might not remember or know but I use to moderate another theological forum that was a split off from the PB. I use to Moderate the Reformation Super Highway and the PB at the same time. The RSH was a home of things departing from what it means to be Reformed. I didn’t understand why they were doing it. It was hard for me since I was a Reformed Baptist. Law and Gospel were opposed but then I wasn’t as sure how it all worked out. I understand it a bit more now I think……. Well, maybe….. I can honestly say they all abandoned a form of Lutheranism or various dichotomous views of Law and Gospel which have been formulated based upon an interpretation (hermeneutic) concerning the Mosaic Covenant. I believe it is a view that the Westminster Divines rejected as it was a Minority view when they were constructing the Biblical Confession. I also believe that some of this wayward confusion could have been prevented if these persons learned the Westminster Confession’s position on Chapter 7.5,6 a bit more. I could be wrong. (BTW, I don’t sense that all Papists or deceived people are going to Hell. That is just my estimation) I also don’t feel it is right to give a free pass to those who deny the Westminster on this point. Especially when they are by name attached to Westminsterian theology and Institution. Some people are doing that in my estimation. It is confusing a lot of people. I also believe it is part of the problem. I am patiently waiting to see how this issue is going to turn out as it is being brought to the forefront more and more daily. I do know men who have Doctorates, are Professors, Teachers of History and Systematic Theology, whom I have conferred with and with whom I agree that this issue has a root problem. I believe it stems from a poor understanding of the Mosaic Covenant and dichotomizing Law and Gospel too much.
I was recently reminded that the Law / Gospel dichotomy issue was what helped me see this issue initially. So maybe…. Just maybe… It will do the same for others. This issue is like watching a pendulum of a Grandfather clock to me. The pendulum has swung one way (Federal Vision, NPP, etc.). It swung hard away from it (Klineanism). Now it is going back the other way again. It saddens me. The Divines at the Westminster Assembly got it right and rejected the minority view, Roman Catholicism, and Antinomiansm. This swinging of the pendulum just needs to stop and we need to listen to the Westminster Divines in my estimation. They had to deal with it also. Oh yeah, and Bavinck also does a good job when he discusses the Reformed doctrine in comparison to the Lutheran doctrine (not necessarily Luther’s doctrine) of soteriology.
I am positive that I don’t meet the test to discuss issues in some people’s eyes. I fully understand why. I do know good men who are, have, and will meet the test. Orthodoxy leads to Orthopraxy There are many good laymen and Trained men who are capable.
As a side note. I am not fearful of Jason’s departure. I am saddened for him, His physical family, and His Church family members. As for addressing those who are competent on Roman Dogma….. Didn’t Calvin take on Roman Dogma by using the Church Fathers that the Papists claimed? The Papists back then were refuted by Calvin. Why not use Jason the same way? His distortions can be reproved and shown for what they are. Just like the Papists were refuted when Calvin confronted them by quoting their Church Fathers back to them in context.
A turning to Idolatry is never a good thing. Anyone who wants to be deceived by love for icons, Popish Ceremonies, or carnality are going to be. We have idolatry growing all around us. My advice is read Gillespies’ book Popish Ceremonies, try to discuss it calmly with them, then hand them a copy hoping that they will read it. Love them as your friends. That will go farther than getting upset with them and claiming they are brain dead and unfit for discussing it.
My opinion of your blog post is that you might have some things put down correctly but I believe you are missing the mark on a few major issues. It is my opinion. And I have been saying for the past 25 years that opinions are like armpits. We all have a few and they usually end up stinking. LOL.
Be Encouraged Pastor and everyone who suffered through this.,
P.S. I want one of those Icons (bobble heads) of Jason! That is Rockin Cool!