More on Ecclesiastical Tyranny
I've never been a "fan" of RC, personally, but I know he's well thought of and well respected in many Reformed circles. But even the most respected and well known can fall foul of tryannical behavour over their flock which should be a sombre warning to all of us.
The Ecclesiastical Tyrannies Perpetrated by the Saint Peter Presbyterian Church Session Against the John Austin Family:
Another significant factor in the deposing of the St. Peter Session is the ecclesiastical tyrannies they perpetrated against several families over several years. Noteworthy among these is the John Austin family because it was the first that had been documented, and the first which had petitioned to Presbytery for redress.
On April 17, 2005 John Austin sent a letter to the Elders of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church, informing them that he was withdrawing his membership at St. Peter over doctrinal disagreements, and that he would be seeking out another church in the area more in accord with his Reformed Baptist views. In his letter he stated, "We in no way want to cause problems or divisiveness," and for his desire to be at peace with the brethren:
On May 14, 2005 the Session of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church voted unanimously to censure John Austin, as well as each and every family member (including John's five children) "for contumacy (failure to repent) by breaking his vows of membership." The congregation of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church was ordered to shun the entire Austin family, including the Austin's five children:
On November 25, 2005 St. Peter Presbyterian Church member Peter Kershaw sent letters to the St. Peter Session expressing his objections to the ecclesiastical abuse of the Austin family. His letter was cc'd to the Westminster Presbytery of the RPCGA:
On December 7, 2005 John Austin received from RC Sproul Jr a letter of repentance:
Though RC Sproul Jr's repentance occurred quite quickly after Peter Kershaw mailed his letter of protest to the St. Peter Session, it should be noted that Peter Kershaw had mailed the St. Peter Session a total of three letters, in quick succession, chronicling a litany of serious abuses of their office, including ecclesiastical tyrannies perpetrated against multiple families (including his own), financial improprieties (to put it in the politest of terms) tax ID fraud, and numerous other even more serious allegations which cannot be disclosed at this time. RC Sproul Jr was, in each case, the primary perpetrator, with his Session in each case being complicit with him. As such, it was not "the Austin" letter alone which promptly brought RC Sproul Jr to his repentance.
On the same day as John Austin received RC Sproul Jr's letter of repentance, he also received a letter of alleged "repentance" signed by each member of the St. Peter Session, including RC Sproul Jr. The Session's letter of "repentance" proved to be a lesson in how not to apologize:
Full ariticle at: http://hushmoney.org/RC_Sproul_Jr-defrocking-docs.htm
- Katrina Schumacher wrote:
> /Ha, Ha, Ha, Elder Larry; /I couldn't imagine that you did, so that's a relief!
> /Thanks for the laugh this morning, <grin> I guess I should have
> commented that I did not/
> /agree with my Step Brother's actions or that of their friend that
> punished himself by growing his hair long...