Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Thoughts Regarding Wilson and Sproul

In the past couple of months I have received several comments concerning R.C. Sproul, Jr. I have not posted previously my feelings on this issue because I just didn't want to add anything to all of the confusion out there; also, I don't know him personally, and what goes on in his private life is no business of mine, and I don't think of anyone else's whom the issues do not personally touch. A comment was left on the post below (which linked to Doug Wilson's website) and after reading it I realized that it is time for me to break my silence on the issue so that people will know where I stand and how I feel about this. I won't even try to address the controversial issues that surround Mssrs Wilson and Sproul as there are other people on the web who have already done so, and anyway I think it's time everyone just moved on. And, in case you are wondering, I have read both sides of the various issues/concerns and my conclusions side with Wilson and Sproul. I have posted my thoughts below. I had started this as a response to my commenter but it got too long, and so I am just posting it here.

Hello Deacon Phoebe,
I assume that you meant kindly by hinting that I should not have linked to the article on modesty by Doug Wilson. Thank you for your concern. However, I think that this article was very good and needed to be shared. Modesty is not talked about often enough, and there are a lot of Christian girls and women who desperately need this message as they are often unaware of the damage caused or the message sent by their clothing choices. I feel very strongly on this (though I am far from being as modest as I know I should be) and if you have visited my blog before, you will have seen one of my earlier posts on modesty. It is one of the biggest untouched subjects in the church today, and it is time that pastors stop being afraid of addressing this issue. They do a great disservice to the women in their congregation by not instructing them in this area. We need strong men who are not afraid to face this issue. That is why when I come across an article like this one, I am cheering exuberantly and admiring the bravery of the man bold enough to address the problems of immodesty and it's reflection of the church. It is a good article, and one that my sisters in Christ need to read. I needed it, and I am glad it was written, though it convicted me shamefully.

As to all of the controversy surrounding Doug Wilson and, since you've alluded to him, R.C. Sproul, Jr., I find that these are Godly men who are, like all of us, imperfect and human, but that in no way detracts from their teachings. We are none of us saints, and sanctifiaction is a process that will not be complete in this life. Forgive me for sounding like a cliche, but the road to sanctification is paved with human frailty and imperfection. The glorious wonder is this: that the grace and mercy of God extends to His children in that we are used in spite of our sinfulness and humanity. We all admire theologians and Christian saints, martyrs, etc., yet, none of those men or women were perfect; in fact, I am guessing that they were hardly the saints we often imagine them to be. Even their biographers will carefully tread around their humanity. Yet, we still glean from the teachings of these men and women gone before us - in no way does their sinfulness or imperfections detract from their message and their spiritual legacy. I think it is important for us to remember that people such as Mssrs. Wilson and Sproul are human, they are going to sin and make mistakes. But their God is our God, the same one who forgives me of my sins, and who forgives them of theirs. God's mercy doesn't just extend to me or you, and He will always use imperfect people to accomplish His sovereign will. That's mercy and unfathomable compassion. Praise God for it, and let's never forget it!


Sarah said...

Excellently phrased post, Shelbi. :-) I think you accurately portrayed the delicate balance of perspective when looking at these (and other) leaders, and have made a very wise conclusion. And I heartily agree that God's sovereignty really must be the key. If we truly believe the Lord is completely in control of every circumstance, we will allow it to greatly influence our treatment of others - particularly leaders.

Shelbi said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Sarah!
I really appreciate (and needed) it!! :-)

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Rachael said...

Hi Shelbi. I'd like to remind you of something I posted in your March 13 article. Here it is,

"Hi Shelbi. Thanks for the Ligonier Conference posts and the great pictures. Our family had planned on attending the Ligonier Conference but we backed out because of our concerns over the RC Sproul Jr defrocking issue. Did anyone at the conference make any sort of announcements about that?"

You responded,

"Hi Rachael,
There were not any announcements made nor was it ever discussed. I, too, was curious to see how Ligonier would handle the issue when I was there and was a little surprised that it was never mentioned. Even the staff with whom I worked seemed to be completely oblivious to the controversy, as did most of the conference attendees."

This is just one of many things that's bugged my about all this. These conferences not coming clean. There's been a lot of coverup. That's dishonest. But sooner or later that kind of stuff is going to backfire. Take for example what's now going on with the home school groups who've been covering for RC Jr. Not smart. Shelbi it's real obvious there's a lot more to this than, "We're all sinners. RC Jr is a sinner too. So let's not worry about it." It's that very attitude that appears to have contributed to the CHEACT split. Just something for you to think about.