What one must realize is that these people are not only without integrity, they are also entirely without pity. They think they are the ones who suffer, they’re overwhelmed, they’ve experienced the past year as ‘drudgery.’ Like we’re all supposed to feel sorry for them, or something, for people who have nothing to lose, no stake in this whatsoever.
I have news for you, whiners of Classis Northern Michigan. You know nothing of the kind of misery you have inflicted on me and my family. I can only wonder what it is like to be the type of people you apparently are, who pick and choose what of the Bible matters. What bits of the Law to respect and enforce. What niceties of Christianity to embrace, and what to ignore.
Perhaps this is not the future of American evangelicalism; perhaps this is its Now. Perhaps there never was any hope for justice, nor for even understanding or a little sympathy.
After all this time, all this daily grind and battle, have I finally admitted defeat? Despair? I don’t know yet. It is certainly knocking at the door, a huge substantial shadow with reeking maw and threatening claws…
Someone helpfully pointed out earlier today, that while we are not necessarily hopeless, and while the situation may not be hopeless, some of these people are.
The ‘process’ of the last year has been its own horror story. But it was 2015 before it was 2016, and if anyone chooses to fix blame on Simon Templar for the train wreck that’s been the Oversight Committee and its ‘process’, well, let’s remember what brought us to this point, and we’ll first declare, ‘WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.’
Caveat: Oh sure, I bet I’m supposed to be grovelling in gratitude, now that the CIC has so kindly acquiesced to postponing the date of the next kangaroo court. It’s like being expected to thank your mugger for allowing you to keep your underwear.
Assumptions, presumptions, and presuppositions.
From the start, there was never entertained the idea that a lone protestor could possibly be a vox clamantis in desierto. Any such person must have some kind of pathology, or be a kook. No one in Classis Northern Michigan is familiar enough with reality, the Bible, or human nature to imagine such a person might actually be right.
And they apparently lack imagination. What’s odd is that the theme ‘Truth is not decided by majority vote’ was actually a major point in the sermon most recently preached by Simon Templar: Minority Report. The youth pastor, a member of both the OC and CIC, could find no fault in this message, which was preached at his church, and he even praised Templar’s ‘faithfulness’ (he claimed to have listened to it). The axiom no doubt continues to escape him (of course, within days after this praise was committed to e-paper, this OC/CIC joint member was agreeing to move to have ST defrocked).
I thought my eyebrows couldn’t go any higher when I heard the latest–that the one ‘friend’ Templar had on the CIC has declared he believes that the OC tried really hard to help him. Really hard. Since he wasn’t there (though he has been filled in on all the written correspondence), it’s the OC’s word against ST’s. But…you can’t take the OC at their word, because what the written correspondence proves beyond a shadow of a doubt is that they are not credible.
But isn’t that what we’ve seen all along? That the natural, unquestioned(ing) propensity is just to believe whatever they say (believe might be too active a verb–maybe the more accurate description is to yawn at whatever they say, and not to object?), disbelieve or ignore ST, and then to go along with whatever the OC recommends. And why? I can think of no good reason. They (the OC, and the CIC for that matter) haven’t demonstrated either gifting or expertise either for what they were supposed to do, or for those tasks that revealed themselves to the OC in a dream or a vision or something, nor have they even demonstrated that they’re personally invested.
A few possible explanations do occur to me:
*They are Dutch; ST is not.
*There is a group of them; ST is just one man.
I guess those are it. I can’t think of any other reason why the default position is to ‘just do or agree with whatever this trio says’ and ignore the injured party (the above-mentioned ‘friend’ knows ST is the injured party, dating back to over a year ago). I suppose there are a few other reasons, which, if correctly guessed, would not do much for the summary of these men’s character:
*These men have all been influenced by the fumbling excuse-making and tale-bearing of 21 last Christmas, and think of and treat ST accordingly—as a trouble-maker. Well done, Pastor Twinkie: you successfully poisoned the well against ST and insured that he would never get a fair hearing from his (and your) colleagues. Someone will ask you about this someday, even if it’s not until Glory.
*Some know that these goings-on have not been kosher, but they’ve seen what happens to boat-rockers (like ST?) who question the tyrants and their machine, and don’t have the guts or conviction to stand up and divorce themselves from the Classis and its godless proceedings.
*No one cares about the truth.
What’s strange is that it’s enough for the OC to proclaim their own greatness, and insist how much they care and how hard they’ve tried to support ST, despite all the evidence indicating that the contrary is true. But ST has his own claims of injury by them, with evidence–mountains of it, and insists that he’s been done wrong, with examples and lucid explanation and elaboration (the real ‘data’). Still, the CIC and others are willing to tout the OC’s version of events and to punish ST simply for not bowing to the whims of a group who, while vested with authority by the classis, not only prove they are not qualified for the task at hand, but are willing to abuse that authority to give themselves a power trip, which has nothing to do with the man they’re seemingly enjoying squashing.
Other pastors get defrocked for moral failures, you know, porn addiction, shooting up heroin behind the parsonage garage, embezzling church funds, cheating on their wives with teenagers or the secretary. ST asked a team of adult men why they chose to do something totally random and outside their job description, was put out when they ignored him, and protested when they refused to be transparent and to disclose the identity of him/those who were ‘advising’ them, and therefore refusing interaction with that/those person(s) and guarantee of objectivity. ANONYMITY does not inspire trust, especially when the only reason for anonymity that presents itself to the person at the mercy of the train conductors is that those people whose identities are being withheld had previously been involved in securing his demise and dismissal from A. Church.
These guys on the OC weren’t up to the task. Instead of getting offended and determining to put the resistor in his place when the fact was pointed out to them, the sane and ethical thing to do would have been to admit it was true, and to hand over the job to someone else. Instead, they seem to expect pleading for their favour, and indeed gratitude. Just like 13 thought ST should have thanked him for kicking him in the head with that crummy hand-written list. What planet are these people living on?
‘Childish’ was a word that came up yesterday while I was Skyping with another pastor friend of mine. Funny, about an hour ago, some nasty little urchins on their way home from school were terrorizing my cat while he sat in the window. I did manage to draw an apology from one of them after giving the crew an indignant look from my front door–I don’t think they thought anyone was home. I wonder if some of these adult Christian men get the same kicks out of menacing the weak.
I am beyond concerned. And I swear, if anything happens to ST because of this protracted, unendurable abuse, I don’t know if I can sue their sorry asses, but I will have this string of injustices and petty powerplays exposed.
13, for fomenting a conspiracy culminating in wrongful dismissal. 21, for his aiding and abetting of a coup and disgusting libel. BDK, for wilful omission of testimony exonerating my father and implicating A.’s council and the Church Visitors (and libel). There is perhaps no point in trying to punish Doomby and K-bar for being arrogant idiots. But I may go after the CIC for encouraging both the OC’s dishonesty and heavy-handedness, and for refusing to take their own responsibilities seriously, passing the buck, further oppressing ST by ascribing to him all the blame, and approving and enabling the unjustified, self-aggrandizing motion that he be defrocked (and libel?).
Two things I learned as a kid:
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS (one could say, one’s hurtful actions speak louder than one’s after-the-fact claims of caring and intent to help).
Just saying something, even OVER AND OVER AGAIN, and getting other people to repeat it on your behalf, doesn’t make it true.
But who cares! Intent is everything, consequences mean nil, and who knows the difference is between true and false anymore? And who could be insulted by being lied to, or about? I’m old fashioned.