This last weekend I wrote a detailed account of the disruption in our church that happened after I came to paedobaptist convictions. When I wrote this, I did not have certain documents with me, thus preventing me from quoting from those documents verbatim. That deficiency has been remedied, and so I would like to follow up briefly with a few pertinent quotes and comments.
To quickly set the context again, on December 5, 1993 a letter went out to our congregation. Among other things, the letter was asking the men to attend a special meeting the following Friday, December 10. Contained with this letter was an outlined proposal from three of the elders, a proposal that concerned what to do about me and my paedobaptism. And two quotes in the cover letter make Terry Morin’s affidavit on my supposed rebellion against church authority an impossibility.
The first quote:
“The elders ask you to give time to consider the information provided, attend the meeting, and if you would care to do so, we ask you to afterward prepare written counsel on procedure to help guide the elders” (emphasis mine).
Notice how the cover letter states that there will be time after the meeting on December 10 for detailed input to the elders from the men. No settled decision had been reached at the time this cover letter was written, and it was promised that no decision would be reached for some indefinite period “afterwards.” This undefined period would be when men could get their reactions to the elders in written form if they so desired. There was clearly no settled decision for me to submit to, unless the elders really had made their decision and were lying to the men about it. And as I said before, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that Terry was lying to the men then. I believe he is lying to himself now.
The second quote provides us with overkill, classically defined. The bold, italics, and underlining are all in the original. Remember, this is in the cover letter from the “CEF Elders,” and was signed by the chairman. This was the last paragraph.
“This is our proposal. We need your opinions on all of what we have written in the enclosed document. We will not initiate anything without that counsel. We need your input.”
So then. This is the letter that was attached to the proposal that Terry Morin now maintains was already a settled decision, against which I supposedly rebelled. I am convinced that the reason Terry won’t meet with any of us in person is that this cover letter is so damning to his case that the meeting would only last ten minutes before somebody said, “Checkmate, Terry” But in the world of keyboards and cyber-space, it is possible to maintain the illusion (a little longer) that your own private reality is internally consistent. If you won’t talk to people who will call you on it, you won’t get called on it.
One other quick thing. I mentioned the earlier marvel of the baptistic statement being taken out of our statement of faith. In June of 1993, the elders had reported on our amendment of the Statement of Faith. The minutes of that meeting stated the reason why the Statement of Faith had been changed, and it was expressly to accommodate my approaching paedobaptist views. The minutes read thus: “This change was made because the elders are no longer in consensus on the issue of water baptism of infant children of believers. The elders are committed to unity and want the Statement of Faith to reflect that unity.” This was reported to the men June 1. But six month later, the men were being told that my views were out of conformity to the amended Statement of Faith. As a Puritan might have put it, “This maketh no sense at all.”
If anything in this fallen world can be proven, I can prove that I was not out of submission to any decision of the elders in the December of 1993. And if any statement can be disproven in this fallen world, Terry Morin’s affidavit falls in that category. And if we met together, he would have to admit it.