Saturday, May 06, 2006

A More Arrogant Way

Pastor Laurence Windham Saint Peter Presbyterian Church"Arrogant" is a term that has often been applied to RC Sproul Jr and his Saint Peter church (now defrocked) Elders. Fellow defrocked Elder Laurence Windham has faithfully followed in the footsteps of his mentor. Those who've known Laurence Windham personally report that he can't seem to resist the temptation of putting himself on a pedestal and lording his "wisdom" and "authority" over others.

Multiple reports have come our way that portray Laurence Windham as a man absorbed with his self-importance. For example, it's been reported to us from more than one source that Mr. Windham has said such self-aggrandizing things as, "I'm like a rock star. People just flock to me. The chicks really dig me." Humility seems a foreign concept to these guys, and one doesn't need to know them personally to perceive how full of themselves they are. There's nothing particularly discrete about their arrogance. All one has to do to see it is read what they've written.

As much as we appreciate Reformed theology, we've often found ourselves embarrassed by the pride exemplified in at least some of our Reformed brethren. We know we're right, and that everyone else's theology is defective, if not just plain goofy. The arrogance with which some Reformed men attempt to proselytize has rarely ever won any converts. Indeed, all that men like Laurence Windham tend to accomplish is to cause the evangellyfish objects of their proselytizing to further entrench themselves in their evangellyfish theology. They say to themselves (and perhaps rightly so), "Arrogant SOBs. If that's the fruit that comes of Reformed theology then count me out." Windham and those like him often spend far more of their time and energies on trying to convert the saved to Reformed theology than they do evangelizing the lost. What Sproul and Windham communicate is that the saved aren't truly saved unless they're also Reformed and paedo-baptist and paedo-communion.

Laurence Windham typifies not only the arrogant Reformed proselytizer, but one who finds gratification in being rejected by the inferior "evangellyfish." In his view, rejection is validation of not only the theology he espouses, but even his tactless and arrogant demeanor. "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake." (Luke 6:22) So Laurence Windham tells himself, "Jesus said that men will hate me and reproach me for speaking the truth. Men hate me and reproach me, so that must mean that I'm speaking the truth," all the while forgetting that we're commanded to "speak the truth in love," (Eph 4:15) not as arrogant know-it-alls.

In a 2001 edition of Every Thought Captive there appeared an article entitled A More Excellent Way. In it Mr. Windham recounts his self-appointed mission to convert several Bristol-area Vineyard Church Elders to Reformed theology. It's from that article that we hereinafter quote. From the very first line Windham's arrogance shines through:
"The art of persuasion can be a difficult one. Especially when you have won the argument and the other person doesn't know that they have lost."
To the best of our knowledge, winning an argument is predicated upon:
  1. The opposing party's admission that they have lost the argument, or
  2. A disinterested third party (a judge), by pre-arrangement of the two opposing parties, declares a winner (e.g. a formal debate).
In his arrogance Windham assumes the position of both a debater and the debate judge, thereby guaranteeing himself the winner, at least in his own mind. He pronounces that he has "won the argument," therefor, ex cathedra (or rather, by mere fiat), it is so, because I declare it so.
"My motivation was founded on the passages from Scripture regarding Aquila and Priscilla's ministry of teaching the young Apollos what he lacked."
And we have no doubt but that Windham's "motivation" came through loud and clear. God the Holy Spirit isn't capable of showing you what I can. The Word isn't sufficient. You need the Word and Laurence Windham. Our roles and positions are clear. I am the older, wiser, more knowledgeable one (Aquila) and you are the younger, immature, unlearned, needy one (Apollos) who must yield to my authority.
"They love the Lord. And yet when it came to a friendly challenge of what the Word says about worship... they proved to be Thessolonican. They lacked the humbleness of Apollos."
Laurence Windham accuses others of "lacking the humbleness of Apollos"? Unbelievable! Then again, those who know Mr. Windham personally would say, given the size of that beam in his eye it's very believable.
"I began to get an idea of how the Apostle Paul must have felt when dealing with the Corinthians. They doubted his authority."
When we distill it all down Windham's presumed "authority" is the problem. Christians and even many non-Christians recognize real authority when they see it. The Pharisees recognized Jesus' authority, and even the authority of John the Baptist who came before Jesus. They also recognized the authority of Jesus' disciples after Jesus' ascension, and they even had a certain fear of the disciples. But only the most gullible acknowledge a man who arrogantly presumes authority when he has none. Windham's comparison of himself to the Apostle Paul is just further evidence of his arrogance.
"At the conclusion of my last meeting with the Vineyard leadership, I calmly and firmly said, 'Your church's history will from this point on have recorded this event where you were confronted by the Scriptures regarding your beliefs and will also remember that you were challenged by someone who desired to search the Scripture with you in order to show you a more excellent way. And that you refused'."
Sounds almost prophetic, doesn't it? So is Windham a true prophet or a false prophet? As far as we can determine Windham's prophetic utterance proved false. In point of fact, Windham's prophetic utterance was much more applicable to himself than it was to his Vineyard brethren, albeit about five years premature.

Where does Windham's scriptural authority come from in this "more excellent way"? From 1 Corinthians 12:31, the prequel to Paul's famous chapter on love (1 Cor 13), "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."

How remarkable -- no, how hypocritical -- that this man who arrogantly presumes authority over church leaders in another church, when in reality he had no authority over them whatsoever, would speak of the "more excellent way" and yet not show them the love of Christ, or even the basic respect they were due as fellow-heirs of the Gospel. Even more amazing is that he would be so insolent as to memorialize his supercilious, haughty deportment in an ETC article for the world to read.
"If anyone can show me my errors, or misconceptions, or fallacies, I welcome them to do so. And they have. And that is why I am where I am today."
And where are you today, Mr. Windham? You are exactly where God has decreed that you be. You are defrocked. The mantle of authority that you used to lord it over others has been stripped from you. Men who had genuine authority over you (your Presbytery), as well as fellow pastors and other believers, (probably also including those Vineyard church Elders) attempted to show you your "errors, or misconceptions, or fallacies." But you wouldn't listen. And so you left your Presbytery with no choice but to discipline you.

May you be humbled. May you repent to God and to those whom you have offended in your arrogance. May you learn to walk in the "more excellent way." But failing that, remember what you have pronounced on others for refusing to pursue "a more excellent way":
"Your history will from this point on have recorded this event where you were confronted by the Scriptures regarding your beliefs and will also remember that you were challenged by someone who desired to search the Scripture with you in order to show you a more excellent way."


At 7:14 AM, Blogger prairie girl said...

So, I am wondering, is there any update since the Generations conference? Was it well attended? Was any mention made of the defrocking?

At 9:32 PM, Blogger RC 2.0 said...

We've had that question come up a few times, which prompted a new article.

Feel free to comment anytime Prairie Girl. We admire your work.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger gerry said...

Hi, I do not understand a website that the whole purpose is to bash another. Why have you chosen this are you personally angry at RCJr and are lashing out? I am not sure of his faults or his attributes but I believe advancing the kingdowm of God by preaching the gospel would be a better use of time and resources. Do we need to attack each other? gerry


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