“If you wear a mask for too long, there will come a time when you cannot remove it without removing your face.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo link
On March 10, 2017, we posted Calvinist Leader Dr Iain Campbell Dies By Suicide Amidst Allegations of Affairs and an Out of Wedlock Child. His Wife Gets Blamed! Please look carefully at the title. By the time I sat down to write that post, I had become concerned that Anne Campbell, the wife of Iain Campbell, was being made the culprit in this situation. Sadly, it made sense to me. I have seen this all too often in celebrity Reformed circles. (Yes, I know it is in other groups as well.)
- "It cannot be this man of God who did this."
- "It must be an attack of Satan."
- "I bet his wife drove him to it."
The more I read the accounts of his death, as well as the history of his life, the more I became convinced that Anne was being cruelly targeted and that it was Iain D Campbell (hereafter known as IDC) who was fully to blame for his actions.
Over the last number of months, since the writing our initial posts on the matter, TWW has been receiving emails from those who knew about this particular situation. Most all of them confirmed that we were correct in our concerns and that there was much, much more to be explored. These communications have come from concerned individuals who are acutely aware of the details involved in the situation. A couple of thoughtful individuals have educated us on a number of concerns within the Presbytery, including providing us with evidence and descriptions of other worrisome occurrences. We shall share some of these in future posts. Deb and I are so grateful for the trust these folks have placed in us. Our information comes from impeccable sources, and their identities will be held in strict confidence. We stand by the information we post here.
We will be writing more on this situation next week and in the future. We believe this is a story that must be followed up by any theologian who takes the ministry of God and the study and exposition of theology seriously. In fact, we think this has the makings of book.
The Isle of Lewis in Scotland is where IDC pastored and wrote.
This story takes place on the Isle of Lewis. This 2014 article Isle of Lewis: Language and life inside the Outer Hebrides provides an overview of life in this beautiful area of Scotland.
The unspoiled beaches stretch into the distance and its twisting roads lead you through endless miles of heathland and mountains. With a population of about 20,000, the island is close-knit and daily life is very much a shared experience.
Protestant faith is a major force here. The Sabbath is widely observed and the main town of Stornoway is eerily quiet on Sundays.
…Breaking the silence is a distant echo from the Free Church of Scotland.A distinct melodic drone provides the soundtrack to the empty streets and creaking boats in the harbor. The congregation are singing psalms in Gaelic.
…Sunday worship remains a formal occasion in the Free Church in Stornoway. Women heartily sing wearing dresses and hats; the men are all in ties and jackets.
The solid Presbyterian faith of the Free Church of Scotland (sometimes called the Wee Free) is found in Lewis.
It is important that the reader understand the absolute devotion to the Reformed tradition in this area. Many American pastors trek to Scotland to attend Edinburgh Theological Seminary. For many, this area of Scotland is thought of as ground zero in the Reformed world.
Forgive my use of Wikipedia, but it gives a concise description of the Free Church of Scotland.
Historically it comprised that part of the original Free Church of Scotland that remained outside of the union with the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1900. It remains a distinct Presbyterian denomination in Scotland.
The Free Church was and still is sometimes colloquially known by the term The Wee Frees, even though, in 21st century Scotland, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination after the national church. Since this term was originally used in comparing the Free Church with the United Free Church (which is now a much smaller denomination), the Free Church of Scotland now deprecates the use of the term.
…The church maintains its strong commitment to the Westminster Confession and Reformed Theology. Its polity is Presbyterian. A complete psalter in modern English was published in 2003. Its offices and theological college remain on The Mound, Edinburgh, although the denomination no longer holds the original Free Church College buildings.
The Free Church continues to be evangelical in character, presenting its understanding of the Christian message, namely that Jesus Christ is sole Lord and Saviour.
IDC was an internationally well known theologian and pastor.
It is important to note that IDC was roundly revered by theologians and pastors in America and well as the rest of the world. You may not have heard of him but, if you attend a Reformed church, I bet your pastor knows who he was. Once again, I use a concise synopsis from Wikipedia that shows these international ties. Note that, in spite of his fame in theological circles, he remained as pastor in Lewis.
Campbell attended the Nicolson Institute, a school on Lewis, before studying at the University of Glasgow, where he graduated with First Class Honours in Arts in 1985. He then pursued theological studies at the Free Church College and the University of London, again graduating with First Class Honours as a Bachelor of Divinity.
He studied for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and was awarded his doctorate in 2001. A version of his thesis, on George Adam Smith, was subsequently published in book form.
His first pastoral position was at Snizort Free Church on Skye, which he commenced in 1988. In 1995, he moved to the Free Church at Back on the Isle of Lewis. Finally, in 2009, he became minister of Point Free Church, also on Lewis.
In 2012, he served as moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland.
Campbell wrote about 17 books on topics related to Christianity, including Bible studies and doctrinal teaching, mostly published through Christian Focus Publications and Day One Publications. He also contributed to Tabletalk magazine published by Ligonier Ministries.
At the time of his death, in addition to his ministerial role, he was vice-chairman of the board of Edinburgh Theological Seminary, editor of The Record, the monthly magazine of the Free Church of Scotland, and an associate editor of Foundations, a theological journal published by Affinity. He was also an Adjunct Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary, helping to deliver their London-based courses.
In our original post, we printed excerpts from an obituary found in We Love Stornoway (link is no longer active.) A number of obituaries were taken down as more and more evidence of IDC's double life became known. This obituary is important. It points out that IDC was adamant about staying with his church in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, even though he would have been welcome at seminaries and universities all over the world. Read the highlighted section very carefully. I believe this is a clue as we work to unravel this disturbing story.
He could have adorned pulpits in the largest cities in the world,’ writes Dr. Geoff Thomas of Aberystwyth, ‘or become a professor in an American seminary, but he valued the community which nourished and nurtured him, and he shared their values.’ To that community (Isle of Lewis in Scotland) he dedicated his life, and from it he drew the strength that supported his wider ministry.
…Iain D. Campbell was a brilliant communicator, in constant demand as a lecturer and conference-speaker. He had a quite extraordinary fluency of speech, but the fluency was disciplined by clarity, precision and careful arrangement. The delivery was effortless, though often passionate, the mastery of the subject complete, and while there was no trace of arrogance he spoke with the Bible-derived authority of a true preacher.
…But he was also a master of the written word, as his many publications show, and the Free Church recognised this by appointing him Editor of its magazine, the Record, not only once, but twice. He was still serving in this capacity at the time of his death,
…Iain D would have risen to eminence in any profession (and once toyed with the idea of becoming an SNP candidate for the Scottish Parliament), but he chose the Christian ministry, and in that chosen field he became a giant.
The suicide of IDC
IDC died on January 28, 2017 by suicide. He was just 53 years old. It was widely reported that this happened after he was confronted by his wife, Anne Campbell, about emails found on his computer. This report was wrong, and this post will reveal what really happened. It was discoverd that IDC had been carrying on a number of affairs over decades.
Why I became concerned for Anne Campbell, the devoted wife of IDC.
This story suddenly grew in importance to me when I read media accounts that seemed to disparage Anne Campbell. Bruce Gerenscer wrote an insightful post in May 2017 entitled Where the Calvinistic Rubber Meets the Road: Is Dr. Ian Campbell in Hell? Although Bruce and I disagree on matters of faith, I have found him to be a defender of those who have been abused and maligned. As usual, he picked up on the same concerns I had regarding Anne. How anyone could blame her for her husband's duplicity is beyond him and me.
The following is from our original post.
"This is a disturbing part of the story. Anne, a victim in this tragedy is being snubbed by her church. According to the Scottish Sun:"
Anne Campbell, 54, was blamed by locals over the death of Wee Free (ed. Nickname of church) husband Iain, 53, on Lewis.
The churchman’s widow left after a whispering campaign blamed her for airing claims that he was unfaithful to her.
She took leave from her teaching job to escape mounting disapproval over the damage to Reverend Iain Campbell’s reputation.
…A source close to the couple in Stornoway said: “She’s not had much sympathy since it came out.
“Some people bizarrely feel she is in some way to blame for her husband’s behaviour as he was very unhappy.
“The tragedy has taken its toll on her work life — she had to leave.
“Her children are still here on the island but she had to leave with everything that was going on.” The insider said Anne left the Western Isles to stay with friends near Inverness after members of the church — known as the Wee Frees — snubbed her over the scandal.
‘Anne is wanting all this to go in front of a church court and for them to throw them out of the church for adultery.‘It will cause havoc with their marriages and the entire Free Church.
‘Even though she’s a widow people are saying Iain had a difficult home life and there’s a lot of anger towards her.’
I believe the obituary that I quoted from in my original post, which appeared in We Love Stornoway (link no longer active), may have been written by Don MacLeod. Since the link has been removed, I cannot be sure and I am willing to be corrected. However, I had copied this from the end of that obituary. We will be discussing MacLeod in a coming post but suffice to say, he was, and is, an ardent defender of IDC, even in light of the revelations. Please read this carefully. I feel that the highlighted area to be off-putting. From my vantage point, it might seem he is telling IDC's immediate family to keep quiet about the serious details in this situation.
"Yet, for all the consummate ease with which he presented himself in public, he was a very private man who seldom shared his feelings, and he exuded such an aura of calm competence that none of us thought to ask, ‘Are you OK?’
In the meantime, we have a duty of care to Iain’s wife, Anne; to his mother, Lily; to his sons, Iain and Stephen; to his daughter Emily; and to his sisters, Margaret and Alma. He was their hero. May they do him proud."
Is it the goal of some in the Presbytery to remember IDC as a hero of the faith?
It is thought, by some, that there are those in the Presbytery who wish to brush the circumstances surrounding the double life of IDC under the carpet. In order to do this, they must attempt to discredit the extent of his duplicity. TWW believes, after reading documents, that Anne Campbell may be made the scapegoat for her husband's imbroglios. We sincerely hope we are wrong.
The double life of IDC
IDC was involved in immoral behavior for most of his adult life, and he successfully managed to conceal it. Here is an example from an email in 2011. I removed the name of the individual to whom this was sent. There are many more where this came from. It is my understanding that the Presbytery has a number of these emails in their possession due to their investigation of the matter.
The revelation of IDC's duplicity.
According to a number of media sources, it was IDC's wife, Anne, who found the incriminating emails on his computer and confronted him. That is not true. Actually, the husband of one of his women confronted him in early January 2017. Here is a portion of the email exchange between IDC and the woman's husband.
(I am writing in the initial text from IDC to the husband because names of the involved parties are mentioned.)
From IDC 13 Jan 22:57
(Name of husband) I can't begin to tell you of the shame that I feel
with (Name of husband's wife) again. It goes without saying that I shall be considering my position as a minister very carefully.
The husband apparently had no wish to interfere with IDC's employment as a pastor.
During and after this exchange, IDC traveled from Lewis to Yorkshire and then to London to carry out several preaching engagements. However, in spite of being in trouble with the one husband, he spent a day with a second woman from Lewis who met with him secretly in Glasgow. He spent the day with her on Friday, January 13.
On January 16 he returned home. There he confessed to Anne, his wife, what had happened with the husband who had confronted him. Over the course of the week, he began to reveal the incredible details of his immoral lifestyle. He preached on the evening of Wednesday, January 18, in spite of his many sordid revelations which had caused tremendous turmoil for his wife.
Stop for a minute and think about it. How can a man, who reportedly loves the Gospel and serves the church, be chastised by a husband for one affair and then run immediately into the arms of another woman while continuing his preaching engagements? How? Then, after confessing to his family, obviously causing them great distress, he has no trouble preaching a sermon? Where is the shame? Even many pagans would be uncomfortable in this situation. Something is missing here.
On Friday, January 20, IDC's grown children met with him, and he confessed the details of his affairs. He then hand wrote details of his lifestyle as well as leaving a substantial additional confession on his computer. The family worked hard to support him, planning to stick by him. However, during this entire time, the only issue which seemed to concern him was his reputation. He wished to continue on with his job of being a pastor and a much sought after theologian and speaker. He told his family that he did not wish to confess to his church, apparently hoping to keep it a secret. Sadly, he reportedly told his wife that he was not sorry for the pain he had caused her and did not wish to work to save their marriage. She reportedly desperately tried to work with all that was being thrown at her in spite of being devastated.
Two days later, on Sunday, January 22, he pretended to collapse. At the time, the family thought it was real. There was no overdose or any medical problems as reported by the media. While at the hospital, he strangled himself with a ligature in the bathroom. Five days later, he was declared brain dead.
More disturbing revelations in the aftermath
In 2010, an odd incident occurred. IDC lost his library/office in a consuming fire. This included his entire life's work as well as thousands of books. Some say that they believe it was a warning from God — a warning that he did not heed. After it was rebuilt and completely refurnished, IDC became more deeply engaged in sin, with his library/office becoming the site for his immorality. Following his death, the family found much evidence of this. In the library, as well as the family home, as well as in other locations, he had sex with many women. He took photographs and videos of himself, which he exchanged with at least one woman. He spent a great deal of his time grooming many women by email, Facebook, text and Facebook private message exchange.
IDC's diaries revealed his dark side, too. His relationships with the three women disciplined by the church were disturbing. His behavior with them was high risk, involving direct sexual contact as well as sexting and live sex acts using IT equipment. He was also in the process of grooming several other women and this is evidenced by his social media. Some of his activities included having sex in the back of his car in daylight and in some high risk locations. Perhaps, due to his *above reproach* reputation, he thought he was invincible and above the law.
There is evidence that this was a lifelong pattern, which eventually escalated out of control and led his death by his own hand. There is also some speculation that some people knew of his activities and protected him. I wonder if they thought they were protecting the church? As time has progressed, some believe that IDC may have actually enjoyed telling his wife about the details of his sordid sexual adventures. He reportedly revealed gross and intimate details. His wife, desperate to help him at the time, is reported to have endured all of this. Can you imagine being left to hold these memories? Then, immediately after learning all of these sickening details and coping with his suicide, she was bombarded by the media.
I want to jump in here and make something clear. There is no doubt that IDC groomed a large number of women for his immoral purposes. It was found he was grooming several more at the time of his death. Those women were true victims of clergy abuse. However, there were three women who evidently pursued him directly. It is my understanding that it was only those women who were tried and eventually excommunicated from the church.
Sadly, in some of his communications discovered after his death, it was found that he spoke poorly of members of his congregation and his elders. He abused their time, money and property. He used them. The church as well as his family, were his respectable cover for his activities. He worked hard to ensure that everyone thought Anne and his family were the center of his universe, with his congregation close behind.
If there was anyone who knew what was going on and covered it up, he/she needs to hear this. In the United States, we call a person who helps a criminal to pursue his crime an *accessory.* That person can receive as much jail time as the one who commits a crime. If anyone in the church knew that IDC was having multiple liaisons and helped cover it up, or said nothing, they are guilty of a terrible sin, and they need to repent of it. They helped a sick, perverted man continue to wreak havoc in the lives of many.
Where does this leave us?
- IDC had a severe personality disorder which manifested itself in serious sexual perversion. In other words, he was seriously mentally disturbed.
- He was a bright man and was able to successfully hide his disorder from those around him.
- He didn't love anyone. He viewed people, particularly women, as a means to an end.
- He was not a pastor. He used his position to feed his compulsions.
- He was a master manipulator. I am sure that there are those today who continue to think he was a wonderful man. Sadly, he is still manipulating them, and they are letting him do so.
- We believe he stayed in Lewis because he felt safe to pursue his immoral behavior in an area where he was known and trusted.
- Did he believe the Gospel? How does a theologian and pastor who knows the Scriptures continue in such despicable behavior over decades?
I believe IDC's many writings may provide clues to and insight into his double life. I want to discuss this more on Monday when I will look at some of the obituaries and subsequent posts on the life of Iain Campbell by his admirers. I am concerned that there are those who wish to portray an IDC who never really existed.
Anne Campbell and her family
My heart goes out to Anne Campbell. Imagine having your life turned upside down when you found out the man you married was not the good husband, father and pastor you thought he was. I hope that the Christian men and women of Anne's church, as well as the Presbytery, are supporting her during this unimaginably difficult time. I seriously cannot imagine anyone who would attempt to blame her for the actions of a husband who was profoundly disturbed.
Sometimes it is difficult to know what to say. If Anne Campbell reads this, I want her to know that Deb and I care deeply about her and her family. What happened to her should never have happened. I only wish I lived close by. I would learn how to make a great clootie dumpling and serve it with a cuppa and a hug. (I hope I got that right!)
Will everyone reading this take a moment to pray for Anne and her family. Then join with me and tell others that #IStandwithAnne.
The Findings of the Western Isle Presbytery
At Edinburgh on 23rd May 2017 at 6.30pm, and within Free Assembly Hall, the General Assembly did again convene and was constituted with devotional exercises.
Western Isles Presbytery – Petition
The General Assembly took up consideration of a Petition from the Presbytery of the Western Isles regarding the late Rev. Dr Iain D. Campbell.
Finding It was moved, seconded and agreed to that the General Assembly receive the Petition and grant its crave. They declare that Rev. Dr Iain D. Campbell was engaged in moral misconduct in the years leading up to his passing on Saturday 28th January 2017. They further declare that such moral misconduct is contrary to, and censurable by, the Word of God and is now, because of the public scandal arising from it, detrimental and injurious to the good name and honour of Jesus Christ, and worthy of the highest form of censure by the Church, which in the case of a Minister of the gospel is deposition from the ministry. They note the conjoint view of the Church’s Law Agent and Legal Counsel advising against retroactive deposition based on natural justice and that of jurisdiction, a matter which became relevant with Dr Campbell’s death.
They instruct the Principal Clerk of Assembly to notify all Kirk Sessions, all Presbyteries, our sister churches, and the mainstream publishers of Dr Campbell’s books of the Assembly’s finding. They call on the Church to pray for healing and restoration for Mrs Anne Campbell and her family. They also commend Mrs Lily Campbell and her family to the prayers of the Church. They further urge the Church to pray for its ministers, office-bearers, members, and all those affected by the recent tragic event, that they may be protected and strengthened in the face of the challenges and temptations presented by the society in which we live.
General Assembly Statement The General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland has this evening considered the events and subsequent investigation carried out by the Western Isles Presbytery into the conduct of the Dr Iain D Campbell. Sadly, we must concur with the Presbytery’s conclusion that the late Dr Campbell’s actions and conduct were seriously inconsistent with what is expected of a Christian minister – and were contrary to and censurable by the Word of God. We would echo the Presbytery’s sentiments in hoping everyone within the Free Church of Scotland and in the wider Christian faith joins us in praying for all of those affected by this situation, and in particular,Dr Campbell’s family. The General Assembly will now consider what lessons we can learn from this situation and discuss how we can bring healing and restoration to our members and our communities.
Serious question: Should anyone trust anything that is in any of his books? I mean, really. Don’t these revelations indicate that nothing the man said or did throughout his “ministry” is trustworthy, even at the most basic level?
So sorry for her and her family that he put her through this.
I am going to be addressing this on Monday. It appears that some in the Presbytery want to enshrine his works. I feel that the Presbytery and the Reformed community would be amiss without looking at his works in the past decades and seeing if there was any clue to his serious problem. This would make a great PhD thesis and a book.
What a scumbag. Anne and his children are the real victims. I hope she has been tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Anne, if you read this, I am so sorry for the pain you have gone through. I pray that now you may experience true peace and joy.
Doesn’t that remind you of the back-and-forth in several threads about Augustine?
How? Compartmented his mind to the point he’d become two separate Iain Campbells.
Is that what’s meant by the verse about “a Double-Minded Man”?
I agree with Julie Anne.
That is SCUMBAG behavior.
And/or someone who’s Cosmos has room only for himself.
Being really messed up in the head is one thing, but that’s BEYOND messed up.
That’s the point where it shades into actual Evil.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Well said, HUG.
It is all so overwhelming. At the moment I will say this much: #IstandwithAnne.
In cases of clergy misconduct, it takes a while for the church leaders to catch the pastor, confront him, offer repentance and second chance, and watch him commit a subsequent offense.
When they give up, the church ousts the pastor and he moves to another church. Sometimes face-saving excuse is concocted.
In Iain Campbell’s case, he moved only twice in nearly 30 years. And that’s very interesting.
He was apparently involved with egregious high risk behavior.
In 2009 he moved to the Point Free Church, the next year was the fire, and 2 years later he was made the moderator of the General Assembly for the entire denomination.
I wonder if something is very wrong in the leadership of Point Free Church, and possibly the prior church (Free Church at Back).
Who knew and when?
Who protected him and why?
Was there blackmail involved?
Are there more horrors yet to be revealed at both of these churches? (I suspect so.)
In the meantime, I’m glad Campbell’s long-suffering widow Anne is being treated better. I hope they make it up to her and apologize for blaming her.
What an ordeal for Anne Campbell and her children, and all those women and their families left behind in the sake of this travesty. Especially for Anne. Imagine your husband confessing his adulterous, perverted behaviour and telling you he’s not sorry! I mean – who does that?!! Especially a supposed minister of the gospel?!
So curious that the Reformed “Divines” have time to denounce LGBTQ issues with the Nashville Statement but seem to have little time to denounce this wicked pastor predator who was in their camp. #justsaying
*wake* not *sake*
I am keeping Anne and her children in my prayers. They didn’t deserve this. 🙁
For all the hurt and damage he’s caused to his wife and children (it is terrible, and my heart and prayers go out to them), there is the equally grievous hurt and damage he’s done to the Kingdom. How many will hear this story and say “see, this proves that the whole Christianity thing is a crock”.
Every one of these scandals has the same effect. The message is that Christians are a bunch of hypocrites, and that anyone can call themselves ‘pastor’ and blab about Christ all they want, and so what?
How is anyone, perhaps some hurting soul looking for some harbor in the storm, supposed to place their trust in that? You can not blame them if they do not.
I will just continue to read the Gospels…
So so true.
I wept and still am. It disgusts me no end when I do that but I just could not help myself. I dont know any of these people but I have seen similar stuff happen in real life where pastors are cheating and living double or triple lives. When I worked at the dev center one thing I really appreciated is if a client was angry at you they would kick, hit, bite, spit, smear blank in your face, hit you with anything from a chair to a full colostomy bag etc. Then the anger was over, it was done it made it so easy to just move on. That is not true about my experience in the faith in the real world or online other than a few blogs and one Usenet group and a bit on facebook. Anyway, you have to watch your six in the faith because they have very long memories and absolutely no mercy at all.
I just am so upset for his wife Anne and his children. Suicide is such a scary and sad thing, I saw two suicides as a kid, one succeeded one did not. It affected me, it should not as we all should have such trauma nailed down in the backyard and ready to move on.That goes for family deaths, illnesses etc. That only applies to pew sitters.
The fire, I knew a few folks that dealt with Pyromania That’s sort of ironic considering some of the recent articles. This is just my speculation but I wonder if he may have had some potential involvement, again just speculation on my point. I will say this if the “pastor” had come out as dealing with same-sex attraction even if he remained celibate all of the reformbots would have blown a gasket to burn his books get his sermons removed from the web etc. So I was curious. I won’t post the links but his sermon audio sermons are still online and a few obituaries that basically say this is going to be used by the “world” to say bad things about Christians. Then they throw in now Jesus will be run through the mud by the “world”, lol they are the ones running Christ’s name through the mud.
If Campbell would have been in any other industry with professional standards he would have been shown the door. Anne having to listen to his “exploits” is cruel then the “church” family casting Jesus spells on her and all the snide condescending remarks. This could be a very helpful book, maybe some of the reformed leadership could write it and really do some good for other faith communities and maybe even help protect some folks ah sorry nevermind that would not be “gospelly” “Biblical”.
@ Julie Anne: +
@ Headless Unicorn Guy: = he was an evil scumbag!
As much as Anne must be hurting, I’m glad the truth is out and she has been exonerated. Some people owe her some serious apologies!
Not surprised. This is becoming SOP.
He knew he’d be caught eventually and planned accordingly.
Yet another case study in whacked ideology.
This island may be beautiful but you couldn’t pay me to live there.
OSAS – Well, then he was never saved!
What does that say about all the rites he performed? Marriages?
Nothing. The spiritual condition of the minister has no effect upon the efficaciousness of the sacrament.
Sickening to read of this man’s perverted, depraved life.
It’s scary to think this man could preach and write of God, with such influence, gaining such admiration. It must be the result of a seared conscience which allowed him to be a chameleon.
I am sorry to read his wife has been blamed and shunned. Old traditions it seems just won’t die.
35 years ago I belonged to a church where the pastor was a serial adulterer. Each time he was caught, he was quietly paid off and left. I was a missionary on furlough when my church blew up and he left. He recently passed away. After years of not pastoring, he had finally gotten a church the last 10 years of his life. I’ve always wondered if he changed, or if he just kept repeating his behavior. It amazes me how much a church will go out of its way to defend an erring pastor to “protect” the church. It only ends up causing more damage and giving unbelievers more ammo to call Christians hypocritical.
I often read the British papers online, and I remember reading about this sordid mess then, and having several issues with what I was reading. Firstly, I’ve never understood blaming the spouse who was cheated on, maybe because I’ve known several people who have gone through it. I don’t care how tough you think your marriage is, how difficult you think your spouse is, or any other human excuse you devise, it does not free you to cheat. I remember a relative dating while their spouse was in a Nursing Home suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and some in the family and others arguing that it was ok, because even though the sick spouse was technically alive they weren’t really here anymore, but I never agreed with that assessment. To me cheating is cheating and is a sin. I’ve always failed to understand people, especially Christians, who are willing to overlook adultery, sexual assault or abuse, while at the same time having no problem attacking homosexuals for what they perceive to be their sexual sins, and imploring homosexuals to remain celibate. The fact is that human beings are sexual beings, but through Christ we can overcome the limitations of humanity. No one needs sex to live, it is not air, food, or water. Secondly, I do not understand how one can separate the person and their work. In the secular world, I grew up loving Bill Cosby’s work, but I can no longer watch The Cosby Show or Cosby, knowing what we now know. Likewise, I cannot enjoy the works of Woody Allen or Micheal Jackson, no matter how great they might be. So I cannot understand how anyone in the Christian world could value the words of IDC, knowing what is now known about him. I could never trust any conclusions, positions, or arguments that IDC presented in his books, knowing that he was a deeply troubled and sinful hypocrite. Remember that Judas Iscariot, was a disciple of Christ, chosen as one of the Twelve Apostles, yet he betrayed Christ and his fellow apostles. Remember Peter, on whom Christ stated he would build his church, yet who still denied knowing Christ three times, or Thomas who required proof of the resurrection before he could believe. These are just three examples from the Bible which teach us that no matter how esteemed or godly a person may seem, we are not to put our faith in any man, because human beings are frail and fallible beings. I will pray for Anne and her family, and I will also pray for the men and women victimized by IDC, clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. #IStandwithAnne
Divorce Minister wrote:
Ever wonder if Fred Phelps’ REAL sin was that he was too obvious about “GAWD H8S FAGS!” instead of using the proper Code Words?
I don’t think IDC had any type of super grooming ability or was a master manipulator. He simply used his celebrity status to create situations or place himself in situations which would allow him to pursue his immoral behavior.
Hi, Anne Campbell. If i lived near you, i’d make you a pie, with love. Blueberry, cherry, or apple & cinnamon.
Ken G wrote:
I disagree. It’s easy to groom people. People are desperate to feel loved, cared for, and admired. If a man expresses warmth to all the women he meets, he can sense who is responding, in other words, who is vulnerable. Then he moves in to seduce.
I think those who hate Christians will use any excuse they can find to bad mouth Christianity. But those who are indifferent to Christianity or practice a non-Christian religion, I think would say IDC’s behavior was a sign of a troubled and sick individual who needed help.
Didn’t you just make my point when you wrote, “It’s easy to groom people?” He uses his celebrity status to place himself in situations where it’s easy to meet women and then does as you wrote. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that takes a great deal of skill.
What a sweet gesture!
Ken G wrote:
A closed culture with a strong emphasis on control and subjugation enabled idc. While this is not Christian per se, it manifests in the dominant religion in the West, Christianity.
Just like in Israel, it manifests in fundamentalist Judaism, and in Saudi and Iran it manifests in fundamentalist Islam. Heck, it’s manifesting in an intolerant form of Buddhism in Myanmar right now.
For these guys, it’s really true…invoke God and all things become possible.
He didn’t want help. He liked what he was doing. Sociopaths love the church – we keep believing the best about them, while they rape and pillage. That optimism doesn’t extend to their victims, however (Anne and her children are his first victims).
The problem with a man’s failings and the correlation to his beliefs is a problem that we all may need to grapple with at one time or another but it is especially so for the Reformed community since its origin. This will no doubt get some riled up, reread your statement and insert “Calvin” for “his”. Then consider how he handled opposition and ponder possible interconnections between Calvin’s teaching and the savage act towards Servetus.
To rebut Calvin’s defenders, this is not a case of judging historical figures by modern values. Burning an opponent is deviant, especially for a follower of Christ. Where we separate the man from his message may be in the eye of the beholder but as you suggest there should be a recognition and discussion of the man’s problems and how they may correspond with his teaching. Unfortunately I am not hopeful of such introspection.
Thank you for the kind mention.
Jarrett Edwards wrote:
The Bible asks all people, hereto unmarried people included, to remain celibate. I fall into that category. And you’re right, sex is not a necessity. People can get by without it.
Dee, not that you will necessarily need this, but I’m just letting you know thatThe Daily Mail’s article about IDC’s death is still online.
And I’ve saved it to the Wayback Machine.
Do Presbyterians consider marriage to be a sacrament? I get confused as to who does and who does not think what about various religious rituals as to whether or not they are sacraments.
My question has nothing to do with the issue of the spiritual condition of the persons involved-just about the doctrine of the Presbyterians in this matter.
And if they do consider it a sacrament do they then have access to a declaration of nullity of some sort or are they just stuck for life regardless of what happens or what they find out after the ceremony?
I am soooo ignorant about the Presbyterians.
Wow, this is so sobering!
Especially when you read his article: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/hypocrisy-high-places/
I hope Anne gets her share of comfort and love from God’s people.
I think, because I’m in the UK, I have perhaps a lttle more understanding of the culture of the ‘Wee-frees’. They do observe the sabbath in the most restrictive way possible, and tried to prevent sunday opening of shops, pubs, any entertainment venues and most importantly the running of vital inter-island ferries on sundays. Most of the Uk dresses casually for church, we don’t have dress codes, so their views on ‘sunday best’ look victorian and judgemental.Also they put ‘the minister’ as he is called on a pedestal more than most of british denominations do, so maybe that’s why IDC stayed, he could get away with misconduct as he was so revered by his flock and could do now wrong. Please note, there are no ‘Wee-frees’ in the rest of the UK, they are a tiny geographically and mentally insular group with victorian ideas, a narrow and sometimes nasty inhuman world view. I do hope the family can re-build their lives now they are free from the chains of such a warped form of christianity.
Certainly explains the unspoiled beaches. They don’t sound all that welcoming.
You just hit on one of my pet peeves in Christendom. And yes, it’s worse in Reformed circles because they are more immersed in dualism. I heard it over and over….doctrinal truth has nothing to do with the individual teaching it. A total seperation of physical man from spiritual man. It has serious ramifications we are seeing all over the place.
But I have had this same convo with philosopher -intellectuals who claim the immoral and can teach morality. Problem is they use the Greeks to make the argument and can’t escape dualism. (Because everyone is immoral and can’t help it!)
My only conclusion is to believe Iain Campbell knew better but chose not to practice it. Perhaps the dualism of worm theology rationalized his choices for all those years?
Don’t get me wrong, the non Reformed have their own strategies. It usually involves cheap grace, too, and lots of crying. Perhaps even a gala celebration with big name speakers. Sigh .
Besides that, he was one of the “elect”, chosen before the foundations of the world. So, I guess it didn’t really matter what he did, did it?
When I first read this, I recalled the Donatists. They had a big problem with corrupt priests and were refusing sacraments over it. This made Augustine furious and he even wrote he wanted to wipe them out over it.
It’s an interesting question if one knows about the corruption.
Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
Fatalism. In Calvins world, reprobates could be decent God fearing people who lived as believers but were not “chosen” and would not know it until death.
This helps me understand why so many Reformed here thought he was so great. That is the sort of control and complete devotion they want.
I think the trouble with many Wartburgers who are criticising the Jack wrote:
Now, I know what you mean, but as an immigrant from England who has been in love with both the nation, and the landscape, of Scotland for some decades, I must speak up for the west coast beaches. They are unspoilt for quite natural reasons:
Many of them are remote, and none of them have big, noisy tourist infrastructure
It rains a lot in northwest Scotland
They are plagued with midges for much of the summer (though the wind is a great help in keeping them off)
But they are magical nonetheless.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
This is one of my more bizarre failures of proof-reading. It’s as if part of me was possessed by A Smartarse or something. Which would be a worrying development.
Ken G wrote:
I don’t think it take one ounce of “celebrite status.” I’ve seen warehouse workers do it.
One shouldn’t post without at least 3 cups of coffee.
What I meant to say is that grooming does not require any celebrity status. Predators are in all social ranks — from top to the bottom — and are experts at seeing vulnerability.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
"Midges" was unfamiliar to me – had to look it up. That would be quite annoying. Of course, here in the Southern U.S. we are plagued with mosquitoes. 🙁
@ Nick Bulbeck:
The dominant strain of Christianity on this island doesn’t make for a great tourist advertisement. But they probably don’t want unelected visitors anyway.
The Jack would love to see the rest of Scotland someday. Farthest North I’ve been is Wales.
Oh yeah, and I live in the mosquito capital of Canada aka murder capital of Canada aka Slurpee capital of the world.
Midges are those things Dash ran into while running from Syndrome’s thugs.
Words to live by.
Incidentally, for those of you using a Mac, alt-shift-K is how you get the chomped apple .
As for Dr. Campbell, he had one of the finest sheep costumes ever worn. I hope the church conducts a thorough investigation into his background, to look for clues that might have been picked up by someone who knew what to look for. This would be invaluable in evaluating future seminary candidates, as well as current pastors.
I don’t know where the Free Church stands on this, but I wonder if the elders would have been okay with Anne divorcing him, given the circumstances. That would have undoubtedly been the end of his career, if not just the allegations themselves.
Further Mac keyboard shortcuts:
™ (as in, Gospel™) is alt-shift-2
alt-; gives you an elipsis…
actually, that’s about it for the noo. There’s lots of others – ≥, ≤, ∫, √, ≈ among them, but I’ll leave you to find them for yourselves.
In not that familiar with Ligonier, but my first impression based on its membership, is the embodiment of arrogance. This group seems to be as insular and protective of it’s own as is Lewis.
The New Calvinist world has recently been stressing the special and elevated role of biblical teaching (aka, what the preacher says). The role of pastor has become fused with the word of God, elevaging both to the level of Jesus himself. This tweet by Danny Akin is a soft attempt at reinforcing their privilege.
That is the reason for my next post.
I do wonder why the Presbytery would have done if they had had time to respond. They were obviously proud of his achievements. I wonder if they would have slapped some sort of mild punishment on him so that he could get on with business as usual?
I think the Don MacLeod story is apropos and it think I will write about it I the post on Monday. This Reformed leader in Scotland was accused by 4 women of having relations with them. The trial ended with full exoneration for him and aa slap at the women. Iain Campbell had some sway in these results. There has been outrage from a number of sane Christians over the results of this.
Sadly, I have heard that there are all sorts of *situations* going on and I am committed to looking at them.
One comment not approved.
In OT theology, God inspected both the offerer (needed to be ceremonial clean) and the offering (the best, unblemished, or firstfruits). This principle does carry over to the NT, AND to Jesus Christ! Even though Christ fulfilled the Mosaic sacrificial system, the whole Law is a revelation of Who God is. The principles of acceptance and approach are still valid.
In Paganism, neither the offerer or the offering are inspected, it is just a transaction between worshipper and idol. Idols are manipulated/coerced by the transaction. The worship formula ‘works’ for the worshipper. Idolatry is for getting: Worship is for giving.
While we don’t expect our clergy to be without sin, we do expect that they not live against clear teaching (habitual patterns of living in sin). As a spiritual leader (not priestly mediator), it does cast doubt on the community’s offered worship as being acceptable unto God. I wouldn’t want to say it does by necessity – it just casts doubt at the corporate/community level via it’s leader. Individuals within the community can still offer acceptable worship. Again, worship is not a transaction.
It is not shocking that this happens. The community can still honor God by it’s proper response to sin, and the mitigation of the damaged caused (to pay the price for).
He who teaches my will….
While we don’t expect our clergy to be without sin, we do expect that they not pork our females.
What Happened wrote:
Akin’s tweet: “A pulpit is elevated not to show the authority of a preacher. It is elevated to show the authority of the Word of God.”
But if he really believed this, he might encourage ministers to follow the example of Jesus.
“He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written…
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them…”
I did ellipsis to remove what He read and then what He said, so we can see that even Jesus stood up only to read the Scripture, then sat down to talk about it.
Sounds like another narcissist…I’ve learned to sniff them out 😉
There are mozzies in Canada?!
I dunno. I do not see this in how they treat peons, only in other elites. They would come down viciously and for a long time on a peon for engaging in the same behavior unless they were related to an elite or being groomed to be one. And it would be double for women.
I think they like to talk about stuff like that because it excuses their own, but I do not think that’s how they run their churches.
@ What Happened:
Thank you for linking to that and pointing it out. Note how the “Pulpit” is used in a way to make it a sacred place of utmost importance. I hear this a lot. Then the person in it is only speaking the Words of God, right? So don’t elevate the person? Huh?
Note, it’s not their “interpretation” of scripture they are teaching. It’s the actual word of God behind sacred furniture. As if the truth of God only comes to those with titles and sacred furniture.
But it sounds so spiritual to the followers. It’s thought Reform tactics
Oh, it’s only for the “tilted”, that’s for sure. I should have clarified.
@ Dave A A:
Wow. I hope others read that article by Iain Campbell.
Of course the article may not be up for long….l
The fact that not one solitary disciple in the New Testament spoke one word from a pulpit (and only one OT meeting had a pulpit (platform) for those who read the book of the law to stand upon)— irrelevant!
Dave A A wrote:
Your point was really well made, Dave; I’d literally never registered that before, and I’m a proper bible-believing biblical believer.
I suppose the tweet you quoted might be properly expanded thus:
No. Only two sacraments – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Thank you for posting that link. This article is by Iain Campbell in 2009 (about the time he went to his new church) tells about the hypocrisies elsewhere in the church hierarchy:
It’s almost a “Can you beat this?” narrative.
“He loved his life of doubles.”
And so did Iain Campbell.
If you visit their homepage you will see that they have a church in London and are linked to other churches abroad. One of the linked organisation is Affinity.org.uk
Their views are not Victorian but Scriptural.
@ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
He may have claimed that but the doctrine also incorporates the perseverance of the saints, not living wilfully in sin.
Chapter IV of Free Church Practice deals with adultery.
This is another recent case
Here is a brief history of the Setting of Presbyterian Worship and it addresses the issue of the placing of the pulpit and its purpose.
It seems that what the IDC situation and its fallout exposes is that there is a neo-Gnostic element in modern Christianity. It is not limited to the Reformed and neo-Calvinist branches, but they have a greater tendency than others to lapse into it.
What I mean by “neo-Gnostic” is the elevation of the intellect and intelligent preaching to the point of near idolatry. Academic achievement is the pressure and the more degreed the person is, and the better the granting university, then the more godly the person is assumed to be. IDC is just one of many examples of this; every regular reader of TWW can name the chief proponents.
In terms of whether IDC was saved or not, at this point it is moot as he (IDC) knows for sure. If he was, then he is enjoying the fruit of his salvation, though he received no reward for his sin; if not, he is experiencing the consequences of his lostness.
IDC’s blogs/musings are still up on the net. This particular one from 2012 struck me. With what is now known, one wonders what his true motivation was to write this. Did he feel rebuked for his own sinful behaviour and therefore write what he did?
The Westminster Confession of Faith chapters xvii and xviii are relevant regards your last paragraph
Of the Perseverance of the Saints
I. They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.
II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.
Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation
I. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God, and estate of salvation (which hope of theirs shall perish): yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.
II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God, which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.
III. This infallible assurance does not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it: yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto. And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; so far is it from inclining men to looseness.
IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God’s withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light: yet are they never so utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived; and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.
You are so right, Lydia. The entire ethos around the Pulpit becomes like a jeweled Ivory Tower to which all must give veneration. It’s as if they believe that the moment the preacher enters the pulpit, it’s irrelevant what kind of person he is or the way he has lived his life. As if the Pulpit has some magical ability that causes God to ignore the sins of the preacher.
Thank you, LLS. Though there are days that I do not wish to claim it, the Reformed tradition of faith is too deeply ingrained in me to be able to separate it out. Thankfully, it is old Reformed and not any of this useless Neo-Cal detritus.
Is it possible for you to sum this up using scripture since you seem familiar with the WCOF?
There seems to be some confusion over PoS. As if Jesus is obeying for us because we cannot. That is how I have seen it presented. Unless when ones “chosen” status is activated they suddenly become “able” to choose to sin or not. I have never gotten a straight answer without some creed quoted that usually brings me back to the same question.
It seems to be the whole dualism thing that runs rampant in Christendom. We sin all the time, it’s just not counted against us in the spiritual realm we cannot understand now. Or something.
LLS might be able to, but there are many websites that do this. Here is a link to a pdf that has the entire confession with Scriptural texts.
It might be intellectual if it made sense. 🙂
Very true. Personally, I believe it is a form of ear tickling…except in this case it is tickling through the use of certain language and internal logic consistent with the Neo-Cal movement, though to be fair, IDC would not be considered Neo-Cal.
I’d like to comment further on what I said up thread: The spiritual condition of the minister does not effect the efficaciousness of the sacrament.
First off, I want to say that my usage of the word ‘sacrament’ could be replaced with the word ordinance. The point I was making is that the baptisms and marriages Campbell performed were not illegitimate because of his sins. Otherwise people would be getting rebaptized and remarried multiple times. The sins of a particular minister cannot effect the legitimacy of the rites they perform.
Additionally, nothing I said excuses Campbell, or any minister for that matter, of their sin. Iaian Campbell will still have to answer to God for his adultery and hiding behind the pulpit as a hypocrite. He will answer for the scandal brought upon the church and shame upon Jesus’ name.
I’m not in the OSAS camp. I believe nothing can separate us, but one can walk away and become separated from Christ (Gal 5). There are references to “beware lest,” blotted out of the Book of Life, to him who endures/overcomes, the warning to the 7 churches, etc. Adam and Eve fell from Grace – the day you eat, you shall surely die. And Adam passed that spiritual death on to humanity. Saul was anointed by God, yet God killed him (I Chron 10:13-4), and many others. These warnings are not vain.
Greater minds than mine have not solved the debate, so some humility in the expression of our convictions is warranted.
I dislike the regenerate sin/ unregenerate sin categories. To categorize sin is to go back under the Law. All sin separates us from God. We need to take it more seriously than the contemporary mind does. There is no sin in heaven! Adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10). I don’t read Paul saying that regenerate adulterers will inherit the kingdom. I do believe that one can be restored after falling, which is not a walking away. I’m glad that we cannot determine who is saved – we would corrupt that to no end.
Accusations of 7 adulterous affairs leading to utter despair (suicide), doesn’t indicate to me a life of faith. But that is just my opinion. “Walk in a manner worthy,” is my guide – in step with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Intellectual knowledge is a worthy pursuit. But the NT writers did not convey that Truth is something merely to be intellectually grasped, but that Truth is to be RECEIVED/ACCEPTED in the Person of Jesus Christ – especially John’s writing. Yet, they wrote the Gospels and Epistles for instruction and correction.
I agree with all that you said in your 3:24 PM post. I am not an OSAS proponent either.
Now that’s truly loving your neighbor like Jesus would.
Adding to your already good list of Scriptures:
Question: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
Result: “But the one who hears My words and does not act on them is like a man who built his house on ground without a foundation. The torrent crashed against that house, and immediately it collapsed—and great was its destruction.”…” Luke 6:46-49
Yes, great was his destruction.
@ Ron Oommen:
Good question. He certainly objected to the reminder “Be sure your sin will find you out”
“What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”
or as Paul said, “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.”
I am not OSAS, either. Which is not very popular in most camps. A few years ago, Scott McKnight did a pretty good piece about it. Few seem to tackle it today –it is so ingrained. (We can’t “loose” salvation. We choose to ignore it, imo, but same result)
Salient point Lyds, but again, and in my opinion, it’s not just the Reformed.
Lootair (Luther) had this to say:
“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.”
In all honesty I’m still convinced that Calvinism and Lutheranism are kissin’ cousins.
Nor am I. The majority of professing Christians are not affiliated with a denomination that believes OSAS, if understood to mean that one is ‘saved’ now, in the calvinist understanding of what that means, and therefore will always be ‘saved’. Interestingly the Free Will Baptists do not believe OSAS like the SBC folks do. So it would not be correct to say that Baptists believe OSAS unless one qualified what kind of Baptist one was talking about.
I do think, though, that standing around at some funeral debating the ultimate and eternal destiny of the deceased is not only bad manners but also bad theology.
There was a recent send-off for some of our military folks and there over on a couch was my former husband looking just medically awful. I was tempted to get into oh my I do wonder if…how awful it would be… I don’t think I could stand to think… That sort of thing just has to be let go. God is God; I am not. End of discussion on that one as far as I am concerned.
Yes, combined with who wrote it, this text testifies about the depth of human depravity. A wolf barking “Wolf, wolf” cannot be a wolf, right?!
@ Muff Potter:
Please check Luther’s larger saying. That saying is actually about repentance not sinning. He is actually saying: Repent for real sins, not for some imaginary ones.
Don’t blame IDC’s sin on Calvinism… This is a distortion of Calvinism… If only he lived what he preached and wrote!
Dee, the obituary to IDC in “We Love Stornaway” is on the Wayback Machine.
It was written by Professor Donald Macleod.
I think it may have been me that saved it, when I was writing a post in which I described IDC as an example of the second part of 1 Tim 5:24 —
“The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment,
but the sins of others appear later.”
Ken G wrote:
Maybe. For sure they would use it as a reason to stay ‘indifferent’, or maybe roll into the ‘hostile’ camp. Whatever.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I have visited Harris and Lewis and enjoyed every moment, feeling very welcome and also reveling in the remoteness.
The only problem I had was ordering food. The waiter did not understand my accent, and I did not even know he was speaking English. Fortunately an old pal from the south of England leapt in to interpret, so I didn’t end up with a plate of, oh I dunno, fried peat.
Perhaps this explains why the most righteous American preachers favor the $300 sheepskin from the online diploma mill. Can’t trust book learnin’.
For you archives, Dee, here is another tribute to IDC.
My heart goes out to that one husband who confronted Iain over the emails. I’m so sorry he felt he was sinning by feeling confusion, sadness, shock and grief. None of those emotions are unholy and are completely understandable. That kind of devaluing of emotions should be a “red flag” to unmask what kind of “pastor” Iain was ; clearly, the kind who wanted the people who might confront him to be loaded down with so many burdens they wouldn’t be able to tell sin from righteousness (perfect way to get your victims to apologize to you and blame themselves).
I agree. It’s interesting to discuss doctrinally but has no place at funerals. My dad rarely attended church, was a believer and was one of the most dutiful and decent men around. Today, he would not be considered a believer by the SBC. My guess is an SBC church today as I see them around here would refuse his funeral.
I have studied Calvinist backwards and forwards. My guess is it’s been changed and corrupted so much, it’s hard to decipher what’s what. I think he was a monster. That does not mean I think all Calvinists are, though. I think most of Protestantism borrows from the determinism. I think Luther was less ST than Calvin but still bought into the Augustinian concept of original sin. I read him through his Augustinian filter.
My claim to dialectal fame is that I once went to the Gorbals (a notoriously rough area of Darkest Glasgow) to apply for a job – and they couldn’t understand me. Your friend from the south of England might, if he weren’t familiar with it, have struggled with the Glasgow accent.
Thuz hee-haw yerkan dee aboo-ut.
I’m thankful the Presbytery has deposed IDC retroactively and that the GA and the Presbytery has recognized the great harm done to Anne and his family and the church and Christ’s name. I hope that they will re-visit some of the other Wee Free issues in light of this with a spirit of humility.
It may seem trivial, but the first thing that jumped out to me was the juvenile nature of the email written by IDC in 2011 which is so completely opposite to his public persona. And then I thought of the 14 year-old IDC who was recognized as a young preaching prodigy in the Wee Free church which was a high status position, at least as I understand it. I wonder if the pursuit of developing IDC, the Preaching Prodigy, prevented IDC from maturing into a real man of God. I’m not talking about Calvinism or Wee Frees or Scottish culture, but human nature and the formation of identity. Or malformation of identity. I am also wondering about that office fire.
P.S. I’ve yet to visit Harris or Lewis – the closest I’ve been is Skye. Which, as an obsessive Munro-bagger, I absolutely love.
P.P.S. The absolute closest, in great circle distance, I’ve been to Harris/Lewis was probably Inverasdale, near Poolewe, north of Gairloch. Another area I love…
For those who are interested, here is a link to Dr. Campbell’s final sermon. He delivered this sermon on Jan 18, only 10 days before he learned of his eternal fate. The title of the sermon is, ‘My Ultimate Assurance” and he uses John 6:37-40.
He states that we were chosen by God, given to Jesus as a gift and Jesus will not allow any to fall away. I thought it interesting that he uses the well known two sets of foot prints in the sand illustration and mentions that in his walk there was only one set from the beginning. He also downplays the importance and ability of the pastor.
Actually, very few people in my circle know any of these characters. I’m willing to bet most other non Christians and even most mainline are not only indifferent but probably ignorant of the whole mess.
I have to be honest, from a human interest angle, this is interesting. On a personal angle, it probably won’t change anything.
That’s what makes these ideologies so damaging. They fly under the radar.
If you type in to Google “Westminster Confession of Faith chapter xvii xviii” you should see a pdf file that includes the Scripture proofs. I didn’t Reference it in case the links didn’t work.
Buck Parsons says it’s your fault that he can’t get a larger folliwing:
Jesus told the disciples not to worry about the other guys. Burk should know that.
Hi Lydia. John Murray wrote about the active obedience of Christ, if this is what you’re referring to. As I think that Prof Donald McLeod will feature n Dee’s next post, this is a link to what he makes of it.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Do you and Christo wrap them? 😉
Thanks for making the point that there is a (big) difference between Reformed and Neo Cals
You know it!
Absolutely. It’s amazing how many Christians don’t know what’s going on in Christendom.
I do believe in eternal security. Christ has won it. If we are ‘in Christ’, we have eternal security. It is never in possession of the believer apart from Christ. If we are found to be ‘in Christ,’ it does become a non-issue.
I think the inability of one human to judge an other’s faith is a good thing. We need to be on guard. Or, as at the LORD’s supper, examine ourselves.
I’ve always taken the unconditional promises to be to the corporate body, and not to the singular individual.
Another safeguard that has faded is Transcendence – God is wholly distinct from all He has created. We are awash in Immanence – God with us. Both are true, but we need to reclaim a balance. Sin isn’t so bad if God is with us, for us, loves us, forgives us, or someone Whom we can petition with all of our wish list. Some recovered transcendence will safeguard God’s Holiness and Justice demands in order to reclaim some awe and fear of the LORD.
We like to blame our leaders, but they are of us. And the people like it so.
They don’t want to know.
I don’t think there is a difference in the foundational determinism but a huge difference on what they emphasize. The neo Cal resurgence caused some people to dig both historically and doctrinally. It’s fascinating to me.
Interesting! Can you give an example?
I had to come to grips with this personally. It was a huge ordeal. Like refinding Jesus Christ in a way. It’s hard to explain. And harder when everyone is gushing over them.
Holy guacamole! Now that’s a concept I can rally round’! Have you thought of the implications of your statement when unpacked and its various directions allowed to unfold?
It’s a fair question, given the fact that I’m an unregenerate free-thinker of reprobate mind. ===> (smiley face goes here)
That was never my intention. Campbell did what he did on his own dime (for the most part). I was merely augmenting Lydia’s comment upthread that his theology may have greased the gears a bit.
Muff Potter wrote:
I can also rally around imaginary sins. I think that’s a huge problem with the concept of original sin and inherited guilt.
Does the Luther quote mean do a real bad sin so you can seriously repent? Don’t get the “sin boldly” part.
This is another reason why I cannot stand the translation of repent for metanoia. it just misses the point, imo.
Not at all, my bad, almost as bad as Injun Joe’s fake news outta’ context.
The quote is originally from a letter Luther wrote to Melanchthon in 1521.
You can peruse the full text here:
The Abrahamic Covenant has two parties to it: God and Abraham’s descendants. It is an unconditional promise – no conditions or stipulations for man to maintain. God’s Word is the guarantee. The covenant means that there will always be a people group (Abraham’s seed); otherwise, the covenant would go out of existence (be nullified). Then God would become a liar.
The existence of Israel is proof of this, despite all its failings (Babylonian exile, Roman destruction). Not all individual citizens were inheritors, but corporately, the nation remains.
Some Kings shed innocent blood – those individuals lost out. Some died in military campaigns, disease, misfortune, widows and orphans oppressed, had their lands taken from them, etc. The existence of the state of Israel today, is evidence of God’s great faithfulness.
In Galatians, Paul takes the seed to be singular (Christ), and says that by faith we (NT Church) are inheritors of the promise (Abraham’s seed corporately). This means that there will always be a faithful remnant, or one party ceases to exist and the covenant is nullified. The Bride of Christ will always be in existence. Some Christians see misfortune: abuse, oppression by their brothers, disease, and other misfortune. The individual is not promised deliverance from misfortune or even long life/healthy life; but the corporate body will inherit and be blessed.
The elect is a plural noun in the Greek. Paul does use a corporate singular in his writings, but here he choose a plural with reference to the elect. The unconditional election of the saints is corporate in nature – a people group. Calvin’s followers took that and applied it to the individual, guaranteeing the individual’s unconditional participation in the inheritance of the promise. Even Calvin did not go that far – Calvin was not a Calvinist. The response of faith to God’s Self-Revelation is always conditional on the part of the individual believer. The fact that the Church exists is via God’s own unconditional oath, and is not dependent on man’s response to God. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Summing up, there will always be a faithful remnant (corporate), unconditionally. It is very conditional, whether you or I (individually) are part of that unconditional party to the covenant.
Collapse in Christianity in Britain blamed on mothers by former bishop
“But he added:”The Christian faith stopped being of importance in this country when the women stopped passing it on in the home.”
John Calvin in the ICR quoted Augustine who says that the ‘elect’ can not lose their salvation. Jesus and The New Testament writers say otherwise. The WCOF is a Calvinist document which takes its position from the ICR. One must use extreme caution when examining this document. The spiritual life you save may be your own. Please see your bible for details. 😉
The Ligonier article — http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/hypocrisy-high-places/ — is by Iain Campbell.
I read it in full. What an arch hypocrite Iain Campbell was!
Here is an excerpt:
“We are all within an inch of succumbing to the same delusion that it is possible to be one thing in one context and something else in another. The real danger lies in the deception that whispers that we are safe behind the mask of hypocrisy. Paul counsels, “Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). The problem is not the standing but the thinking that we can never fall.”
Notice how Campbell uses the word “we” in that excerpt, as if he knows where ALL of us are at. That was prideful arrogance on Campbell’s part.
That article by Campbell, which was published in 2009 in Ligonier’s Table Talk magazine, shows the marks of an arch-wolf. Campbell referenced scripture after scripture … he could “teach the Word”… but his conduct was the diabolical opposite.
And his use of the word “we” in that article is a deft and surreptitious sharing (shifting) of the guilt and sin which HE HIMSELF was practising — believing that he was safe behind the mask of his hypocrisy.
I tried to save the Ligonier article to the Wayback Machine unsuccessfully…
But I have saved it on my apple macbook.
Dee, I will send my saved version to you by email, just in case Ligonier scrub the article and you or others need it in the future.
Barbara Roberts wrote:
I have always been leery of those whose “Word” is nothing but Verse after Verse after Verse after Verse after Verse, rewordgitated like MP3 sound bites. (And sometimes not even the verses themselves, but their Zip Codes.) Calvary Chapel was the local champions in “Dueling Verses”, and it’s made me allergic to even the word “Scripture(TM)”.
I encountered OSAS a lot during my time in-country, usually in connection with Altar Call Revivalist preaching. Just how widespread is it?
“You don’t need any intellect to be an Intellectual.”
— G.K.Chesterton, one of the Father Brown Mysteries
Ron Oommen wrote:
And black flies:
The Calvinist gospel (ICR) says that Jesus died for some; who they are, they say no one knows. The Calvinist believes only the elect can be saved. (sadface) The Bible however, says that God loves the world (you!) , and that He sent His Son to die for sin that separate all man (you) from their (your)Creator. God says to believe in Jesus, His Son, and receive His forgiveness and His Holy Spirit, and that eternal life will follow. God wants you to change your mind, to change your way of thinking, to be born of water, and of HIs Holy Spirit. God wants you to be a part of His wonderful kingdom, His wonderful household. Please see your bible for details. Please accept His wonderful offer today…You’ll be glad you did! 😉
Good grief. You could be channeling my father. I tried to bring up the issue of the remnant once before here but nobody was interested at the time.
I agree with what Nick said to you – hope you stay around and comment here.
However, this usually sorts down into some variant of “ME, not Thee” one-upmanship.
Thanks for the response Burwell and Lowlandseer. I guess I really was looking for a summary. I’m not a fan of confessions or STs. I just don’t think the Bible was meant be sliced and diced into confessions and systematic theologies.
The persistent derivation elation of a pastoral pulpit pounder proves fatal, perhaps?
Religion to Iain Campbell was apparently to became a professional opportunity, and a private means, and not necessarily a devout sincere biblical devotion. 🙁
But Sopy, don’t they claim the Bible as their absolute authority too?
Nor I. You speaka’ my language.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
My ex-SIL once told my daughter that he knew how to “play the game” and if he wanted to he could convince the church that he was the good Christian and she was the rebellious one. And he did. However, my point is that he really seemed to believe everyone else was playing the same game he was playing. That we were all like him. Maybe Campbell also believed that? Maybe it’s a narcissist thing, to think no one else is genuine either?
In I Sam 16:14, the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul. The Spirit was there, then departed. It appears that Saul did not know or realize that the Spirit had departed. That is the danger. All of Israel presumed upon the Presence of the LORD, then did what they wanted rather than “obey all I have commanded.” They certainly were not ‘legalists.’
Calvinists can fall into this trap of presuming upon Grace (Spirit’s Presence). I know of some who have and stress an up-to-date faith, so this would be moot, if “in Christ.” But leaders should be warning folks to be on guard. Today is the day of our salvation. Maybe warning people is not ‘nice,’ or comforting so we avoid this. And, the pastor should be preaching the text to himself (conviction), before going into the pulpit to preach it to others.
It appears that LDC did not do this. IMO, the Spirit left him and he was unaware, then a spirit of despair took hold of him and he took his own life.
I am not a fundamentalist nor a legalist. I appear to be quite close to a legalist outwardly. But I desire to do the Law (conform to the character of God). I do not attempt to impose it from without. The desire springs from within accompanied by a deep sense of gratitude and thanksgiving. It can only be done “in the Spirit.”
In Exodus 33:14-6, Moses argues with God for His Presence not an angelic representative (very important passage in scripture). His argument was, how may your people be distinguished from all the other people’s of the earth? Answer: My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.
The Church then, is defined by God’s indwelling Presence. That is it’s main witness, and what distinguishes us from all other groups. But we must not presume and take that for granted, lest He depart and we be left in despair. He has given us the maintenance requirements/covenant stipulations for abiding in Him. These are not the means for establishing the covenant relationship, but they are required for ongoing/maintaining the covenant relationship as having been established. We need to reclaim some ground from the ‘legalism’ charge. We cannot claim the relationship, and then disobey all that He has commanded.
@ Barbara Roberts:
Yes, I noticed the royal “we”. We are all despicable worms living double lives. We should just admit it. It’s the Christian normal, I guess.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
My unofficial research led me to believe the concept comes in all shapes and sizes over church history. IFrom infant Baptism because of original sin/ inherited guilt to Official confession and absolution by a priest to Perseverance of the Saints to OSAS. The translation of metanoia as repentance has its roots in the concept of “penance”. Metanoia was about a from…to transformation. Maturing in wisdom, etc,
I think the bad translation really took Christianity off the rails.
I dread saying this because of how it comes off but the warnings in Revelation are relevant here. It is my private decision to take them seriously as I see all the church corruption around me. And I even have periods of wishing ignorance because it can be bliss. But that is not wise, I fear.
Thanks for the example. An important take away from it is how we read scripture when we are looking at the plural and singular. This is a big issue with me because of the rise of the totalitarian church, church membership covenants, “keys” doctrine of an elder deciding if one is elect, etc, etc. No one is a mediator for me.
@ Muff Potter:
I see it as part of his disagreement with the RCC. I just can’t do Luther. I find him hypocritical in many ways.
“If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but
the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the
true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only
imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let
your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the
victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we
are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We,
however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new
heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that
through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the
sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to
kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think
such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager
sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner. ”
I think our Lord wants justice to reside here in our hearts and hands. I wonder how Luther dealt with 1 John or Hebrew 10?
Yes, but we do not have a spirit of despair. Maybe all this dread all around us, is meant to take our eyes off this world in preparation for the next. Even so, Come LORD Jesus.
In Revelation, we have the mark of the beast, new names, etc. This reminds me of Ezekiel 9:4, “put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” Maybe, the LORD is beginning to mark us?
I was never raised a legalist. My parents had devotions at the supper table each night and us kids (3/4 boys) were not allowed to leave until finished. I grew up hearing the Word of God by the voice of my parents in my ear! Every day (includes Sunday) for 16 years. One might look at that as legalistic, but oh, what a precious gift! – the Word of God via my parents voice (breathed out) in my ear.
Some folks, have very negative things ringing in their ear via their parents voice. I am blessed. It took dedication on the part of my parents, but what a gift of love!
@ Muff Potter:
Have one circling O’Hare but never forget Luther wanted to get rid of the Book of James, too. Note what he doesn’t say in the link: Stop committing adultery because it harms others. No, he says even if you do it thousand times, you are forgiven. I don’t know this Jesus. He has no power in people’s lives who claim him. Why not say, be a pedophile over and over and you are forgiven.
It’s same old Luther to me.
I concur in a broad and general sense. Good specific point too about Saul. When an underling refused to dispatch him while they were being overrun, he did it himself by falling on a sword. It made Campbell’s end even more poignant.
No despair here. Just resolution. I grew up in a very joyous, very busy Christian home. If my late mom had her way, as a musician, all worship would be by music. 🙂
Off the rails? Well, so much for Our Lord’s promise that the Church He founded upon Peter the Rock (“Kephas”) would never go off the rails, even though the Gates of Hell would try their darnedest to prevail. But what did Jesus know, right? 😉
I like what one commenter said:
I can’t say it any better than she did. The churches are chasing women away by treating us as second class. Some days it feels like being a woman is an unforgivable sin in the church, and certainly not one Jesus died for.
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
Hard for me to say the churches in general haven’t gone off the rails, every single one of them, from the Catholic Church to the new non-denominational church in town holding its first service today because they cover up child sexual abuse, every single one of them, and they’ve had to be forced into admitting it. (Yes, I’m exaggerating, but there have been precious few churches which have taken the initiative to report child sexual abuse and far too many who have covered it up.)
Yeah, this is bitter, but you know, when you talk to children who were abused by priests and pastors, or whose priests and pastors and ministers covered up abuse in their churches, it’s not hard to believe that the Gates of Hell have swallowed them all up.
Lydia, that excerpt from Luther is disturbing to me. It seems to me that if a person actually believes Luther – “… even if we were to kill or commit adultery a thousand times a day” – they would not take such sin seriously. They might actually become like Iaian D. Campbell – simultaneously thinking they can be a Christian outwardly, while secretly being an adulteror.
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
Was it not Peter himself who wrote that judgment begins at the household of God ( 1 Peter 4), but what would Peter know about anything regarding the church, right?
It is good to know that the gates of hell will give way before the onslaught of the church, but that statement is not a statement that the church is never in error; only that the gates eventually give way.
IMO a former president was correct in emphasizing that it depends on what a word means. He meant ‘is’ but I mean ‘church’. If ‘church’ means every person on the pew and every clergy person and every idea and ever procedure and every side of every theological debate and every chief leader and every everything, and if anything short of perfection on each and every area of ‘church’ means that church is no longer church, then I conclude that there is no such thing as ‘church’ to fit those requirements. If ‘church’ means perfect or nothing, then it looks like the gates of hell have already prevailed. But if perfection is not the criterion, if forgiveness and repentance and restitution and change apply also to ‘church’ and not just to individuals, then the gates had better watch out because they don’t stand a chance.
That is just my take on it.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Anyone who doesn’t care about causing pain to someone, when they have actively caused like this, is a scumbag.
He made choices. It sounds like he just was using all of these women, including his wife.
Right after I read this I Googled “Iaian Campbell Ligonier” and found several Tabletalk articles by him. Why am I not surprised about that connection? They haven’t removed his articles from the website and his bio is there as well. Yes, arrogance defines this sect of the Reformed community.
To add to this, he cared about no one but himself. He didn’t care about his wife, his children, the other women, the other families impacted, the church, or the community. His focus was on his own pleasures and he spared no expense . . . the expense being the lives of those around him.
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
I believe Teds covered that in a way in his comment. The church is the ekklesia–actual people who make choices. It’s not an institution, imo. It’s the Body of Christ which cannot be institutionalized, imo. (I do think there can be the Body of Christ within an institution, though) .
You and I simply approach it in different ways. In my view, The gates of hell won’t prevail for those who abide in Him as the Body of Christ. I don’t think Jesus was saying we could claim Him and tout Him while doing perpetual evil to others. He warned the Jews about this thinking in Matthew 7. There are other warnings elsewhere.
This is a great point. When Jesus name is used to cover over all sorts of deception,evil and corruption, the gates already gave way.
How many times are the churches in Revelation warned about what “they allow” –which I find interesting. Most people don’t even know what’s going on behind the curtain in their churches.
What is your take on the “other women” involved in this situation? I can see how a vulnerable woman in a moment of weakness makes a mistake, but the situation here seems these relationships went on for some time. IDC even mentions his wife (Mrs in the e-mail) to one of the women. Didn’t these other women see the impact they were having on his wife and family as well as the church and community?
That’s not what the verse has historically been taken to mean, nor is it what I meant by it. (And by “historically,” I mean “according to the exegesis of a whole lot of people who lived waaaaay before the Reformation and waaaaay before modern American evangelicalism.)
Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
It is always interesting to discuss various meanings and the thinking behind various understandings of things but argumentum ad antiquitatem is a fallacy of the ‘red herring fallacy’ type.
You bet. It depends on what the Lord meant by “church” and “keys” and “this rock” and “gates” and “hades.” Until very recently, the keys were a non-issue to Baptists, unless you happened to be the deacon or janitor on duty, and the “church” for purposes of prevailing over “hades” was the “invisible church” consisting of all those who are saved by faith. Pretty simple. We all assumed that the prevailing was done by power of the Lord and not by us.
Now, that was SBC pre-9Marks. Since then, things have become more complicated because the Local Church has been elevated above all, and one must prove one’s fidelity to the Local Church or at least maintain that appearance. I think the gates of hades have prevailed over that way of thinking already, since I think that way is not the Lord’s way in the first place. In fact, in context, I think that is what the Lord was teaching the guys, but 9Marks seems to be obtuse and willfully blind the subject of power and authority in the church and particularly in Matthew 16 and 18.
Isn’t that one of the main continuing plot points of The Screwtape Letters?
“Well, let folly be our cloak, a veil before the eyes of the Enemy… the only measure that he knows is desire, desire for power; and so he judges all hearts. Into his heart the thought will not enter that any will refuse it, that having the Ring we may seek to destroy it.”
— Gandalf re Sauron
So here’s where I’m going to get myself back OT with the “keys.” I think that Iain Campbell’s Reformed theology did not *cause* his behavior. It did not *contribute* to his behavior, either. The problem is that it does make the clergy class a privileged class with de facto keys of the kingdom, just like some most other branches of Christianity do. He had rank, and rank has privileges. It is almost as if the impulse to seek power over others is so strong that it would be universal and the Lord would need to warn us about it or something.
I hope you don’t mind my adding a few more words to your list, like ‘believe’ and ‘love’ and ‘follow’ and my favorite ‘forgive’. All the meanings have been modified and narrowed and distorted almost to extinction of meaning. And since when did ‘salt’ mean obnoxious behavior and ‘light’ mean political activism and ‘go ye’ mean expensive vacations?
@ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
That’s ok. That is the beauty of the Body. We can have different interpretations on such matters. I do think we have to take the whole into consideration.
When I first went into health care it was a patriarchal style hierarchy with the doctor as a god figure. It was father knows best on steroids; doctors and not patients made decisions as to what would happen to the patient; we stood up from our chairs whenever a doctor entered the nurses’ station to get a chart; and people kissed up to the guys in white something awful.
Doctors had the power that you all are saying these clergy are demanding, but the docs got it handed to them on the proverbial silver platter; no fighting for it, just the coat and the attitude was all it took. And the power of the prescription pad of course.
There were some honorable people who did not abuse that system, but there was also what we today would consider a lot of abuse of the system judging by today’s standards. What I am saying is no white coat and no leather bound floppy bible that droops over one’s hands in the great gesture is any sign that abuse of privilege is not just one opportunity away.
And no, I do not think it is due to doctrine for clergy or medial specialty for docs (people used to think that). I think it is called the inherent sinful nature of the un-regenerated human being. It looks to me like the animal behavior of some other species than just ours.
People are like that. We need divine help to resist it. Heck, we need a whole new life. And when the abuse of privilege is present, then I conclude that the divine help/the whole new life is not present. Some folks have an expression that goes ‘he ain’t all the way saved’. That is about it I think.
Ken G wrote:
3 women were disciplined by their churches. These women actually initiated the relationships as opposed to be being groomed.
However, there were a number of women that Iain Campbell targeted and used his role as trusted pastor to carefully groom them for his sick purposes.They were victims of clergy abuse.
I know. I have been collecting a fair number of these articles so that I can post about this one day. IDC dies on January 28. This is October 1. There is no reason for these publications to continue publishing his works. he was a scam artist and a serial predator to boot. Everything he wrote about the Bible and Christian conduct needs to removed from publication and studied to see how he deceived so many people for so long.
I am so glad he is your EX son in law.
Barbara Roberts wrote:
Thank you. I read that article. I would love your saved version. IDC wrote on hypocrisy quite a bit. Looks like he was the world’s leading expert on the matter…
Questionable Milage:”the word of John Calvin has nominal heavenly insurance coverage, perhaps?”
“…don’t they claim the Bible as their absolute authority too?” -Becky Thatcher
The reformers in Geneva took John Calvin’s words and then took the scriptures to proof text Calvin’s theological system. It is to this day. Their absolute authority IS truly Calvin’s ICR.
This makes more sense to me than the commenters who charitably imply the man was a believer who was not walking the walk.
It is also possible (as I have sometimes wondered about Driscoll) that he was never a believer in the first place, but simply found a niche where he could shine by putting the right combination of words and vocal expressions together.
I remember being struck by someone reporting that Driscoll said something about founding a church before he ever claimed to be a believer. What if “founding a church” was what he perceived as the pathway to success.
You don’t need to be a believer to sit in the pew, or even to go through the motions required of a “pastor” of a church.
I’m not saying either man is/was not a believer. It’s not my place to make that judgment. Just that they don’t appear to be believers, at least, to outward appearance in some respects.
(Yes, yes, I know, Peter denied Jesus three times… but I’m not talking about Peter at the moment.)
@ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
Amen. Thanks for quoting the commenter; I didn’t read the link. The comment is spot on.
Walk evidences talk, or not. There is image, and then there is substance – reality.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,… , will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Gal. 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
James 1:22-4 “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.”
2 Thessalonians 2: Deception and Delusion in the Church (“among you”)
2 Peter 2: False Prophets (“among us”)
A wolf in sheep’s clothing, expounding on wolves in sheeps’ clothing, as a diversion device, a strategic tactic.
Or the Spirit was never in him in the first place. (And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt. 7:23)
Again, *I* am not saying I believe he was or was not saved. Just pondering.
And praying for those who loved him, whose pain I cannot begin to imagine.
On the other hand, if they took all his articles down, they could be accused of trying to expunge the record of his association with them, as if they were doing something underhanded. I don’t think they’re wrong to leave his writings up so people can examine them for themselves.
Oops, my previous comment was meant as a response to the comment about Ligonier not taking IDC’s articles down.
Yes, this is a time to fall back on the Word. The twists and turns of evil can get complicated.
Satan himself used God’s own Word to tempt Jesus, and our Lord astutely answered the evil one back with God’s Word. Thank God for His Word, His Spirit, His Son – the Way, Truth, Life. Nothing double-minded or complicated about God and His Word.
I just don’t think the Bible was meant be sliced and diced into confessions and systematic theologies.
@ Muff Potter:
Nor I. You speaka’ my language.
neither do i. i’m formulating my thoughts on what the bible was intended for.
What would be your thesis statements?
Ken G wrote:
I was making a statement about Iain Campbell based on what has been revealed. I’m not aware how all his different relationships with women started. I imagine some were initiated by him and some by women. In any case, as a pastor and leader, he certainly had the upper hand and was able to groom women if he chose. He abused his position in his environment. I certainly believe the women hurt those around them as well, but Campbell was a special type of hypocrite about it as we see from his writings.
Apologies to Okrapod for the messed up reply immediately above. I hope I get it correctly below, but we shall see…
Then there is no room at *all* for any hint of class distinctions or hierarchy or levels. We have not been very good at doing that either formally or informally, whether high church or low church.
Certainly they should not be left up without any information as if nothing has happened. I think it would be interesting to correlate his podcasts or sermons or papers/articles with actual events. Did he publish or sermonize hoping it would make his life right somehow or offset what he was doing or what, exactly? If I were a young theology student or psychology student at a Christian university, I think the unraveling of Iain Campbell might be an excellent forensic topic to study from several different perspectives. I suspect, however, that his position is too close to home for too many.
I can guarantee this if Mr. Campbell came out as gay/supported SS relationship or held to the validity of the TofE or became a proponent of women preachers etc. His articles would have been expunged quickly and there would be rantings on social media. It would also be true if he converted to RCC or EO he also would have had his articles/sermons expunged and the YRR crowd would be out for blood. His church would have also kicked him to the curb.
I emailed it to you yesterday Dee. 🙂
It can be a type of misdirection, in my experience an incoming narcissistic pastor gave his first message on humility. I was interesting to note many people then attributed humility to him when they knew little about him.
Often hypocrisy is thrown about when it is really a case of human weakness but in IDC’s case the evidence strongly indicates he was an actor wearing a mask. It would be interesting to examine the writings about hypocrisy from a master hypocrite just to see what it might reveal.
A lot of IDC’s work for Ligonier Ministries seemed academic and strangely detached. Interestingly enough, this read as heartfelt in comparison with his other articles:
Weird, huh? It’s one of his only works that includes some kind of personal narrative.
A therapist once told me that the male brain is compartmentalized – they can put different parts of their lives into little boxes. They open one box, close it, then move to another box. Allows them to focus on one thing at a time. IDC had lots of boxes. It’s only when the secret boxes converge on the public ones do you see a situation where a man becomes desperate. He can’t control what he’s done and the walls come crashing down.
I find it interesting that the husband who confronted IDC was just as willing to cover up his adultery as anyone else. What does that say about the power IDC had over these people?
I knew a pastor who was as equally conniving, degenerate and intelligent as IDC. He had the ability to pull unsuspecting (trusting) people into his inner circle, to the point where he could probably commit murder and they would cover it up for him. These types of pastors are EVERYWHERE. Truly, who can be trusted?
It’s a shame TWW doesn’t have a video page or YouTube channel. If it did, you could do a TEDS talk.
Therein lies the problem with OSAS. I do not agree with OSAS but I fully believe that the Bible teaches eternal security and the perseverance of the saints. OSAS is typical of what happens when an attempt is made to reduce a Biblical truth into a pithy phrase, or the “bumper stickerification” of theology.
The main issue I have with OSAS is the implication that salvation is a one-time act. In other words, pray a prayer, get saved, and you’re done. That is not Biblical salvation. WHile Biblical salvation has a finite starting point (believe on the Lord Jesus Christ), the process of salvation does not end until either the person dies an earthly death or Christ returns in His glory, at which time salvation will be consummated for eternity. OSAS (the term) has no room for the nuances that salvation inherently possesses in part because it originated out of a theological camp that sought to justify the a priori belief in free will (i.e., free moral agency) without losing the Biblical blessing of the perseverance of the saints.
At a pristine and peaceful campground, the management posted signs on the roads: “5mph means 5mph”; “STOP: What part of Stop do you not understand?”
On our life path, maybe Christians need posted: “Adulterers do not go to Heaven means they go elsewhere.” “What part of ‘STOP Serial Adultery and Be Faithful’ do you not understand?”
Human nature requiring explicit communication.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I would love to go to skye! I didn’t make it last time I was in Scotland. Supposedly, my ancestors hung out there for about 100 years before coming over here…
I grew up Lutheran. I go back far enough (as a little kid) to remember when Lutheran pastors still wore the Cassock on High Holy Days. Back then you couldn’t tell Pastor Sorensen from Father Doyle the Jesuit on those days.
Church was something you did, just like Mass, or just like Shabbat for the Jews in our town. Each of them had their own separate sphere from everyday life, as in work, school, or what have you.
Point is, not all Lutherans (then or now) are in lockstep with everything Luther wrote or preached. I think the same can be said for the many kind and decent Baptist folk with regard to every new pronouncement Mohler comes out with.
This is interesting. I think I would draw a distinction between the desire to do the LAW and the desire to do GOOD. I can see some might not, but I haven’t spent a lot time thinking about wanting to do the law, but I have wanted to do good.
I think it generally seems like deflection when you say ‘hey, this bible teacher seems to have been using women, cheating, and generally was unfit for his position’ and then someone wants to talk about the other women involved. I don’t know those women. I don’t know how everything went down. It’s not that they did right, it’s that they are irrelevant to the topic, which is him.
Not saying you are deflecting, Bridget, just that this seems to be a common tactic to get the heat off the men involved. And particularly when the women are still anonymous.
I tend to think it was just what he did and he never believed any of it. But people are complicated I guess.
@ Muff Potter:
I need to clarify this each time. It’s not Lutherans I have problems with. It’s Luther.
We can’t ignore that his writings were used to convince the official state church to pledge allegiance to the Reich. There is historical proof of it. That is how bad he was. Not to mention his approach to scripture.
I sincerely doubt modern Lutherans are close at all to what he taught and wrote.
CJ positioned himself as humble. Full of humility and that took on a life of its own where all his minions and colleagues were touting this “fact”. And, The more CJ claimed his sinful status the more humble people thought he was.
Mohler was positioned as a brilliant academic who read 5 books per week or something. It became popular “truth”. People around here said it all the time. But a closer analytical look says different. He IS a brilliant political strategist with no conscience, IMO.
We’ve just started a series about Luther that’s very interesting. I honestly didn’t know much about him beyond priest/thesis/lots of insults.
I think this idea/person thing applies to Calvin as well as IDC for that matter (which was discussed a bit above, just caught up). I do believe ideas can be correct – no matter how flawed/terrible the person who relates them – however you cannot trust that just because a person is a ‘hero of the faith’, or famous, or lived a long time ago, or wrote a lot of books, or is preaching to 10k on sunday, that they are correct. That is where we err. The Bereans did their homework to make sure Paul was correct. Nobody else should be getting a pass, either.
Ditto to everything you said, Lydia. Luther’s anti-Semitism was front & center and quite blatant. And yet I’ve read Luther apologists who try to justify his writings on the Jews or try to sweep it under the rug. For some Protestants, Luther is their Hero and they are unable, or refuse to deal with, his hatred of the Jewish people. That’s a dangerous kind of loyalty.
No, the cross was a one time act. But we don’t continue to get saved over and over, either. We mature, hopefully.
So much of church history is anti Semitic —until recently. And what is so sad is the loss of Hebrew scholarship for so long. I suspect it would have been a good foil to much of the determinism that became the de facto Protestant position. (The whole faith vs. works clash, too)
Ha! Very good at insults.
I think we tend to forget that Luthers original big problem with the Catholic Church was all about indulgences. That’s what the 95 theses are all about. He wanted to reform the Catholic Church. (It was actually more political than that, IMO, which is why princes and electors got onboard to break with Rome’s financial heavy hand) Of course that sort of reform did not happen and I believe there was an over correction concerning “faith/works” as part of a believers natural progression in maturing. Add all that with his Augustinian original sin/guilt and it’s a formula for determinism and just another official state church.
And don’t forget the peasants. He wanted to wipe them out because they dared rebel.
I have been watching the Borgias and the Medici shows on Netflix this summer, which is actually a good setup to the protestant reformation. It doesn’t really deal with indulgences, but Medici and Borgia popes and all the politics…That was all going on leading up to the reformation. Pope Leo X was a medici and There was a Borgia pope until 1503… They’re fiction shows, of course, but some of the history is real.
I was specifically answering the question that Ken G. asked me. The bit of my comment you quoted was surrounded by my other thoughts on the situation to clarify that I was not deflecting from Campbell’s wrong doing. I also don’t think we can pretend that the women didn’t hurt those around them. BTW – Dee mentioned that three of the women pursued Campbell and were disciplined. The women are not the topic here, but they also are not irrelevant.
I saw that, not talking about you specifically which is why I added a comment immediately after to that effect. I wasn’t trying to cut off context.
BTW – It did seem to me that Ken G. was deflecting because he didn’t respond at all to my comment about Iain Campbell, but simply used it as a jump off to go straight to questioning me about the other women.
Yes! That is what I meant to convey. I really hate that sort of thing. This man cheated, lets go after the women. I mean, they may be terrible people in and of themselves or maybe they were fooled or what have you – I can see multiple possibilities – but we don’t know them and it doesn’t really change anything related to Campbell. So that’s what I mean by irrelevant.
It is relevant if we are going to talk about church discipline, but one wonders if this hadn’t all blown up and Campbell weren’t dead, if the church would even bother. Or if they would discipline the women and give him a pass. That’s what focus on them looks like to me, I guess.
And men who cheat? They lie. They lie to their wives and they lie to their partners and some of them are very convincing, especially the ones who don’t get caught.
“A dangerous kind of loyalty”, but one we see a LOT of these days, both religious and political.
When I was listening to KBRT (decent-quality Christian talk radio) in the Eighties, one guest was being interviewed on anti-Semitism in Christian history. (I think he may have written a book or something.) Well, he kept citing anti-Jewish statements from “So-Called Saints” (i.e. Catholic Saints) until the guy interviewing him started reading off some of Luther’s anti-Jewish rants — “Luther – the founder of Protestantism!” Guy being interviewed immediately came back with “He didn’t REALLY mean that!”
Couldn’t make this up if I tried…
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
P.S. Just remembered something else about that long-ago radio interview:
The guest being interviewed had made the claim that “No one who hates the Jews is a real Christian; if they do. they’re not Really Saved”, and started citing the Romish “So Called Saints”. The interviewer went to the Luther rants and said “Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, wrote all this — do you mean HE wasn’t really Saved”? That’s when the interviewee backpedaled.
I believe that Biblical salvation (justification, as if there is any other kind) includes the maturation process (grow in grace, bear much fruit, etc.) and cannot be separated from it. Thus justification is eternally married to what some may call the process of sanctification – if saved, you will be made sanctified by the Holy Spirit. The term OSAS does not capture the sanctification process at all and even implies that it is somehow separate from salvation, which it is not.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
One of the hardest things to discover (I think for all people) is that one’s heroes have feet of clay.
Piper teaches that.
I see that as Jesus having to be crucified over and over. Jesus taught “metanoia and believe” to the Jews before the cross. Even the demons “believe” enough in that sense. It’s what we do with our belief through faith, trust and life that testifies to truth, IMO. .
What I am referring to has nothing to do with walking aisle and saying a prayer. Although I don’t think that in and of itself is a sin or anything like that as Platt postulates. I am not very ST and will end with whatever works is fine with me. I don’t insist anyone has to follow any formula. It does break my heart to see a lot of people thinking that salvation is necessary over and over and over. I have seen it cause some havoc with young people who are deep thinkers and sort of stay stuck at the cross because of that. Who are never really assured that salvation was completed w/ cross/resurrection. Now the ball is in their court and how they respond to this great truth. For others, it may not cause that at all.
They certainly fathered lots of children.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
History can be embarrassing if we have religious heros or gurus from it. It’s one reason I’m very leery of arguments from tradition. Not to discount them but just general wariness.
Yes, that too.
Also, straw that broke the camels back, reformation wise, was basically a capital campaign (to rebuild st peters). Which is sort of darkly amusing.
No, Piper distorts that. He takes the traditional Reformed belief(s) and adds to it. Hence his participatory salvation moves from the Reformed tradition into something far more Catholic-looking. But to argue that sanctification is not a part of salvation is to argue against the New Testament. Look at Jesus’ first recorded sermon – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matt. 4:17).
Also, I am not against the “sinner’s prayer” per se…shoot, I prayed it. Lol. But I agree with you, FAR too many people are trapped in the bondage of endless “rededications”. No
I personally believe in OSAS but not everyone who professes to be a Christian is. It is not my place to judge the eternal destiny of IDC, Mahaney or others but I can say people like that they are not qualified to be ministers, they should examine their own heart and their deeds are evil. They have left many people very hurt and God will repay justice.
And I also agree that saying the sinners prayer or walking down the isle does not make you saved. It is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that saves – it is coming to a person. As a result we should make obeying the two greatest commandments our priority – love to God and neighbour. Sometimes people do fall badly – the Kings Saul, David and Solomon were classic examples in different ways.
I have great problems with the perseverance of the saints view of Calvinism. It is very clear that people can shipwreck the faith (like Hymaneus and Alexander). It also possible for believers to eat and drink and judgement upon themselves as the Corinthians did who abused the Lord’s supper. And the entire book of Hebrews warns against “hardening your heart” and “despising the spirit of grace”. So much for the doctrine of “irresistible grace”.
Whilst I have never done anything evil like IDC, I have backslidden by simply neglecting prayer and devotions with Jesus. I have been so caught up in day to day life and yet God never let me go. I can testify that God withdrew many blessings and joy in that time until I came back – and I am glad he did.
I am confused. You said earlier that “justification is eternally married to sanctification”. As if one is constantly having to be justified to remain sanctified.
I don’t do the forensic approach so all that is moot to me and over complicated. In my view everything was done/finished on the cross/ resurrection. Death was conquered and we can CHOOSE to have faith and live obedient lives or not while overcoming our propensity to sin with our Advocate.
Just a different approach. And why I am not Reformed. Probably because I am too simple. 🙂
Hahaha. I don’t think you mean that. 😉
Thankfully, the Lord Jesus is the One who saves! I think we both agree there.
I’m with you Lyds. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Here’s what John Adams had to say on the matter:
I am weary of contemplating nations from the lowest and
most beastly degradations of human Life, to the highest
Refinements of Civilization: I am weary of Philosophers,
Theologians, Politicians, and Historians. They are immense
Masses of Absurdities, Vices and Lies. Montesquieu had
sense enough to say in Jest, that all our Knowledge might be
comprehended in twelve Pages in Duodecimo: and, I believe
him, in earnest. I could express my Faith in shorter terms.
He who loves the Workman and his Work, and who does what he
can to improve it, shall be accepted of him.
@ Muff Potter:
My favorite curmudgeon Founder! Love that.
I read a lot but 260 books a year? That would be hard to do even if fully retired and you did little else, people are too gullible.
Muff Potter wrote:
The Adams-Jefferson letters are a wonderful example of reconciliation and much more. They labored together, then against each other and then finally struck up a conversation that has been handed down to us as an example of the brilliance of the founders, they valued the different perspectives. In contrast I mourn that I cannot even get a reply to an email sent to some people still attending a church where I went for decades.
I sometimes wonder if any of the Gospel Glitterati do much else other than read books and preach.
I have been following the discussion between you and Burwell concerning Justification and sanctification. I have tried to restrain myself, but I have lost that battle.
First the background of what I am about to say. I have been reading and reading about all things episcopal/anglican, and I am increasingly delighted in the diversity which they acknowledge and endure all the while being quite opinionated that each one’s end of the continuum is the only correct and true view of the christian faith. They frequently end some article on some idea with the attitude expressed that indeed while they are correct, sadly not all agree-or words comparable to that attitude
The two ends of the anglican continuum are Reformed thinking at one end and Catholic thinking at the other end.
So while listening to Lydia and Burwell I have again read articles on justification and sanctification (also on glorification and perfection) from the anglican viewpoint, since they see it as a bit more complicated than just justification and sanctification.
Here is the take-away. Lydia who is ‘not reformed’ takes the reformed position on this (within what I perceive as the anglican understanding of the reformed influence) while Burwell who declares himself to be Calvin-influenced leans distinctly toward the Catholic position on this (again as seen from the anglican idea of what looks rather Catholic).
Well, I have not done much research on Anglican but am wondering if it claims any relation to CofE? If so, you guys are descendants of Henry the 8th and did your own special reforming. Hee Hee
Wonders of wonders is that all this can be discussed, disagreed upon and no one will be burned, tortured, hunted down or imprisoned. That is something. Lest we forget that when people think disagreement is mean, hateful, and are offended. We have come a long way. Praise God.
It’s healthy compared to History! And I am getting a big kick out of being more like an Anglican Reformed.
Wait. If all the books are mostly his pals who churn out books, it’s all the same stuff. They might be convoluted but not exactly complicated. 🙂
Oops. I think you corrected me in the past. Episcopal not Anglican, right?
(I think it is a testament to Liberty we Christians have thousands of denominations, sub denominations, and all are voluntary)
You are wondering ‘if’. I hate to tell you this but you really have not scratched the surface of even the vocabulary it seems.
But seriously, the English reformation was and still is it’s own thing, very much not like the way the ‘reformation’ played out on the Continent. But due to the nuancing of it and the politics of it, the best way to approach the issue is first to have at least a minimal working knowledge of both Catholicism and Protestantism, looking at each from the way that they themselves consider themselves. Then look at the Anglican ideas and it seems obvious that it is somewhere in between on a sliding scale- with Episcopalians at least being either protestant catholics or else catholic protestants-actually and really, not just in some catchy phrase way.
The Episcopal Church was the C of E in the colonies before the Revolution. It is not that any longer, but it still maintains an affiliation and identity with the Anglican Communion-the politics of which is complicated but can be looked up on line. I do not consider myself an authority on the ‘feel’ of how that works, but I have read and read and am about to ‘get it’ I think.
So scratch the ‘if’, but I do think that what you say about Catholicism sometimes does not accurately represent Catholic thinking, and that weakens some arguments. And, yes, as an anglo-catholic episcopalian ( which is similar to but not the same as a Catholic) I am perhaps too sensitive about misrepresentation, but conversations can go like that some times.
Thanks for the info. My only understanding is from English history. It’s fascinating as most English wars had religious rally cries to cover the power mongering. I am fascinated by priest holes for hiding, Jacobins, Cromwell and Henry granting himself Defender of the Faith –he seemed to make up as needed. 🙂
History makes it harder for me to take much of the denominational aspects very seriously. That includes Baptists, too, btw. They all want to claim Roger Williams, though. 🙂
I don’t separate the historical from the political from the religious– which is why I tend to get in trouble about Catholicism and Protestantism as both have a state Church foundation that is reflected in translations and interpretations.
For a point of clarification, I was raised Reformed but have found myself moving towards the orthodox POV in recent years as I do more reading in their theology.
It’s on my bucket list to do more reading about their theology. But then again history becomes a bit of a problem. Who? I’m assuming there’s a big difference between Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox? Is EO majorly different? Sorry to have to do it but I’m showing my major ignorance here. Darlene will know– maybe she will weigh in.
What little bit I have read leads me to believe it sounds closer to where I am.
I started with Timothy Ware’s The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity.
It was very readable and opened the door for further exploration. It’s also on Amazon at a reasonable price.
I like reading what you say about Anglican/coe/Episcopalian because I do have limited knowledge of the current groups. And historically pretty limited to Henry the eighth and the catholic/protestant wars/Mary queen of scots v. Elizabeth.
How does the political background of something mean that the thing is not what it is, regardless of why it is what it is?
The reformation in England was not primarily about doctrine like it was in Europe. It was primarily about power. So they say and so it seems. The doctrine however was an issue with some, they having been influenced by what was going on with the reformers on the continent. The issue for Luther was originally doctrine, mostly the sale of indulgences, with the German nobility jumping in with the politics right behind that. Both reformations had to do with politics and both had to do with religious beliefs but the original impetus and the driving forces and the emphases were different.
How is that a problem? How does that invalidate either the power issues or the doctrinal issues?
The evangelicals are involved both with doctrine and with culture/ politics. How does that invalidate the question as to what if any of their doctrinal issues are valid and which if any of their cultural and political issues are valid?
And how does any of it become a way to avoid at least understanding what the other people are believing and saying whether or not one agrees with any of it?
Muff Potter wrote:
Not my line.
So as the credits roll, it should be attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
You’re right. Today it’s a lost art, the ability to sight along the vectors of others in order to really appreciate their ‘point of view’ so to speak, realizing all the while that in doing so it is not the same thing as agreeing with them.
And yes, the old dead white men who founded our Nation were truly bright stars in the Almighty’s firmament.
I first started seeing patterns from my reading of history then Bible translation blogs. I think it’s so I grained we don’t even think to question it. Most of the translations from translations are from translations from State/church era/perspective. There are quite a few examples that really resonate in this area but just one is the word “office”. How functions in the body of Christ were turned into offices.
A very in-depth study on the word translation choices for Hebrews 13:17 is very instructive on this point. It is not at all saying what the typical translation seems to want to convey.
I’m not so sure I would stake my life on the “thing” not being what it is because of its background.. but I do think it’s a good thing to question it. It’s not really about who Jesus is but more about how we “do” Jesus.
Well that seems clear as mud doesn’t it? I do understand that I am very fringe when it comes to this stuff.
Because it was mostly about money and power. I will grant that the indulgences have a doctrinal side to them. But it was also about a lot of money going to Rome. And the Roman Catholic Church owned lots of land.
You know Luther even wrote that he dreamed of a real church next to the state Church. (I forget the exact quote)
For Calvin it was about doctrine that had power over people, imo. He refused to come back to Geneva the second time and less they gave him pretty much carte blanche power. And the Aristos did because the Roman Catholic Church was making Headway back into Geneva. So even Calvin’s Doctrine was political it was like a political ideology wrapped in a religious ST.
They talked a good game about separating church and state but they didn’t. The burning of Servetus has a lot of real interesting nuances to it on this particular issue. For one, As a foreigner heretic the civil law said he should have been banished with a warning not to come back. There was some serious pushback on the burning as we see in some of Calvin’s whining letters he wrote to his friends afterwards.
Church membership was mandated in Geneva. There were even laws against making fun of Calvin.
We can go around and around on this for days. When you get to the nitty-gritty you simply cannot separate the political from the doctrinal.
Same with PSA (penal substitutionary atonement), I don’t see any real way to separate it from the practice of human sacrifice.
@ Muff Potter:
Agreed! Sadly I think it misses the whole point.
Muff Potter wrote:
Actually, I think that is the point. I know you aren’t trying to litigate/open that can of worms (or is it a Diet of Worms…je ne sais quois) so I will stop there. 🙂
This sounds hauntingly like my story… I married a “committed” Christian man… 30 years later I find out he’s not only a thief which he hid really well but had a horrible porn addiction… in the end he really only worshipped his d%#k…. excuse the French, but that’s how it feels…… he commited suicide February 28,2017 after I discovered only the tip of the iceberg… I discovered the rest after going through “our” finances…
I am going to combine a few posts I wrote to discuss this story on Iain D Campbell. I wish everyone will understand just how bad and serious this story is. My hope is we can all learn from this.
This is one of the saddest pastor-fail stories I have read. This is almost Judas Iscariot level. This means someone can be right next to Jesus, in fact can see Jesus face to face. This person act the part and looks like a true follower. But deep in his heart it was all fake.
It is ironic that Iain D. Campbell also decided to hang himself, just like Judas Iscariot did. Is this a special Irony from God? Not sure.
Another irony is how Iain quoted James 2:19 on its narrative on demons. Yes exactly! Faith without works of love is dead!
Demons know that God is one and Jesus is Lord. Demons even greatly fear God’s mighty powers. But demons hate God and hate their neighbours (humans). Demon would like to overthrow God, if only they could. Day and night demons plots and acts to kill, steal and destroy. Can such “faith” save them? Of course not! (James 2:14) So then it doesn’t matter what theology these demons know or how much they fear God. They are doomed for hell, because demons do not love God nor love their neighbours (humans).
So if Iain understood this, then why did he cheat on his wife? Not only once, but over many years and with 7 mistresses? Iain hated his own wife so much that he cheated on her over and over again, and hurt her over and over again. Worst yet he cheated with other ladies in his own church, so he lead these other ladies astray also. It would be better for Iain if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. (Luke 17:2)
We can see the depth of Iain’s sin when his sins was discovered by one of his mistresses’ husband. That husband was shocked but he decided to forgive Iain and keep this behind closed doors. Iain message that husband a meaningless apology and then what happened? Iain went RIGHT BACK to his cheating ways and cheated with another one of his many mistresses the very SAME day! And then he went on the pulpit and preaches a few days later as if nothing happened.
A few days later he confessed his sins to his wife and his family, how he had plenty of other sexual relationships on top of his 7 regular mistresses. It looked promising until he tell his family that he wants to keep everything a secret so he can keep on being that reputable preacher. In fact Iain told his wife that he don’t intend to work on saving their marriage by making the necessary life changes. He said he wasn’t even sorry for the pain he caused his family. All that mattered to him was his reputation. He feels he is beyond reproach, justified, entitled and he has the right to demand from his victims this kind of unconditional forgiveness.
And when his wife demands a public repentance and the excommunication of Iain’s 7 sinful mistresses, Iain killed himself.
If Iain cannot even be loyal to his own wife, how can he be loyal to his own church? Would Iain take a bullet for his wife? Probably (as in 99.99%) not, else he won’t have cheated against his wife. If so would Iain take a bullet for his own church members? Would Iain take a bullet for you and me, who are his brothers and sisters in Christ? You guys tell me.
Does he love his brothers and sisters in Christ just as he loves himself? If not, can he truly love God when he hates his brothers, including his wife, so much? Did he succeed or failed in the Greatest Commandment? You guys tell me.
Can such “faith” save Iain? I am not God and I do not know. But if I have to guess, you guys already know my guess.
How can someone who is as reputable as Iain be a false believer? Because they live a double life. They want to pretend to be a lover of God and neighbours on the outside. But inside they are filled with hate and evil deeds. Hence instead of feeling guilty and repent, they instead delight and rejoice in that evil, in causing pain and suffering on others, just so they can satisfy their own selfish desires. So when it comes to their own selfish desires, the well being of others takes a second or third seat. Instead of having all-inclusive love like Jesus has, they pick and choose who to love and who to hate. And they have their logic and even bible verses to “justify” their hateful sins against their enemies. Their conditional love isn’t true love at all, but a mask of lies. Their outside image and reputation is just a cover for them to do their evil deeds in secret darkness. That’s why these false believers can go to church every Sunday, donate and volunteer their resources to help the homeless, and THEN go home and beat up their kids, cheat against their wife, be an open racist, etc.
In this case Iain hates his wife and family while “loving” his mistresses”. But is this so-called “love” even true love? Of course not! I doubt any of Iain’s 7 mistresses knows about each other. They probably each thought they were Iain’s only mistress. How can any of these be true love when there is absolutely zero loyalty nor faithfulness in any of them?
Bible verses like Isaiah 6:9 and 2 Timothy 4:3-4 really comes alive:
“He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’”
2 Timothy 4:3-4
“3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
People can honestly be right next to Jesus, knows a lot about Jesus and will even fear God’s mighty powers. Yet they will never come to truly know Jesus. They will hear God’s laws, but hate it so much and pretend they don’t exist. They will pick and choose bible verses to fit their own needs. They will condemn everyone else, but when they themselves commit these very same sins they will not repent (suicide and adultery).
Worst yet they are so proud of themselves and their achievements, that they would rather kill themselves and die than lose face, respect and honor in front of men. They rather go face the judgement of God, because they do not know how much more terrible God’s judgement will be. Clearly they have never humble themselves as nothing/worthless/garbage before almighty God. If they aren’t even willing to apologize to men/women who they can see and have deeply hurt (e.g. cheating on his wife), how would they be willing to apologize to God whom they cannot even see? Jesus himself said that how a person treated others is exactly how God views He, Jesus Himself, was treated by that person. (Matthew 25:31-46)
Is Iain saved? Are any other Dishonest Internal Hypocrites saved? Depends. Is Judas Iscariot saved? God is a loving and righteous judge and it is up to him. But as for us, do not become Judas Iscariot.
And there are church people who would blame Iain’s wife for his suicide. They said she pushed him too far.
It is like a person walking into a prison and he sees a prisoner getting injected poison during that prison’s execution. He screams and yell at the prison guards for being so mean and evil. And he yells at the family of the victim there for being so unforgiving. In fact he accused the victim of being the cause of the prisoner’s crimes.
All in the meantime he have zero idea what that prisoner did against the victim and that victim’s family. He has no idea how much pain and suffering that prisoner caused. Instead he just forgets all of that prison’s sins and jump ahead to look only at the consequences of that person’s sins. And he of course call the consequences abusive. He is just making noise because he have a personal bias against the victim and to protect the prisoner due to his PERSONAL AGENDA. Even when there are overwhelming evidences against that prisoner for the crimes, he claim that the evidence is fake or insufficient.
And it is like a person illegally and dangerously jaywalking and getting hit by car. But a person turn the time dial and only look at that very second the jaywalker was hit. And that person calls the driver abusive for hitting that jaywalker.
And this my friend is ALTERNATIVE TRUTH and ALTERNATIVE FACTS. This my friends are FAKE NEWS.
Here is a link to Dr. Iain D. Campbell’s final sermon:
I would posit that it is very likely that IDC’s faulty theology led to his heinous sin.
One of the many problems with Reformed Theology is its concept of salvation as being the result of an irrevocable, irresistible, eternal decree. Many who believe in this forensic salvation, in which God no longer even sees the sin of his ‘elect’ testify to finding it ‘comforting’. Indeed.
It is indeed comforting to believe in a mystical, magical, invisible ‘robe of righteousness’ that is granted to you, keeping any and all sin safely concealed underneath. One might insist that a ‘true’ child of God would not take advantage of this marvelous sin-concealing robe to indulge in sin. That is like a young man and a young woman alone in a car relying on their positional grace to keep their passions in check.
This theology, inspired by Satan from the start, encourages the naïve believer to no longer take seriously the danger, power and destructiveness of sin. They are encouraged to view sin as a mere artifact from their former ‘dead’ state; sort of like having arthritis from a broken bone. It is regrettable, can’t be helped and must be endured. Unlike arthritis, sin is terribly clever, and leads one ever deeper into its web.
The mighty pastor who understands and teaches insightful concepts with such impressive delivery is just as susceptible to the lures of sin as the humblest of men. Both, should they begin to entertain sin in their thoughts, will eventually be led to act it out. The difference between an imperfect saint falling into temporary sin and a self-righteous pastor chronically indulging in known evil is that one repents and overcomes, while the other becomes ever more a captive.
The problem with having a theology that insists that sin no longer matters, that it is a lack of faith to even feel guilty as if Christ’s sacrifice was not enough to ‘cover’ your sin, is that it creates a loophole that Satan will endeavor to catch you with.
Whereas a correct perspective on sin leads to a healthy respect and fear for its deceptive powers, a Calvinist view of sin leads to a false sense of insusceptibility. With Luther, such theology encourages one to laugh at sin as a powerless illusion, when in reality it is a very fearful enemy. It allows sin to gradually ooze its way into the believer’s life, and its effects are officially forbidden to be acknowledged.
This is how men Augustine could indulge in countless extra-marital affairs, Luther could stir up the peasants then throw them under the bus by encouraging the state to ‘punish’ their insurrection and Calvin could torture and murder men, women and children for merely disagreeing with him. And all could continue to write and preach sermon after sermon, secure in their ‘eternal security’ and safety from the condemnation of personal sin.
There are doubtless many false teachers who don shepherd’s clothing, and I have no idea whether Augustine, Luther, Calvin or Campbell were among them. I do know that this is not the only explanation for the double lives that so many religious ‘greats’ appear to lead. Reformed Theology leads to a casual dismissal of sin and a careless disregard for its consequences, based on the faulty belief that sin does not matter if one has been ‘chosen’ and granted salvation.
@ Debby Bednarczyk:
I am so very sorry, Debby.
How wives are treated matters. A lot. This is noted here, too:
Thank you Lydia. This is so troubling yet so familiar to me. It feels like my own story. My husband was a highly successful Vice President of one of the largest construction firms on the east coast, Christian man, and highly regarded by all he met. All of his jobs were brought in under bid and he made VP by age 31. He was a mentor to many at work who called him an inspiration. He handled all of our finances because he didn’t want me to be “troubled”. He was involved at church and when I met him had a deep devotion to the Lord.
In the past year I found him enrolled in bondage dating, he was fired from his job for greed and I found out it had happened before but he had (somehow) managed to keep it hidden, he had been fired from a job for theft and had kept that hidden and had spent all of our savings and 401k money in porn and run up huge credit card debt……
I left him Christmas Eve of 2016 and he, too, committed suicide, as did the pastor, after being exposed, on Feb 28, 2017….. he left a note blaming my children and me… it’s a heavy burden to bear…. I realize now that he was a malignant narcissist and truly they can never be changed.
There are many Reformed and OSAS believers who do not causually dismiss sin so it is not fair to blame the theology. If the human heart is so determined they will find justification to do so. If you are truly saved and your heart is right with God, you may believe in eternal security but you will want to please with him with gratitude. I know many Reformed believers who love Jesus and take sin very seriously.
And does the alternative teaching actually prevent sin, and would this not be wrongly motivated?
I once a read a book teaching loss of salvation and it nearly led me to despair because he presented the Christian life like walking a tightrope. I also heard that the author ended up having a mental breakdown over it. So we could argue the psychological effects both ways.
Another verse that comes to mind is a whitewashed tomb. One may appear beautiful on the outside but inside full of dead men’s bones, lawlessness and uncleanness.
I looked at the basis and the purpose of this subject matter – The writer expressed “concern” for Mrs Campbell and that the said Mrs Campbell “was being cruelly targeted” and I wondered if the writer got permission from Mrs Campbell or if she granted approval for this subject matter to go on line?
I also noted that emails from “within the Presbytery” were received and furthermore that the information received were from “impeccable sources” I wonder who they were!
It would appear that the outcome and reaction to the subject targets a dislike to the Reformed Faith and Calvinism notwithstanding the Free Church of Scotland, or the use of the derogatory term “the wee frees” which only the gutter press would use. Indeed the article replicates a lot of what the gutter press wrote at the very sad time a few months ago which left many, nationally and internationally in a state of shock.
Surely it is time for prayer for Mrs Campbell and the family, for the two congregations, which hopefully will be united today, as well as all those who suffered and are still trying to get to terms with the situation. Perhaps the writer(s) should advocate a prayerful approach to this subject matter rather than instilling expressions of hatred.
@ Debby Bednarczyk:
I’m so sorry, Debby.
“The Calvary Road” by Roy Hession?
@ Don Smith:
I bet you would love to know who they are.
Ok, so here is where I have an issue with reducing all errant human behavior merely to ‘sin’. Not that this kind of thing isn’t a sin, but it’s also a human betrayal. People like Campbell don’t just sin against God and excuse it with their theology. They hurt people around them. They hurt others. They USE others. It is not theology that causes that.
You do not have to be a Christian to know that cheating on your wife will hurt her. I think focusing on theology too much makes us forget the social and anti-social aspects here.
Non-Reformed Theology didn’t stop any of those Popes or regular catholics from sinning. I think this explanation is too simplistic.
This is something I also have noticed listening to true crime podcasts. It shows up repeatedly as background point. Violence against women is not something we should ignore.
Don Smith wrote:
I think it’s a mistake to assume your average American would see that as a derogatory term. Maybe that’s a local thing.
So sorry for what you have been through. I pray for peace in your life.
@ Don Smith:
I have been waiting for you guys to show up.
Try as you might, I will not divulge the sources (plural) for this post. Unfortunately, you will have to keep wondering. I am comfortable, in all ways, with what I have written and I bet you know that I am correct about the details or you would be jumping up and down to prove me wrong.
Suffice to say, we are hearing from all sorts of people at many levels who are fed up and frustrated with the same old, same old.
I use the term *wee frees* because, as far as I understand, it was historically used due to the dust up within the denomination. It referred to the smaller group. I know that you are now big and strong so I guess the you want to be called “The Bigger One.” So be it. However, it takes very small men to act unkindly to a widow who has been through hell.
Now, if I was so *anti-Reformed,* why would our E Church feature a pastor who is Reformed in his theology? You would think I would run from such a person. One can disagree with some aspects of Reformed theology, especially some of the silliness that I going on in the Reformed circles these days, and still fellowship on the shared faith.
I know you have shown up on this blog due to the IDC post. However, I would suggest that you take a moment or two and see how we have gone after non-Reformed individuals like those in the prosperity gospel movement. Better yet, take a few minutes and see what our focus is. We call out abuse in the church including things like child sex abuse, domestic violence, etc.
As for the prayer part, we said “Will everyone reading this take a moment to pray for Anne and her family.” in this post and in the previous post as well.
You term “expressions of hatred,” is mere hyperbole. Do you know what I hate? A man disguised as a pastor who is a predator of women. Being a man of God, I bet you hate the same thing. Years ago, we decided to allow comments on this blog which reflects the true feelings of those who view our antics in *covering up* the ugliness in the church. They see us and they know what we are doing.
They are rejecting us because we live hypocritical lives, pretending to be holy but we are white washed tombs. I know that church attendance is way down in your country as it is in ours. Could it be that people tire of the same old cove up that they see in the world? I think it is time we listened to the hard truth.We look foolish at times.
The so called *gutter press* revealed the extent of IDC’s sins. Why is it that I think that those in your group would have tried to hide it? It was the *gutter press* that called attention to the nastiness aimed at Anne Campbell. Often it is the *gutter press* that reveals things like child sex abuse in the Anglican Church. For all of its excesses, it points out things that need to be considered.
Perhaps The Big Church could take a posture of humility and use the opportunity of the attention of the press to repent for the failings of the church. We must never forget that we are positionally holy but functionally still sinners. Let’s admit it more openly.Then the church would go from wee men covering up to big men and women living out the truth and being the light on the hill.
I love this quote by CSLewis.
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”
I cannot imagine the pain that you have endured and that your still must bear. I am so, so sorry. If if would bring you peace to tell you story(You can remain anonymous) we would be happy to post it.
I would not be surprised if Anne Campbell has heard about this post by now and is reading. The two of you could be such a support to one another.
I am loving your comment.
Thank you for saying this. When I first read about it, I knew that it was important for the Christian community to try to understand what happened.
What an incredible insight! I have been sitting here for the last 15 minutes pondering the implication of this. We know that Judas was a disciple of Jesus. He betrayed Jesus. But so did Pete who denied Jesus. One went on to be a great apostle. It was said of Judas that it was better if he had never been born.
One got the Gospel; one did not.
That is what puzzled me about IDC. He could preach the Gospel and write about the Gospel. But did he ever truly understand and incorporate the Gospel into his own life? What was the barrier that prevented him from confessing his sin, repenting and making restitution? What a story that would be! It would have spoken to the power of the Cross had he done so.
Then, instead of dry expositions on portions of Scripture, his life would embody the Gospel.What did he miss?
Good assessment of the situation. It seems to me he used his theological background to manipulate the Scripture. “You must listen to me and forgive me.” Even then he did not tell the full truth.
This is a legitimate question. Is this what we refer to as *saving* faith? I know that God saves the most heinous sinner who truly repents. But do his final actions show repentance? It sure has me stymied. This is one I thankfully leave in the Hands of the on who is a a higher pay grade.
Dee…thank you so much for that kind offer…. I am just now at the time in my healing where the nightmares are starting to end….. I’m trying to find my faith again after being abused for so long… I don’t think I can handle my story being told at this point completely but perhaps at some time in the future…. if Anne, however, wished to reach out to me privately, I’d love to talk to her❤️… you have my email
@ Don Smith:
Wee Free Damage Control flack or Enforcer.
How else can you target the Traitors and Dissidents for Reprisals?
Pingback: Dr. Iain Campbell: The Ugly, Sordid Truth | 1st Feline Battalion
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Hi Dee… can you remove the post that contains my full name…? Thank you,,!! It was on Lea’s post
Hey Dee… could you remove the post that contains my full name…? Thank you,,!! It was on Lea’s post
“Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel, and with honor as fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7 is in agreement.
Debby, you’ve endured horrible things. Thank you for telling your story. May God be with you.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
No it was David Pawson’s volume Once Saved, Always Saved? I used to listen to a lot of his sermons and he shoe-horned his anti-OSAS views wherever he could. Whether his sermon was about marriage, church order, leadership, the crucifixion and resurrection, spiritual gifts or whatever else, he would somehow find a way to inject this into to the talk, seize the opportunity and scare his congregation. His overall demeanour and tone was gloomy from start to finish. He had a bee in his bonnet about it. R.T. Kendall’s did a volume with the same title but without the question mark and I thought that was quite good. Kendall was predictedbly criticised by MacArthur in his “Lordship salvation” books. MacArthur also misrepresented Charles Ryrie of Dallas Seminary, as I first read MacArthur’s books and then read Ryrie’s volume So Great Salvation and came away with a completely different impression.
Please give me the time it was posted.
Lydia, just saw your comment now. The brief answer is this. The Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox are the one and same Orthodox Church, just different jurisdictions. Now, there are some cultural differences which spill over into the worship services and some practices, but the doctrine is the same for all Orthodox Churches. Hope that helps.
Thanks for that clarification. It was something I have wondered about.
You’re welcome, Bridget. In the region where I live, we have share events with sister Orthodox parishes that are in different jurisdictions. I can attend an Antiochian, Ukrainian, Russian, OCA, Greek, Carpatho-Russian, Syrian Orthodox parish and commune there. Even though I am currently a member of a Greek Orthodox parish, I was received into the Orthodox Church through the OCA – Orthodox Church of America. Yet, as Orthodox Christians we consider all of these churches part of the greater Orthodox Church here and abroad.
Isn’t that exactly what this blog documents? The sins and abuses of people who believe and teach a false theology that asserts their actual behavior does not matter. Just as Luther could throw he peasants under the bus, and Calvin could oversee the torture and murder of countless men, women and children, those who distort christianity into a ‘I can do all things, because my sins are no longer counted against me.’ Serial spiritual abuse nearly always stems from faulty theology. These are not the sad, but sometimes true stories of a person who inadvertently succumbs to temptation and sins. No, the spiritual abuse chronicled here is chronic, oppressive and hypocritical. It is from teachers who claim to know, believe and teach the love of God, then secretly manipulate, abuse and harm those in their care. This can only be the work of false teachers, and one would be foolish indeed to trust the teachings of men who do not walk their talk.
Having read the posting at the head of this blog it is crystal clear that IDC was not walking with Christ. He was one of those described as “a wolf in sheeps clothing.” His life and conduct was clearly wicked and evil.
He showed no love for his wife………we can not imagine the shock and turmoil she has suffered as her life was so suddenly and abruptly changed as she was forced to flee her Island and home. I am sure that we would love to hear that her brothers and sisters in Christ in the Free Church of Scotland are showing her much love and practical care
Some in this blog are intending to examine the writings of IDC. I have destroyed a copy of his book which I once considered useful for his writings must be of the Devil and I have no desire to return to the volume
We should also be examining his activities outlooks and actions in the Courts of the Free Church of Scotland for he was a very influential part of this Denomination serving ultimately in the prestigious role of Moderator of the General Assembly. He was seen to be a mover and shaker! A moderniser! Prof Donald McLeod in his Obituary stated that he had seen IDC as a possible replacement for his role as Professor in the Church’s Theological College. This is praise indeed
I have been able to identify two examples of IDC at work in the Free Church of Scotland.
On the last day of the 1999 General Assembly of the FC consideration was being given to the matter of a part of the Stornoway Congregation on the Isle of Lewis being part of the Free Church of Scotland. They were refusing to worship with that Congregation because they were dismayed at the action of their Minister (Rev K Stewart) who had invited Prof McLeod to preach. There were many in the congregation known to contain men and women long eminent for their commitment to the cause of Christ and the Church who felt that the Free Church had brushed under the carpet matters relating to alleged immorality and adultery by the said Professor. IDC stood up and said that “the issue was not about Donald McLeod; it was about separation from the means of Grace, a “gross scandal,” akin to “incest, adultery, tricepses on fornication, murder, atheism, idolatry, witchcraft.” In retrospect it could be said that the descriptions of these godly people by IDC were words which could be used to describe his own behaviour some seventeen years later!
In October 1999 IDC as Editor of the Church magazine (Monthly Record) commenting on moves to get rid of Ministers of the Church because of their “continuing contumacy” (in a process without Charges and Trial) wrote “it is time to cast out the bondwoman and her son. The Commission of Assembly will fail the Church unless it disciplines them all.” Please note that this action was proposed without formal Charges and Trial. Clearly IDC had no sympathy for those who sought to see God honoured and glorified through legal process. He was no friends of Brothers in Christ, but then he was not a brother as he was living a life of pretence. In retrospect it could be said that perhaps IDC was happy to see the Free Church sweeping the matters pertaining to the Professor swept under the carpet for that could be a precedent in case his activities were to be discovered!?!
I take this opportunity to thank those responsible for getting the life of IDC out in to the open. I hope there are others out there reading this post who will be able to share with bloggers more of the activities of IDC the Wolf destroying those who professed to love Christ
Reminds me of the Manicheans that Augustine was mixed up with in his younger horndog days.
They’d put such a gulf between the Spiritual and the Physical that they could do anything they wanted (usually sexual) in the physical world while remaining Spiritually Superior. Kind of like really far-gone Silicon Valley types who have divorced their Intellects in Cyberspace completely from any Meat in Meatspace.
Then there’s two of them floating around. “Calvary Road” was a back-and-forth whipsaw where ANY sin would immediately break any relationship you had with Christ until FULLY repented and atoned. That Way Lies Madness.
“When all you have is a Hammer…”
(And then there’s the Army corollary to that: “If at first you don’t succeed, GET A BIGGER HAMMER.”)
Or Napoleon’s colorful description of Talleyrand: “Sh*t in a Silk Stocking.”
Highlander has set things in perspective: “by their fruits ye shall know them” IDC’s conduct proves that he was unconverted as does the manner of his death. The only examples of suicide in scripture are of men who were unconverted eg King Saul, Ahithophel, Judas. IDC’s suicide was deliberate and calculated by all accounts. His actions were not the consequence of a profession of “Calvinism” they were the result of sin and the deliberate ongoing practice of sin – “yielding his members as servants of unrighteousness”, and a complete failure to “come boldly to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy and to find grace to help in tin=me of need”. More importantly this event serves as a very timely warning to us all – “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” – we need to examine ourselves and have personal dealings with the Saviour ourselves, seeking mercy from him for ourselves. We also need to understand that IDC’s actions did happen all of a sudden, they were the result of unchecked sin. The men he was associated with in the ministry have failed him and his family, and the wider church. Some of them were complicit, with him, in covering up allegations of adultery and indecent assault brought against Professor Macleod, and one surmises in protecting him from scrutiny as well. His conduct spans decades not months or years.
What are some of the lessons for us and the wider church?
1. Keep short accounts with God. Mortify sin that is in our members, and when we sin immediately repent and seek mercy form the Lord’s hand;
2. Flee youthful lusts. Much is made of Paul’s exhortation to “flee the appearance of evil” but little of fleeing evil itself. We must follow Joseph’s example in connection with Potiphar’s wife, and not David’s in connection with Bathsheba.
3. The world is obsessed with image, and so strives to protect those who tarnish an organisations image, and so covers up sin in order to protect its image, and sadly the church does the same. The lesson for the Elders is to deal with sin biblically, promptly, seeking the repentance of the individuals concerned, and to remember Paul’s warning to the Elders Church at Ephesus: “grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock, also from your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw disciples to themselves”
4. Deal forthrightly and honestly with cases such as IDC’s. There is far too much “wringing of hands” and saying well he wrote some good books and his ministry was appreciated, and far too little facing up to the facts. He was “devouring the flock of God”, serving himself, and not preaching to the heart, but rather saying orthodox sounding things about the scriptures. Point this out to your people and warn them not to have anything to do with his books and sermons. His actions are the fruit of his ministry in himself;
5. Deal forthrightly with suicide. It is self-murder. As noted above the only record we have of Suicide in the Scriptures is of ungodly individuals, therefore that is how we are to view those that have committed suicide. Stop giving the benefit of the doubt and start setting before the people the implications for themselves, should they even contemplate such action, let alone take their own lives;
6. Tell the truth. There were a number of lies told. “He took an overdose of pills” “he had an heart attack” “he collapsed the previous Sunday and never regained consciousness” etc, etc. He killed himself because of serial adultery. Brethren tell the truth, and don’t hide behind half truths and lies – they are offensive to the Lord;
7. Pray for Anne, his widow. She above all has been used, has suffered his deceit, betrayal, and adulteries. She stuck by him but he abandoned her long before he died. It is sickening to hear of professing Christians blaming her for his conduct “he had an unhappy home life” – of course he did: his sin brought with it his misery. While the consequences of his action for himself are awful to contemplate, we have no sympathy for him as he was the architect of his own misery, but we have every sympathy for his widow in her affliction;
8. Pray for his children and especially for the son who has gone off into the world;
9. Pray that we all might learn the hard lessons that are to be learnt from this tragic event;
There is no doubt more that could be said, but perhaps more later.
To the Moderator. Please could you replace my previous submission with this one – typos corrected, and a minor revision made. Thank you.