The Protestant Reformed Churches have a discipline problem.
They discipline the righteous.
The announcement on Sunday morning regarding the suspension of Rev. Nathan Langerak brings up a few questions.
Ask yourself, why is it, that of all the ministers who have been forced out of the PRC in the last four years, the teacher of false doctrine was the only one who received a charitable judgment and an honorable release from the ministry, while the defenders of orthodoxy were given a so-called dishonorable discharge from the ministry?
(For those men who have been deposed, they ought to consider Jesus’ assessment of their persecution and see that there was nothing dishonorable about their deposition. “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:23).
Ask yourself, how many ministers in the PRC knew it to be their calling to suffer loss for the sake of Christ’s truth and, unlike the ivory-tower theologians, were willing to suffer the loss of their positions, names, and reputations for the sake of that truth? And where are those faithful men now?
Ask yourself, who has it been that the PRC have disciplined? Those who taught and defended error or those who rebuked us for those errors?
Ask yourself, why is it that those who teach and defend false doctrine are those who serve as church visitors, delegates to synod, and editors of The Standard Bearer, while those who have fought to defend the truth of God’s sovereignty in salvation are vilified and abused, and finally deposed?
Ask yourself, why is it that the man who demeaned and criticized Herman Hoeksema’s theology is a leader and member in good standing in the PRC, while those who defended Hoeksema’s name, honor, and theology are now suspended and deposed from their offices?
Ask yourself, why is it that the man who declared that “it is not enough for salvation that God has sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world” and “it is not enough that there is a Jesus” serves as the Chair of Dogmatics at the seminary, while those who defended the sufficiency, glory, and honor of Jesus Christ are now suspended and deposed?
The members of the PRC will defend the latest prophet-murder.
There is always a trumped-up charge that accompanies the deposition that allows the membership to carry on life as normal.
Antinomian. Schismatic. Insubordinate.
(The men deposed ought to consider the fact that “if they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matt. 10:25).
This begs for a paraphrase of the famous quotation of Martin Niemöller:
First, they came for Neil Meyer, and I did not speak out—because they said he was an antinomian.
Then they came for Rev. Lanning, and I did not speak out—because they said he was schismatic.
Then they came for Rev. Langerak, and I did not speak out—because they said he was insubordinate.
Then they will stop coming for anyone—because “one of a city, and two of a family” (Jer. 3:14) will come out, and there will be no faithful defenders of the truth left to attack.
“Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.” Matthew 23:31,34