Posted by: reformedmusings | November 30, 2007

Errors in Polity

I thought that I was done with the polity stuff in the Louisiana Presbytery case, but I was wrong. I found this post that misinterprets and/or misapplies the Book of Church Order. In that post, it is posited that BCO 31-9 concerning voluntary prosecutors applies in the LAP case:

So where did Steve Wilkins ever get to meet and reply to his voluntary prosecutors who without fear or favor, courageously accused him of heresy?

Never happened.

Well, there are two reasons that doesn’t apply in this case: 1) And this is a big one-Steve Wilkins is not on trial, Louisiana Presbytery is; and even if we set that aside for a moment, 2) There is no voluntary prosecutor in this case. The SJC properly assigned a prosecutor under BCO 31-2:

If such investigation, however originating, should result in raising a strong presumption of the guilt of the party involved, the court shall institute process, and shall appoint a prosecutor to prepare the indictment and to conduct the case.

So, there is no voluntary prosecutor so 31-9 doesn’t apply in this case. Besides, Wilkins is not on trial anyway, so the starting premise is flawed.

A little reading of the SJC case summaries and the entire BCO can go a long way to clearing up these little confusions.



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