The Midway Session apparently misunderstands the purpose of church discipline….
The Midway Session wasted no time after concluding their all night secret sham trial of RE Dudt in publicizing the news of his conviction. Their zeal to share the news of their verdict was so great that even after an exhausting trial that lasted over ten hours, they stayed up just a little longer to send their news to the congregation – waiting only about an hour and a half before sending a communication that they later had to revise (see the SJC’s take on this mistake in the 33rd and 34th specifications of error sustained in the judgment against the Session here).
In contrast – the decision overturning RE Dudt’s conviction has been available since May 4, 2022 and the Session has been silent.
Christian leaders ought to be aware that the purpose of church discipline is the restoration of the wayward party. Surely Senior Pastor, and prejudicial moderator, David Hall is aware of BCO 27-3–if not, we commend it to his study.
Why Not Celebrate?
What kind of men cannot celebrate their brother’s exoneration? RE Philip Dudt has been restored by the highest court of the church. While the Session may have sincerely argued for his guilt, it is now known that he never was guilty of any offense…which should be good news to the Session. Their brother in fact did not fall away into sin as they suggested. Unless of course they were scheming to remove him all along and never viewed him as their brother and equal.
Their silence is a ringing endorsement of the latter proposition.
Where is the apology to RE Dudt (their equal), whose reputation they have a duty to protect?
Where is the apology for the misuse of the church courts used to persecute RE Dudt?
Where is the forthright explanation of their missteps before the congregation?
Where is Senior Pastor David Hall? Absent leadership? What about failed prosecutor Scott Keesee?
If these men cannot determine right from wrong using the Bible, as the SJC decision in favor of RE Dudt’s appeal makes clear, then what else are they getting wrong? Could not the other three accused REs at Midway be similarly victims of the wickedness of false charges?
The Midway Session that voted to convict RE Dudt, and all those sitting in judgment over REs Clay David, Don Barnett, and James Scott are in sin. Their charges are false–now judicially established by the church’s highest court.
The disastrously illogical and divisive ”Talley Resolution” they have accused the men of violating is no more. It is time for Senior Pastor David Hall to stand down and to call off his handpicked ”Yes-Men” who continue to swing the sword of church discipline in an unjust cause. These men are shredding Christ’s witness in the community and the church at large. It is time for them to repent and immediately resign. Instead, they are hiding–perhaps waiting for Senior Pastor David Hall to author a communication that they can send to their shepherding groups in attempts to downplay their mistakes and spin the truth.
Jesus Christ is not pleased with those who abuse their authority. He is not smiling. He will not hold guiltless those that are charging their fellows falsely in His name.