A review of their public record shows that, like Samson, their eyes have been put out…
When Christian leaders fall into blindness, it doesn’t happen all it once. It happens in stages. Think “King Saul.” The blindness and the bad judgment become increasingly worse as they continue to make bad decisions that go against God’s justice.
If we review the NWGP’s case record, then we will see how this pattern has held true over time.
SJC CASE 2010-24
In 2012, the Northwest Georgia Presbytery won a complaint (2010-24) against a woman by apparently simply voting to undo their decision to rule against one of her three specifications. This apparently flummoxed the SJC, who threw out the entire complaint when it should have only tossed some aspects of it. This allowed the NWGP to avoid having to deal with the heart of the matter at all.
A dissenting opinion was written about the case, and it made clear that such a maneuver should not be accepted by the SJC as legitimate grounds to dismiss a complaint: “The best defense against a complaint would be for the [NWGP] to make errors (be they procedural or substantive) during its consideration of the Complaint, particularly if it later rescinded those actions…I don’t see how that outcome can possibly be accepted as just or Constitutional.”
Because the NWGP makes lots of errors, this strategy would work well for it. But it doesn’t serve the cause of justice. Additionally, the case took over two years to resolve after NWGP deployed delay tactics, resulting in a tactical victory for these presbyters (of whom TE David Hall was one) which resulted in the SJC essentially throwing the case out on a technicality. As the dissenting opinion wrote, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”
The NWGP successfully used technicalities to circumvent the administration of justice, intentionally or not.
The Apostle James wrote that “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
This case was about a woman who was asking the NWGP to hold her church session accountable for, according to her, allowing her husband to abandon her and her daughter and file for divorce without consequence.
Instead of visiting this woman and her daughter in their trouble, the NWGP apparently washed their hands of it through bureaucratic maneuvering. They successfully avoided the responsibility required of them.
SJC CASE 2013-08
In 2012, Midway Ruling Elder Warren Jackson became involved in a 40-5 matter with the NWGP over a conflict he had with the Midway Session (Case 2013-08). The Midway Session supposedly determined that RE Jackson needed to resign if he wanted his son to be considered for office as elder.
Jackson wrote a letter to the NWGP clerk. The NWGP failed to act on that letter, and then the SJC deemed it to be a 40-5 credible report against Midway actions that the NWGP failed to properly respond to. Jackson reported two issues:
- The Session failed to record his reason for resigning as elder in the minutes.
- He claimed the Session had been “excluding congregational [officer] nominees on improper bases and through improper procedure.”
The SJC, in an attempt to permit the NWGP to do the right thing, remitted the matter to the NWGP so that RE Jackson’s concerns could be handled in a “constitutional manner.”
The SJC record goes silent on what happened afterward, but thanks to a previous bombshell report published by the Midway Guardian, we now know. Based on the recommendation of the presbytery’s administrative committee, of which TE David Hall was allegedly a member, the NWGP voted to take no further action.
By all appearances, Midway influence made disappear an issue that could be a problem for the session. And then to make it worse, NWGP apparently put up no protest against this obvious conflict of interest.
CONTINUING IN ITS BAD JUDGMENT
In 2018, the NWGP rubber-stamped a controversial and misleading overture written by TE David Hall and approved by his session to release Covenant Theological Seminary (CTS) from the PCA. This drew a public response from the seminary’s president who stated no one from NWGP ever contacted him about this. After speaking with Hall, said the president, it is clear Hall and the Midway Session were under wrong impressions about CTS–which they could have cleared up had they asked before writing the overture. The NWGP did not question the false premises the author baked into the overture, and its failure to regulate the Midway Session led to needless denominational controversy.
The issue of improperly excluding officer nominees came up again when the Midway Session blocked a deacon from running as elder. Extensively documented on this site, the NWGP sided with the Midway Session and saw no wrongdoing in its actions.
The NWGP lost this case (2019-03) before the SJC, which ruled against the improper practice of the Midway Session and NWGP.
The NWGP never issued an apology to the deacon who was the victim of the Midway Session’s unconstitutional behavior, nor to any other men whom the Session has improperly screened over the years (dating back to at least Jackson’s 2013 case), nor to the Midway congregation whom have also been the victims of the Session’s practice and the NWGP’s bad judgment. To this day, the NWGP has not required or recommended that David Hall’s session apologize or repent for robbing the congregation of its officer candidates.
After complaints were filed against the Midway Session for improperly handling the controversial congregational meeting of July 2020, the NWGP’s judicial commission handling the case determined the Midway Session owed the congregation an apology.
The NWGP has not enforced these apologies to this day, effectively saying “No” to apologies, nor has the Midway Session offered any.
In January of 2021, the NWGP failed to observe constitutional restrictions placed on church sessions that forbid them from participating in proceedings when they are related to a complaint (BCO 39-2). This permitted Midway elders to influence the court’s decision and delay justice, a serious infraction from which arose a 40-5 credible report against the presbytery’s actions.
In April of 2021, the NWGP apparently violated the constitution when it dismissed a complaint without even hearing it.
ABUSES IN THE COURT
In the case of the abusive trial of RE Dudt, the NWGP rubber-stamped the Midway Session’s heinous judgment and conviction.
The NWGP said “Yes” to permitting the Midway Session to add evidence after the trial.
The NWGP said “No” to RE Dudt when he called attention to this constitutional violation, issuing him a formal rebuke upon the recommendation of the Midway Session.
The NWGP said “Yes” to permitting the Midway Session’s premature public announcement of RE Dudt’s censure.
The NWGP said “No” to responding properly to RE Dudt’s appeal as prescribed by the BCO.
The NWGP said “Yes” to accepting the false conviction issued by the Midway Session.
The NWGP said “No” to throwing out Midway’s biased evidence.
The NWGP said “Yes” to convicting RE Dudt of charges that were never supported from Scripture or the PCA Constitution.
The NWGP said “No” to rebuking the Midway Session for improperly assigning malicious motive to RE Dudt.
The NWGP said “Yes” to RE Dudt’s wrongful conviction at the prejudiced hands of the Midway Session Majority under the “leadership” of Senior Pastor David Hall.
And now, the NWGP has said “Yes” to permitting Midway’s Session Majority, still under Hall’s “leadership,” to prosecute some of the Lord’s finest servants. It could have prevented the ongoing trials dividing Midway, but again chose to shuck its responsibility and permit the division to continue.
The men are being prosecuted because, unlike the Northwest Georgia Presbytery, they decided to exercise the responsibility entrusted to them. For pointing out the NWGP’s long pattern of constitutional dereliction, the NWGP’s influential operators aimed their scopes at these men, and the NWGP, unsurprisingly given the history detailed above, has remained silent in a just cause.
Over a decade of continual bad judgment has led to the NWGP violating with increasing severity not only the PCA Constitution, but the Scriptural principles of justice.
The Lord is long-suffering. He has given the NWGP many opportunities to correct its descent into blindness. But at some point, its cup will fill up, too.