This is a violation of the Church Constitution and Christian charity…
The SJC Panel decision summarized RE Dudt’s 14th specification of Session error. Dudt claimed that the Session erred in assigning malicious motive to him in the production and distribution of his July 12th email, contrary to his expressed intent.
As a reminder, the Session’s indictment against RE Dudt claimed to know his motive. It said: “The purpose of the letter (specifically, his use of the SJC decision) was to challenge the competency, credibility, and trustworthiness of the Session.”
Contrary to the Session’s claim, RE Dudt’s email stated his intent: to support a substitute motion to postpone this meeting until January 2021 to allow the congregation reasonable time to prayerfully consider the church’s needs, the men’s qualifications, the establishment of a pulpit committee, and the subsidence of the global pandemic to allow for a greater congregational participation.
No evidence was brought forward to support the Session’s allegation in the all-night trial.
The SJC Panel sided with RE Dudt. It wrote: “This specification of error is sustained.” It then referred to the 6th specification of Session error for an explanation.
The Larger Catechism, in Question 145 when explaining the sins forbidden in the 9th commandment, forbids “evil suspicion.”
The Apostle Paul, in one of his most famous passages, states that love “thinks no evil” (1 Cor. 13:5).
By voting to convict RE Dudt, pastors Hall, Harrington, and Barry, along with the remaining members of the Session majority, thought unfounded evil toward their brother in Christ, RE Dudt.
“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed” (Is. 10:1).