“It is important to note that this committee does not have authority over individual pastors or elders.” Randy Booth
Mr. Joseph Roorda, a reader of MoscowID.net, has forwarded the following email exchange to us with permission to post it. He wrote to the CREC Review Committee to express alarm at the blog post Jezehellsbells, by Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, and Randy Booth replied to Mr. Roorda’s concerns on behalf of the committee.
Please mark the key sentence: “It is important to note that this committee does not have authority over individual pastors or elders.” Also note that Mr. Booth understated the degree of the CREC Review Committee’s impotence when he limited it to “individual pastors or elders,” because the committee has no authority at all. They are Mr. Wilson’s handheld puppets and they will act as he see fit. Per the CREC Constitution, if he did not invite them to conduct this inquiry, this committee would not exist. And these CREC pastors agreed to these terms when they joined the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches. They have no authority, therefore there will be no accountability.
Thanks to Joseph Roorda for his contribution to The Truth About Moscow:
From: Joseph Roorda
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 6:36 PM
Subject: An Individual Letter
To the members of the CREC Internal Inquiry,
My name is Joseph, and I am a former member of a CREC Church. I am writing to you today to ask for a response regarding Douglas Wilson’s “Jezehellsbells” blog post, specifically the section of it, where, claiming innocence and that someone forced his hand, he attempts to blatantly shame Natalie Greenfield and her husband by posting links to Wesley Petersen’s performance art.
The fact that Douglas Wilson is blogging freely about these issues in such an aggressive manner is indicative that he does not take your inquiry seriously, and that you, as the governing council, do not hold much sway over him or his voice. I ask you: why do you allow this behavior to happen? Why is it relevant to Natalie’s case? Why was it necessary to bring it up? If Douglas Wilson did not want people to know about this information, why were people like Darren Doane, director of The Free Speech Apocalypse, tweeting “Shhhhhhh. #Bridge #Reveal” weeks ago? Why is Douglas Wilson allowed to perpetuate this culture of domination?
Wesley’s videos were not sexual in any way. Wesley is not trying to hide his art from anyone. In addition, someone pirated Wesley’s art, and Douglas Wilson freely links to the pirated video. Does the CREC support illegal activities, such as piracy? By not addressing these issues, ESPECIALLY during such an investigation, you are condoning these actions.
Douglas Wilson also levels accusations against Boz Tchividjian, and uses the phrase “digging up a corpse” when referring to Natalie’s case.
I have concerns about the validity, transparency, and honesty of this investigation. Some conducting it have financial ties to Douglas Wilson and his college and publishing company, as well as owing jobs to Douglas Wilson. Randy Booth should recuse himself, as he recently co-authored a book that Douglas Wilson promotes shamelessly, even now. Why has Douglas Wilson been allowed to represent the CREC and the corruption of justice in such a way?
This letter is public, and this is not an “internal” matter anymore. Attached is a link to a gallery of Darren Doane threatening to expose, as well as intentionally mischaracterizing, Wesley’s (public, non-sexual, academic) performance art videos.
These tweets were sent weeks ago, with at least one instance being on November 2nd, 2015, nearly a month ahead of Douglas Wilson’s vituperative post. It is obvious that Douglas Wilson was trying to shame people into silence, while maintaining plausible deniability. This behavior is despicable. How can you ally yourselves with such a man?
I hope that you will consider my words. I am far from alone. And I am coming forward, publicly, to state that I will not be shamed into silence, I will not hide. I stand against those who would abuse justice, and I am but one of many voices for the voiceless.
From: Randy Booth
Date: November 27, 2015 at 8:12:45 PM CST
To: “Joseph Roorda”
Cc: “Alan Burrow”, “Duane Garner”, “Garrett Craw”, “Jack Phelps”, “Rich Lusk”, “Tim Bushong”, “Todd Davis”
Subject: RE: An Individual Letter
Dear Mr. Roorda,
The CREC is comprised of member churches (not individual ministers). As such, this committee was invited by the sessions of two member churches in Moscow, ID to review some of their policy and practice in past cases, and to offer them counsel accordingly. All of this is in keeping with our standard operating procedures and is being conducted by the duly elected presiding ministers. (Attached is a copy of our committee’s Mission Statement that should help clarify the limitations of our pastoral work.) There are no formal charges (civil, criminal or ecclesiastical), and we are not prosecutors, nor are we adjudicating anything of a judicial nature. We are a group of pastors who have been asked to review the work of two CREC member churches.
We have been busy examining all available documents, interviewing the principle parties, and trying to ascertain all the relevant facts before drawing conclusions or making recommendations to the churches. We are aware that many (who do not have access to all the facts), have already drawn their own conclusions and would like to influence the work of this committee.
It is important to note that this committee does not have authority over individual pastors or elders. If you have a legitimate complaint against anyone, then we suggest you read the CREC Constitution and follow the appropriate process to address your complaint, and (in this case), this should be directed to the Christ Church session in Moscow.
Regarding your concern about “the validity, transparency, and honesty of this investigation,” we would remind you that this committee is comprised of all eight presiding ministers of the CREC, who have been ministers in good standing for many years. No doubt, many will think our work is valid only if it is in complete agreement with the outcome they desire. You are certainly free to disregard our work.
Having co-authored a book on justice does not disqualify me from doing pastoral work, which is what this committee’s work is. In case you didn’t know, any and all proceeds that I might receive from the sale of that book are being donated to the mission work in Russia.
On behalf of the Presiding Ministers’ Review Committee
Pastor Randy Booth, chairman