RC Sproul Jr. Defrocked
Now, though the story is over a month old, I have only found two Baptists to report on this, The Sinner at Kudzu Gulley and John Divito of the Reformed Baptist Reader. One reason why this may be is that we Baptists have little experience in defrockment. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, defrock means, " to deprive of the right to exercise the functions of office." What that means in terms of Sproul, Jr. is that he is no longer allowed to be a minister in his denomination. That is definitely something that Baptists don't get. There are plenty of stories of ministers doing very ungodly things and just moving on to the next church. Not so with the Presbyterians it seems.
So what did Sproul, Jr. do for this punishment to be placed upon him? Well, according to the "Declaratory Judgment" by the Westminster Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly through the Office of the Moderator, Dr. Kenneth Gary Talbot (which can be accessed here), it was due to "abuse of authority of the office of elders" by engaging in "abusive behavior in dealing with [a] family . . . under [their] authority" and "knowingly and willingly use[ing] the Tax Identification number of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church after leaving that denomination in violation of the Federal Income Tax Code" as well as some other denominational violations.
In reaction to this a number of blogs and websites have popped up, mostly to heap coals upon RC Sproul, Jr's head, as it seems he wasn't very popular in the first place. Probably the most informative is hosted by the Heal Our Land Ministries, which I think a whole blog would have to be dedicated to in order for me to explain it. Suffice to say, the particular part of the site that deal with the Sproul, Jr. controversy is updated by a man named Peter Kershaw, and it provides links to actual documents dealing with the controversy, as well as updates in regards to what is happening with Sproul Jr., his church, Saint Peter Presbyterian Church, and the elders who were desposed. Among the other sites, there are several blogs dedicated exclusively to this, my favorite of them being, Spinderella Sproul: Lessons In Spin With RC Sproul Jr, mainly because of the creative name, but also because there is a large amount of information there, though I will warn you, some of it could be considered gossip.
The situation is long from being over, and from the websites I have seen, a lot of people are hurt and angry over the events surrounding this controversial man and his church. We should remember to pray for all those involved, including Sproul, Jr. and his family (and his father, who has taken heat on some various websites as well), his church, the elders involved, the denomination, and those in the larger community of the Reformed faith who have been affected by this.