Extra – Liar! Liar! Pants On Fire!


The e-mail below from Mr. Aldon Knight was received in response to ARPTalk(28). I am also told that Mr. Knight’s comments are posted on Facebook. The Editor is responsible for the highlighting.

Hi Chuck –

Happy Tuesday. First off, I read and wanted to thank you for the reprints of my statements in your newsletter, kindly highlighting the parts that were the most relevant. I stand behind every one, except one. In one statement I meant to call the current courts of the ARP church a farce. Instead I accidentally worded it so that it read that the church itself was also a farce. That was a mistake. I printed a correction later which you did not print in your newsletter. The church itself is not a farce, due to the majority of its members being quite moderate in their beliefs, my dear grandmother being one. The courts right now are a farce because with an organization that is run so obviously by a narrow-minded, one-sided, unenlightened bunch who obviously are not interested in anything but their own views, no court of that organization could possibly come to any sort of fair judgment on anything. Once the good moderates of the church kick those guys out and take their church back, the court will regain some validity. Don’t you agree?

The rest of the statements are fine as they are, and again, I appreciate your help spreading the good word.

Just to correct a few of your points in your prologue, I never knowingly signed any sort of statement of what an evangelical Christian is supposed to be. I frankly don’t care what your definition of that is. The mission of Erskine is simply “Scienta [sic] Cum Moribus Conjuncta”. That I support and always have. No other mission statement for Erskine has any validity to me for this reason: anything that has been put in place since “Scienta [sic] Cum Moribus Conjuncta” was rammed home by an out of control Synod onto boards and administrations that payed [sic] spotty homage to it at best. Whatever I signed at Erskine was so I could get my paycheck. They probably made me sign a 4-inch tall stack of that stuff on my first day. You know how that is.

Religious Fervor? No. Not religious fervor. That’s you, Chuck. Not me. I’m just a regular old sinful Christian who hopes God forgives me like He says He will. See I live every day in acknowledgment of my sins and ask God to forgive me. Then I live in the great glory of knowing I am forgiven through Jesus, and do my best to love those around me. That’s because I trust God, who tells me to do that. See, if I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Wait, was that 1 Corinthians 13:1? Ring any bells, Chuck?

I attend the “Church of the Christ” you reference below. I attend the version of it that is known as the United Methodist Church. It’s a wonderful denomination that actually takes in regular old sinners like me. We have members of our congregation who represent many ethnicities and even have two women ministers! Isn’t that great, Chuck?

So, just to summarize, I really, really love God. Jesus too. My “fervor” as you put it, is not for the “Baal of a secular Erskine”. I don’t even know what that is. I just want Erskine to get back to what it was meant to be. Knowledge, joined with Morals. I am not necessarily pushing for a split with the church either. If the real ARP church can shove out the power-hungry, narrow-minded, unenlightened types and take their church back, I actually think Erskine could regain a very positive relationship with the church. From what I hear, the political will for that is growing and that warms my heart. Will you help us spread that word, Chuck?

We’ll that’s it for now. Oh, and thanks so much for putting that picture of me in there. That’s one of my favorites. It captures my good side. The goatee is manly, don’t you think?

Best regards,

Aldon Knight

Does Mr. Knight think that his response to ARPTalk has made him famous? There is a difference between infamous and famous. Mr. Knight’s spelling is off; however, he is correct when he says that the Erskine motto, Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta, is translated “Knowledge joined with Morals.” In the third paragraph of Mr. Knight’s e-mail (the paragraph that begins “Just to correct. . .”), he admitted that he took his job at Erskine under false pretenses. He said “they . . . made me sign” a stack of papers and he did so in order to receive a paycheck. Is this what Mr. Knight means by “Knowledge joined with Morals”? Or is this instead arrogant deception, mental reservation, and equivocation joined with immorality? In any case, this statement by Mr. Knight is not what people of integrity would regard as an example of “Knowledge joined with Morals!”

Sadly, this kind of attitude toward morality seems to be epidemic at Erskine College and Seminary. Integrity is apparently held in low esteem in the temple of the secular Baal of Erskine!

For years, many of us have been saying that the Erskine Board leaders, presidents, and other administrators in both the college and seminary have no regard for the theological opinions of the ARP Church. For years, many of us have been saying that the majority of those in the Erskine community were shading the truth about the conformity of Erskine College and Seminary to the Standards of the ARP Church. It is now patently clear that what we were saying is still correct. Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta was not the controlling influence during those years.

Read the various Erskine reports in the Minutes of Synod and see the rosy picture that is painted. The message was that Erskine was changing and becoming the institution that the ARP Church longed for and that all was well. However, often our ARP students and other evangelical students would challenge the political correctness of the Erskine leaders. Those who pointed to the problems were labeled fundamentalists and troublemakers. Now it seems that those who were saying that subversion and obfuscation were taking place were telling the truth. Presidents, Board leaders, and administrators were not telling the truth. Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta was ignored.

Well, the ARP Church crafted a statement on Christian higher education and a statement on what evangelical Christianity is. We naively expected that the “good people” at Erskine would implement both. According to Mr. Knight, they gave “spotty homage” to them, at best. At this point, Mr. Knight should know. Both he and his father were Erskine administrators who participated in this duplicity. Indeed, Erskine administrators assiduously and systematically ignored the General Synod of the ARP Church and, when necessary, misrepresented their own intentions. Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta became for them a joke.

Not much has changed. What is amazing now is the stratospheric level to which their brazen nonconformity and prevarication have reached. Consider the following examples:

  1. Randy Ruble. At the March meeting of General Synod, when the issue of a $1,000,000 misappropriation came up, Dr. Ruble said that it was not $1,000,000 but 900 and something thousand dollars and it was not a misappropriation but an accounting error. No one said anything at the time; however, did anyone believe Dr. Ruble’s words? Such a statement destroys transparency of truth. What of Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta, Dr. Ruble? At the 2007 meeting of General Synod you asked your brothers to hold you accountable?
  2. Randy Ruble. At the 2009 meeting of General Synod, Dr. Ruble made much over his NOT allowing Erskine faculty members and employees to write negatively about the ARP Church and ARP ministers. He made a show of rebuking Dr. Richard Burnett for attacking the Editor. Dr. Ruble said that he had ordered Dr. Burnett to take his posting down. That posting was removed from the seminary blog but it is still on Dr. Burnett’s seminary-hosted site. Dr. Ruble is aware of this. The Editor has more than once informed Dr. Ruble of it. In the Editor’s last conversation with Dr. Ruble regarding this matter, Dr. Ruble said that he had spoken with Dr. Burnett and that Dr. Burnett was busy and would remove the posting when he could find the time. Such actions are less that forthright and truthful. Such actions are not Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta.
  3. Randy Ruble. Dr. Ruble says, “I will not be a part of a lawsuit against the ARP Church.” That is noble; however, is it the whole truth? His chief administrator at the College, Dr. Gid Alston, publicly speaks ill of the ARP Church and encourages Erskine alums and employees to sue the ARP Church. Dr. Ruble has not spoken out against this. Dr. Ruble has done nothing to discipline these people who are under his charge. Dr. Ruble’s actions do not line up with his claims. Dr. Ruble knows the Bible well enough to know that a half-truth is a whole lie. Dr. Ruble also knows the Latin of Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta.
  4. Neely Gaston. Dr. Gaston, the Executive Vice President of ETS, is condemned by his guilty silence. Drs. Burnett, Bush, and Hering have joined in legal action against the ARP Church. He could have stopped them or disciplined them for their egregious action. He has said nothing. Once again, his guilty silence condemns him as one who has violated his solemn, professional vows to his Presbytery and the General Synod of the ARP Church. To say nothing in the face of such insubordination against the ARP Church is a denial of the truth. This is also a rejection of the institution’s standard: Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta.
  5. Neely Gaston. On numerous occasions, Dr. Gaston has loudly proclaimed that all the faculty members of the ETS faculty affirm the position of the ARP Church on the authority of the Bible. He has even used the word “inerrancy.” However, Drs. Burnett and Bush clearly reject the position of the ARP Church! How are Dr. Gaston’s assertions not non-truth? How is this not a rejection of Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta?

Is there not an infamous tradition of Erskine Board leaders, Presidents, and administrators not telling the full truth in to the ARP Church in session in General Synod? Is this Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta? When the truth of God’s Word is rejected, truth and forthrightness are vitiated.

“Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!”

These are my thoughts,

Charles W. Wilson

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  1. Chuck —

    The people whose pants have burned completely off are the members of the commission who apparently just made stuff up to present to Synod. Check the survey results for confirmation; wait for the trial to begin for prosecution; read the ruling for vindication — not yours, but the other side’s. Wait for it all — time will continue to work for the Aldon Knights and against the Chuck Wilsons.

    And yes, I am sure I’m supporting the right side.

    Thanks, by the way, for opening up ARPTalk to comments. I like the illustrations too.


    • Michael Danejur says:

      So, funny dorm experience my sophmore year at Erskine- I actually did light my pants on fire. Ahhh Erskine College, your traditions of shenanigry will forever endure.

  2. Jane says:

    In one of his previous posts, Mr. Wilson mentioned that the students of Erskine should be apologized to. I just want to comment that there is absolutely no reason to apologize to me, a former Erskine student, for the exceptional, well-rounded education I gained by attending Erskine College. In fact, I can honestly say that each and every one of the professors at Erskine freely encouraged me to grow and strengthen in faith. However, what I AM concerned with, is Mr. Wilson’s continuous reference to my beloved alma mater as a “Baal cult.” I read your reasonings, Mr. Wilson, and I understand you are trying to make a point to people who you are in discussions/disagreements with. However, I ask you to think about those students you claim to be serving, because every time you refer to Erskine as a “Baal cult” you are, in my opinion, cheapening my education, an education I worked very hard for, and an education I value very greatly.

  3. This brings to mind Proverbs 29:9 Where fools rage and laugh in the face of wisdom. McKnight talks of “good moderates” who will “take the church back.” Take the church back and do what pray tell? Be moderate? Christ wasn’t moderate… He called good what it was and evil what it was, and he had a special abhorrence for the lukewarm… The moderate. It is good that after decades a stand has been taken to no longer suffer fools gladly.

    The sad thing is, this battle is happening within our own house. It is one thing to fight the enemy on the battlefield, and quite another to deal with those who claim to be your brothers in arms. May we prayerfully consider all our actions on all sides so Christ’s name will not be slandered among the unbeliever, causing anyone to stumble, though we already have been dragged into “the courts of the Gentiles.”

    May Christ be exalted in this struggle…

    – Anthony

  4. Nancy Simpson says:

    How fitting that beside the “Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!” quote you have the cartoon with a man pointing. You know the old saying, “When you point a finger at somebody else, you’re pointing three at yourself.”

    I am an ARP and your blog and the manner in which you publicly admonish our brothers and sisters in Christ does not represent the values of the ARP chuch that I know and love. It truly upsets me that your blog is titled ARP Talk and that those who don’t look carefully might not recognize that this isn’t an official ARP opinion. Furthermore, your blog is sometimes quoted in other outlets such as newspaper articles, etc. and in those instances there is no disclaimer that you do not represent the ARP church. I don’t understand how you’ve been able to get by with this for so long and that is yet another question that I’d like our Synod leadership to answer.

    • Anthony says:

      Hey Nancy! I’m new to ARPTalk but I’m glad that there *is* a forum for discussing issues ‘in the light’ when so much gets done in darkness or worse, is not dealt with at all. Sin *does* need to be dealt with and not tolerated.

      The ARP Church that *I* know and love do have to from time to time admonish those who are in err, and in general, yes, it should be done in private according to Matthew 18. Public sin, however, can call for a public admonishment.

      From what I can tell, the critique of this article addresses the accusation that the ARP is “an organization that is run so obviously by a narrow-minded, one-sided, unenlightened bunch.”

      Narrow-minded? Hopefully they are following the “narrow way” and standing for the truth and addressing the many flavors of hypocrisy and deception that is found in the contemporary church of today.

      One-sided? Well, um, I would *hope* we all side with Scripture (which is one-sided) and in our case, the standards of the ARP… We ought all have a low tolerance for tolerance of the acceptance of false doctrine and abhorrent views.

      Unenlightened? If by that we have not accepted the “truths” self evident in our relativistic man-centered society, then yes, I will shun that light and stay close to the light that illumines the Scripture and the work of the Spirit.

      Thinking of it that way, we should all be a very proud narrow-minded, one-sided, unenlightened bunch of Godly men and women!

      Be blessed, Nancy, and may we prayerfully work towards resolution of this issue so that God, not the people who claim his grace, be brought supreme glory.


      • Nancy Simpson says:

        I am not sure why all of those comments were directed to me as I did not say any of the things you questioned.

        Yes, open forums are great and Rev. Wilson is welcome to say whatever he wants; however, I believe that he should not do so under a blog titled ARP Talk ESPECIALLY as an ARP minister. It’s very misleading.

        • Hi Nancy…

          I don’t know that ARPTalk is confusing as a name… I frequent many websites with “Talk” in the name, like XDTalk.com, WindowsTalk.org, MacTalk.org… they’re communities of people talking about the subjects in question but are not affiliated with the companies whose products are being talked about.

          Also, I didn’t mean to imply that you were the one had said the things I was commenting on (sorry for any confusion) but was pointing out the “one finger” pointing out in the editor’s “Liar Liar” article… It *is* appropriate to point out sin and try to admonish someone, of course with the undertones of Matthew 18 in the forefront.



      • JAY WEST says:


        I agree in parts with you. I think we should follow the steps of Jesus and call what is good, good and what is evil, evil. As well, I believe that we should trust the Scripture. All of these will fall on the side of Erskine- which is good!

        How can character assassination, lies, decit, misrepresentations, misconduct of ministers good?

        If your view in contrary, God protect the acolytes!!!!!!!

  5. Katherine says:

    I would like to second Jane’s comments. I proudly graduated with her in 2008 and am incredibly thankful for the education I worked for at Erskine College.

    Mr Wilson, here in this article you say “a half truth is a whole lie.” You also say “Presidents, Board leaders, and administrators were not telling the truth. Scientia Cum Moribus Conjuncta was ignored.” In this I must point out that you seem yourself to be telling, at best, a half-truth. As you directly accuse Dr Ruble of a number of things, I feel it is quite safe to assume your wide brush is painting him as one of those who ignores the ideal of “Knowledge joined with morals.”

    I cannot vouch for everything Dr. Ruble has said or done in his life, but I know that in my time at Erskine his interactions exemplified this motto. As an example, when I was in the process of writing an Erskine Mirror editorial which Dr. Ruble clearly wished I would not write as it didn’t paint him in the best of lights, he took time not only for a fair interview, but also to pray with me that God would grant me wisdom and discernment. That was a moment that epitomizes the Erskine experience. Dr. Ruble had the integrity to both stand behind his actions and encourage freedom of the press as well as the spiritual discernment to remind me of the bigger picture.

    Make what arguments you will, Mr. Wilson, but I believe you owe Dr. Ruble an apology when you say he ignores our great motto.

    A half truth is a whole lie, Mr. Wilson.