"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Walking Where SBC Preachers Fail to Tread

The sordid case of former Southern Baptist pastor Darrel Gilyard is coming to a just and appropriate end. Gilyard has entered into a plea deal with prosecuters for multiple sex crimes, and will receive his sentencing this Thursday, May 21, 2009 before a media circus in state court. Gilyard is agreeing to his guilt on all charges and to three years incarceration in a state facility and then three years probation. He will also carry a permanent record identifying him as a sexual predator/offender. The court has also mandated periodic psychiatric evaluations and ongoing counseling.

A handful of leaders in our Convention, as detailed here last September, 2008, neglected to fulfill their God-given responsibilities to shut down Gilyard's ministry and provide help to his victims. Alas, a young Southern Baptist woman, a Gilyard victim herself, approached the unenviable task of bringing Gilyard to justice with the zeal of a modern apostle. Tiffany Croft began her blog with the goal of treading where we Southern Baptist pastors and leaders feared to trod. With all the negative press from official channels in the SBC regarding blogs, it would be great to see someone like Tiffany be given credit using a blog to bring about good in our society.

It has been my privilege to speak with Tiffany on a couple of occasions, and I have followed her blog with interest over the past couple of years. She has sent an email to her friends about the plea agreement, and I reproduce it here, with her permission, to express my heartfelt gratitude to Tiffany.

Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement and support - you will never fully understand how much it meant to me! I have really struggled in this journey as it was exhausting and so many things I would rather not even know (details and the depths of this garbage) and though there were many times I wished I could just lay it all down, and forget it all - I am so thankful that we saw it through. I have had the opportunity to "be there" to help carry the weight for so many and I know that it has helped me to heal as well, and has also made sense of the past.

Many of you already know that the blog became a huge source of leads and lead to many other witnesses and victims (many were still to scared to testify) - all of these were passed along by me to the State Attorney and they acted on each and every one, in the early days it was a whirlwind. Eventually it settled into waiting as they pieced all of the pieces together and figured out how the case would actually look. The blog then became a place for people to vent, to ask questions and get information about court hearings etc. It served its purpose, I believe that it was meant to be a tool, and I am thankful.

When I had my dealings with Gilyard all those years ago, as a 17 year old girl, I felt so ashamed and wondered how I could have been so blinded, how could I have trusted so completely this man? I also believed fully in the sovereignty of our Savior, so I questioned Him one night, "I know you have plans for me, I don't understand why you allowed this to happen to me. I can either be angry with you that you allowed this, or I can acknowledge that you allowed it for a purpose that I can't understand." I decided the latter. I dealt with my pain, anger, trust issues, shame....and I decided that I was not going to carry it any longer - whether I ever knew the purpose for it or not, I was surrendering it. All of these years later, it has not consumed me through the years (Hallelujah), I rarely even thought of it other than in ways that I have shared it to help others. When I saw him preaching on television, I was not consumed with anger, I felt fear (for any unwilling victims) but I also felt pity for him, living a lie.

But the night I saw him on the news over a year ago after having been arrested, I felt such a surge of strength rise up within me and I KNEW what I needed to do. I released tears that I hadn't cried in years (as memories surfaced) but I felt so strong and I knew that something had to be done this time to make sure that everyone knew and did not let him get away again - it was time. The warrior within me cried out, not for vengeance, but it was as if my warrior cry lined up and joined the cry of our Heavenly Father - it was time for David to face Goliath, and I was never once afraid - the Rock and my fortress were all around me and I knew that you were all covering me with prayer! So you have all had a mighty hand in all of this. Thank you and God bless you!
Kudos Tiffany Thigpen Croft. May your tribe increase.

In His Grace,

Wade

129 comments:

frankgantz said...

I am delighted that Tiffany found a purpose in the midst of her pain. Sexual sin by a pastor is extremely hurtful and harmful. The consequences to be the one sinning and to the one being sinned against are long lasting.

Here is a pray for healing to the victims and a pray for repentance to the sinner.

I also committed sexual sin as a pastor. I know the hurt I caused and long for those I wounded to be healed of the wounds and scars.

www.pulpit2pew.com

Thy Peace said...

A handful of leaders in our Convention, as detailed here last September, 2008, neglected to fulfill their God-given responsibilities to shut down Gilyard's ministry and provide help to his victims".

Very sad. It reflects very poorly on SBC and it's Leadership. Other Christian Groups/Denominations are making major strides in this regard.

Link Correction: (Pastor Wade, there is an erroneous letter 't' in the beginning portion of the link)
The Sordid and Strange Darrell Gilyard Story and What It Reveals About the SBC.

Also one more link:
The Problem of a Predator In the Pulpit in the SBC.

"When it came to women (Gilyard) would not allow them to usher, serve on the finance committee, teach men or take classes with them.

But outside the church, according to the women who claim to have been victimized by him, Mr. Gilyard spent most of his time with women. Those who talked with The Dallas Morning News about their experiences asked to remain anonymous . . . "
.

What does the above say about reducing the role of women within the church? Are we going backwards? Is this a result of Complementarianism?

First, I praise God and thank Our Lord Jesus Christ. Second, I give thanks to Tiffany for her courageous effort, especially keeping and showing Grace. Tiffany's writings are full of Grace, Truth and Love. Third, I sincerely pray for True Repentance for Darrell Gilyard. All of us, live in an illusion of lies and deceit. But as Christians and as Christ followers, these lies and deceit are to be shed as we walk with Our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not know what will bring healing to the victims. From reading lot of the comments on the blogs relating to this episode, for some reason, lot of people in SBC want to protect their leaders and burn the messengers of warnings and pointing out abuses. What a sad way to live!

Come Lord Jesus.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Thy Peace for the link correction. I always appreciate your gracious help.

Thy Peace said...

This sermon of Pastor Wade (today's sermon) is very apt here.

#18. Testing the Spirits (I John 4:1-6), of the series I John: The Christian and Complete Joy. If you watch the video, it's titled "Testing the Spirits", May 17, 2009 - Part 18 of series (1 Jn. 4:1-6).

I wish if SBC can not prevent sexual or other abuses and protect the victims, then at least it should arm them with discernment. But again, there are always people who are vulnerable, and it's easy for predators to go after them. So the only solution is for people who have the strength to protect the weak to do so, and for people who have the voice, to speak for the voiceless.

Wanda said...

Wade,

Thanks for this important update on Darrell Gilyard. I have been following this case and praying for justice for his victims.

Shame on powerful leaders in the SBC who tried to cover up Gilyard's crimes, looked the other way, or doubted the victims that came forward. God is watching, and one day they will answer to Him...

Wade Burleson said...

frankgantz,

I appreciate your transparency. Thanks as well for your focus on the victims.

Wade

linda said...

Wow--so we are supposed to believe this man's sexual sin, and the sins of those that covered it up and allowed it to continue, are because some people believe the Bible teaches that women cannot pastor churches in the SBC???

We are supposed to believe that if you are complementarian or accept that the scripture teaches different life roles for each of the two (and there are only two!) genders, you somehow approve of this kind of sinful behavior??

Ah yes, the evil old patriarchy. How could I forget that the evil in the world stems from the rejection of feminism.

What this man did is sin, and he must be held accountable. What those covering it up did was sin, and they must also be held accountable.

That does not mean one must toss out complementarian teaching.

Truly, I think we need to go back to teaching logic in high school!

Wade Burleson said...

Linda,

?

Your comment reads like you have had a little too much caffeine this morning.

I don't see any comment regarding complementarianism.

Wade

Thy Peace said...

"When it came to women (Gilyard) would not allow them to usher, serve on the finance committee, teach men or take classes with them.

But outside the church, according to the women who claim to have been victimized by him, Mr. Gilyard spent most of his time with women. Those who talked with The Dallas Morning News about their experiences asked to remain anonymous . . . ".

What does the above say about reducing the role of women within the church? Are we going backwards? Is this a result of Complementarianism?
.

Pastor Wade, it was my comment Linda was responding to.

I am not against complementarians. I was merely wondering after seeing some results. Example:

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Examples of the Poor Treatment of Women at the Hands of Jacksonville Churches [DECEMBER 19, 2008].

The treatment of Fbc Jax Watchdog's spouse, at least in my mind was directly related as a result of Complementarianism. Also what happened to Sheri Klouda. You can disagree with me. I respect your disagreements.

psr said...

Wade, most of your blog posts generate hundreds of comments. I realize that it is still early in the day, but I am very disturbed that there have been only nine comments on this thread. When the topic of drinking a glass of wine generates 257 comments and the topic of sexual abuse generages 9 comments, something is terribly wrong with our society. Christians should be taking the lead to educate and stop this horrible abuse. Our own daughter has had to deal with this at the hends of a relative who was a deacon in his church. She is now 36, and is still affected by this. Sexual abuse is not a minor inconvenience that children will "get over". It is devastating.

There should be outrage expressed here -- with a discussion on how to solve this problem in our churches and the lives of the families in our churches.

Thy Peace said...

Fbc Jax Watchdog > Soaring High: One Person Can Make a Difference.

It is absolutely amazing what Tiffany Thigpen Croft, a local Christian wife and mother, armed with only a blog and the power of free speech and her faith in God, has been able to accomplish. Tiffany has done what most baptist pastors in this city were too cowardly to do. And she didn't have a budget, a PR firm, or any position of power in the city of Jacksonville.
...
And most importantly, Tiffany didn't cave into those cowardly voices that told her that her blog was harming the cause of Christ, that it was beauty-shop gossip and should be shut down. No way - Tiffany stood strong, knew that truth was on her side, and she KNEW that God was pleased with what she was doing. You see, for far too long, people inside baptist churches have been afraid to call public attention to abusers, especially pastors. They have used the illogical excuse that to do so would harm Christianity - that people would be turned away from Christ if light were shone on the abuses of pastors, that things should be kept quiet. They've even used lame excuses like the pastor is God's man, and "touch not thine annointed", or "just let God handle it."

Kevin M. Crowder said...

OUTRAGE!!!
OUTRAGE!!!
OUTRAGE!!!




Solutions:
Option A: Jesus
Option B: Castration, then Jesus


:)

Alan Paul said...

You beat me to the punch psr... I had noticed that as well.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I interpret the few comments to mean that there are not many points of disagreement worthy of discussion.

Its "Amen, and Amen", in this case, when the comments are few.

psr said...

FBC Jax Watchdog,

From my perspective, this post should generate comments BECAUSE it is worthy of discussion. After dealing with this personally for 20 years, I'm aware that many people can't or don't want to face this head on. That is the point I want to make.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I understand completely, psr. I was just making the point that if there is little discussion, it might not be from apathy on this issue, far from it - but that there is not much debate on this topic, which is generally what generates comment traffic.

And this topic of Gilyard has been addressed here on this blog, and on my blog and Tiffany's blog for a year and a half. I think bloggers can breathe sigh of relief, that finally some justice has been served in this case after a year and a half.

Christiane said...

Hi Everyone,

It's me, L's

I wrote a comment earlier but it so reflected my outrage and it was so emotional that I removed it.
Not that I didn't mean it. I did.

Then, when I read KEVIN's comment, I realized mine was 'appropriate'.
Perhaps Linda was responding to what I wrote earlier. Could be.

If so, I would ask Linda this:
What is it about Patriarchy that has so inspired Paige Patterson's treatment of women? No offense to Linda, but is THIS the behavior that Christ would have wanted to be directed towards women?

If a 'doctrine' can do this much damage in the hands of someone 'in leadership', then maybe the 'doctrine' needs to be reexamined in the Light of Christ's teachings.

I admire Tiffany Croft. She took her own pain and turned it around to try to save others from abuse.
She is heroine and I'm glad she is being recognized.

What does it take for someone to stand up for others in the SBC against the abuse of 'leaders'?

Do they have to suffer like Wade did, as documented in his book?

Do they have to go through an ordeal like Tiffany where no justice waited to support her when she reached out to the church for help ?

Or do victims have to endure the nightmare of the treatment of a Dr. Klouda before hauling someone like a Paige Patterson into court?

Must these victims always fight alone?

Where is the COMMUNITY of Christians in defense of their own?

And why is it not there NOW to eliminate the 'wolves' from feeding on the sheep?

Castration would keep predators from future victims, true. But what about solutions like active Christians intervening responsibly, unafraid to stand up for what is right, BECAUSE IT IS CHRIST THEY SERVE WHEN THEY DO THIS?

In my faith, there is a sin sometimes more terrible than the ones we actively commit: it is called the SIN OF OMISSION.

It's the sin of NOT doing something when we were called in Christian charity to do it. And it leads to the suffering of ourselves and others.

The next time a person is 'afraid' for their 'job' or their 'reputation' in a church setting where 'authority' needs to be held accountable: think about why we are in that church in the first place: not for a salary, nor for the accolades of men, or any earthly rewards. We are there for the the Lord and His service.

Keep Christ always at the center and then doing what is right and just becomes second nature. Afraid? You should be. Look at what happened to Tiffany and Wade and Dr. Klouda. Wolves will persecute you. Viciously.

Afraid? Do the right thing anyway.
Wade and Tiffany and Dr. Klouda did.
We serve a King who died for us.
Will we abandon Him like Peter, and run away, and deny Him?

Soon we will celebrate the Day of Pentecost. And part of that celebration is to acknowledge the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He brings courage and strength and guidance to do what is right and just.

He takes away our fear so that we may serve God and care for one another unselfishly.

May the Lord send Him anew to enkindle the fire of divine love in our hearts so that the Pattersons of this world can be redirected towards Christ the Lord. Even the perpetrators are our brothers and need Christian intervention. Love. L's

Steve said...

I believe Christians are fairly united in their attitudes concerning pastors abusing women and other great moral questions of our day. On the other hand, the use of alchohol, womens' place in worship, and questions concerning strongly fundamentalist or liberal practices are so likely to raise up intense feeligs among Christians that active discussions easily hit the 100+ mark on honestly conducted blog sites like this one.

Christa Brown said...

"I'm aware that many people can't or don't want to face this head on."

Psr, you're absolutely right. Gilyard is just one case. There are hundreds more comparable cases ... as you know all too well... and people don't want to face it.

As for discussion of how to address this problem in Southern Baptist churches, a starting place would be the creation of a denominational review board to provide clergy abuse survivors with a safe and welcoming place to report abuse, to more objectively assess clergy abuse reports, and to make assessment information readily available to people in the pews -- i.e., via a denominational database.

If there had been such a database, perhaps many people could have been spared enormous harm from even just this one clergy-predator. There were dozens who had previously tried to report Gilyard, but their voices were ignored. (And there were likely many others who never even tried because there was no safe place where they could be heard.) See "SNAP leader says database might have stopped accused predator."Psr, my best wishes to your daughter in her continuing struggle. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

psr said...

Christa,

I keep up with your work and appreciate everything you are doing. To add to your words, I'd like for this topic to be considered in the broader sense of sexual abuse in general. I don't think that we, as the church, understand the magnitude of this problem that exists within families in our congregations.

Christiane said...

I know that if my own Church had acted sooner to do what is right, that many victims of abuse would have been spared scarred lives.

I so hope that the SBC will eliminate the 'leadership' that has indulged predators and persecuted those who spoke out.

There are some things that are universal in the lessons learned.
This refusal to face abusers down and protect the innocent is a lesson my Church learned the hard way. There should be policies in place for how to handle an abuse situation in future in any denomination. And those 'leaders' known to have 'encouraged' predators and 'discouraged' victims need to be removed from any positions of trust in the SBC. If they have failed in this most important duty to shepherd the welfare of church members, then they have lost all moral authority.
That is just common sense. L's

Bennett Willis said...

In the case of DG, there was clearly no excuse for his being repeatedly placed in a position that some regard as having authority. There were multiple people that he had taken advantage of in every location that he had been employed. How much evidence do you need?

In other cases, the situation is not as clear. You may remember the time when we appeared to be having "cells" of people working together and with evil to abuse children--it seemed to be everywhere. In almost every case this turned out to be the nonsense that it seemed it should be--but several innocent people went to jail for years. Children must be questioned very carefully and gently when you think that they might have been abused in any manner. It is relatively easy to convince a child to say something that is not true. The complication remains that what they say may be true. You have to find other supporting evidence if you are to make a credible case.

I think that we are way too considerate of the person who is abusing. But I also think that an anonymous accusation is not adequate to cause much of a response. It might be that the subject of the accusation should be told of the problem, asked if there is any basis (real or perceived) for it and cautioned that he/she should make sure that there is no basis. This is difficult for all involved but something along this line should be done.

Maybe some of you who have experiences (on all sides—falsely accused and dealing with both falsely and truly accused) could offer advice.

Bennett Willis

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Since everyone is gearing up for a 200+ comment discussion let me add one thought. The issue of abuse and the issue of biblical gender roles within the ecclesiastical order are effectually separate issues and as such should remain separate for the purpose of good scholarly debate. No one who supports the position of the CBMW upholds physical or sexual abuse of any kind, and if they do, they do so out of their own sin and would secretly be out of step with both the Council and Scripture.

I appreciate many of you fine ladies who are regular contributors to this site but would plead with you to search for the root of the problem within the sinful heart of mankind and not the teachings of patriarchy. It is easy to lash out at a doctrine which does not appear to help your cause. Since you do not agree with such doctrines that place men in any sort of biblical role over women, then I would suggest to you that your case will be won not by treading out this corn but by rooting out the issue itself. That is to say that Southern Baptist ecclesiology is fundamentally (and biblically) flawed. The debate over pastoral and elder genders must wait 'till tomorrow. Today we must ask ourselves the questions:

1. Why does the SBC demand congregational authority?

K's Answer: Because men have learned how to manipulate congregations thus giving themselves total authority as they beat down the flock in the name of the King.

2. Why does the SBC shrink at the idea of Elder plurality and Elder rule?

K's Answer: Because "a man of God" would have to cede his authority to a group."

3. Why does the SBC demand church autonomy?

K's Answer: Because a bunch of hot-headed farmers years ago weren't not gonna let nobody nowhere no how tell 'dem what ta do!

4. Why have we not adopted the Presbyterian style of polity?

K's Answer: Because we is a bunch'a darn'd fools!

I am not for predator lists unless we create a central presbytery who ordains all candidates to ministry or authorizes local presbyteries to ordain. Leaving the authority to the local church to hire whomever they want.

In the end, everyone needs to be held accountable by somebody (or some group of somebodies).


K

John Fariss said...

Kevin,

AMEN!
AMEN!
AMEN!

Tiffany Croft is to be commended. Any church and/or "Christian" leader that does anything to conceal a sexual predator will certainly stand before the judgment seat of God someday and have to answer for their actions (or inactions), AND most certainly should stand before a human judge in a more timely way, as well as the court of public opinion. And we, as Southern Baptists, should maintain a list of ministers with credible accusations. I understand there are issues which would have to be resolved before such a list could be implimented, but none of those issues are going to be resolved until we make a beginning. And if a church can be "examined" for its support of homosexuality and CP funds refused on that basis, if members of a church can be excluded from service in the SBC on the basis of what confession the church does or does not use, a church can also be examined for its protection of predators, autonomy or no autonomy.

We should be ashamed when we get more upset over a glass of wine than when a child, teen, or even an adult is sexually molested or taken advantage of. It is easy to say, "Oh, that just happens in big churches, far away," to say it and actually believe it. But it happens in churches of all sizes and locales. That is why I believe a church which fails to do its due dilligence in calling a minister (check official websites for sexual predators and do complete criminal records checks of any minister they consider calling, and, if established, check an SBC Predators List, ets.) should at the least have its CP funds refused. Why? Because until action is taken to tell our churches that we are serious about this, churches will continue doing nothing about it, and believing that it is someone else's problem.

I was at a Sunday School conference at Ridgecrest 25+ years ago, and in a small group, discussion someone got around to referring to God as "Father." One couple said they had a problem with that. And don't think it was some namby-pamby-liberal-tree-hugging-sophia-goddess-mother-earth-worshipping fruitcake, because it wasn't. It was a pastor's wife, just older than me (I was in my early 30s at the time) who said she could not bring herself to address God as "father" because her own biological father had molested her. As a former police detective, let me assure you: it happens, it happens all over, in some of the last places you'd think it would, by some of the last people you would think might. But even with those experiences, I used to think, "Never me or any of my family," then I got a rude awakening. It finally has come to light that several girls in my wife's family were all molested by the same family member. They are all fair-haired; he ignored the redheads (including my wife), but targeted all the blonds. And the whole family were active members of a first church in a small southern, county-seat town. The predator? He was a decorated veteran of three wars, and married for many years. Though without biological children of his own, he was the only father his wife's boys ever knew. And back then--although a few knew what he ws doing--it was kept hush-hush. And it affected their personal and spiritual lives drasticly, extending even to the next generation, probably more, though it is too early to say on that.

We must act.

John

John Fariss said...

FYI:

I was actually "AMENing" Kevin's first comment, at 1:11 PM. I did not see his 3:47 PM until after I entered my comment.

I would give a cautious "amen" (small letters) to that entry, at least until I have more time to digest it. Shooting from the hip, I agree that many who support the CBMW position do so because of honestly held convictions born of Bible study (although I am not one of them). However, I can imagine that some sexual predators might also like that position, obviously for different reasons. Whether that is true in reality as well as in my imagination, I do not know, nor can I imagine how it might be tested.

As for Kevin's questions, I agree in part with his answers, but only in part. I have never thought a presbytery was the answer to all the SBC's problems. Is it Biblical? Well. . . it is interesting to me that the hierachal denominations--Episcopals, Methodists, and Lutherans, as well as Catholics--look at the Bible and find an episcopacy; Presbyterians look at it and find a republic-type government; and Baptists look at it and find a pure democracy. That makes me wonder if the Bible is sufficiently vague about church governance that a group can find whatever it looks for there. If this is correct, before what Kevin proposes could happen, we Baptists would have to agree that we are as much about tradition as Bible specifics, then agree that pragmatism was an overiding factor, and then agree that a presbytery and more central authority might work. It's worth discussing--even though the root meaning of "conservative" would have to be considered (to maintain the status quo).

But it is a good discussion starter, and we NEED that.

John

Christa Brown said...

"But I also think that an anonymous accusation is not adequate to cause much of a response."

I'm not aware of anyone who has ever suggested that anonymous accusations of clergy child molestation should be considered adequate.

Experts conclude that fabricated reports of sexual abuse constitute only 1 to 4 percent of all reported cases. The risk of false accusation is a factor that should be taken very seriously, but it is not a factor that should be allowed to completely trump the great need for better protection of kids and help for the wounded. An objective, professional review board could not only provide a place where abuse survivors might have some hope of actually being heard, but it could also provide the expertise and resources to better protect against the risk of false accusation. A review board could be a mechanism for providing churches with better information.

psr said...

There is one thing we must remember when we deal with an allegation of abuse by a minor, whether it is in our family, our church or our community. We are legally required to report this to the proper authorities, whether that might be the police department or Child Protective Services.

If a parent or adult makes any comment regarding possible abuse that they have perpetuated toward a child, the counselor/pastor is required to report this. If a minor child indicates that someone has acted inappropriately towards them, we are required to report this. If we see things that indicate that boundaries have been crossed, we need to report it.

I know that there are incidences of false allegations, many times in child custody cases. However, I believe that the statistics bear out that the majority of allegations are valid.

Let the authorities take the responsibility for finding out the truth of the allegation.

The suggestion that "the subject of the accusation should be told of the problem, asked if there is any basis (real or perceived) for it and cautioned that he/she should make sure that there is no basis" will not work. The answer will almost always be denial. I know, because that happened to us.

If we err in our decision of what to do, let us err in the intent to protect our children. In most of the experiences I'm familiar with, it has been the adult that has been protected at the expense of the child.

Christa Brown said...

"If we err in our decision of what to do, let us err in the intent to protect our children. In most of the experiences I'm familiar with, it has been the adult that has been protected at the expense of the child."

How I wish that people would take this to heart: Err on the side of protecting kids.

Lydia said...

I would have commented earlier but have been away. Tiffany Croft has been steadfast and resolute. I am in awe of both her and Christa Brown of, 'stop baptist predators', for their work on this issue.

"From my perspective, this post should generate comments BECAUSE it is worthy of discussion. After dealing with this personally for 20 years, I'm aware that many people can't or don't want to face this head on. That is the point I want to make."

It could be because it is a bit of an embarassment. This issue has been discussed quite a bit and those who pointed out the protection of Gilyard by Patterson were taken to task by the Patterson apologists. Patterson said he did not believe the victims stories.

Christiane said...

Hi KEVIN,

It's me, L's

The 'doctrine' of Patriarchy I believe to be cultural and from very ancient roots in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

It certainly has taken many different 'forms' of expression among these religions, not all of them 'wholesome' or acceptable in the Light of Christ's teachings.

Re-examining the doctrine in a scholarly manner does no harm. If it's practice does not offend Christ's laws of charity towards others, then I have no argument.
But, if a patristic society uses this doctrine to abuse women in ANY WAY, I could never accept it as something wholesome.

Taken to the limits of its more sadistic uses, patriarchy is evil.
In our culture, it even seems strange to women who do not see their own sex as a barrier to their dignity in this world or before God. For a Christian church that 'accepts' certain elements of patriarchy in its practice, there is no conflict in examining its effects on the women who must bear its burden. If they have been humiliated, demeaned, or devalued, symbolically, or in actuality, then there is a need to consider how much of this 'patristic' application is wholesome and in line with Christian charity towards all, or maybe not acceptable in the light of Christ's teachings and His example.
No 'doctrine' should ever be used to harm anyone in the name of the Lord.

Hope you are doing well,
Love, L's

Lydia said...

" appreciate many of you fine ladies who are regular contributors to this site but would plead with you to search for the root of the problem within the sinful heart of mankind and not the teachings of patriarchy. "

Gee Kev, I had no intention of bringing it up until you dangled that well worn but juicy carrot in front of me.

Are you seriously trying to convince us that boys/men being taught that they are 'over' women in both authority and roles would not have anything to do with some viewing women as objects for their pleasure and service by an unregenrate depraved soul?

Lydia said...

2. Why does the SBC shrink at the idea of Elder plurality and Elder rule?

K's Answer: Because "a man of God" would have to cede his authority to a group."

Kev, you are batting 0 today. I have seen more deceit, lying and manipulation from a handful elders running the show at mega's than from any congregational polity. It might look like making sausage but at least it is transparent. It is unbelievable what a handful of men accountable only to each other can hide and manipulate.

robert prince said...

I must take exception to some of Kevin Crowder's comments. Wade didn't bring this into the discussion, but he did, and so I think it's worthy of comment. Perhaps the fact that he brought it up may indicate a defensiveness on the issue.

While true that the complementarian view doesn't condone male sexual misconduct or the hiding of such conduct, it appears to create an atmosphere in which both may more easily take place. In the case of Gilyard, one strong male complementarian, Paige Patterson, roughly dismissed the testimony of numerous women. Furthermore, anecdotal testimony from victims of sexual abuse, particularly incest (see the book "Christianity and Incest"), identify a strong patriarchal structure as part of the abuse.

I'm not at all suggesting that all or even most complementarians create an atmosphere of abuse, but some do.

(BTW I think the term "complementarian" is dishonest. If the complementary roles are male authority and female submission, then it's "authority/submission." That's more honest than a euphemism.)

Alan Paul said...

three years incarceration in a state facility and then three years probation

Not anywhere near enough. Our justice system is pathetic.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I stand by my comment that the issue of abuse is not connected with the "cultural" (L's word) system of patriarchy nor the theologies associated with complementarianism. My good friend L's hit the nail on the head by suggesting that the problem lies with a refusal by ALL to submit to the Law of Christ. Thus God has removed his hand of blessing on the structure of the SBC. Men use their God given role for power, greed, lust, and money then shame is brought up on the cross. It is quite natural in my opinion to see women as the primary troops in the battle to defend the Law of Christ for it within their role that the law of Christ can be most clearly displayed, in many cases that is. The nursing of a baby, the care of a child, the love of a mother. Complementarianism is not about authority/submission, it is about the attributes of God which have been spread among the genders. Only together can we fully obey the Law of Christ.

But even then we will still have sexual predators and abusive pastors. So, we do not slash and burn the "other laws and commands of Christ" in order to root out sin. The Bible itself is sufficient to handle all matter which come before it. Abusive pastors are most certainly known by their fruit. We may treat them as unbelievers, and turn them over to the hands of Caesar for punishment due them in this age. Then we pray not only for them but also their successors and daily bring our leaders before the thrown.

I was amazed and reminded of the wonderful creation of the family, and how the family in proper context is as Spurgeon called: "The Little Church" as I read my new Twitter page last night. Dr. Don Whitney posted the following tweet:

"DonWhitney: Preparing for family worship at the end of a wonderful Lord's Day and Caffy's birthday. I love the Lord's Day."

The world would be a better place if more men prepared for family worship instead of thinking up pragmatic solutions to life’s problems.

Hannibal said...

PSR,
To drink or not to drink is a decision that everyone has to make and then justify. Preying sexually on others is a decision that few of us have to consciously make. Therefore many more can relate to one behavior over the other. We are not indifferent. One thing we do need to consider is: are enablers equally or perhaps more offensive than the perpetrators?

Christiane said...

Hannibal wrote "One thing we do need to consider is: are enablers equally or perhaps more offensive than the perpetrators?"

I wonder if Paige Patterson, knowing that Gilyard had problems and wanting to 'keep it quiet', is legally responsible to those of Gilyard's victims whose abuse occured AFTER Patterson became aware of a problem.

That Patterson 'did not believe' over twenty women who reported Gilyard would appear to be 'an excuse' but compounded with all the other reports, Patterson cannot state that he was 'unaware' that something was very, very wrong.

If I were a victim or the mother of a victim, I would want to see any enabler punished legally as well as the perpetrator. Gilyard could not have done so much harm to so many without the aid of Patterson and Brunson.

The victims were preyed upon by the enablers as well as the criminal. I think the victims have a case against the enablers.

But, a question: is the SBC responsible, because it was known that Patterson enabled Gilyard and it was known that Patterson wanted the abuse 'kept quiet', leading to further abuse.
And still the SBC did not act to stop Patterson in a responsible manner.

As far as the 'powers that be' in the SBC goes: shirking moral oversight of someone like Patterson is going to be something difficult to overcome. But in time, if responsibility is accepted and just policies are put into place, the SBC will restore its place in the Christian Community once more. May it be so.

But Patterson can never face those victims honorably. He knew. And he let it all continue. Tragic.
L's

Lydia said...

"It is quite natural in my opinion to see women as the primary troops in the battle to defend the Law of Christ for it within their role that the law of Christ can be most clearly displayed, in many cases that is. The nursing of a baby, the care of a child, the love of a mother."

I thought I was a Follower of Christ first and foremost. A female second. But what you seem to be saying is that there is a female way to be a Christian and a male way to be a Christian. Outside of physical differences that are obvious, I have no idea what you are referring to.

The above is very nice but it did not do much for Sabine Wurmbrand who sat in prison for His Name Sake without her child. Was she not fulfilling her female 'role' as a Christian? Of course she was.

" Complementarianism is not about authority/submission,"

You may want to let CBMW know this.

Ware teaches that I am not made in the direct image of God. I am a 'derivative'. Moore calls for more Patriarchy and chides a wife for daring to suggest her husband attend Promise keepers as she is acting like his 'mother'and should not dare tell him what he needs. It is not her place.(I agree PK is not a good choice but that is not the point.

Ware teaches that unsubmissive wives trigger abuse from their husbands and Patterson proudly proclaims that he teaches abused wives to go home and submit more.

Are those the 'roles' you are talking about? That is what they teach. Authority/submission which is more like Daddy/daughter than husband/wife.

" it is about the attributes of God which have been spread among the genders. Only together can we fully obey the Law of Christ."

So you are saying I can strive to be Christlike even though I am a woman. How can that be with these specific 'female' Christian roles?

Christiane said...

Hi LYDIA,

It's me, L's

That universal Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Can you imagine how different the Church would be, if men considered women to be among the 'others' in the Golden Rule. Like we were real people. Not just . . .

Would men still want to trade places with a submissive, perpetually pregnant, continually beaten and abused, handkerchief ironing, creature who is considered 'unworthy' to spread the Gospel from a 'pulpit'?

I don't think so.

If men had ANY idea of what they ask women to put up with, and if men respected the Golden Rule, then all the nonsense would end.

I think Christ's Law of Charity is to care for others, serving them in His Name, and preserving their human dignity, regardless of sex, race, creed, age, or nationality, finances, or convenience.

In short, there are no excuses to abuse or to abase another human being.
Only to peacefully care for them in Christian love and to walk with Him in humility.

Maybe it is so simple, some just don't get it. ? Or don't want to.

Sure would change the landscape if the Laws of Charity were obeyed.
Love, L's

Christa Brown said...

Christiane: Regardless of whether Paige Patterson and the Southern Baptist Convention bear any legal liability, they carry moral responsibility. And they should be held to account on that basis.

This is a mistake I believe a great many Southern Baptist leaders have been making for many years in matters related to clergy sex abuse. Legal responsibility and moral responsibility are not one and the same. Just because they can avoid legal liability does not mean they are free from moral responsibility.

If Southern Baptists cannot cooperate on a shared strategy to rid their ranks of clergy predators and protect children, then they rightly lose a significant measure of moral capital... regardless of whether they ever lose a dime at the courthouse.

psr said...

Hannibal,

It is not the conscious decision to take a drink or not compared to the conscious decision to sexually abuse or not that I was referring to. What I want to express is that the issue of sexual abuse is so much more important than that, and this post generated so little response. My experience has been that people look the other way, don't want to get involved, presume that it absolutely cannot happen and minimize the effects of it.

I can speak to the issue of the enabler. We had assumed that the wife of the abuser had not been aware of what was going on and had, perhaps, looked the other way to avoid any conflict. She also denied that anything happened. We have recently learned that she was involved to the extent that she was cleaning up after him.

Both of these people are dead now. But, three generations of girls in this family suffered at their hands. As I said before, they were leaders in the church. In his seventies, he was still giving the devotionals and baptizing people in the river at the Shriner camp they frequented.

We are all enablers if we do not report any suspected abuse. I just don't think we take this seriously enough.

Lydia said...

"That universal Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

One of the problems with this is that all popular comp/pat books teach that women want something different than men. So one cannot do to the opposite sex what one wants done to them. Because we are taught it is so very different.

For example, a very popular comp book now is Eggerich's Love and Respect. Teaching that women want love and men respect. This is interpreting scripture that women do NOT want or need respect. Only love. think that through for a moment and it's implications. (Even if they admit that women want respect, it is interpreted as being a different kind of respect. More of a respect for a 'role'.

That is just one example.

"Can you imagine how different the Church would be, if men considered women to be among the 'others' in the Golden Rule. Like we were real people. Not just . . . "

Yes, it would be about my soul instead of my role. :o)

Christa Brown said...

Psr: I too can speak to the issue of the enabler. As a 16-year old girl, I was made to apologize to the minister's wife. I stood there in front of her, blubbering and begging for forgiveness -- forgiveness for the fact that I was repeatedly molested by her husband. Molested in the name of God, with words of God, and in the house of God. I said what I was instructed to say: "It was all my fault." She said she would pray for me.

Now that I'm a mother myself, for the life of me, I can't understand how any mother could stand there like stone and watch a 16-yr-old girl beg the way I did... and do nothing.

The music minister in the church knew as well. He was also my piano teacher. The perpetrator himself had told the music minister that he was afraid a member of the congregation had seen him in a compromising position with me. The music minister did nothing, and the abuse escalated. Only after I myself broke down crying at a piano lesson and told the music minister what was going on (because I was afraid I was going to hell since my perpetrator had told me I harbored Satan) - only then - did the music minister tell the perpetrator that he should leave the church. (I didn't learn that the music minister knew even before I told him until years later. He could have stopped it but he didn't. Instead, he told me that it would be better if I didn't talk about it with anyone else.)

I have reason to believe the senior pastor (now deceased) also knew and at least some of the deacons. The senior pastor told me I should rededicate my life to Christ.

My perpetrator left that church with pot-luck casseroles and jello-molds in the reception hall. Everyone hugged him. He went on to a bigger church, and he eventually became a long-time children's minister at the church of former Southern Baptist president, Charles Stanley - i.e., First Baptist of Atlanta.

Years later, when as an adult, I tried to report the man (who was STILL working as a children's minister), I thought people would be better educated. But no one -- NO ONE -- would do anything (even though the music minister was still at the same church and readily substantiated my report... but also said there was no good reason for me to talk about it). No one in state, local, church, or national organizations would do anything. Some tried to intimidate me. Eighteen Southern Baptist leaders later, I finally understood what a huge blind-eyed problem this denomination has when it comes to clergy sex abuse.

Since then, as I have communicated with many scores of other Baptist clergy abuse survivors, I can tell you that they almost invariably say that, even more than the trauma of the abuse itself, the greater harm was done by the silence of the many.

psr said...

Christa,

My hope will be that this post will give others insight into the issue of sexual abuse and our responsibility to do everything we can to protect innocent children and adults. I grieve when I hear your story. But it is our stories, hopefully, that will impact people who will make a difference. We cannot keep silent.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Christa,
My soul and spirit grieve every time I hear your story - how awful. How horrible to know that you are one of the many, not the few.
This is a HUGE problem within our churches, all denominations. ALL of us need to stand up and fight this together, find ways to get these complacent people out of the role of covering for these "poor pastors". We need to be the many versus the few. What can we do?

I do celebrate the fact that one is answering for his crimes, but there are SO MANY more that are free and still abusing. Not because the abused aren't willing to stand, but because people that could do something aren't willing to listen and act.
How sad! What in the world is it going to take?
I really don't want ot know the answer to that question - isn't there already enough innocence lost?

salvation without doctrine said...

I am reminded of the verses on wolves

Christiane said...

Christa, your story is heart-breaking and I read it with tears pouring down my face and anger in my heart for those who 'knew' and did nothing to stop it.

But, like Tiffany, you have turned your tragedy into an outreach to help other victims and, even better, to try to prevent this tragedy by raising awareness.

My Church (Catholic) has seen this nightmare. In the beginning, everything was poorly handled. Terrible suffering resulted and many live today with the scars of their abuse.
Today, the Church has changed how it handles an abuse situation. But it took so long. That grieves me.
One would think, looking at my Church, other denominations would learn something, but it seems each is determined to live out the nightmare in isolation. Would that there was a 'Christian Community Response' among all denominations so none would have to struggle alone. I imagine as long as people like Patterson and Brunson are 'leaders', the SBC will remain compromised and unable to stand up and face the reality of clergy sexual abuse. You are right, Christa, these men have lost all moral authority.

I admire the work you do.
You have chosen to define who you are, not as a victim, but as a SURVIVOR. That took courage.

God Bless you forever and ever.
Love, L's

absonjourney said...

Christa
I am so sorry. Someone very close to me was a victim of this type of abuse as well. I have seen first hand the pain and devastation it causes. Thanks for your brave testimony here today and at other times and places. I pray that those in authority with the power to prevent this in the future would take notice and act. On a local level we can protect our own churches, but on the national level more could be and should be done.

Tim Marsh said...

Tiffany, Christa and others,

I cannot imagine what you must feel on a daily basis, having lost your innoncence and trust to leaders who you, at the time, believed to speak and lead on behalf of God.

Some of you mentioned that you were appalled at the seeming lack of interest in this topic by the few responses on Pastor Wade's blog.

I think that many may share my reaction. I do not know what to say to such a travesty. Christa, I cannot imagine the audacity of those who made you, an innocent victim, "apologize" to the wife of your perpetrator.

I am a pastor, and our church is currently taking steps to secure our facilities, create accountability in children's and youth ministries, screen workers and to make people aware that sexual misconduct can occur anywhere and to anybody.

However, regardless of the era, it is horrifying to know that SBC leaders and churches have covered for sexual predators and swept sexual misconduct under the rug. It seems that the organization - the SBC - is greater than the Kingdom of God in the minds of those who protect these "leaders."

I pray that you, and others, who have suffered at the hands of these people are experiencing healing. Furthermore, I thank you that you are going public with your stories and using the tool of blogging to communicate the horrors of clergy sexual abuse. I will continue to follow your writing closely.

Grace and peace,

Tim

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said...

Tim,
I for one am thankful that you are taking steps to protect your church. These are small steps that make a huge difference and I wish all churches would follow suit. Great work!

Elisabeth said...

Yes, people are too blind to clergy sexual abuse, and too blind to the harm it causes. Even for me, when I was 23 when it happened, and still carry the scars 20 years later. He never actually said that I would be "saved" by sex with him, but it was implied, or at least I would be in better standing with God. He was in ministry until a year ago. I am so glad he's out of there.

Christa Brown said...

"I am a pastor, and our church is currently taking steps to secure our facilities, create accountability in children's and youth ministries, screen workers and to make people aware that sexual misconduct can occur anywhere and to anybody."

I appreciate your remarks, Tim, but allow me to share a bit more with you. My own perpetrator was on the committee at his church to adopt policies for the protection of kids at the church - policies of the sort that you describe. Once again, it was a very prominent church - the church of former Florida Baptist Convention president Dwayne Mercer. These men can evade and avoid church policies without the slightest difficulty. And background screening? Less than 5 percent of active child molesters have ever been convicted of anything.

Until Southern Baptists step up to the plate and provide clergy survivors with a safe and welcoming place to report abuse - a place where they may reasonably expect to be objectively heard - all the other policies will amount to little more than gauzy drapes in gale-force storms.

Most child molesters have multiple victims. The best way to protect children in the future is to denominationally listen to those who are trying to tell you about abuse in the past. It's also the beginning of what's needed to minister to the wounded.

And while I believe that educational efforts are worthwhile, I do not believe that educational efforts will ever be anywhere near enough. It's because the human capacity for denial in the face of evil is too great. Educational efforts cannot sufficiently counter that natural human instinct.

gmommy said...

It's encouraging when the subject of clergy sexual abuse can be discussed on this blog rather than just on Christa's or Tiffany's.
Most of the time we see Christians defend the abusers. The victims are shamed, blamed,and victimized by the ones who should cover them with compassion and protection.

I'm catching up too late at night to express many things I would like to but I'm grateful to those who care enough to speak against this horrible sin all too common in our churches.
The silence from many who regularly comment on other subjects is almost too obvious on this one.

Chris Johnson said...

Sister Christa,

“Clergy abuse” is the sign of a weak and ineffectual church, and the sign of a church that is simply going through the motions, and not appointing qualified leadership. It is the sign of the church that does not know how to love its members. This particular scenario with Gilyard is atrocious behavior that may have lasted a few minutes or days in a church that understands the power of Matthew 18 where qualified overseers know God and are meeting the qualifications as outlined by the Apostle Paul to Timothy and Titus. But unfortunately this situation was coddled and subverted with opportunity after opportunity to rear its ugly head again and again in the midst of the church.

The SBC as an entity should never be expected to try and intervene and produce policy. First of all it is too far removed from the local church and secondly the SBC entity is not a church given the power to mitigate such matters. The SBC has no biblical authority in these matters.

The SBC cannot lay any policy against such, but the local church has the power to stop these atrocities within minutes and days, not years! How bizarre that a man could remain doing these things for such a long, long time…. It is indicative of how the church has become confident in policy making, but grossly lacking in church discipline. Based upon the reports in this post, Dr. Patterson misunderstands church discipline, so he is obviously not be followed in these matters.

What the church does need, is as many qualified leaders as God will her to have, in order to lead churches to faithful restoration as commanded by our Lord and Savior.

Thank God these women were persistent, but these women need churches that know how to love, discipline, and restore as Christ has commanded.

Blessings,
Chris

Tim Marsh said...

Christa and Tiffany,

I am young, and still working through the naivete of a sheltered childhood. If you were my church member, your voice would have been heard and action would have been taken regardless of the cost. Matthew 18 rings in my ear when I hear of these kinds of cases.

I don't think that your case was covered simply because it was sexual abuse. The fact that people were uneducated about sexual abuse in the past is balognie. It happened then, it happens now, it always has happened across the globe.

I see it as a symptom of a generational ideology that attempted to "protect" the public from the truth about its leaders and key public figures. Sexual abuse is one of the many sins that people tried to cover for. Usually the argument is: "It's for the good of the church. It's for the good of the country. It's for the good of the company." Christian Ethics allows no room for this kind of thinking.

That kind of thinking is disgusting.

Christa, I have much to learn. I will continue to follow your blog and to educate our church and make our church aware of the potential for this evil. For now, the forum that you seek, outside ministers who are committed to truth, may be the blogs that you write. I think that there are more ready to "hear" and to protect children than you think.

Tim Marsh said...

Chris,

You said that the SBC should never be expected to intervene.

The SBC can produce educational materials for congregations. The SBC can dis-fellowship churches that, when uncovered, knowingly protected sexual predators. The SBC can keep a "registered sex offender list."

But you are right that the local church is where the buck should stop. The problem is that most of these churches never disclose this information when these predators are looking to move from church to church. Because the churches want to keep it quiet, they allow the minister to go through the call process and, like Christa indicated, they are celenbrated as they leave.

It makes a mockery of the word "call" that we use for the minister hire process.

There are things that we can do to tell the truth, if we wanted to.

Lydia said...

"Based upon the reports in this post, Dr. Patterson misunderstands church discipline, so he is obviously not be followed in these matters."

Then why does he remain the president of one of our seminaries? Many are emulating our leaders. Gaines protected a minister pedophile for 6 months and is given a pass. Invited to speak many places, etc. Basically affirming his ignorance of 1 Tim and elder qualifications. Those in the pews have been taught that our leaders are special and not to be questioned. And they believe it.

"The SBC as an entity should never be expected to try and intervene and produce policy."

They disfellowship churches with women ministers. They are quite vocal about that. But quite mum when it comes to sexual perverts on staff going from church to church.

As a matter of fact, if you read Christa's website and blog you will find that some leaders go quite far in trying to help the predator when they are caught. Trying to help lighten their sentences, writing the judge with character references, lamenting how his family will be hurt.

Not a word about the victims.

My guess is that they try to keep it quiet for several reasons: Saving face, it does not help to attract new members.

The bottomline is that many of our leaders are not biblically qualified for their functions based on their behavior.

Christiane said...

Dear CHRIS JOHNSON,

You wrote this: "The SBC as an entity should never be expected to try and intervene and produce policy. First of all it is too far removed from the local church and secondly the SBC entity is not a church given the power to mitigate such matters. The SBC has no biblical authority in these matters.

The SBC cannot lay any policy against such, but the local church has the power to stop these atrocities within minutes and days, not years! How bizarre that a man could remain doing these things for such a long, long time…. It is indicative of how the church has become confident in policy making, but grossly lacking in church discipline. Based upon the reports in this post, Dr. Patterson misunderstands church discipline, so he is obviously not be followed in these matters."

I am the last person to question or correct your thinking in any way as I am not a Southern Baptist.

But I am a Christian woman.

I am trying to understand your words but I get the feeling (possibly in error) that you are letting the SBC off the hook, and calling Dr. Patterson to account for his lack of leadership only in this matter, while continuing to value his 'leadership' in other areas in the SBC.

I am surprised that the SBC has pockets of power that can do so much harm to people, and yet individual churches cannot protect the victims.

If what you say is true, then the SBC does not answer in anyway to protect those who are victimized by these 'pockets of power'.

And if what you say is true, Dr. Patterson may continue to serve 'in other areas' just not in the 'isolated' area of intervention into sexual abuse cases on the side of the perpetrator.

I cannot agree with your understanding in this for one reason. The SBC is a union formed to serve Christ and can harbor no 'pockets' of individuals who sponsor the victimization of others in any way and still the SBC can remain a Christian entity in truth. If it indulges these men who hurt missionaries, bully, intimidate and threaten others, grab funds for their own personal gratification, and pursue the horrific harassment of women like the innocent Dr. Klouda, then what IS the SBC?
Or what has it become, when the ends justify the means, and the means are evil?

As for Dr. Patterson, can he be trusted to shepherd the education of future Baptist ministers after showing such lack of discernment, charity towards women, and outright harassment of other Christians? I fear not. I am fearful for those under his 'guidance'.

A 'leader' of Christian people should be a humble man who serves first the Lord, then His lambs, and does so with the INTEGRITY that comes from immersion in Christ and from the annointing of the Holy Spirit. As such, this leader will increase the faith of those observing him, and not be a source of evil in the lives of Christ's flock.

I think your explanation that Patterson should not be allowed to intervene in the area of sexual abuse cases on the side of the perpetrator and in harassment of victims IS AN INDICTMENT against his INTEGRITY.
Christian leaders derive their integrity from following Christ the Lord. If they wander from that path, their 'integrity' is no more.
I believe that Dr. Patterson needs to return to the Way of Christ the Lord, and to try to reconcile himself to those he has hurt. I believe that the SBC needs to help him to return to the Lord. If the SBC has 'no authority' to do this, then how can they serve Christ?

Just the thoughts of an 'outsider' who wants the best for those who follow Christ in the tradition of the Southern Baptist faith.
When we turn from our sin, who shall we turn to but the Lord Christ? There is no other Way to follow but His, and it commands no harm be done to the innocent among you.

If I have misunderstood you or misinterpreted what you said, please forgive. That is not what I intend at all. L's

Debbie Kaufman said...

The SBC could refuse to appoint anyone(regardless of current status or years in leadership) to leadership that has ignored or hidden a knowing sex offender. By doing this, they will be taking a stand against this type of thing.

Wade Burleson said...

Christa,

Wow. Though you and I have conversed on several occasions, and though we are both familiar with our mutual efforts to do something in the SBC about sex perpetrators, I had never heard the details of our story.

You have given me new perspective. Thanks.

Wade

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Deb,


How would we know?

Are you suggesting we keep a second list?

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Tim and others,

I think we are in sync here….

When I said that the SBC should never be expected to intervene….that is simply what I would expect as someone supporting the SBC as cooperating folks about the business of accumulating resources in order to reach the world for Christ. The SBC has no power or authority though, nor is church discipline (restoration) an SBC distinctive, although it should be. But, you are absolutely right that many churches are willing to “sweep” these things under the rug. But again, the genesis of this problem is not in an SBC entity.…(although I do agree with many of the others that we have weak leadership in the seminaries…where politics is an ingredient for success not necessarily qualifications set forth by the Apostles).

The seminaries are not the church,….so again a seminary or its president is the last person to intervene in such matters. My question to the churches is….where are your leaders? Who is guarding you with the Word of God, and the command of restoration? In other words, the first thing our church family would do is bring the man before the church at the earliest opportunity (regardless of title),…certainly not look to some seminary president for answers. That is backward thinking. So, for instance, if Dr. Patterson would try to intervene, we would respectfully tell him he has no authority, but we would be happy for him to stay around and learn how restoration occurs in the church. It might be beneficial for him to learn.

Unfortunately, many churches are not functioning biblically, ….so the best they seem to have is to turn to some other perceived leadership.

Blessings,
Chris

Lydia said...

"The seminaries are not the church,….so again a seminary or its president is the last person to intervene in such matters"

Chris, That brings up another problem. Patterson says the seminary IS a church. That was his defense in the Klouda affair. It is church and she was teaching men.

Secondly, Patterson was actively promoting Gilyard and even met with some victims whom he dismissed as not credible. Vines affirmed Gilyard by preaching in his church.

To add to that, Patterson invited Gaines to speak at SWBTS Chapel KNOWING he protected a pedophile minister on his staff. Gaines was also invited to speak at our assoc. (Many left)

We are not really talking about 'intervening'. We are talking about biblical behavior and the qualifications for elders that are being ignored by our own leaders protecting one another.

Now, are you telling me he is qualified to be the leader of one of our seminaries which are in the business of preparing pastors? What is the message we are sending these young men?

Unbiblical behavior is actually affirmed in our convention. We see that Mac Brunson is preaching at the Pastors Conference. What is the message here to folks? It is perfectly ok to use the magistrate to get private information on bloggers who ask questions you do not like. It is perfectly ok for a pastor to call someone a sociopath to a reporter. His wrong behavior is being affirmed by his invitation (or lack of withdrawing his invitation) to speak at the conference.

This is how they protect one another when they have acted unbiblbically. Pretty soon, no one recognizes biblical elders anymore. Which is where we are now.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

It all goes back to the fundamental flaws in Baptist ecclesiology. I would vote for Wade's list in a heartbeat, but it will never work in this present "total democracy." Voluntary cooperation means business as usual.

The list, my friends, with no change in structure will cauterize your troops into thinking the problem is solved while a few high profile names will be added to a list; the real perps are out there doing their thing.
I am not against putting a badge of shame on the nare-do-wells. But what we do needs to be effective.


Dr. Moore twittered this verse this moring. Seems we all could do more for the children:

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in thier affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (James 1:27)(bold mine)

Chris Johnson said...

Sister Lydia,

You bring up very good points. Brunson and Patterson would not qualify to lead in our church. Based upon their reputation they do not meet the qualifications set forth by the Apostle Paul to Timothy and Titus. Since a seminary is not a church, the seminary can appoint any man or women to serve the institution….so the church must be very careful as how it discerns the benefit of the seminary.

For me personally, being raised in West Texas, and had every opportunity to attend SWBTS. I chose not to apply for many reasons, and I would not recommend it today for many of the same reasons. Don’t get me wrong though,…there are wonderful men of God serving in these institutions, but we must get our collective minds away from the seminary as the genesis for church health. It simply is not so. Maturity and the health of the church is realized in the local congregations that are about the business of obeying God and edifying one another through the gifts of the Spirit. There is no other way to become mature believers than by the Holy Spirit’s work in the midst of those that are following Christ and loving one another day after day.

Blessings,
Chris

Chris Ryan said...

Kevin,

We keep a second list.

We may even keep one list. Those who knowingly aid sexual predators are morally as culpable as those who commit the act.

Tim Marsh said...

Chris,

I do agree with you about denominational polity. The local church is the "business" in Baptist life whereas in many other denominations the "denomination" is the business (if that makes sense).

However, I would like your thoughts as to whether or not the SBC (or CBF or any Baptist intentity) should not take the initiative to assist congregations who are dealing with these issues, and whether or not the organizations such as CBF and the SBC should not refuse the money of churches that fail to comply with such standards.

Darrell Gilyard, and others, should be nipped in the bud before they are allowed to harm anyone again. Cover-ups are inexcusable. There simply are no excuses for Gilyard to remain in ministry for twenty years to provide him opportunity to harm others.

No excuses. No greater good at stake. God help this kind of thinking!

Christiane said...

Who appointed Paige Patterson to head the SWBTS?

Was it an independent group or was it his own hand-picked people?

Does that group (or the current members of that group) have any oversight control over Paige Patterson's behavior?

Where does the buck stop?

And where does the responsibility begin?

Why on Earth, would anyone want to see a known sexual predator enabler running a seminary?

Who are the other known sexual predator enablers in the SBC?
( other than Mac Brunson?)

Does anyone answer to the SBC for the placement and maintenance of these individuals in porsitions of responsibility?

Is there a professional code of ethics for pastors?
What is the control over those who severely desecrate the moral ethics of the church?

Is it that these men ARE the ones who run everything and answer to no one? Is there no hope?

What can be done to discourage future enablers?

QUESTIONS QUESTIONS QUESTIONS

Any answers out there? L's

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Tim,

I will think on your questions a little more today...but for now I would handle it the way the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy and Titus to handle these issues with the leaders of the local congregation.

1 Timothy 4:1-16 "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (2) by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, ………(6) In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. ……. discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; ……. but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (9) It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. (10) For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (11) Prescribe and teach these things. (12) Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. (13) Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. (14) Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. (15) Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. (16) Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."



The SBC as an entity only receives its existence from the local churches. It has never to my knowledge been part of the responsibility of the seminaries or the SBC agencies to “lead” for the local churches. In some aspects the convention can at best “serve” the local churches. Yet, even in their serving, the entities may err because of lack of intimacy with the local congregations and lack of accountability as an entity, because a seminary or SBC entity is not a church. In other words, how would someone in Ft. Worth be aware or able to help me with something that happened last night in the body of Christ that I lead? Frankly, it cannot nor does it have any authority to do anything with our body. If we, our local body in Hermitage choose not to abide by the scriptures, we (the local body) pay the price, not the convention. So, it is incumbent upon the leaders within the local bodies to follow scripture through restoration (Matthew 18).

As the local bodies are matured and accountable the SBC convention or any other becomes strong, helpful, and accountable. Some seminaries are weak because of politics, and the lack of diligence by the church at the local level. The Gilyard’s of the world will be found out sooner or later (there are many more out there btw)…but if local churches are not willing to appoint Godly leaders these imposters will be found later.

Blessings,
Chris

Robert said...

Chris Johnson,
Wise words. Appreciate your teaching here!

Robert I Masters

Tim Marsh said...

Chris,

Thanks for your words and for giving time for more thought.

You said: "The Gilyard’s of the world will be found out sooner or later (there are many more out there btw)…but if local churches are not willing to appoint Godly leaders these imposters will be found later."

Later means that more children are molested and more teenagers are taken adavantage of in improper relationships. What I do not suggest is a "watchdog" or "big brother" approach, but consulting the churches that deal with these issues, whether in the process or in the aftermath (it will usually be the aftermath).

Too, what I suggest is some form of retribution on churches that fail to provide this information when another church calls for a reference. I also suggest that there be some form of communication to congregations regarding potential candidates for ministry who have participated in sexual misconduct.

The greatest problem with local church autonomy is that often there are no means of accountability, which is deplorable. We stress accountability partners at the individual level, why not at the corporate and denominational levels?

Wayne Smith said...

Chris,

As always You are SPOT ON and I Praise the Lord for Men like you who supports every thing by God's Holy Word (Scripture).

Wayne

Alan Paul said...

We must be brutal in our determination to find these perverts as soon as we can, out them, and then get rid of them - sending them to the deserts of prison where Satan can have his way with them. If I learned anything from my family's experience in this area, it is that any kind of apathy at all is quite honestly, blatant sin and against the very character and nature of God. Shame on those who would say the SBC has no accountability in this area. That may be true legally, but as Christa said here, it is not true morally.

What is more important? Protecting the polity of the SBC or protecting our children? Duh...

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Marsh said...

Wayne Smith,

What about Matthew 18:5-10? It seems like this scripture has this very issue in mind. Why else would Jesus refer to eyes and hands?

Thy Peace said...

For a post where Anonymous comments are not allowed, this post is doing well with 75 comments so far. I am fairly certain, if Anonymous comments are welcome in this post, it would easily get to 200+ comments.

For Anonymous commenters who wish to obtain Google/Blogger ID, please follow the instructions here.

gopher said...

This is what up and coming SBC Leader

Steve Gaines

is saying of anyone who is critical of a Leader or Pastor
especially on a internet blog,

The Loose Cannon goes off at Bellevue Baptist ChurchThis is only part of a whole sermon on those who attack Church Leadership, after he ended a 2nd music directors career in less than 4 years

Music Director Goingand then used Joan Rivers Twin Sister (Joan doesn't have a Twin) as a illustration in a Mothers Day sermon

Joan Rivers Story

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Tim,

There are no easy answers when children, women, and others are victims of ungodly men…or women for that matter.

Restoring the church begins at home, not someone else’s house, not someone else’s convention. If the commands of the Lord to restore are honored and obeyed in the life of the church, no retribution is necessary. Following Christ’s commands are. If they are followed Christ promises are true in His church. So when the church is obedient to restore (discipline; Matthew 18) she begins to understand how the Spirit builds unity. The majority of churches within the SBC have never followed Matthew 18. Until this begins to be taught, understood and cherished, these churches will continue to have Gilyard type results. It is easy to pop around the SBC like Gilyard and pose as a preacher, because the churches are so ambivalent about the qualifications of the leaders.

Brother Alan, if you support the SBC…then you are the SBC. You are as accountable to holding these men accountable just as I am. So what is the solution? It is not to be retributive….our brother James gives us wise counsel:

Jas 4:1-17 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? (2) You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. ………… Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? (6) But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." (7) Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (8) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. …………. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. (11) Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. (12) There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? (13) Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." (14) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. (15) Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." (16) But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. (17) Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Men of God are about something unusual in the world. They are about what the Lord’s will in doing what he has commanded, not boasting in what they think they deserve or retribution they wish they could have. God repays evil just fine.

How do we curve this leadership crisis in the SBC? Begin at home. Raise up leaders that are trusted by the members,…that serve like Christ,….that love His people. Raise up a lot of these folks and then plant many more churches with that same motive, over and over again. Eventually, the political motivated within the SBC will be exposed (as they should be) and the leadership that loves Christ and His church will take on these political posts. There is no easy quick fix. It takes hard work and a committed folk in home after home at the local level. But don’t look to the political to give you the answers….Christ has placed His power in His church.

Blessings,
Chris

gmommy said...

Wade commented that he didn't know the details of Christa's personal story. Her story and others...along with more clergy sexual predators than you ever wanted to know existed are on her site. The ones this particular link show you are just the ones that have been caught.Sexual predators never have just one victim. It took years for many of these guys to be caught.

Christa's blog posts are very factual. That link is to the left.
So many people I know personally don't want to know the truth. They tell me it's too depressing...and it doesn't affect them. Very sad that Christians would close their eyes to this reality.

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/index.htm

I know Thy Peace or Christa will come behind me and give a proper link. :)

Christiane said...

Dear CHRIS,

The Church is not a building, it is made up of Christians who are called to care for one another, at the Command of the Head of the Church, the Lord Christ.

Right now you have some in the leadership of the SBC that turned a wolf loose on people's daughters. They knew what they were doing.

They were not stopped.
They are still 'in control' and may again unlease harm on innocent people either directly or through a perpetrator.

You argue for 'let it be' and the Lord will fix it. But the Lord helps them that help themselves, and NOT TO RESPOND to protect the innocent from these enablers is a SIN OF OMISSION, the avoidance of responsibility leading to the exposure of innocent people to the mercy of those who aggressively cause harm to innocents by allowing perpetrators to prey on the young.

Either the SBC follows Christ and His Way or it does not.
To permit enablers of sexual abusers to hold high positions in the SBC sends a terrible message to the wider Christian community.

But, besides all else, there are precious children to be protected at the command of the Lord (Gospel of Matthew), so the SBC has no choice but to clean up its act, if it claims to be a Christian entity.

No one has the authority in the SBC to do this?
Read the Gospel of St. Matthew. You have been given the Authority to protect the children.
No excuses.
It's in The Word.
Best to take it seriously.

Thy Peace said...

StopBaptistPredators.org - Shining light on Baptist clergy sex abuse.

Stop Baptist Predators Blog - Shining light on Baptist clergy sex abuse: reflections of a Southern Baptist survivor.

Lydia said...

"Brother Alan, if you support the SBC…then you are the SBC. You are as accountable to holding these men accountable just as I am. So what is the solution? It is not to be retributive….our brother James gives us wise counsel:"

Was Paul being 'retributive' in 1 Corn 5 when he said to turn over the immoral brother to satan so he might be saved?

As for leaders who protect or coddle this behavior, they no longer are qualified as elders as per 1 Tim. They are no longer above reproach to the 'outside'.

Alan Paul said...

I do not support the SBC with current leadership. I go to an SBC church, but my church's involvement is minimal - plus they are also aligned with the moderates as well. But to be honest, my church doesn't need the SBC (in my opinion) and would do well to continue to abstain from the her nonsense.

Sounds like your James passage is just what the dr. ordered for SBC leadership.

Alan Paul said...

I may be a little slow but something just occurred to me about your comment Chris: were you blaming me for the leadership's sinful actions? Surely you weren't. Were you?

I kinda favor Lydia's response vs. mine if you want to duel with scriptures though... I may not agree with her all the time, but she's pretty sharp.

Chris Johnson said...

Sister Lydia,

Actually the church at Corinth was doing the command of Christ. They were restoring the church and giving this man an opportunity to repent. Our church in Hermitage had to do this same thing with a very intellectual individual that became disruptive (from a teaching perspective) during a six month stretch and began to prey on some of the folks in the church. As leaders in the church, that behavior was stopped immediately and he was told not to return, unless he could behave, love and edify the members. The church prays for him and his wife, but the church is better off if this factious man is not at work in the church.

For some reason it seems that you have equated elders in the church with presidents of seminaries. There is not a comparison. But if a president is an elder, then he should be held to the higher biblical standard of serving his local church. And, if he is an elder of that local congregation and is found to be unqualified because of his poor reputation, then it is up to His church to restore him (discipline). Restore does not mean that he continues to preach, teach and carry on his duties as a “professional minister”…it does mean that he must submit to the process of restoring himself in the church (which is repentance),…and that could take years. But, it is a wonderful restoration, and he could even possibly be qualified for leadership in the future. If that sounds foreign to the SBC, it is because “it is” foreign to the SBC, but not to scripture. It is always up to the local congregation and its leaders to bring the discipline.

Christiane, you see that Christ followers do not let things “just be” as they are. They assert themselves as Christ has commanded through the work of restoration in the church local. This is the best and highest work,…bringing unity among the Saints. As far as SBC seminaries and SBC institutions go…if the local churches stop funding them, they end. That’s a drastic but certainly effective solution if you want the leadership to stop using their power….because the only power they have is your dollar, not your church.

Blessings,
Chris

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Alan,

I am not blaming you for their sinful action's. I would blame the leaders and church that they are members of, if they are aware, for allowing sin to be maintained in their body through such actions. It is unbiblical and sinful to abstain from restoration. The sin should be exposed.

Blessings,
Chris

Lydia said...

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=12262

Excerpt:

A Southern Baptist Convention leader described a support-and-advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy as "evil doers" who are "just as reprehensible as sex criminals." The comments, included in 6,700-word story published Thursday in the alternative newsweekly Nashville Scene, were from e-mails exchanged in January between Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and Debbie Vasquez, a woman living in Lewisville, Texas, who claims she was raped and impregnated as a teenager more than 30 years ago by a man who is still a pastor of a Southern Baptist church.


http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=8817

Excerpt:

Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page said critics of the convention's policy on sexual abuse by clergy are not really advocating on behalf of children but rather are opportunists motivated by personal gain.

And folks wonder why our churches turn a blind eye to this issue.

"I may not agree with her all the time, but she's pretty sharp."

Thank you, sir. Dittos. :o)

Robert said...

Lydia,
Not that Chris needs defending but I think he did say that Paige Patterson would not be allowed in his local fellowship.
It stills doesnt negate the fact that the local church is the place of discipline and Alan is the SBC.

Robert from Geneva

Why dont you call up Paige Pattersons pastor ask him why he is not
excercising his Christ commanded duties.?

Alan Paul said...

It is unbiblical and sinful to abstain from restoration.

Meaning we should what? Allow them back into our midst? Into our congregations? At what point? How do we know they are rehabilitated?

Have you read any about child molesters and the success rate of rehabilitation?

I was once in your corner, even tried to minister to the offender. But when you've had it happen in your family like I have, you soon find out that very few men are truly rehabilitated and mostly, they live in their own little world where they justify and measure their sin against others. My favorite used against me one time was that "sin is sin in God's eyes." In other words, what I've done is no worse than any other sin in God's eyes.

As to restoration being a sin, if your daughter was raped and she refused to take part in a "restoration" process, would you call her a sinner?

Lydia said...

"Actually the church at Corinth was doing the command of Christ. They were restoring the church and giving this man an opportunity to repent."

I agree. So what are we disagreeing about? Paul was not being retributive as you suggested Alan was earlier. Keeping such a one around destroys the church. Paul said turn him over to Satan:

1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named[a] among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

He said to deliver him to Satan so he would repent. He was to be taken OUT of the Body of Christ.

"For some reason it seems that you have equated elders in the church with presidents of seminaries."

No, that was NOT me. It was Paige Patterson who said the seminary was a church and that is why Klouda could not teach men. Since this was made quite public and there was no major disagreement on that position from other leaders, I must assume they agree that our seminaries are churches.

This is the problem with the focus on "local church". Where does discipline of our entities come in when Trustees are hand picked to be yes men? The Convention is not making the Trustees accountable.

Which is why we have blogs. :o)

" There is not a comparison. But if a president is an elder, then he should be held to the higher biblical standard of serving his local church. And, if he is an elder of that local congregation and is found to be unqualified because of his poor reputation, then it is up to His church to restore him (discipline). Restore does not mean that he continues to preach, teach and carry on his duties as a “professional minister”…it does mean that he must submit to the process of restoring himself in the church (which is repentance),…and that could take years. But, it is a wonderful restoration, and he could even possibly be qualified for leadership in the future. If that sounds foreign to the SBC, it is because “it is” foreign to the SBC, but not to scripture. It is always up to the local congregation and its leaders to bring the discipline."

I totally agree with this. Completely. Amen.

" This is the best and highest work,…bringing unity among the Saints. As far as SBC seminaries and SBC institutions go…if the local churches stop funding them, they end. That’s a drastic but certainly effective solution if you want the leadership to stop using their power….because the only power they have is your dollar, not your church."

Amen!

Chris, you make excellent points.

Thy Peace said...

These are links as provided by Lydia above:

Ethics Daily > SBC Seminary President Labels Clergy Sex-Abuse Victims' Group 'Evil-Doers'.

Ethics Daily > SBC President Labels Sexual Abuse Critics 'Opportunists'.

Alan Paul said...

Robert-

I am not the SBC... I don't support it as it stands. I am not a big supporter of denominations as a rule anyways. They are no longer loosely connected networks, but huge bureaucracies beholden to a few power brokers bent on cloning their beliefs on to you and me.

I agree with you though on the local church being a source of discipline. But I also believe the SBC is also responsible - at least to ensure a church or leader that she has chosen to partner with is getting these "ministers" the heck out of their churches and their ministry.

Just an outsider's opinion though...

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Robert,

To add a little bit more to your comment. There is no doubt that Dr. Patterson would not qualify to lead our congregation. But, if he desired to join with us in ministry we would welcome him and we would also hold him to the love that is taught in Matthew. He might just enjoy learning about Matthew 18 and how it is extremely important to the unity of the church.

One thing that has not been brought forward in this string,…is that most men that participate in the seminaries know where they need to attend to solidify their membership credentials. Their church may have Matthew 18 torn from their pew bibles as well….so I want to be very clear. That exposure of sin is a good thing ….

Ephesians 5:11-16 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; (12) for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. (13) But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. (14) For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you."

Then the clincher for the haughty and those in need of retribution…..

(15) Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, (16) making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

Exposing evil is a good thing!

Blessings,
Chris

Alan Paul said...

Just finished reading Leviticus... God seemed pretty bent on retribution and punishment to me...

Lydia said...

One more thing...I am talking about leaders who protect, coddle and turn a blind eye to sexual perverts. And how our churches and leaders SHOULD respond.

When we turn them over to satan that includes cooperating to the full extent to have them prosecuted and sent to prison.

Restoration can occur behind bars. For life. We are talking about kids/teens here who TRUSTED a church leader. Not 2 adults who know what they are doing.

"As to restoration being a sin, if your daughter was raped and she refused to take part in a "restoration" process, would you call her a sinner?"

Alan, this made me wince. I have actually heard this said of victims. That they are unforgiving and bitter. There was a blog about this happening at one of the SGM churches where a 3 year old was molested by a 16 year old nursery worker. the church wanted police left out of it and the 'Apostles' (that is what their leaders call themselves) told the parents the pervert said "sorry" and told them they were being 'unforgiving' because they would not move on from it.

The parents finally went to the police. Some churches are very cultic like this.

Call the police!

Chris Johnson said...

Brother Alan,

Please don’t hear me wrong …. I am not blaming you for anything. I am making the case that if your brother offends you by sinning in the life of your church you have no option but to restore. The end result is God ordained and a marvelous edifying promise for the church.

All of your questions about restoration are good ones. The Spirit does restore the children of God into fellowship,… that is His purpose. A man or woman that is removed from the fellowship is not removed only in fear that they will come back to harm the church,…they are removed so that they may have reason to hear the gospel….even if it takes the destruction of his flesh.

I am not understanding why my raped daughter would need to be restored to the church (I might be missing your question on this one). I would hope that the rapist would be tried and sent to prison and that my daughter could be healed of any emotional and physical injury. Restoration is not in play.

We are all sinner’s

Blessings,
Chris

salvation without doctrine said...

Chris Johnson said "we must get our collective minds away from the seminary as the genesis for church health. It simply is not so. Maturity and the health of the church is realized in the local congregations that are about the business of obeying God and edifying one another through the gifts of the Spirit. There is no other way to become mature believers than by the Holy Spirit’s work in the midst of those that are following Christ and loving one another day after day."

Amen Brother!


IN His Service
wtreat

Alan Paul said...

I am not surprised... there was a family member of ours who wanted the same thing for the offender in our family who was in his mid 30s - just to apologize, leave the family (via divorce) and to not have any further contact with our family other than to pay child support. He didn't think the police should have been involved.

When I ask those hard questions, they aren't meant to be rash or even a straw horse to knock down. This kind of thing happens all the time and we should be willing to answer them as if we are involved. I tell you, it clears a whole lot up in your mind when you begin to understand the depth of depravity this type of sin involves.

Chris Johnson said...

Yes Alan, He does and for good reason....the indicative

Romans 4:13-17 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. (14) For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; (15) for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. (16) For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (17) (as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.


the imperative.....


Romans 12:19-21 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. (20) "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." (21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Blessings,
Chris

Chris Johnson said...

Thanks everyone for your dialogue,...I'm heading out to my daughters softball game.

God Bless,
Chris

psr said...

It may help to go back to the simple concept that all of us are ethically, morally and legally responsible to report sexual abuse in our families, churches and communities to the proper legal authorities. IT IS A CRIME. We cannot wait for the "church" to determine how to handle it on a case by case basis. The legal system will almost always filter out the truth. Then the facts will be known and proper action will be taken.

Restoration of an abuser should never be done at the expense of the victim.

Alan Paul said...

While we don't take our own revenge - I agree with that - we are in fact God's agents to make sure justice is served - much like we are His agents in bringing people to Him so He can save them, on the mission field, etc. He uses us and expects us to administer justice. Especially when kids are involved (seeing as how Christ had a special place in His heart for them).

salvation without doctrine said...

I know this is going to sound harsh, but I must ask this question. As so many repeat the verse "if your brother offends you....."

Can we say that predators and child molesters are brothers in Christ???? do we dare say it???

Think of the end of that argument. Am I truly a brother in Christ to a molester? Won't the secular press have fun with that point.

Just wondering
wtreat

Thy Peace said...

There was a blog about this happening at one of the SGM churches ...

SGM Survivors.

Alan Paul said...

Nice dialoguing with you Chris and be thankful for your daughter's ability to experience normal life (like softball) without the baggage, hurt and pain that this kind of sin brings into a young girl's life. This is not the case with my family members affected by one man's actions over a 10 year period. They will be dealing with his sin in one way or the other for many years to come. Thiat is why I am harsh when it comes to this subject.

Alan Paul said...

a molester should be treated as unsaved and unregenerated. he is not a Christian. Not that he can't become one - but when Christ talks of someone who harms a child as one who should be cast out into the sea with a millstone around his neck, I don't see how any claim to being on of His can be valid.

Thy Peace said...

Alan, this made me wince. I have actually heard this said of victims. That they are unforgiving and bitter. There was a blog about this happening at one of the SGM churches where a 3 year old was molested by a 16 year old nursery worker. the church wanted police left out of it and the 'Apostles' (that is what their leaders call themselves) told the parents the pervert said "sorry" and told them they were being 'unforgiving' because they would not move on from it.

SGM Survivors > Noel’s Story.

Tom Kelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lydia said...

"Can we say that predators and child molesters are brothers in Christ???? do we dare say it???"

I will say it. He is not a brother. And that is judging fruit only.

That is why Paul told them to kick the guy out of the church.

I personally do not see this sort of thing as a Matthew 18 situation. Paul did not recommend a Matthew 18 style process in 1 Corin 5. Perhaps it was because everyone knew it was going on?

Another reason, the pervert broke civil laws and the government must be called in to do the investigating.

Tom Kelley said...

Hi, Kevin Crowder,
I always read with interest your comments on this blog, as you show an interest in both doing and believing what is right. Sometimes I agree with you, sometimes I don't (just as with many other regular commenters). My own comments (less frequent than others') tend toward the obvious (or at least what seems obvious to me).

I've noticed your comments promoting a presbyterian (plurality of elders) polity over a congregational one. I just want to encourage you to continue to study both the theological and historical underpinnings of the various approaches to ecclesiology and church government. Take what others who promote a particular view with a grain (or perhaps a lick) of salt. So much of what we perceive from Scripture can depend on our presuppositions and prior experiences. For quite a while, as a Baptist of many years, having seen the messiness and carnality displayed in congregational business meetings, I tended to view congregational polity as less desirable (and less biblical) than a presybeterian approach. But having now been a member of various churches with various forms of government, I have seen that the grass isn't always as green as it appears from the other side of the fence.

I've also learned over time that there are benefits and drawbacks to all forms of church governance. And good biblical support can be provided by the proponents of each. It could be that one view is biblically right and others are wrong, or it could be that the Bible isn't as prescriptive on the matter as some would like to think. (Or it could be a little of both -- I haven't decided on that, and even if I did, I might change my mind later, much as I have over time with various eschatological views.)

The real problems with any kind of church government more likely arise from the corruption of human nature than the doctrinal viewpoint in and of itself. No matter the form of government implemented (or if none at all, for that matter), I think we'd all agree that we could do with greater selflessness and servanthood in our dealings with other members of the body.

May we all grow in grace & truth,
Tom


Word verification: bulls. As in papal?

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Hi TOM KELLEY,

It's me, L's.

You wrote this:
" It could be that one view is biblically right and others are wrong, or it could be that the Bible isn't as prescriptive on the matter as some would like to think. (Or it could be a little of both --
I haven't decided on that, and even if I did, I might change my mind later, much as I have over time with various eschatological views."

My Catholic faith draws from three different traditions for Church organization and discipline: the traditions are from ancient Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch. My Church has many different 'rites' united under Rome, but with their own traditional liturgies, Patriarchs, and ways of governing and disciplining. In the different 'rites' of my Church, the constant is that all are under the care of the Roman Pontiff. The various traditions however are given complete acceptance and honored equally. I am a member of the 'Roman' rite Catholic Church; my godmother is a member of the 'Byzantine' rite Catholic Church. The traditions of both are, of course, given equal dignity in my faith.

In your pursuit of Biblical guidance for Church organization, have you ever explored any of the ancient traditions of the early Christian centers of Rome, Antioch, or Alexandria? There may be some clarification to be found in examining those early Christian traditions, each of which reflected a different way of church organization and discipline. Love, L's

Below is some info. on these 'rites' and their origine from early Christian traditions practiced in the three locations.



""Within the Catholic Church ... Canonical rites, which are of equal dignity, enjoy the same rights, and are under the same obligations. Although the particular churches possess their own hierarchy, differ in liturgical and ecclesiastical discipline, and possess their own spiritual heritage, they are all entrusted to the pastoral government of the Roman pontiff.

The Catechism lists seven rites. These rites so listed: Latin, Byzantine, Alexandrian, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite, and Chaldean,2 are actually families of liturgical expression. These rites are the descendants of the liturgical practices that originated in centers of Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria."

Thy Peace said...

Some of us bloggers are done for (including me), as per Steve Gaines:

Steve Gaines explains Suicide vs the Sin of Blogging.

gmommy said...

To think that is called preaching.

Alan Paul said...

Change out the word "church" for the words "Steve Gaines" and it would be a more honest sermon at least.

John Fariss said...

Tim,

You said, "The SBC can produce educational materials for congregations. The SBC can dis-fellowship churches that, when uncovered, knowingly protected sexual predators. The SBC can keep a 'registered sex offender list'," and "There are things that we can do to tell the truth, if we wanted to."

You are exactly right, which ius what I was getting at. You may be young, but you are old enough to recognize the truth! I say that following such a procedure as I or Tim suggest no more violates the principle of autonomy than does disfellowshipping a church for supporting homosexual conduct or disallowing members to serve in the SBC whose churches endorse the '63 BF&M rather then the 2000 version. Can anyone make me understand a difference?

And Chris, with all respect-for I often agree with your comments--saying what WOULD have happened IF so-and-so does not help the situation--neither in the churches that Mr. Giliard "served" nor in any others where there are sexual predators. It is, I fear, dangerously close to, "it could never hapen in my church." Brother, it can happen; these predataors often are at least somewhat pathological, and are often good con men. And I would suggest that you are viewing the situation with the presupposition that they are weak liars and that the average church member--or deacon--or pastor--will not bne taken in by their lies. Unfortunantly, experiences suggests otherwise.

John

Kevin M. Crowder said...

" haven't decided on that, and even if I did, I might change my mind later, much as I have over time with various eschatological views."

@ Tom Kelly

That statement pretty much sums up my theology; or, "I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks" will do as well.


:)

Thanks for the comment. I took it as a great complement.


@RevKev1975 (my twitter ID)

:)

Christa Brown said...

Psr: I agree 100 percent on the importance of reporting sexual abuse to the proper legal authorities. However, I also think it's important for people to realize that the vast majority of child molestation cases CANNOT be criminally prosecuted. In 2007, the National District Attorneys Association passed a resolution publicly recognizing this reality. Prosecutors said this at the time: "Most of these crimes go unreported for many years, and as a result, offenders often escape responsibility for their criminal actions... Because there is often a delay in reporting and rarely physical evidence, most prosecutions are not successful... It is obvious that the criminal justice system cannot solve this enormous problem on its own. Therefore, it is imperative that we explore a multitude of ways to expose the perpetrators of these crimes and prevent further victimization.”

The need for "a multitude of ways" is why other major faith groups have put in place mechanisms for the review of clergy abuse reports. Even if these methods don't put the predators in prison, they can at least minimize the possibility that such men will be able to continue using the high trust of a minister and the faith of kids as weapons for child molestation and child rape.

"Restoration of an abuser should never be done at the expense of the victim."

I agree. This is why I can't understand why some of the state conventions, including the Baptist General Convention of Texas, have for years provided counseling services, counseling stipends, and counseling referral networks for clergy sex abusers (and often for their spouses as well) - paid for with Cooperative Program dollars - and yet they can't seem to provide counseling for the victims. The counseling for the perpetrators was even labeled in a brochure as "restoration" counseling. Why would it violate local church autonomy to provide counseling stipends for the victims when it doesn't violate local church autonomy to provide counseling for clergy perpetrators? I'll never understand that one.

Lydia: I've been called "bitter" so often that I finally just had to make a song out of it:
"Am I bitter?" Survivors - feel free to croon along!

Chris Johnson said...

Brother John,

Just got back from the game… thanks for commenting, I enjoy reading your feedback as well.

What I was trying to do is point out how to confront these impostors. You are right though, they are a slick bunch of men and they can be extremely illusive. I am not pretending that these guys are weak liars, most do have excellent game plans. I am also not pretending that the church should be unprepared and weak when dealing with these situations. Quite the opposite in fact….because there is no room for fudging or flinching. Dr. Patterson is an excellent example of what not to do with a young man that is disqualified from leading in a local church. No doubt the seminaries have some less than qualified men teaching (they have plenty of degrees, but little qualification).....and it is truly up to the local churches to continue to be heard so that the seminaries are encouraged to improve and serve.

I have seen too many churches unprepared to deal with the perpetrators and like Alan, I too have seen the results of women raped by family members as our family took care of a young women for six months from being sexually assaulted by a family member just last year.

Being around men that call themselves preachers and pastors for some 35 years now….believe me, I have seen the gamut of disqualifications that are simply never confronted in the church. Then the guy simply travels down the street to the next bunch of folks. It is a sad commentary on how well sin is accepted in the churches. We have churches contact us about men in the area, and we are very honest with them concerning the man’s reputation and biblical qualifications required to lead Christ’s church.

Blessings,
Chris

psr said...

Christa,
The discussion seemed to be whirling around the concept of what the Bible says the church should do with an offender. I wanted to reinterate that we should be ready to deal publicly with it right away. And, that this is the first step in stopping an abuser.

Our daughter was not helped by the legal system because of the lapse in time from the occurrences to the time she was able to start dealing with it. So, please know that I'm absolutely with you on some kind of accountability for known abusers that cannot be handled throught the legal system.

Thy Peace said...

Former Jacksonville pastor pleads guilty; sex offender Gilyard will get 3 years.
Former pastor Darrell Gilyard pleaded guilty this morning to molesting a teenage girl from his Jacksonville church and sending lewd text messages to another.

Gilyard will be sentenced June 11 to three years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender under terms of his plea agreement. His prison term will be followed by three years of sex-offender probation requiring him to avoid contact with children and limiting where he can live.

The mother of one of his victims told Gilyard in court that he "lived a lie" and that she would pray for him.

Gilyard and his lawyer left court out a back door to avoid reporters.

Gilyard, 47, was arrested 16 months ago and has been free on his own recognizance. He remained free until his sentencing. Circuit Judge Michael Weatherby warned him he would face up to 15 years in prison if he doesn't show up for sentencing.

The former pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church had faced two felony counts of lewd conduct involving sexually explicit text messages sent to a teenage girl and one felony count of lewd molestation for fondling a teenage girl whose parents sought counseling for her from the pastor. One of the texting counts was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

A Palatka native, Gilyard rose quickly to prominence after seminary, pastoring one of the nation's fastest-growing churches while still in his 20s. He left that church in Texas amid accusations of sexual impropriety and came to Shiloh in 1993.

For more on Gilyard's plea, check back on Jacksonville.com and see Friday's Times-Union
.

Thy Peace said...

News4Jax > Ex-Pastor Pleads Guilty To Sex Charges.
After the plea, his lawyer rushed Gilyard out a side door.

Prosecutors said Gilyard has a history of inappropriate relationships with his parishioners.

"He was a person who obviously could not control his sexual desires," said Assistant State Attorney Alan Mizrahi. "He used his position of trust to gain access to children and he used that position of trust to gratify himself."

Other women have come forward to say Gilyard had inappropriate relationships with them, but the only criminal charges included the two juveniles
.

Thy Peace said...

FirstCoastNews > Former Shiloh Pastor Pleads Guilty to Molesting Teen.
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- The former pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church is now looking at three years in prison.

Darrell Gilyard appeared in court Thursday morning where he pleaded guilty to molesting a 15-year-old girl at his church.

He also admitted to sending explicit text messages to another teen.

Prosecutors say Gilyard will be sentenced in June to three years in prison. The prison time will be followed by three years probation and Gilyard must register as a sex offender.

Gilyard stepped down as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in December of 2007 as allegations against him surfaced.

In January of 2008, police arrested Gilyard on lewd and lascivious charges. A mother told police her 14-year-old daughter received an explicit text message from Gilyard that appeared sexual in nature.

In a separate incident, court documents revealed a 15-year-old girl told police Gilyard kissed her on two occasions while in a darkroom. Gilyard had been counseling the girl.

The records also showed Gilyard left four churches in Texas during the eighties and nineties after women complained of sexual abuse.

Gilyard is also facing a paternity lawsuit filed by a woman who claims the former pastor is the father of her 3-year-old daughter. The woman claimed in her lawsuit Shiloh knew or should've known about Gilyard's past
.

Thy Peace said...

Words of a Fether > Brood of Vipers.
This is beyond evil. No wonder the apostle John stares in horror at what he can scarcely believe was ever the ekklesia in Rev. 17:5-7. (There are only two entities in the Bible that were ever said to be “married” to God: Israel and the ekklesia, and I think we can rule out Israel in that passage. The reason this matters is because she is called a prostitute, and this is God’s way of referring to His wayward “wife”.) How can any group of believers harbor such evil, enabling it by silence while the perpetrators roam freely among the sheep?

But while many good points are made at that link, here’s what I think is the foundational “enabler”: The Institution, the “church”, the System. It fosters hierarchy and divides the Body. It puts up barriers between the people and their Savior and God. Of course even a “house church” can be just as bad, but when you have multi-national conglomerates that call themselves “Christian”, you multiply both the severity of the crimes and the number of victims

Think about it. If you have been taught all your life that you have direct access to God, that you have the Holy Spirit to guide you and the Bible to keep you in the truth, then it will be much harder for anyone to use position or fear of hell to victimize you. But if, as in any cult, you have been told that you must blindly obey your rulers, who will not hesitate to hunt you down if you run or smear your name if you talk, you run a much greater risk of falling victim to the aggressive, to people who are known for their ability to put on a pious face while savagely tearing apart the sheep
.

Thy Peace said...

let's stop pastor darrell gilyard together > You are no longer silenced.
But, how sad it was to sit there and watch a man with such gifts, such potential, hang his head as he received the sentence for crimes that he hoped no one would ever know of. The same crimes he has intimidated people from reporting, the ones he has tried to convince others did not happen, the ones he himself has adamantly denied - until now. What a shame, I am truly sad for him.

Thy Peace said...

ABP News > Former rising star preacher pleads guilty to molestation.
A woman who claimed she resisted sexual advances by Gilyard when she was 18 and a youth leader at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville in 1991, started a blog in 2008 urging others with similar stories to come forward.

Tiffany Thigpen Croft said in a recent posting she was not rejoicing about Gilyard's downfall, but she labeled him a sexual predator and said he should suffer consequences for his actions. Croft said if Gilyard had not been sentenced "I am confident that there would be more victims."

In April Gilyard settled a lawsuit with a woman who claimed he sexually assaulted and got her pregnant, but a paternity suit against him continues. According to the Florida Times-Union, an earlier sexual misconduct case against him was settled quietly by his church for $300,000
.

Jacksonville News > Former Jacksonville pastor pleads guilty in sex case.
“You taught us the truth ... but you lived a lie,” one victim’s mother told Gilyard, 47, in court. She said she’d continue praying for him.
...
So was a woman who writes a blog titled “let’s stop pastor darrell gilyard together.” Tiffany Thigpen Croft said she watched Thursday’s court proceedings with a mixture of satisfaction for Gilyard’s victims and sadness for the self-imposed downfall of a talented preacher. Most importantly, she said Gilyard won’t be able to harm anyone else while locked up.

“This is for all the victims that were never heard,” she said. “It’s time to heal.”

andrew said...

Hey Wade,
I have to admit i disagree with you frequently. But i was shocked to read the account of Pastor Gilyard on your blog from last September. WOW. Thankyou for putting the details out there. I am so tired of men in the ministry engaging in sexual misconduct repeatedly and being allowed to continue or be "restored" to a leadership role in the church. As a young man I look for men of proven integrity, who love their wives and flee from evil. We have a radio station here in town that plays nothing but Jimmy Swaggart 24/7. Sometimes it's him singing, sometimes it's him preaching, but it is ALWAYS jimmy swaggert. His deeds of sexual misconduct are undeniable, but somehow every one feels he is a prophet of God. I just can't focus on the details of his ministry because of what he has done so many times. When i was at Southern in preaching class we watched a tape of the top preaching student from the 90's. He was awesome Then the teacher told us that the student had an affair with his secretary and later married his secretary at FBC Dallas. When then watched the second tape, no one in the class cared what a great speaker he was, none of us could respect the messenger. Anyhow, sorry to ramble. But my point is simply this, I think sexual misconduct among ministers is a definite marker that someone is not "called." If Patterson and others had discerned this problem early on, and i am sure they sensed a problem, they should have encouraged him to seek a non leadership role in the church and checked his misbehavior.

Thy Peace said...

Stop Baptist Predators > It should not be forgotten.
If Southern Baptists are ever going to effectively address clergy sex abuse, they must begin to see that the problem is about more than “a few bad apples.” It’s about the way in which the barrel itself enables the rot.

Thy Peace said...

let's stop pastor darrell gilyard together > Extending Grace - A powerful message.
Darrell was certainly an incredible speaker and knew God’s word, how odd and uncomfortable it had to be for him to hear this. She reminds him that he, as the Shepard abused her daughter inside of the Shepard’s office. Among other things she also reminds him that lives have been destroyed and that he will have to give an account for this.

Her final message is so amazing it is God talking through a wounded person right in the midst of tragedy…she says “Just know God loves us and wants the best for us. I will pray for you as always that at some point you get right with God. You are forgiven by me. I have no malice in my heart as we all have sinned and woe is the man or woman that does not confess and turn from their wicked ways.”

Hallelujah! Praise be to Jesus! To Him is all of the glory and honor and praise! Ministering to the man that hurt her daughter, the same man that was supposed to minister to her
.