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

GRACE: A Non-Profit that Speaks the Truth

For several months, I have watched two friends from North Carolina (pictured here), Dee and Deb (Wanda), take on what seems to be an institutional cover-up of horrific child abuse at Sovereign Grace Ministries. There have been occasions when I have read what these two MBA's have written about the victims' affidavits and have become physically nauseated by the nature, extent and cover-up of the child abuse. If you knew these two women like Rachelle and I do, you would know they possess southern charm and hospitality, keen intellectual minds, and a bulldog determination to make right what is wrong in the kingdom. My wife and I would be hard-pressed to name two people we admire more. Truth is, I've not written much on SGM because I can't write anything better than what has already been written by these women. The Wartburg Watch and others have caught the tiger by the chin.

In Deb's post today on Wartburg Watch, she introduced me to a man I have not previously known. He is Boz Tchividjian, J.D., professor of Law at Liberty University and Founder of GRACE, a ministry whose name means "Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment."  Deb writes that Boz responded to a statement from three well-respected men--Mark Dever (Southern Baptist), Ligon Duncan (Presbyterian Church of America) and Al Mohler (Southern Baptist)--which supported and defended C.J. Mahaney, founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries. The three men to whom Boz Tchividian responded are also extremely intellectual, very influential--and until now--seemingly impervious to any criticism.  Not any more. After Boz Tchividjian responded to their defense of C.J. and Sovereign Grace Ministries, they took their statement down. Boz Tchividjian J.D. wrote:

Why is no mention made that the heart of this lawsuit is about a systematic church effort to discourage and eventually prevent the families of children who were allegedly (and repeatedly) sexually victimized by church officials from speaking out and reporting to law enforcement. This lawsuit is less about the abuse and more about an institution that took steps to protect itself and it's reputation over the victimized souls (and bodies) of little ones. Omitting such a fundamental fact from this statement is a fundamental error.  
Why no mention that CJ Mahaney was actually the Senior Pastor at one of these churches where all of this horrific abuse allegedly occurred AND that discouraged these families from bringing this matter to the God ordained civil authorities? Omitting such a fundamentally important fact from this statement is a fundamental error.  
This lawsuit was dismissed for one reason and one reason only…expiration of the statute of limitation. Isn't it tragic that the reason why this suit was dismissed – taking too long to file – was the very objective of these church leaders when they discouraged these precious souls from stepping forward.  
Many of these men have not hesitated to write (or tweet) on the Penn State horrors, gays in the Boy Scouts, and Universal healthcare, but have been conspicuously quiet on this issue…just doesn't sit right with me (and apparently a lot of others). And when they finally speak, what is omitted speaks more than what is said.  
What these men don't realize is that their silence is pushing a large group of precious souls farther and farther from the Church…and our glorious and gracious God. [sigh]  
Boz Tchividjian, J.D. 
Executive Director, GRACE

Whoa! This is what could be called in Bronx parlance "a punch to the gut." Boz Tchividjian's response to the statement of defense by these three respected men is a game changer. Check out the Board of Directors of GRACE. Check out the Partnerships with GRACE. I spent this morning checking out GRACE. I'm impressed. Like Wartburg Watch, GRACE gets it.

(1). The kingdom and people in the kingdom are far more important than any Christian institution and the intellectual, authoritative leaders in charge of those Christian institutions.
(2). The days of cover-up, silence and loyal protection of fellow leaders is over. When wrongs occur, kingdom people right the wrongs, regardless of those involved.
(3).  Like Luther's Wittenberg door, the Internet is the new place of challenge. It used to be institutional leaders discounted blogs as "people blogging in their mother's basement," but only those out of touch with reality now cling to that belief.

Wartburg Watch and GRACE are kingdom ministries, run by kingdom people not afraid to challenge Christian institutional leaders unfamiliar with challenges. The sooner an institutional leader concerned with the loyal protection of a friend realizes that fact, the better off his institution will be.

62 comments:

kbonikowsky said...

Thank you for posting the beautiful picture and your endorsement of Grace and The Wartburg Watch. I agree, they are wonderful women and Grace is a much-needed organization!

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...

Wade,

Thank you for calling attention to this very serious matter in Christendom. It was earlier this year that Dee and I learned of Boz Tchividjian - grandson of Billy Graham and brother of Tullian, who succeeded D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge.

Here is the link to a post I wrote back in February highlighting his excellent work and organization.

http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/02/13/day-100-and-grace-helps-the-sheep/

Words cannot express how grateful I am that he is following this situation closely.

Blessings to you and Rachelle!

Dee said...

Thank you for your kind words.
Confronting ugliness in our churches is difficult and takes a toll on us.
You have been a kind and supportive friend through the years. E Church is making a difference in the lives of people who are slowly starting to believe that there are actually loving pastors like you out there.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I can't believe the inhuman(I don't know any other way to describe it) response from the Reformed community on this matter. They are speaking of false witness, when they are twisting the facts of why the judgment was rendered and other facts in the case.

I thought what Boz said was right on. I read the statement on Facebook at the time of the posting and the comments of over 100 outraged people. It was then gone. But it's posted in many other places on the web where no comments are allowed. I am speechless and haven't been able to find the words to convey just how Christians can respond in the way TG4 has.

I am more upset that Tom Ascol has written the responses he has along with his wife Donna than I am TG4.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I say the above about Tom because he is usually a fair and reasonable man. On this however, I think he has grievously erred. I would think that for the sake of the "alleged" victims, these guys would have more heart than to inflict more pain. Yet that is exactly what they have done.

Wanda (Deb)Martin said...

Wade,

The latest move by Mohler, Dever, and Duncan is attracting the attention of the secular press.

The Washington Post has now weighed in.

Evangelical leaders stand by pastor accused of cover-up

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I believe the lawyer that brought the lawsuit against “Sovereign Grace Ministries” was either DUMB or very clever and on the SIDE of SGM.

The proof of my statement is in the verdict: “Expiration of the statute of limitation.”

Any good lawyer would know the “expiration” of sex abuse against a child NEVER runs out, or until the child is an adult depending upon what state as explained by:

http://angelroar.com/foradults/c-child-abuse-resources-adults/childabusestatuteoflimitationsbystate

Unless a lawyer was DUMB, he would know the “expiration” was past due against a church.

Was the lawsuit against the church?

Boz Tchividjian wrote:
1. “The heart of this lawsuit is about a systematic church effort to discourage…”
2, “This lawsuit is less about the abuse and more about an institution…”

Why doesn’t “GRACE” bring a lawsuit against the “church officials” that abused the children?

IT’S NOT TOO LATE! And this time, with a different lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Debbie, would you consider linking to what Ascol has written on this?

Christiane said...

"The three men to whom Boz Tchividian responded are also extremely intellectual, very influential--and until now--seemingly impervious to any criticism. Not any more. After Boz Tchividjian responded to their defense of C.J. and Sovereign Grace Ministries, they took their statement down."

THEY TOOK THEIR STATEMENT DOWN! those were beautiful words to read, WADE

thank God for those who fight FOR the safety of the Church's children,
and thank God for those who are given the gifts to help others 'reconsider' the stands they have taken in support of what can NEVER be supported by Christian people.

This is good news. Congratualations to all who work so hard to bring about constructive change for the sake of the innocent. God Bless you all. You have my prayers and my sincere admiration.

David L said...

Rex Ray

I'm not a lawyer but what if the lawyer in this case expected that all but two of the situations might be tossed. But went ahead anyway.

Doesn't having all this testimony done via depositions help in the remaining cases? And doesn't it give the police a head start in any investigations they might start based on all of this?

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't having all this testimony done via depositions help in the remaining cases? And doesn't it give the police a head start in any investigations they might start based on all of this?"

David, You make a good point. One that also might be considered was getting the victims to come forward at all. I think all this happening in a cult like atmosphere of sin sniffing and obey your leaders has a lot to do with that. I don't think we can dismiss the shepherding movement polity of SGM.

Some victims had already approaced AoR who vindicated Mahaney and pretty much treated the victims with a pat on the head but a public response that they were "bitter" and "angry" which in SGM is a big sin.

A class action suit gave them a venue of protection and got them to tell their stories in a claim. Now we are told the FBI is investigating.

Perhaps Burke bet wrongly but then perhaps we do not see the endgame here either. And if she took this on contingency with such a long shot....good for her! How can we thank her is the question.

This stuff takes years and years. And never forget that getting this out to the public is also a game changer.

Tim G said...

Wade,
Thank you for posting this. The response from GRACE is spot on!

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Excellent! Our country has just entered in a government sponsored inquiry into this very matter.

Nicholas said...

@Debbie Kaufman

I can't find much from Tom Ascol on the net concerning this subject, but I suspect that this unexplained tweet is aimed at those who have brought charges against SGM: https://twitter.com/tomascol/status/338263306085220352

It is at dire times like these that people who you thought were faithful Christians are either proven to be true to the faith, or proven false. I once thought that Al Mohler was an outstanding Christian. That has long since been proven false.

Nicholas said...

In this most recent tweet, Ascol reveals that the Founders Breakfast will be hosting Voddie Baucham: https://twitter.com/tomascol/status/338368031044542464

Baucham is associated with the fundamentalist, patriarchalist, quiverfull, reconstructionist Doug Phillips and Vision Forum.

If the Founders Conference thinks positively of Vision Forum, then Christians should run screaming from the Founders as well as Vision Forum.

Nicholas said...

@Christiane

Their statement is still up, they're just not allowing comments now: http://t4g.org/statement/

Nicholas said...

@Debbie Kaufman

Please direct me to any comments or defenses Ascol has made of C.J. Mahaney or SGM in the wake of this scandal. I'd like to have the documentation.

Rex Ray said...

David L & Anonymous,

Everyone’s mind has a different ‘filter’. In the 1960’s, I filed a lawsuit through our Union in behalf of ALL “B-machinists’ at General Dynamics to be promoted to “A-machinists since we were doing “A-work” which was defined as ‘setting the job up for machining. As much time went by, we asked the Union why wasn’t our suit started. They said it was going to be settled in ‘Contract Negotiations’. That came and went and we asked again. “Oh, we talked to the Co., and they said you were not ordered to do “A” work…that you just volunteered.” DUH? We corrected the union, but our suit was lost on time expiration.

With that said, what is rational about losing one lawsuit to help another lawsuit? Do you think the victims enjoy lawsuits? The real tragedy is children being used over and over to grind the axes of battling contenders.

Anonymous,
You said, “A class action suit gave them a venue of protection and got them to tell their stories in a claim.”

YES, the suite “GOT THEM”. Do you think children like telling “their stories”?

You are correct in saying, “One that also might be considered was getting the victims to come forward at all.”

Now that the suite was lost, do you think victims are eager to try again?
Do you think children will rejoice in your saying, “This stuff takes years and years”?

This may be a “game changer” to you, but it is not a game to the victims.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Nicholas and anony: It was on Facebook the night that the 4 posted their statement. But I cannot find it now.

Bob Cleveland said...

I wasn't there so I have no guarantee as to what happened. If I had to guess, I'd say bad stuff as stated did, indeed, happen there. But like they say, Alleged....

Having said that, 3 witnesses establish a matter, I read somewhere. And if, indeed, those things did happen in any degree, the best thing a friend can do for the perpetrators is to encourage repentance and confession. If any of the allegations are true, I hope the "supporters" realize what a disservice they've done, to those who perpetrated the things alleged.

Anonymous said...

"Having said that, 3 witnesses establish a matter, I read somewhere'

There are rarely 3 witnesses to a molestation or rape. Molesters and those who protect them love that rule.

Anonymous said...

"And if, indeed, those things did happen in any degree, the best thing a friend can do for the perpetrators is to encourage repentance and confession"

Why not call the police?

Robert I Masters said...

But wait?
Mark Driscol is speaking too the American Association of Christian Counselors.
What to do Dee and Wanda?
Wade just endorsed a conference where your Bad Boy is one of the featured speakers!

Bob Cleveland said...

Of course call the police. But perpetrators need to repent and confess their deeds, unless you think they are beyond forgiveness.

And there are many many people alleging that there was such a pattern in the SGM organization.

I don't blame you for staying anonymous.

Nicholas said...

Nice try, Robby Masters. Wade has been rightfully very critical of Driscoll on this blog, as a simple search would have shown you.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Nicholas: I thought so too, and he said the same thing on Facebook but when I said something about it to him he said that he was not speaking of this incident.

Thy Peace said...

Dee & Deb: If you snagged Tom Ascol's comment on T4G Facebook post that is now deleted, could you post it here? Thanks.

Rex Ray said...

Benghazi…who gave the order to “Stand down”?

This lawsuit…who gave the order to sue the church and not the child molesters?

There’s more going on than the eye can see.

Tom said...

I, too, would appreciate being directed to any public comments that I (and, for that matter, my wife) supposedly made about this issue.
Thanks,
tom ascol

Anonymous said...

"Of course call the police. But perpetrators need to repent and confess their deeds, unless you think they are beyond forgiveness."

Thank you Bob. SGM claimed the victims needed to forgive because they are just as big of sinners as the perp. That was the doctrine of their shepherding movement. And since the perps "repented" to the pastors, the poice did not need to be called. It was all handled in house.

I guess my concern is that so many want to focus on the spiriutal condition of perps who were IN CHURCH and professing Christians while molesting children. Is that a tenent of Calvinism total depravity? Rape children with the indwelling Holy Spirit?

"And there are many many people alleging that there was such a pattern in the SGM organization."

Yes, it does stretch ourselves to read the stories that have been on the survivor blogs going on 6 years now. Some of them went to AoR who was facilitating the conflicts at SGM but to no avail. Then they filed the suit. Not enough "Christians" would believe them, I suppose. It is always harder for the victim to be believed and to make it worse then most Christians are usually focused on the spiritual condition of the perp instead of the victim. It really is mind boggling.

"I don't blame you for staying anonymous."

Thanks for understanding. There are some serious bullies in positions of power in Christian circles

Anonymous said...

"This lawsuit…who gave the order to sue the church and not the child molesters?"

It was SGM unwritten policy to handle child abuse and molestations in house. There was a pattern of doing that going back 25 years. One of the victims was molested at 3 years old and made to face her molester and forgive him because she is a sinner, too.

If you are interested in how dysfunctional SGM was, try reading the sgmwikileaks docs. You can google them. But get your barf bag ready.

You can also see the blackmail transcript of Mahaney with his former partner Larry Tomzack.

Much of this can be found by googling or checking out the sgmsurvivor blog.

Anonymous said...

"Mark Driscol is speaking too the American Association of Christian Counselors."

Robert, this bothers me, too, concerning Driscolls view of women, his teaching on sodomy and pornovisions.

But I am not sure it vindicates PDI/SGM/Mahaney and his shepherding cult. But I suppose it makes you feel better?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Tom: Did you and Donna link to the Facebook statement by Mohler and Company and did you comment on that? Everything was up and down so fast, especially the Mohler and Co. post so I could be wrong, I admit because I cannot find it when I looked, and if I am I apologize.

I take your word on the tweet and Facebook post mentioned here and thank you for letting our conversation stand.

Wade Burleson said...

Debbie,

I appreciate you taking Tom at his word. I do not believe Tom has ever made a public comment about the SGM matter or C.J. Mahaney and I would ask that commenters take Debbie's same attitude and believe Tom when he says he did not write anything supportive of C.J. or the statement of support by the three men in question (Mohler, Dever and Duncan)

Wade Burleson said...

By the way, Debbie Kaufman is gifted with bulldog determination like Dee and Deb, and she also has a humility and grace about her that is uncommon. You can rest assured she will either produce what she believed she saw or she will believe Tom that he never wrote it. That's the kind of woman she is and I'm proud to call her a friend.

Christiane said...

Debbie is one of the Church's treasures, WADE.

She speaks up for what is right,
even when some people attempt to bully her into silence,
and for that reason,
I'm sure she is very sincere in any apology that she makes to someone, if she has been mistaken.

People can trust Debbie's honesty.

Bill Parsons said...

Wade,

Thank you for your support of Dee and Deb at the Wartburg Watch. They have been concerned about things at SGM for about 5 years. Sometimes standing up for the abused or exposing the possible cover-up of abuse within the church can be difficult. Your encouraging words are a blessing.

Bill Parsons (Dee's husband)

Dee said...

For those who asked about a link to all of the comments that T4G deleted, here it is.
https://www.evernote.com/shard/s2/sh/b8529a4f-3ff0-460b-8dd5-b6f6e2f33e50/6e0bf06f3ef88f390d5ca3e75ca338bc

Dee said...

I knew about this tweet by Tom Ascol
https://twitter.com/tomascol/status/338263306085220352

Dee said...

As for Mark Driscoll, TWW has made themselves saliently clear. "I see things."

Tom said...

Debbie,

Neither I nor my wife linked to nor commented on the statement from T4G. As I tried to explain to you in our exchange on Facebook, you are mistaken. No need to thank me for letting our conversation stand on my fb wall. That is simply standing operating procedure for me. I accept your apology. Thanks.

For clarification about my tweet that has been cited by other commenters: It was simply a quote of Exodus 23:1. I am preaching through Exodus and that verse was the next one up in the verse-by-verse exposition of the book (which I dealt with in this morning's message).

Exodus 23:1, which I tweeted, says: "You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness."

Ironic, isn't it?

Blessings,
tom

Victorious said...

Hi Tom,

Noticed you live in Cape Coral. I'm in Ft. Myers so I just thought I'd say "Hi, neighbor!" :)

Wade Burleson said...

Bill P.

Thanks for the very special comment! We appreciate you and your wife.

Anonymous said...

Exodus 23:1, which I tweeted, says: "You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness."

Ironic, isn't it?
"

In what way?

Anonymous said...

Wade,
To my mind, too much heat can sometimes be generated on the matter of child sexual abuse. Some are quick to give directional advice to the victims, guiding them to take instant criminal action, while not always considering the best and complex interests of the victim.
The victim might be thinking the cake is not worth the candle. The whole process takes ages to investigate and to convict. It is very costly in terms of time, money and psychological trauma for the victim. He/she can possibly be left as a permanently re-enforced wreck as a result of the socio/psychological explosion caused by the ensuing publicity.
Counsellors should keep this in mind and allow the victim to calmly consider other ways of handling the abuse rather than rushing off immediately,or many years later, to report the matter to the police.

The Christian victim will also want to consider the abnormally devastating effect such an investigation would have on the perpetrator and on a wide circle of relationships. The devastating punishment for such misbehavior and indiscretions often far exceeds the offence of abuse; the punishment does not always fit the crime. Few of us would want to get any inverted satisfaction from constantly having to observe the perpetrator's severe self-inflicted sufferings, least of all some who are close to the victim.

For me,I don't think our only approach should be that of the sniffer dog or Rotweiler attack dog, but rather that of reaching out with the possibility of Gospel balm for the victims, and of Gospel behavioral change and integrity for the perpetrators. A little less censoriousness, please, for all those who qualify for membership of the Cave of Adullam.

While others may see the need to act differently in dealing with their situation, I will try to keep my childhood abuse experiences to myself, quietly sublimating them while I'm trusting in the Lord and waiting patiently for Him. My helplessness to undo the past does not mean hopelessness for the present or the future.

Gordon

Wade Burleson said...

Gordon,

As a man who has experienced abuse, your words come with a much greater impact than anything I might write. I would be fascinated to see the response of other abuse victims to your comment. You have said some profound things that at least should be considered by those who might ultimately disagree.

Nicholas said...

Gordon said: "Counsellors should keep this in mind and allow the victim to calmly consider other ways of handling the abuse rather than rushing off immediately, or many years later, to report the matter to the police."

Any instance of child abuse is a CRIME, and it MUST be reported to the police. If a pastor or "Christian counselor" do not report such things to the police, then they have committed a crime themselves.

Gordon said: "but rather that of reaching out with the possibility of Gospel balm for the victims, and of Gospel behavioral change and integrity for the perpetrators."

"Gospel balm"??? You sound like a caricature of the T4G guys ("gospel-minded", "gospel this", "gospel that").

Quite frankly sir, you disgust me.

Nicholas said...

Note: I did not read Gordon's last paragraph before I posted my above comment. I would have been less harsh.

I was angered by his suggestion that such things shouldn't always be reported to the police. If you find out that child abuse has been committed, and you don't report to the police, you are a criminal yourself.

Nicholas said...

I apologize for the last three paragraphs in my response to Gordon.

Nicholas said...

To clarify my above statements, a victim of abuse is not a criminal if they don't report the abuse.

But people who find out about the abuse of others, but don't report it, are criminals.

Wade Burleson said...

Nicholas,

Gordon is a fine man from "over the pond." I felt that his comment would produce harsh reactions. I think you noticed his last paragraph after you first commented, but I will remind you (and others):

(1). He is a victim of abuse
(2). He gives room for people to disagree with his conclusions.

Concealing child abuse is a crime, and those who participate in a cover-up should be prosecuted. Gordon is speaking as an adult, thinking through experiences in his own childhood decades earlier. What does one do? He is not referring to children, he is referring to himself.

Thanks for your comments.

Victorious said...

While I do feel strongly that any and all abuse should be reported to law enforcement, at the risk of harsh replies....I must say I also feel some compassion for the perpetrator. Gordon alluded to the fact that it is a label that one must carry for a lifetime and may go so far as to affect their ability to find a residence.

As a former victim advocate, we attended many seminars with law enforcement regarding punishment for sexual crimes. One officer was advocating for some sympathy for the perpetrator for a number of reasons. The majority of attendees were livid at the suggestion. The majority felt if counseling would benefit the perpetrator, let it be done in jail.

In the end, I guess there's no easy answer, but sadly must conclude that we do suffer the consequences of our actions and unfortunately, that may include some long-term or lifetime consequences.

That may be a good thing since it doesn't appear to be a one-time crime. At the same time, I can certainly empathize with the pain of being both a victim and a perpetrator.



Anonymous said...

I have been reading about SGM churches for some time now, on the survivor blogs etc. These all preceded the lawsuit by several years.

I have noted that thousands of people and several churches have left SGM churches within the last year.

I have read some of the claims related to how Mahaney, Tomzack, Detweiler etc. related and all of the fallout related to that.

I can see how some in the Reformed community could agree with Mahaney and his beliefs with regard to certain doctrinal issues.

I cannot see how these same people promote Mahaney as an authority or an example of good church leadership. There is just too much there indicating otherwise.

The standard seems to be that as long as Mahaney did not molest anybody or have some failing in an area that usually kills opportunities for public ministry (e.g. sexual sin, stealing etc.), then he is "fit" for ministry.

No pastor is beyond criticism. All of them have failings and weak areas in their lives. And no pastor whom I know feels as though they are really "expert" or moral leaders. The ones I know are humble men, and when they speak at conferences and such, they do so knowing that they have a long way to go.

But having said all of that, the problems with SGM and Mahaney (whether or not they are proved in court - and let's face it, even if a jury sided with the plaintiffs, some would be wondering about the justness of the verdict) are so plain and obvious that it makes no sense whatsoever to continue promoting him and the SGM churches as examples, or making him a spokesman about pastoring etc.

Despite the many good people in these churches and the good they have done in the lives of some people, it is obvious that there is something very wrong here.

It is my hope that D.A Carson, Mohler, Dever and others with whom I agree on so many things, will come to their senses.

Louis

Nicholas said...

I cannot express enough the sorrow and regret that I feel over my first comment in reply to Gordon. Gordon, I am truly sorry.

Even if not for Gordon's last paragraph, my comment would still have been completely unchristian and uncivil.

Wade, if you wish to edit out any part of my comment at 9:12AM (with a note that you did so), I would have no objections.

Anonymous said...

Let everyone be slow to speak...

Victorious said...

Is there anyone who hasn't said something they regret at one time or another? I know I have...even when I have been slow to speak.

Thank God for those who forgave me.


Anonymous said...

No offence taken, Nicholas. Thanks for the kind note . I am sure you are really as kind and generous as the Saint whose name you bear. Wade, thanks for saving my bacon!

Gordon

Wade Burleson said...

Nicholas,

Thanks for your recent comment. My policy is to let comments stand. I particular like how you illustrate a good way to come back and acknowledge a mistake and apologize. It's a good example for us all.

Wade Burleson said...

Gordon,

You are welcome~! :)

MizMarie said...

"The Christian victim will also want to consider the abnormally devastating effect such an investigation would have on the perpetrator and on a wide circle of relationships. The devastating punishment for such misbehavior and indiscretions often far exceeds the offence of abuse; the punishment does not always fit the crime."

While I agree these matters are much more complicated than we would want, consideration of how an investigation can harm the alleged perpetrator seems to send a message to victims that the harm they are living with needs to be balanced with the harm to the alleged perpetrator. Not sure that is the message we want to send...

Rex Ray said...

MizMarie,
I could not find your quote among the comments. Would you reference the source of “The Christian victim will also want to consider…”)

I don’t recall the law making exceptions for raping Christians.

and

“…the punishment does not always fit the crime.”

Is it punishment for the guilty for a church to hide the crime? I thought 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

You said, “…consideration of how an investigation can harm the ALLEGED perpetrator…”

I would welcome any investigation IF I was innocent. In fact, I would demand an investigation if I was an official of that church to prove I was NOT guilty. Otherwise, a cloud of suspicion is over everyone.

You said, “…the harm they [victims] are living with needs to be balanced with the harm to the alleged perpetrator.” HUH?

Are you saying the harm the victims are living with needs to be balanced with the innocent or the guilty?

It seems to me you’re speaking with a forked tongue.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

I can't believe the inhuman(I don't know any other way to describe it) response from the Reformed community on this matter. -- Debbie Kaufman

I can.

Think of it as a Communist Party Commissar responding with Purity of Ideology. Because Perfectly-Parsed Purity of Ideology is far more important than any atrocity, whether that Perfectly-Parsed Pure Ideology comes from Marx or Calvin.