Archives

Taylor’s Story

Here is a story submitted by Taylor.  Please note, Taylor originally included the names of the pastors involved, as well as of the church locations.  Because of her desire to protect her children’s identities, we agreed that names and locations would be edited out or replaced with pseudonyms.

——————————

I’m afraid my story is not unique.

My husband and I spent many years at our Sovereign Grace church, first as young adults and then later after we married and had kids. We homeschooled, we got involved in home group, and created a nice little bubble for ourselves. We looked the part and believed what we were told to believe and even though we never fit the mold, we kept trying.

The thing was, though, my husband had a porn addiction that was kept hidden (because a Godly wife doesn’t reveal her husband’s sins to the world, or even to close friends). He would get caught, he would “repent” and humble himself, and I was to forgive him. A vicious pattern that would repeat itself over and over, and would set the stage for what was to come.

As I said, we did homeschool our children.  However, it always felt like we were marginalized, as we weren’t able to participate in the classes and co-ops and support groups within the church.  Still we kept on homeschooling.

It all came to a head when I discovered that my husband had been sexually abusing our 10-year-old daughter. I had felt something was not quite right for a couple months, but could not figure out what was going on, and kept telling myself that I was imagining things, that it was Satan putting evil thoughts in my head, that it couldn’t possibly be anything like I thought. My  husband had always expressed such disgust at this sort of thing that I was sure he wasn’t capable of it. And yet the thoughts and feelings continued. I would catch them alone in a room, with my daughter sitting on his lap, or he would call her down to the basement to do some chore with him alone. He started spending a long time putting her to bed each night, but only a few minutes with our other children, while I was busy with the toddler.

One night, I am not sure why I did this, but I went into my daughter’s room to kiss her goodnight after her father had gone downstairs to get on the computer, and I said to her, “You know, honey, NO one, not even me or Daddy, has the right to touch you in your private areas”. And she started crying and said that Daddy had been doing just that every day for a long time, and making her touch him as well.

I fainted right there across her bed. Then quickly came to, and comforted her. I told her that it would NEVER happen again, and she would be safe from then on.

Then I went downstairs and confronted him. He fell to his knees and begged me not to tell anyone. I said I had to protect our daughter, so I called our associate pastor, whom I’ll call Pastor Bill.  As I told Pastor Bill what had happened, my husband ran out of the house and got in the car. I ran after him and told him not to leave and he said he didn’t have any choice because now he was going to jail and he just couldn’t face it and indicated he would rather die than go to jail, then drove off.

We spent three days in agony not knowing where he was or if he was still alive. He turned off his cell phone. Pastor Bill came over to our house and talked with my daughter and made her tell him everything that my husband had done to her and for how long. After the first 24 hours, Pastor Bill gave the situation over to another pastor, “Pastor Fred,” to handle.

I was praised up and down for not calling the police but for contacting them first, for being a “Godly example” of a Christian wife, etc. When we went to church the first Sunday after the crisis, I was with two of my close woman friends, and they asked me what was going on, and I told them what had happened, feeling the need for support and help.

When I told Pastor Fred I had told them, he was quite upset with me for telling anyone, and reprimanded me for gossiping, and then had to meet with them and our care group to do damage control, to make sure no one would know what was really happening or had happened.

Finally my husband answered his phone on the fourth day, and the pastors convinced him to come back. But not to our house. They sent us to stay with my husband’s relatives (another family from our SG church) for several days and let my husband come get his things and move in with his mother.

We were all brought in for counseling with the pastors, first me and my daughter separately, where she had to again tell what had happened, and where she was told she needed to forgive her father, that she was a sinner too, and didn’t she feel that she had sinned by not telling me sooner, and we were made to feel that she had somehow sinned by allowing it to continue, even insinuating that maybe she had even wanted that attention a bit. She was TEN YEARS OLD.

I should also add that I was told by Pastor Fred that I should not get outside counseling for my daughter at all. He said it would expose her to ungodly counsel and do more harm than good, that God was the only healing she needed. So we never got any outside professional help, but my husband got counseling for about 4 months from the pastors. It is the “trickle down” theory of taking care of the “head” and it will trickle down to the wife and kids.

During this time that they were separately meeting with my husband, they counseled him and they met with his boss (another church member) to inform him of what had happened and why he was absent from work. It turned out that all of his late night work at the office had really been opportunities for viewing porn, including child porn, on the office computers, and he was fired from his job.

The pastors knew that so many people knew about what had happened that they were required by law to report it, so they told my husband that he needed to turn himself in instead of their doing it. That was how they got out of their legal responsibility to report it. My husband’s relative who is a lawyer told him not to do it himself, but to use a certain lawyer he knew. The lawyer he had suggested met with my husband and I together, and he said that no, my husband shouldn’t turn himself in because if he did then he would go to jail and we would be without any income, instead since he was now obligated by law to report the crime, he would talk to the state’s attorney and let us know what to do. We didn’t hear anything from him for weeks and weeks, and were left to constantly wonder why.

After about two months of this kind of counseling by the pastors, I was told that in order to truly be a Godly wife, I had to forgive my husband because my sins as a less than Godly wife had also contributed to my daughter’s abuse. I was told that had I better met my husband’s needs physically, he wouldn’t have been tempted elsewhere. A meeting was held at Pastor Fred’s house, where my husband could apologize to my daughter for hurting her and ask her to forgive him. Again she was reminded by Pastor Fred that she was a sinner too, and that Jesus had forgiven her, so she must forgive her father to be a good Christian.

So I was told to allow him to move back home, and to make sure I had physical relations with him regularly, and books were offered telling me how to have a Godly sexual relationship with him, like Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage, and The Five Love Languages.

I was told to put a lock on my daughter’s door, on the inside, and every night after I had kissed her goodnight, she had to lock her door to keep her father out.

And he moved back into our house on Christmas Eve that year. We resumed looking like a “normal” SGM family, my husband was greatly praised for repenting and we were praised for reconciling, and every time we had sex I got sick to my stomach afterwards. Every time he moved or got up in the night, I sat bolt upright in bed. If he went out of our room, I lay there listening to make sure he didn’t go near any of the children’s bedrooms.

The only “counseling” I myself received during this time was when Pastor Fred would ask me to join him and my husband in their sessions, and he would ask how it was going, having sex with my husband, and would want specifics, and right in front of him so I couldn’t really be honest but would just say it was ok.

(As an aside, it seems to me personally that the pastors at SGM have a weird and unhealthy fascination with details of sexual encounters. I know a teen girl who was having relations with her boyfriend, and when she was caught and brought in for counselling, the SGM pastor made her “confess” each and every detail of every sexual encounter the two of them had had, before he could say that she was repentant. I just find it sick. They made my daughter do the same thing, giving every detail of her father’s molestations, but not so they could report it.)

I kept calling the lawyer asking if he had heard anything, and he kept saying no, not yet. Then in February I finally got some specific answers from him. No, he hadn’t actually turned in a deposition. He had simply written a hypothetical report up and put it on the attorney’s desk. Unless I wanted to go in and file charges against my husband, nothing would happen. I called the pastors and told them all of this, and they said that it was obviously a gift of grace from God, and that as a Christian I was not to bring civil authorities into it, and that I was to let it drop and not press charges because my husband was repentant and had agreed to their counseling, and they felt like everything had been discharged properly and what wonderful examples of God’s grace and mercy we were.

A little over a year later, there was a new church plant, and we were told to be a part of that. How convenient for them…

We were part of it, but soon after the church plant happened, I caught my husband looking in the bathroom window from outside when my daughter went in there to use the toilet. I told her to get out of the bathroom quickly, that he was out there looking in at her and not to use that bathroom any more.

I called “Pastor Kevin,” the pastor of the newly planted SGM church, and told him what had happened. He said that sin was insidious and that I should expect my husband to have moments of weakness, and that I was wrong to warn my daughter because I was further damaging her relationship with her father and preventing it from being reconciled. And that was the end of it.

At that moment I knew that not only was I and my children without protection from the church, but that I was truly alone and would just have to make the best of it. I could not rely on any more help from the pastors and it was up to me to protect my children as best I could.

For five years I struggled to be that protection for them. My daughter continued to lock her bedroom door every night. I continued to not sleep deeply and to always be alert to his prowling at night, and we maintained our facade as a healed and reconciled family. I forced myself to allow him to have sex with me, even though it made me physically ill. The toll on my self-esteem, my self-respect, and my family was huge. My marriage relationship was dead, but I was trapped inside it trying to be that “Godly Wife”.

However, we were kept at arm’s length from the rest of the church. Other parents did not include my daughter in birthday parties or other activities because they were afraid she might tell their children what had happened. She was damaged in their eyes. Other parents pulled away from me as well, except for one friend.

Finally, I just burned out. I just couldn’t do it any longer. I couldn’t pretend to love a man who had sexually assaulted my child every day for months. But I didn’t know how to get out. So I started sleeping in my son’s room on a cot, pretending that I had just accidently fallen asleep while putting him to bed. Not coming out unless my husband actually came to get me.

It was only with the strength and support of my one remaining friend that I was able to finally get the courage to divorce him and leave the church, when my daughter was 16. It was a long two-year process, in which I was shunned and ostracized by the church body under instructions by the pastors for “abandoning my family” and breaking my marriage vows. I was told I couldn’t leave the church because as long as my husband was a member, I was a member also. But I finally got my divorce and broke free, and maintained custody of my children.

My ex-husband still attends that same SGM church, even though several of the founding families and the pastors all know that he is a child molester. I would venture to say that none of the rest of the church has any idea, though. He is remarried, and when he has visitation with our younger children, he still takes them to church events.

My older children are now grown and don’t have much to do with my ex-husband at all.  They are also very bitter towards SGM and want nothing to do with them. Their relationship with God has been destroyed, and it will take the work of the Holy Spirit alone to restore it, in His time. But otherwise, they are happy and doing well.

I have found a wonderful church that has helped me realize that the world, and God, are so much bigger than SGM ever taught. I have learned that there is room in God’s house for all different types of people, and theologies and doctrines. And although it took several years, I have begun to trust God again, and read his word with new eyes. God IS good, and even SGM can’t destroy that.

274 comments to Taylor’s Story

  • Argo

    Hi Unassimilated,

    Sorry for the confusion; my apologies. Yes, I was referring to a quote from the document you linked to, not your personal thoughts in your post.

    I was attempting to indicated how even in their own document, albeit in an indirect way, they basically admit that they simply do not have the knowledge base or the experience to counsel people who have undergone suffering and tragedy in major ways, such as child molestation or the untimely death of a child/spouse, etc..

    Again, sorry if I confused you.

    Argo

  • JustAnOutsidersOpinion

    I’ve read a few of the comments on counseling and thought I’d put in my two cents. I received an MDiv from an evangelical seminary within the past few years. We were given a pastoral counseling class as part of the degree requirements. In that class we spent most of the time discussing marital counseling and grief counseling.

    The biggest thing that stuck in my mind was this – we were, in no uncertain terms – told that one class does NOT make you a professional counselor. A pastor should expect to counsel someone for just a few sessions – anything that might take longer than that you are to refer. That’s right refer. That doesn’t mean the pastor drops out altogether, but it does mean that a pastor is not (generally speaking) equipped to do that sort of counseling.

    What I took away from that class was that I needed a good list of other professionals to whom I can refer individuals and still be part of the process.

    Just wanted to provide that perspective if it’s useful to someone.

  • Unassimilated

    Argo,

    I am not clear as to what you mean by your question as your quoted section comes from the documents I linked to, rather than
    my thoughts. My kids had more than a few friends that were compromised at the hands of SGM members and SGM leaders.

    What was right and just vs how it played out is really beyond anything that has been discussed here on this blog in both the levels of inner circle involvement, and the scope of damage to families. Not to take away from anyone who has suffered at the hands of the SGM leaders
    or various perps. There is so much more that
    They need to come clean on.

    What I would want for my family is to have never darkened the doors of SGM. It is a place of pure evil and decay.

    Truth always reveals itself, and I’m
    Looking forward to a day when some have healed enough to share their experiences here.

    Posting via mobile, if there is a wonky word, I blame the autospell.

  • Stunned

    Brokenhearted, very happy to hear such good news. I am so glad you got to hear from them that you were not crazy nor imaging things!

    Stunned

  • Oswald

    BrokenHearted @#258–Thank you so much for the update. Good news is always so welcome and pleasant. God is at work as we can see.(Dare I say this is an “evidence of grace”)

  • Donald Philip Veitch

    @Taylor:

    Winston Churchhill sat in a bunker just before German bombs began to land in London. He broadcasted a radio message (the accent helps): “If the British Empire should last a 1000 years from now, may they look back and say of us, `This was Britain’s finest hour.'”

    Taylor, this is “your finest hour.” To tell the story thoughtfully, honestly and courageously.

    I have a width of reactions to your posts.

    A leading reaction is a serious “Thank you,” but that is far too inadequate.

  • OK, once again, I am repeating myself. But here is a comment that I think makes a particularly important point, about SGM’s weird bias against the mental health profession:

    It’s my belief SGM’s stance on mental health issues presents a false dilemma brought about by a false understanding of what “Scriptural sufficiency” means. “Scriptural sufficiency” does NOT mean that we must limit our knowledge ONLY to what appears in the Bible. SGM pastors already know this on a practical level anyway, or they would be intellectually consistent and reject other categories of “extra-Biblical knowledge,” such as medical knowledge. (We know they certainly don’t reject medical advances, unless such medical knowledge has to do with brain chemistry, at which point many of them do reject it.)

    Random thought here: do we know of any SGM pastor who has a child with epilepsy? Does that child take anti-seizure medications? Is that child under a doctor’s care? Or does the pastor instead treat the problem of epilepsy as primarily an issue of demon possession, which was the way seizures were apparently regarded in the New Testament, even by Jesus Himself?

    Another random thought: what about diabetes? Do SGM pastors believe that many cases of Type II diabetes would be primarily “sin issues,” since there is a clear relationship between Type II diabetes and obesity, which, of course, for many people, has its roots in the sins of greed and gluttony?

    Do SGM pastors automatically react with “bugged out eyes” and suspicion if they hear that a parishioner is taking anti-seizure medication, or diabetes medication?

    If not, why not?

    By their definition of “Scriptural sufficiency,” it would seem like they ought to be counting these other disorders as “sin issues.”

  • I know I keep repeating myself. But I’m really curious about something.

    When is SGM going to talk about their extreme bias against the mental health profession? When are they going to admit that they frequently counseled people like Taylor to NOT get professional help, even in the face of majorly traumatic situations?

    When are they going to acknowledge how many people they’ve hurt with this bias? When are they going to repent of how they’ve made parents of children with ADHD, for example, feel spiritually inferior for permitting their kids to take medication? When are they going to repent of the harm that they have done to people who were clinically depressed and could have benefitted from prescription drugs for this problem?

    They’ve talked about the elevation of practice over principle…they’ve talked about pastoral authority (Dave Harvey just gave a blanket denial…but at least he mentioned it)…they’ve semi-apologized for their “lack of care” for abuse victims.

    But when are they going to address this gigantic issue of their bias against the mental health profession?

    We know they are biased. Just two years ago, Andy Farmer gave this training to pastors. They can’t deny this by saying it was an aberration from the past. They can’t pretend that there aren’t hundreds of SGM members who can attest to the many sermons in which CJ railed against “psychology.”

    When are they going to address this issue, and the harm they have caused untold numbers of people?

  • I haven’t re-read The Pastor And The Counseling Process in awhile. I’m looking at the comments that follow the first segment, and I was struck by this one:

    I had an additional thought about Mr. Farmer’s instructions to pastors to hide their true reactions to what someone is saying to them.

    I’ve taken quite a few psychology courses, including a course called “Methods of Christian Counseling.” I understand that part of a professional counselor’s role is to be a passive listener and keep his own opinions to himself.

    But what strikes me about SGM’s approach, at least as it is conveyed in Mr. Farmer’s teaching, is that the pastors want it both ways.

    Farmer went out of his way to show how pastors are not professional formal counselors. They are pastors. They are with their people for the long haul, and they are “in relationship” with them. The way he talks about these things, it is clear that he believes that this sort of long-term relationship context makes for counseling that is going to be of a better quality than what someone is going to get from a professional…because what SGM pastors provide is counseling within the context of the pastor-parishioner long-term relationship that is built on a different sort of honesty and trust and that has a much more personal element to it.

    It sure seems like he believes that this personal element makes pastoral counseling much better than outside counsel, which is something to be distrusted and dealt with as part of the “mess,” rather than to be supported wholeheartedly, without any disapproval.

    But if that’s the case – if pastoral counseling is this superior thing based upon a long-term personal pastoral relationship – then I think it’s quite deceptive for these guys to be receiving instruction in how to seem more like a professional and cover up something – their honest personal reactions – that is actually a crucial component of the personal relationship.

    They’re trying to have it both ways.

    They seem to be assuming that their counsel, because of its relational context, is superior to profesional counseling. But then in this teaching, they are being instructed on how to squelch one of the things that personal relationships depend upon, which is clear and honest communication, being able to read one another through body language and words.

  • Fried Fish

    Argo #262 –

    Does that mean if you can’t baffle them with bulls**t, turn them over to someone who might stand a chance of actually helping them?

  • Fried Fish

    @5years #260 –

    Thanks for that. I may have mentioned this once before, but I spent ten years working in a nonprofit parachurch organization led by a man who claimed to have achieved entire sanctification. It’s not as lovely as it sounds :) I think a more moderate Arminian view would also agree with the fact that we fight the internal battle with sin until we die. I don’t think anyone with a lick of sense in either camp would buy into using sin as a club to beat the snot out of someone who’s already been hurt beyond measure.

  • Argo

    Kris,
    Love your commentary. :-)

  • Argo

    I read the document that Unassimilated linked about SGM’s guidelines for pastoral counseling. It is quite revealing. I found many things disturbing in this document.

    But, alas, I also found a solution. Here it is. Quoted from the Pastor and Pastoral Counseling:

    “Is the person coming with a therapeutic understanding of counseling? ”

    If the answer to this question is “yes”, then you IMMEDIATELY refer the person to a PROFESSIONAL, LICENSED, counselor who deals specifically with the area in which they are struggling!

    Problem solved. This is not hard. My gosh. It’s just basic humility!

  • I actually transcribed the entire 2-hour teaching on The Pastor And The Counseling Process (the teaching that goes with the handout linked to by Unassimilated). You can view the first part of the transcript here: http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=755

    The other parts immediately follow. Parts II & III are interspersed with my commentary. (That’s a warning for those of you who hate my commentary…and an advertisement, for those of you who think it’s boring to just read a transcript with no editorializing. :D )

  • 5yearsinPDI

    Fried…..

    Total depravity is the same as original sin. It means that every single part of human nature has been affected by the fall and the curse. It means that every single person is born a slave to sin until redeemed by the Lord.(Yes, the image of God remains in mankind and even people w/o God still can love their kids and help others and do good things.)

    It is a contrast to the doctrine that we morally sin but our will and reason are not fallen, and free to choose God. Total depravity says we cannot choose God on our own and no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him.

    It also does teach, yes, that we will have an indwelling sin nature until death, as opposed to Wesleyan perfectionism in this life. We fight sin until we die. But those who believe it also believe that when we are born again we are regenerated, with a new heart and new spirit, the holy spirit comes to dwell within us, and we are made new creatures. The focus is on that, not sin sniffing. We grow in grace and we produce fruit. We are to show mercy and comfort, to encourage, to set our eyes on the author and perfector of our faith.

    And no, belief in T of TULIP or total depravity has nothing to do with SGMs twisted horrible blame the child victim crap. I have never in all my years of Reformed Christianity seen or heard of anything like them. It is truly disturbing.

    If the 2012 Gospel Coalition has Mahaney and Driscoll on the roster as usual, I am going to conclude that any speaker who shares a platform with them is guilty of putting stumbling blocks before young people and is not worth listening to ever again. I am so sickened by all this.

  • Argo

    “Pastoral Counseling is hard: There are no ‘typical’ counseling situations
    that we can replicate. Pastoral counseling doesn’t easily systematize. Even
    the most experienced pastor spends a great deal of his time in counseling
    wondering what he should do and say next – feeling like a ‘stone speaking
    to stones’.”

    Just read that from post 253, Unassimilated. Now, I ask you, is THIS what you want when your daughter has been molested?!

  • BrokenHearted

    OFF TOPIC –

    I just remembered I never updated y’all on my “pastoral reconciliation” :)

    I have now met with 2 out of the 3 pastors I needed to meet with from Fairfax. LG and DH – both were VERY VERY apologetic for the things that were said and done to me, and both invited any and all thoughts I had for things they can do better. From our conversations it definitely sounds to me like a LOT has changed since I left there. They both admitted that there was a definite “elevation” of Fathers/Husbands. DH told me that back then the gut response was anything negatively said against a pastor/husband/father/caregroup leader was immediately given the gossip/slander card. And that there was no way for people to rightly bring a grievance or concern, and that this was detrimental and he was so so sorry for any part her played in that. We were able to talk for quite awhile and it was REALLY nice and…freeing for me. I know that for many on here it would be a nightmare to sit across from the pastor who betrayed them, and I am not advocating anyone who is unready do that. But, FOR ME – it was very liberating and I feel like a weight I have been carrying for years has been chipped away at.

    I learned that DH was aware of my family situation even back then and that he had tried to meet with my parents, but my mother kept refusing. That made sense to me – she was VERY not open to anyone outside of her family being involved in her life. It brought me to tears though to know that I had NOT been alone – that they had been trying to help and I just never knew. They were quick to say that they should have told ME they wanted to help and tried to see how *I* was doing, but that in their twisted thinking they thought if they rehabilitated my dad he would help my mom and us. They apologized profusely (DH and his wife)… there was something so sweet about hearing from them that they were wrong. Not at all in a vindictive way, but just to know I had been validated in my feelings I guess?

    I dunno, I just wanted to share with y’all the good stuff going on in my journey. :)

  • Argo

    SGM doesn’t TELL the other side of the story. We don’t ever hear what goes on behind the scenes…that’s why I had to read Brent’s documents before I had the first clue that all this was going on. So stop with the Proverbs quote. Golly day! It only makes sense if the “other side of the story” gets told. It doesn’t. SGM doesn’t want it’s members to know. They thrive on ignorance!

    And by the way, it’s not one “side” of the story, it’s SIDES of the story. As in one, two, three, four stories like this, plus one that I know of personally, not dealing with abuse, but with another family tragedy that was not cared for “as well as it could have been”. And they all sound eerily familiar.

    Really, how obvious does it need to get? How obvious? I feel like I could say, black is black, and SGM people would be like, “Well, you know Proverbs…that’s only one side of the story. Black could be something else, you never know. Our pastors will tell you what black is later, in the meantime, stop gossiping, you slanderer.”

  • Fried Fish

    Sorry, I realized that my #254 could be taken to mean that I think the SGM application of the concept of Total Depravity could be in some way a normal Reformed understanding of the concept. That’s not the case, I just think SGM has been whacked in their understanding (of a lot of things).

  • Phoenix

    Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11,12 NIV

    I want to invite those who have been accused of slander on this blog, called liars on this blog, called fools on this blog,as I have; to join with me in considering that an honor. I mean it. See above. It puts us in very good company. And among those that Jesus called blessed.

  • Fried Fish

    @Joe the third #252 –

    Dang it Joe, I was really trying to avoid throwing Latin around, and there you go… :)

    Thanks for the clarification though.

    So, does this total depravity continue even for a believer until the day he/she dies? Is that what makes it logical in the SGM system for a pastor to confront the victim of horrendous abuse with their own sinfulness instead of extending compassion and comfort?

  • Unassimilated

    Kris,

    Reposting some old info here, but with a different thought. So the SGM pastors are more than willing to share your dirty deeds with other churches if you leave, but if you stay and seem repentant, you are afforded a type of protection of your secrets.

    This gives one two choices, Stay with SGM or leave Christianity all together if you do not wish to be tracked down. When one stays, they become a testimony as to the validity of the SGM system. If one leaves SGM & Christianity, once again the SGM system has worked by releasing one of the un-destined people back into the world in which they belong…nice.

    There is more to it though –

    With this type of heavy handedness, I would find most “repentance” suspect within the walls of SGM. There is a big difference between feeling mortaly embarrased at the prospect of having secrets out, and that of being genuinely repentant before God and those you hurt. These are two different things, yet in the world of SGM, the former is just as accepted as the latter.

    That being said, we all know that there is no real confidentiality in SGM other than the pastors discretion. I am told that they have tried to argue the point of Clergy privilege existing for the sake of the Pastor on numerous occasions in various courtrooms.

    Self preservation is a big part if you ask me. There is no excuse for the secrecy and deceptions if these men truly love and fear God.

    From Apendix G in Starting Point –

    As the disciplinary process progresses, our pastors may impose a variety of sanctions to encourage repentance, including but not limited to private and public admonition, withholding of the Lord’s Supper, removal from office, withdrawal of normal fellowship, and, as a last resort, removal from membership (Matt. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; Matt. 18:17).

    If the straying individual does not repent in response to private appeals from our pastors, they may inform others in the church who may be able to influence that individual or be willing to pray for him or her, or people who might be harmed or affected by that person’s behavior.

    This step may include close friends, a small group, a Sunday school class, or the entire congregation if our pastors deem it to be appropriate (Matt. 18:17, 1 Tim. 5:20).

    If an individual leaves the church while discipline is in effect or is being considered, and our pastors learn that he or she is attending another church, they may inform that church of the situation and ask its pastors to encourage the individual to repent and be reconciled to the Lord and to any people he or she has offended. This action is intended both to help the individual find freedom from his sin and to warn the other church about the harm that he or she might do to their members
    (see Matt. 18:12-14; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 3 John 1:9-10).

    More semi related info here-

    http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/Reference/PastorsConference/The%20Pastor%20and%20Pastoral%20Counseling.pdf

  • Joe 3

    #251– Fried Fish:

    Total depravity doesn’t mean that the Imago Dei is withdrawn from man. It just means that man is dead in his sin (Eph 2:1-5ff., Romans 8:7-8) and therefore incapable of reaching out to God on his own (John 6:44). By the logic of Genesis 9:6, the Imago Dei is primarily that which makes murder wrong. And this is after The Fall.

    Total depravity =/= Utter Depravity (Utter Depravity, meaning “as bad as we can possibly be”). To analogize, a drop of poison in a clean glass of water makes the whole glass poisonous. It doesn’t mean that the whole glass is pure, undiluted poison. The will, the mind, the emotions–all are affected by sin to a degree. That doesn’t mean that unbelievers have no “civic righteousness” in them, however.

    Hope that helps.

  • Fried Fish

    @Concerned #223 –

    A problem I have with the doctrine of total human depravity, is that it seems to ignore the account in Genesis where God says “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”… I can’t seem to find anywhere an account of that image of God being withdrawn from mankind, even after the advent of sin. How else would one explain the fact that so many unbelievers (who our doctrine declares have no indwelling Holy Spirit), have a sense of right, wrong, justice, and compassion toward those who have been minimized and abused that not only rivals but puts to shame that of many believers?

  • Looking To Jesus

    Taylor, and the rest of you who have suffered the sin of child abuse, I am so very sorry. There are no words to express the magnitude of emotional and spiritual upheaval that this sin brings to all who are touched by it. It is perversion at its height. I have shared in other threads that my precious wife was sexually abused repeatedly as a child by more than one family member in her house and raped as a teenager violently. Folks don’t hear the whole story how sin like this carries horrific consequences for years and years. Intimacy becomes confusing. Trust becomes elusive and love can seem impossible. Without Jesus, it can destroy lives in every way. Thankfully, as many of you have experienced including my wife, Jesus and He alone can bring healing, hope and peace to an abused soul. My prayer Taylor is that as you contemplate the failure of man, even men who where to do the right thing (pastors), you are being held closely by Him and that your daughter and your other children will yet experience His love for them and come to know Him. My wife has experienced the power of God’s presence and care in her life. She has been able to forgive by His grace alone and from that He has made himself more real to her than she ever imagined. Her heart is freer than ever and our marriage is a blessing as we are quite close in every way. This was not always the story. What I am trying to say is that there is hope not only for survival but healing and abundant living. All those who have wronged us will answer to God. We also will answer for our lives. God, allows these terrible things to happen. Don’t know all the answers but through this hell on earth and sin we get to meet and know a glorious Savior who, as we place our trust in Him alone, can restore the years the locusts have eaten in our lives. I pray this is true for all of you. I do want to also add that the failures of SGM pastors is not the result of a group of evil men who have it out for us but were misguided in their understanding of what was best. We can only hope and pray that God will through us, reveal His best and His way by His Word how to handle these situations. However, how we see God and His work is essential in us moving on. God is a God of love. Love for sinners in which we all are or were depending on your understanding of scripture. He heals through the power of His Holy Spirit and uses forgiveness as a vehicle to understand his love more purely. To forgive such atrocious sin can only be accomplished by Him and work in us. It is impossible to ask someone to forgive this sin and it’s devastation without supernatural help. May we all remember, pastors included, (though held to a higher level of discipline), need the redeeming love of Jesus. How can we move on? How can we genuinely forgive? How can we experience freedom and joy and trust once again? With our eyes on Jesus. It’s a process for us all. Let’s pray for reform in SGM and not relegate them to destruction as our enemies Let’s do our part to encourage one another who Christ bled and cried and suffered for-even our enemies. Let’s make this blog be about anger at the enemy of our soul and sin and not add to our suffering the job of being judge and jury against others we cannot possibly know like God. We cannot by forgiving let any one off the hook because God alone is just and will make all things right. How can we all really take all this mess and keep Jesus the focus? Is that is our goal. Sorry feels like I preached a simple, probably theologically weak sermon, as I am not a preacher but may the love of Christ rule richly in your hearts.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @not going back either, You made me laugh! :Overjoy: What a funny thought! I think you are correct, though!
    It seems to me a lawsuit may be what is needed-not for “compensation”, per se, because there really is no compensation..But it may be the only way to make the madness stop! :cowboyup

  • QE2

    #229-I think one big thing in the pastors eyes was what a remarkable ‘testimony” of God’s grace to have a family reunited despite this kind of horrific sin…

    Only the ones who handle things the way the pastor wants them to are held up as an example of “Godliness”.

    A few years ago, we in our area were all notified of a church leader who had confessed to adultery. The wife apparently agreed to take him back. She was lauded and praised for being so Godly. I went to one of the pastors and asked: If she chose to divorce him-which would be a biblical divorce-would she be any less Godly? The answer was an honest “I don’t know”.
    I don’t think that he had even considered that. But just saying that her choice was Godly leaves the unspoken thought that not taking an adulterer back would be the opposite-ungodly.

    Re #219 They have tried to control the output of information by telling people the blogs are bad and run by people sitting in their parent’s basements writing blogs in their underwear.

    I always wear underwear when I post on blogs. Usually it’s under my clothes. It would be more disturbing to me to think of bloggers sitting there NOT wearing underwear.

  • Mary

    Taylor, I just read your story. I don’t have time to go back and read all the comments. I am heartbroken and sick to my stomach for what you went through. Totally. I am so sorry. What your husband put you through is unimaginable – and then for pastors to heap more pain on you. I am heartbroken for you. Horrible. Just horrible. And, why do these pastors keep isolating the broken – anyone would know that is the worst thing you could do. And, to make your child lock herself in her room. She was the prisoner while he went free. Oh, I can’t stomach the thought. Oh my.

  • Claude

    So many post to read, I will be up all night. 8O

  • not going back either

    Lawsuits yes!!! I think it is on their minds everytime they speak from the pulpit, members’ meetings, videos, etc… :Afraid:

  • BrokenHearted

    MOM – I like that :)

  • Stunned

    whirlwind, heeee- new management

  • Whirlwind

    Just thinking, wouldn’t that be funny to visit the SGM web site and see a banner across the top that said “Under New Management” with a link to a completely new board?

  • Whirlwind

    On G&S…if I search around enough, there’s probably some gossip and slander to be found, but I tend to approach the blogs somewhat like Consumer Reports – we tested out the products and here’s what we’ve found. It seems to me that a blanket condemnation of “the blogs” would need to be accompanied by a condemnation of Consumer Reports, Amazon ratings, eBay seller ratings, Yelp reviews, and a host of similar services.

    Stories like Taylor’s are one way of letting people know, if you choose to go here, the service may be something like this…

    I wonder, is there any SGM pastor that has had a bad restaurant experience, but then decided with his family not to tell anyone because they didn’t want to “gossip” and harm the reputation of the restaurant? To further the analogy a bit, there’s a reason you see those signs in storefront windows that say “Under New Management”. It should be obvious how this analogy can be applied to SGM.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Already Gone, yes, it is so terrible, and we are only thinking about it..they had to live it, day after day, night after night, for six long years..I can only imagine the hatred God has for the sins that all took place with that..I am sure His heart was crying, and still is every night right along with them..I do not know why such disgusting people still live, but that is not my call to make..I suppose one day we will all understand even that. For now, for me-that is where I just have to trust God, knowing that He loves them even more than I, and hates the sin even more than I. If it were up to me, I would probably have a special torture chamber just for the perps, and allow all of their supporters to come…nevermind, I better not even visit such thoughts..

  • ExClcer'sMom

    EMSoliDeoGloria, exactly!

  • Already Gone

    Ex’sMom,
    Well said. It just had to be a living nightmare for
    all of them. What a heartbreaking story.

  • EMSoliDeoGloria

    On gossip and slander, props to ExCLCer’sMom.

    although #3 would only be gossip. It would be slander if you were lying about him not putting the toilet seat down :-)

    We do need to ask these questions. The thing is that “part of the problem / solution” are a good start. I would sometimes broaden it to “need to know” or consider “solution” very broadly because maybe someone can be part of the solution just by being a good friend, a kind listening ear… My pastor just doesn’t have the authority to define for me where those lines are – either by sharing my story with someone else who he thinks is “part of the solution” or forbidding me from sharing with someone who I think is part of the solution. My pastor can and should share the principle with me for avoiding gossip and slander but he should not try to define for me what it is in practice – that very much depends on my heart.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Here’s my opinion about G&S: I think the whole thing of being part of the problem or part of the solution is a good beginning. From there, doesn’t it pretty much depend on a person’s heart? I could be sharing that my DH (if I were married, for instance) never puts the seat down, and it makes me so angry! Now, in my heart, I could be:
    1) venting to you, so that I do not “lose it” at my DH, and hoping that you can help me “re-frame” my attitude (you would become part of the solution then).
    2) I could be sharing it to warn you so you look before you sit when we all share a cabin the upcoming weekend (part of a solution also)
    3) I could be sharing it so we can all sit around and have a good laugh at his stupidity, and talk about what a terrible person he is (gossip and slander-no purpose in sharing, or an evil intention in sharing)
    So, that, once again, brings us around to only God knowing someone’s heart, and us not being able to really be the judge of that, doesn’t it?
    The things we DO have to “judge” is how to protect our children..they do seem to have things bass-ackwards, dont they?

  • HighChurch

    Wow…how many untold stories are out there and how many pedophiles are being harbored? God have mercy. This is beyond sick.

    Taylor- I am so sorry for your ordeal.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Already Gone, I wonder if in their twisted kool aid stained minds, the pastors were thinking how Taylor’s family was “the cream of the crop” because of Taylor’s “godliness” in her submission..to think, not only was Taylor being sent from all that was familiar to her in such a traumatic time, having to squelch her pain and disgust, to act like everything was so wonderful..as horrible and as difficult as that truly is , think about how much worse it was for a 10 year old child-to grow up in a new place-all your friends you had are gone, but you are way to insecure to even make new friends, because how do you explain a lock on your door, or even think you are “worthy” enough to have friends? That poor child was basically isolated from every possible avenue of “relief” that she may have previously had!
    Please correct me, Taylor, if I am not painting an accurate picture, but I have a feeling what I am describing does not even come close to all your precious daughter had to deal with from these pastor’s doings.
    My heart is so hurting for her right now. :cry:

  • BrokenHearted

    I have a question that is only related in the sense that it made me think of it :)

    What do y’all think of as gossip? Like… if it relates to me can I share anything with anyone and have it not be gossip or is it only certain things? I am NOT saying I think Taylor sharing her story with ANYONE was gossip let alone her close friends in the church – I think it was right for her to share, but it made me think… what do we think the line is? ’cause something must be gossip ’cause it’s in the bible, so what do you think gossip is?

    for me to share if my hubby looks are porn?

    for me to share if my hubby spent 300 bucks we didnt have on an xbox?

    for me to share that my hubby never puts the toilet seat down? *grin*

    Not trying to make light of serious stuff, but where do y’all think the line should be?

  • Luna Moth

    ExClcer’sMom said: “…if I choose to share that story with someone else, even though it is MY STORY, I am causing the listener to ‘stumble in sin’, because they are not part of the problem or part of the solution, because only my cgl or my pastor are part of my solution.” (Emphasis mine)

    Yes, that too. That’s it too.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Kris, you said: Even stranger – and yes, this is another random thought – is that apparently, Taylor’s post-SGM life choices have not been granted any sort of similar vow of silence.
    SO TRUE!! :word

  • Already Gone

    I awakened this morning with Taylor’s sad story on my mind, and one part in particular – that the pastors sent this man and his poor wife and family on a church plant! Huh?
    I just keep shaking my head!
    The view from our ‘cheap seats’ was that the very best and brightest went on the church plants. That the folks that did so were vetted and approved by the leadership team. That the church sending out families on a church plant were sowing their best members sacrificially.

    It puts a knot in my stomach to think what Taylor’s life must have been like during that season.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Kris, while WE can see the stupidity of telling someone that sharing their own story is gossip, the way the pastors would “spin that” (I know, because they tried it on me also) is to say that “I am supposed to be “cared for” by my cgl and my pastor-they are the “solutions” to “my problem”..if I choose to share that story with someone else, even though it is MY STORY, I am causing the listener to ‘stumble in sin’, because they are not part of the problem or part of the solution, because only my cgl or my pastor are part of my solution.” Many people just “accept this” without questioning..I almost always “question”, but, for the most part, I complied with this one because I did not want a bunch of rumors to fly around about my daughter, since she was a young teenager at the time.

    I DO remember GR telling me he could only think of the situation for so long, because it made him sick to even think of it. (Maybe it was easier for him to think about it once he minimized it). I think one big thing in the pastors eyes was what a remarkable ‘testimony” of God’s grace to have a family reunited despite this kind of horrific sin…GR asked me once, “What if you saw him (the perp) walking down a path of righteousness in God, fasting, praying, being close in care groups, praising God..would you consider taking him back then?” I told him “NO”, because even if I saw those things, I would not trust him or believe him, because THAT was exactly what he was doing when I met him! It didn’t stop him before, I would not trust my children’s safety with him ever again! They could not seem to understand that I was NOT saying that God is “unable” to change anybody, I was saying that I understand God can only change a person as much as THEY are willing to let Him! I was not going to trust that he(the perp) was willing, because he was way too deceptive to trust! That seems so obvious to all of us, but they just dont get it.

  • Luna Moth

    As far as the ban on “gossip,” that predates the Calvinist teachings. I think it’s more attached to the idea that “bitterness” was about the worst sin. Once when I was upset about something that wasn’t being resolved, I was warned that I could “become a root of bitterness that would defile many.”

    I think the idea is that if you tell your story, and other people are angry and outraged on your behalf, and demand that it be resolved justly–now those “many” have been “defiled.” If they never knew, they could never have wickedly gotten mad and caused trouble.

    (Googling the keywords to find the verse–Hebrews 12:15–I found all manner of teachings on the topic. I can’t face reading any of them. :( I’m going to have to leave it to the Holy Spirit teach me what He wants me to know…)

  • Already Gone

    Like a Google map, the more you pull back and look at the broader picture, the easier it becomes to recognize what you were surrounded by, without even recognizing it!

  • Leo, Jewel, Dr. StupidHead –

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You all made some great observations.

    Maybe the strange compulsion to keep Taylor’s situation under wraps – to the point where they accused Taylor herself of “gossip” when she discussed her problems with her church friends – IS the result of the pastors’ concern for the church’s image. I just have a hard time seeing how a church member’s sin/crime would necessarily reflect poorly on his pastors. SGM has for years claimed to believe in total depravity and the ongoing deceitfulness of the human heart. Why wouldn’t there occasionally be big problems in the congregation?

    It’s almost like they’re just paying lip service to the total depravity thing. I mean, look at how they’ve handled the various de-giftings, where a big show was made out of having pastors step down due to sins like pride and “fear of man.” Or of not having one’s family (which seems to mean one’s adult children) in order.

    I actually remember that the Benny Phillips story impressed me when I first heard it whispered around, back when Guy and I were part of our SGM church. It had already happened some years before that, but people were still so wowed by Mr. Phillips’ humility…and by SGM’s high standards for pastoral behavior. I found myself wowed, too. After what has seemed like a general decline in morality among church leaders, it felt good to be part of something that didn’t just defrock men for “moral failings,” but instead dared to take a stand over even lesser shortcomings.

    But now I wonder how many of those de-giftings and “stepping-down-for-a-seasons” were just excuses, cover-ups for political machinations behind the scenes. After all, if these pastors are so paranoid about letting the cat out of the bag over members’ sins, then how many of their own sins are kept secret?

    This is especially interesting in light of how the SGM board is asking people to respond to CJ’s “season of deflection reflection.” After reading Brent’s documents, it’s quite clear that if the usual de-gifting standards were being used on CJ, he would already have been declared unfit for leadership and asked to step down. (Interestingly enough…if that had happened and CJ had actually gotten shanked, he probably would still be forced to attend an SGM church somewhere, rather than going off to – as Dan said – be pampered by Mark Dever. Just a funny little thought.)

    But instead, CJ is off at a non-SGM church and SGM is paying some Pals of Peacemaker Ministries to tell them that they need to create a rubber stamp committee to discern whether CJ is still fit for ministry or not.

    Sometimes it feels like up is down and in is out in this SGM world. That’s why the pastors’ weird push for secrecy in Taylor’s story is one of those details that doesn’t fit with what SGM purports to be.

    Even stranger – and yes, this is another random thought – is that apparently, Taylor’s post-SGM life choices have not been granted any sort of similar vow of silence.

  • Dr.StupidHead

    Kris asked “I wonder, what in the world could have motivated these pastors’ driving need to keep this situation secret?”
    In my own dealings with SGmers after I stopped drinking the koolaid one thing started to stand out. Vainity and fear of man. Many of them ( as in the ones I currently interact with )seemed so concerned about “putting on the good show”. Imagine how quickly a pastor would get “shanked” if something like a child rape case would become public. This mixed with the diabolicaly bend SGM definition of “care” could easily produce this must keep people from knowing attitude…. It seems ( to me anyways ) that they believe anything that does not look good demeans the gosspil :barf:

  • Luna Moth

    “…the doctrine of total human depravity has always had a funny way of emboldening, rather than humbling, its adherents.”

    Yeah, what’s up with that? :scratch

  • concerned for the kids

    Interesting observation from the NY Times. Originally from an article about Driscoll, but shockingly relevant to this SGM implosion:

    “At one suburban campus that I visited, a huge yellow cross dominated center stage — until the projection screen unfurled and Driscoll’s face blocked the cross from view. Driscoll’s New Calvinism underscores a curious fact: the doctrine of total human depravity has always had a funny way of emboldening, rather than humbling, its adherents.”

  • Stunned

    Nickname said above:

    And then, they’ve been taught to check their God-given emotions at the parish door. They’ve been taught to deny emotion in love, marriage, the good kind of pride, and anger. They’ve been taught to deny any emotions of empathy when meting out punishment to children. So their God-given repulsion at the idea of a child’s violation is repressed in favor of handling things in what they think is a superior mindset: that each person’s sins are so great that we cannot be sinned against. No victims. Everyone’s guilty. Once again, they’ve mixed up sins with SIN, and they have left Jesus on the cross with no power for resurrection. In trying to levy sin against the victim, they lessen the sin of the perpetrator. It’s heresy.

    Brilliant.

  • Jewel

    Kris said: “I wonder, what in the world could have motivated these pastors’ driving need to keep this situation secret?”

    I noticed when my adult child was becoming “wayward”, there was something within me that wanted to hide her behavior from the seemingly near perfect church around me. This was a somewhat healthy church. Imagine in an unhealthy/legalistic/sin-sniffing church. How does the “wayward” sheep reflect upon the pastor? I think the reason why pastors want to keep a close lid on this is because of pride and to give the appearance that everything is under control. Remember, so many of these pastors are control freaks: “don’t read this, don’t do this, do this”, etc. How could there be a pedophile under their care? I think perhaps they take it personally that this sin was done under their care (could they have missed something?) and now they have to start cleaning up the mess in any way they can. It’s about protecting their reputation, the church’s reputation, the organization’s reputation because it’s all about the image. That is why victims are not cared for – because if they were cared for, it only gives validation to the fact that there was/is indeed a real problem in the church. So, to answer your question, I think it comes down to: pride, self-preservation, caring more about appearances, always being in control.

  • Abednigo

    Having a few hours to think since my angry post (#176) I just wanted to clarify. Obviously I would NOT shoot the guy or cause him physical harm (duh). But I was disgusted to the point of that much anger. What may have started as righteous anger probably crossed into sinful anger when I started to say how I wanted to hurt him. I let my emotions get the best of me. These stories are tough to hear, but they need to be heard.

  • Leo

    Kris wrote: It’s not “gossip” if it’s about yourself! Don’t these dummies know this?

    me: No, they don’t – it’s all about power and control. A big part of it is controlling the information that goes out to keep control of the underlings. The more control you have over information, the better control you have your the population.

    I am sure many of the sgmer’s hate the internet because all of their secrets are being revealed. They have tried to control the output of information by telling people the blogs are bad and run by people sitting in their parent’s basements writing blogs in their underwear. Now, they are trying to figure out how to do “damage control” and trying many different things (see Josh Harris’ recent statements and retractions, Dave Harvey’s BS videos). Especially since before the internet, people had to talk to ex-pdi/sgmer’s to find out what happened to them. But, with the shunning that pretty much kept it to a minimum.

    Now the the information is readily available, the must be going nuts over it – imagine the typical response when someone who is very controlling can’t control something. It usually isn’t good and explains some of the cussing and screaming and yelling that the pastors do to people that leave.

  • Stunned

    Brokenhearted, thanks so much! I somehow completely missed that post. I appreciate your coming here and sharing.

    Luna, excellent point. Isn’t it ridiculous that they would always (constantly) harp on you having to be sweet at all times, as if getting angry at injustice and abuse is wrong? Talk about an effective way to control people.

    To my kids, I am sooo sorry for passing along this horrible baloney to you.

  • Luna Moth

    Thinking about why SGM people would bring up what someone did “afterward”–after their life and marriage were devastated by someone else’s wicked acts:

    One thing they are probably thinking, or starting from, is the idea (strongly emphasized in our SGM church starting in the early 90’s) that circumstances don’t “make” us do things, they “reveal” what’s in our hearts already. Like if someone close to me acts like a knucklehead, he doesn’t “make” me angry, but his actions “reveal” the anger already in my heart.

    One analogy given to support this is, when a cup is jostled, what slops out is what was already there.

    This always infuriated me. It blamed me for being angry and outraged by another person’s wrong actions. It was my fault for being angry, for weeping and shouting. Never mind that what they did to me was wrong and unjust.

    To me it seems like this is a half-truth that becomes a lie.

    But I think that’s why people would even bring up what Taylor, or exCLCer’s Mom, or any other women (or young people) did after their marriages and lives were devastated by the wicked acts of their husbands (and fathers). Because supposedly those things were “already there.” The situation “revealed” it.

    Why it wouldn’t matter to SGM people that obviously the wickedness was also present in those abusive men’s hearts, too, is another “what the flip?” question.

  • BrokenHearted

    POST 149 – 19 Years in SGM
    September 1st, 2011 at 5:02 am
    @Broken Hearted… I am knowledgeable of the situation that was supposedly “handled right” with the perp going to jail. The one detail that you didn’t share and probably didn’t know and changes the story is that the abuse was to a foster child in the family.
    Social Services was always involved as this family was a Foster Family serving many children over the years. This was not a case of pastoral involvment, except to offer support to the wife as she dealt with the complete unraveling of her family in every way. It was a horrible time for her.
    I wouldn’t count that instance as a good handling per se. The option to intervene was not there from the SGM pastor’s view.”

    It was in response to the situation I listed where the pastors fully supported a child molestor/rapist going to prison for a long time and supported the wife a lot through it.

  • concerned for the kids

    RE: SGM leadership’s odd fascination with sex

    I won’t restate the many good points and examples made about this above, but it reminds me of Mark Driscoll’s fake “visions from God” he’s been talking about recently, regarding rape, molestation, and adultury in graphic detail.

    I don’t want to derail this site with an in-depth discussion of Mark Driscoll’s ridiculous and well-documented antics (Google is your friend), but given how much the SGM guys like Josh, CJ, Piper, etc like him, link to him, & endorse him, I do find it’s interesting that he, too, has an unnerving fascination with sex, and graphically discussing it.

    It’s a disturbing common element that just refuses to go away, and I can’t figure out why it’s so prevalent in this group.

    As an unrelated closing point: when “leaders” repeatedly support and promote a clear fraud like Driscoll, as CJ, Josh, et al have for a while now, it tells you much about the lack of integrity among the leaders themselves. Maybe Josh’s quick return to the party line shouldn’t have been so surprising given that perspective. He was never one of us, despite his 1 week of almost walking in the light.

  • I posted this yesterday, and I’m still really interested if anyone has any insights to provide:

    One other observation/question I had about Taylor’s story involves the following:

    When I told Pastor Fred I had told them, he was quite upset with me for telling anyone, and reprimanded me for gossiping, and then had to meet with them and our care group to do damage control, to make sure no one would know what was really happening or had happened.

    I wonder, what in the world could have motivated these pastors’ driving need to keep this situation secret?

    And, isn’t it ridiculous that these men accused Taylor of “gossip,” when she was merely discussing HER OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE!

    It’s not “gossip” if it’s about yourself! Don’t these dummies know this?

  • Stunned

    hey brokenhearted. thank you for shedding some more light, but frankly, I am not sure what you are referring to. Can you give me a hand? Are you referring to the situation that you referenced earlier where you believed that the SGM pastors dealt with the sexual abuse situation well?

    Are you saying that the child who had been molested was a ward of the government?

  • BrokenHearted

    WAAAAY back “19 years In” said that the child was a foster child, and that is true and I DO think that played some into the situation – I actually did not share that because it’s not my story and I was trying to share as few details as possible in order to protect his wife. But, I also happen to know for a fact that the pastors had zero desire to hide it or anything like that. One of the pastors told me if he was the wife he didn’t think he would stay with the guy because she had HUGE biblical grounds for divorce and he respected her so much, but he didn’t think he could do it.

    *shrugs* I did not share the story to debate whether the wife felt forced into staying or what I just shared it to say it was a case where I feel the pastors DID handle it well and the “perp” is in jail and no one disputes that him being in jail honors God.

  • Way back in #148, Nickname wrote a particularly brilliant analysis. I wanted to highlight it here, in case anyone missed it:

    WHY have so many other SGM pastors failed miserably in the handling of such situations?

    I believe that the SGM mindset, whether actually taught or atmospherically absorbed, is that the local church is an autonomous theocracy, and is superior to what they see as ungodly civil government. This is demonstrated not only in the “we’ll handle it in house” sexual abuse cases, but also in the idea that homeschooling is the only way; that courtship is the only way; that in-house music is the only way; that living in the same neighborhood is the only way; that considering your caregroup above your extended family is the only way — the list can go on and on. They may have also misappropriated the idea that Christians do not sue each other, that they work those things out within the church. But settling a lawsuit dispute over a kitchen table with a pastor or Christian mediator is a far cry from handing criminal charges, punishments, rehabilitation, and counseling.

    Amazing. If a child broke a leg, would they expect to set it themselves? That brings up another question. In cases of physical abuse, have they also protected perpetrators?

    Add all that to that the belief that in Christ, we are new creatures. Somehow, we have taken that to mean that once we become Christians, we will never be tempted by any big sins. Okay, maybe we’ll be tempted by some little sins, but surely, no one who is really a Christian can do BIG sins, can they? Uh, yeah, they can. This idea seems to oppose their theology of “all sins are the same” — but basically, they’ve turned Christians into little sinners, not big sinners, so all sins are the same.

    There’s this idea that once you become a Christian, God automatically delivers people from big sins like pedophilia, heroin addiction, etc, so the church isn’t going to have to deal with those. I was guilty of this kind of thinking for a long time myself. And now I can’t figure out why I expected someone to be delivered from heroin or pedophilia when I wasn’t cured of chocolate addiction. And somewhere, there’s some kind of idea that Christians should automatically not ever go to jail. Tell that one to the Apostle Paul.

    So, in their eyes, the big sins became just like the little sins. Pesky habits that could be brought under control by controlling spiritual leaders using magic formulas for behavior modification.

    The theological concept that SIN (big s) is SIN is surely true. But they’ve gotten SIN (big s)mixed up with sins (little s, with a plural) in the same way they got mixed up with Big A and Little A apostles. These guys really need to go to seminary.

    And then, they’ve been taught to check their God-given emotions at the parish door. They’ve been taught to deny emotion in love, marriage, the good kind of pride, and anger. They’ve been taught to deny any emotions of empathy when meting out punishment to children. So their God-given repulsion at the idea of a child’s violation is repressed in favor of handling things in what they think is a superior mindset: that each person’s sins are so great that we cannot be sinned against. No victims. Everyone’s guilty. Once again, they’ve mixed up sins with SIN, and they have left Jesus on the cross with no power for resurrection. In trying to levy sin against the victim, they lessen the sin of the perpetrator. It’s heresy.

    I thought the part about checking one’s God-given emotions at the door was especially astute.

    I think a frequent theme in our comments about stories like Taylor’s is, “How could anyone treat a victim like that?” The SGM pastors’ callousness and inappropriate idolatry of “correct theology” as they’re dealing with children are really hard to understand. Many of the guys here (Breezey, JS, Chuck, Abednigo, to name a few) have articulated the gut reactions of normal men to child abuse. Yet somehow, the pastors in these situations don’t behave like normal guys. Why is that?

    The belief that all natural instincts and raw emotions are tainted with sin and therefore must be forced through some theological grid before being acted upon is at least partly to blame, I think. Where a normal man’s righteous protective anger would rise up and make him feel like punching the perpetrator, SGM pastors are stifling those feelings and instead instructing the 10-year-old victim about her own sin and how Jesus forgave her so consequently she needs to forgive her abuser.

    When is SGM going to repent of this particular little oddity in their culture (the total distrust and denial of normal human feelings)?

  • Stunned

    Amen, Luna!

    Taylor, feel free to contact me any time you’d like. I have been through similar things and if you ever need to scream or yell or weep, I’m here to listen. (I once owned a small collection of thrift store plates so people who were affected by sexual abuse could come to my house and throw them at the back of my garage. Best $1.50 investment I ever made.)

    If now or later down the road you need to get ahold of me, please feel free. notaloneanymore1@gmail.com

    Just remember, you’re not alone anymore in this.

    Stunned

  • Luna Moth

    Kerrin, that is a good quotation.

    Letting people make mistakes…letting them be angry…I am seeing this as more and more important. And I’m getting more and more peaceful about it. Because God is bigger than all our mistakes.

  • Stunned

    Oh, heavens to Betsy, if someone (any SGM pastor) thinks that they can trot out someone’s decisions in order to eradicate their victimization or to distract from the pastors’ sins, let me give you guys a hand. I have blown it over and over again. So many sins, so many mistakes. From sexual sin to overeating, I’ve done it all. (I haven’t yet smoked a cigarette but I did once think about trying pot. Just in case this will help you guys out. It’ll make your gossip research easier in case you feel the need to ever try to discredit my story like you have with exCLCer’s Mom and Taylor.)

    I have sinned in my anger (at least if it’s sin to think it’s a good idea for the SGM pastors to have to wear electric dog collars during “family meetings” so astute audience people can give them a little zap each time they detect SGM-speak or bs in order to break the SGM pastors of the sin of manipulation.)

    Actually, I have sinned in my anger much worse ways than that. That dog collar story was just my way to distract you so I wouldn’t have to reveal the real and ugly stuff. Like the way Aron Osborne once tearfully confessed sighing heavily because he was ticked at his children’s bad behavior instead of coming out and confessing sin that is actually tons more damaging to others and a lot more disgusting seeming. Like how I did that? For a second you probably even thought I wasn’t as bad as I really am because I confessed wanting to help these guys break their bad habits by a small shock instead of revealing the really ugly stuff. All it takes is to “confess” pride tearfully to think someone must really be humble and good. I’m not. Never said I was. I’m a sinner. That’s why Jesus came. Thank heavens He can’t be fooled by someone’s “goodness”.

    So SGM pastors, when you’re ready to address and discredit my story or the story of dozens more here, just go ahead and give us a ring. Most of us would be happy to hand you our dirt. No need to make up lies like you have for Dan or Taylor or Leo. We have plenty of our own real sin to keep you busy trying to distract your followers for days. Besides, it’ll give your poor interns a break from having to do any research. (Is it research when you make up stories, too?)

    You teach we are all sinners, unable to not sin. Then, according to you, why should we be more ashamed of it than other sin and why should anyone think it somehow takes away from the sin done to oneself? Silly pastors, do you not understand your own doctrine? We all sin. Nothing shocking there, at all. And according to you, all sin is equal so again, we are all guilty of murder, rape, pillaging and speeding. So why do you bother to spread gossip that someone is sinning, when it’s exactly what you expect us (and yourselves) to do every second of the day?

    Silly pastors.

  • happymom

    Kris,
    Thanks for clarifying and I retract the statement about anyone attempting to slander Taylor. #201 I think a lot of us are feeling pretty protective AND raw after reading her story.

    Taylor,
    We still have your back in prayer!

  • I thought the following excerpts from Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich would be helpful to some in light of the current discussion.

    When young people leave a [high-demand group], they need autonomy, including the right to make their own mistakes. Personal dignity and autonomy are the basic rights each person has by virtue of being human. These rights are overridden when others decide to use influence, pressure, or whatever to get you to do what they supposedly know is best for you. The experiences I had in the [high-demand group] make it difficult to trust people, especially if they are paternalistic. They may mean well, may think they know what is best, and may work to help me to avoid what they feel would be pitfalls, but they should realize that if I am to recover from the [high-demand group], I cannot be expected to continue in the [high-demand group's] modes.

    …one of the basic needs of a young person leaving a [high-demand group] is permission to be angry. I should clarify that. First we should be given permission to disagree and choose for ourselves.

    Growing up perceived as “perfect,” surrounded by such “perfection,” and “striving toward perfection” was a difficult taskmaster. The self-sacrifice leaves you empty, but you keep striving. You beat yourself up for your inadequacies. You always come up broken. You can breathe again when you unlearn or dislodge this black-and-white, tyrannical thinking and embrace the flaws within and without. Then you get comfortable with the fact that only gods and maybe monsters are perfect, and neither you, your friends, your family, nor the world will ever be. This step, in itself, creates the space for peaceful thinking and a rite of passage into accepted normalcy.

    *Note: use of the word “cult” is not meant to be pejorative, but rather descriptive. Therefore, I have replaced the word “cult” in the above with “high-demand group.”

  • Taylor

    @Kris — Thanks for clarifying. Sorry I got so defensive. Still a little raw from posting yesterday. Probably better for me to just read for a while and not post again.

    @5Years — Thank you for your kind words.

    @happymom — Thank you for the kind offer. You have no idea how much I appreciate it!

  • Patti

    Brokenhearted said:
    ” and the pastors FULLY supported the wife in telling her husband she would only stand with him if he plead guilty and didn’t try to get a minimum sentence. ”

    That’s still not good enough for me. Does anyone have a story where the pastors FULLY supported a spouse that was NOT going to “stand with” the child abuser no matter what the offending spouse does?
    If by any chance that wife felt manipulated into standing with her husband as the ONLY way he would NOT plea for lesser sentence, ugh! I know I shouldn’t read more into the sentence than actually meant, I was just thinking.

  • I should clarify something. One of the messages I received about possible “extenuating” circumstances in Taylor’s post-SGM life was actually written in a very kind-hearted way…and the person assured me that even though those post-SGM circumstances existed, they believe Taylor’s story nonetheless.

    That one message in particular did not feel like “slander” to me.

    The other message was just a couple of sentences, to the effect of, “You probably don’t know the whole story.”

    I look at these things as coming from sincere people who really want to believe the best about their pastors and their church. Often, they’ve been aware of the pastors’ side of the story, or know what the church was told about a person’s departure, and they’re trying to be helpful.

    But I would not accuse the two email writers of “slander.” It did not feel particularly mean-spirited to me…just maybe a bit confused. Because I still say, Taylor’s post-SGM behavior has very little to do with the reality of what happened to her and her daughter at the hands of pastors.

  • Roadwork

    Send to a friend earlier today:

    The saddest part of all of this…. It didn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t have to be this way. But they like it this way (apparently) and it’s not going to change.

    Sovereign Grace Ministries. It’s a 30-year house with a faulty foundation. It’s going to require a knowledgeable contractor to jack up the house, dig out the old crumbling, unstable and rotten foundation, assemble new forms and then pour in fresh concrete, let it cure and then gently set the house back down on the new firm footings.

    It would be some time before the house would be ready for new occupants, but at least it would be a safe dwelling place for all those who enter.

    Unfortunately it appears that the “owners” of this house would rather watch it crumble, killing the remaining occupants rather than do the right thing.

    ~ Roadwork

  • happymom

    Taylor,
    Please know we have your back in prayer. If it helps to contact anyone on this blog, please feel free to get my info from Kris.
    Sorry about those out to slander you, that’s the standard response, don’t worry too much, we know better.

    Nickname,

    #195 – Excellent question!!

  • 5yearsin PDI

    Taylor, again, we are so sorry for what happened to your daughter and pray for all of you. May the Lord give back the years the locust has eaten. I am so sickened I can barely stand to read about this, and I thank again for your courage in posting.

    Dan Allender has a good book called The Wounded Heart, help for victims of sex abuse. Very compassionate. Just thought I’d mention it. It helped a lot of women I have known (outside SGM of course, who labeled it psychobabble even though the guy graduated from Westminster Seminary).

  • Taylor

    I just want to say that I am saddened that two people would want to slander me to Kris. I allowed Kris to post my story, knowing that it would happen. And yet, it still surprises me. It doesn’t hurt me, though, because I and my family are no longer able to be hurt by SGM. We are safe! I know they won’t view it as slander, because SGM only views such things as slander if it is directed at them, and when they do it they view it as “seeking to inform”.

    I shared my daughter’s story because for years I have read similar stories here and thought, “Oh no, not another one!” and would relive it all over again. The fact that it is STILL happening, that children are still being dreadfully, horribly hurt and families torn apart, and those pastors are allowed to continue to perpetuate the atmosphere that allows it to happen made me have to finally speak out about our own experience. I am just one of many. And if this many stories are public, many more are never going to be known.

    Yes, I made choices in the years that followed (and after many years of swallowing my own bile to do what I had been told was the Godly thing to do) that are considered “sinful” and such by SGM. Were they made from PTSD, or as a result of allowing myself to be forced to remain in a marriage to a man that had raped my daughter not once, not twice, but every day, sometimes more than once a day, for months? ( And yes, much of what he did to her would be considered rape, not just molestation.) That could have been a factor, but not the ultimate reason for those choices. I would never use what happened to my daughter to explain away my own decisions later.

    I had decided I had to leave SGM and my marriage over a year before those other choices were made. The fact that those other choices were used to publicly explain my leaving was how SGM did not have to reveal the other reasons. And that is probably why those two individuals think that they *know* why I left. They were not in the marital counseling sessions the last months, they were not told all that happened in the pastors’ offices. Not surprising. By focusing on those choices and not giving full disclosure, they were able to manipulate and smokescreen. I think that is pretty much standard operating procedure at SGM.

    My daughter’s story is true and stands as is. My choices later are my own story, not hers. I only told my daughter’s story. No, I am not going to tell you what those choices were. I am not going to tell you everything I had to endure to get out. Not on this list. This story was about my daughter and what we went through.

    To those two individuals who *think* they know who I am, please feel free to contact me and ask me directly rather than talking about me behind my back. I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you think you know, and I don’t know what you told Kris. But my cell phone # is the same as it has always been, and so is my email address. If you knew me 6 years ago, then you might still have those. But I know you won’t because you were told by the pastors not to contact me because I might persuade you to believe my side. The pastors don’t think you can make that decision yourself. They believe you aren’t smart enough, that you don’t have the depth of biblical understanding that they do that would be needed.

  • Ellie

    No question about it, Dan – it IS godly rage.

    You’re one of the good guys, Dan.

  • Stunned

    CJ Mahaney just had a new article published in Tabletalk Magazine, posted at Ligonier (his buddy RC Sproul’s baby). Here is an excerpt from CJ’s fan facebook page.

    Happy Pastors
    ‎”Pastoring is not an easy job. It certainly is not a clean job — it is shepherding, after all. If you’re a pastor, you’ll be tempted to complain and to serve joylessly. … We must fight for joy because our skill, diligence, and faithfulness alone will not cut it.”
    -C.J. in his new article published in Tabletalk magazine

    It’s interesting that somehow, even pastoring is all about CJ, the pastor instead of about the actually people. How is shepherding about the shepherd? I thought it was about the sheep?

    But this has to be asked, when was the last time CJ was close enough to anyone of the lowly sheeple to be a pastor? Seriously, who was the last regular congregant that CJ pastored? Anyone care to speak up? I can’t imagine this guy even has a memory of what being a pastor to a regular Joe is. Yet, here he is writing about it. If you haven’t had a skill used in 20 years (at least), then you probably shouldn’t be speaking on it as if you have a clue what it’s like.

  • JS

    Matthew 18:6 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

    This is a severe indictment not only for the molesters, but also for the pastors and churches that caused these little ones to stumble in the way they handled the situation. Appalling.

    JS

  • Nickname

    To the legal brains out there: Do you see the makings of a class-action lawsuit emerging from this pattern of pastoral behavior?

  • JS

    This stuff baffles me. Scripture clearly teaches that the government doesn’t bare the sword in vain, and is there to punish lawbreakers and protect society from violence, lawlessness, etc.. This is not the church’s role, it’s the government’s role.

    For something as egregious as molesting one’s own child, how in the world can SGM justify not turning these people into the police? That’s the very purpose God put the government in place for! This is amazing and will never cease to baffle me.

    What type of crime would it take by a SGM member for the SGM pastors to call the police? Murder? Apparently rape isn’t egregious enough. Perhaps murder would be? Or would they try to cover that up as well?

    Mind boggling.

    JS

  • Whirlwind

    The more I read the comments, the more upset I become.

    ExCLCersMom wrote in #109:

    3) Taylor stayed with her husband, despite having to have her child lock her bedroom door, to keep herself safe at night FROM HER OWN FATHER

    Can I gently suggest, if there is anyone else out there taking steps like this to protect their child, please find someone who can help you take the necessary steps to make changes. You’re child shouldn’t ever need this kind of protection in their own home and you don’t need to live like this.

    And I will more boldly state, if anyone out there is suggesting any kind of arrangement where a child has to grow up knowing they’re not safe in their own home, you are an idiot. Please, shut up!

  • Already Gone

    Verysad-
    Great comment, thank you!

  • Verysad

    I never thought I would be posting here and as I write this, tears fill my eyes. I was not led to read any of the blogs for years after being told about them. Even while my family and I were in the midst of our own struggle with a situation that we felt was not handled in the best way and through which one of my children was deeply hurt, I still stayed away from reading the blogs. After a while, I felt a prompting to read the posts and thought maybe God was leading me to read them so that I could pray for those who were posting on them. Let me back-track and say that I was a member of an SG church for close to 20 years. I was clearly led by God to leave the church after this situation although the situation in itself was not the primary factor – it was a culmination of a myriad of promptings and concerns I had over the years and thought it was my own pride and uncharitable judgments rather than the Spirit of God nudging me. We left a couple of months before the news of CJ’s leave of absence.

    With the very sketchy scenario painted above, my main reason for posting is I felt led by God to do so. I read something last night posted by “just saying” that sent ripples through my soul as I had heard this precise statement about the different ways people remember something and the analogy to the four Gospels during our situation. I was troubled by it then, but moved forward in love and forgiveness. I dearly love the individual who said these words to me and I still dearly love the leaders and members of the church I left. I thank God for what we did have that was good, pure, true and of Him during our season there, aside from my concerns. What was riveting to my soul was that this statement and analogy could be made on the blog in reference to the rape vs. molestation of a sweet, innocent child. It simply DOESN’T MATTER if there are discrepancies in the minute details – the bottom line is that a child was hurt and THAT should be the single greatest issue at hand and concern to ALL and should inform subsequent actions. First, care for the child and their family, second, care, combined with consequences (both legal and within the church) for the person committing these acts, precautions and measures to protect others at risk from this individual, and lastly or actually not at all concern about the reputation of the church or the individual guilty of the acts. When I read this it was as if scales fell from my eyes and I could see through the eyes of the families of these precious babies (I have seen child abuse first hand in my family and others close to me and heartbreaking doesn’t even come close to describing what happens in your heart and home and what the precious child endured and continues to endure for years). I could also see clearly the blindness that obscured/still obscures the vision of SGM leaders. Though I believe some of them are desirous of “owning” to some extent their part in these sad stories, they are still unable to see clearly and fully enough to truly respond as God would have them respond. I know now that I was led to read this information so that I would know how to pray for those posting on the blog and the leaders and members in SGM churches. And I will say that I did not read all the comments, nor can I honestly say that I see/agree in my heart with all of what I read. I believe the Lord would say to all of you that His purposes and plans for your children, for you and for SGM CANNOT be thwarted. I pray He softens your hearts not in a shrinking back way as you have righteous indignation and want to see things set right in regard to your babies and all who have been and are now a part of SGM. I get that. I believe the Lord wants to do a work through all of this so that all see His love, His healing power, unity of the Body, and His glory is ultimately revealed. Trust God to expose and reveal ALL that should be exposed and revealed in His perfect timing and to bring the outcome He desires. We trust Him to do that in our situation and are praying for the individual(s) involved. I know you have written your stories in the earnest hope of seeing this happen and I in no way judge you for that. So, I leave you and current SGM members who may see this with this word: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” He is clearly at work – I know you sense that as well. Also, I earnestly ask you to join me in praying for SGM and SGM churches, leaders and members. I am sensing that many of the leaders know that much is “not right” and has not been right for a while. May our God open their eyes FULLY and guide them in wisdom and truth by His Spirit. I believe with all my heart that they desire this as well, but don’t know how to move forward. Lord, help them! Lord, help us all who are called by Your Name!

    And now Lord, I pray for all of these families and children who are so very precious to you. Lord bring healing, bring comfort, bring joy and complete the work that you have begun and assure them that you have plans not to harm them, plans to give them hope and a future. Bless them today oh Lord and every day and may the cry of their hearts forever be “yes, Lord for the rest of my days”, knowing that you will never leave them or forsake them.

    I don’t consider myself a “survivor”, just a saint with victory in Jesus and a desire to see His glory revealed together with all of you and SGM leaders and members. Jesus is the winner!

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Ex, :goodpost I always love it when I see a post from you!

    Kris, I am just wondering, by the couple of emails you said you received about Taylor’s story..did it seem evident to you that Taylor’s story is one of 2 stories? I would certainly not be surprised at that, and to even find there are more..I was just wondering if because of names or location, you could tell that they are perhaps two different stories?

    @ Whirlwind, I agree.

  • Stunned

    exCLCer quoted, ““In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -MLK”

    YES

  • Chuck

    An open question to any current SGM member who may try to minimize the crime of child rape on the basis of the behavior of the victim at any time before, during, or after the crime:

    WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???????????????

    When a child is raped, THAT IS THE CRIME. Any talk about what the victim, or the victim’s mother, brother or Siamese cat “was really like”, or how they “turned out later” or any other gibberish of that sort is just static, IT DOESN’T CHANGE RAPE INTO SOMETHING ELSE!!!!

    When we stand before God on that day, there will be no points for how clearly we articulated the nuances of these things. None. The question will be “What have you done with the least of these?”

    Chuck

  • Jayson

    Hi Kerrin,

    Regarding your post in #152, I have to say, excellent excellent response. :clap

    Lord Bless

  • Stunned

    PS. So glad these SGMers aren’t “gossiping” about a wounded one in the body. Geez.

  • Stunned

    Kris said (with emphasis mine)

    But it occurred to me, even if one or the other scandalous story is true, what difference would it really make? Would it change the facts of what happened initially, when Taylor called her pastor after discovering the molestation? Do Taylor’s choices surrounding her departure from SGM really have any bearing on whether or not her SGM pastors responded appropriately to child abuse?

    If anything, I would tend to see any possible scandal as perhaps resulting from years of weird treatment and bad counsel. While of course each of us is responsible before God for the choices that we make, it’s also true that we can be especially weak and vulnerable to certain sins because of the behavior of others in our lives.

    So anyone who might think of posting about Taylor’s post-SGM life, I would suggest that you think logically. It really doesn’t matter if she ended up running away with the circus or robbing banks after leaving SGM. Taylor’s post-SGM behavior, whether saintly or sinful, doesn’t alter the behavior of her SGM pastors.

    Exactly. How is any of her behavior relevant?

  • Stunned

    Abendigo said, “Am I the only one who hoped as you read her story that she would say, “And they found his body…”?”

    :clap

  • exCLCer

    Kris, you are so right. In my experience its not uncommon for those who would defend the pastors to try to bring up what they like to call “sins of the victims”, before, during, or after the abusive behavior of the pastors. And its totally irrelevant. I think they feel as though labeling victimized people as “sinful” or “evil”, justifies, in their mind, why things didn’t go “smoothly” during these situation. Its absurd! Whats more absurd is that these people think that by demonizing the victims they somehow absolve the pastors or other church members from any bad or indifferent behavior on their part.
    Just to know that any of the abused persons eventually live with any sense of normalcy is a testament to their courage and strength to survive.
    There is NO justification. And to hold victims of such heinous circumstances to a higher standard for behavior than you do your own pastors who were so abusive is hypocritical at best. I think the ones who should be most “above reproach”, or most held to a standard of good character are the ones who incessantly talk of their character as an example to live by.

    I also think people are feeling their conscience eat away at them for standing by and not doing more or not speaking up at the time, and as they wonder why they stood by silently, they try to justify it with the “things they heard at the time” or the “scandalous” details of how victims responded in desperation. To admit their pastors did wrong right in front of their faces, is to admit they could have done more as well.

    “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -MLK

  • Whirlwind

    @ExCLCersMom, you shared in #92:

    Then, I still remember the day when Chuck got up before the church one Sunday Mornign, and spoke about the “demographics” of the Gaithersburg area-how they wanted to “reach out” to this certain age of people, and this certain “level of income”..It all started to sound so much more like a business.

    In my experience in a church completely unrelated to SGM, sometimes the thinking runs like this:

    1. We want to be able to take the gospel into all the world.
    2. We need money to take the gospel into all the world. Where is it going to come from?
    3. We can begin to target families and individuals with sufficient disposable income to help us take the gospel into all the world.
    4. We’ll need to spend some money on certain externals to make that target demographic feel comfortable here.
    5. We may appear to be moving away from some core commitments, but we’re really making adjustments so we can better take the gospel into all the world.

    The problem as I see it is that the “target demographic” has more influence over the leadership than the leadership has over them and everyone begins to become comfortable with a middle class, suburban lifestyle as long as they’re giving their 10%. Eventually, you move from an apostolic team that willingly shares their income with anyone who asks to an SGM board that keeps those details private.

    There’s a lot more at play, but I think it all stems from an initial desire to serve Jesus that gradually changes shape over 20-30 years. Unfortunately, it’s not just an SGM problem. I’d love to see SGM start funding church plants in poor, urban areas where they just commit to fund the mission for 20 years even if it never becomes self-sufficient.

  • I think the important thing to keep in mind is that a person’s post-SGM life is a separate and distinct topic from what happened to them while they were in SGM.

    That, by the way, is why the “Terms of Use” page has such a long-winded explanation about how people who try to use this site to promote their post-SGM views or validate their post-SGM lifestyles might not have their comments published. If you’ve left SGM and are now – hypothetically speaking – a liberal feminist, your present-day liberal feminism really does not have much of a connection to whether or not your SGM pastors responded appropriately to you when you were under their care.

    But it seems to me that SGMers have been taught to flip this around, to where if I leave SGM and go on to make lifestyle choices that SGMers would deem sinful, it is a sign that I was never a believer in the first place…which would then validate (in these SGM defenders’ minds) how my SGM pastors treated me before I left.

    I’d prefer to keep the focus on the actual behavior of SGM pastors in the moment, rather than on people’s post-SGM decisions. The moment, for example, that the SGM pastor chose to direct a 10-year-old to forgive her molester because she too is a sinner is of a lot more concern to me than whether that girl’s mom went on to embezzle money or or sleep around or whatever.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Kris-so very well said! :goodpost I think of PTSD, I think of how so many survivors of victims taken in 9/11 crises were criticized for how they spent their monetary settlements.. Many people just dont understand how extremes in stress, trauma, and depression can affect one’s judgment and actions..They are either extremely insensitive, never been through such extreme issues, and/or are trying to divert from the main point, to minimize the original offense..any way one looks at it, it is simply WRONG!

  • Leo

    Kris – excellent post!!!!!!! So typical of sgm and their “defenders” to do what ever they can to attack those who left sgm. My personal experience fits with what I have read here about the lies spread about people that leave sgm.

    I remember running into a member after I left and he told me “I heard you had moved out of the area to move in with a girl you weren’t married to” which was not true at all.

    Anything that come out of these defenders mouths (or emails or post) is automatically suspect – the lies that are told to “protect” the reputation of sgm is just sick. And then they have gall to dare tell people like Taylor that telling others about what happened to them is gossip when they spread outright lies. I should have called Dave Bendenelli and told him him that they are slandering me and I will take legal action – just like he told me when I told him sgm was a cult.

    What ever anyone does after they leave sgm is their personal business, not sgm’s. Unfortunately, sgm usually spreads lies in an attempt to discredit those who have left and make them look like they never were believers to “protect” the church.

    Kerrin – great post as always!!!!!

    Taylor – thanks again for sharing what happened to you and your kids.

  • Rom828

    Kerrin #152 & justawife #156 & #160
    Excellent posts… :goodpost The reason the blogs exist is because of SGM spin and silence!

    SGM Members – once you’ve read through the testimonies here… you must not just nod your head at videos and generalized confessions… you must seek truth!

    Kerrin said… “To flip this back around: the SMG “pastors” were in many cases the ones to speak first and they seemed right to all their followers. Now these blogs come along with many cross-examining questions and “the other side of the story.” Now there is little to no response from the SGM “pastors.” When they do respond their words (e.g., Dave Harvey’s video) contain more spin and misleading statements. Then more cross-examination happens here. If this verse applies you have it bassackwards, sir.”

    justawife said… “SGM pastors are aware of the stories posted on these blogs and they are not speaking up about them, at least not in the capacity that they deserve mention… All I hear is Dave Harvey or whoever else try to answer questions about the situations in some mitigating comment. I understand that these pastors cannot change the past but I have to ask the question of why they are not speaking up about these things. They are quick to call it slander but not give a reason as to why it is specifically “slander”.

  • I received a couple of interesting messages last night. Two different people think that they knew Taylor, and both suggested different scandalous circumstances of her ultimate departure from her SGM church.

    In other words, these folks were wondering if I was aware of the “extenuating” circumstances of Taylor’s life choices after her daughter’s molestation.

    Since both these post-SGM stories can’t be correct, I’m not even certain if Taylor is the person either of these people is referencing. Maybe these people are thinking of other situations.

    But it occurred to me, even if one or the other scandalous story is true, what difference would it really make? Would it change the facts of what happened initially, when Taylor called her pastor after discovering the molestation? Do Taylor’s choices surrounding her departure from SGM really have any bearing on whether or not her SGM pastors responded appropriately to child abuse?

    If anything, I would tend to see any possible scandal as perhaps resulting from years of weird treatment and bad counsel. While of course each of us is responsible before God for the choices that we make, it’s also true that we can be especially weak and vulnerable to certain sins because of the behavior of others in our lives.

    So anyone who might think of posting about Taylor’s post-SGM life, I would suggest that you think logically. It really doesn’t matter if she ended up running away with the circus or robbing banks after leaving SGM. Taylor’s post-SGM behavior, whether saintly or sinful, doesn’t alter the behavior of her SGM pastors.

    I think we had this same discussion about “exCLCer’s Mom,” come to think of it.

    Logic, people. Logic.

  • Abednigo

    Reading this makes me want to shoot this guy myself. Happymom asked a few times what SGMers thought in light of this newest story. Having watched Harvey’s video yesterday, and in light of the stories I had already read prior to today, to say I was disappointed in his video doesn’t even begin to express how I feel. It confirmed he doesn’t get it, and I have little to no confidence that SGM will get it. And whether he meant to or not, he minimized the victims stories. Saying these pastors could have “cared better” or “pastored better” or “could have been more sensitive” IS NOT AN APOLOGY! Something like that should FOLLOW an apology, along with specifics of how you failed to care or pastor or be sensitive. There was zero ownership taken in these failures of these pastors. His view of the situation, as I’ve suspected, seems to be VERY narrow and primarily focused on getting CJ declared fit and back on the job. The video, in some way, felt like lip service to the victims. “I hear ya! I’ve heard we have a few problems. We’ve got a crack team working on it and I think you’ll like what we come up with! (cut to camera two) We. Are. Here. For. (hand gesture, point at the camera) You! (cut back to camera one).” That’s probably very judgmental, but that’s the feeling I was left with.

    His comment about it being “painful to watch your family go through a trial”, I suppose since I’m a member at an SGM church I’m part of that “family” (yuck), but it’s not painful for me the way it obviously is for Dave. It’s infuriating to see this “trial” handled with such a smug attitude (at least that’s the perception his video left me with). I don’t think it’s a trial Dave. I think God is whooping your @$$. And you’re still not getting it. I would rather humble myself under the mighty hand of God and be sincere than for Him to rip out my knees.

    Taylor, my God I’m so sorry. I want to throw up. I want to break your ex’s face. Am I the only one who hoped as you read her story that she would say, “And they found his body…”? That’s extreme but that’s how I felt. Anyone who can argue that God sees this despicable crime the same as me going 90 in a 55 is severely ignorant. God’s wrath is poured out on account of things like this.

  • Remnant

    I was third-wheel in a discussion where an SGM member was relating to another, “She is thinking about leaving because she is upset that CJ has left the church. I told her she ought to stay and trust the leaders to work it out.”

    Me, being the third wheel and not knowing who “she” is, butted in, blurted out, “But what if she DOESN’T trust the pastor?”

    I was looked at like I had horns growing out of my head.

    :Happy-Grin: <—– see my horns?

    How can anyone trust SGM pastors?

  • ExClcer'sMom

    So very true, Justawife! So, if SGM wants to say no one should judge before they hear both sides, and they want to “generally speak of and brush away” the issues in their meetings, or videos, etc, where no one has an opportunity to refute, or share another side..but the place where both sides could be shared is condemned as gossip or slander..do you think they suppose, or hope that it will all just go away by do those things? I would think that even they, with their white-washed tombs, er, I mean kool-aid stained selves, that they could see the writing on the wall by now, and stop with the BS/PR!

  • old timer

    Taylor, I will pray for you and your family.

    Your older children who want nothing to do with the Lord are closer that they know. HE carries them in HIS hand whether they know it or not.

    You are a strong woman and thanks for sharing your story.

    When light shines in the darkness the darkness diminishes.

  • Doran Deo

    Stunned, thanks for your encouragement. Since I’m no longer in the church, it probably wouldn’t serve the current leaders to bring them in without their permission. I do believe the current leaders would respond the same way. Kris can give you my email and I would be glad to let you know where I served. Blessings.

  • DK

    re # 144 – The Discovery Land manual’s instructions on how to handle suspected abuse runs counter to the law. I wonder if anyone who has a copy of it would consider sending it to the relevant Montgomery COunty authorities. Perhaps they would step in and educate the pastoral staff and their lawyers as to its inaccuracies.

  • Stunned

    Remnant, your post was great.

    Stunned

  • Stunned

    justawife also said, “I understand that these pastors cannot change the past but I have to ask the question of why they are not speaking up about these things. They are quick to call it slander but not give a reason as to why it is specifically “slander”.”

    Well said, justawife.

  • Stunned

    Corm Deo, this is EXACTLY what I have been advocating SGM do. Thank you so much for protecting your church in this way.

    Can I ask which church you were in? I personally feel that so many of the SGM churches stain the others by their horrendous sin and I like it when we find one that isn’t making the same mistakes most of the others are making.

    I am also glad that you showed your church that the response to a repentant sinner is NOT, “Go away, you are disgusting.” Church is exactly where repentant sinners belong. If not, what the heck are we all doing there?

  • Stunned

    hi justawife. you said, “#137 Kris: Why you may not hear from some satisfied victims is because, even when sexual abuse is handled as it should be (i.e. reported to authorities as in the case BrokenHearted describes) the victims rarely come out and want to reopen the wound. While handling the situation correctly does decrease the chances of the event repeating itself, since the perp is now in jail or a registered sex offender, the wound is still there on the part of the victim.”

    I agree the wound is still there, but as someone whose family’s sex abuse was handled somewhat well (a church other than SGM), I have openly shared here about it many times. If there were any member of SGM who lived through this and believed that SGM handled it well, then they would be so eternally grateful, that I believe they would be barging down the doors of hell (or at least Kris’ in box) to tell the story and defend SGM. Hundreds (at least) of SGM supporters have found this site and contacted Kris. Yet not one to say that their case of sexual abuse was handled well. I know Brokenhearted wrote to say one case was handled well, and for that I am grateful. I hope the victim feels just the same way and look forward to hearing their story, too.

  • Remnant

    @Mom – as I was just doing a few chores just now, I was thinking that I was ridiculous for posting the above comments #160. I mean, the thoughts I expressed are so obvious and why state the obvious?

    But then the thought came: these things are obvious to mosteveryone EXCEPT SGM leadership.

    Why is that?

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @ Remnant..So very, very true! :amen

  • Remnant

    This morning I find myself horrified at the lack of regard SGM leadership places on wives.

    The fact that they blame a precious wife for her husband’s pedophilia is unconscionable.

    That they would order her to have physical relations with her while they both know he’d prefer to be “relating” to his 10 year old daughter rather than to his wife is fraught with so much disconnect it is hard to understand.

    That they would not understand that physical relations is so much more than the physical act for a woman, but encompass her very heart and soul shows they simply don’t care for women. To force her to “relate” in such a manner is soul-raping.

    That they don’t hold husbands accountable to vows made at the altar to love and to cherish the woman who married him in good faith shows they are simply mouthing words without intent to keep their promises.

    SGM leadership is disgusting.

  • happymom

    Justawife,
    One church did respond. Fairfax responded to our abuse story, Wallace’s Story, April 8, 2011, in their family meeting in July, 2011.
    We found many deceptive statements and continued spin. We’ve heard that pastor V.H is telling people that we’ve been inconsistent, mainly because we have stated all along that while we do forgive those who have offended us, their continued deceptive spin of the facts proves the lack of genuine repentance and we are committed to expose the lies, and they see that as being inconsistent. Because we FORGAVE already, we should just shut up while they spin the facts and the lies are not dealt with. The fact that we HAVE forgiven, just proves that we are MORE than willing to forgive, but we can not ignore the spin and deception, which Fairfax continues to cover. If you’re really sorry, you are no longer lying to cover yourself. Also, you can not have complete biblical reconciliation when one party refuses to be honest while weeping about how sorry he is for not being there. That ain’t happening.
    If interested, you can read our response to their family meeting in the Recent Posts section, Wallace & Happymom Respond to Fairfax’s Family Meeting.

  • Already Gone

    Kerrin, :Approve:

  • jedi

    Taylor I read your letter with great care. I have been emotionally undone by these stories lately and I understand with great agony the responses you had to these men.

    I understand your desire to do what they were telling you to do so that you could be “right before God” and that is was “Christian” duty of a wife. It takes great courage to leave an abusive situation and I admire you for doing what you did.

    I know that those of us who have cried along with this story, and relived emotional experiences, Who have asked God for help and some sort of understanding, and have begged for healing, I for one am very greatful to you for your example in coming forward.
    Thank you

  • justawife

    Correction on my previous post: GS has written a letter of apology. I don’t want to discredit all the SGM pastors because there are some true, loving souls out there who are probably feeling the same way as most of the members about this (believe me not all SGM/CLC folk are brainwashed sheep). I would be surprised if more do not want to reach out as Somerville did, the problem is in those being accused of “covering up” the actions of the perpetrators in these situations not telling their account of the situation directly.

  • Already Gone

    The SGM pastors have a standing invitation to respond to everything said on these blogs. An opportunity to correct anything that they would like to correct.
    They make their case to their churches in family meetings without the victims present, giving the victims no opportunity to respond. These blogs give the victims a voice, a chance to give the whole story. Unglossed, unvarnished, no spin.
    And Oswald. The idea that a victim “mentality” will keep a person in an unhealthy state is simply wrong.
    Just start reading the psalms!

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @ Kerrin.. :goodpost

  • Coram Deo

    I meant to say, ” we cautioned our parents not to allow their children to have any contact with him”.

  • justawife

    #137 Kris: Why you may not hear from some satisfied victims is because, even when sexual abuse is handled as it should be (i.e. reported to authorities as in the case BrokenHearted describes) the victims rarely come out and want to reopen the wound. While handling the situation correctly does decrease the chances of the event repeating itself, since the perp is now in jail or a registered sex offender, the wound is still there on the part of the victim. Another possible reason to explain why you receive so many messages from those wrongly handled cases vs. those rightly handled is that reporting to authorities is an assumed reaction. It isn’t lauded or commended really because it is something that most individuals do not even think about when confronted with the situation. It’s really a knee-jerk reaction to most of the general public. That is why these stories rub us the wrong way.

    @Oswald and John King: Truth be told I think everyone, especially SGM churchmembers want to hear “both sides of the story”. However we are only being told one side from these blogs and this bothers me (and other SGMmembers). SGM pastors are aware of the stories posted on these blogs and they are not speaking up about them, at least not in the capacity that they deserve mention. Not once yet have I heard any pastor who is being held responsible for any offense reported about on these blogs openly give their side of the story. All I hear is Dave Harvey or whoever else try to answer questions about the situations in some mitigating comment. I understand that these pastors cannot change the past but I have to ask the question of why they are not speaking up about these things. They are quick to call it slander but not give a reason as to why it is specifically “slander”.

  • happymom

    Dan,
    # 148 – Thanks for the continued prayers for all of the abused.

    Not only do these guys continue to proceed business as usual, I noted in Harvey’s video where he was referring to the churches going through these trials and he says, “it’s difficult to see a family go through a trial.” :bang SHOULD read, it’s difficult to see innocent ones suffer at the hands of those leaders who are supposed to be caring for them. All these abuse stories clearly illustrate that THEY are the problem as much as the abuse itself. What these men (and I use that term with much hesitation) don’t realize is when they abandon and attempt to point out the sin of a 10 year old victim they are confirming their feelings of guilt and shame that the abuse brought about. Have ANY of them EVER repented for that specifically?

    He goes on to say, “we’re in this trial together.” and yet he fails to point out that these “trials” have come about BECAUSE of the leaders….they keep trying to make this a huge church issue, like when Josh said, SGM is getting spanked, NO, THE LEADERS are getting spanked. Although, the longer the members bury their heads in the sand and sit by why these abuses happen, it then becomes a church-wide problem, but this has all come about because their leaders created this environment. Leaders, stop trying to blame the members for what YOU have done.

    We have yet to see genuine repentance leading to change. We have yet to see leaders taking complete and total ownership for the many mistakes they’ve made. Weeping in front of your church WHILE you are spinning the facts and deceiving your church does not count guys.
    We’ve seen excuses, blame-shifting, accusations of “inconsistencies” in our stories, and damage control….do they honestly think no one notices this?

  • Corm Deo

    This has got to stop! These stories break my heart. The fact that perpetrators are turned into victims and victims are turned into perpetrators is a violation of everything sacred and holy. The list of excuses for defending this behavior is indefensible before a holy God. To couch the horrible recommendations of forgiveeness as a godly response is nothing short of blasphemy. I served as a SGM Sr. Pastor for 8 years (gone for 6). During my early years, we discovered a pedophile among us. He actually served jail time. I’m sure we didn’t handle it all correctly, but I did what I felt was best for the safety of our church. We called a special members meeting where the pedophile was present. I told the church his story and then had him share the same. I warned the church and told them that it would be foolish to allow him to have any contact with him. He was assigned an escort for Sunday meetings and was allowed to arrive at the beginning of the meeting and was escorted out during the closing song. He was not allows to have contact with or even any conversation with anyone under the age of 16. I also told my young children on an age appropriate level of his sin and cautioned. During subsequent new members classes, we communicated to prospective members his story so they could be informed as well. Our desire was to care for his soul, but there was a greater desire to care for the entire church that we were responsible for. We never had any incidents that we are aware of. This is not to try and say, “look at us we handled this correctly”, as much as it is to challenge pastors going forward that these situations can be addressed head on. Our church responded with compassion, caution and gratefulness. “God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, he shall also reap.”. I pray that the church can once again be a place where the weak can be made strong.

  • Phoenix

    Kris, your point about the dearth of testimonies about wisely handled issues of sexual abuse is an EXCELLENT one. And BrokenHearted, thank you for sharing that you know of one. That gives me hope in a small way. It doesn’t negate the other, though. My sister (comments as Historian here) says that even a broken clock is right twice a day!

    Another question occurs to me, Kris. Have you ever heard from a victim or victim’s family whose situation was handled within SGM according to the SGM model who sees that as a positive thing? And I mean the SGM model applied correctly (so to speak.) Not involving police. Counseling within the church. Addressing the “sin” of the victim as equal to the sin of the perpetrator. Keeping knowledge of the incident tightly controlled.

  • @John King,

    A simple, rational, even logical reading of Proverbs 18:17 doesn’t seem to support your point about “the other side of the story.” Your use of this verse, or insistence of it’s applicability to this story, seems to implicate that Taylor is not right or only “seems right.”

    You said:

    The Proverbs 18:17 reference was not to Taylor, but to everyone in the comments thread that immediately made judgments based on one side of the story.

    Let’s take a look at this verse that you’ve insisted multiple times applies to this situation:

    “In a lawsuit the first speaker seems right, until another comes forward to cross-examine him.”—Proverbs 18:17 REB

    First, the verse starts, “In a lawsuit.” Is this, the comments and other stories on this blog, part of a lawsuit? No. So right there you’ve misused a single verse in it’s contextual application. In other words, it doesn’t apply!

    Just for the fun of it let’s read on: “until another comes forward.” Have any of these “pastors” come “forward to cross-examine” people here? No. Therefore, there lack of coming forward would seem to indicate the truthfulness of these stories. Because if it was so easy to show these stories to be wrong by a simple cross-examination then why hasn’t it been done? I submit: because they cannot show them to be wrong by a cross-examination.

    To flip this back around: the SMG “pastors” were in many cases the ones to speak first and they seemed right to all their followers. Now these blogs come along with many cross-examining questions and “the other side of the story.” Now there is little to no response from the SGM “pastors.” When they do respond their words (e.g., Dave Harvey’s video) contain more spin and misleading statements. Then more cross-examination happens here. If this verse applies you have it bassackwards, sir.

    If you still think Proverbs 18:17 works in your favour, I for one would like to hear your specific application of it, Mr. Biblical Wisdom.

  • @Stunned,

    You asked:

    Kerrin, you there? You went to Pastor’s College, right? What did they teach on how to handle these situations?

    I do not recall any direct teaching about “these situations” when I went in ’97-’98, the first official year of the “pastor’s college.” They were still getting things together that year (e.g., Jeff Purswell came half way thru and Brent was mostly running the show). Since these situations are often handled by more seasoned “pastors,” it’s likely the how to procedure would be passed on when a greener “pastor” asked one of his elder “pastors” for “wisdom.” *warning that may be “sinful speculation” :wink:

    The policies may have been given to “church planters” in the Administrative Manual for Church Planters. They have the outline of this manual posted here: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/Reference/AdminManualforChurchPlanters.pdf. You’ll see on page three and four of that outline where Appendix B and/or Appendix C would probably contain the policies, procedures, and bylaws pertaining to how they would handle these situations. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the manual.

  • Dan

    You know what really makes me blind with rage (godly I think)? :bang :bang

    Is that C J Mahaney and his fans are wandering the earth weeping and moaning about how dare that bad Brent Detweiler put him through this season of “difficulty” (where he’s got the freedom to go off and get pampered by Mark Dever) – and there are precious children who have been DAMAGED by the monster system they created?

    I’ve devoted my life to paediatric nursing and protecting children – and I can accept that some get tempted to paedophilia. What I can’t accept is pastors who protect these perps from the law and DARE to tell precious wives and mothers it is somehow their “fault”.

    Praying so much for Taylor, Happymom, Noel, exCLCer and all the unspoken ones in pain right now.

  • 19 Years in SGM

    @Broken Hearted… I am knowledgeable of the situation that was supposedly “handled right” with the perp going to jail. The one detail that you didn’t share and probably didn’t know and changes the story is that the abuse was to a foster child in the family.

    Social Services was always involved as this family was a Foster Family serving many children over the years. This was not a case of pastoral involvment, except to offer support to the wife as she dealt with the complete unraveling of her family in every way. It was a horrible time for her.

    I wouldn’t count that instance as a good handling per se. The option to intervene was not there from the SGM pastor’s view.

    Taylor – you are an incredible woman.

  • Nickname

    Taylor — words cannot express the sorrow I feel on your behalf. I hope our Lord brings you extra measures of the peace that passes understanding as you walk out the trauma of bringing a very private and person pain into public scrutiny.

    Kris — I’m not a victim, but in my former SGM church, there were THREE separate, unrelated episodes of pedophilia committed by members against members’ children. One was a step-father with a child; the other two perps were not related to their victims. One was homosexual in nature. All were horrific.

    One perp served jail time; the other two are in state prisons for long sentences, and I believe those two were repeat offenders. I do not know if the victims were satisfied with the way things were handled. I believe one perp turned himself in; I know that another was turned in by the pastors; and I don’t know which occurred with the third. I do know that the pastors did not say anything in the public meetings we attended that in any way blamed or identified the victims. One of the situations was reported by the local newspaper in more than one article.

    These incidents occurred within a few years of each other. If other such incidents have occurred within that church since then, I have no idea if or how they were handled. At the time, a Christian counselor told me that these crimes happen in every church, but that this particular SGM church was the only one she dealt with who handled it with congregational knowledge.

    I do not know why this set of pastors acted so differently from those in other churches. These situations were all made public to the church. Nothing was glossed over or swept under the rug. There was much sadness and pain involved for everyone.

    So, WHY have so many other SGM pastors failed miserably in the handling of such situations?

    I believe that the SGM mindset, whether actually taught or atmospherically absorbed, is that the local church is an autonomous theocracy, and is superior to what they see as ungodly civil government. This is demonstrated not only in the “we’ll handle it in house” sexual abuse cases, but also in the idea that homeschooling is the only way; that courtship is the only way; that in-house music is the only way; that living in the same neighborhood is the only way; that considering your caregroup above your extended family is the only way — the list can go on and on. They may have also misappropriated the idea that Christians do not sue each other, that they work those things out within the church. But settling a lawsuit dispute over a kitchen table with a pastor or Christian mediator is a far cry from handing criminal charges, punishments, rehabilitation, and counseling.

    Amazing. If a child broke a leg, would they expect to set it themselves? That brings up another question. In cases of physical abuse, have they also protected perpetrators?

    Add all that to that the belief that in Christ, we are new creatures. Somehow, we have taken that to mean that once we become Christians, we will never be tempted by any big sins. Okay, maybe we’ll be tempted by some little sins, but surely, no one who is really a Christian can do BIG sins, can they? Uh, yeah, they can. This idea seems to oppose their theology of “all sins are the same” — but basically, they’ve turned Christians into little sinners, not big sinners, so all sins are the same.

    There’s this idea that once you become a Christian, God automatically delivers people from big sins like pedophilia, heroin addiction, etc, so the church isn’t going to have to deal with those. I was guilty of this kind of thinking for a long time myself. And now I can’t figure out why I expected someone to be delivered from heroin or pedophilia when I wasn’t cured of chocolate addiction. And somewhere, there’s some kind of idea that Christians should automatically not ever go to jail. Tell that one to the Apostle Paul.

    So, in their eyes, the big sins became just like the little sins. Pesky habits that could be brought under control by controlling spiritual leaders using magic formulas for behavior modification.

    The theological concept that SIN (big s) is SIN is surely true. But they’ve gotten SIN (big s)mixed up with sins (little s, with a plural) in the same way they got mixed up with Big A and Little A apostles. These guys really need to go to seminary.

    And then, they’ve been taught to check their God-given emotions at the parish door. They’ve been taught to deny emotion in love, marriage, the good kind of pride, and anger. They’ve been taught to deny any emotions of empathy when meting out punishment to children. So their God-given repulsion at the idea of a child’s violation is repressed in favor of handling things in what they think is a superior mindset: that each person’s sins are so great that we cannot be sinned against. No victims. Everyone’s guilty. Once again, they’ve mixed up sins with SIN, and they have left Jesus on the cross with no power for resurrection. In trying to levy sin against the victim, they lessen the sin of the perpetrator. It’s heresy.

  • Yellow is a Happy Color

    Taylor, as with all the others, I want to thank you for sharing your story. I pray for blessing and healing for your daughter.

    When you are on this blog, you are in the company of some incredibly wise and supportive folks. I hope you can feel their support.

  • Luna Moth

    Taylor, I am so sorry to hear your story and that you had to endure the situation for so long.

    I feel sad and angry on your behalf.

  • Oswald

    correction-‘in’ the sovereignty of God

  • Yellow is a Happy Color

    In response to ExClcer’s Mom in #17,

    All public school teachers in Montgomery County are given information every year about reporting suspected abuse. Here’s what it says:

    Reporting Requirements: The Maryland Child Abuse, Neglect, and Mental Injury Law requires that all persons, includingall MCPS employees, be mandated to report as soon as possible when they SUSPECT a child has been or is being maltreated In Montgomery County reports are made orally and in writing to the Department of Health and Human Services/Child Welfare Services (DHHS/CWS)…..Any professional who knowingly fails to make a report of maltreatment may be subjected to professional sanctions…….

    CONTRAST this to what CLC’s new Discovery Land childcare worker handbook 2011-2012 says…
    “A volunteer should immeadiately report any suspected child abuse/neglect to their departmental coordinator or Josh Cooley, who will in turn report it to Covenant Life’s administrator and if necessary, to the local department of social services or to a local law inforcement agency….

    Note the difference: MCPS has anyone who suspects abuse to report it directly to Child Welfare Services. CLC has the person who suspects abuse first report it to the department coordinator or Josh Cooley, who will then report it to CLC’s administrator, who will only report it to Child Welfare Services “if necessary”. CLC has so many middle men in their policy.

    This was handed out last Sunday night at a Discover Land volunteer meeting.

    The law states to report suspected abuse directly, and it is NOT our job to verify it. Their folks do the verifying. It is not the pastor’s job to ‘verify’ or do their ‘damage control’.

    What Josh shared in this booklet and at the meeting is the same thing that was shared at the members meeting a couple weeks ago.

    Thoughts anyone?

  • Ellie

    Oh Taylor, I’m so sorry. Thank you for telling your story.

  • Oswald

    The best any of us can do is to pray, brother and/or sister. Pray for our families, our churches, our country and our world. I’m a total believer is the sovereignty and the goodness of God in ALL things.

  • Blue Sky

    Oswald,

    I may have missed your point but you also missed mine. You can cite all the scripture you want to support your views but so can I about the heart of our Lord Jesus who was compassionate and God being full of mercy and kindness. All I’m saying is that you come across as judging others when mercy is called for, and there are scriptures that support that, too. I am also very sorry about the abuse in your family as well.

  • Oswald

    Blue sky, I totally believe Taylor’s story. I am just as saddened as everyone else is. There has been child sexual abuse in my own family, but all these don’t just explain-away scripture and make our judgment alright.
    You have obviously missed the point altogether.

  • Blue Sky

    Taylor,

    I am so sickened, nauseous and upset hearing your story and am so very sorry for the way you and your daughter were treated by men sadly misrepresenting a shepherd’s heart. Instead, they ‘violated’ your family even further counseling you without a shred of wisdom and common sense or sense of decency and respect for the law. My prayers go out to you and your daughter and children and I hope you find comfort by the others here who have walked down similar paths of sorrow but have been healing by God’s loving hand.

    Oswald and John King,

    While I respect that you have different opinions and can express them here, I no longer have the same tolerance for your own lack of decency toward victims of egregious crimes especially those involving innocent children. Have you no heart? If a perp were to molest your child, would you not foremost listen and care for your child? By your insisting on not believing Taylor before “hearing the whole story” you are showing an incredible lack of compassion. You cite Bible verses like Pharisees. You are not following Scripture by being the Good Samaritan that someone earlier so wonderfully illustrated. Oswald, you said to John “Pray, brother.” Yes, you both need a lot of prayer, that’s very evident to me!

  • Oswald

    Kris, ….’DH’s video was first openly discussed here’??
    Seriously? After first stating the inability to read it because it made one want to puke. Just seeing his face provoked pre-judgment.
    Why must this be a matter of ‘we’ and ‘they’?

  • Oh for heaven’s sake, Oswald –

    You’ll note that I put “happy” in quotes, because I didn’t mean that the victim would literally be “happy” about his/her victimization.

    What I was trying to say was that I’ve never personally heard from someone who had been satisfied with the treatment that he/she had received from SGM pastors after being the victim of abuse perpetrated by another SGM member.

  • Oswald

    Kris, how could a victim ever be ‘happy’? It’s not possible, no matter how well a thing is handled.

  • And I’m thinking that this site is about a whole lot more than “unfair judgments.”

    Pretty much every talking point from Dave Harvey’s most recent video was first openly discussed here. Instead of unfairly judging us, I’d think SGMers would be grateful that SGM leaders are finally dealing with problems and acknowledging the truth. This site has clearly played a role in that.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @Claude, I feel and understand your impatience with these crimes going unpunished. Fortunately for us, God sees much more than we do. I will try to explain:
    Say, one person brought their story out 6 months ago..the perp would go to jail, maybe..it could become a situation like what my family endured..but that would be that..yes, that IS important, but lets take the picture a bit bigger (God sees it all, remember?)
    We wait..here is a forum where people can share, and get support….a new reporter from the Washington Post has already expressed interest in all of these things….in due time, I am certain there will be enough stories that one family alone will not be the focus. This will break the systematic problems that lie within, and then the “unaccounted for perps” can be brought to justice. We look to immediate, and within our own finite sight..God is seeing a bigger picture, and I do believe he has His hand in all of this! Things are already in motion..it will happen..the Truth will come out! I think this is one of those situations where you have to “wait to shoot when you see the whites of their eyes”, so to speak..

  • Oswald,

    I already responded to Brokenhearted’s comment. It’s good to know that there’s been at least one case that was handled well. I’m still surprised that no “happy” victims have ever written to me, though. What are the odds?

    And about this line –

    …as Christians and believers in God’s word, we should reserve judgment (in the form of typed words) until we have heard the whole story, which, of course, we won’t, probably. That would be the end of the blog, though.

    It’s sort of ironic that you essentially assert that this site is nothing but unfair judgments…even as you yourself are – in that very statement – judging us.

  • blueskieshere

    Taylor, my heart goes out to you and your children. I was struck as some others were, at the fact that the pastor insisted on hearing all the ‘gory details’ from your daughter. I had friends who were getting marriage counseled by a single pastor (who later died of AIDS), and the main thing my friend remembered about the session was that the pastor pointedly asked details about their sex life. He kept asking questions, and she was very disturbed by it, with good reason. Of course, later everyone discovered that he had a double life for years. People who are emotionally healthy and are trying to address an abuse situation don’t act like that. These pastors are amateurs trying to feign being professionals. If Taylor was creeped out, that’s her ‘mother intuition’ kicking in. Instead of being sensitive to the victim, the pastor was satisfying his own morbid curiosity. He should have called the authorities and let them do a thorough interview.

  • Oswald

    Kris at #119. Read #126 from Brokenhearted and I think you’ll see one abuse case in an SGM church that seems to have been handled well.
    Also, re: John King–I don’t think he was in any way implying that Taylor was a liar. I think he was saying that as Christians and believers in God’s word, we should reserve judgment (in the form of typed words) until we have heard the whole story, which, of course, we won’t, probably. That would be the end of the blog, though.
    John, I see why you would bow out as you could feel as if you were going no where. You are probably made to feel that you ‘don’t get it’, and so what’s the use.
    Pray, brother.

  • Fried Fish

    @Brokenhearted #126 –

    If you can, would you mind sharing about how long ago the case that was handled well took place? And also if you can share, have the pastors involved in that case been in the SGM system for a long time?

    Just wondering when (or if) SGM may have stopped the “abuse the victim” approach…

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Kris, I do remember someone in the early years, whose child was molested by a pervert in the neighborhood where she lived, not a church member. The parents were long standing church members. The mother is the one who shared with me the story. I did not ask details at that time, I only let her share what she wanted to, what she felt comfortable with. I do not remember anything of any particular support for her-though I could be wrong..The perp in this case was turned in to the authorities. I am sorry i do not remember more details. Since it was a neighborhood thing, and was handled by the police, I did not feel threatened at that time, and my only involvement was love and compassion. I am pretty sure the perp in that case was an older man, who had no family, and preyed on young girls in his neighborhood. So, I dont think this case would have any bearing on your theory. I know of other cases of more minor things, but ‘surprise, surprise’-none actually show the pastors responding in a correct way..hmmmmm..you have a good thought going there..

  • Stunned

    Brokenhearted, I am so glad to hear that there has been a sexual abuse situation that was handled well.

    I wish I knew what the difference wss between that situation and all of the others.

  • BrokenHearted,

    It’s good to hear of one situation that was handled appropriately.

    I’m still finding it amazing to think back over nearly four years of doing this site and realize that I’ve never heard from any “satisfied victims.”

    We’ve now heard from one satisfied perpetrator, though. (Yesterday – “Anonymous.”)

  • BrokenHearted

    Stunned – Yeah, I never attended CovFel, but it is still possible I don’t know “Taylor”

    I will say this – I am aware of a sexual abuse/rape of a minor situation in a local SGM church that WAS handled well. The man will be in prison for more than a decade before he is released, and the pastors FULLY supported the wife in telling her husband she would only stand with him if he plead guilty and didn’t try to get a minimum sentence. This man was visited in prison by pastors and men from his caregroup. He is regularly sent letters and he is VERY VERY VERY remorseful over his grievous sin against this child. And, the pastors never once tried to cover it up or pretend it didn’t happen or minimize it. But, a difference in this story and all of the others is that this man is truly repentant and I would RUN to hug him if I saw him – I love him a lot and sobbed over his sin. It wasn’t shouted from the pulpit, but it also wasn’t covered up. His wife spoke to the whole church saying he was in jail. The pastors gave all of the details to those who asked – his whole caregroup was told the day after he was arrested. I dunno… I just wanted to say that this is a situation where I think SGM pastors did well. NOT to detract from Taylor’s story – I just thought of it reading this.

  • Claude

    IT IS NEVER TO LATE TO REPORT SEXUAL ABUSE AGAINST CHILDREN TO THE AUTHORITIES. THEY ARE BRING CHARGES AGAINST CATHOLIC PRIEST FOR THINGS THEY DID TO YOUNG BOYS 25 AND 30 YEARS AGO. IT IS OUR GODLY DUTY TO REPORT THESE CRIMES TO THE AUTHORITIES.

  • Fried Fish

    @DB #83 – :goodpost

    SGM has had time to build more than a full generation of followers steeped in faulty doctrine and abusive practices… Don’t think 26 minutes of “oops” from Dave Harvey is going to fix it.

  • Remnant

    What seriously creeps me out (amongst so many things in this testimony of spiritual abuse) :Amazed: is that the young girl was made to speak in detail about what happened to her. These men had no reason to know such things. It’s not like they were doctors treating her physical body. They simply had no need to know.

    So why? Why make this vulnerable young girl relive, retell, relate? What possible reason could there be?

    And for Taylor to have to submit sexually to her husband makes me ill to think about. Where in the world is the compassion of these “pastors?” :Sad:

    It is all so sick. Perverted.

    And this man remarried? Are there children? Did an SGM pastor presiding over the wedding? I cannot fathom it.

    Is it too late for Taylor to report this to authorities or must her daughter be the one to do it?

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @ Stunned-yes, that is frightening, and I am pretty sure your fears will become validated in a matter of time. Now that there is a forum to share openly, and with support instead of condemnation, we will continue to hear more and more. I know of more that are not posted here, my daughter knows of more that are not posted here..I am sure there are those who are currently suffering who are not yet “free” to speak out..there will be more, for sure.. :Crying:
    The good news is that by speaking out, we can make a change. I keep thinking about “the darkest hour is just before dawn”..

    @Brokenhearted, it is good that you keep an eye out, as best that you are able. What I have found with the perp in my family’s situation is; Many people innocently assume that because one is in a church where it is so often spoken about “personal accountability” etc, many people wrongly assume that this would be the LAST place on earth any such sin could take place! Then, when the pastors, like DH, or others, want to minimize the problem, people become even more reassured..The perp in my family’s situation took young girls on a camping trip! I know for a fact that one family did not know his history at all, but I do believe there is also a second family who did not know, either! Even though it was not “a church sponsored event”, he was able to gain trust from other church members! I am pretty sure it is probably still discouraged to NOT trust your fellow believers! So, my point is, that even if the guy is not around the children’s ministry, that does not mean the children are safe there. Simply by the secrecy afforded him, and being in the church, accepted as any other, he has a predatory advantage. I would think that Sunday morning, with everyone running about, that would be the least likely time to be able to abuse a child. It is the acceptance given, the secrecy given, the support for the perpetrator, the trust innocent people naively give, and the children who are taught to obey anyone older than they are!

  • Mrs. Stretch

    Taylor, thanks for sharing your story. You have more courage than any SGM leader. I am so glad I got my kids out of that crazy place. I am praying for healing for you, your daughter and your other children.

  • Stunned

    rant away, Kris. you’re on to something.

  • OK, I don’t mean to ramble on and on here about this one point, but it’s not like I make a lot of new discoveries about SGM any more, so this one seems really huge to me.

    Never have I heard from a victim who has said, “You know, I was molested [or my child was molested] and my SGM pastors absolutely did the right thing. They immediately called the cops and quickly began the church discipline process. My SGM pastors eagerly testified against my abuser in court, and now he is behind bars.”

    Why is that?

    Does anyone know of SGM pastors who have testified on behalf of victims against perpetrators who were also SGM members? Certainly over the past few decades, there must be one situation of abuse (where both the victim and the perpetrator were SGM members) when SGM pastors stood totally behind the victim and “erred” on the side of harshness toward the perp.

    At least, you’d think.

    If there’s not, then that would lead me to believe that the weird response to victims simply HAS to be something that was taught, or passed on in some way so that it became the institutionalized response.

  • Gracie

    Taylor, like the others here, I am terribly sorry for all that you and your children have been through. I can’t imagine the horror at finding out these things were happening and then being counseled to just forgive. Or having to lock your child’s bedroom door to protect her from her father. Or to never be able to rest at night, worrying for your children’s safety and well-being. I am sorry there was no care for you from those who call themselves ‘pastors’. Thank God you all are safe now.

  • I should add to my #110 –

    All the situations of which I’m aware have involved perpetrators and victims who are all SGM members. I’m thinking that an SGM member whose child is abused by someone outside the organization might be met with a different response.

    I have never heard from any victim of abuse who was happy about the way he/she was treated by his/her SGM pastor. But I’m guessing that perhaps if the perpetrator was a non-SGMer, that might affect how SGM pastors responded.

    I don’t know. Having just thought of how odd it is that I’ve never heard from any victim who was happy with the way pastors handled his/her situation, I’m still sort of trying to figure out what this means.

  • Claude

    It bothers me to know he is not behind bars in a prison cell and why would the church would let him stay within there doors? Once a child molester always a child molester.

  • 5yearsin PDI

    I also wonder how many stories there are.

    When I first started posting here a few years ago, several years after “leaving well”, I felt great feelings of fear every single time I posted. The phone would ring and I would sometimes actually picture one of them calling me to see if I was posting, and wondering what I would say since I would not lie, and I would feel this scary horrible dread of being discovered. I am not generally intimidated by people and to be honest I was surprised that PDI still had that hold on my emotions.

    At the time that I posted about the staff counselor in CCEF we knew who said several of the counselors had had to deal with victims of SGM legalism, I felt it was the right thing to let people reading know that, and I wanted to defend CCEF to some extent. I actually would feel dread picturing CJ/DH finding a hacker to figure out who I was and who I knew, and I felt so sure it was demonic attack that I posted anyway, but I had to fight fear.

    I am over it now. I am too disgusted to have any fear left, but it was real and lasted a long time. I would imagine that there are mutitudes of people who are much too afraid to post.

  • BrokenHearted

    MOM – It is true that they could believe one thing and it is not followed through. But, I will say that I personally have never seen him even near that area. (And I know I am not all seeing or knowing) And if I ever had I would have told someone because I don’t trust him.

  • Stunned

    Brokenhearted, that is interesting that you suspect you may know Taylor. I, too, thought Taylor’s story was almost exactly the same as one in my old SGM church and I was sure, up until I got to the “five year” part, that I knew exactly whose story I was reading.

    And here’s the thing that I find so terribly disturbing. Brokenhearted, I was at Cov Fel, Philly area and I believe you live a state or two south of here. Yet two stories, almost identical in nature and story line.

    I can’t help but find this very frightening.

    Stunned

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Wow, Kris-what good insight! You are so right! :goodpost

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @ Brokenhearted, you said, “He is not allowed near the children’s ministry area. (Or at least I was told by a pastor he is not) ”
    Just to note-someone asked about the accountability of the child molester in my family’s situation, and a pastor responded that he is kept in strict accountability, where every parent is informed before he is around there child. That is not true, even as recent as this summer. Call it whatever you want-the pastors are too busy to know, they are mistaken, or they are simply lying for PR purposes..I do not know their motive, and will not try to guess it..all I am saying is that one cannot trust their child to the pastors’ words. It simply is not safe.

  • What is disturbing to me about all the stories like Taylor’s is that there was something so regimented and formulaic about pastors’ responses to victims. In their treatment of victims, the pastors seemed to lack all normal human sympathy, empathy, and understanding – let alone Christian love. And this almost HAD to be some sort of policy that had been talked about or taught…or it wouldn’t have been evident in so many situations.

    Something actually just occurred to me, and I wonder what y’all think of this…

    We’ve been doing this site for awhile. (In November, it will be 4 years since we started.) Here’s something interesting: in all that time, with all the many SGM defenders who have come around to say that SGM doesn’t really have these problems and that at least half these stories aren’t true and that there have got to be extenuating circumstances and mitigating details that the victims left out as they told their stories – well, in all that time, I have never heard a story from a victim who was treated differently.

    Logic would have it that in all the time we’ve been doing the site, with all the email I get (with a considerable amount being “corrective” messages bringing me “observations”), and with all the SGM defenders who swear up and down that SGM is not actually this bad, there would have been someone, somewhere who would have shared a story about being a victim and being treated wonderfully. By now, it’s really shocking that I’ve never heard from a victim whose SGM pastors were more understanding to her/him than they were to the perpetrator.

    It’d be logical that I would have by now heard at least ONE story from an SGM victim that painted the pastors in a flattering light.

    But I haven’t.

    Every single story I’ve ever heard from a victim basically follows the same outline, with very little variation. Victims are brushed off and treated with suspicion, if not hostility, by their SGM pastors. Perpetrators, however, are accommodated.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Argo, you are so right!

    @ John King, Kris is so right in her words to you as well! Just take the simple stated facts of 1)Taylor’s story-her daughter was abused at 10 years old
    2)Taylor reported it to the pastors, but it was not reported to the police
    3) Taylor stayed with her husband, despite having to have her child lock her bedroom door, to keep herself safe at night FROM HER OWN FATHER
    4) It took 6 more years for Taylor to have the strength to leave her husband
    5) Her husband is still a member of that church

    Okay, leave out all the horrible, horrible things she told of the pastor’s words (which i totally believe, because of things with my own experience anyway), but just go on the facts stated above..That alone is a terrible statement of an experience to come from any church. Those facts alone show how the church did not support the victim at all!
    No, there is no way at all to sugar coat this one! :koolaid

  • BrokenHearted

    wow. I was NOT expecting this. I came here expecting to read another story of the horrific things that have happened to SGM families and how the pastors botched it. I didn’t expect to know the author. And “Taylor”, if I don’t know you then your daughter’s story is word for word the story of someone close to my family. :(

    If I do know “Taylor” just a couple of comments

    The “dad” in this story is VERY nominally a member at an SGM church. I mean, he is technically a member I guess, but if you ask anyone in that church who knows him if he goes there they will say “I guess…” he is rarely there. I am not saying this makes it better, but it makes those of us who know feel a little safer. He is not allowed near the children’s ministry area. (Or at least I was told by a pastor he is not) This is not to in ANY way diminish what Taylor has said – I am just saying that assuming this is the family I am aware of then it’s not like he is hanging out with kiddos in the church. IF this is who I think it is the adults are creeped out by him let alone the kids.

    Taylor – whether you are who I think or not – I am so sorry. This man did wicked horrible things and the pastors OBVIOUSLY did not handle it well. If you are who I think then the pastor I know says he would have fully supported divorce, but whether you are who I think or not that was never fully expressed to you and I am so sorry. I am so sorry for the way you were treated by the church in relation to this situation. And, I am sorry (assuming you are who I think) that I did not support you better at that time. I was blindsided and just remember telling “daughter” over and over “you did NOTHING wrong!” when she would tell me it was her fault because of her boobs or because of her clothing choices. I remember a pastor telling me at that time that it was not pedophilia because she was developing (makes me think of “MOM”s story) and me responding “But she is his DAUGHTER!! Whether she is developed or not SHE IS HIS DAUGHTER!”

  • John King

    Kris,
    Strike that. No need to answer. My question only serves to get off topic and that profits no one.

    I’ll gracefully bow out of the conversation.

  • John King

    Kris,
    What is your understanding of Proverbs 18:17? It has to mean something…so what is it?

  • John King,

    I’m sorry – I can’t help but feel like you’re somehow calling Taylor a liar.

    Could you explain what the “other side” could possibly add to this story that would make their behavior less heinous?

    If you can’t think of any mitigating details that Taylor’s pastors could add to this story, then you must believe that Taylor isn’t being truthful, and that the facts must be other than how she has laid them out for us.

    Which – no matter how you might try to sugar-coat it – is the same as saying she’s lying.

    Frankly, even if only half of what Taylor shared is completely accurate, it still paints her SGM pastors in a bad BAD light.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @Stunned, those were the people I considered my friends, actually! I truly had a lot of love for Linda and Alan Redrup, but I do know she was heavy into the kool-aid! But, at least she spoke up, and spoke honestly with me, and we would argue things out. I guess I am the one who is naive, because when I argued things out with everyone that I did, I thought it made a difference. I suppose it at least made a difference to me. :spin Linda has spoken to me about another time she was in a “cult”, and even back then, I felt she was too quick to listen to someone else. I guess that is why they were made pastors. I do love them, though. We were close friends for years.

    @ Claude, do you remember what a change the offices came to look like once they moved over to Girard St in Gaithersburg? Did you start to get a bad feeling at all, like money was becoming more important than the gospel? I know I did, and I would speak it to those around me!

  • Claude

    Argo you are so right. :goodpost

  • Argo

    My gosh. How many stories are there? I am sickened and in shock. How could I have been so blind as an SGM member? How can anyone let pastors who have such a lack of basic compassion and understanding lead them? How can anyone, pastor or otherwise, not call the police when a child has been abused. I’ve been a Christian for years; it would never occur to me to do anything other than alert authorities and protect that child. I simply do not understand this.

    If they cannot be trusted to counsel properly in such cut and dry issues such as child abuse, how can they be trusted to teach anything? I do not understand this. As a Christian, I do not understand this.

  • Rom828 said,

    One question… how big a part of the problem is the sacred vs the secular play? In many of the cases presented SGM vilifies the secular authorities… what do believers have to do with civil courts to settle problems between Christians? And then SGM takes on the mandate of reconciling the various parties to heart with very little understanding or knowledge of the dynamics of child abuse. it’s just a Christian court issue they seem to say… we must solve the dispute in church and don’t go out to the world to solve our problems. It disgraces the church to go to civil courts and authorities to resolve things between christians! What do you think? Any merit?

    I’m thinking that SGM’s view of seeing the secular as absolutely incompatible with the sacred plays a key part in SGM pastors’ reluctance to involve law enforcement.

    Actually, the more I think about it, that makes a LOT of sense.

    It seems like within SGM, we can see many areas of life where there’s a tremendous hostility toward the “secular.” Psychology, for instance, is a good example. Instead of viewing the various theories and research as giving us some potentially useful (although likely incomplete) insights into the human experience, as long as these insights are not in direct conflict with scripture, SGM instead sees anything in “secular psychology” as automatically opposed to scripture.

    The crazy thing is, the Bible clearly tells us to be subject to the governmental authorities. I think the general principle is that God puts those rulers in place, and we can trust Him to make things work out for our good. (In fact, I’m pretty sure there is just as much in the Bible about obeying and submitting to our secular authorities as there is about obeying and submitting to church authorities, actually.)

    So if God doesn’t view obeying the laws of the land as being in opposition to His will, then neither should we. And neither should SGM pastors.

  • Stunned

    For What It’s Worth, were you at the cov Fel meeting last night? I know New Jersey had their meeting tonight. I assume the wagon’s are circliing because something new is brewing? Or am I completely off? Please, anyone report.

  • Claude

    ExClcer’sMom you are right on the money, I remember those days as I would visit the church office when it was on Randoph Road. I committed many dollars for SGM building funds in Gaithersburg and Fairfax.

  • John King

    The Proverbs 18:17 reference was not to Taylor, but to everyone in the comments thread that immediately made judgments based on one side of the story. That is not to say Taylor’s story isn’t true. And that’s not to say those who have potentially wronged Taylor haven’t had ample opportunity to come forth.

    I would also affirm the heinousness of this type sin and the absolute horror of going through such a thing.

    Having said that, it’s important to remember that making judgments when all you have is one side of the story goes against Biblical wisdom. And no amount of ‘experience’ with these type of situations or ‘inside’ knowledge of these type of occurrences within SGM trumps Proverbs 18:17. Taylor probably needs a lot of things, but a fool isn’t one of them (Proverbs 18:13)

  • Kris,
    re: #77, yes I would agree with your comment about the weird responses to victims.
    re: #78, thank you for reposting the most insightful comment I’ve ever read on this blog. You accurately pointed out the logical fallacy of SGM’s doctrine of sin.

    As to why SGM pastors would act this way, I’ll quote Dave Harvey from the same Perspectives book again (p.11-12):

    God’s treasury of grace is discovered in the most extraordinary places. One place grace shines through is in the gift of church leadership. Within some men, God deposits grace in the form of a gift to lead the church…God has broadly spread his gifts throughout the church, not merely among a few key individuals. Yet for some there is a particular gift of leadership that is not given to all. Those with this gift are to be identified, and encouraged to express and exercise this gift. The “priesthood of all believers” includes some “priests” who lead.

    I honestly think SGM pastors believe they have a special grace from God to lead their churches, a grace not given to those in their congregations. Harvey himself implicitly states as much in the quote above, creating a two-tiered Christianity in SGM. Those who lead and those who follow. Leaders lead, and followers don’t ask questions. Elsewhere in his book Harvey says pastors are to “make decisions that will shape the future of the church”, “help unbelievers and believers see how the gospel speaks to their lives”, “corral the vision into workable strategies that can make it a reality”, “turn strategies into plans that generally work as intended”, and “set the example of what you want others to aspire to.” (p.20)

    What all this means in practice is that pastors become functional gods to their congregations. Your pastor’s response to a childrearing situation becomes your response to the same childrearing situation. Not because he explicitly told you to do it but because he’s the example you’re supposed to model. You make decisions in your life (job, housing, etc) based on your pastor’s priorities for the church. Your sex life should look like your pastor’s sex life. If it doesn’t then you’re doing something wrong. If your husband molests your daughter and your pastor blames you for not making yourself available then you believe him and force yourself to have sex with a man who’s violated his child in the most horrible way imaginable.

    If that all sounds crazy, that’s because it is.

    My heart goes out to Taylor, her child, and every other victim of abuse enabled by SGM’s flawed doctrines and practices.

  • Rom828

    ExClcer’sMom #85 I agree… the whole culture of not gossiping or telling anyone else about your situation enables pastors to separate out an individual. The pastors (though not all the time) will share with each other about a person’s problem or complaint. They of course are not guilty of gossiping… they are all part of the solution! So they unknowningly (or knowingly as the case might be) gang up on church members who are first intimidated by authority (almost everyone is to some extent) and secondly intimidated even more by how pastoral authority is presented in SGM, using scriptures like don’t make your pastor’s job hard (Hebrews)…

    plus add one more caveat… you will not be heard if your attitude is not right. That will definitely shut a church lamb down. CGL’s are welcome to add their attitude observations also. :(

  • Stunned

    exCLCer’s Mom, I am so sorry that you had such jerks in your own homegroup. No wonder they did so little to truly rescue your children. Some day they will see. Let’s hope it’s not too far in the future.

  • Stunned

    El Pastor said, “If these pastors acted this way, they should be out of the ministry. Period. Please, all you who were so abused, know that this is not Jesus Christ, but proud men taking his name to cover their own darkness.”

    YES! True, El Pastor. Cruelty. Out of the ministry. Period. This is not Jesus Christ. Proud men taking his name to cover their own darkness.

  • Stunned

    Puck Lover said, “I am not a psychologist but firmly believe that the most important action that you can take is to get counseling for the both of you from a therapist with experience in this field. Most locations across the country have access to a child advocacy center which can help with all aspects of what you have experienced.”

    Amen, Puck Lover! Please, to anyone here who has reading who has not received extensive care through professional therapists, please consider contact one for help. Your SGM pastor will not have been adequate enough. You need more care. You do.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    I see exactly what you are saying, Kris, and I do think I agree with you. I just remember when GOB first started, and we were happy praising God in the park, if the janitor didn’t show up to open the High School doors. It was all about pouring the funds back into taking care of God’s people-not just pastors, but church members, and others in need. I almost felt like heaven on earth back then! Then, they got a “financial manager” to come in-Chuck Thompson-he was a neighbor to Larry Tomczak. I do not know enough to speak on whether Chuck’s influence was good or bad, I just know that was when they started examining “using God’s money wisely”, saying it would be best invested in a building, where we could use it for so many purposes-it all made sense, really. Then, I still remember the day when Chuck got up before the church one Sunday Mornign, and spoke about the “demographics” of the Gaithersburg area-how they wanted to “reach out” to this certain age of people, and this certain “level of income”..It all started to sound so much more like a business. Next thing I noticed, there was fancy expensive furniture in the church offices, with paintings that still had price tags on them. The snack machines were full of the top dollar stuff-perrier, smoked almonds..yet they started to quibble about subsidizing the tuition for the lower income members’ kids to come to the school. I remember saying something to one of them about it-how materialistic and shallow it seemed. They didn’t like that. Then, every Sunday, more and more time was spent on “testimonies for the building fund”..it was a really big deal in the mid 80’s. Somewhere along that line, I definitely saw a change. Was anyone else here around for that who noticed those changes? Are you saying that those guys are the “big dogs” now in SGM, and that is where it is all going? Their love of money or not, is really not the issue for me anyway-I was just curious..

  • Rom828

    Kris

    Thanks for all your wonderful insights and for giving a platform to the wounded to tell their stories. I pray their voices will not go unheard.

    One question… how big a part of the problem is the sacred vs the secular play? In many of the cases presented SGM vilifies the secular authorities… what do believers have to do with civil courts to settle problems between Christians? And then SGM takes on the mandate of reconciling the various parties to heart with very little understanding or knowledge of the dynamics of child abuse. it’s just a Christian court issue they seem to say… we must solve the dispute in church and don’t go out to the world to solve our problems. It disgraces the church to go to civil courts and authorities to resolve things between christians! What do you think? Any merit?

  • Stunned

    Long-time commenter, new name,

    Thank you for the courage to share your story. I wish we could all sit in the same room and keep each other company in these dark times. Please know that at least for now, you are no longer alone.

    Stunned

  • Rom828

    justsayin #50 (#102 #103 & #110 Harvey video)

    In a little way I understand your desire for people not piling on based on one person’s story but I must say you have a lot of nerve to try to correct a whole blog and all the people that contribute using Court studies to show the problem of remembering correctly. You seem to swoop in as some moderator in the sky to adjust everyone. (I hope that was not your attempt)

    Could you limit your contributions to specific incidents or discussions to address real people as to the memories? They can answer and the dialog can be constructive.

  • Stunned

    Taylor, I have been sitting here sick and crying after reading your story. I wish I had words but for now I do not. I am terribly, terribly sorry to hear what happened to your daughter and the hands of your ex and your pastors. I am terribly, terribly sorry what happened to you and to the rest of your family, as well.

    Stunned
    and sickened

  • exCLCer’s Mom –

    One thought I have about how money might possibly be connected to all of this is that it’s probably NOT about these pastors’ own personal gain. I’m fairly certain that none of these SGM guys is living the high life.

    I know some people will disagree with me, but I also don’t really think that SGM pastors are in it for money on a congregational level, either.

    What I do think is that for a lot of these pastors, a measure of apparent financial success in their churches is interpreted by them as a sign of God’s blessing on their churches. When the tithes and offerings are coming in well, I think these guys see this as God’s endorsement of what they’re doing. The SGM “gospel” is working for them. So when something comes along that they see as possibly “threatening the [SGM] gospel,” and since they know – through financial “proof” – that God is honoring the [SGM] gospel, they feel all the more urgent a need to preserve the SGM way.

    That’s how I think money ties in with this. It’s not so much that SGM pastors want money for themselves, or even for their churches…except as an endorsement that they must be having success promoting the [SGM] gospel.

  • Rom828

    justsayin #50 (#102 #103 & #110 Harvey video)

    The court report bothers me as a basis for discrediting (or fostering major doubt) in the testimonies on this blog. Why? well lawyers and sheriffs and bailiff’s actually try to steer people in a certain way… and in court the lawyers who present the witnesses testimony coach them how to be convincing and how not to get tripped up by the opposing lawyers cross examiniation.

    I agree with CLCer’s Mom when she shares that the MAIN points of the story are accurate. (she has the biblical 2-3 witnesses)

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @ Claude, I do believe the reason these men have escaped the scrutiny of the justice system so far is because they have been able to separate those who had a valid complaint, or to “discredit” their story, and keep them isolated, “playing the gossip card”. What Guy and Kris have done here is to create a place where those who have been victimized can meet, and get support from one another. I do believe this is only the beginning..God is not mocked..the Truth will come to light..He is just so much more patient than we are! The wheels are churning, for sure! It will not be much longer-look how much has happened just recently! It certainly is not over!

  • Wash Thy Brain

    That story made me sick to my stomach. I am so terribly sorry for that woman and for her family. I am disgusted beyond words at that “father” and am working hard to restrain myself from using much darker language to refer to him.

    Both he and the pastors of that church should be in jail where they can do no more harm.

  • DB

    OK, I’m calmed down enough to make sense (stop laughing.)

    First, all of you people that have the courage to share this and similar stories on this forum, you have my prayers, concerns, and admiration.

    Second, how many more? How many more are there, Lord?

    Third, what is SGM doing to make them such a cozy place at which a pervert sets up housekeeping?

    Let me count the many reasons.

    1) Denial is not just a river in Egypt and DH and his cohorts got hit with the denial stick.

    2) Little children went to CLC’s school and many if not most had their pants pulled down and beaten. One step in the wrong direction.

    3) Children are rendered ulnerable to predation because they’re taught to obey. How many parenting books over the years have the word OBEY or one of its variations on the cover.

    4) Kids that grew up in families…OUR FAMILIES!!! are now grown adults and the way we were Kool Aided into mistreating our own children is rendering me griefstricken. Almost daily (or, if you were some people 40X daily) beating sessons the entire 4 or was it 5 step process that often got caught in an endless loop when the parents discerened an attitude and gave another beating HELLO?! YOU’Re BEATING THE SNOT OUT OF YOUR KID: THEY SHOULd BE TOUTING A TUDE!!! The knots in the stomach the home as not a safe haven for the children, no, there is a wooden spoon in every room, there is no escape!!!

    5) Men do not need encouragement to dominate and grow their ego. Women tend to need to learn self-worth and the opposite is taught aggresively at SGM; men are supposed to lead and women and children are to obey.

    Blindly.

    This message over and over again.

    It is never the man’s fault, the woman eventually gets blamed for not being submissive or being bitter or whatever.

    6) One of the main reasons women were created was to service their husbands sexually. This is reinforced by teachings from women like Carolyn Mahaney. No excuses, you could be sick as a dog but service your man. Taylor was given how to sex books to serice some creepoid that shouldn’t be physically able to have an erection (If I had anything to do with justice, he’d be Lorena Bobbitted and I wouldn’t have disposed of the, ahem, evidence by tossing the jiblets out the window, nope that waste of DNA would have gone straight down the garbage disposal.

    7) If I didn’t make myself clear with point 6, if you are a pastor and you need to deal with a child molester, do NOT give his poor wife a technical manuel on how to pleasure the man, that right there tells me volumes about the pastors.

    8) When you aggrandize men and objectify women and children, you have created a sense of privilege and entitlement on the part of the men. That plus a pervert = the plague of cases that are creeping out of the proerbial woodwork. You are not responsible for the twisted mind of the pervert. You ARE guilty of inflaming his perversion with a sense of priilege and entitlement, you are guilty of creating a safe place for him, you are responsible for parenting philosophies that make out children vulnerable to predation, and yet you look in the mirror and like what you see.

    Denial is not just a river that runs through Egypt, it is a river that runs through far too many hearts.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Kris, what perfect sense that all makes, logically! They are dead wrong, but now I understand how they may have come to that ideology! I initially thought, with my situation, that is was youth and ignorance, and maybe a bit “loving money”. After reading some other stories here, I realized it was definitely NOT youth or ignorance, but still perhaps the love of money, and a bit of “the good old boy club”, or even the “men are on the top” way of thinking. This does shed yet another light on the subject, and I can totally see their rationalization..but, yet, I do wonder, is it just a “rationalization” to justify greed and lust for power? We may never know THAT answer, but God does. Nevertheless, no matter what, we really DO need to take a stand for the sake of the innocents falling victim in this horrific catastrophe that still continues! No matter what their reasoning, or how they arrived at it, there are obviously children, and likely many of them, who are at risk! I think this type of victimization has probably only grown in this environment!

  • As to a pastor’s role in times of suffering I’ll let Dave Harvey speak for himself from the Am I Called Perspectives book (p.23-24):

    Consider the mysteries of human experience: the childless couple who just experienced their third miscarriage; the aging single who still dreams of marriage; the hard-working provider who just lost a job; or the dying sinner confronting the certainty of judgment. Leadership immerses elders in the stuff of life. In those despairing moments, who is appointed to guide us through the inexplicable valleys to drink in the streams of God’s providence and goodness? The shepherds of the church. What a glorious display of God’s grace to create a special office for our help and care during times of trial!

  • One other observation/question I had about Taylor’s story involves the following:

    When I told Pastor Fred I had told them, he was quite upset with me for telling anyone, and reprimanded me for gossiping, and then had to meet with them and our care group to do damage control, to make sure no one would know what was really happening or had happened.

    I wonder, what in the world could have motivated these pastors’ driving need to keep this situation secret?

    And, isn’t it ridiculous that these men accused Taylor of “gossip,” when she was merely discussing HER OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE!

    It’s not “gossip” if it’s about yourself! Don’t these dummies know this?

  • Claude

    El Pastor I do agree. I do not understand why the Pastor have not been bought up on charges by our United States justice system.

  • Here is the comment, re-posted yet again because I think it might be helpful as it relates to our present discussion:

    While I am the first to say that any coverup of sex abuse is horrific and evil, particularly when done by a church, I think it would be interesting to explore the mindset behind any such coverup.

    What is it about their SGM training that would make SGM pastors respond to abusers in such a way? Why would SGM pastors appear to extend more grace to perpetrators than to victims? Why would SGM pastors believe that they should be the primary source of counsel and support for perpetrators? Why would SGM pastors exhibit a reluctance to get outside help or call upon law enforcement to deal with such perpetrators?

    It’s my opinion that SGM’s twisted teachings about sin and the role of the pastor – as well as SGM’s blurring of the lines between “the gospel” and “the SGM church organization” – are what have led to situations where these sorts of crimes seem to be minimized, and perpetrators quickly restored to good standing within congregations.

    First of all, SGM holds to the (in my opinion essentially correct and biblical) belief that all problems faced by humanity can be traced back to sin. I say I think it’s an “essentially correct and biblical belief” because if we dig through all the layers of human suffering and misery and downright evil, we are left with almost no other choice but to conclude that humanity is messy because humanity is fallen and sinful.

    However, where I would part ways with SGM’s assumption is where SGM’s essentially correct belief about sin morphs into what SGM believes is the remedy for sin.

    In SGM’s teachings – and if I wanted to take more time to develop this, I could go back and dig up plenty of quotes from books like Why Small Groups and sermons like CJ’s Happiest Place On Earth, as well as plenty of other resources that are available for the whole world to read and hear – the problem of sin is seen as being addressed by not just the work of Jesus on the cross and His continued presence with us through the Holy Spirit. SGM would say that Jesus’ work on the cross is now being “finished” or “completed” by how Christians relate to a “local” church and how Christians are affected by the work of the pastors in their lives.

    In the book Why Small Groups? a case is laid out like this:

    1. Yes, salvation is through Christ alone, through his atoning sacrifice.

    2. Salvation, however, is separate from sanctification.

    4. Although, sanctification WILL result anytime someone is “truly saved.”

    5. Sanctification cannot happen apart from “biblical fellowship.” I actually am going to go and dig up a quote to back this one up. From Chapter 1 of Why Small Groups? comes this:

    Although one’s personal responsibility for sanctification remains paramount, sanctification cannot be accomplished in isolation from the local church. Scripture clearly teaches that sanctification is intended to take place in the local church—and small groups contribute invaluably to this process.

    You can read the whole chapter to get an even better feel for how thoroughly CJ and his cohorts view participation in “biblical fellowship” a completely essential element of a person’s sanctification.

    6. A key componant of “biblical fellowship” is interacting with people in a way where they freely confront you about your sin and where you humbly submit to others’ assessment of your sin.

    (By the way – this principle is FOUNDATIONAL if anyone wants to understand the driving force behind Brent Detwiler’s seeming obsession with confronting CJ in his sins. In the SGM mindset, a lack of willingness to submit to others’ assessment of your sin and to acknowledge your sins when confronted with them is almost a sign that you are out of fellowship with God. If we can grasp this, we can understand why in Brent’s mind, CJ’s unwillingness to be confronted was so utterly grievous and dismaying. And why Brent continued his pursuit so doggedly…even as he talked about “grace,” which most Christians understand as letting someone off the hook. In SGM thinking, true “grace” must involve sticking with the confrontation no matter what, because unwillingness to acknowledge one’s sins when confronted would be a sign that the person is not being sanctified…which is a sign that the person could maybe not even be saved!)

    7. Also, SGM believes that another essential part of “biblical fellowship” is a person’s continued oversight from his pastor, who also bears the responsibility to continue to confront the person on his sin. SGMers are taught that pastors, by virtue of their higher calling and “gifting,” possess special abilities to perceive a person’s sins more accurately than the person himself.

    8. Essential to the SGM understanding of the gospel is a demonstration that one remains keenly aware of one’s “worst sinner one knows” status. I realize that this comment is already excruciatingly long, but I really want to lay this all out in one place, so I’m going to quote from another post:

    Deeply embedded in the SGM mindset are some assumptions:

    1. All sins are just as vile in the eyes of God.

    2. One of the clearest signs of “rebellion” is when a person sees himself as an injured party, because no injury that can be perpetrated against the person could ever surpass the horror that the person’s own sin is in the eyes of God.

    3. The clearest sign of a “repentant” person is eager confession of wrongdoing.

    Taking those three SGM assumptions, let’s examine Noel’s pastors’ response to her family’s situation. In light of these assumptions, I think we can more clearly understand a bit of what went through those pastors’ minds as they offered more sympathy and support to the perp rather than the victims. Even though the pastoral responses are basically incomprehensible to a normal person, they sort of start to make sense when you think of it in this way:

    Because of SGM’s belief that each of us must always be “the worst sinner that we ourselves know,” we basically give up our rights to ANY victimhood, no matter how heinous the crime committed against us.

    In other words, even though what happened to Noel’s family was absolutely horrific, SGM’s foundational teachings would say that Noel’s only legitimate “biblical” response would be to examine her own sinfulness and see herself as “the worst sinner” she knows. Her pastors would see it as their duty to direct Noel’s attention first of all to her own indwelling sin, her own wretchedness in God’s eyes. I believe they sincerely think that this is “bringing the Gospel into” everything they do. For them, “the Gospel” is firstly and foremostly about our own sin.

    But instinctively, we know that something is jacked up in this view. God’s own Word would tell us that He does see some sins as having broader and more lasting consequences than other sins. Yes, all sin is an abomination in God’s eyes…theoretically. But we all know the REALITY, that if I go out and kill someone, there are far more ramifications all the way around than if I lie by calling in sick to work one day when I’m not actually sick and just want to go shopping with my friends. Both the murder and the lie are sins in God’s eyes and both are wretched, but if you lie to me, I’m probably going to be less upset than if you kill someone near and dear to me.

    In SGMville, though, this normal human reaction – one that the even the Bible would seem to support, if you examine how God outlined so many very specific laws and guidelines governing behavior for Old Testament Israel – is circumvented. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been the victim of a liar or a murderer. In your SGM pastor’s mind, you’ve got NO RIGHT to see yourself as a victim, of any sort. In order to “bring the Gospel in,” they’re duty-bound to remind you of your own sinfulness, like it’s some sort of tonic for the normal grief that you might feel because of the ramifications of the sin that was perpetrated against you…like somehow, if I as the victim can just focus on my own badness, I’ll forget that someone molested my child.

    So OK. In SGMville, all sins are created equal.

    Now, enter the perp. Perp expresses sorrow and remorse for his sin. He truly IS the “worst sinner that he knows,” so such a mindset comes easily and naturally to him. In the eyes of his SGM pastors, he automatically then becomes the “more righteous” person, since his response is the only “truly biblical” repsonse that they can find acceptable.

    It gets worse if the victim stands up for himself/herself in any fashion. SGM pastors immediately see this as unforgiveness, which of course is a sin, which then makes the victim even WORSE than the remorseful (and therefore righteous) perp.

    Again, I did not think of this myself. Someone else initially posted these general thoughts. But I thought these were some brilliant observations that did far more to shed light on Noel’s pastors’ really twisted and bizarre behavior than just about anything else.

    To me, this helps to make sense of why, in SGMville, the victims are minimized while the perps are protected. It’s because in SGMville, the only thing that is really righteous is seeing oneself as “the worst sinner one knows.” If one has had a crime – particularly a heinous crime like child abuse – perpetrated against one, there is NO HONEST WAY that one can authentically and enthusiastically embrace “worst sinner” status in one’s thinking. One instinctively knows that someone else’s sin (in this case, one’s perp’s sin) is greater than one’s own sin. So one naturally raises objections to embracing “worst sinner” status.

    SGM pastors sense this and seem to hone in on it, interpreting standing up for oneself as a sign of pride and sin and unforgiveness.

    Meanwhile, the perp is over in his corner crying his genuine tears of sorrow. Because he truly IS the “worst sinner he knows” at that moment, he is more righteous, and hence more worthy of protection.

    9. We have to factor in SGM’s longstanding distrust of and total disdain for the mental health profession. SGM has long taught that “secular psychology” has absolutely nothing to offer the believer in terms of solving problems.

    Anyway, to connect the dots of all this to the situations where SGM pastors were aware of sex abuse and seem to do nothing to address the problem legally…

    If all problems are sin issues, and if all sin issues involve continued “biblical fellowship,” which – most importantly – includes continued confrontation from a pastor about one’s sins…

    And if “secular psychology” presents no way for this to continue, but a pastor’s counsel does…

    And if a perpetrator has acknowledged his sin to his pastor…

    And if it is un-Christian (“sinful”) to ever feel like one has the right to be a total victim, with no corresponding need to focus on one’s own sin…

    Then it makes total sense for the SGM pastor to:

    1. Appear to side with the perpetrator.

    2. Believe that his pastoral counsel is all that is needed.

    3. Believe that he is actually better serving the victim through his position, because he is making it more difficult for the victim to pursue what would be sin – i.e. being a victim and “demonstrating unforgiveness” by pursuing justice through the legal system.

    4. Consequently believe that through all of this, he is “protecting the gospel” or some such, because the SGM gospel is all about confronting and rooting out sin, never having the right to be a victim, and demonstrating one’s salvation status by the sanctification process of confessing one’s sins – which a perpetrator has already done, therefore making the perpetrator “more sanctified” than someone who is trying to get justice as a victim.

  • I agree that SGM’s situations of sex abuse are not unique. Sadly, these things happen all over the place, in all sorts of churches.

    However, I don’t know of any other church that has systematically – even for a short while – responded the specific way that SGM leaders have responded. Most churches follow some sort of reporting policy. Most pastors would never dream of advising abuse victims not to seek outside professional counseling.

    And while yes, it’s true that other non-SGM pastors may have responded poorly to abuse victims, I think SGM pastors’ rigid ideas about instant forgiveness and “all sins are created equal” are unusual to say the least, and have resulted in some spectacularly heartless and downright WEIRD responses to victims.

    There’s something different about the sex abuse cases that took place within SGM churches several years back. It’s not just that the pastors turned a blind eye or minimized, or neglected to show compassion to victims. They did that, but they also seemed to go out of their way to show more compassion to the perpetrators.

    I think it goes back to SGM’s weird ideas about one’s “worst sinner I know” status, where true victimhood is simply impossible.

    I hope nobody minds, but I’m going to repost that comment I reposted in the other thread, about how all of this fits together to shape SGM’s insane response to victims.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    From Gospel To Grace, you are so right! I never saw that story that way, but it is absolutely true! :goodpost

  • ExClcer'sMom

    20 years, I know I have been gone, so I cant really speak for where they stand now in most things, but I can remember in the 80’s, we were looking to move, and I just KNEW that God wanted us to but this particular Townhouse. We were in a homegroup with Linda and Alan Redrup at the time..Well, several church members, Linda and Alan included, found where several houses were being built in Germantown. Chuck Thompson suggested that several families move there, like what Cj and the others did in Flower Hill..Linda was strongly encouraging me that we should also go. I did not think it was the right move for us, and she and I ‘battled” it for at least a week or two! (That was probably why Linda and I could be such good friends, because she had the guts to speak up to me)! Anyway, she kept saying, “But Chuck Thompson says Single family Homes appreciate better than Townhouses”, and Chuck Thompson says”…blah, blah..Finally, one day, she goes, “Well, fine, if you are going to put your desires over what God wants, then what can I say?” I told her, “You know what? I Know God wants me to have THIS Townhouse! I am NOT putting my desires before what God wants! I just dont care what Chuck Thompson wants!” They always thought I was difficult. :D
    But, notice how Taylor said how much they praised her for being such a godly woman for NOT reporting it to the police first! That speaks VOLUMES right there!

  • Considering this latest case of alleged sexual abuse, I felt drawn to the parable of the good Samaritan. A great evil has been done to an innocent person, neither the priest nor the Levite can change that, but what they can do is come alongside the battered dying man and shower him with the mercy of God by treating his wounds, praying for his equally battered soul, and just being there for him. But instead they walked by separating themselves as much as possible from the suffering victim.

    Every time the dying man watched a religious leader walk by he died another little death inside to the reality of the one true God and His love for all His creatures. Each step those men took past the obviously wounded victim called out to him, “God does not love you.” To the extent we turn a blind eye to the pain and suffering inflicted on innocents in our church family we make the same statement to them and bear not only some of the responsibility for their unbelief and hardness of heart toward God but also the anguish and anger they feel over the evil done to them. Unlike how God treated us, we have looked upon them in their time of greatest need and turned our backs.

    Jesus taught us how to love our neighbor by describing how to care for a battered, dying man. He doesn’t commend people to chase down the robbers and draw them out about their heart motives for robbing and nearly beating a man to death. Rather we are to care for the person with the most obvious need – the half dead man lying naked in his own blood on the side of the road!

    The problem of sexual abuse isn’t limited to CLC or Fairfax or SGM. It has happened in countless churches the world over in numerous denominations. The same goes for pastors that have handled it dreadfully. If we’ve sat by silently (which I have) and let our pastors run roughshod over the hurting then we can’t just point our fingers at this man or that one without also pointing the finger at ourselves, too.

    We let them do this. I, for one, want to scream when I think of all the times I quenched the Spirit and bit my tongue because I thought it was wrong not to submit to my leaders. It’s way past time for the people of SGM to take their rightful place among the priesthood of all believers. If we are truly to be the church of Jesus, extending real care to the hurting, there is only one application we can take away from the example of the good Samaritan – go and do likewise.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Taylor, I think it was about 10 years before I was able to feel like I had “put things behind me”. Yet, they never really are, which is not really a bad thing either. because by us bringing these stories forward, and not letting them disappear in the past, there are others who will be spared. Something like this is never “a good thing” to happen, but if we allow ourselves to be strong enough, to not let it rest, we can use what we have been through to make a difference, to keep others from suffering in the same way. This is a perfect place to start! I have been able to heal another 10 years, so it has been 20 years for me. Despite my security in who I am and how God sees me, I still am not sure I would “be up to” being able to handle some of the accusations that some have tried to bring if I was not simultaneously experiencing the support of the rest of the people here. I hope the love, understanding,and acceptance you get from the majority of us here, coupled with god’s Grace, continues to help you heal and grow stronger daily. Considering DH’s video, and the continued minimization :cowboyup that SGM puts forth, I would say we all have a job to do!

  • 20 years in sgm

    Kris,

    you are correct, i never heard it specifically taught to take every minute personal decision to a pastor or CGL, but it was very definitely passed down through the ranks for years…

    If i only had a dollar for every time someone in my sphere of influence said “well, have you talked to your pastor or CGl about that decision?”

    From jobs, to dating, moving, to buying a car even…. and when i went on a church plant i was strongly rebuked because i chose to live slightly out of the circle DH drew on a map of the new church’s sphere of influence in the new community…. I liked this other area to live a little better and there were some economic reasons as it was slightly over the state’s border… I was told ” I may not live there!!”

  • Stunned

    Cimino said, “I wonder if someone with pastor college experience would be brave enough to state whether or not protocol for handling these events was taught to them. It is too much to believe that all these situations were basically handled in the same way without there being some kind of guidelines already in place. I’m convinced now that there are some. If so, would someone be brave enough to post them?”

    Kerrin, you there? You went to Pastor’s College, right? What did they teach on how to handle these situations?

  • Taylor,

    Thank you for making yourself available to respond to questions. And again, thanks for sharing your story. Coming on the heels of Mr. Harvey’s lovely video, where he essentially minimized situations exactly like yours, I think it’s especially important for people to grasp just what a bad misrepresentation his statements were.

  • I don’t want to derail the conversation, but I have a suggestion for the SGMers who believe Mr. Harvey’s video statements about how pastors do not have special authority over them.

    I would like you to consider reading the transcript from CJ’s Happiest Place On Earth sermon.

    Then, I think it would be a great idea for you to ask yourselves the following questions:

    What do you think would be the desired effect of that sermon?

    What do you think would be the logical outworkings of that sermon, if your average sincere open-hearted SGMer listened to it and put CJ’s instructions into practice?

    Considering that CJ has made the rounds of a good many SGM churches over the years, delivering that same message, it is disingenuous at best and a LIE at worst to say that SGMers’ leaders don’t expect them to believe that their pastors’ counsel has special authority over them.

    Further, considering that almost every man who is now a Sovereign Grace pastor had to come up through the ranks where this Happiest Place mentality ruled the day, and had to prove himself by submitting to his own leaders, which ultimately meant sucking up honoring CJ, it seems pretty clear to me that SGM pastors would turn around and assume that their own authority over the people beneath them would look similar to what their own leaders had over them.

  • Taylor

    First of all, thank you for all the outpouring of support and prayers. It was extremely hard to share this, and I have actually been silently reading here for several years. I still feel deep-set anger towards SGM and its pastors, and reading stories here often makes it come back up to the surface. Every time a new story was posted here, I was incredulous that it had happened AGAIN, and often to people that I had previously known or been in church with.

    Even though over 10 years have passed, healing is a slow process sometimes. I often wondered if I should share my story here, but each time I started to, I would get so angry I knew it wasn’t time yet.

    I understand the questioning, and all of these questions posed here are things that I have asked myself over and over and over again- punished myself about many times. The “if onlys” and “why didn’t I”s are always there, especially late at night. I am an intelligent, strong woman. How did I allow myself to be so mislead and deceived?

    Claude, all I can say to you is that you remind me of a certain quote from Forrest Gump….yeah, that’s the one.

    John King, I’m not going to try to defend myself or my story to you. My family has been through enough, and that is exactly what SGM does, turn it around when you come with a grievance or complaint or charge.

    Again, thank you all that have posted kind words.

  • happymom

    Here are just a few of Harvey’s gems….

    “handled with care and with the victims utmost first priority.” and “we are aware of a FEW instances where pastors COULD HAVE been MORE SENSITIVE to the emotional and spiritual needs of the victims and families and COULD HAVE pastored MORE EFFECTIVELY.”

    This only proves that he has either, A) not read any of the actual stories, or B) he is so totally out of touch with reality that he doesn’t believe one word of any of them.”

    SGMER’S – Hold Harvey’s statements on sex abuse in light of this story and tell me you are ok with that???

  • Defended

    Kris – spot on.
    Big time denial. And big deception too. I still say if you compare the audio to the Kingsway meeting on 9/6/2010 you might get closer to the “real” Dave Harvey.
    There, he was completely unapologetic and said if you don’t like their system, you can leave. In the current video he says they have been revising their polity for 2 years?! Which one do you or should you believe? :spin

  • In light of Taylor’s story, I think it’s interesting to take a second look at Dave Harvey’s recent video.

    If people want to understand why some of us were so put off just about everything Mr. Harvey said in that video, it’s because the overall effect of his words was one of minimization.

    Yes, he addressed the idea of pastoral authority. He attempted to either instruct or assure (I’m honestly not sure which) his audience that “the only authority pastors have is scripture,” and that pastors do not issue binding advice. And technically speaking, that’s probably true for one segment of the SGM population. Technically speaking, SGM pastors have probably not given out a lot of recent direct instruction about their own authority and how their members must look to them for direction about all manner of life’s decisions. If anything, they’ve relied on CJ’s occasional delivery of a message like Happiest Place On Earth.

    But somehow, some way, the idea that members should automatically turn to their pastors for advice is still very strong in the SGM culture. Somehow, it’s been conveyed in unspoken ways, to the point where we can see this habit at work in Taylor’s reaction. Someone asked the question, “Why didn’t she call 9-1-1-?” Well, Taylor reacted to her horrific discovery by doing what she’d (somehow, some way) been trained to do: she turned first to her pastor for direction.

    Now, if Dave Harvey is going to honestly address the issue of how SGM views pastoral authority, and honestly deal with the fact that SGM members have, over the years, somehow picked up on the idea that they must always look to their pastors for guidance and direction, and that the pastors’ word has some sort of extra authority over them, then he simply MUST do more than just tell people that their pastors don’t have actual authority over them.

    Instead, he needs to acknowledge that obviously, this attitude has somehow been absorbed by a lot of SGMers over the years, and that because of that, pastors have been able to exercise an inappropriate level of influence over people’s lives. We see a very good example of this inappropriate influence in Taylor’s story. In “normal” Christianity, if a pastor told a member not to seek counseling for an abused child, the member would likely consider that odd advice and ignore it. But in SGM, if a pastor said that, there was something in the culture that compelled a member to take that advice seriously and run with it.

    Until Mr. Harvey deals with this (and all the other issues) more deeply, his videos play like vain attempts at P.R. and spin.

    And denial. Big-time denial.

  • Singing cook

    Taylor, I am so sorry and grieved to read of what your daughter, children and self had to go through at the hands of “Christians”. How wickedly hard to sort out what was going on and what to do when those around you were so ….WRONG in an almost evil sort of way. Oh how I pray He draws and leads you and yours through, day by day.

    Old commentator, new name, thank you for your willingness to share and shine a light on the dangerous fruits of all the legalistic, twisted rhetoric og SGM. I am so sorry that you suffered so in silence. I pray the Holy Spirit will come and gently help you unwind all the knots and lies.

    Pampy captured what I have thought for years, ” there is a strong sexually twisted undercurrent in this “family of churches”.”. I too am ill and grieving for those who have gotten swept under, ignored or DAMAGED by this undercurrents pull. Not that how I wish I could communicate with you can be reduced down to an emoticons but… :( & :In-pain:

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @Phoenix, actually, I am chuckling a bit now, thinking of the SGM pastors meeting God on Judgment Day..I am not so sure it will be what they are thinking it’s gonna be..
    It is not that I am wishing ill, or D**nation on anyone undeserving, or even anyone at all for that matter, but God DOES say that “vindication is His”, and I totally believe that all of these abused children and their families will be ultimately vindicated.

  • Breeezey

    I keep thinking WWJCD? What Would J C Do? The J C I’m thinking of is not Jesus Christ. Its John Calvin. He was Chief Magistrate at Geneva. I’m pretty sure the bonfire he persided over with Michael Servetus could have been expanded to include some of the “supposed” pastors and the abusers. I swear the spirit of Moloch is running SGM when I read stories like this. Michael Servetus only disagreed with JC theologically and he was burnt at the stake. I can imagine some of CJs clones who hold Calvin in such high esteem disagreeing with him on this issue. What Would John Calvin Do? A burning pile of green wood would probably be his response. Dante must have a special ring in hell for these guys after JC gets done with them.

  • Phoenix

    And a comment that was probably a bit better fit for the previous couple of posts. CJ can continue to barrel about the country burbling about how in heaven we will gather about our pastors (maybe we’ll just elbow the Lamb out of the way.) And I’m sure CJ thinks he’ll have the greatest cloud of witnesses of all. CJ, however, has probably never been anyone’s pastor because just calling yourself a pastor doesn’t make you one. Making megabucks calling yourself a pastor doesn’t make you one. I would venture to say as well that many of the men currently calling themselves pastors in SGM (Dave Harvey, for one) ARE NOT. I think anyone who has actually been a faithful shepherd rather than a faithful shoe licker and corporate drone has already been run out of SGM. I hope there are exceptions still in SGM.

    If people do gather around to honor pastors in heaven I think there will be some surprises about who they are — and are not — honoring.

  • For What It's Worth

    I wondered if anyone had any comments on the Covenant Fellowship Family Meeting last night?

    Also, to bring a little levity, I recently noticed this:

    Combine a photo of CJ Mahaney + photo of Dave Harvey = What do you get? Jared Mellinger! (Covenant Fellowship Senior Pastor)

    A combination of CJ’s receding hairline plus his slight build, mixed with Dave’s beard and rectangular glasses! Anyone else see it? And I’m not even talking about mannerisms or gestures or speech patterns! Not being unkind to Jared – just thought it was really funny when I noticed it! C’mon CovFel members – tell me you haven’t noticed it too?

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Also note that, even though Taylor’s daughter was 10 at the time of the abuse, Taylor continued, under pressure from SGM church, to live with the abuser until her daughter was 16-SIX MORE YEARS! Then, she said her divorce took 2 years, but the perp IS STILL IN THE CHURCH! Even if the actual criminal events took place 8-10 years ago, it was less than that when the perp was caught trying to view his daughter in the bathroom! My point is, the “actual KNOWN criminal act” may have taken place 10 years or so ago, but if this man has never really been held accountable, and was even caught seeking to view his daughter again in such a way, and it was minimized..WOULD ANYONE WANT TO TRUST THEIR OWN CHILD’S SAFETY THAT THIS GUY IS NOT TRYING SOMETHING AGAIN??? Do these SGM pastors REALLY BELIEVE that God will not hold them accountable one day? I don’t even understand how anyone can believe in God, and not be so afraid of what is to come after having acted in such a way!!I am GLAD I just dont get it, though! :bang

  • As to the questions about church location and time frame, I will let Taylor decide how much info she wants to put out there. From the details she’s shared, it sounds like this happened several years ago, since her daughter was 10 at the time and is now grown.

    While some SGM churches may not have been as affected as others by this, it seems pretty obvious that the twisted emphasis on “all sins are created equal,” coupled with really bad ideas about wifely submission, created a church culture that enabled these kinds of abuses. And because of SGM’s method of church planting, where whole “mini-churches” of people were sent out from an established church like Taylor’s, these beliefs spread. Yes, there may be exceptions, particularly among the less-connected or newly adopted SGM churches, but by and large a couple of filthy streams could cause a LOT of contamination.

  • ExClcer'sMOm

    @ QE2: YES!! :clap

  • Defended

    Taylor, I have no words. We are sickened, sad, and completely enraged at your story and what you have had to endure, so I pray that you and your children are knowing the peace and joy of God’s love and goodness now, in the present.

    Kris, I think you are spot on concerning the arrogance of this power-pyramid’s thinking or groupthink. Why else would they be the “best” or primary place of disclosure? What other reason is there? I hope to God that it’s not more PR cover. I think it would be charitable to chalk it up to arrogance over image protection.

    The odd, or even perverse pattern of interest in sexual details strikes me as odd, as well. Based on my experience as well as some knowledge we have I have wondered for years, since leaving the SG network what the level of porn usage is among those in leadership. Could that be related? I just wonder. I mean who or what kind of person asks for that level of detail and information? :barf:
    There is accountability software available. But who uses it, in SGM???

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Claude, as horrific as what my family endured at the hands of these men who call themselves pastors, it would have been so much the same as what Taylor went through if I had not been such a hard-headed, stubborn, “unsubmissive”, and basically strong willed woman that I am. That is why I KNOW her story to be true! The very things that happened to her, I fought and argued against! Because of sex abuse that happened to me as a child, I already was prepared in my mind how I would deal with anyone who dared to hurt one of my children in such a way. Actually, it took all of my self control to NOT deal with him as I would have liked-instead, I only threw him out, and looked to get professional counseling for my children. But, I was very specific in what I wanted, and refused to take them to a counselor that would try to encourage reconciliation. So, unlike Taylor, I was not totally dealing in an unknown, and I dad not need the pastor;s approval to know where I stand with God, or need their approval in any way! But, I totally understand where Taylor was, and how she was there. I know that if it were not for me being such a rebel, I would have been exactly in her shoes. “There go I, but for the grace of God”. To you, it may be too shocking to believe, but to me, it is the reality I fought hard against!

  • QE2

    Why don’t people dial 911? Because these men of God pound into you that your basic human instincts are sinful and ungodly. Of course you want to be godly, so you believe it. And the whole time you are living it, you know something’s wrong, but you are not sure what or why, because you are doing what your leaders, whom you are to joyfully submit to, are telling you. But it’s not working, yet it’s suppose to be working…

    #15 why would anyone want to follow men that don’t have that basic guttural response? something is terribly wrong with those men.

    Exactly! I remember visiting my grandfather 20 years ago, and saw a terrible story on the news about a man that sexually abused his girlfiend’s 3 year old son and beat him into a coma. My grandfather simply said, “In my day, the men of the town would have chased him down and beaten him to a pulp, and the police would have stood by and waited until we were done.”

    I seriously doubt they actually did that, or that the police would stand by watching if they did, but there was something comforting in knowing that the men of the commuinity would have been willing to take a stand as men to protect children, even if it was just in verbally expressing what they thought should happen to such a perp.

  • Phoenix

    Taylor, thank you for sharing this. How hideous. I hope that God has brought and will continue to bring great healing and happiness for you. I feel confident that you will find that publicly sharing your story is part of a healing process. I know others have, including me.

  • justsayin

    me very sad :-( me pray 4 taylor

  • Phoenix

    Yes, and John King, the “pastors” of SGM have had ample opportunity to address these issues and are perfectly free to address Taylor’s story in particular on this blog; just as they have had years of opportunity to address Noel’s story, Happymom’s story, ExCLCer’s story, et al ad nauseum. They have not availed themselves of those opportunities. When these stories have been publicly addressed by them the result has been distorted whiny excuse-making.

    And besides, who cares what you think? Who knows IF you think? I doubt you do.

    Sorry, this story makes me nuts.

  • justsayin

    Kris, re: 111 on dave harvey:

    as often happens here on this blog, you made stuff up about what I said. asking is better than jumping to conclusions.

  • Claude

    Why has this fathe if Taylor’s stiry is true not been charged with child abuse?

  • El Pastor

    Claude,

    I use the word unbelievable in one of its accepted meanngs: “incredible or astonishing”

    Will you agree that if it is true, it is a great evil on the part of these pastors?

  • Defender

    It was referenced recently when C.J. said in his “Happiest Place On Earth” speech, that pastors will be standing before Jesus with their congregations gathered around them. The congregations thanking Jesus for their pastors.??

    I think C.J. got it partly correct.

    I think the congregations will be TESTIFYING against the pastors before the Great White Thrown of Judgement.

    SGM Pastors!

    REPENT!
    Your Judgement is coming.

    Do you remember what Jesus said? (SGM Pastors! I’m still talking to you.)
    He came to bring the TRUTH.
    Who did Jesus say was the father of lies?
    And who was it he said was children of the father of lies?
    The religious ruling class of that day. (You could call ‘em the “Pastors” of the Jewish congregation.)
    Do you (SGM Pastors) think that you will escape the judgement that is coming to you? (If you don’t repent?)

    Today is the Day of Salvation.

  • Fried Fish

    John King #30 –

    Are you offering to come forward and cross-examine? Are you familiar with the details of this case? Were you involved in some way? I would be very careful about throwing that verse around in criticism of those who are finally being emboldened to speak the truth about a system that has stifled and suppressed it for so long.

    Taylor, I’m very sorry for what you and your children have gone through, and that there are still idiots in SGM that want the abuse to continue.

    I have for a long time held out hope that there was something worth salvaging in SGM, and granted there are still many human souls at stake. But after this latest story I’m pretty close to believing that SGM may rightly fall under the curse in Galatians 1 – preaching “another gospel” and placing on the abused an unbearably heavy yoke of submission to evil men masquerading as servants of God. There is no way that the similarity with which these incidents were handled, is a coincidence.

  • Claude

    ExClcer’sMom, I do undertsand and I do believe what you went through was horrific. Yes, you and I use to be in the same homegroup at Gathering of Believers and Covenant Life.

  • Claude

    El Pastor I agree 100%, as a former member for over 20 years, I find it hard to believe.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Claude, really? REALLY? I have been a member of whatever church was associated with Larry and CJ since 1976..Take And Give, Gathering of Believers Covenant Life, PDI, SGM..whatever the name.I totally believe her story! You do not even understand how difficult it is for a woman to speak up and say how she put her daughter in such a situation! If you don’t believe her story, why do you even read anything at all? You may as well go back in your SGM “hole”, and bury your head in the sand! But know this, God is bringing a truth out, and you can choose to find it out now, or just stand in shame later. :koolaid

  • Already Gone

    That would be great. John, is that the case?

  • El Pastor

    This story is unbelievably painful to read. As a non-SGM pastor (and being an outsider I hesitate to post), I can’t imagine any biblically informed leader, or any godly man for that matter, counseling a woman this way. I can’t get my head around it. This situation is at the very least a heinous form of repeated adultery. It should have been made absolutely clear to any woman like Taylor that she has a right to divorce the perpetrator and protect her children. Divorce or reconciliation is entirely at her discretion, and she will be given all possible support from the church in whatever she decides.

    Kris, I think your recent posts on the “I’m the worst sinner in the world” paradigm for reconciliation must be a factor, along with some bizarre, extreme patriarchalism. I believe a man is to be the head of his home, but for his family’s good! If he can’t protect his own children from himself, isn’t he “worse than an unbeliever”? (1 Tim 5:8) Or does this apply only to food and a roof over the heads of the ones he oppresses and afflicts?

    I’ve tried to understand the SGM point of view in many of these stories. I just can’t. It’s not just poor training, or error, or hubris. It is cruelty. It is abusing the flock. it reminds me of Islam, where the men and Mullahs have all the power, and delight to lord it over the weak. That’s all I can see here. If these pastors acted this way, they should be out of the ministry. Period. Please, all you who were so abused, know that this is not Jesus Christ, but proud men taking his name to cover their own darkness.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Already Gone..I was thinking he meant it to the pastors and their wicked words to Taylor and her daughter..but, John, maybe you could share how you feel it is relevant? :scratch

  • Already Gone

    And Claude:
    It’s against the rules to curse out another blogger…
    so, uh.. I have nothing for you.

  • Already Gone

    John King:
    It’s against the rules to do a drive-by scripture verse.
    Back that verse up. Say it. Say it to Taylor. I dare you.

  • Claude

    I have a hard time believing Taylor’s story and yes I was a member of the SGM churches in the washington area for over 20 year in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    @ Remnant…Beautiful, meaningful, true.. :goodpost

    @ Happymom… :amen

  • Cimino

    Well, my bad… you may be referring to the pastors? not sure. But if its directed to Taylor, give her a break.

  • Cimino

    Claude – chill out. It’s easy to look from the outside and say “why didn’t you just call 911?” It’s quite a different story to walk through something like this… most likely she was emotionally distraught, not in a normal frame of mind, trying her best to follow and please the Lord even in the midst of this, etc. It is her pastors that are to be blamed and asked questions. Why didn’t THEY call the police?

  • Puck Lover

    Unfortunately your disclosed event is not unique and just makes me ill for both of you. I am a former detective of child abuse, specifically sexual, and although this may not be the route you would want to take at this point, most states do not have a statute of limitations when it comes to child abuse. Please understand that a criminal conviction will not heal your child but certainly can help the healing process. I am not a psychologist but firmly believe that the most important action that you can take is to get counseling for the both of you from a therapist with experience in this field. Most locations across the country have access to a child advocacy center which can help with all aspects of what you have experienced.

    I can not tell you how many times a church has attempted to place themselves above the law when it comes to investigations of this type. What they did was criminal, at least in Maryland and they should be ashamed of themselves. They will have to answer for this one day.

  • Remnant

    Dear Lord,

    Your daughters suffer at the hands of evil men calling themselves SGM pastors.
    These false pastors do not know righteousness or justice.
    They are perverted and have perverted Your sacrifice of love.
    They put burdens on your daughters that are horrendous and grotesque.
    They hide sins of evil men and yet they call innocence sin.
    They have no holy discernment or simple common sense.
    Their leaders post manipulative video tripe and speak with many words to thinking to exonerate themselves from responsibility and guilt.
    Lord, You who never slumbers nor sleeps, You are not fooled by these wicked men and their absurd stance.
    Lord, You will hold them accountable and while they expect crowns of glory, accolades of holy “well done”, the eternal appreciation around The Throne of Glory, You have the tears of these victims in Your bottle and will hold these anguished tears before these pseudo pastors as witness against them.

    Oh Lord, have mercy on abused daughters.
    Remnant

  • happymom

    Taylor,
    I am so sickened by your story. I am enraged. I am so, so sorry for what you and your family endured. You are a brave soul to share your story. I hope that encourages the others to share their story, there are more.

    SGM CHURCH MEMBERS, HOW LONG WILL YOU STAND BY AND CHALK THIS UP TO BITTER AND UNFORGIVING VICTIMS? HOW LONG WILL YOU BURY YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND? Now go watch Harvey’s video again and listen to his dribble about handling sex abuse. Do you find that sufficient in light of this story????

  • John King

    Proverbs 18:17

  • Claude

    I do not understand why you did not dial 911? If your house were on fire would’nt you dial 911? If someone’s stealing your car wouldn’t you dial 911? If you were assualted wouldn’t you dial 911? Crime is Crime.

  • Leo

    Defender wrote: (Trying to hold my tongue here and not get me banned from Kris’ & Guy’s “living room”.)

    Me: I know exactly what you mean! I had to edit out a few f-bomb’s from my post after reading Taylor’s horrific story

    Defender wrote: I’m speechless…..
    Call the Post, call the Times, call the Journal, call Fox News, see if we can get these stories the same kind of 24/7 coverage that hurricane Irene got.
    What SGM Pastors are doing needs to be SHOUTED FROM EVERY HOUSETOP!
    NUKE ‘EM! (Nuke the B*****ds!

    Me: Agree!!!!!! No CHILD is safe in an sgm church and they only way to keep this from happening again is to get the stories out. Those children being damaged right now will only have a chance for true healing if the truth get out and people know how it is dealt with. The first response should be to call the police, never a sgm pastor. Asking an sgm pastor or cgr to help is like asking Michael Vick to dog sit!!!!!

    SGM is well beyond “fixing”. You can’t fix something that never worked when it was made!

  • Leo

    Taylor – thank you for posting your story. I know it was harder to write and recant your story than it is for the rest of it to read it. I stand with you and support you. What was done to you should never have happened!!!!!!!

    Thank you for putting the truth out!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Defender

    Taylor, I’m so sorry you & your daughter had to go through this.
    It makes me sick!

    (Trying to hold my tongue here and not get me banned from Kris’ & Guy’s “living room”.)

    I’m speechless…..

    Call the Post, call the Times, call the Journal, call Fox News, see if we can get these stories the same kind of 24/7 coverage that hurricane Irene got.

    What SGM Pastors are doing needs to be SHOUTED FROM EVERY HOUSETOP!

    NUKE ‘EM! (Nuke the B*****ds!)

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Whirlwind, you said in post #4:
    Why wouldn’t a pastor quite plainly tell this man that he can expect his wife will not have any interest in further sexual relations, his wife would be justified in pursuing divorce on grounds of adultery, he should have no expectation of remarriage, he will likely not have any meaningful relationship with any of his children in the future, and they will need to inform the congregation of the molestation including any members who join the church in the future – AND IT’S ALL HIS OWN FAULT AND NO ONE ELSE’S!!

    That is so absolutely true! When I threw my ex out, he would go to friend’s houses and cry about how “he made some mistakes, and I wouldn’t forgive him”..Well, one of those friends had been a groomsman in our wedding, and he felt it necessary to call to encourage me how no sin is too great for God to help us forgive, et all..When I finally told him what was the case, he sat for a minute in stunned silence, and then responded, “Don’t ever let that man back into your house!” That night, when my ex arrived for dinner, my friend told him in no uncertain terms, that he should not even consider the possibility of recovering his family, and he should thank God if he even gets to keep his soul! Of course, my ex went to the pastors and complained I was “gossiping”, to which I told them when they called me out on it, to tell Mr. A that if he did not want people to know about it, then he needed to shut his own mouth, and quit trying to run around getting sympathy from me being silent! I said how I had enough stress dealing with all I was, and if anyone called me trying to talk me into reconciliation, I would tell them the truth of what was going on! That is most likely another reason the pastors did not want people to be so involved with helping our family..I refused to play by their rules!
    I am afraid we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg here..and there really is no solid indication that all of this horror is not just as rampant today as yesterday… :Tears:

  • Pampy

    @EmSoliDeoGloria in #13:

    ” Your pastors should have been there to support you in bringing further limits and consequences into the situation, namely, the civil authorities, who are ordained by God to be a terror to evildoers…”

    :word

  • 5yearsin PDI

    “where she was told she needed to forgive her father, that she was a sinner too, and didn’t she feel that she had sinned by not telling me sooner, and we were made to feel that she had somehow sinned by allowing it to continue, even insinuating that maybe she had even wanted that attention a bit. She was TEN YEARS OLD.”

    SGM moral equivalency. All sin is equal and you are never a victim, only a sinner.

    I am so so so so sorry. I will pray for your children. Thank you for sharing here. This is sickening.

    This makes me want to go picket with Andy if I lived closer.

  • Pampy

    DB in #18. I do understand how you feel….I really do. The reality is that we don’t have to go to such a polarized extent to protect our children. This is exactly what SGM promotes…as far as “their way” being the only true Christian way. And when we swallow that crock of poo, we forget that there are so many other “normal” loving Christians out there. And they’re hiding out in some churches that we may have been warned against attending. I am seeing that God’s family and God’s children are in many more places than I ever imagined while subjecting myself to the limited, prejudicial teachings of Gathering of Believers. (hmmm…what’s that verse about causing a little one to stumble?….what would it be better for them to experience?…..) We are to protect our children…period. I’ve learned to evaluate things much more differently now. I don’t want to hear someone spout off the “right verbage”. I want to see this: how do they treat women and how do they treat children….that tells me more about their relationship with God than any biblical dissertation.

  • Pampy

    Taylor,

    I don’t know what is stronger—the anguish I felt as I read your story or the anger towards a twisted perverted system. I’m with Ummm….I feel physically ill now…there’s a knot in my stomach. Thank you for your courage in sharing. I know it isn’t easy reliving that. But I know that there will be many others who will now have the courage to step forward and share their stories. The way SGM handled your situation caused your precious children much mental and emotional anguish. They were so off base that I can’t even begin to address it without this turning into a book. Yes, some of the behaviors of the leaders who were handling your situation seem more than questionable…I’m mainly referring to the request for explicit details and the blatant disregard and disrespect they showed to you and your children. What a mess. This speaks to their own personal issues….and I believe there are many. For some reason, I’m reminded of the one pastor who shared explicit details with the congregation of his sexual relationship with his wife. This is just not right. There is a strong sexually twisted undercurrent in this “family of churches.”

    Your last paragraph sums it all up…yes, God is good. He is not the God that SGM has been portraying. A “good” Christian wife is not one who puts up with this abuse and further subjects her children to the possibility of continued abuse and humiliation, but who is brave and strong enough to get out and to refuse to tolerate abuse of any kind (I know full well of what I speak having been in this situation). I don’t feel comfortable sharing my personal story at this time because some people who know me are on here sometimes. Maybe one day I will share it….but it doesn’t really relate to experiences in SGM, so I’m not sure. I just thank God that I wasn’t in SGM when I went through my situation. I don’t know if I could’ve survived that. It was hard enough experiencing the judgement of other ignorant Christians for my decision to leave my marriage. It’s the sick, twisted ones who end up judging the abused and excusing the abuser. All I can say is that I am so happy now, and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. Leaving my marriage was the equivalent for me of leaving Gathering of Believers. At first it was difficult, and I was cut off and judged by many. However, as I worked through everything, there was an exhilarating sense of freedom in both situations as personal healing occurred. It’s like breathing clean, fresh air and experiencing a life that you never knew existed. What a shame for those who promote anything but true freedom in Christ.

    The bottom line is that the Bible version of Jesus and the Christian life is totally different than what we experienced while in the SGM/CLC/PDI/GOB system. I am so glad that you’re now experiencing what God intended for you.

  • Taylor

    I would also like to say that I appreciate you sharing your story. Just when you thought the SGM stories couldn’t get any worse you post your story. The other child abuse/molesting stories are bad but this is even worse.

    I am glad you were able to finally leave your husband and protect your daughter.

  • sgmnot

    Taylor: Thank you for your courage in coming forward. My heart is breaking for what you and your daughter have endured. I am so glad that you were able to have the courage to divorce that “man”. I will keep you and your daughter in prayer.

    Your courage to come forward, will help others to do so as well. Thank you.

    I too want to know what year this was, if possible, or was it within the past few years, because already the claim has been made by SGM leaders that these cases were all long ago. Not that it completely matters, because he was still prowling around his daughter years later! And HE is still a SGM member, people!!! In a SGM church somewhere, going to church functions where children are!!

  • DB

    If I was a single woman that had to give her child up for adoption, I would surely give my child to loving intelligent educated atheists than to a Christian family.

    Apologies to all of the good normal Christians, there is far too much hidden from observation and there is far far too much going on and even if you aren’t being molested by your father when you’re 10 or 11, the crap that these people openly advocate is too much.

    With this story, I have snapped.

    I believe SGM has shamed the Gospel to the degree that I am here stating that I am sorry my children wasted the years they did in that place.

    I am sorry that my craptastic choices has created a aversion to anything churchy.

    We have been to a few SGM weddings and they are as bad if not worse than me mocking and generally mumbling comments under their breath.

    My son in law even promised to, “Intoxicate” my daughter “with his love.” as a joke at their expense because the dewy eyed bride is supposed to mouth those words.

    The pastors that were responsible for prolonging the agony of this woman and her children are ostomy bags full of putrid vile waste and I hold nothing but contempt for a system that has too many of these stories in their collective closets.

    But when you have the headmaster of their so-called Christian school beating a little girl on her bare bottom should speak a warning to folks.

    But we had already had too much kool aid and were worthless to do what the heathens in the darkest jungle on earth does by instinct; protect our children with our lives if necessary.

    And I am not looking at anything but the mirror when I typed that last paragraph, I am not pointing my finger at any other parent here.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    BTW, just in case someone reading this has the unfortunate situation of having to use the information I am about to share, but it was told to me by the police that if a child comes and shares information about child abuse to you, the BEST thing is to report it to the authorities immediately, and not to question them further. A trained professional knows how to “retrieve” information from a victim in a way that will not only help to prevent them further trauma, but also will better serve to keep the story “untainted”..sometimes, a defense attorney will try to say a child was “lead” into speaking certain things, etc, but the professionally trained counselors will guard against such defenses. How narcissistic of these pastors and perpetrators, to think that because “they feel better” everything is resolved, and everyone is healed! I HATE how they handled your family, Taylor! Thank you so much for being brave enough to share!

  • SGM Member...

    I am physically ill right now reading this story. I am so, so, so sorry. This is terrible and shameful. The SGM leaders need to seriously repent and be on their knees before God and these victims. The way SGM presented what had happened to victims of sexual abuse in the video is SHAMEFUL in light of the pain and agony and really unfixable damage done to victims. I don’t even have words. No words.

  • pseudonym for a reason

    that’s it. i want my life back. i lost the first 30 years or so of my life to this environment. i defended sgm. devoted/lost my teens and 20’s to it. and this… this is what i was devoting that chunk of my life to? forget the damage they caused me personally, but this is the stuff that was happening around me that i didnt know about? are you kidding me?

    taylor, whoever you are, your ex is/was a sick man in need of way more than what sgm could provide. but so much more than that, your daughter should have been the only priority that they should have devoted all of their efforts to in this situation. they should have made her recovery/healing, at whatever cost, the only priority. trickle down from the man? that gets a big WTF? who are these people and with what credentials do they claim the expertise to handle these kinds of situations? or any life situation for that matter? (a book on humility with something that looks a lot like blackmail in his closet? a dude that has never really dated writing a book on how to not date?) those involved should be ashamed of themselves. every ounce of man and father in me would want to defend your daughter and get so deep in your ex’s grill that turning himself in would be a respite. why would anyone want to follow men that don’t have that basic guttural response? something is terribly wrong with those men.

    we are all sinners, and capable of any sin if left to ourselves apart from grace, and therefore there are no victims… blah blah blah. if you still go to an sgm church, run.

  • MikePhila

    These pastors should be fired immediately! What a bunch of clowns!

  • EMSoliDeoGloria

    How absolutely sickening. That such lies were foisted on you, Taylor, under the guise of the gospel of grace is abhorrent.

    While this outworking of it is not part of my experience, what you describe as “the “trickle down” theory of taking care of the “head” and it will trickle down to the wife and kids” plagued the early years of my SGM church too and hurt many women and families. It doesn’t work that way in real life. Women are people too. People who have hearts and souls and need care whether their husbands are receiving it or not or in a position to give it or not.

    I’m glad you put limits on his ability to harm your children. Your pastors should have been there to support you in bringing further limits and consequences into the situation, namely, the civil authorities, who are ordained by God to be a terror to evildoers. That was your ex-husbands’ first reaction: terror at the thought of receiving the consequences of his sin against his daughter. They should have been there to care for you spiritually and emotionally and should have ensured that your daughter received appropriate care (including that a traumatized victim of sexual abuse should have never been asked to disclose the details of her father’s crime against her to a male pastor without you or a trusted female counselor present).

    Away from such poor care and teaching, I’m sure you now know that his attraction to your daughter or his addiction to pornography is not a product of how often or in what ways you had sexual intercourse with him. Period. It makes me angry that such a thing would be implied to you. I am personally aware that this isn’t the way all SGM pastors counsel on this issue but it is unconscionable that any would.

    As you probably also know by now, in most states, your daughter has a period of time after her 18th birthday (usually 3 or 7 years, depending on the details of the offense and depending on the state) to press charges herself.

    SGM leaders: repentance starts here. Not to doubt Taylor, but if even the most basic facts she outlines are true, you must repent, specifically and personally (not in vague generalities), for not having protected the children and the vulnerable ones in your churches.

    Kris, without naming the church and pastors involved, can you say whether this was one of the churches already named in the child abuse stories? Was it CLC or FCC or another SGM church? Also when did it take place (year or five year time frame)?

  • Long-time commenter, new name

    Taylor, thank you for sharing your story and thank you for your courage to protect your children. I hope they have been able since to find help and healing, and you as well… -hugs-

    My greatest fear is that we will never know the extent of abuse in SGM. As others have pointed out, only (an estimated) one in ten abuse cases are ever reported to authorities… And how many more are never reported at all, to anyone?

    I grew up in SGM and don’t feel comfortable sharing too much about myself because my abuse has never been shared except to my spouse, a therapist, and a couple of extremely close friends. Also, my abuser and/or family may be reading on here and they don’t know and I don’t feel comfortable telling them. I don’t want to go into lots of sordid details about what I experienced. I will simply say: it was long endured, familial, and continues to cause me extensive suffering. It especially affects my marriage.

    I’ve wanted to speak up the last few weeks but the time has never felt “right”. Growing up in SGM is the REASON I never reported what I went through to anyone except a whispered, tearful conversation with my best friend when I was a kid. I was taught that it was shameful and awful sin to have sex outside marriage. The fact that I was a child and it was non-consensual, in other words a victim, was not explained. All I “knew” was sex outside of marriage was horrific, I was having it, therefore I was horrific.

    The reason I shared about my conversation with my friend? When I told her, she told me she had experienced similar, also at the hands of family. AND her sister had, as well. I’ve since found out about three other all-in-the-family cases that, as far as I know, were never reported to anyone. Our perpetrators have never been confronted. Many of them are still in the church, some have grandkids now.

    My main point is this: SGM has for years done a really great job of teaching its parishioners to be ashamed of their sin, and an even better job of teaching people that in every sin situation every person involved shares guilt. Unless this system is changed, we will never know how many little children are suffering.

  • dj pomegranate

    “I was told that in order to truly be a Godly wife, I had to forgive my husband because my sins as a less than Godly wife had also contributed to my daughter’s abuse. I was told that had I better met my husband’s needs physically, he wouldn’t have been tempted elsewhere.”

    I keep reading things like this in various survivor stories, patriarchal and patriarch-lite sermons, and the like, and it makes me furious. Anyone who thinks that things like abuse, molestation, and rape are a natural consequence of simply not having enough marital sex is dangerously, dangerously misinformed and/or intentionally deluded. This leads directly, do not pass go, do not collect $200, to rape culture. How dare they put the blame for a husband’s lack of self-control (fruits of the Spirit, anyone?) on his wife.

    Taylor, your story is heartbreaking and I am so, so sorry for you and your children.

  • ExClcer'sMom

    Taylor, thank you so much for your bravery in telling your story! I cried, as I read the horrible, destructive things they said to your daughter! I know that “feelings of guilt” carry with an abuse victim for most of their life, especially without counseling-and that is with nothing being said! Those pastors that said those horrible things to her should at least never be allowed to pastor or counsel again, if not go to jail themselves! I pray that God reveals Himself to your children, just as I pray He does to mine.
    Gary Ricucci once challenged me on “my grounds for divorce”, saying, “What would you do if your were in the Old Testament, where women were not allowed to divorce at all?” I told him that in the Old testament, it instructs the Church to take such a man outside the city gates and stone him to death-there would be no need for divorce! It is only the Grace of God in the New Testament that even allows for such a disgusting piece of filth to continue to walk the earth! (Although, Jesus did say it would be better to tie a rock around one’s own neck and throw oneself into the river before one should hurt a child..hmmm)
    I am so glad you have found a church to be part of that is helping you heal! :THANK-YOU:

  • exCLCer

    Taylor, Im so so sorry for you and your children and what you went through. Thank you for having the courage to tell your story. You’ll find several people here who can relate to you and will support you.

    Im afraid there may be many, many more. I know of more stories that have not come out yet, and they all have the same awful unimaginable details of how their abusers and family were “handled”. This is NOT a “few instances” of “insensitivity” …….this is systemically problematic and unacceptable.

  • Once I had lunch with 2 friends. One was a young, 30-something teacher. The other was an ex-nun who taught for many years in a catholic school. The 30-something teacher commented that someone got fired at her school because a student “joked” to a teacher about abuse and the teacher didn’t report it. The ex-nun said that ALWAYS had to report when abuse was suspected…even when she started teaching in the 70s. It seems like if these perps were anywhere else. They would have reported to the police.

    Taylor, I am so sorry this happened to you. I wish you nothing but happiness in the future.

  • Joe 3

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter.

    I know that a lot of folks here aren’t exactly Peacemaker fans because of the ham-handed and unwise ways the material has been used in SGM at times (“get the log out of your own eye” when dealing with abusive people, just like the approach here with this 10-year-old girl! “You’re a sinner, too.” Barf.). But interestingly enough, I was at SG Gilbert (AZ) when Ken Sande from Peacemakers spoke many years back (I’m not an SGM member, but went to learn about the Peacemakers material). Ken related the story of a guy in their church who was a convicted child molester. They somehow managed to restore the guy into the church, but all the deacons had a key to the guy’s apartment, there were some very strict rules about his movements in the church building, and the whole church was notified about his crime/sin.

    I don’t know all the details, but from Sande’s telling, it was a true story of redemption with some serious tough love and accountability. It seemed like a model story of how abuse could be confronted and redeemed instead of either swept under the rug or having the guy absolutely shunned.

    I really don’t understand how all these church leaders who don’t report are considering themselves to be living under Romans 13. It’s not optional. It’s mandatory. When the civil law requires it and it doesn’t violate God’s law, God requires it, too.

  • Ummm

    How are these pastors any different from Warren Jeffs in protecting the sexual abuse of children??????

  • Cimino

    First off, such a sad story. Taylor, you had every biblical right for divorce. You should have never been told to stay in this situation. This is so sad…

    2. I would be very curios to know if this took place in one of the churches where the other abuse took place, or if this is a brand new church on the list? I understand if this can’t be divulged.

    3. I wonder if someone with pastor college experience would be brave enough to state whether or not protocol for handling these events was taught to them. It is too much to believe that all these situations were basically handled in the same way without there being some kind of guidelines already in place. I’m convinced now that there are some. If so, would someone be brave enough to post them? In order to maybe bring some minute amount of justice to these kids (and wives!) that have been damaged all these years with no recourse?

  • Whirlwind

    I’ll also mention – I’ll be making a point to ask my pastor very directly how he would respond in a situation like this and whether he thinks it appropriate to contact the police about child molestation.

    Why wouldn’t a pastor quite plainly tell this man that he can expect his wife will not have any interest in further sexual relations, his wife would be justified in pursuing divorce on grounds of adultery, he should have no expectation of remarriage, he will likely not have any meaningful relationship with any of his children in the future, and they will need to inform the congregation of the molestation including any members who join the church in the future – AND IT’S ALL HIS OWN FAULT AND NO ONE ELSE’S!!

  • Ummm

    I am physically ill. I wish I had those pastors’ names. This is beyond outrageous.

    Taylor, I’m so sorry.

  • Whirlwind

    Has any SGM pastor ever commented on where they learned this approach to sexual abuse? Certainly, they didn’t come up with a common approach independently. It seems like an appropriate response from Dave Harvey would be an acknowledgment that SGM has taught its pastors grievous error in regard to handling abuse cases within their churches, confessing what those errors were, and outlining how they now advocate handling such situations.

    If this is from yet another set of pastors and churches beyond FCC and CLC, ah, my heart breaks even more than it has already. This is so, so sad – this daughter being treated as though her dad had merely spoken harshly to her or something.

  • I’d like to be the first to commend Taylor for her bravery in speaking out and sharing her story. From our conversations, I know that Taylor’s desire is to first of all give courage to other people who have endured similar trials, so that they can know that they were not alone. Secondly, she wants those who are interested in SGM’s present approach to questions and problems to understand that contrary to what Dave Harvey may say in his videos, there were likely NOT just a “very few situations” where situations of child abuse were grossly mishandled.

    It’s my view that because of SGM’s twisted theology about sin and forgiveness, this sort of response from pastors was standard operating procedure for a long time. I could be wrong, but it seems to me the ONLY reason things have changed was because victims began to speak out publicly.