Archives

From Brent Detwiler: A Response To The Ambassadors Of Reconciliation

Ambassadors of Reconciliation Refuse All Reconciliation Attempts 

The Ambassador of Reconciliation (AoR) Report to the Board of Directors of Sovereign Grace Ministries (April 10, 2012) raised many troubling concerns for me.  Chief among them the hypocrisy of Ted Kober who serves as the President of AoR.  After its release, I attempted to interact with Ted in private. 

 When those attempts failed, I sought the help of Jim Pappadeas (SGM Refuge), Kris (SGM Survivors), Mole, and Larry Tomczak.  I tried to set up a meeting with Ted to discuss our concerns for his report.  Ted did not respond to these initiatives either. 

Yesterday, I wrote the Board of Directors for AoR.  I brought my concerns to their attention and made them aware I’d be posting a public rebuke on my blog given Ted’s refusal to meet in private or follow his own teaching.  I also presented my case against Bryce Thomas, the trial lawyer hired by SGM, who helped design the Three Panel Review that took place last December.  I asked the AoR Board to take disciplinary action against Ted, Ed Keinath (co-author of the report), and Bryce for failing to follow the Standard of Conduct for Christian Conciliation. 

I now bring this matter to the attention of those effected by the AoR Report and invite you to write Ted Kober (tkober@hisaor.org), Ed Keinath (crosslife@frontier.com), Bryce Thomas (brycethomas@charter.net) and the AoR Board of Directors (mail@hisaor.org) in a redemptive manner in obedience to the process outlined in Matthew 18:15-17. 

I am confident Ambassadors of Reconciliation has done much good helping other groups experience reconciliation.  Unfortunately, some of their efforts have produced greater suffering and division for those inside and outside of Sovereign Grace Ministries. 

What follows is a chronological presentation of my/our unsuccessful attempts at reconciliation. 

##

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 6:33 PM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Offenses with Me

Importance: High 

Hello Ted,

I just finished reading your report.  I get the feeling there is a substantial list of undiscussed and unresolved issues in your heart toward me.  This concerns me since you have never written or talked to me about any offenses you may have with me.  In contradistinction, I have always talked and written to you about all my concerns.  I’ve been open, honest and transparent about the faults/concerns I have perceived in your perspective, character, or approach.   

Therefore, please highlight each section or sentence of your report where you have me in mind and send that to me.   It is impossible to know who you are referring to in comments like “Another threatened to publicly humiliate and discredit us by posting extensive blogs on the web if we didn’t respond in certain ways by that person’s imposed short deadline.”  I am glad to entertain your criticisms but I need to know which ones apply to me.   

I’d appreciate your prompt response. 

Thank you,

Brent    

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:29 AM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: RE: Offenses with Me

Importance: High 

Please call me if you prefer to do this via a conversation.  Today if possible.  I need you to point out each statement in your report where you have me in mind.  You have not come to me in private so I want to afford you that opportunity. 

Sincerely,

Brent 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler 

Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:12 PM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: RE: Offenses with Me

Importance: High 

In the report, you claim you “addressed sinful attitudes, words and actions of key individuals” but that is not true with me.  We had two conversations.  During those interactions you never addressed any attitudes, words or actions of mine as sinful.  The subject never came up.  The statement below is entirely untrue as it pertains to me.  You have never come to me in private.       

“The Ambassadors of Reconciliation team addressed sinful attitudes, words and actions of key individuals or leadership groups privately as Scripture requires.  Some expressed fear that the AoR team would not confront key leaders or groups on individual actions that contributed to the conflicts.  Others expressed their desires that the team would expose sins of key leaders or admonish them publicly.  Just as this report does not publicly address the sins of individual members, neither does it publicly address the sins of individual leaders.  However, AoR did address such issues with key leaders privately.” 

After our second conversation on January 25, you wrote me on February 4.  In that letter you ask me to consider several questions but you did not correct me or reprove me for sin except for one passing sentence.  That is, “Moreover, I don’t often see the love and forgiving heart in you that your Lord Jesus has shown you.”  That is the only corrective statement you made and it was not something you ever talked to me about in person.  In fact, you never followed up after February 4 about any of the questions you posited for my consideration even though I wrote you about the contents of your letter.  You cut off all communication and refused to interact with me. 

 Here is the point.  You have never corrected, confronted, reproved, rebuked, or addressed any “sinful attitudes, words and actions.”  You asked some questions in writing but you never told me my attitudes, words and actions were sinful.  If you believe I have sinned against you or others, you have not told me so.  As such you have flagrantly disobeyed your own teaching.  You did not come to me in private.  Even more seriously, you make the false claim in your report that you obeyed Scripture when in fact you disobeyed Scripture as it pertains to me.  That is totally misleading.

Ted, I have aught with you.  Please leave your altar and call me.  The first thing I want to know regards which comments in your report are directed at me.  The second thing I want to know is why you never came to me in private.  You have never talked to me about any sins you feel I have committed.     

##   

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:00 AM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Kris and Jim 

You did not come to me in private.  Did you go to Kris (Survivors) or Jim (Refuge) to correct them in private before posting your report? 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:26 PM

To: Kris; Jim @ SGM Refuge

Subject: Ted 

Did Ted ever talk to you in private and correct or confront you for the sins he accuses you of in the report? 

## 

From: Jim @ SGM Refuge 

Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:38 PM

To: Brent Detwiler; Kris

Subject: Re: Ted 

We talked privately, but the blogs were a very small part of our conversation.  There was zero correction.  He broke his own ministry guidelines. 

## 

From: Kris

Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:22 AM

To: Brent Detwiler

Subject: RE: Ted 

No.  Never.  And I did something I never do – I actually initiated a conversation with him via email, offering to be of assistance in any way I could.  He never responded to my email. 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 11:08 AM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Great Hypocrisy

Importance: High 

Ted, you have acted with great hypocrisy toward Jim, Kris and me.  You need to make this right.  See their responses [above]. 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler 

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 8:51 AM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Are You an Ambassador of Reconciliation?

Importance: High 

Ted, 

In your report you make the following statement: 


“Our observation is that the power of worthless talk (Ephesians 4:29 if) and sinful judging (Matthew 7:1-2; James 3:5-12; 4:11-12) was greatly exacerbated by those writing and reading blogs and widely distributed emails.  Coupled with the falsehoods and exaggerations about AoR, our team members and work were the threats and condemning words sent to us.  Based on false information, people made assumptions, misquoted and twisted our words and statements, and made D**ning statements against us.” (p. 10) 

The facts show you did not come to me, Jim or Kris.  I’d like to know if you went to anyone in private.  Did you attempt to restore these individuals in a spirit of gentleness (Gal 6:1) as you are apt to point out to others?  Or did you leave them in their sins and give them no opportunity for repentance?  You make no reference to any attempts to act as an ambassador of reconciliation.  It appears you are content to make vague accusations on a website but are unwilling to approach such individuals in a biblical manner. 

You are completely at odds with your teaching if you have not gone to these people and acted as a peacemaker.  I also wonder if you are exaggerating the magnitude of the sins against you since you provide no evidence.  What falsehoods?  What exaggerations?  What threats?  What condemning words?  What false information?  What D**ning statements?  Without evidence I am concerned these kinds of statements may constitute “worthless talk” and “sinful judging.”  You spend a lot of time in the report highlighting how people have sinned against you.  I am not sure why you felt the need to do so.  Are you bitter or resentful? 

Most importantly, however, have you contacted each of these people regarding the accusations above to work out your offenses?  Have they been given the opportunity to respond? 

I am still waiting to hear from you.  Please tell me all the places in the report where you have me in mind.     

Regards,

Brent 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 9:47 AM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Use of Email 

Given your position on the use of email and your counsel to SGM, why didn’t you call me regarding the “sensitive issues” contained in your February 4 email?  From my perspective, you did not follow your own admonition.  Do you agree?   

“It seemed apparent to us as outsiders that leaders within SGM have made extensive use of email for rather sensitive or confidential communications. While this may be an expedient way to communicate when key leaders work from scattered locations, the extensive use of this medium in sensitive communications seems unwise to us…. Matters of confronting others about sin, discussing issues with legal implications, discussing employment or supervisory information, confessing sins or forgiving others, and other similar communications should be done in person or documented in more formal written communications.  Email tends to be less formal and inadequate for addressing sensitive issues.” (p. 15) 

##     

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 10:14 AM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Mole 

In your report, you appear to have Mole in mind as one of those individuals who has sinned against you and SGM?  Is that correct?  If so, have you gone to him in private to confront his perceived sin and be reconciled? 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 2:57 PM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Great Travesty 

Dear Ted, 

Here is your authoritative exhortation to the Sovereign Grace Board of Directors about going to be reconciled.  It is found in the Consultation Report from last August:   

“Before engaging the help of other Christians (such as through Ambassadors of Reconciliation), we remind the SGM Board members of their biblical responsibilities to initiate action for reconciliation. 

“Note that the direct teachings of Jesus and the Apostle Paul urge us to go and be reconciled to those with whom we have disputes.  It does not matter whether we believe we have been sinned against (Matthew 18:15), the other person is entrapped in sin (Galatians 6:1), or if the other person has something against us (Matthew 5:23-24). We are to make every effort to make peace (Romans 12:18; see also Hebrews 12:14). 

“As we consider these and other verses in the full context of the Bible, we see that “going” to be reconciled requires more than email, more than blogs, more than letters, more than phone calls – it requires going to meet face-to-face.  Note that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son (John 3:16). Jesus the Christ humbled himself to become flesh (Philippians 2:1-11) and come to earth in person to dwell among us (John 1:1, 14). 

“Note also that our responsibility to “go to be reconciled” is not excused simply because another indicates that he does not want to meet.  God reconciled us to himself “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:6-11).  God did not wait until we desired for him to come. 

“It is obvious to us as we read the documents written by Brent Detwiler and met with you that there are broken relationships between Brent Detwiler and C.J. Mahaney, between Brent Detwiler and individual members (current and former) of the Board of Directors, and between Brent Detwiler and the entire Board of Directors.  According to Scripture, it does not matter who caused the offense.  When relationship is broken, it is incumbent upon every believer in Christ to “go and be reconciled.” 

“Scripture does not excuse us because we are fearful that our words might be twisted.  Scripture does not excuse us if we think the other person might not listen.  Scripture does not excuse us if the other party indicates in emails that he will not meet with us.  Scripture does not excuse us if the person does not live in our town.  Scripture does not excuse us if the other party has widely shared his complaints against us.  Scripture does not excuse us if the whole world reads about the complaints against us in some public media.  People find all kinds of excuses not to obey the teachings of Scripture, but our social practices and customs are not what guide God’s people in such matters.” (Ted Kober, Consultation Report, August 24, 2011, pp. 13-14) 

My question is simple.  Why haven’t you followed any of your own demands?    In relation to me, Kris from SGM Survivors, and Jim Pappadeas, you have made no effort to walk in the light and be reconciled.  I suspect the same is true of Mole but you have not answered my questions regarding him.  In all seriousness, have you made any effort to meet with anyone you speak against in the report?   Have you taken any action to contact those with whom you have offenses?   

The majority of your offenses go back to August-November of last year.  You’ve had months to pursue reconciliation.  Once again, why haven’t you followed your directives in relation to me, Kris, Jim, Bob and others?  Per your admonitions, you should have been on a plane to meet with each of us months ago.  Furthermore, why haven’t you written me as requested?  Why haven’t you called me as requested?  Why haven’t you offered to meet with me?  I am ready to do all of the above.   

Ted, you have done nothing you have taught thousands of others in relation to us.  This is a great travesty and needs to be corrected. 

##

From: Brent Detwiler

Date: Fri, April 20, 2012 7:03 am

To: Mole

Subject: Ted Kober 

Has Ted ever come to you in private to confront or correct sins he believes you have committed against SGM or himself? 

## 

From: Mole

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 9:15 AM

To: Brent Detwiler

Subject: RE: Ted Kober 

No, why do you ask? 

Mole, BSCJ, QMHP

Family Counselor

 ## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 10:41 AM

To: Mole

Subject: RE: Ted Kober 

Have you ever talked to Ted or Ed [Keinath]?  Did you meet with either of them last November at CLC?  If so, did they ever register any concerns for you? 

## 

From: Mole

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 10:45 AM

To: Brent Detwiler

Subject: RE: Ted Kober 

Marsha and I were told by another couple who interviewed with A of R that their counselor had indicated with dismay and shock, that in fact, 104 pastors had come forward in an effort to expose SGM for their abuse. 

Our interviewer [Ed Keinath] was moved to tears as we shared [our] story.  He gave every indication that he completely sympathized and understood the tragedy of our situation.  When we were finished with the interview I looked out the small window of the office door and saw Gene and Liz sitting there.  I asked the interviewer to please escort Gene and Liz down the hall so we could leave without interacting with them.  He did so and said, “I absolutely understand.”  

## 

From: Mole

Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 11:58 PM

To: Brent Detwiler

Subject: A of R 

Brent…. Marsha reminded me that at the end of our session with Ed, he asked me if I would be willing participate in a meeting in order to address concerns about SGM.  This was yet another indication from A of R that they were taking our complaints seriously.  Our hopes were very high when we left. Unfortunately, I never heard from anyone from A of R again.  Looks like it will stay that way. 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 4:19 PM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Follow Up on Mole 

Bob met with your associate, Ed Keinath in November at the Pastors Conference.  Ed only empathized with Bob.  He did not confront him on anything.  No one from AoR has ever brought any concerns to Bob’s attention.  Just the opposite.  I hope you did not have him in mind in your report.  I await your clarification.  Did you? 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:43 PM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Take Along One or Two Others – Matthew 18:16  

Ted, 

I wanted to talk or meet with you in private in order to show you your fault and win you over (Matt 18:15).  I’ve waited five days for a response of any kind but you could not take 5 minutes to call me or two minutes to text me.  You should have expressed eagerness, if not a willingness, to meet with me.

I’ve written you numerous times over the past week.  I asked to talk with you.  I asked to know what parts of your report are in reference to me.  I pointed out your dishonesty in saying you addressed sinful attitudes, words and actions with me in private when you did not.  I pointed out your hypocrisy in not coming to me when offended at me.  I pointed out your hypocrisy in relation to Kris and Jim for the same thing.  I asked for an explanation on your use of email in raising “sensitive issues” contrary to the counsel you have given others.  I asked whether you have gone to anyone with whom you have offenses.  I’ve told you your sins in print.  I’ve asked to do this in person.  In spite of all this, you have made no effort to “leave your gift at the altar” and “settle matters quickly” with a “brother [who] has something against you.” (Matt 5:23-26.) 

Ted, you have grievously sinned against me, specific others, the abused, the churches of SGM, and the larger Body of Christ.  Therefore, I have asked Kris (SGM Survivors), Jim (SGM Refuge) and Mole to appeal for your repentance.  I also asked them to join me in meeting with you per the teaching of Matthew 18:16.  As is obvious in your report, you believe many people have sinned against you (and SGM) and yet you have not gone to them.  We also believe you have sinned against us.  For example, you confronted us in your public report but never came to us in private.    I assume you justified doing so by leaving out our names but it is readily apparent who you had in mind.  That amounts to duplicity.  

Ted, you have set a terrible example for one who teaches others on peacemaking and the pursuit of reconciliation.  You have not been a conciliator.  You have brought more division.  To be honest, I am concerned you hold sinful anger in your heart toward us and others.  This much I know for certain; you have repeatedly violated Matthew 5:21-26, Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:15, Romans 12:18, Galatians 6:1 and Hebrews 12:14.  I hope you will repent to us in private and then make public restitution.  Please let me know by Monday if you are willing to meet with us or talk to us using Skype.  Then we can set a date and make arrangements.  If Kris, Jim or Bob are unable to participate, I will provide other witnesses as required by Scripture. 

Please show me the simple dignity of a response.  Sinners do that much.

Brent 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 3:37 PM

To: Ted Kober

Subject: Please Contact Me Today 

Please don’t let the day pass without calling or writing to set up a time to meet with us for reconciliation.  As I said before, I am glad for you to point out in the report where you had me in mind and then tell me my faults. 

Sincerely,

Brent     

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 4:41 PM

To: Jim Pappadeas; Kris; Mole

Subject: An Appeal to Ted Kober

Importance: High 

Dear Jim, Kris and Bob, 

I’ve repeatedly attempted to contact Ted Kober.  He has been unresponsive.  Though he shows no interest, would you be willing to meet or talk with Ted in accordance with the second step of redemptive discipline outlined in Matt 18:15-17?  I believe he has sinned against us and others.  Kris, we can make special arrangement for you if you are unable to join us in person or prefer not to use Skype.   

I’ve limited the scope of my correction in addressing Ted for now.  There are some good parts in his report.  There are some bad parts.  Mostly, there are missing parts.  I believe Ted has sinned in other ways but I will address those additional matters in private and give him the opportunity to respond.   

For now, I’d appreciate your assistance in helping Ted to see his hypocrisy, unwillingness to attempt private reconciliation, and public slander having not come to us first.  You are also welcome to share your general perspective on his report.    

Bob has already provided me a statement to send Ted.  Jim and Kris, would you do the same?  It can be short.  I will also ask Larry Tomczak for his perspective on the report.  I’d like to send them to Ted tomorrow if possible.   

I know we are not in habit of communicating with each other but I felt it important that we collectively reach out to Ted, appeal for his repentance, and share with him our perspectives. 

I’ve included my private correspondence with Ted below.  I plan to post our correspondence this week if he is unresponsive and ask others to reach out to him and Ed Keinath and appeal for their repentance.  I will also contact the Board of Directors for Ambassadors of Reconciliation.   

Thanks for your help.

Brent 

## 

From: Jim @ SGM Refuge [mailto:jim@sgmrefuge.com]

Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 9:29 PM

To: Brent Detwiler; Kris; Mole

Subject: Re: An Appeal to Ted Kober

Importance: High 

I would love to interact with Ted regarding his condemnation and misrepresentation of my blog.  As AoR’s primary blog cheerleader, I’m surprised my efforts were ignored by Ted.  I’m not hurt or offended, just surprised.

I am greatly disappointed that Ted was apparently offended by the perceived sin of those abused by SGM leaders, and felt the need to add to their pain with his very public condemnation.  I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head around such a blatantly hurtful act coming from the president of an organization that calls itself Ambassadors of Reconciliation.

If Ted honestly cares at all about reconciliation, he should publicly repent to the abused, as he has now joined the ranks of the abusers.  His actions bear no resemblance to peace making.

Grace,

Jim

##

From: Kris [mailto:kris@sgmsurvivors.com]

Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 8:23 PM

To: Brent Detwiler

Cc: Guy

Subject: RE: An Appeal to Ted Kober 

Hi Brent – 

Our policy has always been that we want to remain anonymous.  Although we were very disappointed with the way that AoR chose to go after “the blogs” as relentlessly as they did, without attempting even a simple response to the emails I sent, in which I offered my help, I don’t really feel like we need to participate in any sort of reconciliation process with anyone – at least not the sort of process that the AoR people would expect.  We would not wish to speak on the phone or Skype with anyone.  We’re happy, however, to have you pass on the following statement to the AoR folks: 

To whom this may concern: 

As random bystanders who were ourselves thrust unwittingly into the midst of SGM’s problems back in late 2007, we definitely sympathize with the magnitude of the job with which the AoR organization was tasked when hired to explore SGM’s weaknesses and failures and attempt to bring healing to SGM’s victims. 

Much has already been said on the Survivors site in response to the report which AoR released recently.  If I were to summarize our readers’ reactions, I’d say that many were very disappointed with the way so much of the report’s focus seemed to be upon “the blogs” and the (perceived) sinfulness of those who had spoken out about the way they’d been harmed by SGM.  It came across quite clearly in their report that the AoR folks had taken personal offense with “the blogs” early on and never bothered to dig more deeply to try to find out WHY AoR was met with suspicion.  Consequently, AoR is – ironically – guilty of committing the very same sins toward blogs and bloggers that they themselves had found so off-putting.  The AoR representatives felt free in their report to vent their disdain toward “the blogs” without ever having communicated with anyone from SGM Survivors.  (And this, of course, was despite the fact that I’d made at least a couple of efforts to engage with Mr. Kober via email back in December and offered to help AoR in any way I could.)   

Also, since it is my understanding that AoR was hired to examine and evaluate Sovereign Grace Ministries, NOT “the blogs” or SGM’s victims, it was especially bizarre to see so many peevish references to all the ways in which bloggers and SGM’s victims did not meet AoR’s expectations.   

That being said, I can truly say that AoR’s report was, unfortunately, essentially what I had expected it to be.  I’m sorry that that turned out to be the case, but I can understand why a “reconciliation” business with only the most rudimentary outsider’s understanding of SGM’s history and culture would lack the perspective and the knowledge to look beyond SGM leaders’ pretty words and shining surface behavior and see how twisted the organization actually has been. 

We don’t want anything from AoR.  But if they would like to grow from this experience, I would suggest that they consider the ways they failed SGM, SGM’s victims, and themselves by being so quick to accuse bloggers of sins without taking the time to explore more deeply where the bloggers are coming from – and why they themselves felt it was OK to castigate “the blogs” in their report without first following their own rules for conflict resolution. 

Blessings,

Kris  

## 

From: Mole

Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 10:45 AM

To: Brent Detwiler

Subject: RE: Ted Kober 

As most people understand, it is extremely difficult for anyone who has been abused to report the offense, even to the proper authorities for a myriad of reasons (fear of retaliation, fear of more abuse, ostracism, fear of revisiting the feelings and emotions relevant to the abuse, embarrassment, shame, etc.).  Everyone who shared their stories of abuse with A of R were hoping that by entrusting their story to the perceived “proper authority,” in this case A of R, justice and resolution would occur.  The very last thing abused individuals expected was for the proper authority to essentially turn on them.  This is a great travesty.  These people are now doubly harmed and have had emotional and psychological problems aggravated by their experience with A of R.  

Our interviewer [Ed Keinath] was moved to tears as we shared [our] story.  He gave every indication that he completely sympathized and understood the tragedy of our situation.  When we were finished with the interview I looked out the small window of the office door and saw Gene and Liz sitting there.  I asked the interviewer to please escort Gene and Liz down the hall so we could leave without interacting with them.  He did so and said, “I absolutely understand.”  

Personally, Marsha and I feel betrayed.  We were told by another couple who interviewed with A of R that their counselor had indicated with dismay and shock, that in fact, 104 pastors had come forward in an effort to expose SGM for their abuse.  He gave every indication that he completely sympathized and understood the tragedy of our situation. When we were finished with the interview I looked out the small window of the office door and saw Gene and Liz sitting there. I asked the interviewer to please escort Gene and Liz down the hall so we could leave without interacting with them. He did so and said, “I absolutely understand.”  

Prior to the interviews starting I wrote A of R asking them to reconsider the venue for the interviews because they were asking the abused to come back to the place that represented where the abuse occurred.  I also mentioned the Pastors Conference was simultaneously being held where those reporting abuse would likely see their abusers face to face (which of course they already knew).  In light of the emotional trauma this would likely engender in those reporting abuse, I asked them to reconsider where they had chosen to do the interviews.  They ignored this request (which further demonstrates and lack of appreciation and knowledge in dealing with abused people).  

Looking back, now that the report has come out, I am convinced A of R simply did not and does not comprehend what has happened to those who have experienced abuse at the hands of SGM.  I’m afraid rather than resolve any problems or being ambassadors of reconciliation, they have stirred up a hornet’s nest and are complaining as to why they are being stung. 

Thanks,

Bob 

## 

From: Larry Tomczak [mailto:1larrytomczak@gmail.com]

Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 5:41 PM

To: Brent Detwiler

Subject: Re: An Appeal to Ted Kober 

To whom it may concern:

I have been asked my thoughts on the AoR report.  First, I appreciate all the hard work that went into this project dealing with very sensitive matters in scores of people’s lives.  I trust AoR was well compensated.  

Second, after waiting and praying for almost a year regarding this endeavor (regularly not daily), I was EXTREMELY disappointed with the results.  I could scarcely believe what I was reading.  I believe multitudes share this perspective.  

Third, my wife and I believe the report was a serious disservice to scores of people who invested incredible amounts of time and effort to serve the AoR team.  Doris and I gave over 250 hours to prepare for our contribution in addition to travel time and the days given to the interview.  Addressing the illegal, immoral and documented blackmail plus the reprehensible conduct that shattered our reputation, relationships and family ties (plus our livelihood) was afforded a dismissive SIX sentences in the report!  Unbelievable.  

Finally, we are of the opinion that if the SGM leaders had simply done the report on their own, they would have been more forthright and harder on themselves than this most favorable AoR document.  

When we shared our experience with Ted and his assistant, one wiped away tears and the other dropped his head in shocking dismay at our traumatic experience, manipulation, falsehoods and numerous examples of unChristlike behavior we experienced that could have destroyed our Christian lives as a family of six.  We, like hundreds of others who experienced spiritual abuse from SGM leaders, now wonder if some of the apologies and asking of forgiveness will have to suffice.  

We love you Ted and the team but inquire if your labors represent the accurate picture of the systemic problems that multitudes hoped would be addressed and corrected so SGM could begin a new season in humility and integrity.  

Trusting God’s sovereign grace, I am, yours in His service,  

Larry Tomczak 

## 

From: Brent Detwiler

Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:14 AM

To: Ted Kober

Cc: Jim Pappadeas; Kris; Mole; Larry Tomczak

Subject: Private Appeals Continue

Importance: High 

Dear Ted, 

It has been over a week since I first asked you to call me.  I don’t understand how you can reject all my attempts to engage you.  I believe you have sinned against me and I am happy to hear how you believe I’ve sinned against you.  I’ve sincerely sought to engage you in a redemptive and biblical manner but you appear obstinate in your rejection of all attempts at reconciliation. 

Jim Pappadeas, Mole, Larry Tomczak and I would like to meet with you.  We all have concerns for your Report to the Board of Directors of Sovereign Grace Ministries from April 10, 2012.  We would like to discuss our concerns with you personally.   

In obedience to Scripture and for your godly good, I’ve also asked these men to join me in helping you see how you have sinned against us and others.  I’ve included their appeals and perspectives [above] but this is inadequate.  We also need to meet in person.  As it stands Ted, you are rebelling against the commands of Scripture and living contrary to everything you have taught and demanded of others. 

I have many things to say about the report regarding inaccuracies (e.g. AoR’s confidentially requirement), bias, unfactual assertions, and dereliction of duty.  That is, how you largely failed to address what you were tasked to do.  There are some good and bad parts in the report but the most important parts (e.g., C.J. and the Board’s deceit) are left out.  I will write you in private about these matters and give you the opportunity to correct my perspectives before I share them at large.  The report is public.  It requires a public response. 

Of greatest importance for now is your failure to meet, hear our offenses, or pursue reconciliation.  Your indifference undermines all your credibility and the entire ministry of which you are the President.  If you have not done so already, send my previous appeals to your Board of Directors along with this correspondence.  I hope they will reprove you and hold you accountable to the most basic tenets of the organization. 

Ted, I have faithfully sought to obey Scripture in my pursuit of you.  Please text, email, or call me today.  I’d like to keep this matter confined to Jim, Kris, Bob, Larry and me.  Whether I appeal to a wider audience is up to you.  Contact me by the end of the day so we can set up a time to meet in the near future. 

God’s grace rest upon you. 

Brent   

###  EDITED TO ADD THE FOLLOWING POSTSCRIPT: 

I would add that my own interview with Ed Keinath also was in complete contradiction to what AoR published. Ed told me that since last summer he and Ted had been concerned about the the board’s blind devotion to CJ. He also expressed whole-hearted agreement when I indicated that at the heart of SGM’s problems was a culture of selfish-ambition. Ed also indicated that he and Ted estimated that about 20-30 churches within SGM were already prepared to leave SGM.   

I don’t pretend to know why the report does not match what was communicated to many of us but the disharmony between what we heard with our own ears and what was published casts a significant cloud of suspicion over the report and the SGM leadership. 

I plead with you that if any of you fear God and know why this disharmony exists that you would come forth.  

Jenn Grover 

Pittsburgh, PA

423 comments to From Brent Detwiler: A Response To The Ambassadors Of Reconciliation

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] Show All

  1. Lee
    May 9th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Jeff,

    Oh, sorry, I didn’t see your post before I posted. Maybe someday they’ll see.

  2. Diane
    May 9th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I came across this video of Dave Harvey this evening discussing his recent book for anyone who is interested.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/05/08/is-god-calling-you-to-be-a-pastor/

    Watching it -what he says seems so normal and right. But, having read the comments and stories of abuse and what not here since this all broke out last July, it is simply incredible the disconnect between what he is saying and the reality of how things were described here and in Brent’s docs. Every sentence I was listening to I was thinking..but that’s not what you practiced at SGM. And when talking about how pastors must be godly examples, how can he say that with a straight face?

    The title even–are you called…I remember reading comments about how men were more or less chosen to go to the PC…it was more of a who you knew than a calling they accepted. Anyway, I found it interesting and kind of sad.

  3. Somewhereintime
    May 10th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    New Brent post up. He’s been busy … this one is a long one.

  4. TR
    May 10th, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Diane #402
    “Every sentence I was listening to I was thinking..but that’s not what you practiced at SGM. And when talking about how pastors must be godly examples, how can he say that with a straight face?”

    AGREE AGREE AGREE

  5. 5yearsinPDI
    May 10th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I found Brent’s latest post fascinating.

    CJ has the right to change his mind. We all have the right to study and think and change our minds over time. We all should in many ways as we mature.

    But do you have the right to hide and deny what you used to think? Is it fair to constantly say you are “doing it right”, make big changes, and refuse to talk about them openly or admit to them, and keep on saying you are “doing it right” without admitting how wrong you were before, back when you were doing something different and also claimed to be right?

    If you believe in apostles you should say so. If that costs you acceptance in Reformed and Cessationist’s circles then that is the price you pay for remaining true to Scripture. You can’t introduce extra-biblical nomenclature in order to save face with men whose favor you are courting. Playing the “wisdom card” became an excuse for compromise.

    At this time, the Reformed world of R.C. Sproul, John Piper, Jerry Bridges, Ken Sande, et al., was opening up to us. C.J. first met with R.C. in 1995. We visited John Piper in 1997. We were all enamored and wowed by these developments. The following well-known leaders prominently endorsed us in our annual Ministry Overview issue of the magazine: David Powlison (1996), Jerry Bridges (1997), Wayne Grudem (1998), Ken Sande (1999), Mark Bullmore (2000), Mark Dever (2001), John Piper (2002), John Bettler (2003). C.J. ended the magazine in 2003. Together for the Gospel began in 2006 with Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, and John Piper. This was heady stuff.

    It wasn’t long before our Polity and Pneumatology began to change. I sounded the alarm on polity in 1999 when I wrote a paper on “The Nature and Extent of Apostolic Authority.” Apostles were slowly on their way out.

    The same was true with the baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, prophecy, singing in the Spirit, the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, miracles, faith, healings, the casting out of demons, etc. By 2007, C.J.’s understanding of all this things radically changed though he never communicated those changes to the movement. Dave and Steve followed C.J. I asked these men to be open with SGM about the changes in doctrine. They thought it unwise. I thought it deceptive.

  6. BeenThere
    May 11th, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Brent seems to think abandoning the idea of present day Apostles was a major deviation for SGM. I’m Continuationist, but out of all the things you could single out and identify as a major problem I would think the idea of Apostles would be last on your list. A lot of people in charismatic and pentecostal circles have seen how the position of Apostle has been abused and used to control people so you get a lot of pushback on that issue even from contiuationists, much less the fundamentalists or reformed types.

    Anytime I hear someone identifying themselves as a prophet or apostle I see a major red flag.

  7. Ozymandias
    May 11th, 2012 at 4:38 am

    5Years #405 — Yeah, that was the section I found the most intriguing as well. The historian in me has been waiting for some details regarding SGM’s “(neo)Reformed turn,” including some specific dates, and this is helpful. My next question is — what precipitated the initial meetings between RC Sproul and CJ? Here’s how I understand some of the more “(neo)Pentecostal” chronology around the same time:

    early January 1994 — Toronto Blessing begins

    23 January 1994 — Healing Conference @ Anaheim Vineyard — Che Ahn has holy laughter experience

    29 May 1994 — Toronto Blessing hits Great Britain

    summer 1994 to 1995 — CLC experiences Toronto Blessing-type incidents (w/ holy laughter, slain in the spirit, holy weeping)

    If the initial foray into meeting with Reformed luminaries started to occur in 1995, was it in reaction to the Toronto phenomenon?

  8. Stunned
    May 11th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Ozy, at which Celebration did CJ stand up and (not sure how to say this) but proclaimed that he was in charge and that everything with the Holy Spirit would be put to a stop immediately. (I don’t think I said that well, but I’m not sure how else to put this.)

  9. Persona
    May 11th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    CJ and Jeff had been inviting reformed teachers to teach in the PC, for week-long sessions, by 1995. So, I believe those relationships well predate the ‘refreshing’ of the Holy Spirit (as some pastors called it).

    I remember how CJ would ask someone like Jerry Bridges to give a sermon on the final Sunday of his week and then, rapidly usher him off-stage when the worship team began the ‘ministry time’ after the meeting, where people might be slain in the spirit. It seemed to me at the time, that the pastors did not want to offend or embarrass themselves in front of any Reformed Big Dogs. That was my impression at the time.

    A small group of CLC pastors (and some wives) did make an investigative trip to Toronto to judge for themselves what was happening. I don’t remember them giving a report to the church about what they found. I do know they found some things shocking but, I think they tried to be open to participation in what the Holy Spirit was doing..as long as it didn’t offend their new-found friends in the reformed community…and that, I guess, is the rub.

  10. Steve240
    May 11th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Maybe Dave Harvey should list these reasons for being “called” to the ministry (at least as a pastor in SGM):

    1. You are related to someone who is already a pastor in SGM, especially if they are one of the more known names. This is especially true if you are related to C.J. Mahaney (makes you a shoe in).
    2. Your wife or engaged wife is related as noted in question 1. It could also be someone else you are related to by marriage.
    3. You have some type of contact with C.J. Mahaney and he supports you. (maybe should be number 1 on this list).

    Sometimes it seems like these are the more prevalent reasons one is identified as “called” or “gifted.”

  11. Defender
    May 11th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Stunned, As I recall it was 96 or 97, when that “Passion For His Presence” Worship CD was recorded. (Not during the recording.)

    A move of the Holy Spirit was coming over the people during one session, and a spirit of repentance was taking place in the hearts of the people, and Ceege stopped it to say something to the effect, “I don’t want to go in this direction.”

    I wasn’t in that session, I was at that Celebration though. (It was our last Celebration…. Celebration just didn’t “turn our cranks.” We always came home more exhausted than “refreshed”. AND, I didn’t like the controls put on everyone who attended.)

    I’m sure someone who was there can elaborate better.

  12. Remnant
    May 11th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    5Years #405: I agree CJ has a right to change his mind.

    The problem, as you stated, is that he attempts to hide what he used to believe.

    Another problem is that when CJ changes HIS mind, he expects instant acquiescence by his cohorts and immediate obedience by the SGM tithe-payers that THEY will change THEIR minds – no matter his whim.

    He is one sick dude.

  13. glad i am out
    May 11th, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    A few pastors from CFC also flew to Toronto to see what was happening. Following that we had weekly “Holy Spirit” meetings for several months. My very best memories at Cov Fel. The spirit was definitely moving, and it was exciting, although i must admit it got a little weird at times. None of the pastors seemed to understand how to, or whether to, try and direct what was happening (control it?)… It was so new to everyone and so crazy, and some people pushed a little hard to “encourage” being slain in the spirit, and clearly some extra training and teaching was needed. I thought that that might be why these meeting were stopped, although, i believed the HS would continue to move among us and we would grow as a church in that way, as clearly scripture says we are the pursue the gifts and all.. I hate to think that the reason the Holy Spirit stopped (and i mean REALLY STOPPED! even beyond the way things were before Toronto) was because CJ showed him the door. He probably called the pastors and said, hey, you shouldn’t have gone there, and we need to nip this in the bud. And after that things got continually drier, and deader, and even oppressive, for the rest of my years in SGM.
    Even before Toronto, i used to leave sunday morning services lifted up and encouraged. During the “renewal” even more so. After the HS meetings were stopped, it just changed seemingly overnight – it took a few more years to realize it fully, and a few after that before i had to leave. And a lot of folks i know felt the same way. I mean, sure, you don’t want people praying in tongues all the time and scaring the guests, ok, i get that, and you certainly don’t want people cackling in extreme divine joy while rolling on the floor – i certainly get that, but you no longer believe in prayer, and you no longer pray for the sick???? Whats up w/ that!!!

  14. Unassimilated
    May 11th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    The Passion For His Presence Worship LP was recorded at Celebration 1995, released later that year.

    From a former post -

    In the 90s came a chapter that I wonder if Sovereign Grace would even like to talk about today. In 1994, C.J. Mahaney visited a New Frontiers-related church in Missouri, which Terry Virgo was overseeing personally following a pastoral replacement. As Mahaney began to preach a sober message on the sad ending of Solomon’s reign, “holy laughter” began to break out in the church. Mahaney could no longer continue speaking, as the entire congregation was hit with the same renewal that currently was underway in Toronto, and being dispensed by Rodney Howard-Browne. The renewal affected both NFI and PDI, and throughout 1994 renewal — what PDI called “a time of refreshing” — held sway at CLC and other PDI churches. The high-water mark came at the Memorial Day 1995 Celebration conference in Indiana, PA (theme “Passion for His Presence”). In addition to prolonged periods of worship before the main evening meetings — punctuated by powerful prophetic songs — personal ministry was done after one evening meeting. As at Toronto or other renewal spots, the Holy Spirit came in power, and bodies were on the floor by the hundreds as prayer ministry produced laughter, tears, shaking in most of thoese receiving prayer (including myself).

    Though there was never any official public pronouncement given, it appeared that PDI began distancing itself from the Toronto-associated renewal after John Wimber expelled TAVC from the Vineyard in December 1995. While in 1994 and 1995 Mahaney was defending the renewal from its critics, including Hank Hanegraff, within a couple of years a PDI pastor, Craig Cabaniss, stated in a public debate that PDI had chosen “Geneva” (i.e., the Reformation) over “Toronto” (the current renewal/revival, and all the negative connotations associated with it).

  15. Persona
    May 11th, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Does anyone remember what year Mahesh Chavda spoke and ministered at Celebration East? That was the last year I remember charismatic gifts being expressed at the conference. It might have been 1995. When Mahesh prayed, many people were slain in the spirit and healed. I saw some pretty dramatic healing occur. He visited CLC later and prayed over people again with the same results but I don’t remember him coming back after that.

    It does seem that the pastors did not seem to know what to do with the expression of the gifts after they began relating heavily to the reformed big dogs.

  16. Ozymandias
    May 11th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Persona #409 said:

    CJ and Jeff had been inviting reformed teachers to teach in the PC, for week-long sessions, by 1995. So, I believe those relationships well predate the ‘refreshing’ of the Holy Spirit (as some pastors called it).

    And Brent’s latest post stated:

    Jeff also had a big impact on our pneumatological decline. In 1994, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology came out. It is a fine work in most respects but it contributed to the demise of our Acts 1:8 experience of power and several supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. In 1998, Jeff moved to Gaithersburg, MD to be Dean of Student Affairs for the Pastors College. I was Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs. The following year, I turned the college over to Jeff. That was 1999 and the same year Wayne Grudem endorsed People of Destiny International in our Ministry Overview issue of the magazine. Jeff graduated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he was mentored by Wayne and served as his teaching assistant. Jeff brought Wayne’s “third wave” understanding of the Holy Spirit’s work and his fundamentalist’s view of apostles. After joining People of Destiny International, Jeff came to accept a low view of apostles. That view was passed onto others and especially to C.J.

    (1) Persona, do you have any ballpark dates as to how much the invitations of Reformed folks to lecture at the PC predates 1995?

    (2) And again, Persona, does Brent’s chronology comport with what you understand/remember of how things went? Was Jeff helping to organize PC lectures prior to moving to Gaithersburg in 1998?

  17. Defended
    May 11th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    For the sake of those who are trying to build timelines I can tell you that Mahesh was NOT at the Celebration 95. But there was a lot of healing and ministry going on in the celebration that year and also in our Fx congregation on Sunday nights that year, all summer. Both he and Charles Simpson had been invited prior to that year. I know that because 95 was our first celebration experience. We went again to Celebration in 96 but it was much less full of the Holy Spirit so my guess (only a guess) is that CJ put a stop to the freedom in the Holy Spirit around 96.

  18. Persona
    May 11th, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Oz 416

    Jeff wasn’t involved in the earliest incarnations of the PC but, Brent was so he probably has a pretty good record of what happened and I would defer to him. I don’t keep copious records like he does.

    I do recall Jerry Bridges speaking on at least one Sunday during the ‘refreshing’ season because it was a awkward to watching them usher him quickly off stage so they could conduct their customary time of extended worship and ministry. And, I was watching to see how they would handle the transition.

    Anyway, traditionally, once a year Jerry would speak on the Sunday after he participated in the PC. Then, they started asking him to also speak at a youth meeting at night as well. At some point, I heard he made comments at a youth meeting that the pastors did not appreciate so they didn’t ask him to do that any more. I have no idea what he said but it must have struck a nerve.

  19. Steve240
    May 11th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Does anyone remember what year Mahesh Chavda spoke and ministered at Celebration East? That was the last year I remember charismatic gifts being expressed at the conference. It might have been 1995. When Mahesh prayed, many people were slain in the spirit and healed. I saw some pretty dramatic healing occur. He visited CLC later and prayed over people again with the same results but I don’t remember him coming back after that.

    I am almost positive that was in 1993. That was the same year they had all the boys pulling the fire alarms in building. The next year the even was a singles only event (no children) though they never admitted a connection between the two.

  20. Persona
    May 12th, 2012 at 1:21 am

    I remember the errant fire alarms. Not sure what all the true reasons for ending celebration were but, I think CJ was getting tired of the never-ending conference circuit. He also wanted to focus mainly on youth. Hence the retention of the one youth celebration, and now, one more NEXT and, the Clash conferences. Even the children’s version of Celebration at CLC each summer was likely encouraged by CJ and spearheaded by one of his son’s in law. CJ no longer cares much about baby boomers but, he is target-fixed on their children and their grand-children.

  21. Roadwork
    May 12th, 2012 at 7:06 am

    RE: Fire Alarms
    That year, IUP had lowered the alarm boxes to be in compliance with the ADA. Lowering them on the wall also meant that they were now in easy reach of children. Hence, the big clear plastic enclosures that you often see covering the actual alarm boxes.

  22. Breeezey
    May 12th, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I know this is off the current topic but some months ago someone posted all of the ways that wives were taken, found, met, captured (whatever) in scripture. I forgot to copy it. Could someone post that again please? Thx

    BTW… I left CLC in 93. I came back in 2002 and it was very different. The emphasis had changed to a more Calvinistic bent. I didn’t like it too much but as a person that went to TAG waaaay back when it was still “home”. When I tried to fully rejoin in 2007 Robin told me that “We don’t think you being a member here would be a good fit. The questions you ask and the things you say… well those issues have already been decided. Maybe you would be happier in a more Armenian based church.”

    In the ten years I was gone I was still hanging out at Fishnet and had cultivated a friendship with Winkie Pratney. I had been literally trained in Moral Government thoeology. I had read through a bunch of Finney’s stuff. Winkie had showed me some of Augustine’s errors and the stuff he had bought into the church that was now hard doctrine that was not taught in the first 300 years of church history. So I was asking questions in the evening classes that reflected that there were HUGE gaping holes in what they were teaching. To say I had ticked off a couple of folks in putting it mildly. I had given a couple of PC students some stuff that the teachers didn’t like too well. Augustinian/Calvinism is logical straight down the line from the premises. But I believe that Augustine was influenced heavily by Mane and he bought those influences into his christian teaching. Calvin picked up on it and made it a logical system due to his training as a lawyer. But the premises that Augustine starts with are wrong. Its Eastern and Augustine got it from Mane and bought it into the church. The church has now been teaching Augustine (irresistable gift of faith, eternal now in the being of God, etc…) for 1500 years but it isn’t the original view.

  23. MAK
    May 12th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Breezey…I’m not really getting your point. If you don’t believe in transsubstantiation then you really shouldn’t be going to the Catholic church as I don’t believe they are going to change their view because Winkie Pratney has the real truth. If you can’t subscribe to a church’s doctrine then you should go to a church where you do and thrive there. To your point, CLC/SGM doctrine has changed several times since TAG so it is kind of a moving target, huh? So did you really want to be a part of a Calvinist church when you were Armenian?

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] Show All