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Open Discussion

Last post was going crazy with comments….I’m not putting up a post, but feel free to comment here (closing down the other one)

962 comments to Open Discussion

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  1. Rick
    June 24th, 2013 at 7:40 am

    If only one of these myriad of allegations is true, wouldn’t a more appropriate posture for Josh and the other CLC pastors be to be on their faces in repentance before the congregation? I am not surprised at the tone of the meeting, but the passive-agressive posturing that there may be some inaccuracies in the plaintiff’s accounts is still disheartening. If only one is true…

    God help the cultural church in America–no wonder we are losing this generation.

  2. OutThere
    June 24th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    FF 949, Rick 951 -

    CLC has a large following, a school that oversees children, a large building with lots of cars coming in and out when there are meetings, etc….CLC has to have insurance for practical reasons and – I don’t know for sure – they may even be required by law to have it. I imagine (again, I don’t know for sure) the lawyers now representing CLC are the insurance company’s lawyers, and that if CLC doesn’t abide by certain things (like not talking about the case, admitting (confessing to, apologizing for) anything, etc before the case is over), they could possibly lose their insurance.

    And the insurance is just as necessary to protect against wrongly brought accusations as it is to protect against rightly brought accusations. It’s “good stewardship” in that it protects the tithers’ investment.

    Big churches are complex and complicated, there is no getting around it. What seems simple and straightforward usually isn’t when you start looking at it on a larger scale. It is really hard to wait and see when there is significant information involved, but for the time being, it does make sense.

  3. Jenn Grover
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Disappointed – not sure if you are a new poster, but if you are, welcome and thanks for sharing your perspective.

    I have some questions for the CLC folks:

    Did the CLC explain why they had the defense attorney talk?

    By doing so, did it seem like an attempt to discredit all of the victims or to say the case had no merit (I don’t think they have to be the same thing.)? there are things we know for sure that happened.

    Did they acknowledge any of those things?

    Did they focus on the concept of their being a “ring”?

    Did they explain what the legal reasons were for prohibiting them to release the results of an investigation while the lawsuit was still pending?

    Did they explain why winning the lawsuit trumped transparency and the bringing the truth to light? (This is a genuine, not a baited question.)

    Did they answer the question, “How can we best glorify God amidst these allegations?”

    Did they address the potential for a leave of absence for those who were accused and still on staff (if I recall, isn’t that only Grant?)

    Given the broken relationship between CLC and SGM was there any discussion of how working with SGM is going? Do they agree with the SGM strategies, etc?

    What kind of empathy was shown towards the plaintiffs?

  4. Somewhereintime
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Rick said “God help the cultural church in America–no wonder we are losing this generation.”

    This is WHY pastors around the United States need to WAKE UP! Do they realize that Hispanics will be 50% of the United States by 2050? Do they realize that 48%! of ALL births are with single moms? Do they realize that that over 54% of married couples get divorced FROM WITHIN THE CHURCH? Do they realize that most “couples” are NOT getting married? Are they reaching out to these people? Are they putting together programs to get the gospel to them? Nope!

    Particularly within SGM, they don’t care. They’ll continue to focus on the rich, Starbuck drinking WASPs in the United States. You can be black, but be SURE, you “act white”! You can be Hispanic, but you better be middle class hispanic! You’re NOT married??? Oh dear! You’re not married and you have a child??? Oh double dear!!!

    Unfortunately within Sovereign Grace, they have become the modern Judaizers of today. If you don’t look, think and act like them, well, be D**ned! All of them!

  5. Jenn Grover
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Out There – I have wondered if CLC didn’t follow the lawyers’ advice if the insurance company would be able to drop their coverage. However, couldn’t CLC say that? I think that would clear things up for folks.

  6. Rick
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:17 am

    OutThere, (952), I appreciate your response. Perhaps it is time that churches stop functioning on business models and deconstruct that which would need “insurance” protection. My views on this are evolving as I am now free of a leadership position that I held in a church for some number of years.

    Maybe the future of the church is learning how to relate to each other outside the ‘cultural organizational model we have typically adopted in the western church. The amount of time and resources devoted to maintaining the physical and organizational structures, perhaps at the cost of building relational structure, is mind-numbing. Thus, we have a church culture where the values of courage, candor and honesty are forced to take a back seat to concerns of personal and corporate liability. So sad…

  7. Stunned
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I would fear not repenting as God prescribes more than I would fear doing without insurance. Man can just take your kingdom. God can take your soul.

  8. Stunned
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:32 am

    What can man do to me now? God is with me…

  9. Rick
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:34 am

    The unspoken curriculum that the world learns from us in times like this is that there is nothing “distinctively Christian” in the response of SGM and CLC to this situation. The response would look no different from that of a secular corporation that is desperately trying to limit any possible damage as a result of what has happened.

    If there is no “distinctively Christian” response, why should the world be attracted to the only ‘Jesus’ they see in us–we are no different than any other corporation that would exploit them for money (I am not anti-capitalist). At least the services the non-church corporations offer are relatively straight-forward in the limits of what they can do.

    The world desperately needs to see Jesus expressed through His people in as authentic a way as possible; I do not think the corporate model is working (not just SGM, but many of the mega-church business models).

  10. Rick
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    In other words, wouldn’t it be refreshing for Josh, or perhaps other SGM leadership, to just be straight-forward and say “We are not looking to advance the Gospel (whatever that means to them) in this time; we are not acting as a church, we are acting as a corporation and we are committed to defending our corporate structure with all the worldly wisdom and resources available to us as our legal counsel advises. We will use your money to do this, to achieve the goals that, while not pursuing biblical justice, will protect the very comfortable lifestyle that we, and the past leadership of SGM/CLC have enjoyed. We will do whatever it takes.”

  11. It's just the beginning
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Jenn, below are answers to your questions (answers in bold):
    Did the CLC explain why they had the defense attorney talk?
    The lawyer that talked was the church’s attorney (from Gammon and Grange I think is the right name). While he is and has been the church’s attorney for years, what I understood Josh said was there is a different insurance-appointed attorney actually running the case. The attorney who spoke last night has been involved as well..not sure those exactly in what, just helping to advise the church? WHY did he talk–I think just to give a complete legal overview of the lawsuit and the legal process so far and what to expect as the next stages (i.e. that the appeal process could go on for 12-18 more month..or longer / or shorter)

    By doing so, did it seem like an attempt to discredit all of the victims or to say the case had no merit (I don’t think they have to be the same thing.)? there are things we know for sure that happened.
    The lawyer definitely said the initial lawsuit was lacking in many details that made it nearly impossible to identify specific complaints, specific actions that took place. So I guess you could consider that discrediting? But that’s why the plaintiffs’ attorney filed two amended complaints. The timing of the second–3 days before the judge was to rule–that was brought up and it made sense that it would be a legal move on the plaintiff’s part to add that into the mix right before the judge was to rule.

    Interestingly, I learned that the second amended lawsuit (SAL) did cause what I’ll label as a little confusion in the courtroom because the attorneys+judge had to figure out how to process the second amended lawsuit in the middle of the motions being processed. what the attorneys agreed on that day was the statue of limitations (SOL) was not affected by the SAL..so that day, May 17th I think, the judge continued with her ruling on the SOL.

    I don’t feel as if the attorney gave any feelings or thoughts on the veraciry of the plaintiff’s complaints. He talked to the legal process / the legal system / etc.

    Did they acknowledge any of those things?

    Did they focus on the concept of their being a “ring”?
    Neither the attorney or Josh went into any specifics of the lawsuit. They didn’t acknowledge or deny any specific item in the lawsuit.

    Did they explain what the legal reasons were for prohibiting them to release the results of an investigation while the lawsuit was still pending?
    Not explicitly, but it was clear throughout the night that no details of the allegations in the lawsuit were going to be talked about until the lawsuit is over. So I take it that the independent investigation will of course go into those details…so the pastors won’t release it until the lawsuit is over. If attorneys or police want to subpoena for it, I’m sure our pastors would turn it over.

    Did they explain why winning the lawsuit trumped transparency and the bringing the truth to light? (This is a genuine, not a baited question.)
    No they didn’t..and now that you ask that question, I wish they would have–even though the answer is hard to swallow I’m sure. I think OutThere in #952 said it well–the pastors have the charge of the church, which includes all the financial possessions (building, money, etc.) The pastors should do / must do the right legal things while still being ethical and honoring God. I believe the pastors will be fully truthful and transparent about each and every allegation in the lawsuit against CLC/CLS — after the lawsuit is over.

    What I am expecting is literally each item listed, and then our pastors full and final response to it..and where CLC concludes that the allegations are true (which could be 100% of them), I expect the pastors to describe what the repercussions are for the defendants and what the appropriate response will be to the plaintiffs.

    Did they answer the question, “How can we best glorify God amidst these allegations?”
    maybe..but not directly using those words. Josh did communicate multiple times that we need to be praying for all involved (plaintiffs and those accused) as well as withholding judgement on both sides.

    Did they address the potential for a leave of absence for those who were accused and still on staff (if I recall, isn’t that only Grant?)
    No.

    Given the broken relationship between CLC and SGM was there any discussion of how working with SGM is going? Do they agree with the SGM strategies, etc?
    Nothing mentioned about SGM.

    What kind of empathy was shown towards the plaintiffs?
    This is of course subjective, but I felt that Josh did a good job not coming across negative at all against the plaintiffs. He is taking the allegations seriously, i.e. he is not saying they are all hogwash. He showed empathy by encouraging everyone to pray for the plaintiffs and not to be angry or upset that people have filed a lawsuit against CLC. I don’t remember Josh saying anything that would discredit the complaints..again, he couldn’t / didn’t talk about any specifics IN the lawsuit itself.

  12. Disappointed
    June 24th, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Rick,

    You sound as frustrated as I am. I’m afraid you’re right. They are giving the appearance of using the Gospel as a shield for advancing their own agendas. On one hand, there was talk of getting to the truth, and scripture references. On the other, there was talk of “we can’t discuss these issues at this time”, which they may continue to say for the next year.

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