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“SGMnot’s” Story

[Kris says:  The following was submitted by "SGMnot":]

In 1993 our daughter was sexually molested by the fourteen year old son of a close family friend from CLC, while he was babysitting for us. It was a week before her 3rd birthday. [This was about 6 years after exCLCer’s case]  I thank God I had taught our daughter what “good touch, bad touch” is, so she could tell us and possibly protect herself or others from sex abuse. The morning after this happened she came into our bedroom and told us. We were in shock, but for her sake remained calm, and asked her a few questions to verify. [Excuse my bluntness] He had taken off both of their pants and underwear, laid on top of her, fondled her, and French-kissed her. He stopped at this point and did not penetrate her. Her reaction at the time of the attack was to not move or cry out–she was in complete terror. We immediately called the police. We knew it was the law to report any sexual abuse committed against a minor. 

The first thing out of the pastor’s mouth, when we called him was, “Don’t call the police.” When we told him we already had, he communicated that these “things” should be handled in the church, and definitely made us to feel that he was displeased with us going outside the church to the secular authorities for this crime! The pastor called the father and the boy did confess that morning, after denying it repeatedly. The pastor immediately got on the phone with the police trying to arrange for the family to be able to turn the boy into police, rather than a police car to come to their house and embarrass them. From that point on, we felt that to the pastors, this crisis was all about the perpetrator and his family, to keep his identity secret and rally around him and his family, caring for THEM and counseling them as they navigated through the secular legal system and the crisis WE had caused by turning him in. 

We did have one meeting, within a couple of days of the abuse, with the pastor and his wife. They commiserated with us. We felt the gist of the meeting was “yes, this is terrible, it is OK for us to be angry and hurt for a few days or weeks, but after that you need to forgive and forget”! We were told not to tell our care group or anyone. And not talk to the boy and his family. Besides a brief phone call or two after all of this and the eventual “reconciliation” meeting, 6 months later, with that family and the pastor, we had NO counseling or follow-up care for us or our daughter. We had several close family members in CLC and we had close friends who LIVED with us at this time and we couldn’t even tell them! Essentially, we were on our own with all the deep grief, anger, and feelings of violation. We walked through this horrible crisis completely alone, with close family and friends and our care group all around us, having NO idea what we were going through!! God alone was our refuge and we had each other. 

A week or so after the molestation, one of the other pastors called and shared how sorry he was for what we were going through and then asked me to write a letter of leniency, so that this boy would not go to jail and just get counseling [exactly what happened to exCLCer’s mom]. I agreed, mostly because he was only 14 and it was a first offense. At the time, I was extremely vulnerable with the grief of what had happened to our daughter and what this pastor said meant a lot to me, but looking back now I feel manipulated by his words to make sure that I wrote that letter. What if I had refused? [like exCLCer’s mom] Would we have been excommunicated? 

We did not know and could not find out any details from the perpetrator on the molestation, even through the pastor, until the meeting 6 months later. In other words, we did not know if there had been any penetration or how much fondling there had been—it was torture for me as mom and as a woman to not know. I feel that my emotional needs were given “backseat” status to the other family’s privacy and care. We were not equipped by appropriate psychological counseling or advice on how to parent a victim of sexual abuse. Our daughter struggled as a little 3 year old to forgive this teenager’s crime against her. She had nightmares for months afterwards. Many months later, we went for prayer to this pastor and another, and they did pray for her, but they said the nightmares “might” not be from the sexual molestation, directly minimizing my concerns, even though nightmares are a known effect of sexual abuse! 

This is not over. She is now 21 and is a committed Christian, by God’s grace.  BUT she STILL has trouble sleeping alone. She STILL has had seasons of night terrors. She also has other EMOTIONAL SCARS directly related to the molestation and has pursued psychological counseling, now as an adult. Although, we have forgiven and prayed for this boy, now an adult member of CLC, last I heard, the results of his crime on our daughter may be a lifelong struggle for her to overcome!  

I share this with my heart breaking: for her, for us, and for all those others who have been traumatized by the sex abuse cases mishandled by SGM. And I wanted to share our story so that NO ONE from SGM could use our “case” as a supposed “well-handled” pastoral victory, since we mostly cooperated with their advice. AND I wanted everyone to know that the serious effects of any sexual molestation at any age are devastating to the victim and their family for many years. It doesn’t just “go away” after forgiving!  

We were in CLC for over 20 years and served as CGLs for over 5 years and only left a few years ago. We feel that “going public” with this story, that has been a secret sex abuse case in CLC, will perhaps help others to come forward with any other cases. We have not personally confronted the pastors about this, but after hearing exCLCer family’s HORRIFIC treatment by CLC, we felt that they do not deserve that respect. 

374 comments to “SGMnot’s” Story

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  1. blueskieshere
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    SGMnot, you have my admiration and support.Keep peeling back the layers, everyone.Just like an onion, it smells and makes you cry, but it has to be done.SGMinistries are corrupt and scandalous.They are an embarrassment to the body of Christ.People here are angry for good reason.Maybe it’s time to turn over the moneychangers tables and clean house.

  2. Breeezey
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    @5years – If I am correct Jesus said you will know them by their fruits. I’ll take Finney’s fruit any day (especially considering that the fruit of Finney’s ministry was the second Great Awakening which led to the abolitionist movement which led to the end of slavery) over the “fruit” of Augustinian/Calvinism. I consider my self very much so an amateur historian but I can find none ofthe church fathers that taught men had an enslaved will in the 300 years before Augustine. When Augustine began to teach that because God can force people to get saved therefore his servants can too it led to his persecutions of the Donatists, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisiton and Armadas, Bloody Queen Mary, and numerous horror stories all through the history of the church. Especially including Calvin having Michael Servetus burnt at the stake over green wood so it took him 3 hours to die.

    Calvin just systematized Augustine. Finney led something like 3 million people to the Lord in his lifetime of ministry. Over 90% stayed true without backsliding. Augustine/Calvin’s teaching on election cannot be substantiated in practics. And Calvinism will not change and Eastern country because it is eastern at its base (Que, sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be…) Neither the Jews nor does the Greek Orthodox Church or the Coptic Church doesn’t teach this. There were a few basic streams of Christianity within the first 300 years of church history. Alexandria, Jerusalem, Rome, Athens, and I forget the other. This teaching about man having an enslaved will only came from the Roman/Latin Church and only after Augustine. This teaching on man not having free will and God only choosing certain ones to be saved is nowhere in church history before Augustine.

    I may be sincerely wrong about some things, but not this one. Evangelists can’t preach Calvinism without modifying it and get people saved.

  3. Unassimilated
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I am not sure what the Laws and Requirements were back in 1993.

    Here is where things stand now in the State of MD. Who reports what and when varies by state. Since we are discussing a MD church, lets keep the scope to what a MD pastor should have done.

    http://www.msba.org/sec_comm/sections/health/docs/req_chart.pdf

    Regardless of what laws were in place at the time, one would presume, or hope for a moral leader to do what is right and best for the victim. This with little or no consideration for himself, the “ministry,” or the perp, thus following Christ example.

    When it comes to a child, one would naturally gravitate to what is best for the child first. Most any parent has the natural instinct to selflessly protect. I would submit that this pastors priorities, his basic humanity as a creation in the image of God, was re-wired in a way where he not only failed as a Christian, but as a basic human being.

    This is the danger of the SGM system. Systematic failures as Christians, as Parents, as Pastors, and even as basic human beings. You can not serve two masters, and when SGM becomes your head, Christ and family really go out the window.

    With all that has been revealed on the blogs and in the documents, you really only have yourself to blame if you stay in SGM. SGM not only depends on impunity for continued existence, they capitalize on “One being born every minute.”

    It’s your choice, and your eternity.

  4. Patricia
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Uummm said, “Are you really sure you would be praising God when your three year old has just been molested? Would your pastors? Something is wrong with that.”

    No, don’t you get it? Remember C.J.’s Happiest Place on Earth sermon that Guy and Kris posted here? When all SGMers see Christ for the very first time, they’ll be standing around their pastors FOCUSED on thanking Christ for their pastors! Got that? Even Christ will apparently be focused on the SGM pastors.

    Forget the 3 year old children who were molested while the pastors hushed it up. The SGMers will be thanking Christ for their pastors! And I guess the SGM pastors will be standing around beaming over how proud Christ is that they achieved the most important position ever created, that of pastor-shepherd. (That’s from another C.J. sermon.)

    Oh yeah, gonna be a happy, happy day! (as C.J. put it)

    I’m being very sarcastic, so forgive me if I throw up now. This stuff is just sick, sick. :barf: :barf:

  5. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    @Matt, “I guess we can safely assume there aren’t many guys in SGM left who feel that way about innocent kids.” So, do you believe that every guy in SGM supports pedophiles and molesters? Are you serious about that? That’s a pretty broad paintbrush stroke.

  6. Willie
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    NLR,

    You are right. Disengaging with me would be your best bet. I would run away from someone who challenged my thinking and called me out on the points that I made if I had no facts or proof to actually backup what I was saying.

    You stated, “If we wanted people to respect the blogs, we wouldn’t let glossed-over drones like you post here.” So you would control people’s freedom of expression who do not respect or agree with you. That sounds a lot like the very behaviors that you are critical of in SGM. Wow that is pretty hypocritical. Control those you disagree with your version of truth. I applaud the honesty at least.

    I never assaulted you. Now who is being laughable? I called you ignorant, which means lacking knowledge and nothing you have stated has proven me wrong. If anything, your failure to provide any salient support for you critique has further solidified my claim.

    You stated “Your lack of discernment and ability to see truth go farther than I would care to “serve” you.”
    So now you are the bearer of all truth? I must have missed the memo that only enlightened people like yourself are capable of discerning truth. So far your failure to answer any of the questions that I posed to you demonstrates your level of discernment in this matter.

    Here is some truth for you. You provided no answers to my questions and instead said that I was too stupid to engage in a dialogue with. Arguing 101 tactic. If you cannot beat them, insult them and claim that you are too good and smart to engage with someone who is so stupid and flee. I love it. Runaway. It really goes a long way in undermining the validity of your perspective.

  7. No Longer Reformed (NLR)
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    A Friend–

    Thanks for answering my questions. If you will allow me, then can I ask you this? And I guess you could only answer if you have read the stories here… But do you have to personally ask these pastors what they did in these circumstances to make that decision of judging whether or not what they did was wrong?

    Or if you have read the stories here, which I assume and even hope you have, and assuming that people aren’t lying when it has come to how these cases were handled, then I would say you do have that information. And based on this information, I would say you’d have enough familiarity with the circumstances here to make that decision. And so I would ask again, based on the information given, have the pastors made the right decision?

    If you dont want to say because you have not spoken to each of these pastors personally, then I can respect that. But I dont see how after reading these accounts, you can’t make a decision and you do not have enough information. But maybe that’s my preference and not a concrete rule.

    Hmmmm… okay. Well, in closing, as a young woman who was physically abused, I’m glad to say that one like you wasn’t who I needed to depend on. Having been there, I’d want my mom to eff somebody up. My mother’s cousin tried to feel me up one day and I told her. She was away from the house, and told my brother to watch for me because there were men in the house doing construction and I would be the only girl there. My brother went to the store with his buddy. My mom’s cousin came in, an older gentleman, and tried to put the moves on me. (incestuous B*****d). I told him he better get the heck away from me and he laughed and called me a silly girl.

    My mom came home. I told her immediately. I never saw my mom that angry in my life. Before I could blink, she was in the backyard whippin’ this dudes ass. Plain and simple. She took him, and his buddies and all his construction crap and threw it out of her yard. By herself and that stuff was not heavy. That day, I was sure that if someone had ever touched me the wrong way, my mom would come in like a roaring lion and devour them. Because of that, I never had a problem telling her what someone did to me because I knew she’d eat them alive. My mother, you see, was no disciplinarian. She was always quite easygoing, and somewhat of a pushover at times. But little did I know, she did have some boundaries and incest, sexual misconduct towards young girls and the like were her boundary.

    One more story: My mother, a young single mom, let a female cousin stay with us. It was just me, my baby sister who was an infant at the time, my mom, her cousin and the cousins son. When they moved in, my mom sat them down, with me present and spoke squarely to the son who was 12 at the time. She told him directly that she would not tolerate any funny business and she described what that was: inappropriate touching, acting like boyfriend and girlfriend and playing house.

    She spoke squarely to her cousin, the mom. She said I have one rule, you are not allowed to ever bring men in the house around my daughters. I do not bring men in the house around my daughters and they never are allowed to stay with other men alone. (my mother never let us stay at people’s houses where she did not know the dad well, and even then, when she did know the men, she was still sketch. My mom grew up in a time where women were abused a lot and little girls too. She had zero tolerance for htat crap).

    Months go by and Ms. Thing has a man over. My sister and I were upstairs asleep and she snuck him in the house. My mom comes home late for work. And I awake to screaming and crying, and seeing crap fly out the front door and the door slam. Yep, mom had kicked cousin out. Mom wasn’t the one crying. The cousin was. My mom went in the guest bathroom and the toilet seat had been left up with urine on the seat (sorry to be so discriptive). THe son was with his dad that night. Cousin swore she had no man in the house. My mom knew she was lying. She was out of the house that night.

    My mother had a zero tolerance policy when it came to protecting us from anybody who would be a sexual predator. I think because of her strictness on that issue, it has probably preserved me and my sister from a bad experience that would have been within her control. And yes, this does not speak to the parents where these sitautions were out of their control. My point is that my mother would not have allowed someone to molest me and not have first severely hurt them, but also turn them in to the authorities.

    Because of her actions, I never doubted her ability to protect me or become angry if someone did that to me. I would fairly add that my mother was not perfect, she definitely had other issues of abuse that she could not clearly see. But that’s one I’m very glad that she did see. Sexual abuse would have nearly destroyed me.

  8. Guy
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Unassimilated-

    Is it spelled out anywhere that a pastor (clergy) is a mandatory reporter? I imagine laws for different states have different mandates, but my guess is that they are all along the same lines. My experience is that a teacher, pastor, social worker, health care provider, etc are included, but I am an not familiar with MD law.

  9. Already Gone
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I’m still laughing my head off about Lucy calling them weiners!
    By the way, I love to read everything that Lucy writes, she is fabulous!

    Listen…the folks that pop onto the blog and think that they are bringing reason and the ‘biblical’ view of things…they don’t understand that they are actually speaking to a ton of people that went to an SGM church for years and years. Ex-pastors, ex-care group leaders, ex-you name it. We were true believers and completely sold-out sgm-ers. Raised our children there, gave them our money, our time and loyalty..for decades. The only reason that we give a (Lucy, help me with this)…care…is that we have beloved family and friends that are caught up in it still. And that is what keeps us in the game.
    They don’t know what they don’t know. But we know what they don’t know, even if they don’t know that we know.

  10. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I would seriously be interested in seeing what would happen if every person on here with a sexual abuse experience where the pastors failed you (and it seems every person who has shared so far has felt this way – as if they were failed.) wrote an email to the pastor(s) who hurt them or told them not to report their child’s abuse. You could even create an email address souly for that purpose, but I’d be really interested in seeing if the pastor’s would respond in brokenness and humility or “We were right” or just ignore. I know you probably are angry and don’t want to open up that can of worms, but I seriously would like to know. I know what I THINK the pastors would respond with today, but I can’t KNOW that…

    Also, Willie, no clue who you are, but you don’t come across as someone who loves The Lord. Just saying, if the image you are going for is being like Christ you are falling far from your mark. your reflection is that of an arrogant ass. Just sayin.

  11. Patricia
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    A Friend, I’ll give you a question to answer.

    Knowing what you do having read these stories of child sexual abuse, what are you going to tell God if He asks you why you continued giving offerings and support to men parading as “shepherds” who hid the atrocities and in so doing, enabled perpetrators to very likely act out on other children?

    You tell me.

    A certain percentage of tithes and offerings at every local church go to the Mothership of this business enterprise. The pastors talk with one another and you can bet they’ve all been well aware of these abuse situations in the interest of CYA in case something pops up in their own area. And you’re saying there are some pastors who are not culpable?

    Not a single one of them, including Brent and the “most holy” Josh, ever blew the whistle on the abuse of children. Not one of them ever stood up for these families. A few have and they’re here on this board and others. They withdrew from the sickness once they recognized it for what it was. They followed God right out of SGM so they could join with healthier church families elsewhere. How’s that for being accountable?

    How many SGM pastors reading these blogs and the tragic stories on them are contacting those up the chain and expressing disapproval? How many are stepping down?

    You tell me. No, they’re all following marching orders given from on high, except the orders are not from God. They’re from little men sitting on self-proclaimed thrones.

    I’ll go so far as to say that every single SGM member reading these stories will stand before God and give account if he or she continues supporting this cult.

  12. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    ” So, do you believe that every guy in SGM supports pedophiles and molesters? Are you serious about that? That’s a pretty broad paintbrush stroke.

    Here is what i think based on past behavior and the words from sgm followers. I think the pastors do support them for the most part because that is how they have been taught to deal with these issues. Of course, they would not word it as you did above but it is the same thing in practice since we know they do not want people callig the authorities. They would put some Christianese sgmese sounding words with it and a few proof texts thrown in.

    I think the members follow the pastor or care leader or whatever they are called this week, because they are taught to do that. Even YOU admitted you would call the pastor simultaneously with the authorities. (How one does that is a mystery. Two cell phones on each ear?)

    You are already in deep because we know from past behavior the pastor will tell you not to call the authorities. And if you are a good little sgm’er, you obey.

    You have just supported the EVIL system. So, with that, why do you think I should NOT presume that means you are directly or indirectly supporting pedophiles or predators? You obey your pastor. That much is clear from many other sgm’ers who I have interacted with. They are big on Hebrews 13:17 as a proof text.

    So, I must conclude that you and many others at sgm who are followers support predators with “willful ignorance”.

    Ironcially, the judicial system does not acknowledge willful ignorance. They do not take that into consideration.

  13. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    @NLR, thank you for sharing your story. Your mother was very protective and a woman to be honored. I applaud that!

  14. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Willie–

    I only responded in kind. Weren’t you at first the one to insult and then when I challenged you, you came back and argued like a child? “nah nah boo boo, I can say whatever I want ’cause you’re not God.” I mean, dude, who uses that asinine argument? Really!

    Willie, I have more than enough evidence, case studies, knowledge, education, experience and everything else needed to answer your questions and your inferences about my lack of knowledge. I just didn’t want to waste that time on you because you appear to be unteachable, blind, oblivious to what is going on around you. My CHOICE not to answer you is not the same as my lack of knowledge or proof, or evidence, or ANYTHING ELSE THAT WOULD SATISFY YOU. I simply, by my own will, chose NOT TO ANSWER YOU! DON’T YOU GET THAT?!!

    Fortunately though, I simply do not wish to engage you, prove nothing to you, or even try to have an intelligent conversation with you –BECAUSE I CANT STOP LAUGHING. Why would I ever waste my precious time, Willie!

    And just so you know, I’m not running away from you, Boo. I’m sauntering. Uh huh, picture that. It’s more confident and dismissive, relaxed and not bothered at the least–not punkish, afraid of confrontation or elusive as running away would be.

    And you are right, this is what you would do: I would run away from someone who challenged my thinking and called me out on the points that I made if I had no facts or proof to actually backup what I was saying.

    “Control those you disagree with your version of truth Really? Willie, come on! You think that MY statements were controlling with my version of truth. This, says the man who says he never EVER in 20 years saw any of this bad behavior in his “church”. Um… wow.

    BTW: I think anyone would realize I meant insult, not assault. I just chose not to correct that. I was too busy sauntering and twiddling my pearls.

    And just so you know, that I know, that you should know, since you said I was and all, because I know I didn’t dare say such a thing. But peep this: Christ is the bearer of all truth and His Holy Spirit speaks that truth to others without a mediator. I’m sure you might need that little reminder considering the lenghthy tenure of your indoctrination.

    It’s time to sprinkle the fairy dust and “poof” be gone. Please don’t respond. I will ignore any insults, comments you write after this. We can go at this all night, and trust me, I can run and hang with the best of them. You will not only provide me endless entertainment all day, but also someone to feel sorry for. And THAT would be insulting to you.

  15. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    @Matt. You assume much in your comments.

  16. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Just a sidenote – I am NOT calling people on here liars, and perhaps in the past the protocol for SGM pastors was to try to keep it in house, but Every Single sgm pastor I have asked in the past year has told me the cops would be their first call or at least telling the perp to turn himself in. No delineation at all – ALL of the pastors I have asked have said 100% certainty they would call the cops.

  17. Unassimilated
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Guy -

    The laws were different in 1993, and unfortunately I do not have the time to look them up. Clergy privilege is limited to information gained via formal confessional.
    The way I read the above story and, under today’s laws and statutes, they would be required for this occurrence.

  18. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    “@Matt. You assume much in your comments”

    Well, A Friend, I can only go by your own words from the last 2 threads and your comment tactics of trying to reframe the issue with Ad Hominem.

  19. I am Error
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Concerning your question about how I feel about what the pastors are doing, I answered that question with this response in #105: “Concerning your specific question, I think I would prefer to hear what the pastor has to say first, since I’m not familiar with that specific circumstance. (i.e. in Proverbs, a person can sound right until another states his case)”

    I think there’s a danger applying Proverbs literally to any situation. In the face of overwhelming evidence, we are allowed to use the common sense that the good Lord blessed us with to reach a reasonable conclusion. Nathan didn’t ask for David’s side of the story when he came to confront him for adultery and murder. Paul didn’t try shy away from confronting Peter’s clear hypocrisy, because he was afraid of the sinful motives of his own deceitful heart. No, we are not omniscient beings, and we will make mistakes. But we that doesn’t mean we have to always distrust our first judgments in the face of overwhelming evidence. These three facts alone indicate gross irresponsibility and mishandling of abuse cases:
    - Not submitting to local laws concerning reporting of abuse (Romans 13:1-3)
    - Confronting the victims with their “sin”, rather than “weeping with those who weep.”
    - Silencing the parties involved and not alerting the entire church (or at least all the parents) about the fact that there was a child abuser in their midst and they better discuss with their children if they had any interactions with the perpetrator.

    What explanations could possibly make this approach seem responsible?

  20. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    “Just a sidenote – I am NOT calling people on here liars, and perhaps in the past the protocol for SGM pastors was to try to keep it in house, but Every Single sgm pastor I have asked in the past year has told me the cops would be their first call or at least telling the perp to turn himself in. No delineation at all – ALL of the pastors I have asked have said 100% certainty they would call the cops.

    Brokenhearted, Up until a month ago they were trying desperately to keep Brent’s documents in house. Now they are trying desperately to pretend nothing important really happened. And they continue to keep this “in house’ with their Reformed friends on the panel who blurbed books and gush over CJ.

    I would not expect them to say anything different to you. I am just amazed you believe them with all the evidence at your fingertips they are not men of integrity.

  21. Patricia
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Brokenhearted, when I listened to Josh’s last sermon one thing became clear to me. These men are very good at knowing what to say to sway the people in their direction.

    Since what their actions and/or inaction has not lined up at all with what they say, I feel that trusting their words is not wise.

    So what about these many abuse cases that happened in the past? What are these pastors doing about the perpetrators of these acts still attending local church? If these pastors are being honest in saying they would now call the police, then why has there not been any effort at restitution for those who were harmed?

    No, these men are pulling the wool over people’s eyes with their crafty words. Many people are far too trusting unfortunately.

    Stunned said it best early on. Talk is cheap.

    “Is it integrity to admit things that are now irrefutable public evidence, or would it have been integrity to admit them when they were still in the dark?”

  22. CoBro
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    @Matt,
    I think A Friend is threatened by your no-nonsense, compelling, and straightforward comments. Ironically, A Friend first sought to discredit you by trying to find something in your personal experience that would compromise your objectivity. When you didn’t take that bait, A Friend now seeks discredit you by stating that if you have no personal experience with abuse, you aren’t credible. It’s mind-blowing!

  23. numo
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    @ NLR: thanks for that great story about your Mom and her “pre-emptive strike” policy – sounds like she’s a very wise woman!

    ***

    I know kids (now adults, or in some cases, in mid-late teens) who grew up in CLC and Fairfax.

    Haven’t heard from any of their parents, but the more stories that come to light, the more I have to work at keeping my heart out of my mouth. Sometimes I fear that the next account of child sexual abuse will be theirs.

    (As an aside, I hope – and pray – for all those normal boys out there, that they can be good brothers and friends to their siblings – and to any peer or child that they know who has been abused and/or is currently being abused. My big brothers were wonderful with me – and, afaik, with other kids – and I cannot imagine what it would be like to *not* be able to trust older siblings – and other relatives. And yet…)

    And if anyone has *any* doubts on the damage inflicted on those who have been sexually abused, please read this: http://gizmodo.com/5726667/the-agonizing-last-words-of-bill-zeller?skyline=true&s=i

  24. Leo
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    The other side of the coin is that when the sgm “leadership” sweeps it under the carpet, they have the perp and their family by the family jewels – look what happened with Larry T’s kid? Disagree and you’re blackmailed. But, now the perp and family are forever indebted to sgm for their “covering” up of the pedophile activity.

  25. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    A Friend said

    “@Matt: A quick question – Are you a parent?”

    A Friend, I may not be understanding this question. I am not sure how it is relevant to the discussion, but I couldn’t help but feel as if you were trying to dismiss someone’s questions because they may not be a parent. I have seen this happen too often in SGM, where a person’s value is somehow less because they don’t have kids and another who has a dozen in their family is elevated. Is there any chance that you were doing this to Matt by this question? If not, would you please explain why your question was relevant?

  26. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Brokenhearted–

    I’m sure they did say that. But like others have said, talk is cheap. It’s kinda like me saying that if I found $5,000 right now, I’d turn it in to the cops. Cause you know, it’s the Christian thing to do. But what I’m really gonna do is jump in my ride, head out to Tyson’s and find myself at Nordie’s in the shoe department sippin’ on some bubbly. And the only praying I will do is thanking God how great this is that I found $5,000 while eating a medium-rare sirloin at Ruth’s Chris… Jus’ sayin’. I think we all need to be honest sometimes. I think most of all, pastors should definitely be. I mean, aren’t they setting an example and everything?

  27. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Sorry, by blockquoting is apparently not that good.

  28. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Leo–

    That’s so true. I didn’t even think about it that way. It kinda reminds you when you are young, a teen, and did something bad and little sister is gonna tell mom if you don’t give her money or candy or whatever. $50 later and broke, you probably should have just told your parents, accepted the punishment and moved on quickly towards freedom. Rather, you’re in bondage and hungry from not eating lunch for how many weeks?? (counting on my fingers while touching them to my mouth).

    Great insight.

  29. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I had a long reply and realized it would come across as if I don’t care about the victims. And I DO care about them.

    I just wonder if Noel’s or HappyMom’s or SGMNOT’s or EXCLCer’s pastors who handled their “cases” came on here and shared their version of what happened and they were heartbroken over their sin, but remembered some of the facts or details differently would anyone believe them? I am not one iota saying I think anyone is lying – I just know that 2 people always have 2 different perspectives.

    And NLR – the problem is that out of the pastors I asked at least 2 of them said that they DID call the police or tried to call the police and were told not to. (the case I am thinking of where the pastor wanted to and the parent of the victim said not to was not shared on here.)

  30. Dan
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks so much for kindness and love folks – I didn’t mean to detract from SGMnot’s story at all – just wanted to express sympathy and empathy – but it is appreciated so much!

    I wish that the SGM/Mahaney fans who “don’t see Jesus” (Ray Ortlund Jr to Steve W) in these blogs could get it into their thick Reformed skulls that we are here, because they are not pastors and are not fathers and are not loving. If they were doing the job that Jesus Christ called them to do (shepherd the flock = care for us as helpless sheep needing protection, love) then blogs such as these wouldn’t be necessary!

  31. Willie
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    NLR,

    My arguments were far from childish. My first argument basically expressed that you do not have the right to tell me how to address you. It is childish to think that you actually can do that.

    I think it is more asinine to tell another adult what to do and how to address you. Who do you think that you are, that you get to dictate the manner in which people relate to you. I would say the person who is unable to engage in an argument because they had their little feelings hurt sounds more childish. It is obvious from the many statements that you have made that you think very highly of yourself and do not like people challenging or questioning you. Your self appointed pearls, declaring how precious your time is, calling me a glossed over drone all point to this.

    Still have not answered any of the questions. You can float on air away from my questions for all I care. You can’t answer, you can’t answer. Facts are facts and they speak for themselves. You can claim that you are sauntering away, but in reality, you are just plain avoiding addressing the questions that I brought up.

    I have actually been a part of the church for 32 years, and I never said that there are not serious problems in CLC. I did say that you cannot prove that the teaching from 20 years caused a 14 year old to molest a little 3 year old.

    If you do not want to engage that is fine. Just don’t try to deceive yourself and others by declaring me too ignorant, blind, and oblivious for the special truth that you posses. You might not like the way in which I addressed you, but you have yet to actually address or respond to any of the content of the matter. You instead have focused on how you were addressed and how much more enlightened you are then a silly little Willie like me.

  32. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    “@Matt,
    I think A Friend is threatened by your no-nonsense, compelling, and straightforward comments. Ironically, A Friend first sought to discredit you by trying to find something in your personal experience that would compromise your objectivity. When you didn’t take that bait, A Friend now seeks discredit you by stating that if you have no personal experience with abuse, you aren’t credible. It’s mind-blowing”

    I agree. He tried awful hard to make it about Matt instead of the issue.

    And it is sad to say that people fall for it because they want to be “nice”. But being nice they allow others to frame the discussion then it becomes ad homemin and the main issue is lost. They go down their rabbit trails. personally, I think being “nice” is keeping the main thing the main thing. It is nice to the victims.

    Is there anything logical about a “church” coddling predators? Is there anyway to explain that away to make it ok? No. But to an sgm’er, the answer is yes becasue they do not view it as enabling the predator. They can only see the issue through their pastors lens. They ar taught to think that way. A Friend even admitted it.

    What many have allowed SGM to do is to redefine what everything means. They redefine what is sin and what isn’t. Raping a child is not as big a sin as telling someone it happend. That is gossip and a bigger sin.

    They have redefined Grace, too.

    And they can only do all this by instilling a law of human authority over believers in the Body. They are big on the Greek Chain of Being thinking wthout even knowing it. Levels of importance. Ranking. And with this ranking they function as the Holy Spirit for people.

    The fact that any “adult” would admit that they would call their “pastor” before the authorities when their child is raped says it all. This is cult stuff, guys. Pure and simple. We could be talking about Jehovah Witnsses or Mormons. Same thing.

    Without people falling for the authoritarianism, they have nothing. The game would be up. If people start thinking for themselves with a tad of logic, it is all over.

  33. Patricia
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I think it’s time for some harsh reality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZY8jUuEzJQ

  34. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Brokenhearted–

    That is interesting. At this point though, even with the stories we have, I think we can see a common theme that most of them, in general, chose not to and not as a request from the parent. If this instance is true, then I would say it’s quite an exception to the rule.

  35. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    “The other side of the coin is that when the sgm “leadership” sweeps it under the carpet, they have the perp and their family by the family jewels – look what happened with Larry T’s kid?”

    This only proves the EVIL system is very old.

    Gotta run, everyone.

    May we endeavor as believers with the indwelling Spirit of Truth to see every single precious child as worthy of respect and dignity and OUR protection.

    May we view our single friends as full flegded members of the Body who deserve our respect and full participation as servants to the Body. May we see our sisters in Christ as equal and full co-heirs in redemption and spiritual gifts in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, too, whether they have children or not.

    May we see the pastor as a verb and not an office, that shepherds new believers and those new believers go on to shepherd others as they mature in Christ. May we recognize that real elders are simply lowly servants who are mature in the faith and always, always point us to Christ. Never to themselves. If they are true elders they would be upset if we seek to follow them instead of Christ.

    May we all seek to be Bereans as we know Paul commended them for checking every word he said.

  36. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Patricia–

    Got your message :) I will reply soon.

    Matt–

    “Raping a child is not as big a sin as telling someone it happend.” I just don’t get what’s so hard to see this huge error with these defenders. It baffles me. Is this at all a glimpse of what hardened numb hearts look like?

  37. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    John said, “PLEASE OUT THE PASTOR. …ensuring no future children are subjected to this trauma.”

    Please sgmNOT, consider giving the names of all the pastors involved so that everyone “under their care” can be warned. I have a feeling we have thousands here reading and many of them trust these very men who damaged you and your child. If some of them knew the names of the men who did this damage to you, they would get their children out and protect them. If not, they will keep believing that these men have their own best interest at heart.

  38. Yellow is a Happy Color
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    NLR, I really appreciate your insights.

    EcCLCer, I am saddened, but not surprised, by the hate email you got. So funny that you got hate email where the writer is accusing you of slander. Slander is the least of the sins this writer should be concerned about!

    I think a fault of CLC/SGM leadership and members is one that Josh mentioned a while back in a sermon (or was it the May family meeting..) He said that CLC has had a fault–not being able to handle differences.

    You can see this when it comes to dating styling, schooling choices, etc. It’s as if people don’t know how to have their *own voice* to stand up for what they believe in. I think this is some of what SGMnot also struggled with–she didn’t have her own voice to do what she needed to do. (Refuse to write the letter, inform everyone in their caregroup about the perp who was still watching kids!….)

    If people can’t even have casual differences on small issues, how are they supposed to have a voice when it comes to something like these abuse issues? Clearly, CLC pastors in SGMnot’s case–who are STILL on the CLC/SGM payroll–don’t even want people to have their own voice.

    Josh, please address this!

    Thank you SGMnot, because clearly now you have your own voice, and you are using it!

  39. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Broken hearted said “I asked at least 2 of them said that they DID call the police or tried to call the police and were told not to. (the case I am thinking of where the pastor wanted to and the parent of the victim said not to was not shared on here.)”

    First of all, I dont know why you would believe anything they “say”.
    Second, that DEFINITELY wasn’t the case in my story….in my story they asked my mother to wait, expressed they weren’t sure about and sought legal counsel to find out if they were legally required to report it, then finding out THEY WERE, and realizing my mother would, went to help him turn himself in as a show of repentance, and to put the perp in a position to be able to use that in his defense.
    Third, the fact that they clearly found out in that situation that they were considered “required reporters” only makes the later cases even more sickening when they didnt, or even so much as said not to.
    Furthermore, let me ask you ….if all the victims who shared their stories somehow “got it wrong” (though I know that’s NOT the case) and the pastors really actually reported it immediately out of concern for the victims, then please explain to me their subsequent actions in defense of and in support of the perpetrators in the church and the court system????…..you cant. Had they actually reported, and left their responsibility for the situation there after that, it would have been basically acceptable enough (though extremely lacking in character), but to continue to act as an authority and interfere with much needed professional services, re-victimizing the victims and families through their “counseling” (aka damage control/attempt to keep the crime secret)and defend these perpetrators persistently over years in court hearings,well, it speaks VOLUMES to their mindset/position. They dont love perverts….they love money. They dont seek justice….they seek position and authority and power.

  40. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Yellow, thanks. I laughed when I got that email/hate mail. To think that anyone would, at this point, even THINK they could scare me with biblical terror into being silenced about things as important as this, is surely no genius.

    “I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strangely, I am ungrateful to these teachers”
    -Kahlil Gibran

  41. Yellow is a Happy Color
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    So Willy is challenging NLR, saying….

    “Do you know the exact teaching that he heard that made his molest? NO.”

    But I have a clue of what that boy learned from CLC through this whole experience:

    1. If I ‘repent’ good enough, I can get off the hook from my parents and pastors. Phew, that was close!

    2. What he learned afterPhew, next time I better choose a victim who will be silent. I’ll find some one else who won’t slander me.

  42. GotOutAlive
    August 4th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    We left a SG church in 2003 after suffering much spiritual authority abuse. We joined a para-church organization and they didnt like that, especially since I was related to one of the pastors. I wasnt sold out enough to the local church I guess. they said I was not called into ministry elsewhere unless the Lord them that I was. Hmm really? I have had four other pastors (before attending SG) from my previous church confirm a call on my life but they dont count. Only pastors from SG are authorized to say you are called to ministry. One good thing came out of this. I met my wife and married her there. She was instrumental in helping me see there was a lot more going on than the bubble I was forced to live in at SG. Of course when we started visiting other churches we were blacklisted. More later.

  43. Fried Fish
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    not to change the subject (so I’ll keep it short) – Was just reading SGM Andrew’s comments over on the latest SGM blog post – What the first “independent” panel of C.J.’s buddies agreed on was not that C.J. didn’t DO anything that disqualified him from ministry – it was that he didn’t CONFESS to anything that disqualified him from ministry.

    Brilliant! I’d love to have their job (and a cut of their book royalties and honorariums)…. sheesh.

    Sorry if this has been covered, hard to keep up these days.

  44. 20 years in sgm
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Got Out Alive

    super intrigued to hear your whole story. I have a close friend whose story is exactly same as yours – almost exactly.. He was related to one of the pastors, was clearly called to para church ministry, supported by many in this calling, clearly had the gifting (and sgm benefited from this gifting, in the music ministry for many years -including the pdi record catelog) wanted SGM blessing, they would not give it and questioned his calling, as there is no place for para-church in the “local church” mindset…

    Knowing the numerous egregious details that i can not share w/o his permission, i can tell you that the pastors used their authority to spiritually abuse him AND his family…

    He was even asked how he could want to leave (to do his ministry) “God’s greatest model for his church that exists on the earth today” –

    I would have thought my friend and you are one in the same, but i know he met his wife years before SGM…. I think….

  45. Cedrick
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    WoW NUMO,
    That link to the last words of Bill Zellers will probably stay with me for quite some time. People need to read this!

  46. NewSGMer
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    SGMnot, please consider dropping the names of these pastors. I recently started attending an SGM church in the DC/VA/MD area and I need to know that my family is safe from any instances of abuse cover up. If there are molesters walking the halls of my church then I need to know. Shame on SGM for these cover ups. This is a bigger issue than the church community because they have a responsibility to let the perpetrator’s community know that there is a predator in their midst.

  47. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    NUMO….that may be the saddest thing Ive ever read….I mean EVER. Thank you for posting the link to:

    http://gizmodo.com/5726667/the-agonizing-last-words-of-bill-zeller?skyline=true&s=i

    Everyone should read this. Its so rare to get a look into the thoughts of a person in pain like this. So very very sad.

  48. Yellow is a Happy Color
    August 4th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Exclcer in 137 said it so nicely……

    “Willingly committing a felony by clearly trying to NOT report, or keep someone from reporting, is not a lack of judgement, or a mistake. Lets call it what it is, a CRIME.”

    That ain’t slander, CLC, it’s just the law.

  49. Yellow is a Happy Color
    August 4th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    In 157, NLR says…

    “Before I could blink, she was in the backyard whippin’ this dudes ass. Plain and simple. She took him, and his buddies and all his construction crap and threw it out of her yard. By herself and that stuff was not heavy. That day, I was sure that if someone had ever touched me the wrong way, my mom would come in like a roaring lion and devour them.”

    Can I just applaud NLR’s mom, and EcClcer’s mom, and all the other moms who boldy and courageously stood up for their children in the heat of the moment? You are modeling courage to stand up and do the right thing, even if the system is toxic.

    NLR and ExClcer, you have some of their spunk, don’t you think? Awesome.

  50. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    A friend #105: Um, your SGM catch phrases really goad my righteous anger!

    “1) I would first go to the parents of the son and confront them. If confirmed, or if I was dissatisfied with the answer, I would express that and say that if I didn’t get a satisfactory answer, I would go to both the pastors and authorities. I would give them a brief time to respond satisfactorily.
    2) If no satisfactory response was provided, I would follow through and call both the pastors and authorities. If I did get a satisfactory response and there was understanding and the parents showed they were willing to discipline/restrain their son, I might wait to go to authorities, but I would still definitely go to the pastors.”

    …if I was dissatified with the answer…if I didn’t get a satisfactory answer…the parent showed they were willing to discpline/restrain their son…??? WTF is the only proper answer to THIS.

    I’d like to see REALLY how you would respond if your 3 year old daughter told you **** touched her private area and laid on her in the nude! We didn’t need to wait for a “satisfactory answer”, when we saw her mime French kissing and knew there was NO WAY she would have know WHAT that was. Jeez, you are SO clinical and calculated with your responses, I think you are a SGM pastor trolling!!! Is trolling part of your job assignment right now?

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