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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. katie
    August 4th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    #55, Condemned No More:

    If you use the phrase “evidences of grace” or “better than I deserve” here, you will not be taken seriously.

    :koolaid

  2. katie
    August 4th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    ps. Lucy – you are so awesome. i want to be your friend. :wink:

  3. 20 years in sgm
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Katie, you obviously have spent a lot of time in a sgm church – you only need to be in one a week to know those 2 phrases, but to come to loath them takes time… I, too, loath them…

    BTW, the “evidence of grace” things means the speaker has little understanding of true Grace, in my opinion… More of an emphasis on a combination of law and works and how the 2 have helped the speaker feel good about him or herself…

    How ’bout this one: “i have a lot on my plate just now..”

  4. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    BrokenH. #166: I think this is a case of “you will know them by there fruits”. The men who are pastors in SGM are usually very quick on their feet and with parsing their words.

    I think that it is very telling that according to exCLCer’s story, the pastors as CLC in particular, definitely KNEW that they had to report any sex abuse of a minor to the appropriate legal authorities. Telling my husband and I, 6 years AFTER exCLCer’s case, that we shouldn’t call the police shows you what they prioritize.

    Also, it is very telling that in both cases the pastors asked the victims to write letters tantamount to a “get out of jail free” card!

    In the Fairfax case and in each of our cases, the pastors involved sought to minimize the crimes by calling it “experimenting”, “adultery-like”, or refused to look at police reports in the Fairfax case.

    Are we all liars? And I know you are not calling us ones, but how many cases/stories will it take before the victims are believed?

    Perhaps they have changed their practices, but I don’t think so, since both perps from our 2 cases are each very involved members at CLC with great access. One thing I hate is the catch-all phrase…”you don’t know both sides of the story”. Yeah, well I can read the writing on the wall — your actions speak loud and clear!

    Also, a few people have asked me to out the pastors involved. I will pray about that. I do need to consider the opinion and feelings of my husband and my now adult daughter before outing them and the mess that would probably ensue. We mostly felt compelled to share our story anonymously to help protect other children in SGM and to hopefully rile other in those churches to either get out or get in the faces of these men and get change!

  5. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    A Friend said, “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’s the thing. I believe you HATE the idea of a child being raped. You seem like a fairly good man. But, and here’s the thing, if you are or have given money to your church, you have (and may currently be) financially contributing to the cover up of pedophilia and the financial support of actually fighting sexual abuse victims in courts. I have a feeling you would never want God’s money going to that nor would you want to support that, but if you were in the church during the time of exCLCer or SGMnot, then you have supported them. Please consider this. Sleep on it. If you can.

  6. just emailed Kris
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Hi SGMnot
    I just emailed Kris a very personal story of my own abuse and my success in court. I am praying for you and your family. I don’t want to put the details here but I have asked her to send them to you. Also, know that he is very capable of committing the crime again. If he did not receive real help (I’m not talking just a chat with the pastor) then this could very easily happen again. I am praying for courage and that you will be able to take the necessary steps towards healing. I am so very sorry. This hit home and was very painful to read. I am praying.

  7. Phoenix
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    It’s just hard to take someone seriously who can attempt to argue about serious issues involving coercive genital touching under the moniker Willie and apparently keep a straight face. Really. Sometimes common sense AND humor have just left the building.

    All this blather about whether, how, give specifics about the teachings, I bet statistics about child molestation are the same in other churches and among the unchurched as in SGM…Of course the leadership isn’t creating a hothouse for the cultivation of perverts ON PURPOSE. This is embarrassing the “movement.” But if the trees you planted are producing poisonous fruit you can’t continue to claim that you only planted apples. That would be a scriptural analogy, folks.

  8. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    While often it seems to be hardly enough, so far our stories have definitely helped keep at least a few children out of harms way. I know for a fact the perp in my story has been heading up childrens activities, publicly and in his home, with many parents allowing their children to attend since they were completely unaware of his proclivities.

    Telling these unsuspecting parents the truth, so they at least have the ability to choose whether they are willing to risk their kids safety by allowing this, may have saved a few children from harm and at the very least has prompted the parents to keep their eyes open around them, and not just trust that their kids are safe around church members just because they are church members.

  9. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    “It’s just hard to take someone seriously who can attempt to argue about serious issues involving coercive genital touching under the moniker Willie”

    Phoenix #207 You just made me laugh! And on that note…I’m going to sign off for the night!

    I am not a :worm I am a new creation in Christ Jesus!

  10. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    NLR, your little sister was evil. :wink:

    (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.

  11. keepinstep
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    We’ve been talking about how SGM has replaced Holy Spirit with their own authority – and how insufficient that authority is to help people in real trouble. Sometimes we really need the raw power and authority of God, because sometimes we’re not dealing with people but with evil spirits controlling people.

    Jesus got spirits to leave people with a single word, because he had authority. The 70 disciples marveled at their having that authority, as well, after Jesus had imparted it to them. The early Church had that authority, and used it. Today, some believers are using that authority around the world to kick evil spirits out of people that Jesus has set free. (Just watch the Furious Love movie.) Sadly, because we’re so intellectually advanced in the West, we don’t believe all that (biblical) stuff.

    The reality is that traumatic incidents – like sexual abuse – can open doors to lifelong demonic harassment. And SGM spiritual abuse clearly has demonic elements, because the Spirit of Christ is not oppressive or controlling. (Which is why we should be praying and continuing to speak the truth, because we’re not dealing with Dave Harvey and friends but with spirits controlling Dave Harvey and friends.)

    In the recent discussion here of SGM-associated abuse – child sexual abuse, various spiritual abuse – there’s been no mention of bringing Holy Spirit into the solution. I wonder if any of the abused people who are still really struggling have tried to get deliverance, through a bona-fide Christian believer or healing ministry who knows how to deal with this?

    I know of apastor with an “underground” counseling ministry. Struggling Christians (whose own leaders can’t help them) learn of him by word-of-mouth, and go talk with him. The Spirit give him discernment into their issues, and their origins. He counsels them from Scripture, revealing their identity in Christ and identifying the lies the enemy has used to bind them.

    After loosening the enemy’s grip through this renewing of the mind, the pastor then prays with the person to renounce specific spirits. It happens, and they suddenly have a light yoke upon them and joy filling their heart. Many of these people have, for the first time, encountered the Good Shepherd through this man’s gifts and compassion.

    There are many people like him in the Body, but you usually have to search to find them. Has anyone hurt by SGM done something like this? Have there been breakthroughs we can rejoice over?

  12. Fried Fish
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    @NewSGMer #196 – You said:

    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 you are serious and not just trying to stir something up by getting SGMnot to drop names and then lob a few “gossip and slander” bombs or worse based on the results of them being outed, I have a serious question for you -

    If you are new and don’t yet have a whole lot vested in the SGM church you are attending, and if you are aware of the deep-seated issues in SGM, why do you want to continue to subject your family to their influence?

  13. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I guess it really would be almost impossible to try to defend the pastors without discounting the victims. :(

    *sigh*

    I’ll just keep praying for everyone involved and try to not say anything controversial in the abuse cases.

  14. Steve Zahm
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Come on folks we need the names of these people as that is the only way everyone who cares to know can either avoid them (pastors and perps) or confront them if necessary. These people need to have the light of public exposure not for revenge or any other reason that smacks of hatefulness or titillation but so the light of the Holy Spirit can expose them and allow them to get help or be held accountable. exCLCer named names of the pastors and i already knew the perp in that case and yes is still an active member in CLC and is in a band with children. He is also remarried and has biological children by his current wife. I am not asking anyone to name the guy in exCLCers case. But these other guys who are now continuing to be active members at CLC and other SGM churches need to be outed as do the pastors who encouraged the parents not to contact the police. They are bound by every kind of law to notify police and I for one would not hesitate to confront them personally even now if I knew who they were. Even though I no longer attend CLC I regularly go to the CLC Starbucks in Gaithersburg — I am really really pissed off oh I cant say that. I am mortified, flabbergasted, incredulous, heart broken, indignant, and yes really really pissed off.

  15. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Ohyeah, Fried Fish – I had a thought in response to your question for new SGMer… reality is that there are some REALLY GOOD sgm churches, and even though they have sinned and hurt people and made mistakes it doesn’t mean that today they aren’t good/strong churches, so just because a church is going through hard times isn’t a reason to not be there.

    Just my thoughts… I understand if you think the entire denomination is flawed why you would ask, but if it’s just based on the mistakes they have made then now is the best time to join, in the midst of reform :)

  16. keepinstep
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    @Katie #55 – Do you know why people here don’t take seriously the SGM phrase, “better than I deserve” ?

    It’s because Jesus gave revelation 2,000 years ago to the apostles and prophets – written for us in the New Testament. That revelation informs us that when a person accepts Christ as Lord, Savior and Friend, that person becomes forever, in God’s eyes, just like Jesus in nature and authority. Indeed, it is God’s intention to transform each believer into the very image of Christ – as if we were soft clay pressed into the mold that produced Jesus’ character himself!

    And do you know what Jesus deserves? Jesus deserves every good thing Father God can shower upon him throughout eternity. Jesus will receive the nations as his inheritance. Father has given Jesus all power and authority in heaven and on earth. And Jesus shares that with his Body/Bride, the Church. We will one day judge fallen angels, as we share the judgement seat of Jesus.

    This truth is from New Testament Scripture – Read Ephesians and Colossians, paying special attention to the verses containing the word “fullness” – both Jesus’ fullness and the Church’s fullness. And look at John 1:16 as well.

    Therefore, what C.J. Mahaney says in response to the question, “How’re you doing?”: “Better than I deserve.” is a lie from the father of lies. He believes and teaches the lie that he – and we – deserve hell.

    I’m sorry for his deception and for how I, and so many others, have been deceived by it. However, the New Testament reveals that – once saved – all saints of Christ, walking in his new nature, deserve not hell but the reality of walking in the fullness of Jesus Christ. This is the fullness of all the holiness and power and authority of God himself.

    Paul castigates the Corinthians twice for being “still fleshly” – for thinking “like mere men” instead of like beings made in the image and authority of the risen Christ. He also tells them that Holy Spirit intends – if we cooperate! – on transforming us into little Christs:

    we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. [2 Cor 3:18 ESV]

    This is the mystery revealed 2,000 years ago, and still the devil tries to conceal it from us. SGM is now trying to conceal this truth:

    The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. [Colossians 1:27 The Message]

    I’ll save “evidences of grace” for another time. But if you dare think that God treats you “better than you deserve,” you must not be saved and in the Kingdom of God – or, you are saved but you need to open your eyes, and take off the graveclothes that the devil has wrapped around you through antichrist lies.

  17. 5yearsin PDI
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Breezeley, in addition to denying original sin as presented in Romans 3 & 5 and that through Adam sin and death entered to all men, Charles Finney vehemently denied that justification could be imputed. He believed that our own obedient works saved us, and nothing Jesus did could be legally imputed to us. He was worse than Roman Catholic faith + works.

    Its real nice he was an abolitionist, but people all over the world are involved in battles for human rights and social justice, and it doesn’t make them Christian.

    If you don’t want to be a Calvinist, and you want to argue with SGM doctrines, you really need to pick a better role model and theologian. Anybody who knows anything about Finney will just laugh at you. Find an intelligent Arminian who believes in justification by faith and original sin.

    You want to leave SGM and you are apprehensive about Calvinism because of their screwed up approach to it, well OK, I can have empathy with that even if I disagree. But find a church that teaches we are born sinners and we need a saviour, and only faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will save us. Our best works add nothing to our merit before a holy God. Any other doctrine is danger and peril.

  18. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I MEAN THIS QUESTION 100% SERIOUS….

    At what age do y’all think it’s ok to protect the “perps” identities? Or are y’all just looking for pastors’ names? I don’t know the answer to that Q… part of me feels like as long as they are not serving in CM (I feel like sexual sin against a child (even if it’s a 10 year old with a 2 year old) disqualifies you from any service in the church with kids…) or stuff like that then there is no need for everyone to know their names, but another part of me feels like if I knew a guy in my church had raped/molested a kid in his teen years I’d want to be informed, so I really don’t know…

    But, then you start getting in logistics… let’s say the church did everything “right” and every person in the church at the time of the crimes was told what the young man did… do you inform each new family who comes in? Do you inform the pastors at his new church if he switches? Then do they? I mean IF they are a minor and so this isn’t on their record and they are not on a registry how much responsibility does the church have where the government is not informing folks?

    These are all things i am trying to work through right now in my own mind…

  19. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    CLARIFICATION – somehow this got left out… I am saying if the guy was 12- 16 and is in his mid/late-20′s now how long do we follow him? and if we feel he needs to be “branded for life” at what age? If he was 16 but not 14 or what? The law says 18+ is on the registry….

  20. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Phoenix–

    Re: #209… You got me over here crying!!! LMBO!!! And then I go back and read his response and then said I couldn’t be bothered by a little Willie like him… I nearly spit out my coffee… I’m like dude, you said it. Not me. (holding my hands up rejecting any responsibility whatsoever for that one). Yo, I am dying here! Trolls are funny as heck!!

  21. Nickname
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    When I first read #55, No Longer Condemned, I laughed out loud, thinking it had to be tongue-in-cheek. Do SGM’ers really STILL talk that way?? Better than I deserve? Evidences of Grace? Honey, it’s time to switch from kool-aid to Living Water. And running the prophetic vision by the CGL/pastors? Didn’t they do away with prophetic visions?

    “Better than I deserve” is a word picture that may be useful in understanding some theological points — but has little practical use. Yeah, we all know we are sinners saved by grace and we don’t deserve grace — but we also know that we live in a world where we see the principles of sowing and reaping, a world where grace abounds and God gifts us with GOOD THINGS — and the fact that we DO receive grace makes the “better than I deserve” thing not really useful. Did a 3 year old deserve worse than to be sexually molested? Nope. The 3-year old is a recipient of grace and blessing, and those of us who live in this fallen world want to do everything we can to continue blessing those we love. Banging them over the head with “this is better than you deserve” is, to put it in SGM-ese, not helpful.

    You go to the doctor to be treated for an illness. The doc wants to know your symptoms — asks you how you’re doing. And you answer “Better than I deserve.” It may be true, but it sure doesn’t help him with diagnosis or treatment.

    So, please, get over the “better than I deserve” thing. It’s not a catch-all phrase — sorta like that Peacemaker model shouldn’t have been a catchall for sexual abuse cases @ Fairfax.

    AND — regarding someone’s comment so far up that I can’t remember and am not quoting it properly — possibly to the effect that covering up sexual abuse cases might be status quo in SGM….Not true — or at least it wasn’t in the 90′s in my former SGM church.

    I am not a fan of my former SGM leaders — but years ago, that church went through three separate, unrelated, horrific incidents of pedophilia. All were reported to authorities. All three perps received jail time — two of which are still in prison after receiving lengthy sentences — hey, they were repeat offenders, surprise, surprise.

    I do not know if counseling was provided to the victims — but I do know that the law was called immediately upon discovery of the crimes, the church was notified, and at least one situation was discussed at length in a family meeting I would prefer to forget, but will remember verbatim for the rest of my life. There may have been things they could have done better at the time, but given the circumstances, I believe they tried to do the right thing in these cases. And in Virginia, they were NOT required by law to report. They reported anyway.

    Does anyone know if there is some kind of TEXBOOK OR MANUAL available to churches / pastors that walks them through WHAT TO DO when these things happen, all the way down to the phone numbers of the local authorities, doctors,counselors? Every church needs to have one — every church needs to have a policy in place that protects victims, helps parents, provides counseling to victims and perpetrators, and alleviates the possibility that a pastor can make his own rules when it comes to child molestation.

    The pastors who did not want to contact authorities are guilty of breaking the law in most states — and are guilty of elevating the local church to a theocracy that supercedes local, state, and federal government. Time to retorque that thinking.

  22. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    20 years in SGM, that story above sounds a LOT like a story I know. Any chance you were in Covenant Fellowship, or as Debra Baker likes to call it, Covenant Fullofit?

    No worries if you’d rather not share.

  23. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    NICKNAME – Thanks for posting your memories on how the pastors handled those cases! :)

  24. Jim
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Brokenhearted

    Post 219. Great questions. I have hbeen trying figure that out all day. It seems like a nightmare logistically in a large church. Everybody would know in a small church. What if that person changes churches? How can a person with this in their past ever go to church and be honest about past sin and not meet rejection. I guess u live with those consequences but I have little girls and if anyone touches them anywhere I’m packing heat mentally and physically 2nd amendment and I’ll be in jail. Nobody touches my kids. Nobody. Whether the church handles these situations perfectly or not the victimn always loses because they have to live with it forever. what happens if a child commits this crime and then gets there record cleaned at 18. Clc does background checks if u want to serve in child care. What if someone comes to the church and doesn’t reveal past crime that was committed as a minor? All I can say is what a mess. I am glad I did not pick reverend on career day.
    To the family and victimn I am so sorry to hear about your situation. May God bring the healing and peace to you that only He can bring.

  25. No Longer Reformed (NLR)
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Keepinstep–

    You said: I know of a pastor with an “underground” counseling ministry. Struggling Christians (whose own leaders can’t help them) learn of him by word-of-mouth, and go talk with him. The Spirit give him discernment into their issues, and their origins. He counsels them from Scripture, revealing their identity in Christ and identifying the lies the enemy has used to bind them.
    After loosening the enemy’s grip through this renewing of the mind, the pastor then prays with the person to renounce specific spirits. It happens, and they suddenly have a light yoke upon them and joy filling their heart. Many of these people have, for the first time, encountered the Good Shepherd through this man’s gifts and compassion.
    There are many people like him in the Body, but you usually have to search to find them. Has anyone hurt by SGM done something like this? Have there been breakthroughs we can rejoice over?

    A few things that stick out to me and some other POVs…

    1. Pastor of an “underground” counseling ministry? Is this underground and word of mouth because of a needed anonymity for the participants? Are they in some type of danger? If not, there is never a need for a ministry to be underground, unless it is protecting the identity of the people and they are in danger.

    2. The Spirit gives him discernment into their issues and their origins. This all wouldn’t make me so uncomfortable, I think, if the language were different. The way you are describing this sounds like they are going to see a seer of sorts–a person that can see into the spirit realm. Now, mind you, I know that there are many gifts of the spirit, and discernment being one of them. But a person looking into our past or present and telling us things is borderline, if not, over the line. Am I reading this wrong?

    I guess, just be mindful that just because the person says they are Christian and a pastor doesn’t mean they aren’t practicing divination and other things. There are many Christians who mix these practices and are okay with that.

    3. About the origins of the issues. If he counsels regarding their origins: This sounds like this ministry I used to hear of and people tried to get me to do called Ancient Paths. Ancient Paths was based on the belief that our ancestors and people before us were involved in these different things that affected us now–these strongholds. But really, what Ancient Paths was teaching, as some healing ministries do teach incorrectly also is that we have generational curses. Ancient Paths just sounds cool and interesting. But when boiled down, it all amounted to teaching believers that they were bound spiritaully by some generational curses that they needed to renounce to have deliverance from.

    Here’s the thing: I’ve seen people renounce a whole lot of stuff over the years and believe themselves to be set free during those deliverance sessions. The thing is that we can see in Scripture that God does deliver and set us free, that he does release us from strongholds. But the teaching of the origins of our issues is the same as believing in generational curses (if it’s in the context and way that I think you have presented it here). Now, if you mean the origins of issues such as my dad was an alcoholic and that affects me today, then that’s very valid and obvious. But if it has to do with some sin my grandparents did, or my great grand parents and there’s some kind of generational stronghold over you/me because of THEIR sin, then that is not true (according to the theology I have been taught–and that is always debatable). A man is responsible for his own sin and cannot be held accountable for another’s–not in the way they teach that.

    4. You said that after the pastor prays for the loosening of the enemy’s grip, the person is to renoucne specific spirits. What if the person doesn’t renounce all of the supposed spirits? What happens when that person needs to walk this out for some time, deal with their issues for some time before they are really free from that stronghold–what then when they one day, or next week, continue in that sin or issue? Having helped counsel many people dealing with same-sex attraction who were taught these teachings, it was painful to see them fall again after having believed they were delivered and had renounced these spirits.

    5. You said many people have encountered Christ through this man’s gifts and compassion for the first time. There are many people in the body like him, but you usually have to search to find them.

    This all just sounds a little bit sketch to me and not really healthy and readily available with nothing to hide as a ministry should. Any ministry, in my humble opinion, should be open, clear and direct about their beliefs, their existence (if it’s safe to mention for the participants), who they are supported by, what they believe and so forth. The whole underground, secretive, word of mouth, specialness of this bothers me.

    6. Deliverance happens in many ways, many different timings, and through various periods and walks with God. There aren’t generally any special prayers, but moreso just an acknowledgement that Satan is tempting the person in particular ways, helping them to see that, and asking God for strength to endure, for freedom and to be set free. As far as prayer, it’s about as simple as that, but it’s often constantly needed. The person usually will relapse, many MANY times. But the goal is to help them start right back where they are and continue to move forward. God does deliver. BUt sometimes it takes time and it’s not as rather magical and always instant as you mentioned the experiences above. But yes, there can be instantaneous healings and release from strongholds. It’s just generally not the rulel–especially depending on the type of stronghold. It might be easier for a person to quit smoking than it is for them to be set free from pornography and so forth.

    The thing is, it burdens a believer to (1) deal with their own sin, and yet (2) you pile the responsibility and need for them to be released from someone else’s sin that’s held as a curse over them. That, to me, is not the proper interpretation of Scripture and understanding of those verses in the OT about the sins visiting to the fourth generation, was it? Can’t remember. Anyways, later, God immediately says that a man is responsible for his own sin and not that of another’s.

    People tried to take me through those types of ministries before and it would be very much like a session at a fortune teller or a seance where the person would “sense” this in the spirit realm, and would have these visions about warring, or this grand parent or that grand parent and tell me I needed to renoucne those curses because they were causing the sin I was doing today.

    What our parents do affect us, and yes, we are affected spiritually. But what our ancestors did do not affect us as some spiritual curse God hangs over because of sin. Christ broke the curse through His work on the Cross and Resurrection. So as believers, we are no longer under the curse of the law or any curse, for that matter. But yet, we have weakness and tendencies for certain areas of sin in our lives based on many factors that we need to be set free from and that same work and resurrection allows for deliverance and freedom in these areas. As we have been set free, we have to walk it out, and that timeframe varies from person to person. S’probably why God is so longsuffering, huh?

    These are just my thoughts, though, Dear. I haven’t backed it up by citing Scripture here that would support what I think (because I’m lazy and it’s late). But if anyone else wanted to answer and provide Scripture, the door is open for your resilience and quietly put me to shame (my lazy butt :) )

  26. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Just emailed Kris,

    Welcome. Am praying for you now.

  27. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Nickname–

    That is really good to hear that they turned those guys in and they served time. It’s good to see that at least some of the SGM churches did that. Like for real.

    The repeat offender stuff is so true. The thing about the churches who aren’t responding in the way that yours did is this… If a person has an alcohol addiction, I will respect them and put the wine away when they come to my house or to a party. Or I might warn them that alcohol will be at that party. They may not need to come, or they may need support as in, yes, please hold me accountable and I give you permission to ask me how I am doing because yes, I might struggle.

    If a person has a food addiction, I’m probably not going to ask them to go to a buffet, or ask them to dine with me regularly. I will probably figure out different things for us to do together.

    If a person has a porn addiction, they probably should stay away from porn. I might need to go into 7-Eleven for them because they won’t make it past the cashier and all those half naked chicks on the mags before they can even get out the store and struggle with that issue (yeah, I always wanna bust 7-Eleven’s chops for that. It’s like they WANT to trap men. Jeez!)

    If a person has a liking for assaulting little kids… guess what? Same deal. Yep, you have had a problem and just because you are “clean” doesn’t mean you can go near your drug of choice. No kids for you, boo. Simple as that. Why are people being restored and allowed in situations where clearly their drug of choice is on display, i.e. kids ministries, etc… Yes, the person needs to be rehabilitated into regular society where children are present, but they sure as hell dont need to be watching anybody’s kids, teaching or leading or participating in childcare, youth group or babysitting.

    common-freaking-sense.

  28. Yellow is a Happy Color
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    BrokenHearted,

    You are asking some good questions. Think of an alcoholic who has reformed himeself. If he is wise, he will stay away from alcohol and know in his heart that he will always be an alcoholic. That is, he will always have that propensity and leaning in his heart towards alcohol. That will always be part of his identity, and he won’t have a problem sharing this with others.

    In the same way, perhaps a pedophile will alwaybs be a pedophile. Maybe he will be ‘in recovery’ and be offense-free for 20 years, but if he is wise, he will recognize that history/temptation in his heart and it is part of who he is. As a Christian, he will take his sin and the potential effect of it on others very seriously. He won’t minimize it!

    With this in mind, if a pedophile is truly living a life of integrity, it still doesn’t matter how much time has gone by. He could truly be clean in the eyes of God in terms of his eternal standing, but realistically there are consequences to his past actions that he is obligated to inform others of. He will be transparent. If he’s not humble and transparent about this, I would question his integrity and any ‘healing’ that he would claim.

    I would be livid if I knew my daughter was hanging out the perpetrator’s house(from Exclcer’s story), making music with my daughter, showcasing skills with his music/band, etc…

    That man needs to stay away from young girls, simpy by looking at his past history. Heck, wasn’t he playing with his band at the Halloween Candy night at CLC last October? There were kids swarming everywhere.

    If he really had integrity, why would he put himself in such a tempting situation, why would he even tempt fate? A recovering alcoholic would never go into a bar just to hangout, not if he’s really serious about his sin and his sinful tendencies.

    Long post, but if a pedophile is truly repentant, he would be truly transparent. He would welcome the accountability. The same applies to the perpetrator in SGMnot’s case. IMHO…

    It appears the perpetrator from ExClc’s story is not showing those signs of true repentance. I don’t know who the perpetrator is in SGMnot’s story, but I wish I did, so I could protect my kids.

  29. numo
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    @ NLR: excellent post!

    having been exposed to more of this kind of thinking (“strategic-level spiritual warfare,” belief in generational curses, etc.) I have to say that… it’s all VERY much like the practices that are condemned by its proponents. (In other words, by the adherents of other mainstream religions as well as Wiccans, pagans et. al. who are so roundly condemned by those who seem fixated on demons.)

    I do NOT see this in the NT. Yes, there are instances of deliverance ministry on the part of Jesus and of his disciples, but… they are mentioned and then things move on to a focus on how Jesus tells people to live and how to treat others

    It’s all too easy to ascribe real wrongs done by human beings who are not “controlled by spirits” to demonic influence… and somehow, the real issues (wrong choices, harming others) get pushed aside in the rush to focus on the sensational.

    Jesus didn’t do that. He spoke to peoples’ hearts.

    If he’s meant for us to do “strategic level spiritual warfare,” he’d have told us quite plainly. Ditto for confronting so-called “generational curses.”

    I don’t know of any passages in the Gospels where Jesus teaches this or commands people to do these specific things – what’s happened is that people have thoroughly proof-texted both the OT and NT and cobbled together a pretty sensational (even flashy) story about how demons run the show here on earth.

    What happened to the clear statements in the NT that Christ is victorious over Satan through his death and resurrection?

    yes, the world is messed up, and so are we, but blaming demons for human wrongs is much too close to comedian Flip Wilson’s “The devil made me do it!” sketches for comfort.

  30. Fried Fish
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    @BrokenHearted #213 & 215
    You’ve been interacting here for a while, haven’t you?
    One of the things I’ve discovered pretty quickly by observation here is you can say what you think, controversial or not, as long as you come by your opinion honestly. You just have to be willing to ignore the extremists from either side that just want to “slay the opposition” (thankfully they are rare), be willing to explain why you think what you do, and be open to being challenged and corrected (or cheered and hugged as the case may be but I don’t go much for that mushy stuff).
    I read your post earlier about repentant pastors, and if they truly are then that’s a wonderful thing – if they understand why it is they need to repent and what it is they need to repent of. If they are just crying and wailing because the house of cards they have built is beginning to fall down around them and their future is looking grim, that doesn’t cut it. If they see where their actions and words have done torturous damage to God’s precious children which most likely will not be completely repaired this side of heaven, and are crying and wailing because they fear a holy God who knows what they have done, and if they would and will do anything within their power to make things right, that’s a good start.
    As far as all SGM churches being bad, I can’t say. I’ve only been to one, and my internal jury is out to lunch on whether to ever go back for any reason. But I do believe the system and the practices that have guided this “family of churches” in their polity and practice over several decades are absolutely horrible and destructive. A “good” SGM church may exist, but it would only be good insofar as it managed to resist the influence of the control structure of the organization, which would mean they wouldn’t be a very good SGM church after all, would they? :wink:

  31. numo
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Edit: I meant to say that I’ve been exposed to much more of this kind of “spiritual warfare” than I’d like.

    All too often, people with very real mental and physical illnesses are discouraged from seeking medical attention and told that they can only be “healed” via deliverance ministry.

    To be honest, *I’ve* been told that about myself – and you want to know something? The people who told me that were wrong. Just off their rockers, pretty much, in asserting that demons were in control of my life, and/or that depression is sin which will disappear instantly upon repentance. (I’ve seen the same people claim that anorexia and bulimia are demonic, that there is a “spirit of nicotine” possessing those who smoke tobacco, etc. etc. etc.)

    The people making these claims were ordinary white collar middle-class folks from the D.C. area, not snake-handlers from remote parts of the Appalachians.

    they even attributed alarm clocks going off at the wrong time to Satanic attacks.

    Some of them are in the ministry – meaning that they’re educated enough to know better.

    But hey, it’s dramatic, and it keeps people:

    1. coming to their churches

    2. dependent on their “ministry,” because those who are fighting so-called curses and demonic oppression *always* need more prayer and more deliverance and…

    it’s a vicious circle, and – imo – it is downright harmful thinking, with devastating consequences for those who live it out. (Those who are hoodwinked, in other words.)

    There’s also a lot of tricks and fakery (fake “deliverance,” fake “healing”) to go along with the rest.

    I almost hate to say it, but it’s entertainment, and the people who practice it are flim-flam men/women at the very top of a particular type of con game.

  32. numo
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    forgot my point #3, which is simply this: not only do people keep going to the churches where these so-called deliverance/healing “ministries” are a big thing – they PAY MONEY to the “pastors” who run the show.

    And very often, the people paying the $$$ to the “pastors” have little or nothing to spare and are barely scraping by, let alone fully able to support their families.

    I call it like I see it: it’s blatant spiritual abuse.

  33. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Numo–

    Thanks. Yes, I remember doing strategic warfare on a missions trip when I was in a charismatic Pentecostal church. This was imtrodjced to us youngsters as a “class” when we went to pray for NY after 911. Basically, the same stuff. But these women told us that we all have to map out the city (I think as who was it–Tommy Tenney in his book God Chasers??) and find out the history like witchcraft, slavery, etc.. Because those were tge reasons for the present crimes. So they would spend all day in the archives and annals of their city researching these things and mapping it out. They’d then go stand in those places and have these prayer warrior groups that would fight with the demonic realm and cast out the spirits to cleanse the city.

    My thoughts: D**n! Seriously??!! We are NEVER going to be set free. Thus stuff is too deep and I dont have all this time to go down to city Hall. I’ve got school. My poor little deceived heart was heavy and defeated.

    Doctrines of demons, man. Doctrines of demons. Will have you working your butt off for nothing looking like an over spiritual religious nut like that lady in The Mist.

    Wow! Has God delivered and brought me a long way and set me free towards freedom in Christ! AWESOME!

  34. Breeezey
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    5years… FIRST OF ALL get my nic right. Its Breeezey.

    I’m just curious, why is it that the Jews NEVER, EVER and still don’t believe we receive a sin nature from Adam. I’m pretty sure as legalistic as the Pharasees were man getting his sin nature from Adam would have been in Judaism before the Christian Church. The Jews taught (and still do) that through Adam mankind received death but sin? No. When we sin we each become our own Adam. No one in the Bible EVER went to hell because of Adam’s sin. Children are NOT born D**ned. As a matter of fact I seem to remember Jesus bringing a child into His arms and telling everyone that we must become like children to see the kingdom. Jesus had nothing to say about a child being D**ned at birth. The Jews of His day never thought that. The Jews today don’t either. Neither does the Greek Orthodox Church, neither does the Coptic Church, neither does the church in the Far East that read the Bible with out Jerome’s mis-translation of Romans 5:12. The Roman Church and its children (Protestants) is the only stream of the christian church that teach this heresy. None of the church fathers before Augustine did. And neither do the other streams of the church, then or today.

    I’m sorry my friend but sin is a choice it is not transmitted through the blood stream. Come on my friend, please use at least a little bit of common sense. The same book of Romans you quote says: for the wages of sin is death. My neice died in a car accident a few years ago before she made her first sinful choice. She was 3. What “wages” did she earn? Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall NOT bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Each person earns their own specific wages.

    Children are born innocent not D**ned. The soul that sinneth shall die not the soul that is sin. I have no idea what type of unjust god would condemn a baby that died of SIDS to hell but it isn’t my Father. I can’t conceive of my loving Father or Jesus my elder brother being that unjust.

    I remember Walter Martin teaching how to teach the Trinity to Jehovah’s Witnesses. There is certain way to teach them God’s glorious master pattern of reality so that they understand it. But if you don’t teach them a certain way you generate a lot of heat but NO LIGHT. I’m not going to go back and forth with you because this is what we are doing, generating heat but no light.

  35. acme
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Exactly, Yellow!

  36. numo
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    oh NLR, I totally hear you on #233! Been around it, mostly tried to avoid doing it, even though I did a little research for some people who were into it at one time.

    We have people like George otis, jr. (ex-YWAM, currently Transformations and Seven Mountains) and C. Peter Wagner to “thank” for this crap.

    The worst – or one of the worst – things happened when some of Otis’ and Wagners’ partisans announced that Mother Teresa had been killed as a result of their prayers.

    I know that sounds outrageous, but that is exactly what they said/believed. Can’t make this stuff up! (Cue Flip Wilson…)

  37. Nickname
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Yellow is a happy color wrote: “Long post, but if a pedophile is truly repentant, he would be truly transparent. He would welcome the accountability.”

    I’m not an expert on pedophilia, but it’s my understanding that part of the difficulty in dealing with pedophiles is that they are rarely repentant. The perp I know the best, currently serving a twenty year sentence, still believes he did nothing wrong.

    To add to my post about the pastors who DID call the police: I don’t know if there have been any subsequent molestation cases in that church, and if there have been, I have no way of knowing how they were handled.

    Brokenhearted: Your thanks for posting my memories — is there a possibility you remember those things differently, or am I reading something into your comment that may not be there? I’m always willing to be corrected if I missed something!

  38. numo
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    @ NLR again: people from the church that booted me have spent (and are still spending) considerable time “prayerwalking” all over D.C., rebuking evil spirits that were supposedly invited to take control of the District – and the federal government – by the founding fathers who were initiated Freemasons.

    they’ve even gone to the locations of *all* the boundary stones for the original District line (some are in VA and MD) in order to say special prayers for the “binding of Satan” and “to break ‘curses.’”

    And they are on the literal down-low about all of these practices. When they’re spoken about during a Sunday service, the recorder is either turned off or else the speaker’s ties is thrown over their lapel mic so that only “insiders” get to hear about it and find out how to “confront the powers and principalities.”

    Grr… I get fighting mad whenever these things come up; it’s such a blatant perversion of Scripture! (And abuse of the church!!!)

  39. Fried Fish
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    @numo #238 – please don’t take this seriously as it’s late and I’m a little loopy, but I was just thinking, how can you see what Congress is doing lately and not think the demons are in contro? :D

  40. Blue Sky
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Keepinstep #211:

    Please feel no obligation to answer this for any reason. But would the pastor you’re referring to be located in the general MD area and have the letter “H” in his name? Again, no pressure to answer. But if it’s who I think you mean that helps me put what you said into better context. Thanks.

  41. numo
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    @ Fried fish (love your username!): heeheehee…!!!

  42. Blue Sky
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    SGMnot:

    I am so very sorry to hear what happened to your precious daughter. It sickens me greatly. I don’t see how any of us at CLC or in SGM can keep the blinders on any longer. The way the pastors handled your situation is a disgrace to the name of Jesus and the gospel they preach. They should have been caring foremost for your daughter and your family and not the reputation of the church or themselves. Like exCLCer and all the others who have experienced this particular pain in SGM churches, my prayers are with you.

  43. Blue Sky
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    NLR and Breeezey,

    I know this is none of my business but just wondering if you’ve had a chance to meet yet. :wink:

  44. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Numo–

    Yeah, I know what you mean. Those border stone things always got me. Maybe I should go down to the Jefferson Memorial tonite and do that! Let’s see if I get arrested! Ha! All that binding Satan. I just wanted to talk to the joker that kept letting him loose. All that hard praying and yelling we did to bind him made me tired. Seemed like every Wednesday, he’d gotten out again. I’d be like man, we gotta tie Satan down again? Can we use some stronger spiritual chains because these prayers exhaust me. We have to pray so long and scream so much and fall out. This would go on akk night. I get weak laughing about it now. I’m crying over here!

    Fried fish–

    That was funny.. Those demons just went on vacation. Alls quiet on Penn Ave tonite. Finally I can have Starbucks and Sweetgreen to myself without sharing it with all the Hill staffers.

  45. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    BLUE sky–

    I just screamed out loud!!! Lol!!! I’ll let him answer. Your timing…interesting.’ :wink:

  46. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Alright, now. :wink:

    We have our own little E-Harmony here. :D

  47. Nickname
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    NLR — your #233 reminded me of a “ministry night” at my former SGM. Some guru from California had come to town. We were told that everybody needed to show up for this meeting, because the leadership believed that this guy was “truly a modern-day apostle” (not an SGM apostle though — I guess he was in some apostate church??) He had the ability to see into people’s lives — we were all to expect a revelation, a special touch from God through this guy — and oh, we were hungry for signs, wonders, and words of knowledge.

    So the church members showed up, expectant, excited — and soon, were more than disappointed. The guy spent most of the time ministering to one woman, arguably the most needy person in the church at that time, and I sure don’t begrudge her any ministry — she needed it. Miraculous that he knew to single her out of the crowd? Or did they alert him to her plight ahead of time? Or maybe he just thought she was cute and might be single?

    One thing he said really riled me up. He said there was a Spirit of Rebellion that had been in control of the city since the civil war — and went on and on about that in a way that showed just how much he did not know about the Civil War or the city. And I wonder how much of an honorarium they gave this prophet??

  48. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    All that binding Satan. I just wanted to talk to the joker that kept letting him loose. All that hard praying and yelling we did to bind him made me tired. Seemed like every Wednesday, he’d gotten out again. I’d be like man, we gotta tie Satan down again? Can we use some stronger spiritual chains because these prayers exhaust me. We have to pray so long and scream so much and fall out. This would go on akk night.

    :clap
    That was hilarious! Okay all, I’m going to bed on that one.

  49. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    AKS–

    See y’all startin’ up in here tonite! Bahahaha! So funny you guys!

    Nickname–

    I used to go to these meetings at the late, what was her name? Katherine Kuhlman or was it tge lady she mentored. Anyways, they had this crazy camp out in Ashland, VA (I’m from VA Beach) where people did all these miracles, signs and wonders. People would have gold dust coming out of their and angek feathers floating in the air. Crazy stuff yo.

    Interestingly, the Lord always spoke to me in those moments and would tell me that wasn’t him. I never really believed it was and therefore, I got called skeptical and an unbeliever. I was a young little lassie at the time. That was a very difficult time for me. I looked up to the women who led my group and I loved them. They would only love on me when I would fall out or speak in tongues. They didn’t know I was faking it. I would have done anything to please them because I was young, impressionable and I was going through a lot and needed to be loved. My parents weren’t going to church so they had no idea what my sister and I had gotten into. My sisters faith has not been restored to this day because of these spiritual abuses and manipulation and false teachings.

  50. Blue Sky
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Well dear NLR, even if it’s just a blogpal friendship and nothing more, I’ve got you on my heart to pray for you in this area. God has His perfect plans for you and His timing. Hang in there and keep the faith, as they say!

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