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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. NLR
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Bluesky–

    Why you gotta be all thorough and errrthang? Readin all the comments from way back when like a good little blogger?? (you see I’m trying to detract right? Is it working?). Hahaha! You are so making me blush.

    I’m kidding though. But seriously, thanks for asking, caring and praying. I wish you knew how much that means to me. (stretches arms wide). This much… (stretches arms wider)… No, this much. (even wider). Far beyond that.. That’s how much! :wink:

  2. Stunned
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Up in 221 Nickname shared that at her SGM church the pastors DID call the authorities in 3 cases of sexual abuse in the 1990′s. Double thumbs up for that one, SGM pastors.

  3. NLR
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Good night y’all… I’m getting deliriously silly because I’m schleepy. :wink:

    SGMnot, Dan, Exclcer–praying for you!

  4. keepinstep
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:19 am

    @NLR #225 – Sometimes, as Freud said, a cigar is just a cigar. This pastor uses Holy Scripture and Holy Spirit. No “Ancient Paths” or generational curse-breaking. Jesus is simple, loving and powerful. Oh, and no money changes hands.

    I regret my use of “underground” held a negative association for you. What about as in “underground railroad”: people working quietly together, to set the captive free?

    I’m sorry my comments about asking Holy Spirit to help abused people led to much discussion of even more abuse. Perhaps we see so much dysfunctional Christianity, we don’t want to believe that some leaders operate from pure motives, actually know Jesus, and do authentic New Testament ministry?

  5. Ellie
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Well, y’all, I’ve been playing catchup all evening, wanted to make quite a few comments, but then saw others had already addressed my concerns….I will say this though:

    “better than I deserve”, in my opinion, is heresy. And to say it anywheres close to a discussion of child abuse is SO wrong.

    Also wanted to mention, please don’t forget that little boys as well as girls are abused.

    One more thing – concerning kids & good touch/bad touch – warn them to never ever never let anyone take their picture for money especially if it involves something like them taking their shirt off (to “show off” their muscles) or for them to look at pictures that make them feel “yucky”. Just a FYI.

    I hope I can keep up with you guys tomorrow…err…later today.

  6. numo
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:03 am

    @ NLR -

    hose 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!

    You’re killin’ me, sis! (And I *really* needed the laugh; lotsa stuff going on here…)

    You faked falling out? Do tell! ;)

  7. 20 years in sgm AKA keith G.
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Stunned: yes, cov fel… you must know who i mean,,, one of the worst stories yet that i know of to illustrate the true heart of sgm…

    No Longer Condemned: the term often used when someone asks how you are doing, “better than i deserve,” might seem humble and fairly innocent –

    I say, and scripture clearly bears this out – that this foolish common sgm phrase is straight from the pit of hell…

    You deserve, right now, as a believer, everything that jesus deserves… would you disagree?

    He has, by his own work, not yours, separated – FOREVER- from you, all of your sins as far as the east is from the west…

    It is because of his amazing grace!!!

    To say “better than i deserve” is such false humility B******t that it makes me want to puke!!

    This ONE PHRASE BASICALLY ILLUSTRATES EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH SGM !!!!!

    YOU ARE A SAINT!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT A SINNER!!!!! CJ HAS BEEN F-ING YOUR MIND FOR YEARS TO ROB YOU!!!!!!!

    why? who knows, he is either a moron, or the devil is involved — YES!! the devil actually does exist – but sgm decided that he is not real, a few years back, and replaced him w/ “INDWELLING SIN.” – and got everyone focused on themselves… and to do this they enlisted Kris Luungard and his abomination of a book “The Enemy Within”….

    Same as they replaced the power and work of the HOLY SPIRIT w/ our good works and our own efforts to redeem ourselves… our quiet time, and how many puritan quotes we can get under our belts… Remember WAAAAAY BACK WHEN that we used to actually read the bible??? How many years now have the screens in SGM been filled w/ quote after quote of old dead guys speaking old english? I liked the word of god just fine, thank you!

    They kicked the HS out years ago – never told any of us… happened quietly… we used to pray for the sick, for the baptism of fire, for tongues, for healing, for deliverance… for everything…. “Meet down by the piano immediately after the service… we want to pray for the sick..” – haven’t heard those, once weekly, words in years…..

    No one even noticed that slowly, all this stopped happening… No more holy spirit, and though i do not desire him, even no more devil… Jesus spoke to him, and about him, and his demons, often! But he no longer exists… Only our flesh… we battle against ourselves (and btw, there is some accuracy, of course, to this, but there still is evil, outside of us, that exists in the world – it is clear in scripture -hundreds if not thousands of times!!!)

    Anyway, the HOLY SPIRIT was no longer welcome or needed in our church…

    And instead of reeling in GOD”S GREAT GRACE, and celebrating in power, and saying I AM FREE INDEED and I AM A JOINT HEIR W/ JESUS HIMSELF…..

    we foolishly, sheepishly, say… while looking at our feet…. “oh, i guess… i am better than i deserve…” I mean,,,, Jesus is great and all… but i am still a filthy little sinner and all./.. because CJ tells me so…” “i mean, i try real hard… my pastors tell me what books to read, and when to get up in the morning… and how long to have quiet time…”

    “but i still feeel like a looser… ’cause that’s what i learn at my sgm church and all… I mean i am such a fowl sinner… Kris Luungard and John Owens tell me so,…”

    so… if you really care how i am doing, instead of being the beneficiary of the greatest work of good news ever, that sets men free, and free, they are, indeed, i must say……… Well… i guess i am better than i deserve…..”

    SHAME ON YOU SGM, CJ, HARVEY, and all who believe this crap…. YOU HAVE BEEN ROBBING US FOR YEARS OF OUR BIRTHRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I honestly wonder, sometimes, if you all are really even saved… DO YOU NOT READ YOUR BIBLES!!! and as i ask this – please try, as i can even top most of you “scholars,” to remember, that the OT is the “old covenant” and that it has been replaced by a much better one – the new covenant – the age of god’s amazing gift of grace!!!!!! The TRUE good news of the gospel… (never heard this good news at sgm, by the way… had to leave to finally learn this)

    I am not “better than i deserve”… i am doing freaking great!!! I DESERVE IT because God looks at me and sees his son’s white snowy cloak……. I DESERVE IT BECAUSE JESUS, MY SAVIOR, DESERVES IT !!!! It’s all about him, his work, not the books i read, not my quiet time, not how much i gave last month, not how often i attend care group, not how many times or who i confessed to, I AM A SAINT!!!!!!!!! NOT A SINNER!!!!! Jesus says so, and i believe him!!!!!!

    I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU PASTORS AT SGM,,,, who teach us… we are lowly sinners, miserable, wicked sinners,,,, we need to battle this wicked ness and keep our eyes on ourselves… Jesus MIGHT help us, but only if we read this and that, confess this and that, have this many hours of QT…. etc and etc,,,

    I for one and tired of being robbed by fools… No longer gonnna happen, sorry….

  8. numo
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:18 am

    @ keepinstep: i truly mean no offense, but please understand – my conversion happened during the charismatic renewal, and since then, i’ve been around a goodly number of what i now believe to be highly questionable deliverance/signs and wonders “ministries.”

    some of these people were quite sincere, but… I think they were sincerely wrong.

    At this point in my life, i’m a big believer in what i’ll call godly common sense. i think that’s one of Jesus’ strong suits, too. (not so coincidentally.)

    also… there are things i was around that were so absurd (and that I fell for) that I sometimes have to laugh, if only to keep from crying.

    If Jesus truly defeated sin, death and the devil at the cross (and, per Ephesians, “led captivity captive” when he ascended into heaven), I think we can have great confidence that curses (of the kind Scripture mentions) *were* broken.

    i also believe that over-spiritualizing human wrongs takes the focus right off the need for people to repent and change.

    hope that helps explain where i’m coming from. (as a former charismaniac ;))

  9. numo
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Also, I believe there’s a *lot* of overlap re. deliverance/demons and “word of faith” – and that is a destructive combination. (been there, done that…)

  10. katie
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:30 am

    20years –
    oh how I loathe those phrases. sgm-ese makes me gag. in fact, I remember years ago when those phrases started getting popular and everyone was using them, I was just confused because I had no idea what they were saying! But I never had the nerve to ask what they meant by “evidence of grace”.

    keepinstep – I think your comment to me was actually in reference to Condemned No More’s comment #55. :wink:

  11. For What It's Worth
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I’m a current wishy-washy SGMer, in total agreement over the horror of not properly defending the little ones.

    For what it’s worth, the church I attend had a parent complain of inappropriate touching of their child a few years ago. The police were notified, we had a family meeting or two so that everyone was aware, it was written up in the newspaper, and the individual had to leave the church. Can’t remember if they went to jail.

    I’m truly saddened this protocol was not followed in the other instances. It sounds like they may have been in the 80′s and 90′s, and the case of which I am speaking was in the last decade. Maybe over time, and from mistakes made, some newer standard protocols are in place for all churches to protect and defend God’s little ones. If they aren’t in place yet, I would imagine they soon will be since pastors read these blogs. I know that every single person working in the children’s ministry has to have a background check against criminal and child abuse registries. The gray areas in the past seem to be when the abuse happens outside of the church building. But praying very much that victims will be upheld and loved and cared for in the future. Praying even more that there will be **no** victims in the future at all!!!

  12. Irv
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:43 am

    AKA Keith G.

    Well said!!! :word

  13. Lucy
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Already Gone and katie (202)~

    Well, gosh, thanks.

    (Also, is there more than one katie now? Are those avatars the same? It’s me eyes, you see. They’s not so good.)

    Guy ~

    Yeah, well, “wieners” was the edited version …….. :wink:

  14. katie
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:15 am

    All the Katies are me :-) I’ve just been at a few different computers today so I guess that makes them change?

  15. Andy the picketer
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Well in this thread there are a total of three additional testimonies of sexual abuse of minors at Sovergn grace churches. I believe more and more that Sovergn Grace is promoting sexually abuse of children through their twisted teaching. This is probably not intentionally, but when you have a collection of novices behind the pulpits (that skipped three years of seminary & four years of bible college for a nine month unaccredited pastor’s “college”) you have to expect bizarre teachings. Josh can be real proud of what his extra-biblical courtship teaching has lead to.

    To all the current SGM attenders, members and pastors: You are enablers of child rapist. You cover up or FUND the cover up. You pay the salaries of the infidels that are telling a victims parents to not call the police. YOU ARE ALL SCUM. Pretend you are born again all day long, you are just as much a sex offender as the rapists in God’s eyes. YOU allow it to happen, you cover it up, you give money to these jerks calling themselves pastors. You are scum !

    There is no excuse once you know what is going on in SGM “churches” to continue to attend there or give tithes there. If you do you are supporting pedophilia & child rape. You are either a perverted rapist or a rapist enabler. Both are on the same level of filth so don’t pretend to be a christian, you aren’t. A christian can’t look the other way when children are being raped and continue to support the reprobates that are covering for the sex offenders/ rapists.

    Anyone what a tee-shirt that says: Sovergn Grace The CHILD RAPE CULT
    I’m taking orders.

  16. Stunned
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:16 am

    20 Years, hey buddy!

    Your post above was excellent. So well said. And yes, that family’s story was awful. I don’t know how a church can bring division in such “skillful” ways as SGM can.

  17. Phoenix
    August 5th, 2011 at 7:18 am

    For describing the standard SGM attitude “holier than thou” just didn’t cut it. Of course we’re holier than thou, you worm. So a survivor friend and I years ago coined the phrase, “Holier than Jesus.” God help them.

    One thing about the uber-holiness shtick is that it constantly moves the bar. Of course sensible parents limit and monitor children’s TV watching. So we don’t watch TV at all (we don’t have CABLE, gasp.) OK, so a lot of folks don’t watch TV but purchase Christian videos for their kids, like Veggie Tales. Well, we don’t let our children watch Veggie Tales (note the pursed mouth and pinched nostrils) as the tomatoes, garden peas, and asparagus have (gasp!) character flaws. Based on a true story.

    Of course godly young girls who don’t want their male friends to struggle (and who know that covering is sexier than exposing to a degree :) don’t wear shorts up to there or low cut tops. But WE don’t carry our purses with the strap between our breasts. WE give away clothes if we are complimented on them and WE are commended for it. WE don’t wear power suits (even if we are single and working) because they demonstrate a possible spirit of …feminism. Based on true stories.

    Of course sensible people cultivate healthy eating habits. Of course a godly mother looks after her families nutritional needs. But WE know that desserts are not of God. God clearly doesn’t approve of sugar. Yes, this was said to me. Really.

  18. DB
    August 5th, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Good rant, Keith, much needed.

    I’m not *quite* sure which family you speak of from Covenant Fullofit (which Stunned has mistakingly given me credit for coining. It was my *children* who graciously offered fullofit as a respectful substitute for my creation which was fullof(substitute the common variation of skat.) Anyway, two families actually come to mind but you make an extremely important point: THEY focus on our old sinful nature that is not how God sees us now. No, He has removed our sin from us as far as East is from the West and He has CHOSEN to FORGET our sin and see us through the work of Jesus on the cross.

    Think of what it cost God to allow for this seeming paradox and, for what reason…to control the flock, these schmucks guilt and manipulate us into our former state of unworthyness?

    How dare they.

    And to add insult to injury they have dismembered the Holy Spirit?

    Seriously?

    Of course, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity is the child who is obedient to His Father and “Mother,” so I guess He’s to be not seen and not heard (what poverty to have a church without the Holy Spirit.)

    But then again, look at the fruit, who gets to drive with the easy pass? CJ, Harvey the Liar, Perverts that tithe?

    And who is routinely beaten and belittled? Babies, small children, and single moms with no income.

    Something is bass akwards.

  19. Lee
    August 5th, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Andy, you seriously need to take a “chill pill”.

    It is VERY unfair to say SGM is “promoting sexual abuse of children through twisted teaching.”

    If you are going to make that charge, you need to back it up with some proof. (like audio or written teachings) I was at FCC for three years DURING the stories on this blog, and never ONCE did I hear anything remotely resembling a promotion of sexual abuse.

    I am not sure it is even fair to term what happened at FCC a “cover up of sexual abuse”. That would imply to a lot of people that a leader in the church was guilty of sexual abuse or that it happened on church grounds. It certainly was mishandled as far as responding to the victims and placing too much emphasis on helping the perp.

    Many of the SGM churches are large. Can you prove that the incidences of sexual abuse in children in these congregations are any more than the national norm? Has anyone here on this blog looked at the stats on that?

    Here’s food for thought–is it possible that dysfunctional families are drawn to SGM because they receive love, care, and desperately need teaching on the Sovereignty of God? That they need structure in their lives? Perhaps they aren’t hearing “God is in Control” “God has a plan” “and your trials are for a reason” in other churches.

    I’m not saying SGM is perfect. I know they have legalism issues. And church polity issues. And character flaws in the leaders.

    While I was at FCC way back in 97-2000, we had to sign our kids into classes, and sign them back out. No one else could take your kid. There were several adults in the room every time I dropped my kids off. When we were at care group, the kids would play in the basement and older teen girls would watch them with adults checking in on them often. It does bother me that the “perp” was allowed to be around kids. I am not sure he could have done anything with the “busyness” of that building and all the adults that were around, but still, he should have not been allowed near the children.

  20. CHS
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Hi Guys. For those who just can`t fit the L in TULIP with the Bibles “Whosoevers”- remember CONTEXT will solve the problems.
    The WHOSOEVER are doing certain things like ,believing,repenting, confessing Jesus as Lord. They(the Whosoever) are a certain group of people doing certain things like beleiving, repenting….thus proving they are ELECT.

  21. Jayson
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I really hope no one wears a shirt saying “Sovreign Grace The CHILD RAPE CULT”.
    It is important to know there are other churchs in the USA with the name “Sovreign Grace” that are in no way affiliated with SGM/CLC. We certainly would not to drag innocent brothers and sisters into the SGM mess. Interesting idea though.

    Now I would have no problem picketing CLC, with a sign that said “CLC- where child molestors are protected, and your children are not”
    Odds are SGM/CLC would get their lawyers involved, and call the police, but that may attract the local news which could tranish that shining SGM/CLC image on a hill.

  22. Phoenix
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Lee, are you paying attention? No one is claiming that SGM is openly advocating sexual abuse of children. NO ONE is claiming that. Of course not. If they were no one but a pervert would show up more than once. The leaders themselves are parents and NO ONE is claiming that they are monsters. (although I’d make the claim that some of them are headed that way) They know as well as you do that these incidents are embarrassing to the movement and that a history of child molestation will keep families away in droves if generally known. So stop arguing with something we aren’t saying.

    You do seem to be piggybacking off V..ce H…ers strongly stated assertion that no instance of child molestation has actually occurred in the building. That is the smallest part of the problem. If true. If you were in PDI/SGM for three years then you know that Sunday meetings and caregroup meetings are just a fraction of the time that member families spend together. And, by the way, a busy place is the BEST place for a predator to find and victimize a child. Predators know, by definition, where they can safely take a victim for privacy. You don’t think these guys think and plan this stuff? Your assertions make as much sense as KMack did when she said, with nose held high, that children whose family is full of sheltered pedophiles are safe because, “no pedophiles currently reside in the home.”

    If these seem adequate standards to you for the protection of YOUR children then YOUR children are in danger.

    BTW, I was at Fairfax during those years as well and there WAS a coverup going on. More than one in fact. At that time at least four concealed pedophiles were attending with the complicity of the pastors.

    To conclude, what we are claiming is that, for example, the insistence in parenting on immediate and unquestioning obedience and the secrecy about all things remotely sexual trains victims. The sexual repression of young men leads to abnormal acting out. The paternalistic teaching encourages young men to think that all females (and weaker males in some cases) are there to meet their “needs.” The constantly hammered-upon idea that we insiders can trust other insiders and only other insiders gives parents a false sense of security. And the post-offense coddling of pedophiles who know how to play the repentance game encourages copycatting and recidivism.

  23. Beth
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Phoenix #267 — LOVE the “holier than Jesus” phrase. Think I’ll adopt that.

    I’ve got one to share too. Our family has this one for the “better than I deserve:” Anytime my kids ask me how I am, I say, “Better than YOU deserve!”

    “That’s right,” is usually their reply. And we all know what we’re referencing.

    Our family didn’t come out of SGM with horror stories (God help you folks who live with the pain of abuse — physically and/or emotionally), but we did have to deal with and sort out some of the goofiness (was it Guy or Kris who used the term “goofy?”) we experienced somehow.

  24. Patti
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I think Brokenhearted said: “2 people always have 2 different perspectives.”

    I don’t see this idea as relevant to the cases at survivors here regarding the major facts of these cases. I see that it can apply however to the 2 different perspectives on what is the ‘proper” godly’ recourse for dealing with them.

  25. Patti
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:56 am

    CHS #270, No, that’s twisted logic, not scripture. But it sounds good to someone not willing to do their own Bible study.

  26. Patti
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Chs, o wait maybe I misunderstood. I you saying the elect became elect through those things or they were the elect before doing those things.

  27. happymom
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Brokenhearted,
    I think what pastors are saying NOW in light of the continued exposure of sex abuse in SGM churches is very different from what they would have said 5 or 10 years ago. Also, our former staff DID make their pubic confession two weeks ago in front of their church.
    There were so many gross misrepresentation and a few outright lies that it’s taking us some time to work through the transcription of that meeting. So their side clearly does NOT line up with ours. So, who are you going to believe? Also, why would we make this up? We are not trying to protect our job and our reputation in our former church is shot to hell anyway.(thanks to the spin the staff has circulated) Any logical individual would have to realize that victims have nothing to lose by telling the church and exposing this, what victim/parent in their right mind would embellish or make this stuff up? We go public to tell the side that no one knows.
    I don’t know which pastors you asked, but ours told us: they had a dilemma in that they could not care for us and the perp, that they were too busy to attend the trial, that they had their churches reputation to consider, and they ultimately were subpoenaed into court to testify for our child if the need should arise. If you were asking pastor VH, that’s a waste of time as no one in their family meeting painted a more inaccurate picture of the truth than he did.

    About the clergy privilege law, Virginia is one of the few states that still has that antiquated law on the books. Pastors are not required to report in the state.

  28. Abednigo
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I’ve stayed off for awhile but I have to make a comment in light of Andy the Picketer’s past posts and in particular his most recent post.

    This goes beyond “taking a chill pill”. What he’s saying is highly offensive and completely disgusting. I’m all for picketing. Go ahead. Please picket to your heart’s content. But to say this about every current SGM member is:

    Are some church leaders and members doing that? It seems apparent that if they aren’t now they did at some point. Either way is despicable. But to say that about ALL current SGM members, that’s just over the line. I’m stunned and very disappointed that those kinds of things are tolerated here.

  29. DB
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Lee said, “It is VERY unfair to say SGM is “promoting sexual abuse of children through twisted teaching.””

    It is very fair to say this with the notation that they are not *deliberately* promoting the abuse but the abuse is a direct result of their twisted draconian parenting advice.

    This is a bold statement and those reading this deserve some examples of twisted teaching that contributes to making children vulnerable to predation.

    First of all, the concept of first time obedience and submission to adults.

    Teachings that have been in vogue that turn natural shyness into a sinful behavior that needs to be beaten out of a toddler the result is little ones being to look a stranger in the eye and return a greeting. Any natural shyness and natural listening to red flags that a potential perp may be giving off is ignored.

    Parent-controlled feeding and sleeping schedules; a child is taugt to listen to outside forces instead of trusting their own bodies and minds.

    All these things create a disconnect between the child and his or her own self. The child doesn’t trust his hunger cues, his inner voice telling him that the tree branch is too high for him to climb, that the strange man is creepy and I’m better off hiding behind mom until he leaves.

    Also, perverts know this and will make themselves at home in an environment that has so many potential victims.

  30. Abednigo
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:33 am

    This was supposed to be in the block quotes above.

    “If you do you are supporting pedophilia & child rape. You are either a perverted rapist or a rapist enabler. Both are on the same level of filth so don’t pretend to be a christian, you aren’t.”

    Unacceptable for that kind of stuff to be said here.

  31. Abednigo
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Btw, a preview button would be very helpful. :-)

  32. NLR
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Keepinstep–

    I might be sweetly broken but I’m not easily broken. Your comments and questions DID NOT cause more abuse. It’s just not that easy. I don’t want us to start using that word to apply to things we don’t agree with or makes us upset. It is not healthy or rational. It would not be healthy or rational for me to accuse you or even feel that you caused more abuse by asking that. I’d need to toughen up a little and be more objective if that really were the case. Yes, a lot of us here are raw and sensitive understandably. I am not, thank God. But even if I were, I should be careful not to throw that word around.

    I appreciated your question and the opportunity to share based on what I thought you were asking. But yes, the words you used painted a completely different picture. Also, I can recognize, celebrate and acknowledge pastors who are authentic, know God and allow the Holy Spirit to work in others. That’s not the problem and is it not something I lack tge ability to recognize because of spiritual abuse. I’m not afraid of genuine moves of the Holy Spirit in the church or within the believer.

    But I’m not sure that you can see that what you painted was tge idea that this guy was doing some special secret underground move of the “spirit” with special gifting and techniques he has to help people become delivered. Even your most recent response still gives that impression. A cigar is just a cigar. And what you described sounded like a deliverance ministry. Looked and sounded like a “cigar” so I thought it was a “cigar”. You asked if anybody ever “used” someone like him. You then said he just “uses” Holy Spirit and Scripture. I’m sorry, but I don’t think you realize that you are still describing what sounds to be a deliverance ministry.

    My point is anybody who knows and respects Scripture and is a Christian, believes in prayer and understands brokeness and sin can get with you and pray with you regularly. There is no need to renounce spirits and all that other hoopla. What Numo said was correct. Christ dealt with people’s hearts and tge root causes as to why they sinned the way they do. He didn’t blame it on this type of spirit or that type of spirit and demand that the believer renounce it. We are to resist the devil (temptation) and e will flee from us. That resistance is a process and one is strengthened by God to do so through prayer and the simple workings of the Holy Spirit in us. It really is that simple and requires no special person or prayers.

    All of us are desperate for healing and deliverance at various times in our lives. We have what we need through prayer, Scripture, Christ and his holy spirit. Get with someone who understands brokeness and the heart, who displays patience and the love of Vhridt who can be committed to praying with you regularly, holding you accountable and willing to ask hard questions who is safe, non-judgmental, and a healthy grounded believer and you should be fine. If more is needed, please go see a licensed counselor.

    Your explanation now clears things up but I guess I’m still not understanding the need for an underground railroad type ministry if there are not victims who need protection. Either way, I wish to just drop tge subject because I don’t want you to feel like you did something wrong. I’m very glad you asked. :wink:

  33. old timer
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Andy the Picketer, I feel like you are coming across as very hostile and making accusations against folks who don’t or didn’t have any idea what is going on.

    You need to tone it down and not come across like such an unbalanced person who would go off on a rampage.

    Remember that Jesus never got angry at anyone besides the Pharisees and Saducees—never the congregation.

  34. Abednigo
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Phoenix #272: Lee #269 was responding to Andy the Picketer. He wasn’t making a general statement about this website or the people here. Andy has REPEATEDLY made those gross generalizations of every leader and current member of SGM. It’s offensive and disgusting. I’m surprised that kind of stuff is allowed here.

  35. Guy
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Yeah, I’ve got to step in here a minute. With Kris being out of town, coupled with the fact that I have a day job, our moderation hasn’t been up to snuff. I want everybody to realize that this site was created to be safe…for Survivors and Detractors alike. Keep the tone(s) respectful, even in disagreement. I realize we all have our passions, but some of the conversation has been steered to extremes.

    Don’t make me turn this blog around….y’hear?
    :cowboyup

  36. Phoenix
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Another anecdote re DB’s #279. As anyone is aware who knows much of the history of the Fairfax Church, it was long the home of “the best Moms in the world.” Note sarcasm. That was because the parenting gurus of the movement made their home at Fairfax (we know their names…) and used the congregation as their (mostly willing) guinea pigs. Treating bashfulness as sin was a definite emphasis. Here’s a story told by Mrs. Guru.

    She was holding her daughter (then no more than 4 or 5, much younger, I think.) while greeting folks in the lobby. Daughter, a sweet, shy, quiet girl, was directed to greet and instead buried her face in mother’s neck. Mother paused the conversation, asked the one being greeted to wait and took her to the bathroom for a spanking. Try again. Daughter buries her face in mother’s neck. Mother pauses the conversation, asks the one being greeted to wait and takes her to the bathroom for a spanking. Try again. Daughter buries her face in mother’s neck. Mother pauses the conversation, asks the one being greeted to wait and takes her to the bathroom for a spanking. Try again. Daughter buries her face in mother’s neck…After four or more (I don’t remember exactly) iterations, daughter greets. Applause. Mother commended. Listening mothers take notes. Daughter has learned that she is never allowed to be shy, scared, reticent around adults. Also that she can control the adults around her and bring conversations to a screeching halt anytime. Many a child is willing to take the spanking AND learn to dissemble in exchange for some autonomy and control.

  37. Guy
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Hi Abednigo -

    Yeah, i agree about the preview button. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to make some changes to the way comments appear. Right now, with the amount of traffic and the “busy-ness” of our database, adding too much would create too much overhead.

  38. keepinstep
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:57 am

    @numo #258 – I understand your background. I also have problems with many charismatic ministries, but not fundamental problems with all of them. Error and excess are nothing new – Paul dealt with error and silliness by providing corrective teaching and demonstrations of the Spirit’s power when necessary.

    The real problem is when people are so offended at Jesus’ Spirit because some of his followers are poorly taught and immature, that they give up completely on living in our birthright: heavenly authority wielded here on earth, lived out of righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit. That’s what SGM did in 1996-7, BTW.

    If there is “charismania,” then somewhere on earth there must also be people using divine power and authority closer to the NT experience. Since Holy Spirit works in human-beings-in-process instead of producing bulleted-list manuals for robots, there’s going to be error and mistakes made as people try to understand and obey him. God can handle that, and can handle our confusion over it. The question is, can we handle it, trust God, and move forward with him? (Because he is moving forward.)

    The answer, as we’re all discovering post-SGM, is to focus on God himself as revealed in Scripture and our Spirit-filled hearts, rather than on men and ministries. Perhaps I was saved from charismania idolatry because I was already idolizing my CLC pastors and everything they said.

    Once God re-connected with me deep inside, through experiences far more amazing than anything I’d known in the charismatic revival, I was empowered to re-read the Bible without the SGM overlay. I saw that the answer from the early Church is not less charismatic experience, but far MORE charismatic experience – anchored by NT revelation – than our generation has ever imagined.

    Spirit-filled ministries are emerging now, across the earth, that aren’t re-living the errors of the 1970s. Maybe they’re committing other errors! But as Matt posted earlier, the Spirit-empowered believers now are much more like the Chinese Church, than the Bakkers or the Hinns that offend(ed) so many.

    The challenge you and I face – as people who first experienced the Spirit’s power several decades ago – is to be like Paul: forget what lies behind and press forward toward the upward call of God in Christ. If we try to limit or define God by problematic experiences of immature/egotistic people, we’ll miss what God is trying to do now in the 21st Century. He wants to use us as vessels created for honorable purposes.

    I’m ignoring past and current silliness and moving forward, with some people who are focusing on Jesus. We’re attempting to use Spirit’s power to bless others, bring them into the Kingdom and comprehend their new nature and destiny in Christ.

    All this requires more godly power and grace-to-understand, than ever before. He’s pouring it out, as I focus on him. I’ve got my sails up to catch the wind of the Spirit, looking constantly at Scripture as my compass, and rejoicing in my Bridegroom. Will you come along, too?

  39. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:57 am

    FriedFish – #230 – I don’t know why, but when you talked about the pastors wailing and screaming because their deck of cards is falling instead of truly repentant hearts it made me think of being a kid and my parents being like “Are you crying because I am going to spank you or because you are sorry? are you sorry because you got in trouble or because what you did was wrong??” and I’d always be like…BOTH? ;) Not a serious comment it just made me laugh ’cause I got a vision of all of these pastors crying and covering their butts. :-p I DO agree with you thought that true repentance will be seen in the future not just because they SAY they are really really sorry (SIDENOTE: The pastors who have told me they are really really sorry I fully believed their genuineness and do not expect them to “prove” it, but my grievances were very minor)

    Nickname – #237 – I 100% was saying thank you in genuineness!! I am sorry if my word choice confused you, I am just trying REALLY hard right now to not discount one view point over another. I was GRATEFUL for you sharing your viewpoint even though you don’t think those men did good jobs in other areas.

    Bluesky – #243 – I have been asking myself that Q EVERY DAY! *laugh* ;)

    Patti – #274 – I did NOT mean to imply differing viewpoints like “A says her daughter was molested but pastors say she wasn’t” I mean more like… well, let’s take the “Noel Story” where the mom felt completely failed when “perp” was serving in CM on a sunday, and I don’t blame her and the pastors don’t blame her on iota – it WAS a big fail, but then the pastors viewpoint might be more of “We failed in this, he WAS serving that sunday, but the second we found out we pulled him out and told him and his mother that THIS CAN NOT HAPPEN, and he was never allowed down near the cm area again…” It does not lessen the pastors’ epic fail that the guy was near children that sunday, but it does change the story a little if the pastors were A: unaware and B: tried to fix it… (and I am not aware of other details, I cannot remember if in Noel’s Story he was allowed in there more than once.. I am just using that as an example where the mom of the victim might have a TOTALLY different translation of what she experienced than the pastors, and visa versa, they may not have been aware how much trauma this “one sunday” placed on the victim and her family…)

    HappyMom – #277 – I do NOT think you made anything up, and I am not AT ALL trying to discount your story. Your story made me cry more than any of the others because I had more connection to you and your family. I still tear up when I think of the pain and anguish your daughter goes through, and then when I think about the horrible pain of losing your sister in this way. I think of you and pray for you like every day. I am praying for miracles here. :) I DO think that pastors are handling things differently now than in the past, and I am so sorry that so many of you had to be hurt under the “old regime”.

  40. sgmnot
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    While I appreciate the anger and outrage of folks who want the pastor involved and the perps outted, I want to stress that the main point of us coming forward was to show the PATTERN of PASTORAL MISHANDLING of sex abuse cases during the history of SGM, and I believe most likely continues to be so.

    Are there more pedophiles in SGM vs. other denominations/ministries? It appears that many people commenting on here believe so – but is that perception because everywhere this type of abuse is so hushed up in every Christian ministry? Are there more pedophiles in SGM vs. the population-at-large? I can’t really say, however if you look at the Sex Offender Registry for your area, the numbers of CONVICTED sex offenders is staggering!

    It appears to me that the reason our stories (exCLCer, Noel, Wallace, 80sSGM etc.) have been so compelling is because of the pastoral abuses that followed the sexual abuse! These serious errors in judgment by the very men we had trusted to lead us both spiritually and morally in the midst of our crises compounded the grief and hurt of facing sexual abuse in our families. What should change? I know a few posters here want the name of the pastor involved in our case. I want to take your eyes off of one man and focus on the fact that pastoral mishandling of sex abuse is a SYSTEMIC problem throughout SGM.

    Why? I would venture to agree with other commenters, that one of the underlying issues is the over-emphasis on ecclesiastical authoritarianism in matters that are not their jurisdiction. Someone posting said it well – sin is sin, but when sin becomes crime, then the crime needs to handled by the legal system designed to punish the crime. [paraphrasing] It appears in each of the posted cases of sex abuse that SGM leadership did not agree with this statement. They believed as an ecclesiastical body of pastors, that they had supremacy over all moral actions of church members, even when it involved dealing with a crime and the governing authorities. And they abused or tried to abuse this power by manipulation of how and when the victims reported the crime, and how and when the perps were arrested.

    Secondary issues that I believe are underlying causes of why they made the advocating of the perpetrators within the legal process MORE of their priority than the welfare of the victim and their families, is the over-emphasis of male supremacy in the family and in society. And as males themselves, they were willing to consider male sexual crimes MORE LIGHTLY than should be. This trend continues through to today, because they clearly show an ignorance of the recidivism of pedophiles. The fact that a convicted sex offender from exCLCer’s case is still involved and apparently around children in CLC, even today, is very disturbing. You in SGM, specifically in CLC, need to barrage your pastors and GET THAT CHANGED! This is a very troubling and foolish decision by CLC to allow him to remain in such access to young girls unchecked!

    What about outing all the perps? Should a 14 year old wear a “Scarlet P” the rest of his life? Although, I was deeply hurt and offended by the boy’s crime to my daughter, and to this day consider it the worst crises that we have ever walked through as a family, I don’t want to brand him for life. I believe in the wisdom of our judicial system and I think that is why they start the Sex Offender Registry at age 18.

    Sorry for the length of this post. :bang

  41. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Phoenix – #286 – OMG!! I had this happen to me… TWICE!! As the person saying hello not the kid getting spanked. And it made me TERRIFIED to say hi to kids because A: I didn’t want to be the reason these poor kids were getting spanked over and over and over… and B: I didn’t want to wait around that long. ;) In the first case it was a mom with a son and she spanked him at LEAST 5 times (in a bathroom with no door, so I had to listen to the “blow by blow” :p) until he got a “Hiiiiiiiii” :( :( :( and in the second after 2x of spanking the kid the mom said “I am sorry she won’t say hello we are working on it”, so at least she had the common sense to STOP, even if she didn’t have the sense to not make it an issue in the first place.

    And also, I vividly remember a Celebration on year where the Sunday before the pastors SAID “We are the “parenting church” and everyone will be looking at the children and parents from this church to see how to raise godly children. Keep vigilant watch on your children and spank even faster for things than you would at home. We have to represent FCC well.” *gag* even as an 11 or 12 year old I found that disgusting. :p

  42. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:07 am

    SgmNot- #290 – Thank you SO much for that well written post. I agreed with and applaud every word. Well, in MY experience “guy crimes” have not been dealt with lighter, but I TOTALLY have seen it in other’s experiences and I appreciate your post. *HUG HUG HUG*

  43. Phoenix
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    No, Abednigo, Lee was not just responding to Andy. He was setting up a “straw man” to argue against, i.e. that claims are being made on this blog that SGM deliberately and specifically promotes child sexual abuse. And, indirectly that claims are being made that instances of abuse have taken place in the building, during church meetings, or by the staff. And he was making assertions based on being at Fairfax during a specific period. And demonstrating a deep and wide ignorance of how pedophiles actually operate.

    I was responding that his “straw men” don’t exist, that his assumptions are incorrect, and that his ignorance is dangerous. I was also at Fairfax during that period and I KNOW that coverups were in effect, preventing parent from knowledgeably protecting their own children. (See my post.)

    And in response to his demand for specific teachings, I gave him some.

    I agree that Andy gets a little too riled up at times and can paint with a broad brush. This blog is self-correcting, unlike SGM. But Lee doesn’t know what he’s talking about no matter who he was responding to.

  44. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Man Phoenix, sometimes I wish I could sit down at coffee with you – it makes me scared for my childhood/teen years that there were these guys in MY church and I never knew. I am just grateful that my parents never had any male babysitters, I was scared of teenage boys even when I WAS a teen :p, and that nothing ever happened to me or my sibs there. :( You are better at hiding your identity than I am – I have wracked my brain and every woman I can think of who was single with a daughter had 2 daughters. :-p

  45. Abednigo
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Phoenix #293: You may be right, but I’ll let Lee answer for himself. As I said I haven’t been on in awhile so I haven’t been reading many posts and I’ve probably missed some background in dialogue with him and others. I don’t think a “straw man” like that exists here either, but I’ll let him clear that up. If he does think that, I can kindly agree to disagree. :-)

  46. happymom
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Phoenix,
    I have a similar experience with a former pastors wife addressing my 3 years old sin when he hid behind my legs instead of cheerfully greeting said pastors wife “Good morning Mrs. So and SO. Remember this one? “eyes please, eyes please!!” Meaning, look me straight in the eye, little 2-3 year old!

    Brokenhearted,
    Yes, but what is so sad is that all these abuse stories happened primarily in the same two churches, Fairfax and CLC, and these pastors continually ignored the needs of the victims, for well over two decades. M. Mullery had ten years to improve this area in between Noel’s story and our second one, not only did they not improve, they got worse. It took our son calling CJ to get any response from them a year and a half later. These blogs have called them out and they have no choice but to weep and cry over what they did wrong. Do you think anything would have changed if survivors had not gone public and these blogs did not exist?

    I realize you are very excited with your new-found reconciliation with your former pastors, and if there is genuine lasting fruit from their repentance, then I am happy for you, please be sensitive to those who are still hearing our stories spun in an attempt to
    discredit us.

  47. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:28 am

    happymom (Just realized I have been typing it wrong everytime – SORRY!) – #296 – I really am trying to be sensitive. My last desire is to hurt anyone who is already hurting – I really am trying to be careful in what I say and how I say things. and like I said I REALLY AM praying for y’all, and God knows The Truth, God isn’t bogged down by differing details, He loves you, and your “baby”, and He has not forgotten you. I am sorry:(

  48. Condemned No More
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:28 am

    To AKA Keith G…Your bitterness and anger, not to mention language, tells us all a lot about your spiritual experience. “By their fruit you will know them.” I’m not judging, but I’ve not read on any site an SGM member reacting to criticism with the same anger and language as you have…in fact, I’ve seen real humility and grace from most of our folks. I’m sorry if I seem judging and I don’t mean to be but it seems that leaving SGM has not reduced your anger or given you much peace in that regard at least. Our care group prays for those on this blog like you that somehow you can find peace.

  49. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Oh yeah, related to the “look in my eyes” thing OH MY GOSH!!! That was TORTURE!! ’cause no matter how hard you, as a kid, tried to look in their eyes some parents were EXTREME “Not my nose, my EYES, you’re looking at my forehead, you’re looking at my ear, LOOK AT MY EYES!” I mean I am all for getting a kids attention and making them look at you when you are giving directions, but that was craziness. :)

  50. Abednigo
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Can I just add that I don’t think a toddler is capable of the type of sin these people claimed to try and pin on them or correct them of. Their brains aren’t capable of that at their age. Just look at how they handle disappointment. The slightest thing sets them off. They can’t process it like an adult (heck, some adults can’t process disappointment like adults :wink: ). How can we expect them to process things like an adult at that age?! It’s insane.

    And to be honest I think it’s dangerous to teach a toddler that they can’t say no to an adult. If he/she doesn’t want to say hi to someone they barely know, or don’t know, and you punish them for not doing it, what kind of message is that sending the child? That anything an adult wants them to do they have to do? No way. I want my kid to know that he is allowed to say no if he doesn’t want to do something (within reason of course), particularly if it doesn’t come from Mom and Dad. And if anyone tries to do that to my kid, they’ll get a kind but firm correction from me.

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