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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. exCLCer
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    A little legal information for whichever poster asked back in the early part of the thread about mandatory reporting inMaryland:

    MARYLAND Statute Family
Code §§
5‐701 et seq. [2003]
    What is reportable abuse: sexual abuse of a child by anyone; or physical or mental abuse of a child “by any parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child, or by any family household or member.”
    Mandatory Reporters: ANY PERSON “if the suspected abuse or neglect is alleged to have occurred outside of this state, a person would be required to report suspected abuse or neglect under the provisions of section 5-704 or 5-705 shall report the suspected abuse or neglect to any [department of social services for a county in this state]

    Clergy Privilege: “A minister, clergyman, or priest of an established church or denomination is not required to provide notice [of child abuse] if the notice would disclose matter in relation to any communication described in [the clergy-penitent privilege] and: (i) the communication was made to the minister, clergyman, or priest in a professional character in the course of discipline enjoyed by the church to which the minister, clergyman, or priest belongs; and (ii) the minister, clergyman, or priest is bound to maintain the confidentiality of that communication under canon law, church doctrine, or practice” [705]
    This privilege, however, is not absolute. While clergy-penitent privilege is frequently recognized within the reporting laws, it is typically interpreted narrowly in the child abuse or neglect context. The circumstances under which it is allowed vary from State to State, and in some States it is denied altogether. For example, among the States that list clergy as mandated reporters, New Hampshire and West Virginia deny the clergypenitent privilege in cases of child abuse or neglect. Four of the States that enumerate “any person” as a mandated reporter (North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Texas) also deny clergy-penitent privilege in child abuse cases. In States where neither clergy nor “any person” are enumerated as mandated reporters, it is less clear whether clergy are included as mandated reporters within other broad categories.

    The clergy privilege is often interpreted in Maryland as applying specifically to a confession directly from the suspected abuser, not the information offered by the victim or third party such as the wife of an abuser or parent of a victim, with the exception of a church law or doctrine showing it to be privileged information (for example, offered during a confessional session, presumed to be confidential, as documented in the laws of the catholic church).
    Maryland statute on clergy privilege is broad and open to various interpretations, depending highly on what constitutes the “law, doctrine, or practice” of any given church, as well as the professional capacity of the clergy, minister, or priest. While the Catholic Church has particular longstanding documented church laws regarding “the sacrament of the confessional”, other denominations or churches often do not have written policy regarding what constitutes their doctrine of professional capacity or duty to confidentiality under “clergy privilege” during various communications with their parishioners.

    The Maryland General Assembly has introduced bills over several years which would require specifically mandated reporting of clergy, but with an aggressive well funded lobbying campaign in a state (MD) with a large Catholic population, legislative support for such bills quickly eroded. For example, a 2003 bill co-sponsored by Del. Susan C. Lee (D-Montgomery), in HER own words, was introduced to legislation “because I wanted to protect children from abuse.” But after lobbying efforts from (among others) the Maryland Catholic Conference, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Baltimore Archdiocese, Del. Lee was quoted later as saying “I don’t want to support anything that breaks the confidential communication of the confessional.” Talk about doing a 180! As usual, Money talks, bullsh*# walks.

    Virginia resident Mark Serrano, a board member of the national advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood up for this same bill at the time saying what I think of as unequivocally clear common sense; he said “I think in our society there should be no special place where sex offenders can hide from the law”. That particular bill passes the Senate, but was unfortunately killed in the House.

  2. sgmnot
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    BrokenH #292 :D Thanks for the hugs.

    Also, anyone, how many known mishandled sex abuse cases are there posted about on this blog?

    And have any of them received a true apology from the pastors involved?

  3. Phoenix
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    BrokenHearted, I do have two daughters. And I’m not actually hiding my identity as I went public on the blog about 10 days ago. I just haven’t found it necessary to do so again. And I have no idea who you are, probably because I haven’t read closely enough. But I wouldn’t mind having coffee with you at all:)

    And I do want to address the oft-expressed compassion for the victims. I’m sure, sure, sure, that most who express that are very sincere, maybe even including the pastors. Compassion needs hands and feet, however. And so does repentance. Saying NOW that the victims deserve compassion is good but insufficient. It has the potential to be empty. The subtext at times is, “If I could go back and change things I would.” Well, who hasn’t thought that… But in God’s sovereign plan nobody gets a do-over, at least not before Jesus returns. Nobody. But we ALL get a try-again. My point is that the way to express compassion and repentance is not just to weep and wring hands. It is to change things NOW. Insist on truth NOW. Refuse to be part of the problem NOW. Make difficult decisions that cost you something NOW.

    When “Remember Pearl Harbor” and “Remember the Alamo” were rallying cries it didn’t mean that anybody could go back and prevent either horror. It meant “Let’s fight NOW– remembering.” It meant, “Never again!!”

  4. keepinstep
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:44 am

    @NLR #282 – I appreciate what you’re trying to say. I also agree with your description of how the maturation and deliverance process *should* work. It does work this way for many people. It has worked that way for me.

    You wrote:

    My point is anybody who knows and respects Scripture and is a Christian, believes in prayer and understands brokenness 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 the 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 brokenness and the heart, who displays patience and the love of Christ 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.

    I wish life could be that neat-and-tidy for everyone. Unfortunately, some people get to crisis points, with no one to turn to – no one they can trust to take seriously the evil voices in their heads urging them to blaspheme Christ, hurt themselves or others. Their pastors and other friends, the books and regular Bible studies haven’t helped. They can’t even pray, and the problem is getting worse. They can’t live normal life any longer.

    These are the people who find their way to this pastor. Many walk out of his office for the last time, radically changed for the better. This is not a carnival sideshow with screaming, shouting or stupidity. The Holy Spirit is in control, and people are treated with love and respect. Can you accept that this description is possible and even authentic?

    (I’m not discounting therapy and medication. This pastor is totally aware of these things – he does not see a demon behind every bush. He also knows that many people require not only deliverance, but to afterward “close the doors” by doing the things you described: prayer, Bible study, discipleship.)

    We can debate whether or not evil spirits should be identified, et cetera et cetera. Each encounter with fallen angels is different; in most cases no such identification occurs or is even necessary.

    The reality is that Jesus and his disciples did “deliverance ministry” in their time, and Jesus’ followers are doing it today – all around the world. It’s being done because, in some cases, it’s absolutely necessary to save someone’s sanity or life. That there is error and excess doesn’t invalidate the reality and necessity of this ministry. I can’t deny reality just because you don’t think it’s necessary, and/or know of ministries that abuse people while calling it “deliverance ministry.”

    That’s all I’m going to say.

  5. DB
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:02 am

    OK, just in case no one else noticed, these people beat a three year old for being shy and not looking a stranger in the eye (normal self-preservation behaiors on the part of the toddler) but they give CJ a pass (for potential felonies) and molesters a pass because they put on a good show with the crying and contriteness.

    @Condemned No More, let me know when you ripen into, “Condemning No More,” because your ‘tude and use of the word, “Bitter,” is like a Koolaid mustache on your metaphoric upper lip.

  6. exCLCer
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Ironic someone would bring up the whole spanking even very young kids for their shyness and the whole abuse of “christian parenting” as taught by this church. Reminds me….

    There was a 15 year old girl from Fairfax, who had been raped by her school bus driver at 14 and gotten pregnant. She and her baby were taken in by a church family in Fairfax, until the husband began to come into her room and have sex with her. She was 15. When it was discovered she and her baby were then sent to CLC in MD(so as to not be a further temptation to that married man she seduced in VA). She moved in with a married couple in CLC and within short time, the husband in that house sexually approached her as well. She told someone about his advances and was then moved to another married couple’s house (that lived next to my family at the time). This young mother would come over and confide in my mother about how the couple she lived with was supposed to be teaching her how to parent her baby in the “christian way” but this included ridiculous things like forbidding her to nurse her baby during the night, and expecting her to spank her 9 month old for not laying down and going to sleep right away. They even accused her of getting sexual gratification from nursing her baby. The church eventually decided she had a “sexual demon” attached to her and was not safe to be around men, so she was moved to a house for single women. They mercilessly criticized her there for how she was raising her baby, and the church stepped in, saying she needed a sabbatical from parenting, and had an infertile couple in the church take her baby for a while. She was pressured to give her baby up for adoption to this infertile couple, but she refused. She eventually left the church with her baby. [***Disclaimer – this story is based on the best of my recollection and my mothers, so I do not offer it as a firsthand actual accounting of what may or may not have happened to her. I would love to find this woman and get her full story as she went through it. I do remember when she would come over to our house. I do remember she was very beautiful, and very young. I do remember her child. And I do know who she lived with during those times and that she moved frequently, and have no reason to doubt her account of what happened to her as told to my mother by her, or any reason to doubt my mother’s recollection of these events. I even remember my mother lamenting back then over wishing how she could do more to help this young lady and spending hours with her at the kitchen table talking and crying while we kids played nearby.] Ironically, when I was pregnant as a teenager and homeless, I actually spent a few months myself living with this very same infertile couple where her baby had been sent, and was very often reminded while there, that I was too young to raise a baby and maybe there was “some nice couple who couldn’t have kids” who could adopt my soon to be born child. (hmm, I wonder who?). By the way, they were a very kind couple and I will always have a fond place in my heart for them, regardless of their motives for opening their home to me for those few months. But I am so glad I didn’t give my baby over to anyone who would have raised him in this church.
    Remembering things like her story often make me wonder just how many there are out there that we may never hear about. The few stories on this blog are likely just the tip of the iceberg. Breaks my heart to think about it.

  7. old timer
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I have to admit that my grown children still laugh about “look into my eyes” and I cringe inwardly whenever I remember how I raised them. I am glad that I have changed my perspective about child rearing and am much more lenient with the grandchildren and caution my daughters to be also.

    We need to show our love to our children and express that cheerful joyous outlook of acceptance to them which can only draw them into loving us back.

    Exclcer, you did a great job with your son and you should be very proud of yourself!

    I never speak to any of the small children from sgm out in public if I can help it because I don’t want to get them into trouble.

  8. Stunned
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Phoenix, bravo to post 272!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Lucy
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Ah, Condemned No More (298)~

    I read Keith’s comment as passionate, not angry, per se.

    You said:

    //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 ….//

    How is that not judging? You judged him for bitterness, anger, bad language (I guess), and because of those things, passed judgment on what his “spiritual experience” must be like. If your judgments are even fair, doesn’t this simply make Keith human? Rather like you?

    If a person can’t muster up some anger about the things shared recently on this blog, well, that person needs to check his/her pulse. For someone whose handle is “Condemned No More,” I find it ironic that you’re more than willing to condemn and judge someone else based on a passionate outburst that you *personally* find distasteful.

    What’s more important? The use of the word “crap” or helpless children being molested and perps being harbored and cared for? The use of the word “B******t” or the coverups of repeated sexual crimes?

    I think you and I, CNM, get angry over very different things.

    I, for one, am very angry that the 9/11 hijackers visited strip clubs. (Can I get an amen? :spin)

    And how nice that you pray for those of us on the blogs to find peace. How do you know we haven’t? How do you know these blogs and the sharing of our experiences isn’t a venue through which we find peace? Lots of assumptions there with a pinch of condescension mixed in.

    You do wield your godly knife so sweetly, CNM.

    How ’bout I pray for you to quit straining at gnats and see the bigger picture here?

  10. NLR
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Keep instep–

    Please don’t take my plea for sensibility to be a rejection of the working of the spirit, even charasmatically. And please don’t take it as my view that healing has to be neat and packaged. I have been there and I’ve been in all those messy and not so neat situations you have described. I am no stranger nor am I speaking from lack of experience. But I realize we are different. I did not also say that deliverance wasn’t necessary either. Just so we are clear. Thank you though for being kind.

  11. Leo
    August 5th, 2011 at 11:45 am

    exCLCer – I have seen sgm/pdi do that many times, find a single teen/woman who is pregnant and try to convince them they are not ready to be a mom and give the baby up to another couple in sgm. I have two kids and the parenting doctrine, um, excuse me, parenting “suggestions” (lead by example by those in charge) are just SICK – spank your infant for not going to sleep, withhold nourishment from them – have to add in some more I have seen now – spank the infant for not laying still when you change their diaper, breast feed or you are in sin, breastfeed until they are 4 or 5.

    Then when they get older, that whole “look into a stranger’s eyes and say hi cheerfully and immediately or face welts on your a$$” is just CRAZY – these are KIDS, Is it helpful for them to learn manners? yes, but not by beating the crap out of them!!!! The sgm teaching, woops, I mean “suggestions” to beat their kids butts to a bloody pulp is down right child abuse. They even “suggest” to the mothers which doctors to go to so they won’t report bruises!!!!!

    And “sexual gratification” from nursing? seriously? “sexual demon”? Really? A girl that was raped has a “sexual demon”? Come on now sgm – now you are getting into the bazaar and odd. They really need to get a better understanding of The Bible, what it says and what it means. They just are not getting it!

  12. Pampy
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Just came back from a trip to read yet another heartbreaking story here. Haven’t had the time to read through the 300+ comments, but wanted to say a few quick things.

    The fact that SGM/CLC covers for the sexual predators/abusers and their families as well as the reputation SGM entity and NOT the victim is a CLEAR indication of a sick, twisted system. It is also clear evidence that some of the people in charge over there have been guilty of similar offenses….trust me on that one. I can say this with the greatest degree of certainty. This is the typical M.O. of perpetrators…to cover for other perpetrators and minimize or, oftentimes, ignore and dismiss the issues that the victims face.

    SGM is also a very male-oriented, male supremacy type institution. As such, when a male is the predator, he is excused. When a female is the victim, she is blamed and further shamed.

    They are so messed up (I really wanted to use another phrase here, but didn’t want to get edited out)…. They are sick…. I’ve known this for decades, and I pray that the truth continues to come out.

    I was on holiday at the beach this week and noticed a guy next to me who was eyeballing every bikini-clad woman in sight with a look that just wasn’t right. He was sizing me up as well, even though I was wearing street clothes at the time. I wondered what he had been taught about women; how they deserve respect, etc. Then, oddly enough, even though I’ve been out of the SGM structure (Gathering of Believers) for 30+ years, I immediately thought of them and their twisted beliefs and total disrespect and disregard for the female population. It is so nauseating and heartbreaking. What’s even worse is that all this disgusting behavior is done in the name of God.

  13. happymom
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Brokenhearted,
    Please know you have not hurt or offended me in any way. And I really do appreciate your prayers for my family.

  14. Stunned
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Dear Brokenhearted said, ” I am just grateful that my parents never had any male babysitters.”

    And a few of us have mentioned not having teenage boys babysitting your children, and that is perfectly fine if that is your conviction.

    FEAR ALERT: What I am about to say may deposit so much fear in you, that you never leave your house again. This is not my goal. If you struggle with this, then you may want to skip this post. Females sexually abuse others, too. I know that often my joking around can come across like I am a man hater, but I think it’s important to not paint teenaged boys with too broad of a stroke and ignore that females are capable as well.

    Like I said, I don’t want this to keep you from ever having babysitters outside of family, because even family members can do this.

    And if I haven’t already ruined you & convinced you to never leave your child at home while you go out again (please don’t let that happen), the cases of sexual abuse that I am most familiar with, there were other adults at home when the sexual abuse took place. In two cases, others were in the actual room but didn’t even know what was going on. (I won’t go into detail but it’s legit and it’s gross.)

    So I am trying to say that even if we allow ourselves to minimize all human contact and live in a bubble, bad stuff can still get in.

    So do be wise.

    Don’t think that there is only on demographic that commits these atrocities.

    But don’t live in fear. If I thought living in fear could somehow help us, I’d be a big fan of fear. I’d set up “I Love Fear” booths and hand out buttons. I’d vote for fear for president.

    But it doesn’t. So please just know as much as you can, without letting fear be your constant companion. (And if he is, tell him I said to get lost. He’s been my frenemy for way too long and I’m trying to shake him myself.)

  15. exCLCer
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Oldtimer – thanks. Being a mother,and a good mother, was one of the first things I ever had real control over in my life, and I’m glad to say one of the greatest achievements of my life. Im pretty proud of what a great young man he turned out to be (and not even having to ever beat character into him!!! Imagine that! :roll: )

    Leo – yeah its sad – the whole “give your baby up to a more christian couple” kind of thing. At least we’ve come further in society than in the Inquisitions when children were just outright abducted from their families, forcibly baptized, then kept since they taught that once baptized, no christian child could be raised by parents of any other religion.

  16. Stunned
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Condemned No More, for someone that is no longer condemned, you sure are full of condemnation for other people. (Which has me convinced you’re not free from condemnation for yourself yet, either.) I have ignored your insults to the people on this blog, but you just went too far with what you said to Keith up in 298.

    I suspect you are full of shame yourself. You don’t have to be. But as long as you are judging others, you will be judging yourself. God promises you freedom from looking at others’ sins as well as freedom from dwelling on your own.

    You will know freedom once your eyes are focused on Him and not sin.

  17. Stunned
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Phoenix, another standing ovation for #303!

  18. Matt
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    “OK, just in case no one else noticed, these people beat a three year old for being shy and not looking a stranger in the eye (normal self-preservation behaiors on the part of the toddler) but they give CJ a pass (for potential felonies) and molesters a pass because they put on a good show with the crying and contriteness.

    @Condemned No More, let me know when you ripen into, “Condemning No More,” because your ‘tude and use of the word, “Bitter,” is like a Koolaid mustache on your metaphoric upper lip.

    DB, You are my kind of woman. In the mold of Catherine Bushnell, Catherine Booth and Margaret Fell. The Body needs more of your kind that tells it like it is and does not try to have an logical convo with foolishness which is impossible.

  19. Stunned
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Lucy, here’s your amen. When I heard that the 9/11 highjackers visited strip clubs, I thought it fit right in with their MO- not having any respect for human life or dignity.

  20. sgmnot
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Phoenix #303 — “Compassion needs hands and feet, however. And so does repentance…..My point is that the way to express compassion and repentance is not just to weep and wring hands. It is to change things NOW. Insist on truth NOW. Refuse to be part of the problem NOW. Make difficult decisions that cost you something NOW.” :amen

    THAT is what I want to come of our testimony. I don’t want PR or carefully crafted legalese mush. I want this group of churches to learn and DO something different about all of this!

    If you are in SGM or in SGM Leadership, please take heed. Or I am afraid that SGM will end as a
    :trainwreck

  21. exCLCer
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Stunned – you’re right about women being sexual abusers as well. Look at the recent video tapes to come out in the Jaycee Dugard case, where Nancy Gurrido the wife of the convicted sex offender who had kidnapped Jaycee, actually provided pleasure for her husband by luring and videotaping a kindergarten-aged child in a van, not to mention keeping Jaycee as a sexual slave/hostage in their backyard for all those years!

    While much more rare than male abusers,they do exist. Studies show female sexual abusers predominately come from three categories:

    1. Teacher/lovers who are usually involved with adolescent boys.
    2. Male coerced offenders (like Nancy) who initially abuse in conjunction with a male but may later abuse independently. This type of abuser is extremely dependent and non-assertive.
    3. Predisposed offenders who have been sexually abused themselves from a very young age. They initiate the abuse themselves and usually sexually though not violently abuse their own children and claim their intentions were a need for emotional intimacy.

  22. Matt
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    “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?”

    The functional people who have a modicum of spiritual understanding don’t stay long. But, Of course the dysfunctional are attracted to it and they make perfect followers. SGM is all about codependency from what I can tell and see here. Love bombing, sin sniffing, loaded language is all there waiting to suck them in.

    BTW: Lee, you guys have had incredible success with redefining the word “care”. I will never be able to hear it the same way again. It reminds me of those people who are ‘caring” for those they are trying to commit to a mental ward and the language they use.

    And yes, there is all sorts of “structure” as in legalism to live your life by as provided by your care leader and pastor. All sorts of rules for gender, children, how to talk, what to talk about, how to talk about it. And if you are really won over, you will learn all the pithy phrases. You even are taught to call the pastor when anything happens for advice. As if the guy who went to pastors college for 10 mos is an expert in your problems.

    As if he has a direct line to God for you. (You don’t need the Holy Spirit becasue you are at SGM) So members are advised not to call the police when their little chld is molested by another SGM’er. And they are advised to immediately, with no time to process what happened forgive the predator. And their defintion of forgive is all encompassing. As to include fellowship and reconcilation.

    ” Perhaps they aren’t hearing “God is in Control” “God has a plan” “and your trials are for a reason” in other churches.”

    Jesus was actually asked something similar about bad things happening to people in Luke 13. Check it out. His answer does not sound like what you are suggesting here…in a vague way.

    It never ceases to amaze me that when they (SGM and many in the Reformed movment) talk about God’s Sovereignty, it actually sounds sinister. And if you do not prescribe to their definition of God’s Sovereignty (All true believers get this because they know) then you are accused of all sorts of horrible non Christian thinking.

    Some focus on His Sovereignty and ignore His Goodness and Mercy. Some focus on His goodness and Mercy and ignore His Sovereignty. Some focus on His wrath and ignore his goodness and mercy. All three will lead to wrong doctrine when focused on by themselves.

    When you strip away all the loaded language and behavior in SGM by the leaders and really analyze SGM. It looks and sounds a lot like the RCC. A works religion.

    Perhaps they aren’t hearing “God is in Control” “God has a plan” “and your trials are for a reason” in other churches.

  23. Stunned
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    exCLCer, you need to give me a warning. Just reading the name of that woman and I felt like I was going to throw up a little. Kid you not. I have avoided reading a thing about that case because it is beyond … icckkk….. vomit worthy….

    I never read the list of the 3 categories for females who sexually abuse. Thank you so much for sharing that. In number three you said, “They initiate the abuse themselves and usually sexually though not violently abuse their own children and claim their intentions were a need for emotional intimacy.”

    Of course, you’re saying that when they abuse others, they initiate it, not that they initiated their own abuse, correct? I am assuming you meant this in reference to category number 2 where the abuse is initiated by their men? (I can only imagine these women in category 2 were abused, as well. There was something off in them that made this behavior acceptable. Possibly when they reported the abuse they received it was put under wraps, communicating to a child that it was sort of OK, as opposed to shouting it from the rooftops because it was so messed up?)

    Stunned
    who is not a fan of acting like abuse of kids is something a healthy society should cover up

  24. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Phoenix – Aww, sorry I missed your “coming out” ;)I’d just post my email address here, but I am afraid of what I might get, so if you’d have any interest in emailing me ask Kris for my addy. :) I THINK I know who you are, but I might be totally off, and if you are who I think you are *confusing ain’t it? ;)* then you will have no clue who I am even after hearing my name ’cause I think your one daughter was older than me and your other was younger than me. :) I am 27 now. If you are the OTHER mom I was thinking of than you might remember me ’cause your younger daughter was close with my best friend. AND you might be neither ;)

  25. Lucy
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Stunned~

    Actually, I was being sarcastic. I guess it didn’t come across. (I was trying to convey that with the head-spinning thingy.) That the hijackers they went to strip clubs is NOTHING compared to evil and mass murder. That was my point. (In my head, anyway. :wink: )

    That Keith said B******t is nothing compared to child molest, but by all means, LET’S FREAK OUT ABOUT B******t!!!

  26. Virginia Knowles
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    If I were a small child and an adult that was not my parent was insisting I greet them and the situation turned into a spanking by my parent, I would not have any happy thoughts or respect for that person. Sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? No true honor is due, but fake honor is enforced. That’s a breeding ground for hypocrisy.

    I rarely asked my young kids to greet an adult they didn’t already know and like. When they were shy or otherwise uncooperative in public, I would just smile and say, “Better luck next time!” I have nothing to prove there and no need to make others feel awkward.

  27. Lucy
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Uhm, I needed an eyeroll emoticon for that part of my comment. IS there an eyeroll emoticon? There’s a head spinning emoticon, but not an eye rolling emoticon. And head spinning is not eye rolling, right?

    Okay. I’m very confused about emoticons now. And life in general.

    But proceed apace, everyone.

  28. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Soooo, Lucy, you’re pretty much my favorite. Ever. all time. *smile* I wish it had been MY sgm church you had visited, so A: I could have met you and been nice to you. and B: So, if I was one of the creepers I could see my top secret Lucy name probably something like “Baby-Crazed Obese Woman” *gringle* (that is like a chesire cat giggling…)

  29. Matt
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    “That Keith said B******t is nothing compared to child molest, but by all means, LET’S FREAK OUT ABOUT B******t!!!”

    Yes, Lucy, the ever present rabbit trails that keep us from the main thing. If it is not said the way they think it should be said, the place it should be said or how it should or should not be said…then it is sin as in gossip or evil cussing.

    SGM needs to write a Talmud. How will they ever know all these laws? But then, a commenter on cults over on another blog says that the laws or rules must be unwritten. It is another way to control. So, they all just parrot each other and think it is scripture.

    I will be the first to say Driscoll is vulgar and a false teacher (Ironically Mahaney “mentored” him so I guess that means he is ok now?) but i am not going to let a few bad words get me distracted from protecting innocent kids and the way these things are handled in SGM. But then, I think distraction from that point is exactly what they are hoping for.

  30. exCLCer
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    stunned – “Of course, you’re saying that when they abuse others, they initiate it, not that they initiated their own abuse…..?”
    Yes, of course! Thanks for clarifying……..”initiated it” as in initiated abusing a victim as opposed to “joining in on abuse” of a victim first initiated by a male perp.

  31. Lucy
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Brokenhearted~

    Aw, you are sweet. But “Baby-Crazed Obese Woman” as nickname for you? Nope. Wouldn’t do that!

    (And “Perky Bob” was very VERY perky. Like apocalyptically perky. :wink: )

  32. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Lucy – HAHAHAHA… is it SO horrible that everytime I read the name “Perky Bob” on your blog I saw an old guy with a… umm… who was “perky”? *blush* EVERY time. :-p

    I dunno… I am PRETTY baby-crazed (we are starting Clomid super soon :D :D :D) and am like the 3rd heaviest woman in my church. er my old church.. the church where my heart is :)

  33. Louisa
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Thank you at survivors for the work you do. Our family experienced the attempted molestation of our daughter by a man we thought was our beloved neighbor and retired pastor. It changes you forever. He was convicted and plead guilty without admitting guilt ( in other words took the penalty without admitting he did it). We look at children’s programs and the church differently now, and by God’s grace abuse of others were prevented in our neighborhood and we were able to assist another church in identifying a risky situation they were putting their children in . So it also was for the children we had later, they are safer now, and we are wiser. With God’s help, we protect them and manage to do it without making them fearful. It strikes me that we as Christians are naive and need more safeguards. I also believe that sovereign grace ministries should shut themselves down and cease to exist as an entity. That probably is not going to happen, but it should. So as believers, we have control over our response to the situation as we understand it –to make our children and others safer from abuse (of all kinds, including parental ), to draw close to Christ and avoid error, and to make known what we know as appropriate. A wise woman asked me what I wanted to happen when we found out about this man and our daughter. I wanted this man to repent. She said that the goal should be to stop it from happening again. The DA and our licensed Christian psychologist following the mandatory reporting law saw to that.

  34. numo
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    @ keepinstep: I think maybe we need to agree to disagree… I feel very differently about many of the issues you raise than you do, and I don’t think either of us is going to be able to talk the other into a different pov via blog comments.

    I am genuinely glad for anyone who has truly experienced the freedom that the Lord Jesus offers us.

    @ exCLCer: your story about the girl who was “farmed out” to MD sounds all too familiar. I do not know her, but you have just confirmed many suspicions about what goes on (or has gone on) in situations that I know of in other churches…

    at one time, there was a trend at CLC for single women (educated, working, pretty much financially independent)to live with married couples. Someone I knew was in that kind of situation, and there was something going on with an adoption and… a *very* heavy vibe of secrecy.

    Why on earth would anyone demand that 30+-year-old women live with married couples?

    I would like to know what was going on there – or perhaps I really wouldn’t. But so many things about my friend’s situation struck me as odd (including whatever was going on with the couple she lived with and the supposed adoption).

    fwiw, I have seen the “give up your baby so he/she can be adopted by an infertile married couple” thing pretty much forced on one of my peers, back when – and at a non-SGM (but very charismatic) prayer group. (That’s what most were called during the 70s, rather than acknowledging the fact that they were independent churches.) That “give up your baby or else!” thing was VERY bad, and VERY wrong. Nobody was allowed to be a single mom; people’s mistakes were literally outed at meetings, in front of everyone.

    And all the time, the people who were doing the outing were involved in gross financial and sexual sin, as well as in puppet master-type control of everyone else in the group. I won’t go into details; that would detract from the main focus of the post and comments… and anyway, it’s just too sickening to warrant further discussion.

  35. Ellie
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Lucy – #325 – yeah really!!!
    :goodpost

    ….and #327 – I’ve always seen the eye-rolling thing – before emoticons – as: @@
    so that’s what I do when there isn’t an eye-rolling emoticon available. :D

  36. Kerrin
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    @CHS said:

    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.

    For those of you holding to a ridged theological system made by man known as TULIP, some other scriptures may help open your mind:

    Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.—Romans 5:18-19

    For in him [Christ] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.—Colossians 1:19-20

    For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.—I Corinthians 15:22

    So, who will do the “believing, repenting, confessing”?

    …and every tongue acclaim, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” to the glory of God the Father.’ —Phil. 2:11

    In the end, find the theology you like the best, but don’t pretend like TULIP is this locked down, airtight, irrefutable system. It’s not. And the bible tells me so. :wink:

    Sorry, I couldn’t let that go. Off topic and will probably get lost in the fray, but I found it difficult to resist. I hate smug fundamentalism. :evil:

  37. BrokenHearted
    August 5th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Just FYI – I am seeing my hubby for the weekend (I am housesitting an hour away from his work, so for 2 weeks we are on the “see eachother Fri – Sun deal”, so I probably won’t be on again ’til monday. LOVE!

  38. Ellie
    August 5th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Kerrin!
    Good to “see” you!!

  39. Kerrin
    August 5th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    @Ellie,
    It’s good to be seen. :wink:

    I actually hate all of this and sometimes don’t know what to say. sgmnot and exCLCer, all I can say is I’m sorry and this shouldn’t have happened. Wish there was more I could do. It makes me wonder if justice even exists in this world…

  40. Alpologist
    August 5th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    5 years in PDI said:

    “SGM not, sorry to digress from your post. But the problem with SGM is not Calvinism. There are hundreds of thousands of Calvinists in this country none of whom are like the SGM shepherding movement, and some posters need to find another culprit. It isn’t 500 years of Reformed theology. If they were truly Reformed the whole thing would crumble with the truth of the priesthood of all believers.” Amen my friend!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. Everytime someone says SGM is reformed my head feels like it’s going to explode. If they are reformed, I am Elvis Presley.
    :word :goodpost

    SGM not, I am so sorry for all that has happened to your daughter and your family, may God comfort and bring healing and peace.

  41. Ummm
    August 5th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I also do not believe that SGM promoted child sexual abuse in their teaching. However, where they have continued to go wrong, is in looking at planks in the same light as specks, and dealing with them accordingly. I believe that Mark Mullery expressed that in one of his recent sermons, or maybe that was JH. In minimizing planks to speck status, they made light of the suffering of the victims, as though there were no room for anger, grief, or any of the emotions God designed for such events. Also, they left no room for the justice system to do what God put it here to do.

    I think for me one of the most frustrating parts of SGM is when one goes to them after being majorly sinned against, and being redirected to his/her own specks. For me, this led to a plunge into hopelessness, depression to the point of despair, and anger to the point of bitterness. Many years later, I am healed of all that. Had I not gotten out, I shudder to speculate.

  42. Already Gone
    August 5th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Louisa, I am so sorry that your family went through what they did. God bless you for your pro-active work. There is no doubt that you have saved many children.

  43. Ummm
    August 5th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    In addition, I deeply regret how my focus on the specks in my children’s lives kept me from enjoying them and delighting in them they way they needed. I followed the formula and felt every sin had to be dealt with until they obeyed “right away, all the way, and with a happy heart.” I never really took note of how precious they were, just because they were, nor how Jesus loved them extravagantly. I parented in fear.

  44. Fried Fish
    August 5th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    @Alpologist #340 -

    I think I may have to take at least partial responsibility for some of the dialog you’re referring to. I made a comment about having difficulty with the “L” in TULIP and it started up a rather lively interaction to say the least, which wasn’t my intent at all…. I am not a 5 point Calvinist, but I’m not really interested in debating the issue or taking away from the more important issues at hand here. I have very good friends and people I respect immensely as brothers and sisters in Christ who are members or elders in Reformed congregations of one kind or another. I don’t mean to imply that Calvinist theology is THE source of SGM’s ills, but something about the way they have integrated it (or maybe twisted it)into the life of their churches just doesn’t seem healthy. And it’s not just true of Calvinist theology – whatever theology, or set of principles, or book, or teacher, or practice SGM has latched onto, they seem to drive it right through the gut of their people in an obsessive way without testing or discernment and with little concern for the damage and the fallout. That’s just an observation from reading all the stories, for what it’s worth…

  45. Mike Cole
    August 5th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Check this out someone took ‘the Documents’ and created an interactive timeline of the events, since in ‘the Documents’ he tends to jump around to prove his point.

    Plus some of us are more visual learners anyway.

    http://www.dipity.com/JennGrover/SGM-Crisis/

    Cole :clap

  46. In Adullam's Cave
    August 5th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Another Friday afternoon post (no comments til Monday) from Dave Harvey:

    http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/

    Apparently they now think that CJ should never have even stepped aside and that they should have given even less public transparency about all of this than the non-existent humility or openness that they have shown.

    One more whole post that seems to shout that they just don’t get anything that matters here. Nominal, administrative tinkering and promises is all they talk about. Nothing resembling repentance or any substantive change. Apparently, they are not at all being “spanked by God on a national stage” (to loosely quote Josh Harris), they are just being given a heads up to make a few adjustments that will prevent any of these pesky public relations faux pas in the future.

    The opinions of those of us outside of SGM don’t matter in the slightest to Dave Harvey or his agendas for leadership. God-willing, there are still lots of leaders and others inside SGM that won’t tolerate this cover up and manipulation. If the recent, surprising case of backbone on the part of some SGM pastors is not cured or quickly quarantined, there may be some hope still for the Dave Harvey Spin-room to be turned on its head. Nothing in any of these posts, for example, is answering a single observation or question put forward by Mark Mullery at his recent family meeting.

  47. Fried Fish
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    @In Adullam’s Cave #346 -

    Maybe CJ and Dave H. have an SGM version of one of those “flashy things” like in the movie “Men in Black”…. make ‘em forget everything that’s happened…. :spin

  48. Unassimilated
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    SGM without CJ is like Mr Rogers neighborhood without Mr Rogers.

    Harvey has probably is looking at the potential loss of the SGM bottom line.

    @ exCLCer – What were the reporting laws prior to 2003. I do not believe that they existed in a way that obligated SGM pastors to do anything when things happened in your world. Does not mean the should not have, and their concern of ministry over justice is a huge red flag.

    BTW, most Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and councilors will tell you that sexual repression is the number one trigger for molestation. That is why it is a problem in most churches. There are other triggers and combinations, but the Puritan environment of SGM is a breeding ground for deviant behavior. They should be experts on how to handle these things by now.

  49. 5yearsinPDI
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Cave 346…..he doesn’t get it at all.

    It’s not about changing policies, it is about repenting for failing to love and care for the sheep entrusted to you, and substituting control instead.

    Not surprised but still it is sad.

  50. In Adullam's Cave
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Fried Fish,

    I think those are standard SGM issue for those near the top of the hierarchy. :)

    My movie allusion of choice for SGM is the Matrix. It applies on so many levels.

    Neo is told that the “reality” that he is accustomed to is a lie and that Morpheus can show him the truth. He is asked to make a choice between two pills, red and blue. The blue pill will cause him to “wake up in his bed and believe whatever [he wants] to believe.” He is told that if he takes the red pill, however, he will “stay in Wonderland” and Morpheus will “show [him] how deep the rabbit hole goes”.

    As Neo reaches for the red pill Morpheus warns Neo “Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

    Lots of Blue Pills being prescribed and taken in SGM.

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