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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

  1. Sidney
    August 3rd, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you, SGMnot, for telling your sad sad story. The covering of sex abuse to minors in SGM churches seems to be a humongous and pervasive problem. How many more stories are there? HOW MANY???? And CJ is perfectly fit for leadership. Okey doke.

    I STILL want to know about this:

    John Loftness wanted to encourage us. I asked whether CLC had ever delt with such a problem. A fair question if he was supposed to help us. He said yes, a worship leader’s family had a problem (perps not vic)

    From Noel’s Story found here http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=276&cp=all#comments

  2. katie
    August 3rd, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Wow.
    Thanks for sharing your story sgmnot. Words can’t express how sorry I am that this happened to you. And how freaked out I am that these types of things have been hitting so close to home. I’m so sorry you had to walk through this. And that your daughter had to walk the halls of church with her perp for years, in a place where she should’ve felt safe. People shouldn’t have to fear being molested by hidden sex offenders at church of all places.

  3. Lucy
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:08 am

    SGMnot — Your story rips my heart out. Thank you for sharing it. You’re very brave and so is your daughter.

    Honestly, the church I want would be full only of the church rejects and the church broken and the church forgotten. People like you. And too many others on this blog. And too many others we may never even know about.

    Sharing your story is like planting little seeds of courage in those voiceless and fearful people. It’s a gift.

    And who knows what it may grow into?

  4. Dan
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:08 am

    This just really breaks my heart. I grew up in a similar church environment to CLC here in the UK and was sexually abused by someone in the church school system (position of trust) and I know too well what happens with church cover up and how the victim is made to feel.

    I’m 33 and still on antidepressants for it.

    Praying so so much for you and your daughter.

  5. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:20 am

    SGMnot, My blood pressure is through the roof. this stuff makes me down right furious.

    I have a question that might sound a bit crude but I think it needs to be asked. What is the deal with the teen boys at SGM? This is not the first teen molests little kid story coming out of sgm.

    Is this a product of the teaching concerning strict gender roles and the worth of females? Do they think themselves entitled? I know of some of the ‘women are there to serve men’ stuff coming out of there. Teen boys are going to interpret that their way.

    Seriously, why work to lessen the consequences of something so vile unless they think it was no big deal.

    Why do they not want to call the police?

    Are they also not worried about the souls of these teens? Do they actually think lessening the consequences is going to help them? You don’t do something this vile with the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. Are they not concerned that with lessened consequences these guys will try it again. What about future victims? Sorry, but I know a lot of teen boys who would never do such a thing to a little kid. They might try something with someone their own age but an innocent kid who can’t fight back? This is vile and heinous and those pastors have blood on their hands. This is predator stuff.

    There is somethig dark and evil running through SGM. This is not your normal teen sin.

    Sgm defenders. How can you support such a system? Get your kids out of there. How the pastors handle this stuff sends a huge message to both victims and predators. The predators love it.

  6. Breeezey
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Please forgive me for not making my comment on the current thread. Fried Fish asked a question that deserves an answer: “But I have a really hard time especially with the “L” in the TULIP anagram. How do you tell someone who is broken, hurting, cast aside, marginalized, abused and even in despair of life itself, that Jesus loves them and MAY have died for their sins, depending on whether or not they are one of the elect……?”

    Fried Fish the answer is scripture itself, NOT DOCTRINE!!

    Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 1:12 But to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

    Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    We have free will to reject or receive Him. Jesus did the hard part. He loved us when wee were unloveable. He died for us. We have to respond to Him. He made the offer to reason with us. He put it on the table to cleanse us as white as snow. We have to believe, open the door, and receive.

    Words like “whosoever” or phrases like “to as many as receieved Him” show what we do. This is not what God does. This is what we do. God makes the offer. we can accept or reject it. Before Augustine there was no teaching in the church about the elect being chosen by God. On the contrary Acts 17:30 says: And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent…

    If men could not reject the “command” of God then we would not have free will. All men eveywhere are called and commanded to repent by God. Most on this side of the rapture will not.

    I could go on but you get the idea.

  7. Keith Grewell
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:51 am

    sooo sorry for your pain, and the ongoing repercussions from this great tragedy! I am soo angry that i almost forgot to think about you folks and your daughter, i really want to keep you in my prayers and thoughts foremost…

    NOW… can we all agree that this pastor and the perp should be put in Jail, even all these years later???!!! GOOD LORD WHAT IS GOING ON HERE !!?? How many more stories are like these that we do not even know yet?

    If a man commits murder, and yet confesses to God that Jesus is Lord, and seeks forgiveness, and believes in his heart, YES, he will dine with the Lord in heaven… BUT… he still must pay his debt on earth – if not with his life (depending on which state he lives in) at least w/ life in prison…

    Sex abuse is a felony, a crime, a serious one!!! Any pastor who covers it up, well… you better pray i never find out.. I will turn you the freak in lickity-splt! I don’t care how cool you are, how great you preach, or even if we are friends… you are worse than the perp in my opinion…

  8. Yellow is a Happy Color
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:05 am

    @SGMnot, Thank you so much for having the *courage* to share this story!!! This needs to be told.

    @Exclcer, see what good you have done by sharing your story? Thank you as well.

    Question for SGMnot–is this guy still at the church? My kids are in CLC’s Discovery Land every week.

    Is it just me, or are there so many similarities in SGM’s way of handling sex abuse, that it makes me wonder if they are all given a script in the Pastor’s College on what to do? The common themes seem to be
    –focus on the perp and his ‘repentence’
    –minimize the victim and family
    –advocate for the perp
    –try to keep police out of it
    It really does seem pastors are following a manual.

  9. Yellow is a Happy Color
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Forgive me, but this was from the previous article that was closed………

    “My question to you guys is….. What would make you guys happy. What do want the end result to be.”
    Why, thank you for asking! I could only hope that lots of CLC pastors are reading this….

    1. Josh doing a new sermon series on true repentance and making ammends. To highlight his points, he could explain how CJ and Racoochi (?) and Lofthouse humbly tracked down Exclcer and offered a real apology that she accepted. He’d share how the apology was done in private, and did not draw attention to their crocodile tears. He’s share how CJ apologized for leading the pastors to take the side of a child molester, even enabling the perp to continue unchecked/unregisterd in ministry to this day at CLC. ( I think I know who he is–he’s still there!) Also, give other examples from sex abuse coverups in Fairfax, and SGMnot’s family, and how ammends were made.

    2. Get elders who aren’t paid, and nominated by the congregation. Pastors who have 5 kids aren’t free to disagree with ‘the man’ unless they have a real degree and tranferable skills. Reform polity, get real polity.

    3. Put distance between CJ and CLC/SGM. He’s been a shining mentor and church founder, but his credibility is shot. He’s only a liability to CLC’s/SGM’s future. Please don’t have him preach again, because I think I’d have to walk out! To my husband and I, he’s clearly is not fit to lead.

    3. Be transparent about money. How much do these pastors get paid? It must be a lot b/c they have all these kids and I don’t see their wives bringing a paycheck home….

    4. Focus on how believers–CLC members–are a holy priesthood, a holy nation, and how we already have everything we need for life and godliness. Our sins are all forgiven and we are positionally clean in God’s eyes!!!

    5. How about another sermon series on the freedom we have in Christ. Freedom to dialogue, freedom to disagree. Freedom to talk. Freedom to blog, even! Christ has set us free from the law, so don’t be enslaved again by foolish teachings.

    Bring it AWN, pastors! Give this CLC member something to feel good about in her church, please!

  10. Ellie
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Yellow –
    you asked if the perp was still at CLC, this is from sgmnot’s story:

    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!

  11. Ellie
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:35 am

    SGMnot,

    thank you for telling your family’s story.

  12. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:47 am

    SGMnot,

    I’m sitting here at a loss for words – another case of child molestation within SGM that was handled like all the others! My heart is aching for you and your daughter right now. I’m so very sorry. I agree with Lucy, “Sharing your story is like planting little seeds of courage in those voiceless and fearful people. It’s a gift.” (And Lucy, let me know if you start a church for the church rejects, church forgotten, and church broken – I’d like to be a part of a church like that myself.)

    I’m with Matt, what’s up with these teenage boys in SGM molesting young children?!! There’s something terribly unhealthy going on in SGM. I remember someone commenting once that some of the kids they knew at CLS experimented making out with the same sex because it was taboo to date the opposite sex! 8O

    Girls from the local college complain that the guys from the SGM college ministry act weird around them and stare at them inappropriately.

    I’ll tell you what’s going on. If someone asked you not to think about pink elephants, what would immediately pop into your mind? What else? Pink elephants!

  13. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:34 am

    SGMnot, I am so so so sorry to hear what happened to your daughter. I wish I could sit with her and cry and listen and let her rage and weep and share. I wish this thing NEVER happened to her. I wish I could go back in time and protect her. I wish she had gotten tons of psychological help after the matter. I wish she saw her pastors rush to protect her and see to it that she NEVER had to interact with that boy again. I wish she had been allowed to tell her story whereever and whenever she wanted to. I wish that her identity could be the girl who was so loved by her church that every person who knew her rallied to her side, not hating the boy, but loving her. I wish she so many things for her.

    I pray that she views herself as having GREAT WORTH. Precious. Loved. Cared for. Powerful enough to protect herself from now on so that one day she can feel safe.

    I’m so sorry for what you and your husband went through, as well. I’m sorry you had such grief and that you had to carry it alone. I am sorry you didn’t have care and love along the way. I just woke up and I am already too weary, thinking about what your family went through, to even finish describing how I feel for your entire family. I wish that none of this would have happened to any of you.

    In him and with many hugs,
    Stunned

  14. DB
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I woke up this morning and, as is my custom, spent some time surfing the net before going to school and I saw this and my heart and stomach sank, “Not another child,” Please, how many times has this happened? Is this the extent of it or is this the tip of the iceburg?

    I am starting to believe that this environment and the culture that it has created is unhealthy in this way. These teenaged males are coming into their own and taking a look at what their future is going to look like and they see themselves falling into the Alpha Male position that has been created as a result of the nepatism (sp) and the notion of rigid gender roles that allows a subclass of incredibly priviliged males.

    Thank God you taught your daughter the difference between good and bad touch, how many girls in this system have not been taught to defend themselves because the leadership teaches parenting classes that emphasize first time obedience and things like forcing a shy toddler to look a stranger in the eye and greet him/her.

    One would hope aginst hope that the first time something like this happened they would do what it took to keep it from happening again.

    Nope, our dear Alpha Male leaders at SGM developed stonewalling and coverup techniques.

    Remember what Jesus said about millstones?

  15. Jayson
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:02 am

    I am so very sad to hear what happened to your daughter. I seems to me SGM pastors are far more concerned about the social status of SGM than people. They do anything to protect that preceived ‘Mr Clean” image. They are nothing more that a bunch of narsistics.

    To any SGM boy that wants to try somethig on my daughter, I say “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

  16. Fried Fish
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:07 am

    @Breezey #6 – that’s my understanding too, thanks. Enough on that for now.

    SGMnot and all the others whose children who have been sexually abused by the product of SGM theology, teaching and example (and I really think that’s a big part of the cause) – I am sorry for what you have gone through. I have three grown daughters myself and I can’t imagine my response would be anywhere near as gracious should this have happened to any of them.

    When will SGM as a whole realize that the authoritarian, complementarian, passive aggessive misogyinistic self-despising sociopath that their culture breeds, is an absolute insult to the God who made man (and woman) in His image.

    I realize that not all SGM’ers have had the same experience, and I think a couple of them have mentioned here that they don’t teach some of the more strange and controversial practices anymore, but it also doesn’t sound as if everyone got the memo. The leadership who introduced the practices that led to this result need to be held responsible.

  17. old timer
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:11 am

    SMGnot, I will pray for your daughter to continue healing emotionally.

    Dan, Did you ever google Tyler Perry? He was on the Oprah show talking about when he was sexually molested and the entire audience was filled with men who had been molested just like he was. Dan I will pray for you.

    This INFURIATES me, as a mother and a grandmother, that the perps get a pass while the victims are minimalized by SGM.

  18. PhillyInDC
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Longtime lurker, very rarely post. Has anyone ever contacted the media about this? (the cover ups, not SGMnot’s specific story) The only way this will change is if truly unbiased outsiders (media, law enforcement) step in.

    This is so disheartening. I was molested by a family member at a young age (over 25 years ago) and a lot of the closure for me was to sit through the trial and see him go to jail. As much as I consulted with counselors, the best medicine was to see justice.

  19. FSGP
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:13 am

    SGMnot -

    I am so sorry that you experienced this. SGM has pretty much drained the tears from me. But when I read accounts like yours I mist up and genuinely ache for you and yours.

    God forgive us all,
    Former SG Pastor

  20. Virginia Knowles (aka Vida Savta)
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:43 am

    SGMNot, I am so grieved to hear your story. At first I thought it was one of the previous ones, but it is fresh pain to see a new one. When will this end? And these men call themselves shepherds?

    I have set up a new blog to address abuse in churches, organizations and families. I am trying to add links to sites that cover this in-depth. Can anyone send me a link to the sites that have lists of signs of spiritual abuse, recovery help, etc.? My new site, which now consists of articles from my other blogs, is at http://www.watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com. My current links page is here: http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/p/links-on-spiritual-abuse.html

    The title “Watch the Shepherd” does have a double meaning. We are to watch Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to see how he cared for people and how he wants to care for us. And we are to keep a discerning eye on those who claim to be shepherds of God’s people. Please come visit and let me know what you think.

  21. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I’m standing in line at Starbucks waiting for my morning fix and I read this much…

    My heart sank… I read a little more And now I can’t stop crying… Im so grieved by this. I’m afraid to open my eyes and see the rest.

    I’m so sorry, SGMnot. There are simply no words.

  22. EMSoliDeoGloria
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I’m so sorry, sister…. You should never have been put through this categorically wrong response from those who were supposed to Shepherd you. Can anyone think that this is how Jesus would have responded?

    I’m in a different SGM church and these repeated mis-handlings of sexual abuse situations by SGM pastors (at least on the East coast – don’t know about the West) make me so angry. I am going to be mega-vigilant if I ever have children in any church (my DH grew up in a very different church environment where a sex offender / sex abuse situation was mis-handled by leaders) and will be asking A LOT of very direct questions ahead of time about pre-cautions the church takes to protect children and what is / is not done to protect children in the church if a minor or adult commits an offense against a child and the leaders know about it. It’s inexcusable that more concern would be shown for the perp and family than the victim and family. That isn’t loving and it is contrary to the biblical principle of the strong protecting the weak. Also, the reflex to avoid involving the civil authorities is just wrong in these instances. Paul clearly states that those authorities exist as a terror to evil doers and they do not bear the sword (a metaphor for the power of civil punishment) in vain. If it isn’t evil to sexually abuse a little 3 year old or 11 year old, I don’t know what is! Just because the evil doer is a minor or in a church-going family should not protect them from the civil consequences of their evil deeds.

  23. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Sorry, jacked up my block quote…

    “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”…

  24. Gracie
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:10 am

    SGMnot and ExCLCer and Dan,
    Like FSGP, more tears for you guys. I’m so sorry for your pain and for the long-term effects of these crimes. So very sorry.

  25. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Matt–

    It has to do with sexual repression and unhealthy suppression and unhealthy attitudes towards modesty and women due to the culture and religious views. I’ll expand more later but think on the same lines as why Muslim men gang rape and assault women who show a forearm or a wrist–the women are merely sexual objects but also objects of submission and control. My head is cloudy after reading this and my heart wobbly. It won’t sit up straight right now. :(

  26. acme
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Ellie, I think Yellow was saying that the perp in exCLCer’s story is still at CLC. Yes, he is. ExCLCer posted that he’s working with kids in a band — my heart sank when I saw this post, because I was pretty sure I knew which band this was. I then confirmed it — contacted my friend who plays in the band and asked what precautions were in place (because my daughter has gone to parties at the friend’s house where the perp was — I was sick.)

    SGMNot, I am so very very sorry. I’m so grateful your daughter was able to tell you right away — and that you called the police first. Praying for your daughter — and your family.

    Anne
    CLC 1986-2007

  27. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:14 am

    @SGMNot, I am very sorry that you went through what you went through and I will pray for you, your daughter, and your family. My guess is that we know each other since you mentioned being in CLC for a long time, though I am not personally aware of your situation. Having children, including a daughter, I know such a situation would be difficult for me as well. It is very important to protect our children, so your story is a reminder to be vigilant to that end.

  28. happymom
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:20 am

    SGMnot,

    I am so very sorry for what your family has gone through. I think I can understand the ongoing effects this has on a family.
    Thank you for sharing your story. My prayers are with you and your daughter and I hope you have close friends that have been there for you, although I realize this is something that can be difficult for even well-meaning friends to understand. If there is any thing we can do, please feel free to get my email from Kris.

  29. jedi
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:20 am

    SGMnot: Thank you for speaking out. I personally believe it is a lifelong struggle, but for myself, it keeps God very close. I struggle more with how wondering how I would have been if those things had not happend to me, than anything else. I was changed forever because of abuse, but I know from experience that keeping quiet about any abuse, will often just increase the shame in the victim.
    I often wonder too considering the size of clc how many people have been molested, beaten, abused and have had no counseling afterward. Those who are depressed, suicidal, cut themselves, and have no pastor to go to for help. When they have tried to go to a pastor, they are often told they are the sinner, they are calling attention to themselves and they are to blame. They are told to repent. They are not helped by pastors, they are told to keep quiet about abuse, and are not given any information about going to seek a professional counselor. Perhaps the pastors do not want outside counseling ~ that would call attention to themselves and their organization. If people do go for outside help, they go in secret.
    If this “changes” too. If they now start “allowing” outside counseling from professional mental health experts, I would hope that people will speak out and ask questions like: Why is this changing now? What was it that was wrong/sinful about counseling before? I have not heard anything at all regarding professional counseling on the books for the new Changes being made in clc.
    keepinstep. Sorry, I will try to do that, I am not always sure how to but I am trying… Let me know if I do better ok? Thanks.

  30. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Dan–

    I am equally grieved at what you are going through. I know this haooens to men too and is equally horrible. I’m so sorry.

    Matt–

    I wrote down your email but misplaced it. You mind giving it again? Sorry :/

  31. AER
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:37 am

    It is so sad to hear about these molestation reports. Has anyone who have read these reports thought about reporting these to the authorities? Has anyone taken any action on this? I have. I just don’t know how to go about it. I think the most important thing would be for the victoms to share their stories with the police. The pastors and members of the SGM board who have participated in hiding these events should be held accountable. They are guilty by association. Any thougts on this????

  32. Willie
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Matt and NLR,

    Are you both serious? Someone who molests a 3 year old girl has serious psychological problems or there is a good chance that they have been molested in the past. This is not the product of sexist teaching in anyway.
    Matt stated, “Is this a product of the teaching concerning strict gender roles and the worth of females? Do they think themselves entitled? I know of some of the ‘women are there to serve men’ stuff coming out of there. Teen boys are going to interpret that their way.”

    What you said is glaringly deficient in so many ways. I was a member of CLC 18 years ago. There was no strict teaching on gender roles with a focus on woman being subservient to men. Teen boys do not think the way you are describing at all. Normal 14 years old don’t hear a message on gender roles and draw a logical conclusion that you should molest a 3 year old. Seriously? You actually think that? Why don’t you take some time to read a few case studies on people who molest and those who have been molested before you make a sweeping ignorant statement. Inform yourself before you try to reform anyone else.

  33. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Dan, I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. I had no idea. Was the abuse at the same church that later shunned you? I wish there was some way for people to be more open and honest so others knew that they were not alone. I wish you had had others to talk to when you were a kid.

    Btw, I sometimes have a hard time speaking about my abuse. But at least there are more of us women who talk about it. Thank you for letting men know they are not the only ones! Conservative numbers show that one out of 5 or 7 men are sexually abused. Thank you for using your voice. I hope it works to give courage to more men.

    Stunned

  34. golden
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Grieved reading this. Simply Grieved. I am cut to the bone that your daughter had to walk through this. I am so sorrowful and without words that your family was not cared for!!!
    Praying…

  35. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Book excerpt from “Protecting Your Church Against Sexual Predators” by Kregel Publications.

    In church after church around the world, reports have come to light about children being molested by someone in the place where they should feel safest. The Roman Catholic Church is reeling from staggering financial judgments in lawsuits filed by molestation victims. Most of these cases have come into the spotlight many years after the alleged sexual crimes occurred.

    For decades, the Catholic Church quietly settled abuse cases out of court and shuffled pedophile priests to different parishes. Not until the early 1980s did the news media start digging into allegations that had surfaced in places such as New Orleans, Louisiana.1 In 1992, the Boston scandals began a nightmare of litigation for Roman Catholic diocese administrators in the United States. After more than a decade, the end of litigation is not yet in sight.

    But the Roman Catholic Church is only the most visible defendant. Lawyers also have other church organizations in their sights. In some of the targeted churches, leaders have made the same mistakes that got the Roman Catholic bishops into so much trouble. Incidents were concealed. Law enforcement agencies were stonewalled. Safeguards were lacking. Misconduct was not subjected to church discipline.

    Sexual misconduct toward children in the church is not new, but attitudes and perspectives about child molesters have changed and absolutely must change. Otherwise we will continue to cope with devastated lives, financial disaster, and member disillusionment. Church leaders had better take a long, hard look at this issue.

    To begin with, let us look at some facts about these crimes:

    1. The vast majority of child molesters are male.2
    2. Victims may be male or female.
    3. Child molesters tend to work hard to win positions of trust. Authority, trust, and respect enable molesters to manipulate children, parents, and other leaders.
    4. A child molester will create fear in the child, so that the child is afraid to tell anyone.
    5. There are no “typical” child molesters. They may be of any age.
    6. A child molester in the church looks for and tries to create opportunities to be alone with a child or children.
    7. Prior to being caught, the typical child molester attacks thirteen children.
    8. Child molesters often are married, may show evidence of
    a strong Christian witness, and may be in positions of responsibility.3
    9. Child molesters often do not recognize that any harm has come to their victims. Frequently, there is more remorse from being caught than for injuries inflicted by the crime.
    10. A child molester is very likely to return to criminal sexual behavior after release from prison.4

    FAQ: Why should I expect a child molester to come into my congregation?

    ANSWER: Churches provide one of the best sources for children to be found. An atmosphere of trust and acceptance makes the church one of the easiest places for predators to find opportunities to attack victims.

    Child Abuse Statistics on the Rise

    Since the 1970s, child abuse is far more likely to be reported than it was before. In California, for example, the number of reports investigated rose from about 119,000 in 1976 to about 475,000 in 1988.5 A similar statistical increase occurred throughout the United States and Canada. In 1976, fewer than 6,000 incidents of a sexual nature involving children were reported to law enforcement and child welfare workers.

    Once sexual abuse became more widely recognized and reporting was encouraged, the number of reports increased to 130,000 in 1986. The number tripled between 1980 and 1986 alone. Today, more than 300,000 child sexual abuse reports are investigated annually in the United States.6

    So, whereas the church might have been forgiven for being caught unawares by pedophiles in the 1970s, there is no excuse today. Ample warning has been given. The church is a natural magnet for children. Pedophiles hunt children. Thus, it would be foolish to think that pedophile child molesters wouldn’t regard the church as a hunting ground. However, in an interview with Christianity Today, attorney Richard Hammar, an author and expert in legal aspects of church life, said, “Our research indicates that 70 percent of churches are doing absolutely nothing to screen volunteer youth workers.”7

    Molesters May Assault Many

    There are no “absolute” statistics on the number of children molested every day in the United States, Canada, or any other country. Despite the increased awareness of the problem, and the likelihood that a sexual incident will be reported, many still go unreported. In some nations, molestation is not discussed as freely as it is in North America. We can only trace numbers of complaints, investigations, arrests, convictions, and releases.8 Research on adults who were sexually abused as children suggests that the large majority of victims do not report their abuse at the time it occurs. Children often keep their history of abuse a secret because they fear their parents’ rejection, punishment, and blame.9

    In a typical church environment, guilt and the potential stigma associated with abuse, coupled with the understanding of how homosexual acts are viewed by the church, often will silence an abused child, particularly if he or she is in or near the teenage years. Younger children are often sworn to secrecy with threats of violence or some vague, undefined “doom” that will occur. The real tragedy is that, while their little lips are sealed, so are their hearts.

    Remember, the typical child molester does not wear a sign. And the victims are not clamoring to tell their stories of molestation. They are sitting in church with sad eyes, quiet, confused, and hurting.

    The typical child molester has a string of prior victims and may or may not have been detected yet. He is calculating and cunning, waiting for opportunity. The only question is whether the particular church he has chosen (or that chose him) will afford him the opportunity he needs.

    One attempt to estimate the number of victims in 1998 was published in the 2001 Annual Review of Sociology. For all kinds of violent crime in 1998, including sexual attacks, 87.9 of every thousand U.S. adolescents between the ages of twelve to fifteen became victims. A slightly higher rate of 96.2 of every thousand teens between the ages of sixteen and nineteen became victims.

    For people in their twenties, the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime drops rapidly. At age sixty-five, only 4.4 of every thousand persons are victims. Ross Macmillan, who wrote the report, observed that the age variables apply to all the kinds of violent crime studied. Robberies and sexual assaults were ten times as likely among adolescents. Other assaults were twenty-three times more likely.10

    Sixty-seven percent of all victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were under the age of eighteen; 34 percent of all victims were under the age of twelve. One of every seven victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies was under the age of six.11

    Population and Pornography Increase Sex Crimes

    Several reasons might be suggested for actual increases in crime numbers, as opposed to increases due to better reporting and a greater willingness to talk about behavior that might be identified as sexual. Natural increases in population certainly play a part in crime statistics. Another factor that is increasingly being blamed is the easier availability of child and adult pornography on the Internet, which may come to the attention of people who have sexual proclivities that they might not have acted upon in the past. Assuming that Internet pornography will not become more controlled and less available, we can expect that the rate of sexual assaults, including child molestation, will continue to outpace population growth. This increases the chances that our communities and our churches have pedophiles or people with pedophiliac tendencies. In short, pedophiles are all around, and some are church members.

    FAQ: What does a child molester look like?

    ANSWER: He looks like you, especially if you are a man.

    • Pedophiliac child molesters are invariably male. Although there are some female molesters, they are few and their victims are typically males in their teens. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children reports: “In both clinical and nonclinical samples, the vast majority of offenders are male.”12
    • A significant percentage of victims are males. A study undertaken by the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, of 457 male sex offenders who had committed crimes against children, found that about one-third of these sexual offenders targeted male victims.13
    • Child molesters can be preteens or grandfathers. A U.S. Department of Justice report, titled “Criminal Offender Statistics,” found that criminal offenders who had victimized a child were on average five years older than violent offenders who had committed crimes against adults. Nearly 25 percent of child victimizers were age forty or older.14 Forty percent of the offenders who victimized children under the age of six were juveniles under the age of eighteen—one reason to keep male teens out of the nursery.15

    A Child Molester May Have Been a Victim

    It is not uncommon for molesters to have been victimized in their own childhood. There is also evidence that the greater number of male child molesters are homosexual. Quoting Journal of Sex Research statistics, David Wagner, an associate law professor at Regent University School of Law, said that heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by a ratio of at least twenty to one (in other words, homosexuals comprise about 5 percent of the population), yet homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of all child sex offenses.16

    FAQ: Christ forgives sinners. So if a repentant child molester comes into my church, shouldn’t I treat him just as I would any other sinner?

    ANSWER: No! If you do that, you may one day be called to account for your failure to recognize the danger posed by such an individual. Ignorance may not be a valid defense.

  36. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Let me emphasize the last “question and answer” of that excerpt again…

    FAQ: Christ forgives sinners. So if a repentant child molester comes into my church, shouldn’t I treat him just as I would any other sinner?

    ANSWER: No! If you do that, you may one day be called to account for your failure to recognize the danger posed by such an individual. Ignorance may not be a valid defense.

    DID YOU READ THAT, SGM?!!! :x

    Some of you SGM guys aren’t stupid. If I can find this kind of information on the web, you’re aware of it, too. You know the statistics. Your precious image and protecting pet families is more important to you. God have mercy on your souls!!

  37. 80sSGM
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am

    In 1985, the church we had previously been members of joined with PDI. (We had left the church in 1984.) At the time I thought it was a good idea. Brent was the contact person and I knew him from college.

    At some point (later or ’85 or early ’86), a family friend, who was still a member of that church, acknowledged homosexual pedophilia (because he got caught) to the leaders of that church. The only thing ever told to us was that the man was forbidden to be friends with us — giving the indication that this was because we left the church; we were never told of the man’s sins.

    After we moved to another area, the man left that church and reconnected with us — even leading the youth group at one point with us having no knowledge of the sins he had confessed years earlier to the “elite” group of men called elders in our previous church.

    Eventually I found out AFTER having allowed this man to live in our home, that my son was among those this man confessed to abusing. How could this have been kept from us???? This man was later publicly disciplined by a national ministry (1993) in one of our church services (and here is something ridiculous — we were told to allow him to continue to live in our home as a demonstration of God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness — we ended up throwing him out after a few more months). At least everyone in the church was put on notice as to what his now-very-evidently ongoing and not-truly-repented-of sin was.

    But even at this point the police were never notified. Finally, years later (2006 I think) when we found out about more molestations, we took this man to the police ourselves (the heck with dealing with church authorities) and we had to listen to part of his detailed 30-year accounting (the part that involved our son) of this man’s abuse of boys. He recalled names, date ranges, and places as if he treasured those memories. It was truly sickening. And to think it could have been stopped in the ’80s if the eldership hadn’t decided to keep it amongst themselves.

    This man recently showed up at the church my daughter attends and she and her husband immediately notified the pastor about him. The pastor told him that they were going to give notice to the congregation about him and that he was not allowed in the children’s wing of the church nor to walk anywhere else on church property without an escort. Hooray! Finally a church that was willing to do it right. But this man felt this wasn’t fair to him, so he left that church. Who knows where he is attending now.

    And as for the extensive police report filed in 2006 — well, that ball seems to have been totally dropped by the police. My son never even got a follow up phone call to see if he was willing to press charges. This man left a string of victims (and may still be victimizing) in at least four states, working some of that time in state juvenile correctional facilities. And yet, he is still a free man. Very sad.

    :new

  38. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I second what Matt said: “You don’t do something this vile with the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. Are they not concerned that with lessened consequences these guys will try it again. What about future victims? ….This is vile and heinous and those pastors have blood on their hands. This is predator stuff.”

    I have a question: Have any of the parents with sexually abused children contacted a therapist specializing in this type of thing? And if so, did the therapist advise you on how to handle this?

    Fact: “Pedophiles have a strong, almost irresistible, desire to have sex with children. The average pedophile molests 260 victims during their lifetime. Over 90% of convicted pedophiles are arrested again for the same offense after their release from prison.”

    http://www.yellodyno.com/Statistics/statistics_child_molester.html

    My statement will infuriate some SGM pastors and groupies reading this blog, but it would not surprise me a bit if some of the pastors themselves are involved in some sort of sexual abuse given their “cover-up mentality”. God and any victims only know at this point. Time will tell. Be sure, your sin will find you out.

  39. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and care. I do hope that our willingness to come forward will help any others to speak out, as well. We are a body and when one of us suffers in secret, it is like a hidden cancer! The victims of crimes and abuse deserve MORE care than the perps. (The perps do deserve some) but it definitely should NOT be the other way around!!

    Yellow: Yes, he is still in CLC, although now they have a policy in effect that perps are not allowed to do Children’s Ministry. Hopefully, this is retroactive, since he was a minor during this crime.

    And I say crime, because often people think this is just teenage experimentation. It is not. And the term “teenage experimentation” as a possibility was mentioned in our 1 “counseling” session with the pastor and his wife.

    I still deal with feelings of regret that I followed the advice of these men for so long.

  40. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Lauren, I appreciate yellowdyno’s attempt to protect children, however the stat that you quoted from them is off. Normally not a big deal, but as truth is so important in this situation, I just wanted to encourage those who want to know the stats to search further than that site.

  41. Roadwork
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I posted this back in April but I think it will benefit the newer viewers:

    I don’t know what SGM Inc.’s translation says but the one I have here says:

    1 Peter 2:13-14
    Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.

    Romans 13:1-5
    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer

    So…. “Be subject…to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors…” Sounds to me like it’s talking about government, and law enforcement in particular.

    “…as sent by him (emperor or governors) to punish those who do evil.” Sounds like government is put in place by God (those that exist have been instituted by God) to punish crime (evil).

    “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.” If you do evil, you should be afraid of rulers. Again, government and law enforcement.

    “He is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

    Governmental laws are in place for your good – as a restraint so that, for example, you don’t drive 70 MPH in a School Zone. When a crime is committed, law enforcement should be brought in as they are God’s servants to carry out His wrath (punishment) for crime.

    This is pretty straight forward. Crimes are to be immediately reported to law enforcement so that those committing the crime (the evildoers) can be punished.

    Apparently SGM, Inc. doesn’t have enough discernment to distinguish between sin and crime. Sin is sin and it should be dealt with as sin. When sin leads to crime, it is to be reported to the governmental authorities so that they can administer the appropriate punishment.

    Maybe in some inflated, twisted way, SGM leadership believes they are the “rulers” spoken of here. Or maybe they didn’t cover this topic in the PC.

    As a friend of mine once said, “Jesus came to forgive you of your sin, not your crime.”

    ~ Roadwork

  42. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:14 am

    sgmNOT said, ” We are a body and when one of us suffers in secret, it is like a hidden cancer!”

    AMEN!!

    And I say crime, because often people think this is just teenage experimentation. It is not.
    And the term “teenage experimentation” as a possibility was mentioned in our 1 “counseling” session with the pastor and his wife.

    Teenage experimentation?!?!?!? How ignorant, foolish and stupid are these pastors?!?!?!?!?! Whatever “leaders” believe such foolishness don’t even have the business of leading a fly to flypaper (though I dare say the fly would be safer around these foolish leaders than children are).

    If teenagers are going to experiment, do you know who they want to experiment with? Other teenagers!!!!!!!!!! Not a BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    F%$^#*^ a^&***&(&(*

    Final question. How perverse is this supposed leader if he would consider sex with a baby as experimenting? Honestly, makes me question the leaders sexual thoughts, as well.

  43. Michelle
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I think the general use of them term “teenage experimentation” is two teenagers “experimenting”. Most kids/teenagers know and adults definitely know what the perp did in SGM’s case was wrong. A pastor should definitely know this. It reminds of a girl who was raped at a frat party back in college. The frat claimed she was “asking for it” because of her choice of clothing. What SGM is doing (forcing the victim to take responsibility) is no different!

  44. CLCerNow
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:24 am

    SGMnot – I know you said the perp is still at CLC, but what about the pastor? Is he still there, too?

  45. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    There’s something “bad wrong” with pastors that call that kind of a violent crime against a child “experimentation.” BAD WRONG!!

    Such pastors are SERIOUSLY jacked up!!

    That goes WAY BEYOND “experimentation.” That’s a seriously messed up individual, and SGM works harder at getting the incident hushed up and the perp “forgiven” than getting the perp the proper help he needs.

  46. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    CLCerNow: I don’t feel comfortable giving away who he is, suffice to say, he still is a pastor in SGM.

  47. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Stunned, that site offers a variety of sources with differing figures. If you have other sites to offer, I welcome those too.

    Here’s a site on stopping Baptist predators that gives more figures:
    http://www.stopbaptistpredators.org/alarmingnumbers.html

  48. Ummm
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    80sSGM–This is horrifying! That leaders of that church should be held accountable for every child molested by this man after they found out and did nothing. Sickening!

  49. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Yellow in #8 hit the nail on the head, so to speak, with this:

    “Is it just me, or are there so many similarities in SGM’s way of handling sex abuse, that it makes me wonder if they are all given a script in the Pastor’s College on what to do? The common themes seem to be
    –focus on the perp and his ‘repentence’
    –minimize the victim and family
    –advocate for the perp
    –try to keep police out of it
    It really does seem pastors are following a manual.”

    And this is not a problem from “long ago” like Josh implied about the people who post “hurts” on this blog, this “policy” is probably still going on today in ANY other sex abuse cases, etc. that come up now.

  50. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I’m so angered by this!! Grrrr!!!

    I’d like to round up every pastor that’s been negligent in such cases and take them to a prison for some of the inmates to “experiment” on!! :evil:

  51. BrokenHearted
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:42 am

    SGMNOT – I am so SO sorry for what your daughter and your family have gone through. :( It just breaks my heart to think of all these little ones who have been hurt by guys who are supposed to have been protecting them and taking care of them. :( :( :(

    This is why our “middle” church told parents not to let teen boys in the church babysit for them. I am not saying girls can’t, but it just seems to be the safer route to not let guys babysit alone. :(

    Sometimes I feel super sad for the guys who are doing these awful things too. ’cause yeah it’s vile and despicable and horrible, but there is also something OFF that would cause a guy (human) to even do these things to little kids. I know a guy who was acting out in “minor” ways towards a little girl (no sexual act towards a child is minor, but I say minor to differentiate between “tickling innapropriately” and other things…), and his parents “shamed” him and guilted him, and told him to never be alone with little girls, essentially making him feel like a monster (which I am not ENTIRELY against), except they never got him help. They never even told a pastor, let alone a therapist or someone who might be able to help him work through these feelings and desires. As far as I know he is “fine” now, but it hurts me that he carries this weight of “I am a horrible person” with no hope of change…

    But, SGMNOT I am praying for you and your daughter. I am sorry. I am sorry the church failed you. I am sorry the pastor failed you. I am sorry the people of God failed you. Because of y’all sharing your stories I am 1000% sure if anything ever happened to a kid of mine or a kid I knew I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. I was 100% before reading these, but now I know that no one could convince me to be “discerning” or “not gossip” in this sort of situation. :(

  52. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    80sSGM: “At some point (later or ’85 or early ’86), a family friend, who was still a member of that church, acknowledged homosexual pedophilia (because he got caught) to the leaders of that church. The only thing ever told to us was that the man was forbidden to be friends with us — giving the indication that this was because we left the church; we were never told of the man’s sins.
    After we moved to another area, the man left that church and reconnected with us — even leading the youth group at one point with us having no knowledge of the sins he had confessed years earlier to the “elite” group of men called elders in our previous church.
    Eventually I found out AFTER having allowed this man to live in our home, that my son was among those this man confessed to abusing. How could this have been kept from us????”

    THIS is Outrageous!!! Do I understand correctly that this is another SGM sex abuse case? And SGM leaders did not tell you that your son was a victim? How old was your son at the time of the abuse? And what when did these leaders find out about it?

  53. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:04 am

    80sSGM,

    I’m outraged by your story, as well. Thank you for sharing and welcome to the site. I pray you and your son (and family) have healed and are at a better place in your lives today.

    Dear Lord, please get this perp out of the churches and in to jail!

  54. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    SGMnot, I am so sorry for what you, your dauhter and your family went through. Please know, I UNDERSTAND, truly…..your heartbreak, concerns, greif, confusion, anger, atc, all of it, and I want you to know your feelings are VALID. And anyones attempt to invalidate your feelings, minimize the horror of the situation, or push you or manipulate you into a forced and rushed “forgiveness” is/was WRONG. You should have been supported, loved, and helped to seek justice in every form it comes in.

    I want to take the opportunity to point out that during my situation the church/pastors DID find out that it is, in fact, a crime, to not report child sexual abuse. So to see that 6 years later they were repeating the same practices of trying to stall/cover up/”handle internally” shows that they have no respect for the law, and intentionally broke it by SGMnots account of their tlling her not to go to the police. I guess they think their authority supercedes that of our country, and to hear this is APPALLING and DISGUSTS me.

    Yellow – (“@Exclcer, see what good you have done by sharing your story?”)

    my intentions exactly, to give courage to the “others” who might think like I did that they were the only ones to have to endure something of this nature, and to encourage them to come forward and see how much support for justice there really is in the world. And to expose the dangers children may be in still.

  55. Condemned No More
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I just want to say that, as new to this site, I would like to encourage the readers and contributors by both sharing an observation and by identifying an evidence of grace that I see here…First, an observation. The stories of abuse are indeed concerning and painful. But we must always keep instaces of pain in the wider context: in light of our sin, even the pain we go through is much better than we deserve…so we can rejoice even in the midst of pain. And for identifying evidences of God’s grace…I’ve noted many contributors to this site who show signs of willingness to forgive. Also, pastors throughout SGM have been sheding tears of regret for the abuses of the past, and I know that C.J. and his leadership team are really searching their hearts at this time. God is a work! The Lord gave me a prophetic word picture that I’ll share later after running it by my own pastor and cg leader to make sure it’s appropriate for this time…until then be encouraged brothers and sisters!

  56. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    IMO NLR is right – the environment in churches can cause real perversion. Churches tends to encourage sexual repression, (“put that away, cover that up, thats disgusting, you’ll go to hell, cover that up as well”). Repression is well known to be a root cause of peculiar sexual fetishes, sexual deviance and yes sexual perversion. Add to that a good dose of teaching on the divinely given unquestionable authority of “males” in that same setting, and you have a virtual petri dish of perversion just breeding without any stop to it.

  57. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Is there any way victims can file some sort of claim with the church’s insurance company? How does that work?

    The reason I ask is because I was reading this…

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2007/06/18/80877.htm

  58. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:24 am

    exCLCer: “I want to take the opportunity to point out that during my situation the church/pastors DID find out that it is, in fact, a crime, to not report child sexual abuse. So to see that 6 years later they were repeating the same practices of trying to stall/cover up/”handle internally” shows that they have no respect for the law, and intentionally broke it by SGMnots account of their tlling her not to go to the police. I guess they think their authority supercedes that of our country, and to hear this is APPALLING and DISGUSTS me.”

    THANK YOU for pointing this out. They wanted to stall/cover up/and “handle internally” acting as if they DIDN’T know the law when they did! WHY? We can only ascertain that it was to try to help the perp get legal help FIRST or if possible keep it ONLY in the church under their authority (and not the law) AND to keep the church’s reputation “unsullied” in the courts and in public.

  59. Nickname
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Outraged. Sickened. Helpless.

    Are there any professionals in the subject of child sexual abuse/abusers who can weigh in on this? There is so much we do not know.

    Is it possible that the perp would be satisfying his curiosity on how these things work? Or is it more likely that he actually is a pedophile while still mostly a child himself? Is it likely that this perp had been victimized himself prior to this incident? (Please do not take any of these questions as somehow trying to excuse the perp — I am sincerely trying to come to grasp with the scenario, trying to figure out how someone crosses the lines.)

    I understand that pedophilia is rarely, if ever, cured. If this was a first-time act, is there more hope for the perp than if it was something that had become habitual?

    I’m sickened on behalf of all the parents concerned. How do the victim’s parents cope? How do the perp’s parents cope? How horrible it is for us when our children do wrong things — how in the world can we love them through it? Did the pastors try to find counseling for the perp? What are the statistics on church-related teenagers molesting younger children? Is this an isolated problem, or a pattern that exists in some churches but not others?

    I know of an organization — adultsprotectingchildren.com — that helps churches, schools, etc., with sexual abuse issues. I know nothing of it other than it exists. All of us need some help here — we need to know what to do and where to go and how to prevent & protect. How can these horrible molestations be stopped?

    Lord, help us.

  60. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:41 am

    sgmnot – that is EXACTLY why they did that…..very same way in my familys situation — stalling for time, trying to make it easier for the perp, trying to keep the situation from tarnishing their reputations or leaking out to the trusting congregation…biding time to control the way it all “goes down”, ensuring its to their and the perps advantage… wanting to use their self appointed authority which in their minds super-cedes the law to “handle” the situation. Talk about a show of self centered grossly inflated ego!! Ugh.

  61. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    We don’t even have to take time away from the discussion to prove that the weird, extreme teachings on guy/girl relationships, courtship, modesty, sex, etc. have messed up a couple of generations of Christian kids. That’s all over the internet.

    If folks genuinely want to research it they have the same tools available to them that we have.

    When you get extreme and unbalanced, you suffer. Everytime! If the pendulum swings too far to the left you’ve got problems, and if the pendulum swings too far to the right, you’ve got problems. We’re suffering in Christendom today because we tried to counter culture by swinging too far in the other direction. You have to rely on God and His Word to stay balanced. Listen totally to mere men and their “legalistic formulas and how to’s” without filtering it through scripture and you’ll get knocked off balance every single time.

    I learned the hard way. I took parenting seriously as a Christian and I have never worked so hard or passionately at ANYTHING as I did at parenting. I read every Christian book on parenting that was out there from the time my first child was born until 18 years or so later when God got my attention *BIG TIME* and I realized I needed to quit looking to man for the legalistic “how to’s” and to look to Him and His Word only.

    Christian books have their place, but there’s no substitute for God’s Word. If you don’t know your Bible well enough to be a Berean, you have no business reading anything else until you do. You have to have God’s Word as your grid to filter EVERYTHING through – even teachings by pastors and information written in “Christian” books.

    Okay, I’ll step down off my soapbox for now.

    (Settle down, Kindred)

  62. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Kindred Spirit, well said!

    “Christian books have their place, but there’s no substitute for God’s Word. If you don’t know your Bible well enough to be a Berean, you have no business reading anything else until you do. You have to have God’s Word as your grid to filter EVERYTHING through – even teachings by pastors and information written in “Christian” books.”

  63. Leo
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    sgmNOT – wow – so sorry for what your daughter and your family had to go through – that is just WRONG, same with the other cover ups.

    It just makes we wonder – how many other cases are out there where the victims have not come forward???? My guess is a lot more than you want to think about. Researchers have guesstimated that only one in 10 cases are even reported (Time 2008). Going by that, the number of unreported cases is at least 10 times what we know about in SGM, if not more since churches have a higher rate of child rape than the general non-church going population. Also, girls are much more likely than boys to report it when it happens.

    How many un-reported cases are their in SGM? Take the stories we know about and multiply it times 10. How many other cases have the cult leaders at sgm silenced though fear and bullying?

    sgmNOT wrote – And I say crime, because often people think this is just teenage experimentation. It is not. And the term “teenage experimentation” as a possibility was mentioned in our 1 “counseling” session with the pastor and his wife.

    What? Raping a CHILD is not “teenage experimentation” – that would be getting to second base with someone that is a peer, not a CHILD!!!!!! These guys really tell it like it ain’t!!!!!!!

    Those with young children still in SGM need to start looking for the signs and go report any molestation to the police ASAP so these perps can be locked up and taken off the streets and out of churchs – if SGM tries to cover it up, it needs to be brought out IN COURT.

  64. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Nickname, good questions. I know that therapists are legally required to report abuse to the authorities. This may be one reason why SGM’s hierarchy discourages members from seeing a professional Christian therapist.

    This may answer a few of your questions, Nickname.

    http://www.registeredoffenderslist.org/what-is-pedophilia.htm

  65. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    (Sorry, I THOUGHT I was finished.)

    Look at the “mess of a church” we have today in Sovereign Grace Ministries as a result of “Larry and CJ’s grand ideas” (not God’s) of what a New Testament church should look like. (Read Kris’s comments somewhere on the Larry Tomczak posts where she quotes from Larry’s books. I don’t have time to find them.)

  66. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:22 am

    sgmNOT wrote – And I say crime, because often people think this is just teenage experimentation. It is not. And the term “teenage experimentation” as a possibility was mentioned in our 1 “counseling” session with the pastor and his wife.

    UGHHH, this is SO reminiscent of how the pastors tried to convince my mother the perps crimes were more like “adultery – he was probably attracted to the woman she was becoming” (an 11 year old!!!). I thought how ironic it was that they would use the word “adultery”, in regards to the sexual abuse of a child, given that the root word is ADULT…..sickening…(disregarding even a semblance of common sense???!!!). My mother told them “well then, why am I getting letters from the pedophile crimes division from the police? They insisted he not be called a pedophile, to the point of exasperation that she actually made them look the word pedophile up in the dictionary during this “counseling” session, where they read the def as “One who is sexually attracted to children” ….she said to them, well,”That fits!”.

  67. Mattie Chatham
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Okay, this is going to get me some flak, but here goes…

    As Matt, AKS, and others have noted, this is not normal and this has to be a perversion caused by something in the SGM culture–which may be, in turn, connected to something in a larger Christian subculture…perhaps the teachings of extreme complimentarianism, but my theory is that it’s the nonexistence of a healthy theology of the body prevalent in the American evangelical culture. More on that later, perhaps.

    Teenage boys molesting children could be (just theorizing here…) driven by: 1) normal curiosity, 2) intense shame (why else pick a younger/helpless/potentially silence-able victim) or awareness that sexuality = bad in SGM, 3) whatever deeper issues of perversion these guys struggle with.

    But here’s the thing: there’s a girls’ side to this story, too. In the course of about 10 years in SGM, I ran into a couple cases where middle school girls claimed that they had been either raped or molested and it was seriously investigated (I can’t go into details, but SGM pastors were largely left out of it and the “perps” were investigated by the police/health care professionals). The allegations in both cases were found to be false. Both girls ended up tearfully admitting that they lied/created a story, and it was apparent that they did this because they wanted to be noticed/affirmed/feel protected.

    They were both in that highly awkward, ashamed of one’s body, and extremely self-conscious stage of female puberty that seems to plague nerdy, shy, brilliant middle school girls–especially if they’ve been brought up to fear the power of their bodies (Modesty Checklist!) and be afraid of interactions with boys (“what if you’re flirting?”). Sexuality is awakened in them and they get terrified. I’m sure what these girls did was fairly uncommon for SGM culture, but it was brought on by, perhaps, the same culture that fostered these molesters. I say “fairly uncommon” because I think it’s very rare for a girl of that type in the SGM culture to have the dramatic flair and gumption to come up with the stories they created.

    Anyhow, I’m sickened and saddened by these stories. But I also wonder if we could put a finger on what’s creating these cases and if it’s related at all to what I’ve described here.

  68. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Dan #4 – Thank you for your prayers. And I am so sorry of what you went through too. I pray that God will heal you completely!

  69. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Willie–

    FIRST OF ALL I did NOT say this was only and solely the product of unhealthy teachings on sexism. Second, i find it interesting that you would call me out on what you apparently cannot see with your own eyes–that the theology taught by your leaders is inherently sexist ALL THE WAY AROUND, BUDDY!

    You failed to acknowledge that I was not offering a comprehensive discourse on what influences sexual perversions and violence in others. Did you NOT read that I told Matt that I would come back later and expound on the subject at hand?

    SECOND: Not everyone who rapes or abuses has been abused. Many have been but not everyone. Matt, as well as others here, have noticed a glaring pattern within SGM of teenaged boys acting out in these very sick and monstrous ways. My comment was responding to the noted and confirmed patterns, not solely the reasons why.

    THIRD: Telling me what I do and do not know just makes you look stupid and ignorant. Not me. You know nothing about me and neither do you know what I could possibly know. And for your information, just so you know, I have served in sexual abuse and counseling ministry for over six years. I have taught, studied and ministered to people suffering abuse, people with sexual addiction, people struggling with same-sex attraction and in homosexual relationships, addictions to pornography, people who were raped, molested, abused and abusers themselves.

    My knowledge on why people abuse and are predators is quite comprehensive and well-informed and educated by professionals in this field–most especially who deal soecifically with issues in the church. It is multifaceted, convoluted and not an A+B=C situation when it comes to sexual violence and abuse.

    The information you gave is correct but it is not comprehensive nor is it conclusive as to the main reason why people assault little children or those weaker than them. And yes, stringent teaching on sexuality that represses healthy expression of sexuality within SGM IS ONE PROBLEM AND AN OBVIOUS REASON why many of these young men are assaulting little children. You will find the same issues in cults where sexuality is controlled and closely guarded and scrutinized or seen as evil and also within religious sects like catholicism, Mormonism and Islam where particular views on sexuality or modesty are idols. And this is just a very light skim on the surface.

    I’d have more explicit conversation and examles about sexuality and other religious practices like Tantra that also prove this point that may not be appropriate for this blog.

    I apologize to the rest of you who have to read my rant. Sorry.

    FOURTH: Don’t come at me like that again. I’m not going head to head wth anybody here, but don’t think you can just drop in and speak to me in the tone you just did, call me ignorant with your obvious lack of knowledge on sexual predators and then leave. I appreciate your outrage on sexual abuse and violence. But your accusations about my lack of intelligence or even Matt’s are very clearly wrong and insulting.

    Please join the conversation here, but act like you have some social decorum and respect.

  70. Phoenix
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Couple of anecdotes providing background to this topic. All of these were told to me directly.

    Single mom became engaged after a courtship in an SGM church that followed all the proper courtship procedures. Leading up to the wedding the couple (in their 30′s) was very conscientious about physical contact — chose not to kiss, weren’t alone together in his home. One evening they were having dinner together discussing relationship issues as a couple is supposed to do during engagement and she was upset. In the parking lot of the restaurant he gave her a big hug. A. Hug. Married couple their age from the church drives by and sees him hugging her. Married guy calls his friend to check up on what is happening because the engaged couple was in physical contact. Hugging.

    I’m at a Homegroup Meeting. The young son of the strictest Mommy in the group (regularly boasted that people called her to ask how she made her children so compliant) has apparently just learned to tickle? goose? pinch gently? to startle someone and make them laugh. (I guess.) He came up behind me to share this experience with me but at his height what he did was to grab my butt. Yep. He said, “Gotcha.” I turned and said, startled by not upset, “You sure did. Why don’t you go tell your Dad what you did.” Mommy heard and immediately bristled at the idea that her son had done something wrong. So I told her what he had done. No apology. No rueful laugh. She said, “He’s just too innocent to know what he did.” Well, a child that age who is too “innocent” to know not to grab a grown woman’s butt is TOO innocent. Too innocent to protect himsel.

    Married couple is enjoying marital intimacy. Loud marital intimacy. They just happen to be right next door to young teenage son’s bedroom. Young son approaches his mother respectfully and tells her that hearing his parents having loud sex is upsetting and arousing him. Mother tells the kid that’s too bad, get used to it, that’s how it is with married couples. Oh, and btw, you are absolutely not allowed to masturbate.

    Same young son is playing husband and wife with his younger sister, lying on a pallet pretending to be in bed together. She won’t let him kiss her on the mouth. When the mother comes in and catches them she sees that young son has an erection. He gets spanked. To my knowledge they also never talked to anyone about whether they should be concerned and never sought help or input. Certainly not from “secular” sources. And yes, he did act out more severely later.

    Another single mom has lost custody of her children largely because she spanked them She pays child support to her ex-husband and the stepmother, with whom he cheated on her. They are members in good standing of an SGM church. She works fulltime but because of the child support must rent a room in someone’s house as she can’t afford her own place. In her 40′s she meets a single man who is new to the church and they hit it off. He’s a divorced guy who is relationship-shy but they’re working through it. The leaders of the singles ministry put so much pressure and scrutiny on them as they try to work out their relationship in the goldfish bowl that he dumps her. She gives up on ever finding someone.

    I’ll stop for now.

  71. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Mattie–

    Your observations are also true of a very complex and multifaceted issue. I have seen this time and time again in ministry. My previous comment is in moderation but you will see where I am coming from.

    Also, another point to Willie’s comment and by example of what you have just given is this… Many of the men get married early enough that this doesn’t become the issue–this issue of abusing children. Not many of them will do that and are decent and sane enough not to. But here’s the other glaring pattern that is resultant of the culture, teachings and strict control, paternalism, and unhealthy views about sexuality:

    How many women do you all know who have been abused sexually by their husbands within this organization and others like it, I.e. IFB, Quiverfull, Islam, Mormonism, SGM?

    How many women got married to these extremely sexually starved men yet to find out they had some sick unhealthy and unreasonable desires in the marriage bed?

    How many of these men get angry, upset, disappointed in an unusual fashion or use Scripture to guilt and control their wives when she does not want to perform sexually?

    How many women have been raped in their own marriages?

    How many women have NOT shared such stories and experiences and are simply harboring them secretly and acting like life is perfect at home?

    Trust me, I’ve seen their gloom, their empty expressionless and robotic faces, their plastered smiles when talking about sex or issues in the home. These poor women have no idea that this isn’t right, yet they are in a silent prison. My heart aches for them and what they are being taught is love and a husband laying down his life for her.

    None of us here know of all the stories that are kept in those hiding places. There is surely a monster lurking in the dark and some of us see it.

    This organization and it’s beliefs has created this monster and we will never see or hear from all of it’s victims.

  72. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Mattie, are you thinking that something within SGM culture could be contributing to a preoccupation with sex among the teenagers?

    From what I understand, sexual abuse has less to do with sex than it does with exerting power and control over someone with less strength.

    So I would ask what in the SGM culture causes people to want to control others so much? The sin sniffing, the ratting, the group confessions, the inside report system, the shunning, the controlling courtships, etc. This has to be affecting the kids negatively to some extent.

  73. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Nickname–

    I am not a professional or would qualify as one, but I have extensive training, knowledge, ministry and education in this area. Although I could not be exhaustive here, I’d be willing to answer some questions. I never usually like to do so because it’s very heavy and difficult topic. It’s the reason I had to take a sabbatical from ministry. I’m not sure when I’m going back. Ut was one of the most rewarding ministries but the most difficult I think I’ll ever do.

  74. Mattie Chatham
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    NLR: first, your post at Willie? :word I’m a fan of you. :)

    Second…yeah, this issue is so much bigger than just these few stories. Bethany Patchin’s story can attest to this. She’s since locked her blog, but sexual abuse in her marriage was why she and Sam Torode got divorced. And she’s one of the few out there who’s willing to talk about what’s right and call abuse abuse and deal with it as such.

  75. Hope
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Yeah Mattie, here’s a little flak: I have a problem with how you stated that; equating “the girls side of the story” to be lying, a sweeping, false generalization. Pointing to the fact that you know of some girls that once lied, in the midst of a thread in which a 3 year old was sexually abused seems an unhelpful addition. Basically you’ve just asserted that girl’s reports should first-off be suspect. WRONG. I don’t think that idea needs to be encouraged.

  76. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Sorry if its off topic, but I feel I have to specifically address the “anonymous” christian who sent me the following email which read in part:

    “exclcer, stop your slander, or God will strike you down like it says in Psalms:

    ‘You love to slander and say things that will bring harm, oh you with the lying tongue, but God will strike you down and pull you from your home, and drag you away from the land of the living. The followers of God will see it happen. They will be in awe. They will laugh at you and say see what happens to those who despise our God!!!’

    Can I just point out to you that:

    1. slander is equal to lie – I have only told the truth – so no lying tongue here
    2. too late for the pull you from your home warning – did you not read my story? It already happened (omnipotent preemptive strike maybe?)
    3. “drag from the land of the living”???(is that a death threat or just your obvious psychological illness talking?)
    4. and finally, go ahead and laugh now, but I assure you Justice always laughs last, and laughs the loudest

    Your sick. (Unlike the church) I would hastily recommend you seek real professional therapy and medical treatment, possibly including medications for your delusions. SMDH.

  77. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    ExClcer– #56… AMAZING. And true. You said it concisely and very clearly. In a nut shell, that’s a huge problem and one of the main issues. Also, incoude the fact that churches attract pedophiles as well. Authoritarian and paternalistic doctrine attract abusive men as well (and before anybody rants, I’m not saying all authoritarians abuse).

    Phoenix– #70… You said it before I could hit send. There are far too many stories like that at will never be discussed or told.

  78. sgmnot
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    In 20/20 hindsight vision:

    1. I wouldn’t subjugate my life and actions to anyone (pastor, etc.) except the Lord Jesus Christ. They are men and consequentially imperfect. (Jesus said himself that he didn’t trust men, because he knew what was in their hearts.) Christian leaders are to be examples, not my parents! i.e. “To be obeyed, or I’ll get kicked out!”
    2. Since our daughter was the victim of a crime, under the jurisdiction of the legal system, I wouldn’t have even contacted the church until later (after the police had arrested the perpetrator).
    3. I would have immediately gotten counseling from a trained psychologist for us (specifically on how to handle the grief, etc., plus specific direction on how to parent a victim of sexual abuse.
    4. I wouldn’t have written that letter. At the time, I felt indoctrinated, that as a Christian, I needed to protect that boy from facing the full consequences of his crime.
    5. I would have told all my closest family and friends immediately, for our sake, regardless of the effect on his privacy. That should have been a consequence of his actions!!
    6. I never should have allowed a teenage boy to babysit our children. I was lulled into thinking church and our church family was safe. He and his guy friend regularly babysat for our entire Care Group (as far as I know, no enquiries were done to double-check that he had not molested any of their children! AND none of these people were told of the sexual molestation!)
    7. I feel that by “checking my mind”, my independent thought, and biblically-based critical thinking—like the Bereans in the Bible “at the door” when I became a member at CLC, that I ALLOWED myself to be ABUSED and MANIPULATED by these leaders; i.e. they told us or strongly urged us to do something, and desiring to be godly and obedient, we did it willingly even to our detriment!

    Please learn from my sad testimony and if you are still in SGM (WHY?), people, heed my warning!

  79. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Mattie—

    I’ve never had a fan! Ha! (bats lashes… Twiddles pearls… Reapplies lipstick)…

    Bethanys story is like this other girls blog I read who is now an atheist. I think it’s called Redheaded-something. Can’t remember. But her husband (they were IFB, I think) got her drunk and allowed his buddy to take turns. HORRID! He should be shot in the town square–and if the town didn’t have one, they should have a contractor to build one just for him. Some people need to be made an example of. This woman no longer BELIEVES IN GOD over this mess.

  80. Patti
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    So many of us are not comfortable laying everything out on the table as we KNOW it.
    Doesn’t that PROVE something very evil and sinister is in control of SGM. Like I have said before, the Talons of evil have very long claws reaching all the way to the West coast, the subtle crafty Serpent knows EXACTLY what he is doing. I feel shame for letting that snake to control me as much as he is. He is holding The happiness and peace of our CHILDREN over our heads. How many of us REALLY care what happens to US and OUR reputations at this point in all this disclosure. Our children are held hostage. And we need help. And it shouldn’t come from local authorities any more than the Utah local authorities could help in the FLDS cases in Utah! I am so so so sorry !

  81. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    NLR quote: “Many of the men get married early enough that this doesn’t become the issue–this issue of abusing children.”

    Are you implying that men who marry earlier in life are at less risk of abusing a child?

    I’m sure you did not mean to give that impression, so giving you a chance to clarify.

    As you indicated, this stuff is very complex.

  82. Mattie Chatham
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Hope: I in no way suggested that victims of sexual abuse should be doubted or challenged. I referenced two odd cases where the girl was lying–which is, I said, uncommon. Please, read what I say, not what you think I say.

    Lauren: I think it’s less a preoccupation with sex and more that they aren’t given a framework for sex that gives them a place for figuring out what it means to be a sexual being. This does not justify perversion, but it can be a catalyst for it.

  83. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Lauren–

    No, that is not what I am implying. Thanks for asking. My point is that most young men won’t abuse a child, even if they are sexually repressed. In this particular environment, most get married young and so it helps the situation of being able to express sexuality. But there will be a few who will go this route, because of the same influences but yet, the outcome a variable. But even when the outcome is a variavle, it appears to have an unhealthy and unusual amount of young men who either abuse their wives, or abuse kids, or both. You will probably have more that have unhealthy or imbalances expectations in marriage than those who become pedophiles. Yet, way, SGM is having an unusual glaring problem with these issues on both sides. Far more than you would have in any normal context.

    I hope that makes sense. If it doesn’t, the lack of clear commucatioj is probably my deficiency because it’s hard to explain some of this.

  84. 5yearsin PDI
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Very sorry, SGMnot. May God work it for good for your daughter. She will be able to comfort many others someday.

    We live in a very perveted and unclean, highly sexualized culture. It is no surprise such things happen, and in a church of thousands one would expect such cases. I would guess the SGM statistical rate is probably much lower than in the RCC, Mormons, mainstream evangelicals, and the unsaved, though I don’t know for sure.

    What disgusts and outrages is not that it happened, horrrible as it is, but that subsequently parents are told to not tell cops, not tell other friends and brethren, and ultimately the victims become the bad guys and the perps are coddled and protected. That is where the real evidence of evil SGM pathology lies. More fodder for Andy’s picketing :D

  85. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    NLR,

    I was impressed before, but even moreso, now. :wink:

    Glad you’re here educating and ministering to others, dear.

  86. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks NLR, I think you’re doing a great job.

    Mattie, that’s a good point about young people not being given a place for figuring out what it means to be a sexual being. I wish I could remember the name of the book, but I read that in repressed circles like SGM and others (should we name them too?), many young people steer far away from even appearing to be interested in someone of the opposite sex out of fear their motives will be harshly judged. I think that’s what is happening anywhere you find courtship emphasized. Josh Harris set the dynamic rolling by planting the idea that no young person, most of all a daddy’s girl, should ever have her feelings hurt by some young man audacious enough to show her interest without fully intending to marry her within 3-6 months.

    Someone at Wartburg recently posted this scripturally informative site which has some bearing on the topic:

    http://coveringandauthority.com/

  87. 212
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Sorry to hear this story. I completely agree that the victim needs care first, continually, and support more than the perpetrators. It’s sad that this did not happen in your case. Not the the perpetrators don’t need support, prayer, help, community, after all Christ came for those who are sick those who need a physician. I’m not saying we shouldn’t walk in wisdom, but Christ came to save those who also commit crimes.

    Out of curiosity, Did you ever bring correction to the pastor that tried to care for you during this sad event? Did you ever provide them feedback? Did you ever correct him?

    I’m not saying this was your case, but it’s not the pastors against the members in situations like this. As members of churches we are also called to support, correct, influence our pastors.

    As far as post 5, 12, 25 and any others like it… I completely disagree with you. You are speculating to the highest degree there and inferring that SGM raises little molesters and sex offenders… That’s just wrong, unfounded, and hateful.

  88. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Questions I would think to consider are:

    1. Why are there so many, more than usual (mind you that what is normal is slim to one–maybe?) pedophiles and sexual abusers within this organization? We have wondered the same about the catholic church.

    2. What about the environment, what catalysts could be there that we do or do not see that warps the mind and promotes an evil in this way?

    3. In considering that many pedophiles and sexual abusers are the result of different external factors, what is causing this in SGM? Are these people who were going to be pedophiles anyway because of abuse or are many of them such because of other factors we are not considering? It’s kinda like measuring people who are depressed because of genetics and biological chemistry with people who are depressed because of circumstances in their life. They are both depressed, but because of different factors.

    4. If we don’t think the teaching or environment that suppresses sexuality has a factor in creating this response, then what do we think about examples like, for instance, men in prison who don’t have freedom to be with a spouse, who arent gay and fir that time while incarcerated, allow themselves the sexual company of other men? My point: I believe this is a huge reason why many of these young men are acting in this unusual and sick way–unhealthy suppression and no real outlet to explore healthy interaction and basic sexual discovery.

  89. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    “Having children, including a daughter, I know such a situation would be difficult for me as well. It is very important to protect our children, your story is a reminder to be vigilant to that end.”

    A Friend, So what do you think about the SGM pastor who immediately told them NOT to call the police?

  90. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for tge encouragement. I am no pro and I’m not saying all that I know is gospel. I know many schools of thought that would disagree. I have no substantial comprehensive academic credentials and knowledge, but I just know the little bit that I do know. I hate talking about and discussing this stuff because it gets my heart in a knot and makes my breathing short and shallow.

    I had no idea when I entered this ministry what I was going to be exposed to. I was 25 at tge time, most of the people I helped counsel and teach were in their late 40s and 50s. They were from a generation where you didn’t talk about these things–AT ALL.

    Not only was I young and inexperienced, I was prideful and an egoist because these werent my sins or my problems–especially the same-sex attraction, sexual addictions.0,etc… I thought I was better than those sinners. Afterall, I was there at first to receive counseling and healing from abuse that was not sexual. I figured I had it good and I was, you know, “getting it right.”. Little did I know what God had in store for me. He threw me off my high horse onto my ass and showed me how to have compassion for those who were broken and expressing sin in ways I never had. And He showed me how my own respectable sins were not respectable at all. The Lord humbled me and taught me much. Gave me a love for broken people that I thought I’d never have. It’s hard walking beside the homosexual Christian struggling, the porn addict, the fornicators, the abused who just won’t heal fast enough and get over it already. I can’t compare it to anything. Yet, I hope not to be stingy with what I can offer others just because it makes me exhausted and uncomfortable.

  91. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    What disgusts and outrages is not that it happened, horrrible as it is, but that subsequently parents are told to not tell cops, not tell other friends and brethren, and ultimately the victims become the bad guys and the perps are coddled and protected. That is where the real evidence of evil SGM pathology lies.

    “That is where the real evidence of evil SGM pathology lies.” – I agree with that statement, 5 years.

    SGMers, these are the type of men who are now pondering your polity, your “practices”, and having CJ assessed for “ministry fitness.” You’re in good hands, eh?

  92. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    A kindred spirit – :goodpost thanks for the link. In the article it said:

    “These (sexual abuse incidents in the church) are things people are entitled to know,” said Christa Brown, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who says she was sexually abused as a child by a Southern Baptist minister. “The only way to prevent this crime is to break the code of silence and to have absolute transparency when allegations are raised.”

    Joe Trull, editor of Christian Ethics Today and retired ethics professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary said (about their efforts to create a registry): “The problem we’re having is that churches just weren’t sending the names,” Trull said. “In the normal scenario, they just try to keep it secret. We’re going to have to be more proactive and let them know if they don’t come forward, they’re helping to perpetuate this problem.”

    Both so true.

  93. griefofwisdom
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Bethanys story is like this other girls blog I read who is now an atheist. I think it’s called Redheaded-something.

    @NLR: I followed her blog too. — Redheaded Skeptic. I agree her story illustrates a parallel to the SGM abuse issues (though I do not think she would attribute her atheism to the abuse she suffered).

    In SGM, I always told myself, and talked with others, about why SGM was not “fundamentalist” like the “real” fundamentalists out there, like the IFB churches. Now certainly there are real distinctions that separate SGM from that type of fundamentalism, but all too often there are very real similarities as well. When I first read of the sexual abuse stories, and particularly the SGM pastoral responses to them, posted here, I thought of those similarities as well.

    I am not sure how much it is the culture that fosters the abusive behavior in the first place, certainly sexual abuse takes place in every human social group in existence (I’m not saying it doesn’t either, I just don’t know). But the authoritarian and patriarchal system certainly does protect and enable abusers, giving them a free hand they might not have otherwise.

    I think also of the “no longer quivering” website, with its stories of abused women who just had no way out from under the abuse, other than to be told to be even more submissive to their abusive husbands/fathers/pastors. So sad and wrong.

  94. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    “Why don’t you take some time to read a few case studies on people who molest and those who have been molested before you make a sweeping ignorant statement. Inform yourself before you try to reform anyone else.”

    Thanks for the suggestion Willie. My wife had done just that. So, lets take your scenerio that the 14 year old boy did this becasue he was sexually abused. That is the only reason he would do this. Sounds good but we have a huge problem.

    Most of the priests who abused young children in the RCC were NOT sexually abused. Nor did they find a correlation between celebacy and pedophilia. So why the concentrated amount of sexual abuse in that system? And why did the non pervert priests and bishops who knew, look the other way? And plenty knew as we now know because they moved them around like crazy.

    What we do know is that the “system” produced this. the concentration of instances was to big to ignore that.

    It has to do with power and position. The priest was not coming on to adult parishoners. The 14 year old was not coming on to his own age group. They chose weaker victims they could control and intimidate.

    It is much more sinister than you are willing to admit.

    So the question is WHY do they think of themselves in power over these innocents. Why did the 14 year old boy (and the other teen boys from SGM that molested very young girls) think they were in power over these girls?

    Willie, there is something deeply flawed with the system you are in. Instead of being defensive, lets work to protect kids. It is ok to be outraged. I worry about people who are not and simply make excuses.

    one other thing, in the RCC situation, it took years for this to come out. You have the whole authority of the church thing going on with that. Most were middle age adults! So, sgm might have some serious things to deal with in the future. Because when we see even a bit of a pattern, we know it is worse. Most people do not want to be revictimized again and the family does not want to put their kid through it, so they stay quiet.

    I hope that does not continue.

  95. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    212–

    This is well-founded social psychology and concrete knowledge about human sexuality. These aren’t inferences, speculations or wild guesses. What knowledge, training, education do you have or know that completely refutes what the community of educators, psychologists and sociologists have founded in matters like these–with the same external influences, religious ideologies, and cultural abnormalities that exist within your organization.

    These are conclusions drawn from my back pocket written on a sticky note. There are volumes of information confirming this.

    But I respect your right to disagree. I just thought your accusation of speculation and inference is wrong. It is not either. And in this case, I would switch out both of those words and replace them with discernment and intuition, and reason.

  96. 5yearsin PDI
    August 4th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Breezeley-

    I wanted to respond to your comment in the last thread.

    You said this: “We are not sinners in Adam at birth. We are not born D**ned. We sin and rebel by choice. Not because we are sinners in Adam at birth.

    Calvin made a theological system from Augustine’s writings but Augustine was wrong.”

    The doctrine of original sin is not something that papal edits or councils added to scripture via Augustine or anybody else. Those of us who adhere to it believe in Romans 5:

    12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

    13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

    15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

    16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.

    17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

    18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

    also Rom 3:

    “For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
    “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    11 there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
    12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one. ”

    I am not sure how you missed it that all sinned and death came to all, but glory to God, this is why Jesus died for us. We are not some dopey brainwashed drones to believe in original sin, we see it in the bible. It has nothing to do with Augustine or even Calvin, far as I know most Arminian believe this too. Finney rejected it, along with many evangelical fundamentals, and he was not part of restoring truth but part of departing from it. ( see Ian Murray’s “Revival and Revivalism” for an excellent chapter on how bad Finney was)

    By the way, you seriously confuse Calvinism and hyper Calvinism, and might do well to read Iain Murray’s “Spurgeon versus Hypercalvinism” starting around page 80.

    Calvinists believe not only in election but also in moral responsibility and moral culpability for choosing or not choosing, obeying or rebelling. Does this make sense to the logical mind- ie, can the two go together? Well, the bible teaches BOTH and Calvinsm teaches both. I like to think of the dilemma as: is light a wave or a particle? How can it be photons and also a wave? It can’t be. Well, it is. Physics cannot explain it, but it is both, and the bible does not explain to us how election fits with moral culpability. All we know is that when we enter the gates of heaven, all the glory and 100% of the credit is due to Jesus Christ. And if we go to hell, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

    Sometimes there are mysteries that our finite minds existing in created chronological space time can’t fathom, because we cannot understand the eternal God. But the bible is true- all of it. God chooses/elects, and we must obey.

    I for one am getting really tired of your hashed pronouncements about Calvinism and what it teaches and where it comes from, when I don’t think you get it at all. Some Arminians have a thoughful scholarly debate based on understanding the issues( Rodman Williams on P for example) and that’s fine. But leave the debate to people who grasp the main points correctly. You do not.

    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.

  97. 5yearsin PDI
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    oops, really messed up that block quote :scratch

  98. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Grief–

    Yes, that’s the blog. Heartbreaking but a precious young woman. She’s just very special indeed and a real joy.

    Matt–

    Thank you. I was going to make that example earlier about the priests but it slipped my mind because of all the other thoughts rummaging through my head. I also know of women who were in catholic girls schools who were sexually molested, even violently (meaning with force, objects, aggression), and made to perform sexual acts from nuns–their teachers and caregivers. Even women can be sexually aggressive and violent towards children when sexually depraved.

  99. Patti
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Wilie,
    Just the fact of how much Sgmnot obeyed their pastors is a giant indicator to me that Matt is spot on in his assessment of the fundie doctrine leading to incidences like this. The only grace in my heart I could find for my Fundie Boyfriend rapist was all that very same gender teaching that we had growing up. And you say you didn’t have that teaching back then in’93 ?
    Are you telling me that CJ and Carolyn have only recently begun to teach all that???
    I went to CBMW after reading your post to see how far back CJ’s articles go.
    I wasn’t expecting to find him ‘active’ there right now but he just blogged there last week! He reposted his own blog post of De Young’s teachings on gender roles. And even though it’s short it is so full of obvious holes an eighth grader could find the heresy in it.
    Sgmnot, I apologize for the derailment of the topic for a minute here. I am not insensitive to your posting, just the opposite, I’m sorry to be selfish but I really did need to lower my blood pressure.
    I wouldn’t be surprised at all to fond many many more cases in SGM like this. I really think a professional therapist needs to be hired. I think of so many abuses I received that I did not tell my parents for one reason or another. Mostly because I always thought there was something I had done to deserve it. A parent should never never under any circumstances tell there children after a hurt “well, you shouldn’t have done such or such” EVEN if it’s just for a skinned knee because they were running when they shouldn’t have been. So to anyone in charge of small children you are grooming them for silence. Don’t even be complicit in this way, stop now. I never told my parents about the time something almost/sort ?? Still not clear happened when I was 7. My two brothers and I had a teenage male babysitter from our church. I was ‘rebelling’ against bed time. I remember I would keep getting out of bed, laughing and giggling and running into the living room and he would chase me back into my bedroom. But the last time he pushed me on the bed, at first I still thought it was all fun and games. But then I remember him on top of me and trying to or did he succeed ? In kissing me. My fun turned to terror at some point. I must have turned from giggling to terror noises because next thing I remember my brothers were in the room yelling at him to stop.
    My brothers were 8 and 6. Knowing me I probably begged my brothers not to tell.
    Lifelong issues? You betcha, and people like me and I already have been accused by SGMers that the only reason I am so concerned about Daughter’s sgm involvement and so ‘triggered’ by any ‘possible’ ‘rare’ occurrences in SGM stems from my own past abuse.
    ARE KIDDING ME? Only those with past abuse know how HARD it is to HELP BECAUSE of past abuse. I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE! Excuse me, I really do need to take my blood pressure now.
    SO, a GIANT :clap To those of you who have never been abused but want to see justice and are willing to ‘push the envelop’. Sometimes PTSD makes the rest of us too weak.

  100. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    “And I say crime, because often people think this is just teenage experimentation. It is not. And the term “teenage experimentation” as a possibility was mentioned in our 1 “counseling” session with the pastor and his wife.”

    WHAT? Are you serious?

    This is PREDATOR behavior. She was 3.

    These sgm pastors are pervert enablers who only care about themselves. They have innocent blood on their hands. For them to say this only says a lot about them and how dark their hearts are.

    What is worse this message of “experimentation” was passed on to the predator. Which only serves to mask his crime and make sure there are future victims.

    These pastors belong in prison. They enable predators.

  101. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I meant to say in #95 that these WERE NOT conclusions pulled from my back pocket… Ha! :wink:

  102. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I am not sure how much it is the culture that fosters the abusive behavior in the first place, certainly sexual abuse takes place in every human social group in existence (I’m not saying it doesn’t either, I just don’t know). But the authoritarian and patriarchal system certainly does protect and enable abusers, giving them a free hand they might not have otherwise.

    Griefofwisdom,

    My husband and I have said for years that these systems actually attract such people. We’ve observed it time and time again, and it’s not just SGM. I dare say that there are SGMers that are surprised themselves by the large numbers of such folks within their churches. They haven’t put two and two together yet.

  103. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Seconding Patti’s applause: “SO, a GIANT :clap To those of you who have never been abused but want to see justice and are willing to ‘push the envelope’.”

    Patti, some of the strongest people I know are people who have gone through abuse, done the hard work of therapy and come out on the other side through God’s provision.

  104. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Note to SGM defenders:

    No matter how much you trust your pastors right now, do not sign anything. Ever. Not a membership covenant, any agreement or even anything that looks innocent. If you must sign to be a member, then do not join. If you have signed something then write them and ask it be retracted and sent it certified.

    After this scandal with CJ, things are going to get tighter at the top but you probably won’t see it for a quite a while. But more focus will be on managing the message and image of SGM. Even while they play their fake repentance games with stacked panels and affirmations from the Reformed big dogs. So, it will look more open for quite a while.

    Please, do not enter into any agreements. Even verbal. I know you trust them right now but you must be careful for the protection of your family.

    Do not sign anything. Nothing. Let your yes be yes and you no be no. Stop trusting humans for the things of Christ.

    And above all, think long and hard before you support this system with your hard earned money. Do you realize that by paying them, you have helped predators?

  105. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    @Matt: “A Friend, So what do you think about the SGM pastor who immediately told them NOT to call the police?”

    Concerning your specific question, I think I would prefer to hear what the pastor has to say first, since I’m not familiar with that specific circumstance. (i.e. in Proverbs, a person can sound right until another states his case) But your question brings up the larger question, what is a godly response in a case of molestation. What if it was my daughter? How would I handle the situation if I were in SGMnot’s shoes? (I’m not saying in this that SGMnot handled things wrongly – they may have handled everything well.) I probably would handle it in the following way:

    1) I would first go to the parents of the son and confront them. If confirmed, or if I was dissatisfied with the answer, I would express that and say that if I didn’t get a satisfactory answer, I would go to both the pastors and authorities. I would give them a brief time to respond satisfactorily.

    2) If no satisfactory response was provided, I would follow through and call both the pastors and authorities. If I did get a satisfactory response and there was understanding and the parents showed they were willing to discipline/restrain their son, I might wait to go to authorities, but I would still definitely go to the pastors.

    I would take this course because (a) parents are the front-line of discipline for a child according to scripture, and it’s my responsibility to go to them. Notice that I didn’t say that I would go to the teenager first – the teenager is under the parents authority. (b) I wouldn’t hesitate to go to authorities if there was an unsatisfactory response because scripture shows us that government is here for our protection (e.g. Rom 13, etc.) and molestation is a protection-requiring situation. (c) I would also go to the pastors because both families would be under their leadership and they must be made aware of the situation and be ready to provide help to both families.

    Matt, hope that helps.

  106. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Adding two cents to Matt’s post advising SGMers not to sign anything, I wouldn’t put my kid out of sight in their nursery or church programs either.

    And seconding Matt here: “And above all, think long and hard before you support this system with your hard earned money. Do you realize that by paying them, you have helped predators?”

  107. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    “We don’t even have to take time away from the discussion to prove that the weird, extreme teachings on guy/girl relationships, courtship, modesty, sex, etc. have messed up a couple of generations of Christian kids. That’s all over the internet.”

    You got it Kindred. It plays right into the power position of predators. It says, my gender is elevated over the other. It is just a girl, after all.

    That is why pedophiles target children. And with SGM you have the whole gender focus (to a salvic level) with specific roles for all things in life. The message is clear: Males are in charge. Women follow males. Males come first, women second. children third

  108. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    some of the strongest people I know are people who have gone through abuse, done the hard work of therapy and come out on the other side through God’s provision.

    THAT’S A FACT!!!

    I thank God for the mighty restoration work I’ve seen in people’s lives!

  109. Patti
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Awwww..I just went to my ‘happy place’ to lower my BP. And it was remembering this past weekend at the CBEinternational conference.
    I had never in my life been in a group of devoted Christian men and women where I felt complete peace and safety. There was absolutely zero sense of competition. And the few that I did sense something from? I later found out they were still deciding what they believed. The utmost respect between the genders was so refreshing. CBMW would lead you to believe the conference would look like a bunch of radical gay feminists and emasculated men who can’t see a distinction between male/female. Not so, just the
    opposite! CBMW and CJ are guilty of slandering Christian egalitarians. They are NOT a peril to the gospel.

  110. Phoenix
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    A Friend,
    OK, here’s another question. If your daughter was molested would you take her to a doctor? Would you have her checked for physical harm or even an STD? If you wouldn’t you are an irresponsible parent.

    And, would you tell the doctor what happened? Of course, because how could the doctor treat the child otherwise? Well, A Friend, doctors are mandatory reporters, as are nurses.

    So if you are “scripturally” going to avoid going to the police then you must also deny your child medical care. And you are “scripturally” going to allow a predator to predate again on someone else’s child.

    Save the scripture quotes. You are even now complicit in abuse.

  111. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    A Friend said, “If no satisfactory response was provided, I would follow through and call both the pastors and authorities. If I did get a satisfactory response and there was understanding and the parents showed they were willing to discipline/restrain their son, I might wait to go to authorities, but I would still definitely go to the pastors.”

    What are you talking about? Are you saying that if a teenager penetrated your 3-year-old and his parents agreed to discipline/restrain him, you might “wait” before going to authorities?

    Surely, I’m misunderstanding.

    If you meant to say that, it might help you to check this site out and delve into more Scripture:
    http://coveringandauthority.com/

  112. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    A friend,

    Wrong. You call the authorities FIRST. Period. Even touching a little child in a bad way is serious stuff and must be reported.

    You just took the criminal law into your own hands. Way to go. But I knew I would get a long gobblygook sgmese answer.

    To others:

    Sounds so reasoned and professional, doesn’t it guys? But it isn’t. You call the authorities for an investigation FIRST because unless you are a professional in such things, you have no idea what you are doing. In fact, you could do a lot of damage doing it YOUR way.

    Friends, this is why the pagans get this right. This was not between believers.

    Believers don’t rape little girls.

  113. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Isn’t God’s Word amazing?

    If we simply followed the “one anothering” verses there would be no need for blogs and therapy and support groups for those abused.

    How sad that such exists as a result of the church.

  114. Patti
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Lauren,
    Yes, you are right and I have been commended for being strong and I have done lots of help and council myself now. What I wasn’t prepared for however, was the thought of my own daughter who has never experienced any of this type of abuse or gender inequality to fall in love with an SGM lifer while away on the East coast at college. That is what makes me weak. I have to keep trying not to worry about the future and my future grandchildren. But then when I don’t worry about that I get afraid I won’t be as vigilant. Anyway, this is just hard on me right now and I do have to keep my stress down since I just had a coronary stent in April and my BP keeps spiking. So I am depending on the survivors right now. I love you all. Sure can’t wait to fellowship in heaven someday or before if it were ever to work out.

  115. Willie
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    NLR,

    Sadly, in this world we do not get to choose the way that people come at us. We only get to choose our response. I can say anything I want to anybody I want. I can come at you anyway I want to and call you ignorant if I want to. That is the freedom that I have in this country. Don’t tell me how to express that freedom. You are not God and therefore do not control me in anyway.

    I have attended CLC for 32 years and was 14 when this other 14 year old molested the 3 year old. The teaching that I was receiving in NO WAY can be characterized by the claims that you make. Did you attend CLC 18 years ago? NO. Have you listened to all of the messages from 18 years ago? NO. Have you read all of the transcripts? NO. What are the specific sexist teachings? Be specific. Layout for us all the specific teaching that turned this normal 14 year old into a molesting monster. I want to know exactly what, “theology taught by your leaders is inherently sexist.” Give me the details, the facts, the exacts. You must know them all since you have declared the theology sexist all the way around. What are the sexist tenants? Expound point by point based on you extensive knowledge and then prove specifically that each one of these sexist theology points caused the molesters to be created. I called you ignorant for a reason. I did not say you were stupid or lacked intelligence. I said ignorant because you DO NOT know all the fasts or causes, but you speak like you do. Painting with a broad brush is dangerous my friend.

    So the teaching that you have not listened is, as you state, “inherently sexist ALL THE WAY AROUND, BUDDY!” Really? You know this for a fact? You have examined ALL THE TEACHING ALL THE WAY AROUND? Give me a break! You are kidding yourself if you claim to know the motives of a 14 your old boy from 18 years ago. You are ignorant for on so many of the details. Do you know the past history of the child? NO. Do you know the exact teaching that he heard that made his molest? NO. Do you know how long the child had been attending CLC before the event happened? NO. You just don’t know. But that does not stop you from spewing forth your potentially damaging opinion.

    You stated, “stringent teaching on sexuality that represses healthy expression of sexuality within SGM IS ONE PROBLEM AND AN OBVIOUS REASON why many of these young men are assaulting little children.” Prove it. You cannot make a claim like that without proof, facts correlative data, analysis from experts studying each individual case, and interviews with offenders. You know the reasons why this child choose to molest? You have talked with him and he confessed that CJ’s teaching made him do it? Get over yourself. You are NOT that expert and the statements that you make are speculative at best. If you want people to respect the blogs and take the things that people say seriously you need to provide actually proof not just throw out theories that you cannot prove.

  116. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I hear you Patti and empathizing with your pain in this. I’ll pray for your daughter and the whole situation.

  117. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    @Phoenix: Yes, I would have a doctor check my daughter. Sorry I forgot that.

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

  118. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    80sSGM, I am so terribly sorry to hear what happened to your son. I hope he has had lots of help by people who are trained to help victims of abuse. I hope you have also gotten some help to deal with all this sickness.

    Stunned

  119. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    SGMnot,

    Somewhere a while back you were talking “hindsight and 20/20 stuff.”

    I hope that you’re not beating yourself up.

    If you are, those feelings are coming straight from the pit of hell, dear sister. Don’t entertain them for a second.

    Praying for you today – you’re a good mother, and you were a good mommie then, too. :)

  120. WaitingPatiently
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    First, an observation. The stories of abuse are indeed concerning and painful. But we must always keep instaces of pain in the wider context: in light of our sin, even the pain we go through is much better than we deserve…so we can rejoice even in the midst of pain.

    Condemned No More – Amazingly, it was this exact thought (almost identical) to what CJ preached in a message about 10 years ago and I’ve had no respect for him ever since. These are the trite biblical answers that we the abused are given and must accept and this is why MOST Pastoral staff are NOT trained to handle these types of situations. They don’t know anything other than Biblicalisms. I know many Christians mean well but there are so many wrong things to say to try to help people. “Better than I deserve” is definitely not one of them. The whole sinward, puritan focus is one of the huge things that needs to change SGM-wide.

    SGMnot – my heart grieves for your family and daughter, as it does the many other stories that have been surfacing.

  121. Lauren
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Chill, Willie. This discussion is not about one single incident of child molestation. It is about the pattern of abuse cases which are described by many people on this site, some of which went to court and are documented.

    You don’t grasp the scope of what’s happening yet.

  122. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    “You know the reasons why this child choose to molest?”

    Willie, are you saying you expect the 14 year old to be able to articulate why he molested the 3 yr?

    A friend of mine has interviewed pedophiles in a prison and they could not articulate why they did it…over and over and over.

    You really need to get studied up on this issue. What happened in the RCC system is a good place to start.

    Predators are about power. And they choose their victims accordingly. They have no respect or care for their victims at all. And they choose them for what is convenient and in order of their importance in their minds.

    It is insidious that little kids are thought of that way by not only the predator but the sgm pastor in how he responded. The pastor reinforced the message that the teen boy was more important by the way he blew it off as experimentation and did not want the parents to call the police.

    I wish we could out the sgm pastor. He needs to get out of ministry. At least report him to CPS so they know he is a predator protector.

    I do not fool around this stuff, friends. You take this stuff to the mattrasses as they said in the Godfather. :word

  123. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Lauren,

    Thanks for that new stat info.

    I wish it weren’t so! Tragic.

    Stunned

    PS. All those that want to come on here and say that it is sin to be angry about anything, are YOU angry yet? If you’re not, check yourself into inpatient care immediately. You need serious help.

  124. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    80sSGM, are the pastors involved in hiding the pedophile from people still in ministry at SGM?

  125. Stunned
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    AKS said, “I’d like to round up every pastor that’s been negligent in such cases and take them to a prison for some of the inmates to “experiment” on!!”

    I had the same thoughts this morning!

  126. A Kindred Spirit
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Patti,

    I’ve got you and your daughter covered in prayer, girl.

    Hang in there!

    God is mighty! He *IS* in control!! He loves your daughter more than you’re even capable of loving her. What you feel for her, He feels even moreso!! Don’t get yourself worked up. Trust in Him. Hold tight!

  127. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

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

    A Friend,

    I am not playing the sgmese game with you. Or, 20 questions so you can try to frame the discussion. I don’t play your game.

    I have read your comments and they speak for themself.

    You gotta remember, you have no credibility with me. You have made it clear on the other thread that you continue to support the sgm system where these things occured and how pastors respond to the predator and victim. In your last comment you made it clear to me, that you still do not get it.

    I simply do not think you are wise or discerning enough to offer me any insight.

  128. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Willie–

    You make me laugh–OUT LOUD. Like others who come in and insult people and then say that they have the freedom to, I find you laughable at best. If we wanted people to respect the blogs, we wouldn’t let glossed-over drones like you post here–but alas, here’s for equitable discussion. You said you can call people whatever you want, etc… and I’m not God, this is a free country. I like how you used God and Country to assault me. You sound like a spokesperson for Vision Forum short of wearing a top hat, toting an American flag and a picture of George Washington.

    I can say the same about you but I won’t. Not because you haven’t come across as ignorant, but because your words and views simply speak for themselves. I just refuse to waste anymore time responding to your posts. Your lack of discernment and ability to see truth go farther than I would care to “serve” you. If you want to know what I think about the teachings in your church, you can go here: http://www.christiansforbiblicalequality.org and start reading. Otherwise, I’ll let us disagree and continue on about our lives. I simply don’t see you are worth my time. You’re a character, that’s for sure. I’m sure glad I stayed 20ft away from folks like you at church, rolled my eyes and kept it moving.

  129. Ummm
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I guess you aren’t aware that in most states you can be criminally prosecuted for failure to report a sexual crime against your child. You are considered the most important protector of your children, and authorities will come after you. Perhaps that’s a chance you’re willing to take, but why? Never mind, I know why. It’s because you do as your told. :scratch

  130. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    @Matt, I can assure you I’m not trying to play games with you. It seems that you’re very passionate about these things, which is good. Molestation and related issues are very serious and need to be treated seriously. I’m just trying to understand where you’re coming from. You make a lot of very strong statements and it seemed maybe you’re speaking either from your own experience or from the standpoint of a family member of yours that has been a victim, or something like that.

    So no, I’m not trying to play an “sgmese” game with you – whatever that means. If I can understand you better, then I can answer you in a more wise way. I answered your question above, so it’s only fair that you answer my question. :-)

  131. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    “@Phoenix: Yes, I would have a doctor check my daughter. Sorry I forgot that.”

    A Friend, Now you are in a pickle of a jam. Your sgm pastor, that you supposedly called simultaneously with the authorities is saying, ‘Don’t call the authorities’! (We have plenty of precedence to predict this reaction)

    So, you obey him because of how he taught you Hebrews 13:17.

    But now you still have a problem because the Doctor is required by law to report it.

    I suppose you could lie to the doctor in order to obey your pastor but then liars do not inherit the kingdom. So, you have to choose, disobey the pastor and go against the “clear” teaching in Hebrews 13:17 OR call the authorities, first.

    This is where it helps to have spiritual maturity. And the indwelling Holy Spirit instead of relying on your pastor or care group person to be the Holy Spirit for you.

  132. Lucy
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    @212 (#87)~ You said:

    //You are speculating to the highest degree there and inferring that SGM raises little molesters and sex offenders… That’s just wrong, unfounded, and hateful.//

    Who knows if “SGM raises little molesters and sex offenders. They DO harbor them, though. So you’re okay with that?

    Condemned No More~

    Ah, yes. “Observations” and “evidences of grace.” I was only in an SGM for 4 mind-numbing months, but I sure got sick of all that SGMese. “Evidences of grace”? Can’t stand that phrase. What? Like we’re searching for a Yeti?

    And “shedding tears of regret” doesn’t do squat for the victims. Big whoop. Spare me the crocodile tears, wieners, and DO SOMETHING REAL AND REDEMPTIVE.

    //even the pain we go through is much better than we deserve…//

    Tell that to all the molested kids. Good Lord.

  133. Guy
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Hehe…Lucy said “wieners” 8)

  134. HighChurch
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    SGMnot…wow heartbreaking. So sorry for you and your family’s ordeal.

  135. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    “You make a lot of very strong statements and it seemed maybe you’re speaking either from your own experience or from the standpoint of a family member of yours that has been a victim, or something like that.”

    Blog readers: Here we go. This is classic. A Friend wants to make this issue about MY experiences. Therefore he can start in on how I cannot be objective because this happened to me, blah, blah, blah.
    This is all sgm’ers know. Ad hominem. It
    is how they operate and the sin sniffing is nothing but ad hominem. The last refuge of the unintelligent and non thinkers.

    I am passionate because they are innocent children whose lives are affected until the day they die. It never leaves them. You might find that sinful (knowing how sgm teaches) but it is true even with all the biblicalisms you throw out. And it takes years and years for them to deal with it.

    And you support the way the sgm pastors deal with the predator.

    You want to know what seperates the barbarians from the civilized world? How they protect the innocent and disabled of their environment. The least of these.

    SGM is rated Barbarian.

  136. LongingforHeaven
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    “These sgm pastors are pervert enablers who only care about themselves. They have innocent blood on their hands. For them to say this only says a lot about them and how dark their hearts are.” -Matt

    Amen brother! The thing is that most people don’t realize that these patterns of behavior and pastoral ‘wisdom’ isn’t just part of SGM history that they have repented over or even feel sad about. No, It is very much present in the logic of their present day practice, almost to an unbelievable extent. And not just with children either…wish I could say more.

    SGMers please protect your own children from these awful leaders who have no fear of God. They are counting on your affection for them and ties to their church ‘family’ to protect their lofty positions of honor. If you truly love these men you would seek to correct them and have God’s heart of justice and mercy in saving them from their own sins. Don’t let them damage the faith of these precious children and soil the name of Jesus. Love Him first and his word, not your pastors or church.

    “AFriend’ and ‘Condemned’ God forbid it that you would know first hand the pain of sexual abuse for your family or those you love. You shame the heart of scripture with your pithy ‘better than you deserve’ logic. You are certainly no friend to anyone here who has been abused or loved someone who has been abused.

  137. exCLCer
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Matt said “I wish we could out the sgm pastor. He needs to get out of ministry. At least report him to CPS so they know he is a predator protector.”

    Believe me when I tell you, CPS (Child Protective Services)here in Montgomery County is definitely aware of these pastors and their ridiculous support of the molesters in their church. They were completely opposed to their ass-backwards way of thinking, and shocked by thier ignorance, haughtiness, sense of authority (feeling as if they were above the law), and unprofessionalism all which they demontrated very clearly during the many subsequent court procedings and interaction they had with CPS during my familys situation. Willingly committing a felony by clearly trying to NOT report, or keep someone from reporting, is not a lack of judgement, or a mistake. Lets call it what it is, a CRIME.

    When your child tells you they have been abused:
    1. Stay calm. Hearing that your child has been abused can bring up powerful emotions, but if you become upset, angry, or out of control, this will only make it more difficult for your child to disclose.
    2. Believe your child, and let your child know that he or she is not to blame for what
    happened. Praise your child for being brave and for telling about the sexual abuse.
    3. Protect your child right away by getting him or her away from the abuser and immediately reporting the abuse to local authorities. If you are not sure who, to contact, call the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD, call 911, or take your child directly to a hospital.

    ****Notice that “confront the abuser or their parents” and “call your church pastors for their advice” are NOT mentioned in the first three most important things to do. Note in number 3 that the words right away and immediately are used.

  138. LongingforHeaven
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    You took the word right out of my mouth!!!!! This is what the brode of vipers will never understand:

    “These sgm pastors are pervert enablers who only care about themselves. They have innocent blood on their hands. For them to say this only says a lot about them and how dark their hearts are.”
    :word

  139. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Luce–

    Hey friend! Hugs.

    A Friend–

    You said :@SGMNot, I am very sorry that you went through what you went through and I will pray for you, your daughter, and your family. My guess is that we know each other since you mentioned being in CLC for a long time, though I am not personally aware of your situation. Having children, including a daughter, I know such a situation would be difficult for me as well. It is very important to protect our children, so your story is a reminder to be vigilant to that end.

    I want to ask and clarify this… In your statement, you make no mention about the abhorrent behavior from SGM regarding this? Did you do that in an earlier post I did not see? Because here, you did remind SGMnot about her/our responsibility about protecting our children and being vigiliant. It just came across as an indirect but nice way to say that the parent was irresponsible or the opposite of not protecting the child or being vigiliant was the result herel–the abuse. I hope I am most definitely seeing that wrong. I dont’ mind if I am, just tell me that I am.

    Also, are you not outraged at the consistent behavior of your church in these sex abuse cases?

    In a later response, you said that if you got a satisfactory response regarding the abuse of your own child, if htat happened to you, that would determine if you would or would not go to the authorities. For you, what would be satisfactory enough for you not to go to the authorities and turn in a molestor of a 3-year-old? It seems like in your view, the church should also handle what are serious legal matters and deservingly so? Kinda like a theocracy or such. Why does the “church” need to handle all of these matters? Is there any separation between church and state, church and the law, especially in regards to criminals. Do you agree that this person is a criminal? Do you believe that sexual predators and molestors are criminals? And do you believe that criminals should be fairly dealt with in the criminal and justice system that we are told to uphold?

    I’m not sure how knowing if one is a parent or not would assist you into answering them more wiser? Can’t people make objective determinations about molest and criminal sexual behavior without having to be a parent and can’t you answer them objectively no matter what their station in life?

    How would you have answered Matt any differently if he were a parent? I would hope your answers to be based on objective truth, discernment and good judgement rather than the circumstances in Matt’s life that would adjust any wisdom in your answer. Am I getting you wrong?

    BTW, you dont have to answer all of my questions. Some of them might even be rhetorical and I am thinking out loud. But I am finding your statements and questions quizzical.

  140. John
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    PLEASE OUT THE PASTOR. I can barely believe what I’m reading here. This is criminal activity. Whether or not he’s judged by God and eternally D**ned is not our concern. Our concern should be legal justice for those hurt by him and ensuring no future children are subjected to this trauma. Anything less is irresponsible on our part. This guy is still GETTING PAID, for crying out loud.

  141. Ummm
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Condemned no more….I don’t know how to block quote, but you said this, “The Lord gave me a prophetic word picture that I’ll share later after running it by my own pastor and cg leader to make sure it’s appropriate for this time…until then be encouraged brothers and sisters!”

    Let’s see…the Lord gave you a prophetic word, but you’ve got to get clearance from your pastor and cg leader. Wow. There are just so many things to say about that. As a matter of fact, most of those things have been said right here.

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

  142. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    @Matt: I’m not sure why you don’t want to answer my question. You’re right, it’s not about your experience. But experience colors the responses on this blog – if experiences weren’t shared, this blog wouldn’t exist. I’ve shared mine when you asked, but you refuse to share yours. You carry a big stick on this blog and have a lot of contempt and strong words for people like me who are in an SGM church, but I wonder if you have the courage of someone like SGMnot or ex-CLC’er. At least they willingly share their own experiences. But you have little interest. My question was honest, but you’re not being straightforward.

  143. Guy
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    A question for the attorneys that read here -

    Is there a statute of limitations for this sort of thing? Not necessarily just the perp, but for those “mandatory reporters” that knew of the situation and didn’t report? Feel free to email me if you aren’t comfortable posting a comment.

  144. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    “PLEASE OUT THE PASTOR. I can barely believe what I’m reading here. This is criminal activity. Whether or not he’s judged by God and eternally D**ned is not our concern. Our concern should be legal justice for those hurt by him and ensuring no future children are subjected to this trauma. Anything less is irresponsible on our part. This guy is still GETTING PAID, for crying out loud.”

    John, I have to agree with you on this one. I do not want sgmnot to think i am not supportive but the only way to end this madness at sgm is to make such behavior public. It might not get the pastor fired but at least people would know not to attend there if they care about kids and want predators dealt with.

    I expect sgm would really try to ruin the family more. Plant rumors and lie about them. That is how most of these churches operate anymore to save their public image. People just do not realize what a business it is.

  145. griefofwisdom
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    @NLR:
    I think your link is incorrect, is it this?
    http://www.cbeinternational.org/

  146. NLR
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Ummm–

    I thought that comment was sarcasm because I didn’t think it could have been for real. I didn’t know that person was for real. Are you sure they weren’t being sarcastic? Because if they weren’t, and they were for real, then I wonder this: If God gives a prophetic Word, (and from my recollection when he gave it in Scripture), didn’t he always give instruction on when to say it and gave the person discernment as well as permission to speak in his stead?

    I’m just trying to give that person the benefit of the doubt, maybe the person wants to have confirmation first about the prophecy–naturally the pastor and CG leader would have been the two people God would have chosen to confirm it with, right?(insert sarcasm)

    Man, it’s really this bad huh? Wow.

  147. A Friend
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    @NLR, thank you for your questions. First of all, I was not anywhere saying that SGMnot was being irresponsible. If anyone got that impression, I’m sorry for that. It’s not mine to judge. Concerning your question about how I feel about what the pastors are doing, I answered that question with this response in #105: “Concerning your specific question, I think I would prefer to hear what the pastor has to say first, since I’m not familiar with that specific circumstance. (i.e. in Proverbs, a person can sound right until another states his case)”

    If I heard the pastor’s answer to this, I might or might not agree – I don’t know. But I think it’s important to hear both sides of the story first. It’s possible I might come out agreeing and say, “That was terrible counsel – why did you counsel this?”

  148. No Longer Reformed (NLR)
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Grief–

    Thanks for fixing that for me. I didn’t do the html correctly. There are a lot of articles in the free articles section that are just ASTOUNDING and excellent material to compare and contrast the current teachings of authoritarianism in the church, as well as CBMW. There is also a good list of reading and sources like “Discovering Biblical Equality” by Gorden D. Fee and others. It’s about 500 pages and feels like reading an indepth thesis. It’s taking me some time to work through it but I am learning a ton, and for me, it’s been healthy and eye opening to see various arguments regardin men and women in the church, paternalism and authoritarianism. The arguments are far more convincing and overwhelmingly obvious from the “egalitarian” point of view. But I put “egal” in

  149. Matt
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    “@Matt: I’m not sure why you don’t want to answer my question. You’re right, it’s not about your experience. But experience colors the responses on this blog – if experiences weren’t shared, this blog wouldn’t exist. I’ve shared mine when you asked, but you refuse to share yours. You carry a big stick on this blog and have a lot of contempt and strong words for people like me who are in an SGM church, but I wonder if you have the courage of someone like SGMnot or ex-CLC’er. At least they willingly share their own experiences. But you have little interest. My question was honest, but you’re not being straightforward”

    See Blog Readers? Is this not classic sgmese?

    1. Experiences colors the responses on this blog.

    Anybody wanna analyze that one? What a nice insult!

    2. I have no courage because I won’t share my story.

    I have no story to share, but never mind that…A Friend has another purpose and it is Ad Hominem all the way.

    But he cannot believe I have no story to share because I am so passionate, use strong words (about molestation of a 3 year old!) and carry a big stick.

    Maybe I am just a guy who thinks it is EVIL when little kids are molested and the pastors enable the predators and revictimize the victim. I think it is EVIL when pastors tell the parents not to call the authorities.

    “A Friend” finds that strange. Imagine that.

    I guess we can safely assume there aren’t many guys in SGM left who feel that way about innocent kids.

  150. No Longer Reformed (NLR)
    August 4th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Grief–

    Thanks for fixing that for me. I didn’t do the html correctly. There are a lot of articles in the free articles section that are just ASTOUNDING and excellent material to compare and contrast the current teachings of authoritarianism in the church, as well as CBMW.

    There is also a good list of reading and sources like “Discovering Biblical Equality” by Gorden D. Fee and “What Paul Really Said About Women” by John Templeton Bristow, and others. It’s about 500 pages and feels like reading an indepth thesis. It’s taking me some time to work through it but I am learning a ton, and for me, it’s been healthy and eye opening to see various arguments regardin men and women in the church, paternalism and authoritarianism.

    The arguments are far more convincing and overwhelmingly obvious from the “egalitarian” point of view. But I put “egal” in quotes because that’s what comps would say, yet, people like Fee and Rebecca Merrill Groothius and others would say that they were conservative and yet complementarian, yet not in the way that CBMW would define it. Apparently, like many other doctrines, they have redefined complementarianism as well. I think any Christian that would settle on a doctrine or point of view would do themselves a favor knowing all sides of the argument, and in the end, not feeling compelled to choose any–honestly. I dont have to choose A or B, I can choose Z if it’s compelling. I’ve just never heard the “egalitarian” POV until now and without that wealth of information, I would say not only that I have been misinformed, but also, I haven’t given myself the fair choice of deciding what I believe Scripture says in light of overwhelming information available to me (cultural analysis, etc…) that would aide me in making those decisions.

    John–

    I agree as well. After reading this story this morning, it was that little feather that pushes you right over the edge when you were hanging on with your pinky finger. I understand even more now why Andy wants to pickett. I dont even know that it would make a difference, but I do know that someone will notice. I dont understand the heart of these defenders. I dont have kids, but my maternal instinct is like a fierce lioness. I’ll rip somebody to shreds when it comes to hurting a child. I can’t even fathom what I’d do. I can’t understand the lack of fierce anger and outrage over people doin this. If someone did that to my baby, my precious little baby (even if she were 17), I’d pray to God that they’d have a way of escape. It would be best for them. Trust me. And I applaud the men here who go bezerk over hearing this stuff and want to pummel the people who cover it up and abuse these kids. That, to me, is the normal response. It shows you have a heart made of flesh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It’s your choice, and your eternity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NLR,

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A Friend–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Unassimilated-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You tell me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Willie–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @Matt. You assume much in your comments.

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

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

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

    Guy -

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

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

    “@Matt. You assume much in your comments”

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

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

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

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

    What explanations could possibly make this approach seem responsible?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Stunned said it best early on. Talk is cheap.

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

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

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

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

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

    ***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A Friend said

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

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

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

    Brokenhearted–

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

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

    Sorry, by blockquoting is apparently not that good.

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

    Leo–

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

    Great insight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NLR,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    They have redefined Grace, too.

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

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

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

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

    I think it’s time for some harsh reality.

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

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

    Brokenhearted–

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

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

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

    This only proves the EVIL system is very old.

    Gotta run, everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

    Patricia–

    Got your message :) I will reply soon.

    Matt–

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

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

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

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

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

    NLR, I really appreciate your insights.

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

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

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

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

    Josh, please address this!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So Willy is challenging NLR, saying….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  194. 20 years in sgm
    August 4th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Got Out Alive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Exclcer in 137 said it so nicely……

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

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

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

    In 157, NLR says…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    #55, Condemned No More:

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

    :koolaid

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

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

  203. 20 years in sgm
    August 4th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NLR, your little sister was evil. :wink:

    (It kinda reminds you when you are young, a teen, and did something bad and little sister is gonna tell mom if you don’t give her money or candy or whatever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @NewSGMer #196 – You said:

    SGMnot, please consider dropping the names of these pastors. I recently started attending an SGM church in the DC/VA/MD area and I need to know that my family is safe from any instances of abuse cover up.

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

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

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

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

    *sigh*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  217. 5yearsin PDI
    August 4th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

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

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

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

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

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

    I MEAN THIS QUESTION 100% SERIOUS….

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Phoenix–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    No worries if you’d rather not share.

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

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

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

    Brokenhearted

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

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

    Keepinstep–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Just emailed Kris,

    Welcome. Am praying for you now.

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

    Nickname–

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

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

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

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

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

    common-freaking-sense.

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

    BrokenHearted,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    @ NLR: excellent post!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. coming to their churches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Numo–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Exactly, Yellow!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Keepinstep #211:

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

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

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

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

    SGMnot:

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

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

    NLR and Breeezey,

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

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

    Numo–

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

    Fried fish–

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

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

    BLUE sky–

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

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

    Alright, now. :wink:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    AKS–

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

    Nickname–

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

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

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

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

  251. 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:

  252. 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.

  253. 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!

  254. 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?

  255. 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.

  256. 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! ;)

  257. 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….

  258. 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 ;))

  259. 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…)

  260. 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:

  261. 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!!!

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

    AKA Keith G.

    Well said!!! :word

  263. 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:

  264. 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?

  265. 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.

  266. 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.

  267. 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.

  268. 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.

  269. 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.

  270. 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.

  271. 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.

  272. 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.

  273. 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.

  274. 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.

  275. 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.

  276. 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.

  277. 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.

  278. 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.

  279. 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.

  280. 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.

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

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

  282. 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:

  283. 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.

  284. 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.

  285. 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

  286. 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.

  287. 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.

  288. 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?

  289. 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”.

  290. 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

  291. 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

  292. 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*

  293. 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.

  294. 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

  295. 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. :-)

  296. 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.

  297. 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:(

  298. 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.

  299. 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. :)

  300. 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.

  301. 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.

  302. 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?

  303. 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!!”

  304. 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.

  305. 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.

  306. 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.

  307. 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.

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

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

  309. 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?

  310. 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.

  311. 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!

  312. 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.

  313. 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.

  314. 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.)

  315. 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.

  316. 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.

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

    Phoenix, another standing ovation for #303!

  318. 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.

  319. 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.

  320. 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

  321. 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.

  322. 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.

  323. 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

  324. 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 ;)

  325. 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!!!

  326. 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.

  327. 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.

  328. 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…)

  329. 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.

  330. 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.

  331. 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: )

  332. 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 :)

  333. 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.

  334. 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.

  335. 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

  336. 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:

  337. 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!

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

    Kerrin!
    Good to “see” you!!

  339. 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…

  340. 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.

  341. 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.

  342. 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.

  343. 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.

  344. 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…

  345. 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

  346. 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.

  347. 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

  348. 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.

  349. 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.

  350. 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.

  351. Mike Cole
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    @Fried Fish

    or Obliviate :spin

  352. Kris
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I’m way late to the conversation, but I thought I’d weigh in anyway.

    Many of you have wondered aloud here what might cause these incidents of teens who prey upon young children for “experimentation.” Some have suggested that in one way or another, SGM’s unique combination teachings on romance, courtship, modesty, and men’s and women’s roles have created an environment where teen boys in particular develop twisted ways of expressing their sexuality. Awhile back, I wrote this:

    If we look at SGM’s culture, and how SGM trains its young people to view feelings of attraction and interactions with the opposite sex, I can imagine that at least some kids would develop all manner of weird hangups. SGM kids are trained to think that even something as benign as a young girl’s having a crush on a boy is akin to adultery – after all, on the Mahaney ladies’ Girltalk blog, they recently wrote a post about how the Mahaney girls were taught to view crushes and teen romances as “being in love with someone else’s husband.” Even though the young man in question would probably not be married for years, the fact that someday in the future he WILL be married means that when he’s 14 or 16, he’s already “someone else’s husband,” and therefore permitting oneself to develop romantic feelings about him is the same thing as falling into an emotionally adulterous relationship.

    That’s some very twisted stuff!

    Likewise the modesty checklist, and all the baggage that comes with teaching people to think that even something as prosaic as the way a seatbelt crosses a woman’s chest can be “responsible” for causing a young man to fall into the sin of lust.

    I wonder…and I’m just sort of thinking aloud here…

    I wonder if maybe all the fear that is instilled in these young men about the female form, and about noticing a young woman’s attractiveness, and all the courtship junk and the “must treat all women like sisters until – bam! – one day you select one to marry” teachings – I wonder if all of that training causes some young men to channel their sexual feelings to children so as to avoid the sin of lusting after a mature female.

    I still think there’s probably truth in the idea that SGM’s culture can make teens feel very conflicted about what to do with their natural feelings of sexual attraction.

    However, it occurred to me, as I was thinking about this some more, that the behavior of someone like the perpetrator in SGMnot’s case (and the perps other cases, like Noel’s) is much more about power than it is about sexual attraction. Or (God forbid) “experimentation.”

    The perp’s behavior sounds like that of someone who feels powerless…and then turns around and victimizes someone far more powerless (a toddler) to momentarily have some total control over a situation.

    Maybe a more accurate analysis would also factor in the era of hardcore authoritarian parenting teachings, where instant obedience was demanded and kids who didn’t comply were beaten with glue sticks.

  353. In Adullam's Cave
    August 5th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Yes, Mike, they are trying to cast many charms.

    “Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain.”

  354. Roadwork
    August 5th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Kerrin!

    It’s good to “see” you! With all the explosions, you might be feeling lost in the shuffle.

    I know we don’t know each other but just wanted you to know that I was just praying for you.

  355. jedi
    August 5th, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I have a question I keep going in circles, depending on if my child was the victim or the perpetrator. I am torn with what is the right way to handle sexual abuse in church. Has this been answered somewhere I missed?
    What is the proper protocol for pastors when they find out someone has been abused? What should members do when they know someone has been abused and nothing has been done to help the victim? Do other churches offer/recommend/provide counseling after they become aware of the abuse? I have heard talk of calling the authorities, should they be called immediately?
    I guess because we have been told all these years that these things should be kept in the church, and kept only with those involved, I am wondering how should it be handled??

  356. Fried Fish
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    @Jedi #355 -

    I guess because we have been told all these years that these things should be kept in the church, and kept only with those involved…

    The way I understand that, it really concerns me. It would mean that there was a program (official or otherwise) in place to predispose and/or program people toward not reporting abuse… please tell me I’m wrong…

  357. sgmnot
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Fried Fish #356 — Yup. In fact, my husband and I KNEW ahead of time, that when we chose to call the police FIRST and not the church…there would be flack and disapproval, but frankly, we didn’t trust deep down that they would handle it correctly, even though we did basically cooperate with them with everything else. We were obedient, marchin-in-the-ranks CG Leaders after all! :koolaid

  358. Matt
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Kris, I think you have hit on something. In SGM it seems there are certain people who have no power at all to make any decisions.

    A very important part of raising kids is teaching them to make decisions and take responsibility for the decisions they make. Starting small with what coat to wear, etc. and gaining in importance and then allowing natural consequences to occur when bad decisions are made.

    But it seems even toddlers in SGM type churches cannot be shy of strangers without being in big trouble. This tells me all feelings are ignored and there is no sense of self control for these kids since everything is controlled for them. Therefore, they never learn to manage their feelings, make wise decisions with natural consequences and they are really non persons.

    Many of them will seek to control something eventually. Control of others is something worthy of obtaining in SGMland. It is modeled.

    In fact, the way SGM handled the teen predator, once again, took away the natural consequences of his heinous crime and taught the predator the he was more important than the little girl he molested . The ignorant pastor even downplayed the seriousness of the crime by calling it experimentation. At the expense of another’s entire life? I am glad I do not know his name.

    Add to this the teaching on strict gender roles as in what women are allowed to do and not do, etc.

    Recipe for total disaster in life at many stages.

    I am amazed that any kids come out of that system with any normalacy at all.

    We can raise kids tht look real good on the outside but are empty on the inside. Our our goal should be that their hearts are pure. We can get compliance out of them with fear but at the risk of them being very immature troubled adults who know how to play the deceitful game very well.

  359. sgmnot
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Matt #358 — “We can raise kids tht look real good on the outside but are empty on the inside….We can get compliance out of them with fear but at the risk of them being very immature troubled adults who know how to play the deceitful game very well.”

    So true! And your take on the control thing being “worthy of obtaining” and some kids will react to that by acting out and taking control of someone, somehow!

  360. Breeezey
    August 5th, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    @Mike Cole… good post on the timeline :goodpost

    Seeing this visually is GREAT!!! :clap :clap :clap

  361. Yellow is a Happy Color
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Hey Josh, and CLC pastors–

    I have a suggestion. Can you make available SGM’s policy/protocol on sexual abuse? What is the protocol today? Perhaps it has changed since some of the testimonies shared on this blog. If so, why not step out in good faith and demonstrate some transparency on this issue.

    It would really help CLC members to know where sexual abuse victims really stand in the eyes of the pastors.

    Better some belated transparency in house than a big media exposure to the whole community/nation….. Don’t cha think?

  362. LongingforHeaven
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Sorry to interrupt the discussion, but Kerrin how goes it? Like other commenters have mentioned, it is good to see you here! I really hope you and your mom are doing well.

    Kris, I am no expert in this area by any mean (NLR, I believe from your very informative comments you have more experience and expertise to perhaps enlighten us) but I have heard that most sexual deviancy is a power thing. And my own experience within SGM has made realize how much power comes into play. I believe SGM can be divided into to the following groups:

    Tier one (power holders, don’t necessarily sell out totally to the teaching therefore can’t understand the big deal of why the others can’t deal with the rules they don’t have to follow and are given a free pass for because of there innate position)

    The big tithers
    The influential (think excutive level)
    The legacy kids or those or marry into the top families/pastors or connected to them
    The persuaders/guys with tons of charisma and hair gel

    Tier two (eager to please, attracted to more power)

    The fundies who love the unspoken rules and give a great show of how the SGM works
    The “fatherless” men and women attracted by the strong even abusive male leaders
    The ‘humble/wimpy’ men who will be loyal to any system that transforms them into the hulk.
    The pretty pliable 18 year old ready for marriage

    Tier three (least powerful group)

    Children
    The older single women who are great for babysitting and enmeshed into the system because they have wasted their time waiting for mr.boy.meets.girl
    The vulnerable and already abused who feel so comfortable with an abusive situation that they don’t even realize that SGM fits everything they are running away from.

    I don’t why but something in the way Josh hande,Ed the questions at the members meetings and the way almost 97% of the people made sure to preface each question with verbose intros of how much they respected/loved the establishment or Josh himself suddenly crystalized this structure and the power play within it.

    Maybe it doesn’t resonnate with others but it made sense to me.

  363. exCLCer
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Yellow said:

    Hey Josh, and CLC pastors–
    I have a suggestion. Can you make available SGM’s policy/protocol on sexual abuse? What is the protocol today? Perhaps it has changed since some of the testimonies shared on this blog. If so, why not step out in good faith and demonstrate some transparency on this issue.

    :goodpost Good idea.

  364. Longingforheaven
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Ughh wish I could bold to make it easier to read! Could someone share how this is done?

  365. exCLCer
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Longing for heaven Surround text with tags to make it bold, or with to italicize it.

  366. exCLCer
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    oops, I meant surround the text you want bold with the html tag that says strong

  367. jedi
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I think it is more than just the kids looking good on the outside but empty on the inside. I don’t think we can put an age limit on this.

    It is also based on the type of individual, their history,upbringing etc. I know many adults, including myself (for many years), who are empty on the inside but going with the flow and doing all the right things on the outside.
    I believe this is why I am experiencing freedom on one hand, but I have to relearn so much. I have been taught so many wrong things the past 20 years and not disclosing abusive information is only one of those things. Believing that the church is set apart from the world, then I guess, why would we bring in worldy authorities? Why would we talk about these things that are being taken care of by the “right people” or the pastors? Don’t we trust our pastors?? Why do we need to know what is going on? What does that reveal about our own hearts? There is absolutely NO professional help offered to those who have been abused. There is no need, we serve a God who does it all. We just needed more faith.

  368. Guy
    August 5th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    FWIW, Brent has a new post on his blog

  369. PolyJuice
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I honestly never thought I would speak about this, ever. I had long since repressed the hideousness of what our family was forced to endure with no support. So as to protect the identity of my child, I will be loose with personal references. As a couple, we were in marriage counseling when we were horrified to be told by our child that a molestation had taken place by another child (same sex). We brought this to the counseling team. Lo and behold, we were informed that this child had molested a number of other children (why this child did not mention our child’s name is beyond me, because it happened on more than one occasion.) A meeting was orchestrated (that my child did NOT want to attend, because it would mean being in the same room with the perpetrator.) This perpetrator was also accompanied by parents and simply read a statement, asked for forgiveness, my child was required to respond and simply mumbled okay. We were instructed that since the perpetrator had “repented” we were not to discuss this with anyone, ever. Fast forward a few years later, and our child was in a juvenile institution for serious issues, including perceived suicidal ideology. I called the youth pastor and our family pastor, since only immediate family and clergy were permitted to visit. The request was refused and I was informed that if my husband did not make the request, it would not be considered. My husband was already furious with the leadership of the church and refused to make the call. My child had to be institutionalized a second time. To this day, this child gets visibly agitated when driving by the church and refuses to ever go in there again. This child lives out of state but cannot trust in a God that not only allowed this to happen, but His representatives completely ignored/disregarded the pain, having never followed up, not one time. (If No Longer Condemned has the audacity to respond to this post, I will have to never come back to this site. The seeming ignorance with which this poster comments is offensive at best. Please spare me any of your lingo/lack of compassion.)I believe that we, as parents, did not know that the children of then-close friends could do such lasting damage, and could we have done anything to prevent it? I rack my memory and I do not think so, but this was during the time of the aftermath of the “therapeutic nonsense” teachings, and there was no such thing as a victim, only an unforgiving/bitter person who has not apprehended the gospel. Thousands of dollars of counseling later, and apart from divine intervention, I do not know how this will end. I just know that God was not on vacation, He loves this child and our family, and that the pastors who turned their backs on us were not God’s representatives; indeed, I do believe that they were not just negligent, they were drinking the polyjuice potion, since their jobs depended on it. I do not fault them, I fault the system. I, myself, would morph into whatever was necessary in order to fit in. No more. I am free to be who God made me/called me to be. And the church, under new leadership since that time, has been a refreshing change. I just want to say that I had no idea that I would have a similar experience as others who have posted here (this is my first visit!) and I am committing each family and their pain to the only one who can bring lasting comfort: the Holy Spirit. That is the best way we can serve one another since we are in anon-land. So I will pray. Also, I know other offenders that are still in the congregation, even after having served time. Although I do believe in the forgiveness of sins, I also will not permit my other family members to interact with these individuals. We all have a fallen nature, and how long is long enough? I do not want to experiment with that answer. Unfortunately, there are earthly consequences to sin. Each of us must walk in those daily. Where we have eternal hope is due to each of those sins not being held against us on Judgment Day. So we must live soberly and not walk around like we have been given a “get out of jail free card” to use as a license for sin. We must accept responsibility for our wrong choices, and make right choices every moment of every day. A righteous man falls seven times in a day, but still gets back up. That being said, if I were to have been a perpetrator, I would rightfully need to walk in ostracization of certain :new socio-economic groups that would resemble my victim. I would wear the scarlet letter P so as to serve others around me. Even if I became a new creature in Christ, my sinful nature would still be there, and I would wish to protect others and also protect myself by “fleeing temptation.” I know I am going to get dinged on this, but I believe God calls us to walk wisely, not with blind-trust-in ourselves or in others.

  370. LongingforHeaven
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    exCLCer thanks so much! Can I also add that your story made me so sorrowful and just ache inside with pain. I wished that you had someone, anyone who could have protected your family and I wish for some kind of justice.

    My heart and prayers are with all the brave souls, sgmnot, happymom, Noel and others who may have shared their stories yet, who have been marred by the evil of sexual abuse.

  371. Ellie
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    LongingforHeaven,

    use before what you want to bold, and then with a /right before the b to end it, like this: (/b) – only with instead of ( )

  372. Ellie
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    ooooookay, use instead of ( ) everywhere I use ( )

    (b)I want this bold.(/b) I don’t want this bold.

    This is how it will look:

    I want this bold. I don’t want this bold.

  373. Ellie
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Okay they are disappearing on me.
    Use
    everywhere I have used ( and ) in the above example.

    Hopefully this will show up okay.

  374. Kris
    August 5th, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Comments to close here soon – new post up, with Jenn Grover’s helpful timeline. (She actually emailed me with it a few days ago, but I’ve been away from internet access and haven’t had the chance to publish it until now.)