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The Report From Ambassadors Of Reconciliation

Well, the AoR report is out.  You can view it here.

485 comments to The Report From Ambassadors Of Reconciliation

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  1. Unassimilated
    April 23rd, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I do not know if CJ has elected to hire a bodygaurd, yet if he has, there’s some irony about;

    “The second stair is SELF-PROTECTION. Lies are weaklings; they need bodyguards. Even the smallest prevarication needs a ring of perjuries to keep from being seen. But each new lie needs its own protective ring. . . .”

    Found here –

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/rayortlund/2012/04/11/descent-into-darkness/

  2. Stunned
    April 23rd, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Unassimilated,

    I don’t know. Depends how much fuzzy slippers and a robe go for nowadays. There aren’t any other costs involoved in blogging, are there? Wait, I just remembered that, according to some rather nasty spirited SGM pastors, acne cream may be needed as well. (Seriously, other than mean 12 year olds, who makes fun of someone for having acne?!?!)

    Do you think CJ even gets to write his internet bills off? That would be sweet. Looks like those cheap seats are getting more and more expensive by the day.

  3. Stunned
    April 23rd, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Or is it that the seats are cheap for CJ because the pay for them is coming out of everyone else’s pocket?

  4. Bridget
    April 23rd, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Stunned @ 403 -

    I think you’ve hit it!

    I’m amazed at the CJ/SGM financial issues and what “they” are portraying to people, especially in light of pastors I know. Many pastors are taking cuts in pay, living off their own savings, and working other jobs because of the lack of funds. They did not complain. They viewed it as “natural” in light of the economic changes (can’t really call them hardships when I consider other countries) that most of their church is gowing through. Quite a contrast to the raises and continued income that CJ and other SGM leaders are receiving.

  5. Stunned
    April 23rd, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I am just reading Brent’s blog (which I seldom do).

    OUCH. Dang. In it, Brent said, “In 2008 C.J. gave 100k to Al Mohler’s seminary. Has he ever given 100k to the Pastors College in one year? He also had SGM give 100k to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2008. Al Mohler doesn’t need the money. The SBTS has an extraordinary endowment. So 200k was given to impress Mohler when he didn’t need it while “extensive cuts to staffing” were made to SGM which threatened (if you believe the hype) the ministry.”

    OUCH! Dang, if I were giving my tithe to an SGM church, I would be ticked off right now. Oh, and ticked if I had ever been on staff with SGM or an SGM church, then lost my job. Why didn’t we normal people know this info all along?

  6. B.R. Clifton
    April 23rd, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Stunned #405:
    It’s because the inner workings and intrigue of the machine are the exclusive pervue of the professional clergy. We lowly normal people aren’t entitlted to know the innerworkings. Just keep those tithes and offerings coming in!!

  7. Rick
    April 23rd, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Stunned, I was aware of the contact between Kris, Guy and Jim with AoR early on–my hopes are that time and perspective will perhaps open AoR leadership to make a step toward those who could have provided context for the individual stories AoR heard. Background would have been helpful, especially if they were briefed on what to expect in their interaction with SGM leadership prior to the individual interviews.

  8. MAK
    April 23rd, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Oswald…

    Another great message at CLC yesterday. The jist was “we don’t see all God’s doing”. Maybe this evening I can summarize my notes. CLC also had a “coffee and questions” meeting last night. The room was completely full. A few good snippets from the meeting. Will try to make an update this evening.

  9. Deuteronomy 32:35
    April 23rd, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this in all these comments about the AoR report, so my apologies beforehand if I’m rehashing this issue.

    I’m not quite sure what to say about the fact that AoR takes so lightly CJs blackmailing of Larry Tomczak. They actually think it’s of no consequence because CJ never carried out his threat? Really? Have they been smoking something that smells like burning leaves? Is it possible that they are completely unaware of the nature of blackmail(highly doubtful), and that it entails a threat so menacing to the one threatened that the one threatened complies with the manipulation accompanying the threat? That’s the POINT of blackmail…to hide something…to gain leverage over the person being blackmailed…and to use that leverage against the blackmailee to GET WHAT YOU WANT…CJ didn’t have to carry out his threat PRECISELY BECAUSE HIS BLACKMAIL WORKED!!! Excuse me for saying this folks, but these men are either clueless (which I doubt), or worse, they have put the “perspective” in the report that the people who PAID for the report wanted…this is ABSOLUTE NONSENSE and WHITEWASH…that report isn’t worth the paper it was printed on…

  10. Moniker
    April 23rd, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Deuteronomy 32:35 (#409)- What you need to realize is that SGM leadership does not consider what CJ did to Larry as blackmail because what happened doesn’t fit the legal definition of blackmail. They would say that what happened is “coercion”, which is not technically a crime. They would agree that what happened was wrong, but it wasn’t a crime, and it wasn’t disqualifying.

    I’m not defending them, and I certainly don’t agree that it wasn’t disqualifying even if what happened wasn’t a crime. But that’s the SGM leadership’s view, and I assume that AOR would go along with SGM leadership’s assessment. Also, since there was already that “unbiased” SGM panel report on the Larry Tomczak incident, they probably didn’t see the need to address it.

  11. Stunned
    April 23rd, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Rick, I gotcha now. Thanks for sharing.

    BR, this is all so sad, isn’t it?

    Deut, you are 100% correct. Blackmail isn’t when you expose something. That is called (how’s this for simple), “exposing something.” Blackmail is the THREAT to expose something. According to some tape recordings, CJ is an extremely SUCCESSFUL blackmailer.

  12. B.R. Clifton
    April 23rd, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Stunned #405:
    Quite simply put, CJ was bribing Mohler in the form of donations. We don’t know yet what the bribe bought him, but it will eventually come out. It’s far easier to get a friendly handshake out of a well greased palm.
    This sort of thing is unprecidented especially when the organization could have used the money internally instead of throwing loyal employees and constituents under the proverbial bus. Come to think of it Jesus told a parable about just this very situation.

  13. SamMcGee
    April 23rd, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Bob Kauflin tweet from this afternoon:

    “Blog comments are always a reliable source of information. #InternetMyths”

    I wonder why he feels the need to go on offense? Wasn’t the AoR report the last word on all this? ;)

  14. Oswald
    April 23rd, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    MAK #408 — Thanks, I’ll be on the lookout for your comments. I listened to the message and thought it was God speaking to us all. Continue to pray for this pastoral team.

  15. Contentious Jones
    April 23rd, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Does anyone know how much $ per annum (if any) SGM pays CLC for the use of CLC basement space? CLC’s operating expenses are huge (around $2.7 million/year), so I wonder how CLC will make up the difference.

  16. Moniker
    April 23rd, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Off the topic here, but since sexual abuse of children is a concern of ours here…in case you hadn’t heard, Voice of the Martyrs executive director, Tom White, committed suicide last week amidst allegations that he molested a 10 year-old girl. You can read about it at the AP link http://tinyurl.com/855uxuc and at Voice of the Martyrs http://tinyurl.com/766kswn So heartbreaking.

    I also wanted to draw your attention to a very touching open letter to the girl written by Pastor Wade Burleson of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma. http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/04/sin-and-suicide-of-voice-of-martyrs.html Wade Burleson is a pastor in the truest sense of the word.

  17. MAK
    April 23rd, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Contentious…SGM owns their part of the CLC building. When SGM moves out, CLC will have to buy out SGM. Not sure exactly how this is going to go down. I’m also not sure of the fair market value of the space. I’ve hear $1.5 million thrown around but I’m not a real estate expert nor has CLC leadership discussed this yet.

    At CLC’s coffee and questions meeting last night, it was stated that CLC’s MONTHLY payment to SGM that has been suspended was $60K per month! The leadership team did note that we are still supporting the north african mission team and that CLC is funding 70% of that work. They also noted that they would consider supporting other targeted SGM endevors if they came up and we felt the Lord calling us to.

  18. Ozymandias
    April 23rd, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Re: SamMcGee #413 — I think the proper hashtag for that Kauflin tweet is #StrawManArgument.

  19. Ozymandias
    April 23rd, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    And here’s what Daniel Montgomery @ Sojourn in Louisville thinks of the news: http://daniel-montgomery-sojourn.com/sovereign-grace-moving-to-louisville-what-does-sojourn-think/

  20. 5yearsinPDI
    April 23rd, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Deut…..

    CJ and his cronies consulted a lawyer about the possibility of the blackmail threat, and the lawyer advised them that it would be unwise:

    http://abrentdetwiler.squarespace.com/storage/edited-pdfs/Brent%27s%20Documents%20Parts%201-7.pdf

    ( from the docs, around page 161, the blackmail section starts page 138)

    After writing us and later the same day, Steve talked to Chip Grange, our legal counsel,
    to get his perspective on the sharing of this information. Steve sent us the following
    notes regarding whether or not we should reveal details regarding the child‘s sins.
    Steve‘s Notes Regarding Counsel from Chip Grange
    10/14/97
    Gentlemen, here is a bullet form synopsis of our lengthy conversation.362
    3. Re: us divulging [the child‘s] sins if necessary. He said this is the shakiest
    part of our perspective. Would STRONGLY recommend we jettison the
    idea. Court would recognize our responsibility for Larry because he was an
    employee. [His child] was not an employee. Even though he was a [child]
    of an employee, it doesn‘t matter. If we divulged what was shared in
    confidence in a pastoral climate of counsel and confidentiality, we would be
    very vulnerable…
    9. Regarding us disclosing [the child‘s] sin, there is a big red flag here. Even if
    we state more than Larry has said in his May 15 letter, there are major
    cautions. Strong recommendation we do not divulge [the child‘s] sins to
    any degree in any fashion. He was not an employee and we are not
    responsible for [the child] (legally) unless that has been delegated to us by
    [the] parents, which it wasn‘t. Voiced major reservations that we do this.
    We would be vulnerable if we did…
    11. The courts would see a strong line of demarcation between divulging
    Larry‘s sins and revealing [the child‘s].

    You can be certain that had the lawyer said it was OK, and Larry not backed down, the threat would have been carried out. And by the way, the original panel of 3 that cleared CJ referred to this episode along the lines as a sin spoken in a heated moment that CJ never really intended, he just got mad and emotional but never really meant it. Oh really? They went and got legal counsel to see if it was possible to blackmail, for crying out loud.

    What boggles the mind, and simply astounds me, is the willing and chosen blindness of the big dogs CJ has charmed. I don’t know how AoR could let this pass either. To say that well, somebody did not carry out a threat- after the lawyer told them not to-is obviously no excuse to dismiss the threat. They didn’t want to get sued, period. Same reason they won’t come clean on the sex abuse crap. Fear of lawsuits.

    Ugh.

  21. Stunned
    April 23rd, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    BR, I am embarrassed to say, but which parable are you talking about? The shrewd manager?

  22. ExClcer'sMom
    April 23rd, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Ozy, I went to that link..after reading the article, as well as the comments, I can see why CJ is so desirous to move there..Sounds like those people down there have no clue about the accusations against CJ..Too bad, CJ et all..you cannot outrun God, nor can you hide from Him. Be sure your sin will find you out.

  23. ExClcer'sMom
    April 23rd, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Moniker, would that all people could respond to victims as Wade Burleson has..You are right-he seems like a true Pastor. I hope the little girl gets to read it, or has another minister such words to her.

  24. Persona
    April 23rd, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I Googled around and discovered there a few random things allegedly more costly in Louisville, than in Gaithersburg:

    - Milk
    - white bread
    - cheese
    - apples
    - bottled water
    - wine
    - beer
    - utilities (elec/gas/water/waste collection
    - mobile phone use (+ tariff)
    - fitness club membership
    - tennis court rental
    - summer dresses at H&M
    - pair of Nikes

    In general, groceries and mortgage rates are about equal…

  25. Yellow is a Happy Color
    April 24th, 2012 at 12:23 am

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/04/sin-and-suicide-of-voice-of-martyrs.html

    Moniker in #416——–thanks for posting this. How sad. But this pastor’s letter to the young girl should be carefully read by every CLC/SGM pastor.

    THIS is how you ‘care’ for a victim of sexual abuse. Not in the classic CLC way..

  26. Mary
    April 24th, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Wow. Yes. And how you should treat any victim of abuse. This should also be read by AoR. What healing words……….

  27. B.R. Clifton
    April 24th, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Sam:
    Isn’t Kauflin the one who wrote and sang that worship song to CJ last year?

  28. B.R. Clifton
    April 24th, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Stunned:
    Yup, that’s the one. He drew down the debts of all those who owed him in order to have friends to fall back on after his boss canned him.

  29. B.R. Clifton
    April 24th, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Stunned:
    It’s found in Luke 16:1-9.

  30. Steve240
    April 24th, 2012 at 7:28 am

    One thing I am assuming about the relocation to Louisville is that it more or less is something the new board announced vs. discussing and getting real input from various local SGM Churches. This is along the same lines as their installing new board members so quickly. The fast track installation of new board members lead to a “protest” type of letter from Fairfax SGM that a number of other churches signed.

    Why does SGM do things like this w/o working with the local churches that support them? Maybe it is easier to get something like this that they have decided they want done by just announcing it vs. discussing it with the local churches. Why ask local churches for input when you really want to do this? If you ask, it might be harder to implement.

  31. Kris
    April 24th, 2012 at 7:32 am

    RE B.R. Clifton’s #427 -

    Bob Kauflin did sing a worship song to CJ, but that was not last year. It was back in something like 2004, when CLC had a weekend-long fest to celebrate CJ’s ministry and his transfer of CLC’s senior pastorate to Josh Harris.

  32. B.R. Clifton
    April 24th, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Thanks Kris. It seems like only yesterday that I watched the video of him doing that disgusting thing.

  33. Steve240
    April 24th, 2012 at 7:45 am

    B.R. Clifton

    Here is the page with that video on it along with other videos:

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2012/02/10/some-interesting-videos/

  34. B.R. Clifton
    April 24th, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I just went back and reread the SGM relocation announcement. Something I find glaringly lacking throughout is the mention of God, or of the SGM board having sought God on this matter. There’s no mention of God having directed them to relocate or that His (God’s) treasury was at a seasonal low and they would have to make adjustments and do without His help. If I am to take this announcement at face value then I would have to conclude that they did not consult with God over it and He (God) has not given them any counsel to take the action they are now planning. I think it’s a pretty lousy testimony to say by one’s actions that they have deterimined that God is no longer able to supply their needs and they must now pick up the ball and carry it on their own, making their own way. Have they now torwn God under the same bus with everyone else?
    (Beating on the dead horse here)

  35. Remnant
    April 24th, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Nine pages of comments about the AoR report. I know I am not alone when I find myself continuing to shake my head in disbelief at the things AoR put in writing and at their lack of discernment and understanding.

    And this morning I find an encouraging understanding that our experiences, our understanding, our thoughts, ideas and personal judgments about SG “Ministries” are still valid and true even in the midst of the published report.

    There is a deception at play. But the guilt for deceit does not lie at the feet of the wounded and those whose eyes see the Truth of the matter.

    AoR squandered a great opportunity. They did not choose the high road, but instead chose to protect their earning potential.

    I feel sorry for the fine folk of Louisville. A spiritual train wreck is quickly descending upon them under the guise of SG “Ministries.” At least the people left behind in Gaithersburg can begin to breathe free air after so many years of oppressing “ministry.”

  36. Stunned
    April 24th, 2012 at 8:58 am

    BR, there was one mention of prayer in their announcement. Here is the line, “Over the past few months, our staff has explored various locations for a potential move, including visits, demographic studies, many conversations, and much prayer.”

    I remembered that they had mentioned prayer once, because it struck me when I read it through the first time. I was sadly surprised that the last thing in their list of considerations was prayer. I am not trying to be critical of these men, many of whom are my brothers. And after spending many years being picked apart by the hands of sin sniffers in SGM, I am NOT trying to do that to them. But it seemed so conspicuous that prayer was the last thing mentioned.

    Also, God is mentioned at the very end of their announcement.

    “Please join us in praying for all those participating in this relocation. Despite the many adjustments this will entail, we are trusting God and hopeful that this move will position us for greater service to our churches as together we proclaim the gospel and plant churches for the glory of God.”

    Though they do not mention that God is leading them in this, they say they are trusting Him in this move. They also say they are wanting to glorify God. This is a good thing. I hope someday they will learn that they glorify God via the way GOD calls them to glorify Him, namely threw loving others and not lording over others. God is not glorified when we control others, but love them. I pray that some day they see that the gospel is not about what we can do for God, but what He has already done for us and His great, amazing love for us.

  37. Stunned
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Remnant, I hear you, but I suspect that a train wreck was already in Louisville. A brother who lives down there used to write here and tell stories of what happened to the SBTS once Al Mohler took over. I wonder if this guy knows that CJ is coming down.

    He who has ears, let him hear.

  38. Oswald
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I saw the following which is part of an article about fleeing a church. It’s from Jonathan Lehman of 9marks. I saw it at Gospel Coalition blogosphere.

    “Then Jonathan helpfully points out some examples of abusive leadership:

    How do you recognize abusive leadership? Paul requires two witnesses for a charge to be leveled against an elder (1 Tim. 5:19), probably because he knows that leaders will be charged with infelicities more than others, often unfairly. That said, abusive churches and Christian leaders characteristically

    Make dogmatic prescriptions in places where Scripture is silent.
    Rely on intelligence, humor, charm, guilt, emotions, or threats rather than on God’s Word and prayer (see Acts 6:4).
    Play favorites.
    Punish those who disagree.
    Employ extreme forms of communication (tempers, silent treatment).
    Recommend courses of action that always, somehow, improve the leader’s own situation, even at the expense of others.
    Speak often and quickly.
    Seldom do good deeds in secret.
    Seldom encourage.
    Seldom give the benefit of the doubt.
    Emphasize outward conformity, rather than repentance of heart.
    Preach, counsel, disciple, and oversee the church with lips that fail to ground everything in what Christ has done in the gospel and to give glory to God.”

  39. Roadwork
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:35 am

    In hindsight, we should have seen this coming.

    We know that SGM only respects people and organizations that think, believe and interpret the Bible as they do. Diversity in theology or practice has never been a strong trait of SGM. Why would they have chosen AoR in the first place? Because AoR evaluates situations in the same manner as SGM. Since AoR thinks the way they do, it’s an organization they “trusted” to bring “reconciliation”. (Reconciliation in their mind is always about personal relationship so reconciliation only ever occurs at the personal level and never at the organizational level.)

    In any issue of broken relationship, the problem is always laid at the feet of the offended party. Regardless of what sin has been committed against you, ultimately it’s all about how you respond to the offense. If you respond in any way other than complete forgiveness, then you’re obviously still harboring sin in your heart and they’ll be all too willing to help you see where sin remains. It doesn’t matter who, what or at what level – your sin – your unforgiveness is therefore ultimately the problem.

    “Clenched fists” or continuing to bring up past offenses are all to be interpreted as unforgiven sin and is often categorized as sins of anger or bitterness. It doesn’t matter what or for how long you’ve tried appealing to the offender in an effort to get them to see how they’ve sinned or to what level they’ve sinned – in other words, how the offender’s sin contributed to the original hurt, pain and damage. If the offender hasn’t changed and you continue to bring up how you’re being hurt or damaged, it’s seen as evidence that you still harbor sin in your heart and proof that you haven’t responded by anything other than complete forgiveness. It’s always your problem.

    I believe they view blogging as just another means whereby you continue to bring up past offenses. The conclusion from that thought process is that blogging is sin. (“Past offenses” could mean four years ago or yesterday.)

    The continued focus on you is presented as caring for your soul since any offense leveled against you is far better than the punishment you ultimately deserve for your sin.

    As an aside, I’m not trying to minimize 70 x 7. The guilty should be taking responsibility for their contributions. SGM allows little on this side of the equation when it comes to the offender taking responsibility for their actions, showing true repentance along with commensurate and measurable behavioral change.

    Further, since the problem is always you and your sin, the offending party is rendered guiltless. For the offended ones, it’s a Kobayashi Maru. For you non-Trekkies, the Kobayashi Maru is the no-win scenario.

    What this no-win situation demands is actually works. It’s an unhealthy focus on your sin that keeps you enslaved to a level of performance unattainable in this lifetime.

    Consider the man that fell among thieves In Luke 10. A Priest and a Levite passed him by. However, the good Samaritan stopped. It is written that the good Samaritan, “went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”

    It is not written that the good Samaritan counseled him to extend forgiveness to the thieves or in making it a private matter of broken relationship.

    Once again I ask, “Have they not read?”

    What they miss is the fact that as these offending parties continue in the same pattern, we have no choice but to do as Paul did and warn others and name names. In these “modern times” it’s called blogging. It’s no more than a digital epistle.

    ~ Roadwork

  40. Stunned
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Clenched Fists”

    ha ha ha. Have they not heard about Jesus and his bad ol’ whips clearing the temple? ha ha ha, these guys crack me up! Man, imagine the letter they should be writing to Jesus about His anger issues! Clenched fists!

    Ha ha. Have they ever read the Old Testament, with whole civilizations being wiped out? God must have some major unforgiveness, eh?

    And to my knowledge, no one who met with AoR expressed any desire to see our SGM leadership brothers have their gonads removed, though this is exactly what Paul said in a letter that God saw fit to publish not just for tens of thousands of people in 2011, but in the most popular book ever sold for the past 2,000 years. Wow, don’t these AoR guys see that God’s ways are NOT their ways?

    My AoR brothes, I say this not to hurt you. I say it for the sake of all those you condemned with your letter. (A letter, which I remind you, was never intended to address anyone but SGM.) I also say it to, hopefully, show you the error of your ways. If you condemn someone who was abused because he/she had curled up fists, then by the same token, you must turn and condemn Jesus for His whip (which by all logic is much worse than a clenched fist). You must condemn God for having Israel wipe out whole civilization. You must condemn Paul for wishing that those who loved the law get their balls/testicles cut off. (Kris, I thought I’d give you the choice to choose whichever word is less offensive. Not trying to shock anyone here, but praying that these guys SEE what they are doing.) AoR, I beg you, please STUDY… commit to learning about PTSD, spiritual abuse. Please, educate yourselves further. I know you think you have probably learned enough, but if you are ever called on to work on a case like this again, you must educate yourselves first. Please, consider this. Please take it to God.

    You can’t lose a thing if you spend time asking Him if He would have you do this, can you?

  41. Stunned
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Oswald, that list is amazing! Thank you for sharing it.

  42. Rorschach
    April 24th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Post 420 –

    FYI –

    As far as the law is concerned there is culpability regarding not mere blackmail (which as far as case law goes, occurs as soon as the threat is communicated and disregards the intent of the transgressor), but also extortion (which concerns coercion using an unlawful threat… breaching the confidentiality between penitent and parishioner in the common law of GA). Not only that but there is the implication of “conspiracy to commit a felony” – that includes all those present and a part of that meeting, especially those who repeated the offense. Blackmail and subsequently extortion (more serious) are felonies. Additionally, when done using communication means (phone) across state lines one hasn’t broken the law in MD or GA, but you’ve now committed a federal felony. I’ve done MUCH study and confirmed this through other professionals (and have considered for a long time to expound upon it in writing myself), which is one of my major hangups – as far as the US justice system, there was a serious breach. Anyone who does not recognize this is either being dishonest or is ignorant of US code.

    When the panel report came back with the assessment that the leaders ceased their “attack” after learning what they were doing was unethical my questions are:
    1) legal counsel was brought in on both sides regarding the fact that this was blackmail, and ILLEGAL
    2) legal counsel was aware that the threat itself was ILLEGAL
    3) they ceased and desisted after this was made known.
    4) these are not misdemeanors or petty crime… they are felonies. Serious crimes – that carry hefty penalties and years of jail time if prosecuted within a certain time frame. ATM, they are past the statute of limitations.

    To merely call it “unethical” is dishonest, you’re downplaying the seriousness of it…. and of all of us, you’d think the leader would already know this from the BIBLE.

    To play it out as a one-time thing that was done in the heat of passion is also to be dishonest. The offense was repeated over the course of many days.

    To downplay it as not as bad as adultery or malfeasance, I’d also disagree with. If you are a leader, you are one of the chief ambassador’s of Jesus’ good news. How dare a leader use someone’s sin as leverage in order to coerce them into what you want them to do? That’s antithetical to the entire purpose of that leader under the banner of Jesus Christ.

    So yes – I’ve lost relationships because this is one of my major hangups and because apparently some believe it to be slander. Nevermind there is a disagreement on what should not be private (the fracture of church leaders, as well as seriousness of a transgression is not merely a pecadillo offense between two guys… its much greater than that).

    Hence my tag – from whom some of my favorite quotes come from…
    “No compromise, not even in the face of armageddon”

  43. Muckraker
    April 24th, 2012 at 10:15 am

    The AoR report is now officially off the SGM Main blog page. It was up for exactly 1 week. It is, however, still on the SGM Home page on the bottom right. How long will it be there before they attempt to sweep away all evidence of past controversy? Has its existence even been announced at any SGM churches? Do any members actually even know about its release?

  44. Rorschach
    April 24th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    ” one hasn’t broken the law in MD or GA” should read
    one hasn’t ONLY broken the law in MD AND GA” …

    apologies.

  45. Stunned
    April 24th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Rorschach, great post!

    Though I may disagree with one thing. You said, “they ceased and desisted after this was made known.”

    The threat was already made. (And as you and others have pointed out, blackmail is a threat to expose.) The blackmail was not ceased, meaning, after they “found out” what they had done was illegal and wrong*, they never went back to Larry and Doris to say, “We are so sorry but no matter what you do, we will never do to you what we threatened to do. You go ahead and tell people why you are leaving PDI. We were wrong to blackmail you.”

    Had they gone back to promise to Larry and Doris that no one would ever betray their confidence, no matter what decision Doris and Larry made, then and only then could the blackmail have been considered to have ceased. But since they didn’t share with Larry and Doris their, “Oppsy-daisy, we were wrong” then the blackmail still stood. (And very effectively at that.)

    (*like they needed counsel to tell them that blackmail is wrong?! what is so broken in them and in their souls that they need someone else to tell them that blackmail is wrong?!)

  46. Whirlwind
    April 24th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    @SamMcGee #413 – Looks like Bob’s Twitter post on blog comments has been removed. (At least I can’t find it – I really wanted to reply “Blog comments are never a reliable source of information. #InternetMyths”

  47. Stunned
    April 24th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Whirlwind, what would you reply with? “They are more reliable than any of the info we get out of SGM”?

  48. Whirlwind
    April 24th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    @Stunned #447: I just wanted to change Bob’s “always a reliable source” (obviously not true) to “never a reliable source” (also not true, but in the other direction).

    I’m guessing someone must have pointed out the snarkiness of his comment and the obvious and continuing contempt it reveals in his heart toward the SGM blogs.

  49. Bridget
    April 24th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Stunned and all -

    I agree! And the fact that SGM leaders never confirmed with Larry and Doris their repentance nor did they promise that they would NEVER pull this threat out again, they essentially held them to this threat for the next DECADE. How could Larry or Doris trust CJ or the others ever again.

    The fact that other leaders in T4G, TGC, and the AoR representatives DON’T SEE the blackmail as a major legal, moral, ethical and Biblical problem is way beyond my comprehension. Yes anyone of us is capable of the same thing . . . but we would have been arrested, disciplined and/or kicked out of a church if we had not repented and made restitution, as it should be when you break the law of the land or commit such sin without repentance. Even with repentance you might still end up in jail.

    By the way, since SGM is all about Biblical language can we please call this sin, and sin that was encouraged and propagated with the help of other leaders.

    Was this all passed over because in the end it was all for the purpose of promoting the Reformed doctrines in PDI/SGM? Is that why the other RBDs are okay with CJ and SGM leaders breaking the law?

    Someone please explain this to me. Seriously, RBD and SGM leaders, please explain this to me so I can explain to “my children” why breaking the law like this (along with the mishandling of sexual abuse) and having other’s cover it up is an acceptable thing for Christians to do! Maybe you can explain it to the watching world as well!!!! While many people go to jail for far less.

  50. Whirlwind
    April 24th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    @Bridget #449: When I first heard of the blackmail, I was troubled, but thought, “How should I consider really bad stuff that happened so long ago?” However, the fact that it took a decade for CJ to acknowledge it is a MAJOR factor in my mind, especially when you hear that Larry made attempts to reconcile during that time and wasn’t received.

    It’s very similar to the problems documented on the blogs. It seems the majority of them (though certainly not all) happened a lot of years ago. It’s possible people change – that is part of our hope in the Jesus – but still some leaders will not properly acknowledge their faults and seek restitution.

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