The Silence of the Shepherds

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

Matthew 18:1-6 (NASB)

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=18902&picture=skate

Children Skating

As our count continues, Day 100 of silence at The Gospel Coalition (TGC) is looming.  This group of shepherds has yet to acknowledge the class action lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries and various individuals including TGC Council Member C.J. Mahaney.  Why the wall of silence? 

It has been interesting to observe who has been propping up Mahaney in recent days.  As we pointed out in last Friday's post, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) held its 20/20 collegiate conference February 1-2, and C.J. was one of four speakers at the event.  He shared the platform with seminary president Daniel Akin.  The Associated Baptist Press discussed the event in its article entitled Embattled C.J. Mahaney visits SEBTS.

The Sunday after the conference, Mahaney was invited to speak at a church in our area.  His sermon was entitled A Surprising Punchline.  Mahaney was introduced by his friend and colleague David Horner, who acknowledged that their friendship began in 2005 or 2006.  We believe Horner was a trustee at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) during that time, so we presume that he and Mahaney were introduced by SBTS president Al Mohler. 

Finally, as we discussed in a previous post, Philip Gunn is currently a trustee at SBTS, and there have been serious issues involving a pedophile at Gunn's church.

Mahaney's colleagues in the SBC (mentioned above) have had their own dealings with sexual predators, and we wonder whether that is why they appear to be embracing Mahaney in the midst of the lawsuit, while refusing to discuss the SGM debacle publicly.  Let's look at each of these situations more closely.

Less than a year ago a seminary student at SEBTS was arrested for sexually assaulting another student.  You can read about it here as well as in a Baptist Press article Seminary student charged with sexual assault

After the student admitted to the crime, SEBTS president Daniel Akin confirmed that he was expelled and removed from student housing.  Here is a portion of the seminary's press release:

"On Tuesday, a special chapel was held that addressed the circumstances over the weekend. Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, opened with a reading from Isaiah 53 and then clarified some misconceptions and misinterpretations produced by the media.   

“It has been alleged by some media sources,” Akin said, “that Southeastern acted irresponsibly in notifying our student body. Honestly, we moved very quickly and the sexual perpetrator was quarantined and no one was in further danger after his apprehension. Since then, our primary concern has been to protect the victim and the seminary family. Also, I pledge to you, the Southeastern family that I never, nor will I ever cover up any facts that concern our institution and family at Southeastern.” 

Akin met with Birch Monday in his office after Birch posted a $50,000 bail. He spoke of Birch’s shame and repentance over what had happened. Birch, said Akin, asked for forgiveness and was confirmed of his forgiveness by Akin himself.

 “Not only did I forgive him for what he had done,” Akin said, “but I want to let you know that Birch’s victim has already forgiven him as well.” 

Akin concluded his part of the chapel address by providing pastoral notes to the Southeastern students, faculty, and staff. He said, 'This awful incident reminds us of the depravity of humanity, and that we too are sinners. We need to ‘take heed less we also fall’ because of our own sinful proclivities. Let us be reminded of the gospel that tells us of the God who is abundant in grace and mercy on our behalf.' "

We certainly hope that Birch has gotten some much needed help in the aftermath of this assault and that he is not re-offending. 

Six years prior to this incident, another seminary student was arrested for sexual assault.  He pled guilty and is currently serving a 13-year prison term.  You can read about it at this link:  Ex-church counselor gets 13 years

Here is a portion of that article:

"Brian "Doug" Goodrich Jr. was sentenced to 13 years in prison today for sexually abusing several teenage boys he counseled as a youth leader at Providence Baptist Church.

Before his sentencing today in Wake Superior Court, Goodrich turned to members of the victims' families and apologized.

"I apologize for the deceit, the lies and the betrayal," Goodrich said, crying as he spoke.

Goodrich, 26, pleaded guilty to multiple sex crimes. The six victims were about 13 at the time of the offenses.

Goodrich was a student at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest…"

It is interesting that Mahaney recently spoke at Providence Baptist here in Raleigh.  Perhaps he and the pastor have a special bond due to similar experiences?  Who knows…

With regard to C.J. Mahaney's buddy Al Mohler, we must not fail to mention SBTS trustee Philip Gunn.  Last year Dee wrote a comprehensive post about Gunn's handling of a church situation involving a sexual predator.  Since it was published, the pedophile has pled guilty as reported by the Associated Baptist Press (ABP).  The article begins as follows:

"A former Southern Baptist music minister who will serve no time in prison after admitting to molesting children nearly 30 years ago demonstrates that America’s justice system isn’t always fair, a newspaper in Jackson, Miss., editorialized Jan. 23.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger compared crimes committed by John Langworthy — former associate pastor of music and ministries at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., convicted of five felony counts of gratification of lust – to those that put former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky behind bars for the rest of his life.

Unlike Sandusky, Langworthy accepted a plea bargain that prosecutors offered in part over concern that the statute of limitations in such crimes might jeopardize their case if it proceeded to trial.

“They undoubtedly wanted to send Langworthy to prison, but getting the guilty pleas, considering the case involved crimes dating back more than 30 years, seemed the best option,” the newspaper opined. 'So they cut a deal with Langworthy, who clearly wanted to avoid prison at all costs — even if it meant admitting to five counts.' ”

Then there was this ABP article from November 30, 2011, that contained some disturbing information – Church leader questioned about handling of sexual abuse allegation. It states:

"Questions about a Mississippi Baptist church’s handling of child sex-abuse allegations against a former minister are focusing on a church elder and politician who is nominated as the state legislature’s first Republican Speaker of the House since Reconstruction.

Philip Gunn reportedly advised elders at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., not to talk to police about their internal investigation of former associate pastor of music and ministries John Langworthy, who faces trial on eight felony counts of gratification of lust stemming from acts alleged to have taken place in the early 1980s.

Gunn, an attorney and Baylor University graduate, claims church leaders are bound to secrecy under priest-penitent privilege. A series of reports by local television station WJTV questioned his interpretation of state law. Mississippi College law professor Matt Steffey told the station Nov. 25 it does not exempt ministers from reporting a crime.

Steffey said the rule cited by Gunn applies only to testimony during a trial, not when prosecutors are investigating a crime. Gunn denies the church is withholding evidence, saying the charges against Langworthy are now public knowledge since alleged victims have come forward."

The ABP article continues with the following:

"It is very troubling that Philip Gunn as the legal representative for Morrison Heights Baptist Church is trying to keep information from Hinds County prosecutors about a recently arrested and indicted child molester on whose behalf Gunn attempted to ‘discuss a resolution’ with me last May,” Smith said Nov. 30.

“It certainly seems that Mr. Gunn has some explaining to do about why he, as an elder and attorney, participated in an internal church investigation into child sex crimes without going to the police,” she said. “It raises the question of what he and the church leadership are trying to hide that could help effectively prosecute a confessed child molester.”

In addition to involvement in his local church, Gunn is a trustee of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He was re-elected in June to a second term that expires in 2016."

At the conclusion of that article, Mohler is quoted as saying that the Sandusky tragedy has taught us a valuable lesson.  He specifically stated: 

"We all know more than we knew before, and we are all responsible for that knowledge. The costs of acting wrongly in such a situation, or acting inadequately, are written across today’s headlines and the moral conscience of the nation. The tragedy at Penn State is teaching the entire nation a lesson it dare not fail to learn."

Have these Christian leaders REALLY learned their lesson?  The silence of the shepherds with regard to the SGM debacle is deafening!  Could it be that these leaders, particularly those involved with The Gospel Coalition, are silent regarding the class action lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries because they may have some skeletons in their own closets?  It seems we don't have to dig very deep to find some of them.  In the meantime, the count (and the silence) continues…

Somehow the silence of these so-called Christian leaders reminds me of one of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs.  We dedicate this to all of you who have victimized. 

Lydia's Corner:   Deuteronomy 28:1-68   Luke 11:14-36   Psalm 77:1-20   Proverbs 12:18

 

Comments

The Silence of the Shepherds — 71 Comments

  1. “Breaching Da Proverbial Wall Of Silence: A Story, Sort Of A Little Engine That Could But Would Not?

    HowDee,

    Hmmm…

    Why notz?

    Ans. Because da Ceege is da ultimate Teflon Man…You can throw it, nutz as it tiz, it ain’t gonna stick!

    What?

    Da Ceege has a proverbial “Get outa jail free card”

    Ching, Ching!

    Pass muster wit da venerable SBC, because dayz collected  some $200,000.00? from dis guy, silly?

    Ahem! …Proceed to Park Plaze!

    (a lit’l leven levens da whole dang lump?)

    burrrrrrrrrrrp!

    Dang straight…

    Don’t think it’ll work wit a Judge Judy, but what da heck, he can try…

    (grin)

    hahahahaha

    And here’s to you Al budy, Jesus loves the victims more than you will know…

    ho!

    S“㋡”py

  2. Pingback: TheWartburgWatch.com: The Silence of the Shepherds | The Jesus Realm

  3. Pingback: TheWartburgWatch.com: The Silence of the Shepherds « David Anson Brown UNITED STATES

  4. I believe their silence is due to being cowards. Their actions tend to go completely against what they preach about when it comes to ‘manhood’ or Christlike behavior.

    They won’t hush about those things of course, because they are hoping most people will ignore it or blow off what is happening. If they don’t say anything then it must not be all that important is what they are telling their listeners.

    I wouldn’t want to be in their position, because it has to be hard. Although I would HOPE that I could gather my strength from God to do what is needed.

    Their inaction makes a joke of what they teach to others as far as what it means to be Christ Follower. Sadly, that doesn’t stop them from blowing hot air about the behaviors of others. At this point – no matter how strong their support system is – that is all it is…hot air.

    God will not allow them to ‘pray’ this away. No doubt they still have faith that he will. They will claim its due to the reputation of God’s house, ministry, etc. It doesn’t take a genius to realize this has nothing to do with the God, but more about covering their own reputation.

  5. What happened to all the rhetoric about men needing to “step up” and “take responsibility” and “do the hard things”?? Here are the senior senior leaders in church unwilling to lift a finger when their own reputations are on the line!

    “But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” Matthew 23:3-4

  6. Very interesting.  National news media reports on Pope Benedict's handling and apology for child sex abuse scandal.

    In a couple of posts on the Pope over at The Gospel Coalition, there is no mention of his apology for child sex abuse.

    Is it true that being a Calvinista means never having to say you're sorry?

  7. I believe their silence is due to trying to figure out how to spin this. First of all, make a big show on several fronts showing how they care about the problem of child abuse in general. Their blind followers can point to these things and say, see, they really care. (this happens all the time with other issues)

    Then I think we are seeing some faint spin that CJ is not “personally” involved in any molesting so that automatically makes him innocent of what went on at SGM in terms of DEALING with predators. It is a subtle spin…deflection from the real issue.

    Another subtle tactic I starting to pick up on is making it about Brent being on a huge campaign to ruin CJ (trust me, many are not connecting the dots). Brent is actually one of them and has been his own arrogant, detailed worst enemy. Brent did not even make the sgmwikileaks docs public. Someone else did as far as we know. Brent was authoritarian and still is. He just has no one to be in authority over. He and CJ are a lot alike

    The way to counteract all this subterfuge is to focus on the victims and how they were treated by Mahaney trained pastors with this “strong leadership” according to Al Mohler.

    The real problem is that too many people do not realize just what big fakes these celebs are in real life. Their stage personal is NOT who they are folks. Connect dots.

  8. Loved the song, especially since I listened to Carole King's "You've Got a Friend" several times this morning.

    I linked it in a post on friendship here: http://virginiaknowles.blogspot.com/2013/02/friends-songs-quotes-poems-stories.html

    One of the quotes in the post:

    "Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away." ~~ George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

    Thanks for being those kinds of friends, WW peeps!

  9. Anon 1,

    Thanks for alerting us about Peter Lumpkins’ appeal to Southern Baptist leaders.  He makes some excellent points and asks the tough questions that have yet to be answered.  Bravo!

  10. dee,

    Justin Taylor links to Ray Ortlund’s 2009 blog post on gossip.  Oh yeah, Ortlund was a member of that three-man panel that pronounced C.J. Mahaney fit for ministry, along with Carl Trueman and Kevin DeYoung.  No partiality among that group…

  11. Interesting blog post on the Aquila Report today — quoting a series by Carl Trueman on the Reformation21 site. Here’s the link and a quote:

    http://theaquilareport.com/i-confess-the-discipline-of-being-confessional-part-ii/

    “…In the third post, I want to make the point that confessional churches should by definition not be churches led by celebrities and big personalities. I know that that is pretty counter-intuitive in the modern American scene but it is most certainly one of the pressing needs of the hour. Great teeth, an entertaining stand-up routine and the ability to hold an audience of thousands are no substitute for the more prosaic qualities of basic doctrinal and pedagogical competence relative to a confession of faith and good reputation with those inside and outside the church, Confessions and polity are great levelers because they place the church and its identity above and beyond that of its most significant individual leaders. In the meantime, if your elder tells you to stop wearing that 1970s plaid suit to church, you might want to take his advice — but do so on grounds of good taste and sartorial common sense, not because he has the right to dictate to you the content of your wardrobe.”

    I doubt that the RBD’s will ever respond with the vehemence that I’d like to see. However, if this post is any indication, they’re beginning to wake up. In view of this post, I’m thinking that the 3-man panel who pronounced CJ fit might be tasting crow.

  12. Nickname,

    Check out my comment above, which I posted as you were composing yours. :-)

    Interesting that we both mentioned ‘Trueman’…

  13. Reformation21 website rings a bell…

    That’s the website where Ligon Duncan’s post affirming C.J. Mahaney was ‘accidentally’ deleted. ;-)

    In case you don’t know about that ‘glitch’, check out this post.

  14. dee wrote:

    Is it true that being a Calvinista means never having to say you’re sorry?

    A god can do no wrong.

  15. Deb wrote~

    “Reformation21 website rings a bell…

    Oh yeah, that’s the website where Ligon Duncan’s post affirming C.J. Mahaney was ‘accidentally’ deleted.”

    I just giggle to myself every time I am reminded of that. I bet Duncan is glad he did not speak to a reporter at the time.

    As far as Trueman goes, hasn’t he been writing and lamenting about the dangers of celeb pastors for years? I remember reading some of his stuff and thinking to myself…um…don’t you see this in your buddy Mahaney (that you defended in the impartial review panel)???

    I don’t know how much Trueman is waking up or not. After all, he did say in a NOCO radio interview with the pastor/Dr/mini-celeb host of that show that he (Trueman) knows a con man when he sees one. IOW-nothing gets past Trueman. Oh. What a relief. I wonder if he even knows what he is saying.

  16. Dee wrote~

    “Is it true that being a Calvinista means never having to say you’re sorry?”

    All I know is that between the thou shalt not gossip ever ever ever in your whole life ’til the day you die TGC article and this statement:

    “Akin concluded his part of the chapel address by providing pastoral notes to the Southeastern students, faculty, and staff. He said, ‘This awful incident reminds us of the depravity of humanity, and that we too are sinners. We need to ‘take heed less we also fall’ because of our own sinful proclivities. Let us be reminded of the gospel that tells us of the God who is abundant in grace and mercy on our behalf.'”

    well…there is the recipe for looking the other way at abuse, imo. Don’t ever talk about what you are supposedly equally capable of doing because that is gossip. And…we are all potential abusers…is that what he is saying? And taking heed because we too may fall, although yes, sin is a battle…not everyone has the same battles. I think his statement is a generalized mishmashing of the horror of abuse into a …abuse?? …molestation?? …cover-ups? Oh well…look away, you sinner, are you any better?… kind of thinking which disgusts me.

  17. anonymous wrote:

    Does this mean gossip is worse than sexually abusing a child?

    Right up there with Homosexuality as The New Unpardonable Sin.

    But only if that Gossip(TM) is Against God’s Anointed Elect; if it Serves God’s Anointed Elect against God’s Enemies (like you & me), it’s the Godly Virtue it’s always been among the Church Ladies.

    All Christians are Equal, but Some Are More Equal Than Others.
    (Humbly, of course…)

  18. @ anonymous:

    . . . or covering up the abuse of children, or not letting a congregation know that a child abuser is in their congregation and you need to watch over your children and the abuser.

  19. HUG

    Sins ranked according to the Calvinistas

    1. Egalitarianism
    2. Homosexuality
    3.Not coming to conferences
    4.Not buying their books
    5.Not recognizing their authority
    6.Not quoting the Puritans
    7.Gossiping about CJ
    8. Gossiping about CJ (repeat 10 times)
    9.Not gross tithing to the local church…..
    101. Talking about child sexual abuse
    102 Admitting there was child sexual abuse

  20. anonymous

    Of course gossiping about child sexual abuse coverup is a sin. It must be kept quiet unless the institution is not NeoCalvinistic. Then, condemn away.

  21. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    All kinds of sin goes on in New Calvinist churches; couples living together etc., and in full knowledge of the elders. It is ignored. Our ministry has firsthand knowledge of this on a wide scale. The only offenses that are disciplined are those that threaten the authority of a leader, the well-being of the institution, or the unity of the congregation. We have all kinds of documentation that verifies this fact.

  22. Interesting that Reformation21 deleted Duncan’s comment. Wonder if Trueman, Ortland, & DeYoung (The Three Blind Mice) are looking for their delete buttons?

    Pardon my ignorance; I never knew that Trueman had ever opined against celebrity pastors. Have rarely looked at any of the RBD or even RLittleD blogs/websites.

    Just saw your tweet about Piper preaching at SGM Looeyville. My first thought was “NO! HOW COULD HE??” And then, I remembered that Piper has called CJ out from the pulpit before, at Celebration, regarding missions, or more precisely, SGM’s lack of mission work.

    I hope and pray this will be one of those ‘for such a time as this’ moments. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Will quarterback come Monday morning.

  23. @ dee:
    @ Anon 1:It’s amazing to me that the issue of doctrine is not on the radar screen, especially with Lumpkins. Exactly what behavior do we expect from people who think Jesus obeys the law in their place?

  24. pauldohse wrote:

    @ The only offences that are disciplined are those that threaten the authority of a leader, the wellbeing of the institution, or the unity of the congregation.

    This is mentioned as well in the TGC article Dee linked above:

    Ask, “How is your telling me that thought, that complaint, that information going to help you and me love God and our brothers better, and knit us closer together as a church in Christ’s love?” Isn’t that the goal we should share, every one of us? Won’t it take the working of each individual member (Eph. 4:16)? Isn’t the watch-out for harmful influences an every-member ministry (Heb. 3:12-13; 10:24; 13:12-15)? (Bold his.)

    This is what Cindy Kunsman said about the Shepherding movement’s goals:

    Doctrines soon shifted to accommodate this imperative of the unity and the“well-being” of Evangelical groups. Leaders became willing to maintain this illusion of unity at any cost, believing that they were doing so in service to their congregations and for God’s highest ideal. They were ushering in the Kingdom.

    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2013/02/revisiting-shepherdings-history-and.html

    Hmm….

  25. @ anonymous:

    I couldn’t resist. Anonymous, I posted the following comment on the gospel coalition blog post you linked. It’s 3:10 eastern time. Let’s see how long it stays up:

    “Gossip is a sin rarely disciplined but often more socially destructive than the sensational sins.”

    Really? More destructive than the sexual abuse of children and the subsequent cover up?

  26. I added a response. It will promptly be deleted by JT.

    And lest anyone think their silence is mere cowardice, I would point you once again to all the money made when CJ addresses the lemmings at TGC conferences. That whole thing is one big enterprise.
    1) An author writes a book.
    2) Justin Taylor pushes it on his blog (remember, he’s a big man in the publishing industry).
    3) Once enough folks buy the book, the author is invited to speak on the conference circuit.
    4) The conference is advertised by all the TGC bloggers and all of them give props to both the author and the book.
    5) The sheep are drawn in by the endorsements & pay big bucks for the book and the chance to hear the author at the conference.
    6) New books are pimped at the conference.
    7) Repeat steps 2-8.

    CJ will never be condemned because he’s in the loop. Anyone that would dare to speak against him looses their seat at the table. It isn’t about writing quality books or doing solid, creative exegesis of the biblical text. None of these books are about that. They all reinforce the party lines (note: they’re all about proper behavior, about silence, about authority). They “make” you, the audience, complacent and reliant on the next product.

  27. Scott, You have nailed it. And add another step. Book sells well to niche audience so write another one as soon as possible. Gotta keep hitting while irons are hot.

    Once you are around this stuff for any length of time, you start seeing the process, tactics and business model a lot clearer if not a blind follower. The Christian publishing industry milked Beth Moore like a cow. And they all made tons.

  28. “Gossip is a sin rarely disciplined but often more socially destructive than the sensational sins.”

    What are sensational sins? How come their readers do not demand they give examples? Why are people so docile and non thinking? Entitlement mentality alive and well: Tell me what to think.

  29. “Ask, “How is your telling me that thought, that complaint, that information going to help you and me love God and our brothers better, and knit us closer together as a church in Christ’s love?” Isn’t that the goal we should share, every one of us? Won’t it take the working of each individual member (Eph. 4:16)? Isn’t the watch-out for harmful influences an every-member ministry (Heb. 3:12-13; 10:24; 13:12-15)? (Bold his.)”

    This is one of the subtle false teachings that sound good on the surface for those who don’t do their homework. It is not unity in peace. Or, unity in hiding evil or suppressing negative truths.

    It is unity around the faith. Which is unity around truth.

    ….not unity to protect wolves who protect predators.

  30. “It’s amazing to me that the issue of doctrine is not on the radar screen, especially with Lumpkins. Exactly what behavior do we expect from people who think Jesus obeys the law in their place?

    A lot of pastors in the SBC think the SBC can be unified as Calvinist and Non Calvinists. They have ignored Mohler’s own words about only Calvinists want to see the nations rejoice for Christ or that the non Cals who speak out must be marginalized. He also said that non Cals do not have the mental processes to understand Calvinism.

    He has gotten a pass on all of it.

  31. @ Leila:

    Someone else picked up on this over there too.

    “Nell”

    How does one define gossip? The charge of gossip can be, and has been, used to cover up systemic sin and also abuse of children and women.

  32. dee wrote:

    HUG
    Sins ranked according to the Calvinistas
    1. Egalitarianism
    2. Homosexuality
    3.Not coming to conferences
    4.Not buying their books
    5.Not recognizing their authority
    6.Not quoting the Puritans
    7.Gossiping about CJ
    8. Gossiping about CJ (repeat 10 times)
    9.Not gross tithing to the local church…..
    101. Talking about child sexual abuse
    102 Admitting there was child sexual abuse

    Post of the day!

  33. @ Nickname:

    You left the silent n out of the name of that town on the Ohio River where Mohler practices and teaches takeover and control of Baptist churches.

  34. Thanks for the link to Justin Taylor blog. I left my comment, grabbed my screen shot:

    Sadly, I’ve seen the word “gossip” misused by pastors in an effort to control the talk of their congregations. The term “gossip” can be mis-defined by high-control pastors to silence those who want to challenge the abusive system they see. This creates a no-talk environment where members are afraid to question a pastor because that would be considered questioning authority. And who has the right to question authority God has placed put in place?

    Another example of mis-defined gossip example can occur when sexual abuse is exposed to church leaders. Sometimes those church leaders go in defense mode trying to squelch all conversation related to the incident. Talking about this sex abuse situation is considered “gossip”. The reality is that if there is a case of sex abuse, it needs to be discussed. People must be notified to discover the extent of the abuse, safeguards must be put in place, the environment must be an open one in which all feel free to discuss what happened and what can church/families do to protect children.

    Additionally, victim’s family sometimes are abandoned by their friends because people are afraid to provide support lest the support be labeled as “gossip.” I know of such a case in which an entire family was essentially shunned because of the “no-talk, gossip” rule. They were abandoned by church leaders and the church body eventually moving out of the area to escape this treatment. They are now afraid to try church again because of this horrific experience.

    And finally, I believe many high level and popular church leaders are redefining the word “gossip” in their mind to justify inaction on their part by calling out abuse that they know has been going on among their peers/colleagues. Shame on them.

  35. About the gossip deal. In most of the churches I’ve been in, most people will not talk about why they left. If they do say anything, their words are so few(and sometimes don’t make since) that I can’t even piece it together as to why they left. The “leaders/pastors” have done a good job in convencing people that anything that is said about the church is gossip.

  36. stormy wrote:

    The “leaders/pastors” have done a good job in convencing people that anything that is said about the church is gossip.

    That’s a good point. I know someone who is like that. They were mistreated very badly at their former church and to this day no one knows what happened. I don’t attend the church in question but I know people who do and they all think the way this couple has handled things is commendable and mature. It’s just so politically incorrect to say bad things about a church in spite of the fact that it’s your own story. You can’t even tell your own story? Your own story is gossip because you have to say something bad about a church? It’s pretty amazing how these people can convince you to effectively sign away the rights to your own story.

  37. anon 1 wrote:

    “Isn’t the watch-out for harmful influences an every-member ministry (Heb. 3:12-13; 10:24; 13:12-15)?.

    Why yes, yes it is! And sexual abuse of children is a very serious “harmful influence” – don’t you think?

  38. “they all think that the way this couple has handled things is commendable and mature”

    This type of thinking is backwards and irritates me to no end…

  39. pauldohse wrote:

    BTW, Pyro posted the exact same article today. Hmmmm.

    That cloud of dust we’re seeing is the circling of neo-cal wagons.

    Same message coming to a neo-cal pulpit near you in 3 … 2 … 1 …

  40. @ anon 1:

    “He also said that non Cals do not have the mental processes to understand Calvinism.”

    Seriously? So now all non-Calvinists are stupid…?

  41. Diane wrote:

    As far as Trueman goes, hasn’t he been writing and lamenting about the dangers of celeb pastors for years? I remember reading some of his stuff and thinking to myself…um…don’t you see this in your buddy Mahaney (that you defended in the impartial review panel)???

    Carl “Have Whitewash, Will Travel” Trueman – hypocrite extraordinaire

  42. Elizabeth

    I do hope that is true. I received a phone call last evening that gave me some hope to that end.

  43. Hester wrote:

    “He also said that non Cals do not have the mental processes to understand Calvinism.”

    “You obviously do not have a Rational Mind. If you had a Rational Mind, you would agree completely with me.” — Ayn Rand

  44. The final comments by Ray Ortlund are maddening. That’s what you’re dealing with when engaging the TGC crowd. You question their continued admiration of CJ Mahaney and they’ll give you a sad story about a suicide in the church. Completely unconnected. Entirely irrelevant. But it tugs enough at your heart strings to make you feel guilty. And that’s what it’s all about -shame and guilt the sheep into acquiescence, and above all else, keep them quiet by any means necessary.

  45. I should add, Ray Ortlund made an interesting post on his blog this morning. It features a movie poster with the headline “The Vigilantes are Coming.” Ortlund says we all hunger for justice, but we should push it all to the side and let God handle things. If you can’t read or speak TGCese, that translates into: “Shut up and learn your place.”

    This crap makes me sick to my stomach.

  46. @ scotT:
    Patti had an excellent response to Ray and his tear-jerkiing anecdote, but they deleted it when they closed comments. I don’t think she said anything gossipy, and she didn’t mention the unmentionable leader’s name, so I can only assume they were making sure Ray had the last word.

  47. anon 1 wrote:

    It is not unity in peace. Or, unity in hiding evil or suppressing negative truths.

    It is unity around the faith. Which is unity around truth.

    They are mixing up unity and conformity. It’s not just religious groups who do this; it’s common in corporate America, for example, where so much emphasis is placed on being a team player that there is pressure to go along with a corporate culture even if it means going against your conscience (or, sometimes, even, the law). The thing about Christians, though, is that they ought to have integrity as individuals, not only as members of a group. Closing ranks to protect an organization is never the right thing to do if you toss everything that is good and righteous and truthful by the wayside in the process.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness.” Matthew 23:23

  48. Imagine if the founding fathers of this country had been following Ortlund’s advice. All those gossiping founding fathers writing that gossipy declaration of independence.