Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. -C. S. Lewis link
Last night, we received a forwarded email from one of our readers, Todd Wilhelm who has stood up for the victims, actual and alleged, in the SGM lawsuit. He has never met them yet he has sacrificed much to give them a voice. We hope to tell his full story one of these days. He is one awesome guy! He gave us permission to reprint the following.
Todd's wrote an email to Wayne Grudem:
Dear Dr. Grudem,
I understand you are scheduled to speak at C.J. Mahaney’s church on the 21 July. I would urge you to reconsider. Prudence would dictate that national leaders such as yourself refrain from indirectly supporting those who cover up sexual abuse in their church.
“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.”
The response and a quiz:
While you are reading this response, ask yourself, "What's missing?"
My name is John Paul Stepanian, and I am Dr. Grudem’s assistant as well as a student here at Phoenix Seminary. One of my jobs is to see to Dr. Grudem’s correspondence on his behalf.
Thank you for your inquiry regarding Dr. Grudem speaking at CJ’s church. Dr. Grudem has the challenging task of weighing many worthy and intriguing requests. His current research, teaching, speaking engagements and family commitments have filled his schedule, and unfortunately he will be unable to answer your questions directly. Please accept his regrets. Dr. Grudem has asked me to personally respond to these requests on his behalf.
Dr. Grudem is speaking at CJ’s church specifically so that he can signal support for CJ in the face of unjust accusations. No further communication on this subject will be responded to.
May God bless your continued work for His kingdom.
John Paul Stepanian
MA to Dr. Grudem
On behalf of:
Wayne Grudem, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies
Apparently Wayne Grudem does not subscribe to Matthew 18 when it involves one of his friends. There have been far more than two witnesses who have come forward to describe the serious nature of issues within SGM. In the life of the church, that should be enough substantiation. But, Grudem is the systematic theology guy and I guess he knows the "biblical" exemptions better than this woman. Perhaps he will write a book on the systematic approach to Matthew 18 and show us all how to do a workaround?
There is something seriously missing in this email. I hope it is due to the "wet behind the ears" status of Grudem's assistant. Not once does he mention the victims, actual and alleged! Not one little expression of concern is given! In the end, this is all about CJ. Why? I leave that up to all of you to speculate.
Grudem has just taught me a valuable lesson. He claims to teach "correct" theology. He purports to tell women what they can and cannot do for glory of God link. He must believe that he has a certain authority so that he can teach all of us how to think correctly.
When he cannot take a minute to express one bit of concern for those who have been deeply wounded, he shows that his theology is just a bunch of rules that do not change the heart. Jesus spent His precious time with the lost and letdown. Authority is best understood when leaders wash the feet of the disenfranchised. True authority is understood in the context of servanthood.
I taught Grudem's entire Systematic Theology book (the big one). Today, I realize that I was sold a bill of goods. I believed that "proper" theology would lead to a well rounded Christ follower. I was wrong. It does not change the heart. Only Jesus can do that.