Defeat should never be a source of discouragement but rather a fresh stimulus. Robert South link
Today will be a series of 3 short posts. This will be the first.
You may read the judgment of the Maryland Appeals Court here.
Here, the plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration, filed within ten days of the entry of the May 23, 2013 order, had no impact on the time for filing a notice of appeal because the May 23, 2013 order was not a final judgment. The tolling effect of Rule 8-202(c) does not apply to a motion for reconsideration of a non-appealable interlocutory order, and has no bearing on the effectiveness of a notice of appeal filed while such a motion remains pending. See Carr, 135 Md. App. at 228 (filing of motion to alter or amend within ten days of a non- final judgment did not operate to save a notice of appeal filed within 30 days of that same judgment, but prior to the entry of the final judgment).
In my reading of the document, it appears this decision has to do with a simple timing error. However, some of our attorney friends may correct my interpretation. Apparently, it was believed that the final decision of the the first court was made in May 2013. In fact, the final decision was made in October of 2013. The appeal must be filed within 10 days of the final decision. The appeal was filed within 10 days of the May decision. Hence it was throw out on a technicality. If I am incorrect in my assessment, I will update as information is received.
Here are a few thoughts.
- Due to the testimony of Grant Layman, CJ Mahaney's brother in law who admitted that he should have reported his knowledge of Nate Morale's abuse, it is our thought that there may be further investigations going on behind the scenes.
Under cross-examination Attorney Drew asked: "Did you have a responsibility to report the crimes to police in 1992?" to which Grant responded: "I believe so." Then Defense Attorney Drew asked:"Did you report it to police?" Grant responded: "I didn't do it."
- This civil lawsuit has not been tried in court. In other words, the decisions by the courts are purely technical in nature and do not reflect on the actual charges of the lawsuit. Think of it this way. The gun goes off in a track meet. The fastest runner gets disqualified due to starting prior to the gun and is eliminated from the race. Is the guy who won really the fastest runner?
- Even one of the defense attorneys allegedly acknowledged the seriousness of the complaints.
Defense Attorney #1 affirms the seriousness of the allegations and notes that they were “tough to read.” He states that we have not yet gotten to the merits of these allegations, some going as far back as 1982, but if the case were to proceed and we did get to the merits, they would, however, be vigorously contested.
- If I were a defendant, absolutely convinced of my innocence, I would be frustrated by this outcome. I would want the trial to proceed so that the world could see the proof of my innocence. Now, both sides, must live in limbo…for now.
Our hearts go out to all those must wait and hope for justice. As always, TWW #IStandWithSGMVictims
well, now CJ and crew are free to speak. it was the civil suit that was keeping them from talking before, let’s see them put their money where their mouth is.
This grieves my heart and yet my heart continues to hope and pray, along with you all, that justice will prevail and will be formalized in the court.
Sad to hear of this decision yet I trust and pray that God will see justice done….He is bigger than all of this.
In the UK over the past few months several high-profile celebrities have separately been convicted of odious sexual crimes (indecent assault etc) against dozens if not hundreds of young girls. These men were celebrities who during their years of fame were feted with all the honours of the kingdom, declared ‘national treasures’ for their devotion to charity and in some cases ‘love of children’. It has taken decades, but justice has finally been done. There is hope.
Listen to SGM crow in triumph.
“Love of Children” is somehow appropriate.
Anyone remember that old single played on Dr Demento — “Kinko the Kid-Loving Clown”?
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
HUMBLY, of course. (chuckle chuckle)
Lawsuits Against Believers
6 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous rinstead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that sthe saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!
[ So many, many believers think you’ll find justice ( as you view it ) in the courts. My experience is; people are bitterly disappointed when it is over and done. The only surefire winners in lawsuits are the lawyers. As a friend of mine opined after a painful divorce that wound thru the courts; “I guess it was ultimately equitable; everybody lost.”
Other then that, so many people just don’t understand how the system works. HINT: very, very poorly.]
I suspect that this can be appealed to the state Supreme Court. I am not aware of the appellate process in MD, but I think this opinion does not clearly and adequately represent the case at hand.
You know what this civil suit shows….they really need to change Virginia and Maryland law. Many political conservatives are hell bent and view lawsuits as means of harassment and totally unnecessary. I remember what my parents said years ago when the Catholic sex abuse scandal was unfolding. They viewed it as an effort by the liberal left wing media to fan the flames, and they thought it wasn’t as big. My Mom changed her mind a few years ago…which made me happy.
What many people need to understand is that many churches are not going to have problems in this area. Many churches comply with the law, and report incidents. There was a horrific sexual abuse incident in Elmbrook Church in the Milwaukee suburbs in the late 90’s with the youth pastor. When the sexual abuse came to light they went straight to the authorities. The laws need to be changed for those churches/ministries who do not comply with the law.
Perhaps you think Jack Schaap and Nate Morales should be still running around?
Seneca “j” Griggs wrote:
perhaps, given their insight into certain actors behaviors, including loftness who is named as a pedophile, aren’t actually brothers.
I mean that perhaps “the plaintiffs believe the defendants aren’t actually brother”
@ Seneca “j” Griggs:
I think you missed the point of the scripture you quoted. The Corinthian church was so messed up that they were unable to muster anyone wise enough to judge even trivial matters. It is not a blanket prohibition against pursuing justice in the courts.
If I read you corrrectly, you are saying that the victims should have sought justice inside the church. Would you kindly point me to the place or time where anyone in the whole SGM organization or their allies outside SGM sought justice for the victims of crimes which have been proved in a criminal court.
Where was the protection *in the church* for those victims as well as those who Morales victimized subsequent to the utter failures of the SGM leadership to protect those they purported to shepherd? Where is the justice for the victims in the wider “church” when the self-anointed “leaders” chastise the victims and their supporters?
I’m really not seeing your point. Unless you are making the old polity problem argument.
How do you define justice, since you implied that there is some non-normative idea of justice advocated by those who stand here and elsewhere against child molestation in the church? These men shielded at least Morales *in the name of the Lord* no less. This is disgusting even to pagans. Does it not disgust you that this was done to the least of these by those who make much of themselves and their positions?
Well, at least John Piper has now spoken out with prophetic ardor, saying in no uncertain terms that church leaders who protect and cover-up sexual abuse are “recrucifying Christ.”
Oh wait, my bad. He was talking about Christians who watch Game of Thrones.
Of course not; they engaged in criminal behavior.
I’m sure there are thousands of reasons for us to rationalize against the clear teaching of Scripture. But I believe when ever I do, I end up suffering more.
Either Paul was right, Let’s not have lawsuits within the church, or he was wrong. In that case; LETS us indeed, be just like the rest of the world and have lawsuits within the church.
I believe Paul was correct giving us God’s wisdomhowever.
And let me reiterate; our court system is tremendously dysfunctional. 90% chance you go to court in a lawsuit, you’ll be unhappy with the results.
I’m hoping that you are preaching the same thing to the defendants! They should not be hiring a lawyer and going to court against these plaintiffs. They should let themselves be ‘defrauded’ if they are innocent.
OOPS! Sorry..I meant that to Seneca Griggs.. I wrote in haste.
That Bad Dog wrote:
I didn’t think it was possible to recrucify Christ, despite what Hebrews 6:6 says. It’s physically impossible.
@ That Bad Dog:
Sigh. This is funny. And sad but true.
If you read the SGM survivors blog, you’d see that these people DID try to get justice in the church!!! And the churches let PEDOPHILE’s stay while adminishing VICTIMS for being “divisive.” Good Night, get off your sanctimonious high-horse!!!
Taylor Joy wrote:
A lot of people, including Seneca, seem to ignore these facts.
Taylor Joy wrote:
I’d also like to follow up and say that when it involves criminal matters–and sexual abuse is very much a criminal matter–the church should be following Romans 12 instead of handling it in house. We KNOW what happens when the church handles it in house. We have seen it over and over and over again, it is so tiresomely awful to review how many coverups there have been, how perpetrators are set free to abuse again and how victims are revictimized by the private processes put into place by the churches to protect the powerful against the small and weak.
Turn these miscreants over to the awful power of the state, where they’re innocent until proven guilty, not just a sinner saved by grace who needs to be forgiven by the person they sexually assaulted. *barf*
Melted Heartz: “Until That Day, We Will Hold On To You, Jesus…”
So many people understand very well how the legal system works…In SGM’s case, justice has been partially served, one sexual abuser goes to prison; one pastor confesses to knowing of the abuse, and failing to contact the police; and three victims obtained their justice, and C.J. proverbially went we-we in his summer shorts. But most importantly, the general public has been, yet once again, warned that this group of churches ( i.e. Sovereign Grace Ministries) for some thirty plus years has apparently made it their pastoral habit of publicly protecting the pedophile, while privately persecuting the victim. None of this has escaped the public’s notice.
[It is oh so not over.]
Glory To The Great I AM?
…Mine ‘house’ is made of far greater than brick, stone and mortar, doth the stranger, the vagabond, the needy, the destitute, the orphaned, the widowed, and all those who love & believe the truth, take refuge for not?
(smiley face goes here)
Inspirational relief: Kaitlyn Maher: ‘Out of the mouth of babes?’
@ Seneca “j” Griggs:
Hmm…a few things.
* This circumstance in the passage you reference is concerning members of the church defrauding (stealing from, not paying for or performing the agreed upon price or thing). It is not talking about harming children.
* Even if the above did cover this kind of crime, per the vaunted Matthew 18 process (which per the filings and documents I’ve read, the plaintiffs did follow, even if not purposefully), when the offending party will not listen, you treat them like an unbeliever. What would you do with an unbeliever who committed a crime against your family?
Just thoughts off the top of my head.
Point 0 of 2
I have taken lately to splitting my comments up into Points to break up the textual monotony and make them more readable – I hope this is helpful. I’m going to try and launch another wee meme * and use headings this time around.
* I claim first-use-dibs on the following, in descending order of importance: Deebs™; the Biblescriptures™; Park Fiscal™.
Matthew 18 as a “licence to sin”
The problem of Matthew 18 applied to a hierarchical organisation, in which there is a gross inequality of power and influence, is that “witnesses” can very easily collude, and subvert the process. In UK legal terms, they can conspire to pervert the course of justice. Indeed, since a hierarchical/controlling organisation is already based on sinful principles, it is almost inevitable that this kind of collusion will take place. As Orwell observed, no-one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.
So: your brother sins, in this case by sexually abusing you or your child. Not even by the grossest distortion of scripture can this be presented as other than sin. You go and speak to someone; but they’re pals with the offender and they both refuse to listen to you. Instead, they initiate retaliatory discipline – formal or cultural – against you.
So now, they can say they’ve followed Matthew 18 and have behaved “biblically”, but you haven’t, and are a “gossip”. This is just one way in which controlling leaders can twist Matthew 18 to their advantage, of course. There’s a good phrase to describe this behaviour: malicious compliance.
Bringing a matter before the Church
This is a slight tangent from the question of whether civil authorities should be involved when criminal offences are committed among professing christians, but it is relevant.
In the New Testament, “the church” referred to the whole church locally. Not one’s own denominational splinter-group, however large and impressive. There is no easy way of bringing a matter before the church today, especially if the collusion between sinners involves senior leadership.
For that reason, I applaud the very existence of this blog, SGMSurvivors, Welovemarshill, and similar. They have many limitations. But they are at least a step towards the possibility of uncovering the unrepentant sins of cliques and theological in-crowds and bringing them to the attention of The Church.
@ That Bad Dog:
Well said! Thank God the truth is finally trickling out.
FYI: In case anyone missed this!
For those who are interested in coming to the ICSA Spiritual Abuse conference in Silver Spring this week (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat), here are updated instructions about how to register.
(The previous instructions didn’t work that well unless you gave a donation. Try this instead)
Concerning the SGM survivor meeting on Thursday Evening with Bob and Judy Pardon: We will have more detailed information at the registration table. Plan on 7PM, but I believe that we will have access to the room beforehand.
(Contact Cindy from her blog, if you have any questions)
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I eagerly await your next adaptation – the embedded powerpoint presentation ! In inimitable Nick style, I’m sure it would be a hoot. I can picture the background already – psychedelic swirls (just skip the comic sans text orright).
The appellate opinion is a bit difficult to follow.
But if my reading is correct, this is a complete dismissal of the case for failure to timely file an appeal.
Post judgment motions are tricky. Some obviously extend the time for filing an appeal, such as a motion for a new trial, or a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or a motion for additur etc.
Motions to Reconsider don’t technically exist in our Circuit Court trial practice. The correct phrase would be a Motion to Alter or Amend a Judgment.
It appears from the outside that the plaintiffs’ lawyers were not sure if their Motion to Reconsider stopped the clock on filing an appeal, so they filed an appeal to be safe. But sadly, the Appellate Court held that the order they were appealing was not a final order.
Then, when the final order was entered, the lawyers apparently did not file anything or they filed beyond the 30 day window.
This is sad. Maybe the Maryland Supreme Court will grant relief. The plaintiffs certainly attempted to appeal.
If the Maryland Supreme Court decides not to take this case, or takes the case and affirms the decision, that will be the end of it from a legal standpoint.
When that occurs, there will be no self-imposed prohibition on speaking about the case or the facts. SGM and its leaders will be free to speak.
The plaintiffs can always put together an account of what happened. Looks like there was a host of plaintiffs and defendants when it was all over.
I would enjoy (in a sad way) reading their accounts of what happened.
Another reminder. Make it to the Sheraton in Silver Spring on Thursday evening for an SGM support group. Check at the ICSA registration table in the lobby for info on which meeting room we’ll be using. Those in the DC area are welcome to come.
Thanks! Cindy K.
John Piper's comment is so full of the ambiguous, pseudo-intellectualism that parades as prophecy. A biblical prophet would have said that any church leaders who protect and cover-up sex abuse should "REPENT AND THEN RESIGN". But C.J. Mahaney and John Piper are well known friends. Hopefully, John Piper will live up to his reputation eventually.
An Attorney wrote:
The Court of Appeals, superior to the Court of Special Appeals is Maryland’s supreme court. It does, however, hear cases based on a ” writ of certiorari” like the US Supreme court.
My opening guess is that Ms. Burke will do all in her power to get this heard.
The tired, old tactic that pastors use is the “The media is evil! Lawsuits are evil!” Yet in our experience as SNAP leaders, survivors and advocates, it is these 2 entities that are actually the ones who are doing something to help expose the truth, expose evil done to kids in churches and other trusted institutions, help survivors heal and protect kids.
John Doe v. Charter Schools USA et al
Verdict amount: $5.25 million
“He looked the jury right in the eyes and told his story,” Herman said. “It was emotional for everyone.”
Outcome: After a 12-day trial, jurors deliberated for a day before awarding $5.25 million in pain and suffering damages for the victim identified in court papers only as John Doe and his mother. “I’m very pleased,” Herman said. “It’s a significant number for this boy. It validates something bad happened to him and it wasn’t his fault, and it’s a vindication for him that the jury believed him.”
@ Seneca “j” Griggs.:
I agree civil court cases are not always the best method to bring justice, but often they are the only method (think OJ Simpson civil suit, etc.) left if the criminal courts cannot deal with cases due to technicalities.
That said, how familiar are you with Roman Law in the Empire era? For the average Pauline church goer (slaves, women, free men of lower status or freed slaves) they were banned from accessing courts over criminal law. Only citizens could access and accuse others of illegal activity. Those were the pater familias – or head of the family. For a woman to accuse of man of rape, or a child accuse an adult of abuse, they would have had to go through the head of their household. Only he could agree or not to take that case to the magistrate and judges. So, what Paul is addressing here is the “lower court” issues. These are, as Paul even says (did you read the text you copied), the trivial matters that the non-citizenry could even bring to courts. Not the same as our courts either – two people who couldn’t settle a dispute either agreed on a judge or used a list of approved judges. If they found a judge they could both agree on, then the judge had to also agree to take their case – there were no “rights” for people here, this was all done if all parties agreed. If no judge worked for both parties, they had to take the last judge on the list. None of this pertained to criminal trials, those involved torture and all sorts of legal restrictions on who could even be tortured by whom and for what. Most citizens had the right to exile instead of actually facing torture/capital punishment. Free men and slaves did not, but under pleas to the governor or emperor could have those trials stayed.
Anyways, blah, blah, blah, here is the point you are missing. None of Pauls writings have to do with criminal court, since the majority of his congregations couldn’t access it anyways. However we DO see Paul using his own citizenship to appeal to Cesar when he is arrested in Jerusalem, so, for all your warnings about “making the Bible wrong if we deal with courts” Paul felt free to use tools at his disposal which would have further extended law cases against religious people whom he had just joined in offering a sacrifice at the temple a few days before. Paul used the courts, he championed justice of the poor and oppressed. Jesus championed justice for the poor and oppressed. To say taking a group of church leaders to court for abject failure to address or protect innocent child victims of barbaric pedophilia is the same as two Roman Christians quarrelling over financial disputes and taking it to useless Roman judges, who were often just named ‘Judge’ by patronage appointments and had to consult magistrates to figure out how to rule, makes me wonder how you apply the rest of the Bible to life in another culture and place and time. Do you insist women cover their heads, they are supposed to for the angels according to Paul? Do you not use or approve of interest rates on anything? I hope you have never taken out a Mortgage. Of course I am sure you are happy to follow the rules that suit you, like women having to submit to their husbands or Christians never taking you to court, but the Bible is much larger than that rule. Do you counsel all divorced couples to just allow loss and never go to court to settle the divorce? Yeah, yeah, Christians shouldn’t divorce, but what if one half of the couple is being divorced against their will by the other half? Should the victim roll over and play dead and not secure custody, or at least access, of the children? Should they sacrifice seeing their kids again in the name of avoiding court at all costs? What about marriage, come to think of it, don’t lawyers sign those licences? Should that too be banned? Actually, I have strong reasons to think churches should get out of the marriage business, but that is for another thread completely, the point here is that we all have access to courts and legal contracts, there is no upper crust citizenry that rules everyone else. All of us are equally charged to bring justice to this world, in the US, that involved the courts. Saying we should never seek justice because the only way to access it is via the courts is silly. By that logic, we shouldn’t take out mortgages because those involve usury (interest).
Methinks Seneca is a student of proof texting. It causes one to altogether miss the forest.
Did you folks know that Barry Albert has recently been paroled?
This seems like a case of legal malpractice. The lawyers seemed to have failed to exercise due diligence that one would commonly expect to be possessed by a member of the legal profession. Obviously, the outcome would have been different if the lawyers had filed in a timely manner. If the statue of limitations has not passed the lawyers should be sued.
Like I said, you can find a 1,000 rationalizations to sue a fellow Christian in court; but Scripture says you shouldn’t.
And as I wrote in another post ( which apparently was not allowed – sigh ) at the end of the lawsuit day, you’re not gonna be happy.
That person getting 5.25 mil? Not so fast. It’s gonna end up being a heckuva lot less than that. The lawyers are pretty happy though.
@ Gram3: This shows the importance of denominational organization and rules. SGM is structured badly, and so church discipline cases can’t be properly brought against its leaders. As a result, the civil courts are the only recourse. If respected evangelical leaders outside of SGM were willing, it would be possible to set up a church trial, but they don’t want to have to listen to the evidence and they don’t want to have to exert church discipline.
@ mirele: The church should do both. Just because the church informs the authorities does not mean the church is off the hook. It is the church that must decide whether the accused person should be disciplined by the church. It is possible that the accused is found innocent by the secular court but guilty by the church (for example, if the accused gets off because of a technicality such as the statute of limitations in the courts). It is also possible that the accused will be found guilty and punished by the courts, but is found innocent by the church, or is found guilty but repents and so no church punishment is added. The point is that church and state operate separately, and the church should neither replace the state nor pass off reponsibility.
@ Joe2: This indeed sounds bad enough to be malpractice, but probably both plaintiffs and their lawyer are Christians. The Corinthians admonishment against suing each other does apply. Just because the plaintiffs could recover in civil court doesn’t mean they should sue. The lawyer should first think about whether monetary compensation is appropriate, or refund of fees. If the lawyer and plaintiffs can’t agree on what should be done, they should ask a Christian authority to decide– essentially, appoint an arbitrator.
@ Seneca “j” Griggs:
You’ve been here enough to know that no-one in this church was seeking justice for the children, rather they were covering up attacks & enabling child molesters to find more victims. Did you suppose God would leave them without a voice, or that he would find them one via the Governmental courts that bear the sword to punish evil? It may not yet have been perfect but the ONLY justice for victims has come this way – if they’d stayed within the church Morales may still be raping kids.
But once again, your love of technicalities entirely misses out the rights of young victims of disgusting & terrible crimes. Surely you wouldn’t prefer more children to be violated & subject to disgusting & painful abuse so that this could be kept away from court?
You need to think more carefully before you make these kinds of replies – seriously – where is the love? The law we should follow is the law of love. Would you be happy for your child to be victimised? Sheesh.
I have approved all of your comments so I do not know which one was not allowed *sigh*
I used to believe as you apparently do now. As I have watched churches play aroudn with people’s money, fire people who reveal sins and crimes within the church and treat with disdain the people in the pew who often see the truth long before the elders, I disagree and would not hesitate to bring suit against a church that covered up pedophile situations. Apparently, you have not read about case after case of churches turning on people who have reported crimes and serious sin.
All is well and good if all of the players are palying by the same rules. Unfortunately, I rarely trust any church to mediate these situations in an unbiased manner. Heck, they don’t even report crimes and even commit crimes. God created those who rule over us. Thank goodness we live in a country in which the courts can over ride biased, self serving individuals who often pretend that they are righteous leaders.
I think we all know that troll-feeding is a bad idea…
Heard of this guy Mahaney? You know, that dude who has talked and talked and talked his big game all over the place but then withdrew to his bunker to hide and wouldn’t come out to speak unless paid to do so at his little makeshift church or perchance at some highly masculine conference where he was provided with good food and comfortable accommodations? Yeah, you know that guy who came out recently with a statement after his attorney assured him the case against him didn’t have a fighting chance, a statement no one believes?
What’s happened to the silver tongued devil who took the golden Word of God and used it to line his pockets?
Where is the man who has made a living supposedly off of proclaiming “truth” so accurately that his continuous boast was that everything he did was gospel-centered?
Is it just me, or has there been a noticeable difference in his reach as though something, somehow, has barred him from progressing?
Strange isn’t it, considering how absolutely innocent he is and that he was never involved in any hint of anything having to do with a cover-up? Guess he’s just suffering for righteousness sake, nailed to that Cross he said he’d never move away from.
Well, too bad I guess that he’ll have to live with the fruit of his cross-only gospel that he used to keep people focused on their guilt and sin. And too bad he’ll be left waiting there, hoping for a resurrection he didn’t preach, or for a Kingdom he would not enter and barred others from doing so himself.
Guess maybe it serves him right he’s left holding a pile of scratched off lottery tickets, none of which he can cash in for the big prize, or which will provide him with the power he needs to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
But he will probably, at some point, make a lame attempt of some kind, to share “his truth” and when he does, if he does, I know I won’t be buying a ticket to his performance or even so much as paying attention.
I’d rather poke him in the eye with a stick, but it’s not allowed 🙁
@ dee: I don’t know that we’re in disagreement. If the church does not have a proper authority over it, then all one can do is sue to an outside civil court if the problem involves its leadership. There needs to be an appeal to some group of people who are outside of the daily life of the church— a presbytery, or a denomination, or a bishop, or some outside Christian group, or, for lack of any of these, a civil court.
@ Eric Rasmusen:
I believe the NT says to bring unresolved issues to the church body — not to an extra-local group or hierarchy. If secular law is broken the issue needs to be addressed there as well.
The fact that people are even discussing “church trials” for serious crimes (against kids, no less) takes away a lot of credibility of church organizations in general. Teachers/principals have faced the courts for not reporting sexual assaults….church personnel should be held to the same reporting laws (which vary by State, of course).
Why is so much emphasis in this thread placed on the staff, and not the perpetrator or the victims. Don’t recall seeing one post about how to prevent this in the future or how to assist the victims. The lady, who failed to press charges on the person who molested her 3 yo, and actually let the church “handle it,” is herself guilty of child neglect.
The “church discipline” people are fond to quote 1 Corinthinians 6: 1-8 concerning civil suits over “grievances” involving some sort of fraud, and the apply that to criminal cases of child abuse declaring all the while “the bible says.”
Meanwhile they ignore Romans 13:1-5 (ESV) concerning obeying the civil laws/ submission to the civil authorities. I am going to quote that here because I so sick and tired of hearing the misapplication of the 1 Corinthians passage.
13 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. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 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, 4 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. 5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
Anybody who cannot see the difference in those two passages of scripture needs to put down their bible and hush their mouths and bail out of the great wave of cover up for crimes that happens even among professing christians. It is the civil authority which the bible says is “the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” Sex abuse is a crime, so defined by the civil authorities. To fail to obey reporting laws is to violate the “clear teaching of scripture” any way you look at it. In our nation the judiciary can be accessed either through criminal or civil action in court. Either way, sex abuse is a crime, prosecuted or not, brought to civil court or not, reported or not it is still against the law and comes under the Roman 13 passage.
I say this for all those folks who seem to think that they cannot go to the rest room unless they can find a specific bible verse which tells them how and when to do so. You people are bringing shame and disrepute on scripture itself, as well as on yourselves, and you need to stop and examine what you are doing. Now would be a good time to do that.
Over the five plus years of this blog’s existence, there have been multiple posts and comments setting out what should be done at every church to reduce the opportunity for a pedophile to abuse a child. Among them is a change in church teaching regarding what to do when abuse is suspected or has occurred. And that is “Call the police/CASA/CPS, immediately and let them do the investigation.” And the issue with SGM and many other places is that they teach and preach letting the church staff handle it. It is contrary to law and it should result in criminal charges against the staff persons who do not report it to the police, because in most jurisdictions, they are mandatory reporters.
Again I did not make myself clear. I am not targeting you or anything you said in my tirade. I am using your comment as a chance to say what I said. Thanks for the opportunity.
“Foul Ball: Religious Sensibilities Run Amok?”
“The fact that people are even discussing “church trials” for serious crimes (against kids, no less) takes away a lot of credibility of church organizations in general.”
Hold on a moment, a ‘church’ where its ‘staff’ fail to report sexual abuse, has ‘creditability’?
In who’s cosmic religious ecosysystem?
Sovereign Grace Ministries is following down,
Sovereign Grace Ministries is following down,
Is it all that hard to ‘wonder’ why?
Note: 2013 “SBC Approves Resolution on Sexual Abuse”
10-4, Nancy, thanks for the good references. I only commented on this blog, because comments were closed on the blog about the monster, mentioned in another blog, who was just released from prison. This blog does seem to be a continuation of one about a former SGM employee, who was first convicted in 1996, and the cover-up that followed, which was followed by the one about the 3 year old, and yet another cover-up….now on to “Morales.” Yes, there were some constructive remarks/ideas in there, but I was just overwhelmed by so many that seemed so ignorant of the Rule of Law in the US.
My understanding is that Mormon Churches are staffed with volunteers, who have been successful in the private sector, that rotate preaching and other church related duties. Also, the missionaries pay there own way…This system seems a lot more efficient than one of hiring career clergy, who have to move up a non-profit career path, just like University professors….and many have absolutely no marketable employment skills that would pay for the new cars and homes they enjoy. I know many clergy in the DC area are making well over 100K per year in compensation…..the churches spend a million Dollars on salaries and utilities before they’ve given out one Q-tip……..Likely not as bad as The United Way….but there are just too many similarities.
Just some thoughts –
The real issue here appears to be jurisdiction.
The case appears to have been dismissed for several reasons. One of them is that the Appeals Court felt there wasn’t a final judgment respecting the two Virginia defendants, who do fall within the 3-year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit.
Judge Burrell threw their case out of Maryland but did not dismiss it without prejudice so they are free to re-file their case in Virginia. Apparently, this issue was discussed at the hearing before the Appeals Court and it sounds like the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ lawyers had different opinions about it, and the Court ultimately ruled in favor of the defendants in feeling it had no jurisdiction over a case it didn’t feel was fully resolved.
Thus, the Appeals Court felt it had no jurisdiction over the case irrespective of the “timing of the appeal” issue or any other subject the Plaintiffs’ attorneys had control over.
Regarding malpractice and refund of fees: to to my knowledge the Plaintiffs’ attorneys have taken this case on a contingency basis. That means that they don’t get paid unless they win and they’re footing the bill for the cost of litigating the case out-of-pocket.
I suspect that out-of-pocket cost is at least 6 figures by now.
Respecting the legitimacy of Christians suing Christians: that issue does not seem to apply here as there is no evidence that the defendants are motivated by religious beliefs. If they were they’d make voluntary reparations to the victims of Nathaniel Morales instead of financing Church picnics and paying at least 17 Pastors outrageous salaries.