A Closer Look at Fellowship Bible Church’s Important Communication and at the Sex Abuse Lawsuit

"We have also endeavored to work with the victim’s family, offering counseling and any other assistance they might find helpful. They have chosen, instead, to file a lawsuit."

Bill Wellons on behalf of the Elders

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=44527&picture=sad-childSad Child

On August 24, 2014, a horrific criminal act against a three year old occurred at Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, Tennessee.  Over fifteen months have passed, and it appears the church and the child's parents are at an impasse.  Apparently, the parents believe their only recourse is to take legal action against Fellowship Bible Church.  According to a press release by the law firm representing the three year old and his family:

The complaint states that the church was negligent in providing a safe environment for a child in its care and failure to respond adequately to allegations of impropriety under its watch.

The complaint details that on August 24, 2014, the family went to worship at the church and left their three-year-old son at the Children's Ministry for care. The church assumed sole and exclusive care for the son during the church service. While in the care of the church, the boy was sexually assaulted in a bathroom by a male teenage worker selected by the Church to watch the children. The perpetrator has pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery.

In our previous post we linked to an Important Church Communication and shared its contents with our readers.  In that statement, Pastor Bill Wellons, on behalf of the church elders, accurately described what occurred as a 'heinous crime'.  However, there are a couple of things in that communication we would like to address in this post. 

First, it was interesting to read how the church notified the authorities about the crime that had taken place.  Here is the pertinent portion of that communication: (see screen shot below)

http://www.fellowshipnashville.org/important/

The church elders claim that as soon as the staff was 'advised' by the family, they immediately reported the crime to the Tennessee Department of Child Services.  What did they mean by 'advised'?  Later that morning, the Brentwood Police Department was contacted.

Meanwhile, the press release by the parents' attorneys reveals the following:

According to the lawsuit, when the parents found out about the sexual assault, the church allegedly took no steps to ensure that the perpetrator was prevented from attending services where the family would be present. Instead, the church urged the family to not pursue charges, and asked them to attend another church campus.

Perhaps both versions could be true…  Allow us to speculate on what may have occurred.  Here is what we believe to be a plausible scenario… the three year old's parents tell the pastors what happened to their little boy, and the pastors initially suggest handling this matter in house. Perhaps the pastors/elders recommend that the victim and his family worship at a different church campus while they sort all this out. The parents quickly inform the pastors that they are going to the authorities to report the sexual assault.  The church leaders are left with no choice but to notify the authorities themselves.  

As stated above, the lawsuit contends that when the three year old's parents found out about the sexual assault, the pastors allegedly took no steps to bar the perpetrator from attending services where the family would be present. Instead, the church leadership purportedly urged the family not to pursue charges, and allegedly had the audacity to ask them to attend another church campus. 🙁

Something else in the above screen shot caught our attention.  Did you notice the descriptor 'alleged' in front of the word 'perpetrator'?  So did the perpetrator plead guilty to aggravated sexual battery or not???  Is the church playing word games?  Surely, their attorneys approved this communication before it was released. We honestly don't know what to make of this statement.

We also want to call attention to the following portion of the communication (see screen shot below):

http://www.fellowshipnashville.org/important/

We look forward to seeing how all of this plays out in a court of law.  We are fairly certain that the parents of this three year old, who were long-time members of the 6,000 member church, never thought they would be at odds with their pastors.  After all, they had done their premarital counseling at the church and were baptized and married there.  When their infant son arrived, he was dedicated at the church, and his mom has been a frequent volunteer. 

The press release concludes as follows:

"We want justice for this family and we hope to raise awareness about child safety – not just at this church but at all churches and childcare facilities." said Kathryn Barnett, managing partner of the Nashville office of Morgan & Morgan. "What happened to this family should never happen to anyone else. Churches and others who care for children can't ignore the very real but very preventable risk of child molestation and sexual abuse by turning a blind eye and assuming it can't happen to them."

According to the complaint filed, Morgan & Morgan and Hollins, Raybin and Weissman are pursing the lawsuit* against the church for its alleged negligence in failing to ensure adequate screening and supervision for all staff and volunteers and for failing to install adequate security measures in its classrooms. The lawsuit explains that the classrooms in the Church Youth Ministry building did not have locks to prevent predators from entering empty classrooms. There were no windows or partial doors to prevent nefarious activity in the bathrooms. The facilities also lacked surveillance cameras, sharply reducing the likelihood of a predator's activities being discovered.

Moreover, the lawsuit states that the training provided by the church to its childcare volunteers focuses almost entirely on trivial issues like finding substitutes, skirt lengths, snacks, and timeliness. Less than one minute of the training video for all volunteers touched on the essential issue of protecting and safeguarding the children entrusted to the church from sexual molestation. The lawsuit requests relief in the form of compensatory and punitive damages.

*John and Jane Doe, individually, and on behalf of their minor children Johnny and Janie Doe, v. Fellowship Bible Church of Williamson County., Case No. 2015-538, in the Circuit Court for Williamson County, Tennessee.

FYI – Morgan & Morgan (link) is one of the largest exclusively plaintiffs' law firms in the US, with 25 offices throughout Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York. The firm handles cases nationally involving discrimination, personal injury, medical malpractice, consumer class action, and securities fraud–as well as complex litigation against drug and medical device manufacturers.

We will continue to follow this case.  In the meantime, please join with us in praying that the truth prevails.

Comments

A Closer Look at Fellowship Bible Church’s Important Communication and at the Sex Abuse Lawsuit — 194 Comments

  1. I’m not going to claim first on this post. In lighter posts I will.

    Wow! Good job Deb! Looking forward to seeing my East Coast Mom on Sunday! 🙂 You know Deb if you need an indentured servant for your farm I’ll volunteer.

  2. @ Eagle:

    You'll have to come visit sometime. We were not that far from you (Williamsburg) last weekend. Glad you'll get to see Dee this weekend.

  3. BTW…here’s what I just got up. On June 17, 1972 5 burglars wearing suits were arrested in the Democratic National Committee Offices in the Watergate. In the scandal a young Washington Post reporter had an inside source that helped break open the scandal that brought down a President. In the film, “All The President’s Men” Deep Throat tells Bob Woodward, “follow the money…”

    Follow the money…

    There are a lot of parallels between Watergate and Sovereign Grace. In order to unwind Sovereign Grace we need to follow the money. Who and where will the money trail lead to? Will it lead to D.A. Carson? Kevin DeYoung? Mark Dever? Justin Taylor?

    This is also my analysis of both Richard Nixon and C.J. Mahaney. In the end I believe Nixon has far more character and integrity than Mahaney. This was a fun post to write!

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/when-it-comes-to-c-j-mahaney-what-the-evangelical-christian-church-can-learn-from-deep-throat-and-watergate/

  4. I might be reading too much into this, but I find it interesting that the church says it contacted “officers” of the police department instead of simply “we called the police and notified them.” I wonder if they called some police officers who were church members and did so on an informal basis, as opposed to calling the police department and filing a formal report. Maybe I’m getting too cynical, but I’m reminded of how the Duggars “reported” their son’s abuse by calling a cop buddy.

  5. church allegedly took no steps to ensure that the perpetrator was prevented from attending services where the family would be present

    I sometimes wonder why people who prey on children, (and it gets found out), want to be seen out in public, especially at the scene of the crime (in this case church).

    I would hope these molesters would feel too guilty or ashamed to step foot back in the church. I am mystified that they feel dandy about going back, knowing all the other people know what they did.

  6. EricL wrote:

    I wonder if they called some police officers who were church members and did so on an informal basis, as opposed to calling the police department and filing a formal report. Maybe I’m getting too cynical, but I’m reminded of how the Duggars “reported” their son’s abuse by calling a cop buddy.

    Good catch.

    This happened in another abuse case. I read some long articles about it. It may have been covered on this blog, I don’t remember.

    Reporting abuse to a church member of yours who happens to be a police officer is not the same thing as reporting it to the police.

  7. Daisy wrote:

    Reporting abuse to a church member of yours who happens to be a police officer is not the same thing as reporting it to the police.

    Amen!

  8. @ Daisy:
    Ah, but did the rest of the church know about any of this? The pastor admits they were keeping it confidential.
    As for the leadership. Did anyone confront this teen? Did anyone stand up to him and his parents, demanding to know what he had been up to? Or did they just take the coward way out and ask the victims to leave, leaving the abuser there to still prowl around grooming more potential victims? Lots of questions to be answered in all of this.

  9. What the heck???? Do these churches corroborate with one another? ??? Why is there the same pattern here?

    My son was sexually assaulted by a juvenile from our church on a Saturday and the following Sunday we show up to find my son's perpetrator there at the church, who by the way intimidated him on purpose. I had no idea until my child ran to me. The pastor told me after I reported this to the D.A. that we would attend one service while my child's perpetrator attended the second service what????

    Yes people the same response instead I got removed from my ministry and was told my child could not roam freely in the church. They accused my son of being a homosexual even after his perpetrator plead guilty to 2 counts of aggravated sexual assault on a minor child.

    I'm so mad reading this and I am seriously going crazy not being able to reveal what church this happened at as I believe strongly that they place other children in danger with this response and attitude. Let's protect the perpetrators and blame victims mentality I'm sick of it.

  10. EricL wrote:

    Ah, but did the rest of the church know about any of this? The pastor admits they were keeping it confidential.

    I don’t know about this particular case, but in others I’ve read about on this blog, like the Root guy at TVC, I think most of that church found out that he was a pedo, and he still attended that church.

    Furtick has a known pedo guy at his church who he wrote about in a blog post and called a hero. I think his church knows what the guy did, but the guy still goes there.

    Does these pedo guys have no sense of shame at all? I can’t believe they show up to the same church week after week.

  11. EricL wrote:

    I might be reading too much into this, but I find it interesting that the church says it contacted “officers” of the police department instead of simply “we called the police and notified them.” I wonder if they called some police officers who were church members and did so on an informal basis, as opposed to calling the police department and filing a formal report.

    I wondered about that too. Brentwood is a large suburb, but small enough that officers could very well be members of that church.

  12. “We are outraged that this heinous crime occurred ” + “alleged perpetrator ” in the same statement = WHAT???
    EricL wrote:

    I find it interesting that the church says it contacted “officers

    Yes! They didn’t say ” we reported the allegation”, or “we requested an investigation”, or “we reported a possible crime perpetrated on a young victim”, or anything of that nature. They simply “contacted officers”. They may have been reporting the incident, or they may have been inviting a police buddy to a fellowship meal. Why weren’t they more clear in the statement?
    Was that a poor choice of words, or are they trying to cover their fannies?

  13. Daisy wrote:

    church allegedly took no steps to ensure that the perpetrator was prevented from attending services where the family would be present
    I sometimes wonder why people who prey on children, (and it gets found out), want to be seen out in public, especially at the scene of the crime (in this case church).
    I would hope these molesters would feel too guilty or ashamed to step foot back in the church. I am mystified that they feel dandy about going back, knowing all the other people know what they did.

    A possibility: I don’t think a sociopath or psychopath feels normal human shame, I don’t think it’s part of their makeup.

  14. EricL wrote:

    Maybe I’m getting too cynical, but I’m reminded of how the Duggars “reported” their son’s abuse by calling a cop buddy.

    A “cop buddy” who was a pedo himself?

  15. Daisy wrote:

    I sometimes wonder why people who prey on children, (and it gets found out), want to be seen out in public, especially at the scene of the crime (in this case church).

    Remember the smirk on the face of Doug Wilson’s pet pedo?
    “I PUT ONE OVER ON ALL YOU STUPID SUCKERS.”
    “I CAN GO ANYWHERE I WANT, BE SEEN ANYWHERE I WANT, AND YOU CAN’T DO A THING ABOUT IT! HAW! HAW! HAW!”

  16. “We have also endeavored to work with the victim’s family…. They have chosen, instead, to file a lawsuit.”

    Translation:
    “It’s all THEIR Fault! We’re the Real Victims here. Poor Poor Persecuted MEEEEEEEE! Don’t you feel so so Sorry for MEEEEEEEEE?”

    Studies show that the number-one characteristic of Sociopaths is the ability to Play the Victim and make everyone feel So So Sorry for Poor Poor ME.

  17. Moreover, the lawsuit states that the training provided by the church to its childcare volunteers focuses almost entirely on trivial issues like finding substitutes, skirt lengths, snacks, and timeliness.

    I wonder if this is where they ask the childcare volunteers to watch CJ Mahaney;’s video on modesty. Did one of the volunteers cause a pedophile to “stumble?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n-NWbd3pis

    I can’t believe that they wouldn’t cover the basics.

  18. After reading the statement released by Wellons more carefully and comparing it to the press releases I could find it appears Wellons is guilty of using dishonest arguments to discredit his critics.
    In his “Communication” he says the following erroneous statements are being made about him and his church in the press:

    that we denied anything had happened
    that we claimed the victim had ‘lied’
    urged the family not to pursue criminal charges
    that we don’t take child safety seriously
    have no proper policies and procedures
    and that we sought to hide the truth from other families

    Unless it was reported somewhere that I could not find, at least four of these statements appear to be straw men. I searched and read what I could find of the “distressing statements in the new media” and I could not find the following claims:
    the church had lied,
    the church claiming the victim lied,
    they didn’t take child safety seriously,
    and they had no proper procedures.

    Refuting false exaggerations of your critics claims may be effective for some audiences but it is dishonest. Back from my old debate experience forty years ago, when an opponent uses dishonest straw men arguments, it is a strong counter argument of the integrity of their position.

  19. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    EricL wrote:

    Maybe I’m getting too cynical, but I’m reminded of how the Duggars “reported” their son’s abuse by calling a cop buddy.

    A “cop buddy” who was a pedo himself?

    Yeah, that still creeps me out, that they “just happened” to pick a guy who would have been happy to join with Joshie-boy…..

  20. @ marquis:

    I am so sorry for what you son tragically experienced. It does appear there is a playbook because the same scenario is playing out too much in these churches.

  21. EricL wrote:

    Ah, but did the rest of the church know about any of this? The pastor admits they were keeping it confidential.
    As for the leadership. Did anyone confront this teen? Did anyone stand up to him and his parents, demanding to know what he had been up to? Or did they just take the coward way out and ask the victims to leave, leaving the abuser there to still prowl around grooming more potential victims? Lots of questions to be answered in all of this.

    It is also important to note that the DCS and police will never ever tell anyone to be silent about an abuse case. They will ask that details about the perp be kept confidential, especially if they are a minor. There is a BIG difference between not disclosing an individual and not disclosing an event. We had a similar situation (not at a church), and the DCS was very helpful about providing any and all guidance and counseling to the organization. The resources are out there if anyone wants to actually use them.

  22. @ marquis:
    I am so sorry for you and your family. If these kinds of actions don’t kill evangelicalism in America, nothing will.

  23. @ Bill M:

    It is a particularly deceptive tactic making themselves into the “real” victim. When you have several thousand people who have signed a document that claims you were appointed by God to lead them and they are to submit to you, you know that the majority will believe whatever you say.

    Because all those people have gone along with the idea that it is godly to follow a few men who “know best for them” and operate behind closed doors, these men know they will be believed by the majority. So they use that gravitas to create an enemy without the followers realizing it. People will defend the ‘godly leaders’ and they know this.

    My hope is that people will grow up and start questioning everything. It is not wrong to question the powerful leaders. They are paid by you, the pew sitter! They are YOUR employee!

  24. @ Lydia:

    Amen and amen!

    Why oh why do so many Christians behave like lemmings? Folks, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and empowers you in your day-to-day life. Please, please learn to discern that still small voice.

  25. Morgan & Morgan? Yikes. Not exactly a paragon of virtue there (heard on good authority he’s a creepy skirt-chasing sombich himself).

    I don’t have a good feeling about this one. Not really sure why.

  26. GovPappy wrote:

    Morgan & Morgan? Yikes. Not exactly a paragon of virtue there (heard on good authority he’s a creepy skirt-chasing sombich himself).

    The lawyer taking the lead is a female.

  27. I believe the church reported the crime. That does not negate that possibility that they asked the family not to report the crime originally.

    Also, I think that the word “alleged”( perpetrator) that is in the church’s statement may be the red flag in this situation. They asked the family to switch churches, not the CONFESSED perp and his mom/dad (?).
    What does this say to you? That they are more concerned about the raped child or the rapist?

    I am sick and tired of this stuff going on all the time in evangelical churches. It is time for the sting and, if this is all true, which I believe it is, then I hope the victim, the family and the attorneys get a great settlement.

    Maybe the church having less cash so the pastors don’t have money to hop around to all sorts of conferences at the church members’ expense will make them stay at home comforting the hurt and abused amongst God’s children.

  28. Deb wrote:

    Why oh why do so many Christians behave like lemmings?

    American Christians are some of the most gullible folks on the planet – because they don’t pray, read the Word, and seek God for themselves. Thus, they have little or no spiritual discernment. The mass migration of 20s-40s into the New Calvinist movement is evidence of that. Not all that glitters is gold. As Lydia notes, it’s high time for these folks to “grow up and start questioning everything.” To remain under authoritarian leaders touting aberrant theology is to commit lemming suicide. To go along unquestioningly with popular opinion and ignore obvious errors in belief and practice is to submit yourself to potentially dangerous consequences – whether they be physical or spiritual. Anything – anything! – can happen in that environment. Lemmings commit mass suicide because they are uninformed, misinformed, or willingly ignorant about the cliff around the corner. If you lack wisdom, pray for it! Your safety and that of your family – yes, even in church – depends on your ability to hear from God in all that you expose yourself to.

  29. dee wrote:

    Maybe the church having less cash so the pastors don’t have money to hop around to all sorts of conferences at the church members’ expense will make them stay at home comforting the hurt and abused amongst God’s children.

    Yeah, right.
    More likely they would just crack the whip over the lemmings and scold them for not doing enough sacrificial giving.

  30. GovPappy wrote:

    Morgan & Morgan? Yikes. Not exactly a paragon of virtue there (heard on good authority he’s a creepy skirt-chasing sombich himself).
    I don’t have a good feeling about this one. Not really sure why.

    I’m in the academic field, but I had at least something of a law career before, and some of the best lawyers I’ve ever known are skirts-chasers, substance abusers, oddballs. In fact THE best lawyers I’ve known fit that category.

  31. dee wrote:

    possibility that they asked the family not to report the crime

    I’m sure that this would not be a recommended procedure for mandated reporters of child abuse.

    dee wrote:

    asked the family to switch churches

    I wonder how common this is in large churches with multiple campuses? Move the problems along to another site? The mega-church phenomena, with pastors who are beamed on stage simultaneously at multi-campuses, is a strange way to do church … but protects the cult personality of a charismatic, authoritarian leader. And, perhaps his butt when scandal is on the horizon.

    dee wrote:

    comforting the hurt and abused amongst God’s children

    Very few mega-church “pastors” do this any more. They delegate it. In the New Calvinist movement, even the mini-church pastors avoid shepherding the flock. They just don’t want to come off the stage (or out of the coffee shop) long enough to minister to folks.

  32. Time & again authoritarian churches play this game. Big money lawsuits seem to be the only thing that works. But the lesson is lost when it’s the ‘church’ that pays. Look at old CJ. Back in the saddle again. The congregants should turf the pastors & elders who create the situation. But they won’t. Too programmed to believe in divine right to rule.

  33. @ Jack:
    It’s a shame that money to pay for lawyers and lawsuits come from congregational tithes and offerings and the the personal pockets of the pastors and elders.

  34. Jack wrote:

    Time & again authoritarian churches play this game. Big money lawsuits seem to be the only thing that works. But the lesson is lost when it’s the ‘church’ that pays. Look at old CJ. Back in the saddle again. The congregants should turf the pastors & elders who create situation. But they won’t. Too programmed to believe in divine right to rule.

    Or it comes from the insurance companies.

  35. Deb writes “… the pastors allegedly took no steps to bar the perpetrator from attending services …”

    The Apostle Paul has a lot to say about the appropriate procedure for church leaders in this regard. From 1 Corinthians 5 (Phillips):

    “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you … Are you still proud of your church? Shouldn’t you be overwhelmed with sorrow and shame? The man who has done such a thing should certainly be expelled from your fellowship!”

    Paul has much more to say about leadership responsibilities, ending this passage with “It is your plain duty to ‘put away from yourselves that wicked person’.”

    Is there not room for repentance and forgiveness? Certainly! But, in the meantime, removing the offending member and allowing the legal system to run its course would be appropriate. This was a crime; the church was the crime scene. Jesus wept.

  36. Nancy2 wrote:

    GovPappy wrote:
    Morgan & Morgan? Yikes. Not exactly a paragon of virtue there (heard on good authority he’s a creepy skirt-chasing sombich himself).
    The lawyer taking the lead is a female.

    It appears that Kathryn Barnett is taking the lead. As managing partner of the office, she’d be expected to oversee such a large lawsuit. I looked up her peer reviews and bio, she’s a grad of Vanderbilt Law and is AV peer-reviewed on Martindale Hubbell, rate a perfect 5.0, which means she’s one of the heaviest of heavy hitters in her legal community and peers consider her to be highly ethical. She is no shyster, strip mall lawyer, the family could hardly be in better hands.

  37. Law Prof wrote:

    It appears that Kathryn Barnett is taking the lead.

    She is the one who gave the brief interview to the News Channel 5 reporter.

  38. Law Prof wrote:

    It appears that Kathryn Barnett is taking the lead. As managing partner of the office, she’d be expected to oversee such a large lawsuit. I looked up her peer reviews and bio, she’s a grad of Vanderbilt Law and is AV peer-reviewed on Martindale Hubbell, rate a perfect 5.0, which means she’s one of the heaviest of heavy hitters in her legal community and peers consider her to be highly ethical. She is no shyster, strip mall lawyer, the family could hardly be in better hands.

    So the family’s got a Heavy Hitter.

    Has the Church stepped up its Tithe Quotas and got its PERSECUTION!!!!! Card ready?

  39. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ Jack:
    It’s a shame that money to pay for lawyers and lawsuits come from congregational tithes and offerings and the the personal pockets of the pastors and elders.

    Worked for ToJo and Bob Griener.
    Unlimited Deep Pockets — “TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE!”

  40. Mara wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Maybe the church having less cash so the pastors don’t have money to hop around to all sorts of conferences at the church members’ expense will make them stay at home comforting the hurt and abused amongst God’s children.

    Yeah, right.
    More likely they would just crack the whip over the lemmings and scold them for not doing enough sacrificial giving.

    “TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE!”
    “OR GAWD! WILL! PUNISH! YOU!”

  41. dee wrote:

    Also, I think that the word “alleged”( perpetrator) that is in the church’s statement may be the red flag in this situation. They asked the family to switch churches, not the CONFESSED perp and his mom/dad (?).
    What does this say to you?

    It says to me that they ran that statement through their shyster(s) first.

    Never Admit to Anything, My Dear Wormwood.

  42. zooey111 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    EricL wrote:
    Maybe I’m getting too cynical, but I’m reminded of how the Duggars “reported” their son’s abuse by calling a cop buddy.

    A “cop buddy” who was a pedo himself?

    Yeah, that still creeps me out, that they “just happened” to pick a guy who would have been happy to join with Joshie-boy…..

    “One Hand Washes the Other…”

  43. @ marquis:

    Marquis….I know a little bit what happened and I am livid. When Dee tells your story I am going to hammer the church in a few posts that put you and your family through hell. I honestly can’t stand this crap. It angers me immensely.

  44. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    TITHE! TITHE!”
    “OR GAWD! WILL! PUNISH! YOU!”

    Tithing isn’t even enough for some of these guys.
    The tithe is expected. But they will also demand the above and beyond ‘love’ offering.
    ‘Love’ who?
    Why, love the pastor, of course.

  45. dee wrote:

    @ GovPappy:
    Anyone who takes on a case of a raped three year old child gets props in my book.

    Indeed, and if we find out there’s more victims and the church didn’t put much effort into finding/helping them, then I don’t care if Adolf Hitler is their lawyer, and that’s the part I’m curious about. But, for what it’s worth (not much), my gut tells me there’s some lawyer shenanigans going on. I guess we’ll find out.

  46. Mara wrote:

    Tithing isn’t even enough for some of these guys.

    Tithes! Love offerings! Submission! Service!
    Not to God, but to the LEADERS!

  47. GovPappy wrote:

    But, for what it’s worth (not much), my gut tells me there’s some lawyer shenanigans going on. I guess we’ll find out.

    The lawyers smell gold. Not that this is illegal, and not that this may not be what it takes to make believers out of churches, but for the lawyers this is the smell of gold.

    Why I think this: (1) Check out the website of morgan and morgan and (2) Read the first sentence of the first paragraph of the quote from the lady lawyer where she mentions ‘other churches’. They think they hear the sound of a gusher coming in. They may be correct.

  48. Max wrote:

    Paul has much more to say about leadership responsibilities, ending this passage with “It is your plain duty to ‘put away from yourselves that wicked person’.”

    Isn’t Paul speaking to the entire church?

  49. Mara wrote:

    Tithing isn’t even enough for some of these guys.
    The tithe is expected. But they will also demand the above and beyond ‘love’ offering.
    ‘Love’ who?
    Why, love the pastor, of course.

    Remember the last four words of 1984 by G.Orwell:
    HE LOVED BIG BROTHER.

    “It is not enough for you to obey Big Brother, 6079 Smith W. You Must LOVE Big Brother.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984

  50. Eagle wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Lol!! I love your analysis HUG!! Spot on in what you say.

    Let’s just say I’ve had the “God Will Punish You” motivator used on me.

    Normally not that blatant, more often with suggestion, innuendo, and code words.

  51. Max wrote:

    Is there not room for repentance and forgiveness? Certainly! But, in the meantime, removing the offending member and allowing the legal system to run its course would be appropriate. This was a crime; the church was the crime scene. Jesus wept.

    How does this work when the offender is a sociopath who can easily put on a repentant act? I’m just wondering how can the church handle this because it happens a lot.

  52. Law Prof wrote:

    A possibility: I don’t think a sociopath or psychopath feels normal human shame, I don’t think it’s part of their makeup.

    They don’t. Too many people take on feeling it for them. They themselves don’t so shame doesn’t motivate them at all.

  53. marquis wrote:

    What the heck???? Do these churches corroborate with one another? ??? Why is there the same pattern here?

    Maybe it’s just that they have all the same unhealthy group dynamics going which lead to the same response?

  54. Law Prof wrote:

    Or it comes from the insurance companies.

    Not always. Usually insurance won’t pay if due diligence is not done. The RC church had to sell property. Either way it’s the congregation that’s footing the bill.

  55. Nancy2 wrote:

    The lawyer taking the lead is a female.

    Good. I don’t think there’s anyone tougher on crimes against children than a lawyer, D.A. or judge who is a woman.

  56. @ okrapod:

    I, for one, will be thrilled. I have seen how it works from the other side. Just think of the clever lawyers who drafted the covenants and develop the reconciliation process. To think big churches have not had very clever legal counsel is to be very naive.

    But I am starting to wonder if things are changing as far as lawsuits.

    Max is right. Fellowship church is a crime scene.

  57. siteseer wrote:

    How does this work when the offender is a sociopath who can easily put on a repentant act? I’m just wondering how can the church handle this because it happens a lot.

    I’ve mentioned this before, so apologies, but one way in which a congregation and/or its leaders might handle it is to be hopelessly taken in by it and eat out of the sociopath’s hand.

    Scenario: the church group has long since expelled the Holy Spirit, sees no miracles and cannot afford to believe in them. (Because if the God I represent does still do miracles, but never around me, it forces me to ask some very uncomfortable questions regarding why.) Instead, it believes in the “power” of the preaching of its favoured doctrines to produce “lives transformed by the power of the gospel [sic]“. A sociopath putting on an act of repentance gives them the miracle they crave. They dare not face the possibility that it might be counterfeit.

  58. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    This is exactly right. You can bet legal counsel was called right away. People get this so backwards about church and lawsuits. The big churches use lawyers for more than what people think. !

  59. Bridget wrote:

    Isn’t Paul speaking to the entire church?

    Yes, keeping the house free from such sin is the responsibility of the whole church … to keep it from becoming a byword and reproach. However, in “elder-rule” churches, such as FBC, the congregation doesn’t have much say. The NT pattern for doing church is elder-led congregational governance in which the whole Body of Christ has a responsibility to police itself. The elder-rule model in today’s churches, particularly New Calvinist ones, puts this accountability at the feet of leaders. Such polity is not healthy for a church.

  60. Max wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    Isn’t Paul speaking to the entire church?
    Yes, keeping the house free from such sin is the responsibility of the whole church … to keep it from becoming a byword and reproach. However, in “elder-rule” churches, such as FBC, the congregation doesn’t have much say. The NT pattern for doing church is elder-led congregational governance in which the whole Body of Christ has a responsibility to police itself. The elder-rule model in today’s churches, particularly New Calvinist ones, puts this accountability at the feet of leaders. Such polity is not healthy for a church.

    Well put, Max. Elder-led of course, but in a manner in which said elders are leading purely by example, always with the maxim in mind that submission in the church is 100% mutual and with Jesus’ words burned in their hearts: “”Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

  61. Jack wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Or it comes from the insurance companies.
    Not always. Usually insurance won’t pay if due diligence is not done. The RC church had to sell property. Either way it’s the congregation that’s footing the bill.

    Sure, that may be the case, even malpractice insurance doesn’t typically cover things like intentional acts or gross negligence.

  62. The child… oh Lord the poor child. I don’t know about you but a 3 year old is a precious little soul. A horrible crime.

    We know the church can’t be trusted to provide help for this child or the parents. I hope you also know that secular psychological help is a mixed bag with more than it’s share of screwballs and deviates. A 3 yr old should not be trusted alone with any of them any more than in a den of lions.

    Parents: Does your church have real policies of no one alone with your child (and yes up through all the teenage years), criminal background checks etc etc? If you are blown off for even asking that’s a red flag to leave and not look back.

  63. GovPappy wrote:

    Morgan & Morgan? Yikes.

    Yes.

    As to this case, I thought the church’s letter was pretty sketchy. Dee raises a lot of good points. It gave me the sense they were saying things that might be technically true but still misleading, which to me lends more support to the family’s claims.

  64. Law Prof wrote:

    she’s a grad of Vanderbilt Law and is AV peer-reviewed on Martindale Hubbell, rate a perfect 5.0, which means she’s one of the heaviest of heavy hitters in her legal community and peers consider her to be highly ethical.

    Good to know. Sounds like good hands to be in. My earlier agreement with Gov. Pappy was about the firm itself based on my own experience with a couple of their lawyers in Florida.

  65. okrapod wrote:

    the quote from the lady lawyer

    Gah! I haven’t heard “lady lawyer” in a long time. She’s a “lawyer.” Period. There’s not a lady parts bar exam.

  66. Jack wrote:

    Usually insurance won’t pay if due diligence is not done. The RC church had to sell property. Either way it’s the congregation that’s footing the bill.

    That’s not really correct. Generally the insurance company has a duty to defend (basically pay attorneys’s fees and costs for) their policy holder (the church & its leaders & sometimes volunteers) unless it is declining coverage, which happens only in very listed circumstances. For example, the insurance company can refuse to cover defense costs in a lawsuit if the acts of the defendant church were done with the intent to cause harm.

    (“Due diligence” isn’t really a term that applies here. The church can have been negligent and the insurance company would still have to pay the church’s defense costs and any settlement or judgment up to the policy limits.)

    The Catholic Church had to sell property to pay settlements and judgments some of which exceeded the limits of insurance coverage, or were judgments for punitive damages, not to pay attorneys’ fees. The congregation rarely funds attorneys’ fees & other defense costs. They usually only get hurt if there is a settlement or judgment that exceeds the policy limits or if there is a coverage issue and the insurance company demands that the church contribute money to a settlement.

  67. Law Prof wrote:

    Sure, that may be the case, even malpractice insurance doesn’t typically cover things like intentional acts or gross negligence.

    True, but while that is getting sorted out they almost always pay the policy holder’s (the church’s) attorney’s fees and other defense costs & the other issues get resolved at settlement.

  68. @ XianAtty:

    Somebody, I believe it was Nancy2, had brought up the issue that the lead attorney was a female, thus implying if I understood her correctly that the gender of the lead made a difference. I was trying to say that ‘don’t bet on it’ because they are all after the money male or female. Which is to say, some of the conversation may have gotten away from you in this aspect.

  69. @ XianAtty:

    If you need me to I can go back and document all the comments along this line. Or you can do your own research, but here are some guidelines.

    Somebody said that in morgan and morgan some lawyer was a ‘skirt chaser and…”.
    Then somebody said that the lead attorney on this case was a woman.
    Then I said what I said including the clear implication that female or not just read what she said. They are all after the money.
    After that, I believe, somebody came along and said that women are the best in situations involving children.

    So again I say ‘hah and hooey’ if you think that. They are all after the money.

  70. Getting back to the original post, somewhow, I do not think G$d or JC likes how “corporatized” the church has become…. I agree with Dee in that this “statement” has lawyer talk all over it…
    Christians and the church are called to light and salt……

  71. XianAtty wrote:

    Gah! I haven’t heard “lady lawyer” in a long time. She’s a “lawyer.” Period. There’s not a lady parts bar exam.

    This sounds like the political correctness speak that makes it difficult to have a simple conversation. Cultural background has a lot to do with words. The US is big and diverse we have to be able to listen without suble accusations flying.

  72. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    Getting back to the original post, somewhow, I do not think G$d or JC likes how “corporatized” the church has become…. I agree with Dee in that this “statement” has lawyer talk all over it…
    Christians and the church are called to light and salt……

    I so agree with this.

  73. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    Getting back to the original post, somewhow, I do not think G$d or JC likes how “corporatized” the church has become…. I agree with Dee in that this “statement” has lawyer talk all over it…
    Christians and the church are called to light and salt……

    I so agree with this.Lydia wrote:

    @ XianAtty:
    Okrapod probably heard “lady Doctor” a times. :o)

    For sure!

  74. These comment boxes act weird sometimes.

    @ Bridget:

    That comment box started with “Lydia.”

    I don’t know why my previous comment is attached to it.

  75. @ XianAtty:
    Thanks for the info. Still the lesson for those who created the problem is lost if someone else pays. Congregation still pays the premium plus the additional judgement costs you mentioned.

  76. @ okrapod:
    I did read the whole thread. I don’t have a problem with anyone’s noting that the lawyer is a woman. I have a problem with the phrase “lady lawyer.” It’s offensive and disrespectful.

  77. @ Bridget:
    I didn’t accuse Okrapod of anything. I objected to a phrase they used. Just because some people still use certain terms doesn’t make those terms any less disrespectful. It’s the difference between noting someone is a person of color, which might be relevant, versus using the term “colored,” which I grew up hearing but has now long been considered offensive and disrespectful.

  78. Jack wrote:

    Still the lesson for those who created the problem is lost if someone else pays.

    Very true! But it’s also true that, without churches, companies, & professionals having insurance, many plaintiffs with worthy claims would not be able to recover anything to compensate them for doctor’s bills, counseling fees, etc. And I say that as someone who is *not* a fan of insurance companies.

  79. XianAtty wrote:

    I did read the whole thread. I don’t have a problem with anyone’s noting that the lawyer is a woman. I have a problem with the phrase “lady lawyer.” It’s offensive and disrespectful.

    After recently accompanying someone at the hospital system recently I was struck by how most of the nursing staff were men and most of the doctors were women, things have changed dramatically in a few decades.

    Our culture has gone through a lot of changes and this is reflected in how language is used. Many references, such as the one you object to, reflect old norms that are now obsolete and many wish to suppress.

    I wonder if everyone after a certain point in their life won’t grow weary trying to keep up with whatever new thing is deemed offensive. Not everyone will adopt each others sensibilities and many such differences are generational. So while you give your advice, I’ll give mine, let it go and be offended about more important things.

  80. okrapod wrote:

    Well, lady doctor is not offensive, but if lawyers are more sensitive I shall have to remember that.

    Words matter.

  81. @ XianAtty:

    Here is the point. If noting that someone is female is offensive, including saying ‘lady doc or hen medic or whatever’ that has to come from the presumption that femaleness is something to be ashamed of. That it is somehow ‘less than.’ It is saying this: now that you are a member of a traditionally male profession, and knowing that this is so much better than being some female who is not a member of a t m p, then we must not allude to your gender because you have somehow lived that down.

    Illustration: Would anybody be offended to be called a lady teacher? Do we not hear lady preacher all the time? But what? Being a lawyer is such an exalted position (based on its tradition of male-ness) that to mention female gender in the same breath is insulting–insulting to what–the legal profession I assume who might not want to be associated with femaleness or have its members labeled as female.

    Maybe you do not hear that in what you are saying, but I sure hear it loud and clear.

  82. Law Prof wrote:

    Elder-led of course, but in a manner in which said elders are leading purely by example

    Amen! As Jesus put it “You must not let people call you ‘leader’ — you have only one leader, Christ! The only ‘superior’ among you is the one who serves the others. For every man who promotes himself will be humbled, and every man who learns to be humble will find promotion” (Matthew 23:11-12 Phillips)

    It’s amazing how many 21st century church leaders just don’t get that essential truth! Serve others?! With humility? Lord, I’ve never seen so much aloofness and arrogance in my life as that which now stands in American pulpits! The promotion that comes from the Lord does not rest upon them, even though they may be seminary trained and “lead” pastor at a mega-church.

  83. Max wrote:

    It’s amazing how many 21st century church leaders just don’t get that essential truth! Serve others?! With humility?

    Of course!
    They write Christianese Best-sellers bragging how HUMBLE(TM) they are!
    They have liveried Armorbearers blowing long trumpets before them to announce how HUMBLE(TM) they are!

  84. XianAtty wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    Well, lady doctor is not offensive, but if lawyers are more sensitive I shall have to remember that.
    Words matter.

    And lawyers SUE.

  85. @ Jeffrey Chalmers:

    “Christians and the church are called to light and salt……”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    I agree with your comment. But please translate ‘called to light and salt’

    (i’ve heard these words a zillion and 4 times — their meaning has been worn down to nothing but vapors)

  86. @ Bridget:

    but on the other hand, no one would say ‘man lawyer’. kind of like there’s ‘image-of-God-bearer’ (person, being male) and there’s the derivative (lady person).

  87. elastigirl wrote:

    I agree with your comment. But please translate ‘called to light and salt’

    (i’ve heard these words a zillion and 4 times — their meaning has been worn down to nothing but vapors)

    Yeah, it’s almost as worn down as ‘love the Lord and your neighbor as yourself’. I’d be the last to presume on the Almighty’s will to the children of men, but it’s almost as if He sits in his heaven and says: “I’m from Missouri…Show me.”

  88. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    They write Christianese Best-sellers bragging how HUMBLE(TM) they are!

    “It is not everyone who keeps saying to me ‘Lord, Lord’ who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the man who actually does my Heavenly Father’s will. In ‘that day’ many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we preach in your name, didn’t we cast out devils in your name, and do many great things in your name?’ (Didn’t we even write a best-selling book? (my addition)). Then I shall tell them plainly, ‘I have never known you. Go away from me, you have worked on the side of evil!’” (Matthew 7:21-23 Phillips).

    Some of these preacher boys would do well to humble themselves and examine their motives. Judgement Day is coming.

  89. @ okrapod:
    You missed completely my earlier comment where I said I have no problem at all with noting that she’s a woman. Again, as I said, it’s the difference between noting a person’s gender or race or ethnicity, which can sometimes be relevant and appropriate, versus the use of an outdated and offensive term such as “colored” or “lady lawyer.”

    BTW, if you follow some of the pastors who are women, you’ll see them regularly object to the term “lady pastor.”

  90. XianAtty wrote:

    I didn’t accuse Okrapod of anything.

    And I didn’t say you accused her of anything. No need to start a response with sentence that has no relevance.

  91. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    but on the other hand, no one would say ‘man lawyer’. kind of like there’s ‘image-of-God-bearer’ (person, being male) and there’s the derivative (lady person).

    No, but I have often heard “male nurse”. :o)

  92. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    but on the other hand, no one would say ‘man lawyer’. kind of like there’s ‘image-of-God-bearer’ (person, being male) and there’s the derivative (lady person).

    No disrespect was meant by anyone. I find some people take constant offense if others don’t live up to their expectations of communication. People get weary of all the “tiptoeing-through-tuplits” trying to talk. Okrapod was not even addressing a certain (who is in this conversation) person yet a third party commented on it.

    Maybe some people could have a little more respect for others, and maybe elders, from different generations.

    I had a great aunt who was a flaming racist. She was way older than me, and it was all I could do to be in the same room with her some times. But I had to hold my tongue most all the time and understand that her experiences and world were very different than mine. Unlike my great aunt who meant disrespect when she spoke, Okrapod does not.

  93. elastigirl wrote:

    . But please translate ‘called to light and salt’

    That is something else that needs to be considered in context of the time Jesus said it. Light, to guide the way through the darkness; salt mainly to preserve, but to also enhance flavor.

  94. @ XianAtty:
    Defending the one who has been beat into the ground by an NPD charlatan/bully/minister offends you? Not much I can do about that. Maybe lawyers are more sensitive? :o)

  95. @ okrapod:

    Evidently it was wrong of me to seek out LADY doctors for some specific specialities. I was not supposed to discriminate based upon gender. :o)

  96. XianAtty wrote:

    BTW, if you follow some of the pastors who are women, you’ll see them regularly object to the term “lady pastor.”

    Now that is an interesting idea. In my denomination there has been a lot of discussion about women priests, which we have a gracious plenty of. I suppose the next idea is that there is something wrong with the word ‘women’ in that context. I am betting that this nonsense will not long survive in our culture.

  97. XianAtty wrote:

    BTW, if you follow some of the pastors who are women, you’ll see them regularly object to the term “lady pastor.”

    Really? I’ve grown weary of having to ‘walk on eggs’ around all these true believers of political correctness and zealots for the purity of ideology. So much so that I’ve often felt like Orwell’s Winston Smith in the ‘ministry of truth’.
    Anybody who knows me knows that I’m an equal opportunity offender and will not hesitate to call out silliness no matter which side of the aisle it comes from.

  98. Lydia wrote:

    Maybe lawyers are more sensitive? :o)

    They are when there’s MONEY in it.
    Exquisitely Sensitive to any slight against themselves (real or imagined) and utterly indifferent to any harm they do others.

  99. Bill M wrote:

    Not everyone will adopt each others sensibilities and many such differences are generational. So while you give your advice, I’ll give mine, let it go and be offended about more important things.

    🙂

  100.  __

    “To ensure 2016 and beyond becomes 1984?”

    Negligence and denial as opposed to do diligence?

    “It is your plain duty to ‘coddle that wicked person’…” -501(c)3 revised scripture interpretive measures ; SGC and beyond…

      “They asked the family to switch churches, not the CONFESSED perp and his mom/dad (?).
    What does this say to you? That they are more concerned about the raped child or the rapist?” -Dee

    hmmm…

    (simply stating the obvious…)

      We certainly live in a post Christian America where absolute truth is a ‘relative proposition’.

    huh?

     Moral standards are view as ‘relative’ as well.

    What?

    Human beings have been desensitized to the concerns of others in their environment.

    (sadface)

    What about adequate safeguards requisite in approaching a deteriorating universal moral and etical environment such as once again described here, huh?

    bump.

      When denial and a primary focus on protecting the 501(c)3 non-profit business reputation takes precedence over safeguarding our nations children; families who seek corporate worship and the 501(c)3 religious education of their children need to ‘seek’ an environment where ‘adequate’ safety standards are [1] Defined, [2] Implemented, and [3] Strictly Followed.  

    Krunch !

    “Trust but verify.”

    501(c)3 Bylaws Safegurds?

      We here at XYZ 501(c)3 Churxh have the following ‘minimum’ safeguards In-Place to protect the  partitioners in our care:

    Proactive professional screening and supervision for ALL staff and volunteers.

    The installation of security measures  in all chirch classrooms to include adequate locks, doors, windows, cameras, etc. 

    Security measures in place to prevent molestation in public bathrooms such as group gender bathroom breaks with two adult supervision at all times.

    The facilities also are equipped with surveillance cameras, which will sharply reduce the likelihood of criminal activities on the 501(c)3 facilities.

    All church staff and vonteers are required to attend a training course for those providing church childcare which includes adequate legal practices such as notifying the police immediately upon discovery of a sexual molestation. 

    ***

    It is easer to ‘prevent’ a fire than to fight one?

    Less expensive as well?

    ATB

    Sopy

  101. Y
    elastigirl wrote:

    @ Jeffrey Chalmers:
    “Christians and the church are called to light and salt……”
    ++++++++++++++++++
    I agree with your comment. But please translate ‘called to light and salt’
    (i’ve heard these words a zillion and 4 times — their meaning has been worn down to nothing but vapors)

    Honesty, transparency, humility, straight talk, NOT wordsmithing, putting out statements allow wiggle room, covering yout butt, etc

  102. @ Bridget:

    “No disrespect was meant by anyone. I find some people take constant offense if others don’t live up to their expectations of communication. People get weary of all the “tiptoeing-through-tuplits” trying to talk. Okrapod was not even addressing a certain (who is in this conversation) person yet a third party commented on it.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    oh, I completely understand that no disrespect was intended. My comment wasn’t directed at anyone in particular.

    Bruce Ware didn’t live up to our expectations of communication when he referred to women as a kind of derivative. I doubt any disrespect was intended on his part. Yet most here take strong offense to it, and feel justified in doing so.

    So, when is it acceptable to feel offended, and when is it not?

    I completely agree about have some grace and understanding about generational/cultural differences in communication. I think it should be extended both directions. Although it surely is a fine line between reasonable ‘offendedness’ and approaching the ridiculous.

    I’ve always tended to be involved in very multicultural groups. I love variety of everything. I sometimes sense when a comment i’ve made (something totally innocuous to me) is received with an air of having been scraped or a mild sting. The person is gracious about it and never says anything, but I pick up on it. I feel sad about it. We extend grace both ways. The fabric on one’s life experience is woven with complexity.

    This political correctness can get out of hand, but I think it has been good insofar as it has encouraged people to be more thoughtful in how they communicate. I feel that people in general have more regard and respect for their fellow human being these days than when I was a kid, especially re: gender, race and sexuality. I’m very happy about that. I think we have a long way to go. I think it is complex.

    But again that fine line — it’s fine line between mutual grace-giving and self-entitlement.

    Having said all that, I do think that bristling when hearing a female professional be referred to with a “lady-” prefix is a good sign of having raised the bar in the collective consciousness in seeing women as full-fledged peers. Certainly something their investment of time, effort, and money has earned them. If not their equal validity as human beings.

    In today’s conversation, there’s no need for accusations of insensitivity or oversensitivity, but polite comments both ways from different perspectives. I guess that’s what we’re doing.

  103. @ Jeffrey Chalmers:

    “Honesty, transparency, humility, straight talk, NOT wordsmithing, putting out statements allow wiggle room, covering yout butt, etc”
    +++++++++++

    I love it. Although I didn’t immediately associate those words with ‘called to salt and light’. But if that’s what they mean, great.

  104. @ Sopwith:

    Again you have had some wise words to say. Let me ask what you think about this. I am thinking that perhaps the current style of worship where the kids are off into something for their own age group during the worship service may need to be rethought. Some types of churches do not have nursery care during worship service / mass but rather the parents take the children with them during the service while at the sam time there is a cry room in the back if a child has to be taken out of the service.

    Of course, bitsy people cannot sit through a 50 minute sermon like the one I just listened to from SBC mega here on line, but do we need to be putting the children at risk for lengthy sermons anyhow? But if there are as many pedophiles as we are hearing about, and if they have molested as many children as they say before they are first accused and convicted, and if prior to that first accusation there is no way to identify a pedophile, then maybe we need to rethink our entire system of what to do with the kids during services.

    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter.

  105. I think that Dee, Deb and the readers have noticed some interesting things about the communication issued by the church.

    Hopefully, the facts will be sorted out so that the true story will be known – as much as it can be known. That’s one of the disappointing things about the SGM scandal. Because that suit was dismissed, a lot of discovery which would have taken place never occurred.

    As to other points raised in the post and comments, here are some general things:

    Insurance, assuming the church has it, should cover this if the church is determined to have been negligent in some way, and this negligence is what caused the injury to the child.

    The church may have been negligent in training workers, screening workers, overseeing workers etc.

    Not having security cameras or have a church designed in a certain way architecturally does not seem to be a good basis for liability. Most churches in the U.S. would fail for that. But I am simply speculating on that point. If the plaintiff is stating that the standard in the U.S. for all churches is security cameras all over the church to stop child abuse, that seems unreasonable.

    The action by the perpetrator was intentional. But the church’s action in failing to train, screen, or oversee operations would be matters of alleged negligence, not intentional conduct. Insurance would typically cover these things. The identity of the firm representing the church will reveal if insurance is paying the bills, which I expect to be the case.

    How the church reported the matter, when it reported the matter, how it handled the victim and his family vs. the perpetrator and his family are all very interesting questions and important form a standpoint of ethics. But they are not legally relevant. The same is true with respect to whether the church informed the congregation, unless another child was injured by the same perpetrator during the period of self imposed silence. That would be highly relevant if a lawsuit were brought by a second family whose child was abused by the same perp in the interim.

    Kathryn Barnett is a fine, competent trial attorney. She recently went to work at Morgan & Morgan, after leaving the Leif Cabraser (sp?) firm, a class action law firm which I believe is based in CA. She is a politically involved attorney. Her husband, Will Cheek, I believe is the former chairman of the State or County Democratic party. Kathryn would have been nominated to the federal bench the last time there was an opening. She was recommended to the President by the local Dem congressional delegation. But she never got nominated, which I thought was terrible. Instead, President Obama nominated the son in law of a prominent Republican lawyer who is Lamar Alexander’s best friend. It’s amazing what goes on in politics.

    The Morgan & Morgan firm (connected to the infamous, creepy Johnny Cochran) is creepy. National Review had an interesting article on how the Morgan & Morgan firm hired Charlie Crist (former Governor of Florida who later lost to Rubio in the primary, ran as an independent, lost, and then ran as a Democrat against Rick Scott and lost). Morgan & Morgan is a national, or multi-state, plaintiff’s firm. That is a fascinating article.

    But none of that applies to Kathryn Barnett. She is a nice person and will do a competent job.

    I don’t know who is on the case from the Hollins firm, but if it’s Hollins, he is also a fine, competent trial counsel.

    Any church could have a teenager molest a child without warning or notice, and churches would not typically be liable for that, even if they acted awfully after the fact.

    The one thing that stands out to me based on the facts alleged so far, however, is letting one teenager take a child to the bathroom. That should not be allowed, and it obviously provided an opportunity here.

    Also, I do not like the church’s criticism of the family for filing suit. Offering a family counseling or offering help to them does not absolve a church from being negligent in the care of children.

  106.   __

    “The Discharge Of Prpoer Responsibility, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Okrapod,

      hey,

      The issue brought to discussion here is the safeguarding children during their ‘presence’ on a 501(c)3 church property facility.  

    501(c)3 non-profit church facility by-laws must out of ‘present day necessity’ include proper security measures to insure sexual molestation is given no chance to occur, to properly notify the ‘proper’ authorities in the event that it should occur.

    Hope this helps.

    ATB

    Sopy

  107. @ elastigirl:
    Great explanation!

    BTW, I had to laugh at suggestions I was disrespecting my elders since I am a card-carrying member of the AARP. 🙂

  108. @ Lydia:
    Unless I’m really missing something (I see a lot of XianAtty’s Twitter comments, but wasn’t following TWW closely till later in the TJ/Julie mess) I’ve never seen her “defend” Tony Jones. On the other hand, I have seen her comment on various aspects of the law and its interpretation when it came to that case and others, and I’ve always found her comments insightful and fair. You can have all the outrage you want about what should be in these things, and I’d probably agree, but that doesn’t change the laws on the books, and reality. Commenting on why something is happening and the legality of it is not “support”. The day when someone’s fair professional commentary on a case is not wanted, and partisan loyalty is expected in spite of reality, is when I say goodbye to the comment section here. We’re better than that.

  109. @ Anonymous:

    “Also, I do not like the church’s criticism of the family for filing suit. Offering a family counseling or offering help to them does not absolve a church from being negligent in the care of children.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    don’t have a lot to say re: the rest of your comment, but sure agree about this part.

    church people niceness — the spoonful of sugar that for far too long has made just about anything go down.

    give it to me straight, baby. so I can reject it, like a shot of everclear and no hard feelings.

  110. @ GovPappy:
    We shoot ourselves in the foot when we ignore how things work. Support for victims and the fight against abuses is as much about accurately picturing the situation as it is about outrage and sorrow over the abuses. The two are not and should not be mutually exclusive.

  111. @ GovPappy:
    You might want to read the earlier threads/comments. Xtian Atty was not taking the entire situation into consideration and was presenting Julie as an idiot.

    I did see some subtle changing over time on twitter. Don’t trust it myself. I am no longer impressed with “clever”. I think people are easily played.

    Of course Tony has such a lawyer and the money to pay for all the procedures and technicalities.

    I have spent far too much time as an advocate in family court to buy what you are saying. I have seen enough of the corrupt game and what it does to victims. Evidently Xtian Atty did not think the NPD diagnosis mattered, either.

  112. elastigirl wrote:

    Bruce Ware didn’t live up to our expectations of communication when he referred to women as a kind of derivative. I doubt any disrespect was intended on his part. Yet most here take strong offense to it, and feel justified in doing so.

    Trust me. Disrespect was intended as he positions it to our standing as full heirs. Being female is nothing to be ashamed of. We don’t stop being female when we are lawyers or doctors or believers.

    When a “lady doctor” who went through med school at a time few women did, uses the term, “lady lawyer”, I am at a loss how she could have meant it disrespectfully or why it was even brought up as such.

    Why does lady lawyer automatically communicate something ‘less than’ to some? I don’t get that.

    I am with Bill. Surely there are more important things to correct or be offended about within this topic of a raped 3 year old at church. How about Tony Jones’ cruelty which was defended by xtian Atty here on several threads, for example.

    But such a focus often has a censoring effect on some people.

  113. Xianatty wrote:

    BTW, I had to laugh at suggestions I was disrespecting my elders since I am a card-carrying member of the AARP.

    You can be that at age 50 🙂

  114. Anonymous wrote:

    That’s one of the disappointing things about the SGM scandal. Because that suit was dismissed, a lot of discovery which would have taken place never occurred.

    When it comes to child abuse, there should be no statute of limitations.

  115. @ GovPappy:

    Gov, if you are ever unfortunate enough to have personal dealings with an NPD, just remember, they have been 100 steps in ahead of you before you even figure out what you might be dealing with. By then, you are toast. You have been marginalized by intricate design. And plenty of people will be incredibly impressed with the brilliance of the NPD. It does not pay to have a conscious when you have to deal with one.

  116. @ Lydia:
    Good thing my first pastor of almost 20 years is an NPD type. I know what we’re dealing with. And there you already seem to be subtly assuming I’ve been hoodwinked.

    Meh.

  117. @ Lydia:

    well, if bruce ware is that far-gone as to believe women to be derivatives and verbalize it to a crowd, in a mic, & on tape, then sure, all his intentions are suspect, sitting there in the dark shadow of his pronouncements like mushrooms.

    like i said, i completely agree that no disrespect was intended.

    while it’s true that there’s nothing to be ashamed of about being female, discrimination exists where equality is not embraced and championed. we agree on this, i would imagine. at the very least we can say that the ‘lady- prefix’ is demeaning to some.

    as you say, there are many more important things to discuss — i acknowledge that we’re looking at this from different angles, & that wraps up my thoughts.

  118. @ GovPappy:

    Gov, to continue to spout legal procedure as a neutral concept when dealing with an NPD is not to get it at all. Even Julie asked people early on to explain NPD to xtian atty. Many tried to explain it to the brilliant atty. the problem is depending on court documents to exonerate an NPD is ridiculous. Btw: During this time a lot of emergent apologists were using Julie’s early mistakes against her including legal decisions. This was all happening before the diagnosis and with no time for even a healing process. Even mediation with an NPD is ridiculous. There was a strong presence from the emergents painting Julie in such a manner and using court documents as proof. It was all a huge pile on. There are always higher standards for victims.

    Why would the court not recognize a diagnosis of NPD as a disqualifier for custody? This is where it pays to have a lawyer who was a partner of the judge, plenty of law enforcement friends and a celebrity ministry.

    Without any recognition for what a comprehensive NPD diagnosis means, Julie can do what? I simply won’t play into the idea that court proceedings are neutral. I have seen much different. Try showing up in family court without a lawyer.

    Do you see yourself as your former pastors target being set up for arrest and never ending law fare until you are beat into the ground?

  119. @ elastigirl:

    I have been called worse things than lady. : o. No problem. I just thought it a strange thing to call out on this thread. Then, of course, I overdid my responses!

  120. Absolutely:
    Anonymous wrote:

    The one thing that stands out to me based on the facts alleged so far, however, is letting one teenager take a child to the bathroom. That should not be allowed, and it obviously provided an opportunity here.

    Also, I do not like the church’s criticism of the family for filing suit. Offering a family counseling or offering help to them does not absolve a church from being negligent in the care of children.

  121. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    EricL wrote:
    Ah, but did the rest of the church know about any of this? The pastor admits they were keeping it confidential.
    As for the leadership. Did anyone confront this teen? Did anyone stand up to him and his parents, demanding to know what he had been up to? Or did they just take the coward way out and ask the victims to leave, leaving the abuser there to still prowl around grooming more potential victims? Lots of questions to be answered in all of this.
    It is also important to note that the DCS and police will never ever tell anyone to be silent about an abuse case. They will ask that details about the perp be kept confidential, especially if they are a minor. There is a BIG difference between not disclosing an individual and not disclosing an event. We had a similar situation (not at a church), and the DCS was very helpful about providing any and all guidance and counseling to the organization. The resources are out there if anyone wants to actually use them.

    Here’s something I’m wondering about. The church said that the authorities told them to cooperate with them in keeping the matter confidential. If this is the case, then wasn’t the safety of all the children at that church at risk? And since the church has now publicly responded to the lawsuit, I wonder how many parents with young children are concerned about this very thing: that their children were at risk and could very well have been molested by this teen while the investigation was ongoing. I would think that if the church had the safety of children as a priority, they would have informed the teen that he was no longer permitted on the premises of church property.

  122. Deb wrote:

    @ Lydia:

    Amen and amen!

    Why oh why do so many Christians behave like lemmings? Folks, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and empowers you in your day-to-day life. Please, please learn to discern that still small voice.

    Yes, yes,, thank you,,, so needed to be stated.

  123. It does seem that we have all somehow missed the point about what this ie all about.
    As I have written before, to paraphrase myself; if anyone has been raped this needs to be reported to the police as soon as possible. Rape is a crime, anybody can be raped even a homosexual.
    If ones church refuses to support then this has to be a wake up call to change churches immediately.
    I am not so sure about the issue of sueing ones church so will leave that in the hands of those who understand this.
    Victims of rape need to know that they are 100% supported; and whilst it is true that the police examination for a rape victim isn’t pleasant it is not worse than feeling unsupported.
    It must be horrendous for these families involved. I am praying that each can find good churches

  124. @ GovPappy:

    When the ToJo threads were going on months ago, Xtian Atty did come across as a ToJo supporter / Julie critic. It was pretty bad. His/her skepticism against Julie was excessive, IMO, making her appear anything but impartial.

  125. Lydia wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    Bruce Ware didn’t live up to our expectations of communication when he referred to women as a kind of derivative. I doubt any disrespect was intended on his part. Yet most here take strong offense to it, and feel justified in doing so.
    Trust me. Disrespect was intended as he positions it to our standing as full heirs. Being female is nothing to be ashamed of. We don’t stop being female when we are lawyers or doctors or believers.

    The whole “woman is derivative” view sort of reminds me of how way back when in American history, black people were only regarded as being like one-third human or something. White men were considered to be 100% human or have full rights, while others, not so much.

  126. __

    “Missing Da Point: Knowing The Current 501(c)3 religious Drill, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

     They aparrenly (in this case with certainty)  take your hard earned cash (for years and years), accept your free labor, then they obtain an eager un-vetted volunteer who then rapes your kid in the bathroom when no one is lõõking.
    Then they (da management) treat the victim’s parents as bad people, sending um to another church location.

    Smooth move, huh?

    Makes you feel real cozy don’t it?

    Makes you wonder what other racket they gotz going, huh?

    Where there’s fire, there’s  probably neglect, maybe a lit’l ‘larceny’ as well?

    Dig deeper.

  127. Darlene wrote:

    The church said that the authorities told them to cooperate with them in keeping the matter confidential

    Did the authorities really tell them that?

    Seems like I’ve seen this excuse used before by people who just don’t want to answer questions.

    Maybe there are specific things they should keep confidential but everything?

    This leads me to another thing that bothers me about churches. People are so afraid that sharing any kind of information is “gossiping” and they miss obvious cues that they would see if they were sharing information with each other like normal people do. They are so fearful they will overstep some invisible line to the unforgivable sin of gossip, that they leave themselves as sitting ducks. Christ Community Church of Bainbridge Island, Wa, is a good example. The pastor was having affairs with all the women in the church- if they’d ever spoken freely to each other it would have all come out. But being “good Christians” they each kept the secret until it got way out of hand.

    A lot of times our Christian values are used against us by the unscrupulous.

  128. @ siteseer:
    The church said that the authorities told them to cooperate with them in keeping the matter confidential ………….. so that they could complete their investigation.

    How about after the investigation was completed? Do they believe it is gossip to say, “Protect your children. There is a pedophile in this church.” Would it be gossip to inform people who have children and join the church after the incident?

    Does the pedopile’s still attend that church? Were new attendees with children informed? If the pedophile moved to another church, do the members of his new church have no right to know the horrid facts?

  129. “I want to make sure that we answer any questions you may have, to the extent we can.”

    Yeah, right. Why weren’t they providing information and answering questions a year ago, after the investigation was completed. Didn’t church members have any right to know anything until this hit the media?

  130. Nancy2 wrote:

    Yeah, right. Why weren’t they providing information and answering questions a year ago, after the investigation was completed. Didn’t church members have any right to know anything until this hit the media?

    Don’t ask Political Questions, Comrade.

  131. I just wish accusations of political correctness would go away. Yes, we might get tired of learning that yesterday’s neutral term is today’s insult, at least in the minds of some ill-defined number of people. But the term “politically correct” is often used to label, silence, or marginalize some poor soul who is just sticking up for a neighbor or even, egad, himself.

    And of course the abuse of children is worse than the use of terms words that some find offensive. But surely we can write about a crime while also using respectful words. Those who comment regularly on TWW have ample skill to issue thoughtful, fruitful, and indeed kind-hearted challenges to one another.

  132. Friend wrote:

    But surely we can write about a crime while also using respectful words.

    Some of us did not think okrapod was “disrespectful” which was the whole point.

  133. Friend wrote:

    But surely we can write about a crime while also using respectful words.

    That is a good thought with which I certainly agree. The problem is, however, how are we to now which words are on the list and which are not, seeing that the list is apparently not anything that has been codified but rather just whatever some people want to think it is, or is not, at the time. So people like me in all good intentions end up saying a ‘dirty word.’ That is bound to happen. No way that can be avoided.

    Why can it not be avoided? Well, in my case, my daughter in law who is herself an attorney was at one time president of the Women Lawyers Association of X County. There is nothing about that which would even give me a hint that affixing a gender designation to the word lawyer would be offensive, seeing that they were doing it themselves. So there it is. Some people on the one hand and I on the other hand apparently live on different planets so to speak, and there is no help for that.

    That said, I do think that this whole thing needs to be over and done with. To facilitate that, and to keep my own blood pressure from blowing a hole in some part of my brain, I am going to take a break from commenting. It is after all Advent with lots of activities associated with that and I don’t need my ‘Winter Holiday Season” (lest I offend) torn up with such as this.

    See you all later, in all probability.

  134. Daisy wrote:

    EricL wrote:

    Ah, but did the rest of the church know about any of this? The pastor admits they were keeping it confidential.

    I don’t know about this particular case, but in others I’ve read about on this blog, like the Root guy at TVC, I think most of that church found out that he was a pedo, and he still attended that church.

    Furtick has a known pedo guy at his church who he wrote about in a blog post and called a hero. I think his church knows what the guy did, but the guy still goes there.

    Does these pedo guys have no sense of shame at all? I can’t believe they show up to the same church week after week.

    No shame. I can still remember the shock I felt when I read about an organization openly committed to promoting (and legalizing?) “man-boy” love.

  135. @ okrapod:

    I understand. Will miss your comments.

    I find the irony surrounding this exchange almost too much. Considering that you have shared some of your past and what you experienced at a time in history when things were much more difficult for a certain sex than they are today. The point being, we need to acknowledge that we often know very little to nothing of the real life experiences of other commenters on a forum. Remembering this might be helpful.

  136. Lydia wrote:

    @ okrapod:

    Evidently it was wrong of me to seek out LADY doctors for some specific specialities. I was not supposed to discriminate based upon gender. :o)

    Yes it was. You ought to have preserved their dignity and self – worth by seeking out *woman* (our female?) doctors.

    In the back of my head, Groucho Marx just said, “That was no lady, that was my LAWYER!”

    (Taking tongue out of cheek now.)

  137. GovPappy wrote:

    @ GovPappy:
    Mainly I just hate, hate, hate friendly fire.

    Apologies, then, if my recent attempt at levity was in poor taste.

  138. Bridget wrote:

    we need to acknowledge that we often know very little to nothing of the real life experiences of other commenters on a forum. Remembering this might be helpful.

    Thank you.

  139. We have a bit of that touchiness in our own extended family. Two lawyer siblings, one male, one female. The male collects “lawyer jokes” and laughs uproariously when you tell him a new one. The female finds these jokes offensive. She would also probably take umbrage at any woman being called a “lady lawyer”. I don’t know if it’s personality type (the female relative is prickly about everything and extremely politically correct, the male is more laid back, still quite liberal in politics and social issues, but not as uptight), or if the female relative caught a lot more flack, clerking at a law firm while working her way through law school. Perhaps she caught more flack in the law school as well. Just a guess on my part.

  140. @ okrapod:
    I did not mean to hurt you in any way. Please accept my apology and my wishes for a blessed Advent and merry Christmas.

  141. refugee wrote:

    We have a bit of that touchiness in our own extended family.

    How does your family handle this, given that all of you know both people well?

  142. @ Bridget:

    so hesitant to jump in again, but am only to say I hope it was clear that I am in complete agreement with your comment, and if I came across otherwise it is completely my faulty communication. I can’t bear the thought of having offended my TWW cyber friends.

  143. Whatever the differences in the actual comments, I’ve yet to see anyone deny that the crimes perpetrated against the children are anything less than horrific.

    Egalitarian, complemenatarian, trinitarian, unitarian and multitudes of other “..arians”. And don’t forget the “…ist” folks as well all can agree that the situation in many of these churches is not ideal and needs to be in some way reformed.

    I feel equality (or the lack thereof) does play a huge part in what allows these situations to continue. The sense that one gender or one person is worth more than another is unacceptable.

    I feel that these pedophiles take advantage of (in no particular order)

    1) A patriarchal system where they automatically are seen as ‘superior’. There may be women pedophiles out there but majority are male – the stats are pretty clear on that.

    2) An insular culture built upon obedience to those in leadership.

    3) A leadership that is narcissistic in nature. They believe they are the “smartest men in the room” and could not possibly have the wool pulled over their eyes. We’ve seen this some of the situations reported here. In some cases the pedophile stokes this narcissism.

    4) A corporate culture where “bad press” is “bad for business”

    Of course there are situations where one issue bleeds into another but until churches are:

    1) Investing in training staff to be on guard.

    2) Performing criminal checks on all who work in ministry.

    3) Don’t allow minors to watch minors unsupervised.

    4) Listen to your children. Pay attention if they are uncomfortable around certain adults. Ask questions and don’t worry about hurting feelings or making waves. Trust your gut!

    5) Above all – Put the child’s protection above everything. Protection first, always. Above forgiveness, above redemption, above all else.

    Pedophiles are master manipulators, they should never be in ministry, they should never be in counselling positions, they should only be allowed in church on condition that they are accompanied by a trained chaperone (and not the same one every week).

    We need to start re-thinking church.

  144. @ okrapod:

    i’m very sorry if my comments came across as accusatory or antagonizing in any way. it was not at all my intention. I hope your holiday season is relaxing and full of quality time together with loved ones.

  145. Jack wrote:

    Whatever the differences in the actual comments, I’ve yet to see anyone deny that the crimes perpetrated against the children are anything less than horrific.
    Egalitarian, complemenatarian, trinitarian, unitarian and multitudes of other “..arians”. And don’t forget the “…ist” folks as well all can agree that the situation in many of these churches is not ideal and needs to be in some way reformed.
    I feel equality (or the lack thereof) does play a huge part in what allows these situations to continue. The sense that one gender or one person is worth more than another is unacceptable.
    I feel that these pedophiles take advantage of (in no particular order)
    1) A patriarchal system where they automatically are seen as ‘superior’. There may be women pedophiles out there but majority are male – the stats are pretty clear on that.
    2) An insular culture built upon obedience to those in leadership.
    3) A leadership that is narcissistic in nature. They believe they are the “smartest men in the room” and could not possibly have the wool pulled over their eyes. We’ve seen this some of the situations reported here. In some cases the pedophile stokes this narcissism.
    4) A corporate culture where “bad press” is “bad for business”
    Of course there are situations where one issue bleeds into another but until churches are:
    1) Investing in training staff to be on guard.
    2) Performing criminal checks on all who work in ministry.
    3) Don’t allow minors to watch minors unsupervised.
    4) Listen to your children. Pay attention if they are uncomfortable around certain adults. Ask questions and don’t worry about hurting feelings or making waves. Trust your gut!
    5) Above all – Put the child’s protection above everything. Protection first, always. Above forgiveness, above redemption, above all else.
    Pedophiles are master manipulators, they should never be in ministry, they should never be in counselling positions, they should only be allowed in church on condition that they are accompanied by a trained chaperone (and not the same one every week).
    We need to start re-thinking church.

    Also don’t let adults watch children unsupervised. Most sex abuse crimes are committed by repeat offender adults

  146. okrapod wrote:

    See you all later, in all probability.

    I hope so, your perspective is different from mine. I have a recent tendency to trace problems to authoritarian leaders, you provided a scenario from your experience of divisive members mucking up the works. As much as getting my ears pinned back was uncomfortable, it was helpful in the long run in learning to listen better.

    Enjoy this Christmas season and hope to hear from you.

  147. Daisy wrote:

    Furtick has a known pedo guy at his church who he wrote about in a blog post and called a hero. I think his church knows what the guy did, but the guy still goes there.

    Does these pedo guys have no sense of shame at all? I can’t believe they show up to the same church week after week.

    Furtick, is he the guy who runs the seeker friendly/PDL type church and claims his church isn’t for the saved yet somehow claims to be a pastor? doesn’t he color his hair all different colors and whatnot? not that there is anything wrong with having purple or green hair, man or woman for that matter. i only ask because if it is the guy i have seen he is an arrogant SOB if i have ever seen one, myself included.

    that being said where else do you suggest repentant pedophiles male OR female go if they acknowledge jesus as lord and saviour?

  148. NotARealPerson wrote:

    that being said where else do you suggest repentant pedophiles male OR female go if they acknowledge jesus as lord and saviour?

    They can sit at home and watch church services over the web or on TV and/or men from the church can go to the pedo’s house for weekly Bible lessons.

    We discussed all this in threads about the pedo at TVC. Here is one of two or three posts about that on this blog:
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/05/25/part-1-jordan-root-is-a-confessed-internet-child-sex-abuser-should-the-village-church-trust-him/

  149. @ refugee:

    I know a family where one parent is a blond, two of the daughters are blonds, the other daughter is brunette, as well as the mom.

    The blonds in that family love hearing “dumb blonde” jokes and will tell them to me, or they use to forward them in e-mails to me.

  150. NotARealPerson wrote:

    that being said where else do you suggest repentant pedophiles male OR female go if they acknowledge jesus as lord and saviour?

    That is a great question that needs to be addressed seriously. But first, how can you be dead sure they are repentent? Typically they have run a very long con…often claiming to be Christian…. before they are caught. So how would one go about verifying repentance from a pedophile? That is another serious discussion that needs to happen. Obviously words won’t be enough since they have lived a con. They are good at words.

  151. Lydia wrote:

    NotARealPerson wrote:
    that being said where else do you suggest repentant pedophiles male OR female go if they acknowledge jesus as lord and saviour?
    Lydia said: That is a great question that needs to be addressed seriously. But first, how can you be dead sure they are repentent? Typically they have run a very long con…often claiming to be Christian…. before they are caught. So how would one go about verifying repentance from a pedophile? That is another serious discussion that needs to happen. Obviously words won’t be enough since they have lived a con. They are good at words.

    I may be wrong, but I see repentant pedophiles as being similar to repentant alcoholics. They both need to avoid the thing is such a strong temptation.

  152. Max wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Elder-led of course, but in a manner in which said elders are leading purely by example
    Amen! As Jesus put it “You must not let people call you ‘leader’ — you have only one leader, Christ! The only ‘superior’ among you is the one who serves the others. For every man who promotes himself will be humbled, and every man who learns to be humble will find promotion” (Matthew 23:11-12 Phillips)
    It’s amazing how many 21st century church leaders just don’t get that essential truth! Serve others?! With humility? Lord, I’ve never seen so much aloofness and arrogance in my life as that which now stands in American pulpits! The promotion that comes from the Lord does not rest upon them, even though they may be seminary trained and “lead” pastor at a mega-church.

    Amen

  153. Max wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Elder-led of course, but in a manner in which said elders are leading purely by example
    Amen! As Jesus put it “You must not let people call you ‘leader’ — you have only one leader, Christ! The only ‘superior’ among you is the one who serves the others. For every man who promotes himself will be humbled, and every man who learns to be humble will find promotion” (Matthew 23:11-12 Phillips)
    It’s amazing how many 21st century church leaders just don’t get that essential truth! Serve others?! With humility? Lord, I’ve never seen so much aloofness and arrogance in my life as that which now stands in American pulpits! The promotion that comes from the Lord does not rest upon them, even though they may be seminary trained and “lead” pastor at a mega-church.

    Amen

  154. XianAtty wrote:

    @ okrapod:BTW, if you follow some of the pastors who are women, you’ll see them regularly object to the term “lady pastor.”

    Then those easily offended pastors need to get a new religion, because in the Bible it’s said in a number of ways and a number of places that we’re not supposed to be easily offended.

  155. XianAtty wrote:

    Words matter.

    With perhaps the exception of the great surplus of words we regularly hear from the asily offended, the politically correct. In that case, their words have little value and matter very little indeed.

  156. Nancy2 wrote:

    I may be wrong, but I see repentant pedophiles as being similar to repentant alcoholics.

    “To an alky, the Constitutional Right to My Next Drink can never be threatened in any way.”
    — Stephen King, recovering alcoholic

  157. The problem with this article starts with the statement “Allow us to speculate…” Really? How about real investigative journalism? Speculation is worthless. Commenting on speculation is worthless. It’s just a different form on gossip.

  158. Wine Runner wrote:

    Speculation is worthless

    Yeah, tell that to every detective, FBI agent, and every other branch of detective work known to man, you schmuck.

    Much is done in the secret of darkness. It’s not in the plain light, though you can’t hide all of the evidence. The evidence points out that things aren’t right. Sometimes it it takes a little speculation to get to the root of evil because evil doers know to hide it.

    Investigative journalism goes on here.
    But with so much secretive dealings in so-call Christian leadership, speculation is necessary in order to consider the possibilities. Why was the legalize language used rather than straight talk? There is plenty of room to speculate. The evidence screams for speculation. The issues are serious. People aren’t going to be placated by a few well placed words, mere band-aides, to cover gaping and gushing wounds.

  159. Wine Runner wrote:

    The problem with this article starts with the statement “Allow us to speculate…” Really? How about real investigative journalism?

    We are NOT trained journalists. We are two committed and experienced Christians.

    Our blog combines lots of reading and links along with our opinion. Think of us as columnists in your local newspaper. They are not investigative journalists as well.

    Besides, who has that sort of money.If you would like to contribute to a investigative journalist staff, let us know. 🙂

  160. OK, I guess you all have appointed yourselves “watchdogs of the church”, but I’ve been an occasional reader of this site for a few years now, and y’all are as guilty of tearing down the church as many non-Christian sites are. I guess you guys all go to perfect churches, with perfect forms of government, and perfect processes for handling ANY situation, huh? Must be nice….. You’ve all gotten to the point where you assume guilt and ill-intent upon any church that winds up involved in controversy — and this article is the perfect example. “Allow us to speculate”….”what may have occurred”….”plausible scenario”…..and it’s off to the races, tearing a church to shreds based on an imaginary scenario! This church handled things MUCH better than the Covenant Life folks, but apparently not good enough for the “watchdogs”! I’m not a member of Fellowship Bible, I don’t live in the same state, I’m not familiar with them at all, but I don’t have any major problem with the way THEY (the CHURCH)SAY they have handled this matter. I mean, who KNOWS exactly how to deal with a horrible situation like this anyway!?!? Separating the accused from the victims via different campuses makes perfect sense — but that’s not good enough for the “watchdogs”! They reported it to the police right away, but you all make up a story that the policemen were friends of the church, in order to further discredit them.
    I know the church isn’t perfect, I know bad things happen in churches, but you guys are too quick to jump in the fray and blast the church and other believers in a very self-righteous way. I’m sure this isn’t going to be received well, but there’s an observation from a fellow believer and casual reader of TWW.

  161. Pingback: Injustice: an Open Letter to The Gospel Coalition – Sparking Conversation

  162. Pingback: The Gospel Coalition (TGC) Controversies As Voiced By Nate Sparks | Divorce Minister