“If the problems you have this year are the same problems you had last year, then you are not a leader. You are rather a problem on your own that must be solved.” ― Israelmore Ayivor link (Dedicated to TGC™)
The Gospel Coalition claims they are against sex abuse. They claim if we follow complementarianism, we will vanquish abuse. Of course, they say nothing about their support of CJ Mahaney or Al Mohler's little joke about CJ Mahaney's Google presence. That presence which, of course, is flooded with articles in national magazines about the child sex abuse scandals.
The Gospel Coalition jumps all over churches which allow women in leadership but does not seem to blink an eye at child sex abuse covered up or even perpetrated by pastors. I have what i believe to be proof beyond the chronic groveling at the feet of Mahaney.
How to report a church to TGC™
Now, one would think The Gospel Coalition (TGC™) would be most careful to remove any church caught up in a terrible sex abuse scandal. They even say that one can report such rogue churches.
4. Report a church that doesn't align with TGC's Foundation Documents. If you find a church that doesn't seem to be in alignment with TGC, we ask that you'd let us know. You can do so by clicking the “Report” link next to each listing. We value your input since TGC is not able to personally review each church in the directory.
We posted about this reporting mechanism awhile back. Today I visited the site and, lo and behold, Mahaney's church, Sovereign Grace Church Louisville, is not listed as a member. Since I know that it was at one time, I wonder what happened. Could they have had so many reports that they removed the listing? Could the church still be a stealth member? I think this is worth looking into for a future post.
Pastor Robert Wyatt of Agape Bible Church, affiliated with TGC™, repeatedly molested a 12 year old girl in his church.
The Raw Story, KDVR, Fox31 reported on this situation. Here is one news report. Embedded videos from news sources often go blank after a short time so the rest of the post reviews the accusations.
Here are the alleged facts from these three sources: Raw Story, Fox31, and KDVR.
1. Pastor Robert Wyatt, an assistant pastor at Agape Bible Church, repeatedly molested a 12 year old girl.
2. A church member reported this to acting lead elder (pastor) Darrell Ferguson.
3. Darrell Ferguson denied knowing about this until the police came to arrest Wyatt.
4. An arrest affidavit seems to refute Ferguson's denial. According to Raw Story
(according to an) arrest affidavit for Wyatt, both head pastor Darrell Ferguson and the 12-year-old girl’s adoptive parents agreed that it would be best to not go to the police because they were concerned about what would happen to Wyatt.
5. The parents of the girl did not want to report it because it might hurt the church and Wyatt. According to Raw Story:
The officer who interviewed the girl’s adoptive father said that the man “made it clear his interest was in protecting the church and its reputation more than protecting his daughter.”
6. The parents and the church felt that biblical counseling would take care of the issue. According to KDVR:
According to the court documents, the father told police he wouldn’t let their daughter talk to them and “felt biblical counseling they would receive through the church was sufficient."
The affidavit states that the officer told the father, "A crime had been committed against his daughter and he was refusing to do anything to help her and was keeping her around the person who violated her.”
7. The lead pastor *feels* he did not have to report this (after saying he didn't know about it?) because, according to KDVR:
When police contacted Ferguson about what Wyatt had told him, the pastor said he “read the statute regarding mandatory reporting and feels he is not required to make a report since the information was discovered during counseling
8. The whistleblower who reported this was disgusted by the response of the church. KDVR reported:
Another congregation member reported it to police because it appeared there was no concern about the impact of the crime on the child.
That whistleblower said despite admitting the sexual relationship, Ferguson allowed Wyatt to continue going to church and crossing paths with the girl. (!!!!!!!)
The Recommended Page at Agape Bible Church
Sadly, as soon as I checked this page at Agape Bible Church, I knew that this was another Calvinista abuse fail. Look at their reading recommendations.
Some Modern Authors & Teachers We Recommend:
Very insightful Bible expositor. Especially helpful in his teachings on the role of emotions in the Christian life and in loving God.
Detailed Bible expositor whose faithfulness to the text of Scripture and depth of study makes it so even if you do not agree with his conclusions, you will learn something from Scripture that you didn’t already know in most every sermon.
The father of the modern biblical counseling movement (counseling that regards Scripture as sufficient, without the need to revert to the theories of psychology and human wisdom for spiritual problems. We also recommend other proponents of biblical counseling such as David Powlison, Paul & Tedd Tripp, Ed Welch, etc.
Helpful teaching in the area of home and family. Sometimes may cross the line into presenting his beliefs about home schooling as biblical right and wrong rather than as his opinions, but overall his teaching is very helpful. Also very good on racial issues.
One of the most influential conservative Christian scholars of our time. He has written many very helpful commentaries and other works.
Another sound, detailed, verse-by-verse Bible expositor who handles the Word with skill and accuracy.
Harris’ books on dating, courting, and marriage are very good. Essential reading for any single person – especially teens.
One of the greatest preachers of his generation (died in 1892), Spurgeon had marvelous insights from Scripture, a passion for reaching the lost, and an uncanny skill with the English language.
Godly, insightful widow of the missionary Jim Elliot who was killed on the mission field, Elizabeth went back to those who murdered her husband and reached them for Christ. She has written several helpful books.
This church is a member of The Gospel Coalition.
Why I believe that The Gospel Coalition, along with T4G, CBMW and Al Mohler, bear some responsibility for this situation.
Each of these groups has done their level best to support churches like Sovereign Grace Ministries which subscribe to their theological statements. They give conferences , tell jokes at conferences, and recommend books not only by Mahaney but by men like Doug Wilson who condoned a marriage of a pedophile to a naive young woman who now has a baby which allegedly sexually stimulates him.
Then, there are stupid pastors out there who actually believe that this is the correct way to handle sex abuse of underage kids in their congregation. Why the heck not? John Piper loves CJ Mahaney. Al Moher thinks it is all a big joke and many dudebros in the conference audience all laughed along. Tim Challies deliberately avoids learning too much about it. CBMW has him on their council.
It is time to face the facts. The Calvinista contingent shows precious little concern for the victims of child sex abuse. TWW lays some of this mess at their *theologically perfected* feet due to their actions which do not seem to reflect their words.It is time for them to man up.
Please report Agape Bible Church to The Gospel Coalition
Go to this page. You will see the following. Click of the green report button to the right and fill in the blanks. This post gives you enough detail to fill it in.
- To TGC zealots: Read the quote at the top of the page and do something!
- The whistleblower deserves a standing ovation.
- What didn't the church get about sex abuse being a crime? Looks like all the John Piper, John MacArthur, etc.material was of absolutely no value in protecting children. Well, at least they didn't have a woman pastor which is, of course, far worse in their world.
“Agape Bible Church is committed to Biblical (nouthetic) Counseling”
To the whistleblower who reported the crime to police, you are a hero. Thank you for doing what is right.
To the victim’s parents and pastor who put the reputation of the “church” above the needs of the victim, millstones all around.
Oh, where to begin with this whole tragic, sordid mess…
Just looking at their recommended reading page:
Yeah, “insightful”. They way Jack Handey’s Deep Thoughts™ are “insightful”.
Do they mean Voddie Baucham? If so, then here’s a sampling of his oh-so helpful teachings about home and family: https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2014/12/01/6-things-you-should-know-about-voddie-baucham/
Yeah, gotta indoctrinate those kids teens into gender roles and parent-controlled courtship early. I guess they missed the memo that Harris himself might be rethinking just how “essential” his books are.
What could possibly go wrong in a church with guidance like this? 🙁
Amen, and amen.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Especially since Josh Harris is running around half apologizing for the damage done by the books he wrote!
And I posted this one early! Well done.
Reported for violation of Romans 13 by failing to report to police. If I am subsequently blocked by TGC page or on Twitter, I’m going to make that public. Disgusting.
Read this site about Darrell Ferguson. He didn't care about the abuse because he has his own history apparently.
A Note from the Moderator: We have a regular commenter who goes by 'Anonymous'.
In order to prevent confusion, the moniker for this commenter has been changed to:
Thanks in advance for your understanding.
I just called that church and lit up their answering machine or voicemail. I believe every reader needs to contact them directly and let this church know that as Christians we are tired of perpetrators and those who harbor or lie for them! It is time to protect the children and we protect them by using our voices and getting this all out in the open. The parents are so misguided and off their rockers i’m amazed they were given the privilege to adopt this little girl. My heart is sick right now as I still deal with my own grief over my child and it still takes my breath away when I read something like this. How dare they and it makes me as a mother want to swoop in and do something. Well, if anything making a call at least gave me something to do even if it’s just voicing to this church how disgusted I am as a Christian sister and that I hope others will follow suit and hold these people accountable. I read their website they actually have a child abuse prevention yet failed in every way to follow it? Do you know what that tells me? That tells me that it is up there just for show and to give the allusion that Agape church is a safe environment for children and at the very least they would follow mandatory reporting laws. Absolutely deceptive and a big fat lie!!!! Then I read one of their articles about lying. They said under no circumstance is it ok to lie , even to save a person’s life! Again I see nothing but smoke and mirrors here. Then I read about acceptable people to listen to and do you know who they list? John Piper of course, John Macarthur, R.C. Sproul, and so on. Then they tare down Joel Olesteen, T.D. Jakes, and all these prosperity type preachers. As if discerning Christians need to be told who to listen to! I mean seriously that is an insult and so hypocritical!!! How about checking your own house before you go and clean someone elses? I think Christians need to start calling and writing, emailing every church that has covered child sex abuse and rape on a regular basis. We need to all start praying for exposure and for God to shine a big bright shining light on the churches who harbor and protect abusers. We need to hold their feet to the fire. It’s just like what they say about human trafficking there would be less of a problem if we started going after the ones buying boys, girls, men , and women for sex! They would start going out of business if we encouraged outing those who protect and purchase these sick slave traders services! Same thing with churches who hide sexual abuse and the perpetrators or don’t report! It would be less of a problem but it will never happen if we just talk about it and not take any action. I still believe this will continue at LBC where my son was raped because their attitude towards rape and child sex abuse. They are more concerned about the church and the money than they are about the safety and well being of it’s members. Sovereign Grace clearly showed that along with every church who has been outed on this website and others. We need to start protecting the children by letting these so called men who put themselves above the rest that they will not get away with secrecy and silence!
Well, here’s one of their sermon series: http://foodforyoursoul.net/sermon/?ser=25
“Authority and Submission
Not very many people are interested in the topic of authority and submission. But God is. Not only did He ordain relationships of authority and submission in every institution He created, but He exists in an authority and submission relationship even within the Trinity! Understanding these principles is the key to a strong marriage, successful Christian parenting and finding fulfillment in your work.”
Run for the hills, people. Turns out this poison isn’t so great for parenting after all.
…what is up with Colorado having so many of these crazies?
I love that state. It shouldn’t be like this.
How does a church become a member of or in the network of TGC? Does TGC vet these churches?
That is something that almost everyone affiliated with TGC/9M says…yet the amount of time they spend dedicated to it indicates that a lot of people (i.e., men in leadership) are interested in it, very interested in it, so interested in it that it has become a blatant obsession.
H.L. Mencken famously defined Puritanism as the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. I now define TGC/9M/CBMW leadership as:
Good catch! It states very clearly to “5.Immediately notify state authorities.”
They didn’t even follow their own policy.
This is just terrible.
There was no mention of the girl’s mother. The father did all the talking. My bet is the mother had a broken heart and wanted to report the abuse to the police but was ultimately silenced by the “submission” game foisted upon her by her church and husband.
As others have said, kudos to the whistleblower. My prayers are with the daughter.
So the parents are reinforcing the implied belief that ministers and men in general are more important than any female, and therefore we must be more concerned with the status of the minister. B. S.
The head minister used the same argument the Duggars used: since they’re not mandatory reporters under the law, they didn’t see a need to report. Well, how about in the eyes of commom decency? I’m proud that my state, TN, says that everyone is a mandatoory reporter.
Yep, Here is a link:
The problem is even when teachings are shown to be faulty people continue promoting them.
Yes, of course, and we all know how committed our Lord is to protecting the reputation of His people and the religious institutions they create, why of course He’d never inspire people to include in the Bible stories of murder and rape cowardice and embezzlement and solicitation of prostitution and disciples stupidly arguing over who was the greatest and etc., etc., etc.
Rest assured that no one who cares even the TINIEST BIT about what the Lord thinks could possibly put three seconds of consideration into lying and covering up to protect the church. If you do that, you are not serving the Lord, Who let it all hang out, you are serving Satan, who is all about projecting himself as an angel of light, you are behaving as the Pharisees, who were all about projecting a clean, wholesome image while inside they were rotting corpses.
There is no way you can read the Bible and care about it even a little and do what these people who cover up are doing. They are either completely brainwashed, abominably stupid or haters of God. No other options.
” Another congregation member reported it to police because it appeared there was no concern about the impact of the crime on the child.
That whistleblower said despite admitting the sexual relationship, Ferguson allowed Wyatt to continue going to church and crossing paths with the girl. (!!!!!!!)”
‘NO CONCERN ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE CRIME ON THE CHILD’
that says it all, DEE
there is an ‘objectification’ of victims (and of women) in these neo-Cal Churches that sets them up to be places where abuse is fostered/tolerated/excused/hidden/ The ONLY way this works is IF the subserviant people then lose their ‘personhood’ and become objectified. Objects are assigned value to their owners in the regard that they are ‘useful’.
A twelve-year old female child who was adopted (not a blood relation) and has been abused repeatedly has very little clout in such a setting. . . . not real family, not male, tarnished, and not even worth considering as a human person who has been injured terribly.
Within the ‘teaching’ of male-headship there is fertile ground for objectification of those in a subserviant role. Role-playing is not Christianity, no. Sexually-based role playing apparently leads to more abuses in churches than not.
no one thought of that child except the kind and decent woman who called the police (God Bless her). In order to do the ‘right thing’, this woman had to act with dignity on her own as a human person in spite of the restrictions place on her by the head-ship powers that be at that church: yet another direct example that this SYSTEM in neo-Cal world does not foster doing the right thing in the face of real evil.
Not that it makes the crime any “worse” or “better”, but she wasn’t even a teen yet! 12!
Where are the men when things like this happen? Any decent man would have made himself somebody’s worst nightmare over what was done to his daughter. What a loser. Poor little girl child. My first thought is that I wonder if maybe this perp is not the only one who has been messing with this child.
I wonder if the girl is still with her adoptive parents.
I am of the opinion that if her parents cared so little for her that they failed to report the sex abuse, they should be prosecuted. Because some things are just *wrong*.
I would think under the circumstances, that the ‘adoption’ needs to be reconsidered from many angles. And like Okrapod, the adoptive father was not reacting appropriately in the role of a protective parent after finding out his ward had been abused.
The child should now come first. The ‘parent’ forfeited his protective role and is suspect also as to what this child has been put through under his ‘care’.
Investigation(s)? YES!!! From all concerned agencies.
“Well, here’s one of their sermon series:
‘Not very many people are interested in the topic of authority and submission. But God is. Not only did He ordain relationships of authority and submission in every institution He created, but He exists in an authority and submission relationship even within the Trinity! Understanding these principles is the key to a strong marriage, successful Christian parenting and finding fulfillment in your work.'”
hmmm…. pastor and father in favor of protecting the sexual abusing pastor over the 12 year old victim. and they all have been influenced by promoting authority and submission in the institution, in marriage, in parenting…. because it’s in the Trinity.
i’d say this is a glaring example of why ESS / EFS / ERAS must be unequivocally refuted by all headship-affirming, authority-wielding, gender role promoters from local pastors on up to the powerbrokers like CBMW.
Unfortunately, this seems too inconvenient for them and kingpin Al Mohler. CBMW has clearly made ESS the foundation of their doctrine of male headship — too much is at stake (for starters, reputation, revenue, power, looking like jerks, looking silly…)
All CBMW is willing to do is sort of tip-toe around it all, implying there’s really no issue here, we never took it that seriously, chill out people. Al Mohler, of course, goes straight for intimidation. Shadowy christian celebrity/ies (who we would recognize in the light of day) have resorted to threats & blackmailing the likes of Todd Pruitt & Carl Trueman.
the time has past for these kinds of silly games, these kinds of hardball tactics. CBMW & friends who put so much emphasis on lead, leading, leadership — demonstrate it. take some responsibility instead of shirking it. Get your balls out of the vice grip of evangelical politics.
"By their fruits you shall know them"
There are too many cases like this for it to be accidental. Birds of a feather and all that. Seems like this is a root problem that is deeper than we realize.
should be ‘like Okrapod suggested concerning who else might have ‘messed with this child’
sorry …. typing way ahead of myself
I spoke to one of the pastors. He said the media has it all wrong! He said that he reported it. He then said that he just got done reading the statues and it said that if it came out in counseling that he wasn’t mandated to report it. I failed to point out that if he reported it then why is he looking up the statute? He said the church is probably going to close down after this. I shared with him that being transparent and supporting the vicitim is the one way to save face and make that church safe. He said the perpatrator went in front of the church and apologized as well. That he believes in biblical counseling. I shared with him what happened to billy that although I think getting counseling from a biblical perspective that specialized counseling is needed for victims. He also said that he offered the family to pay for counseling for the girl of their choosing. I thought that was a good gesture and told him that it’s far more than what we got and if that is true that I think that it is good for the girl to get people who specialize in sexual abuse to counsel her. I told him how my son’s rape nearly destroyed my child and that specialized counseling saved his life along with the support he did get from me and a few others. Anyways If this guy is willing to talk it might be a good idea to express to him and this church the importance of transparency and aide for the victims. Also acknowledging the rape and offering help to those who may have been harmed by this man.
KDVR seems to be getting information straight from “a 16-page arrest affidavit” and “court documents.” Is this pastor that you spoke to saying the police and courts have it all wrong?
Why am I not surprised?
And the church may “close down,” but watch another spring up in its place, with the same leadership as before.
Their url is “treasuring God.” I call BS on that.
If they cannot love, care for and protect children, I think any assertions about “treasuring God” are nothing but self delusion.
You have nailed it. It is an obsession with them that is ferocious and makes them absolutely blind and deaf
I’m not supporting what he says at all i’m just saying this is what he told me. I have no doubt that the media has got it right!!!!! That is why i’m saying let Dee call and talk to this guy he will bury himself with his words.
I believe that clergy are mandated reporters under Colorado law. In Texas, everyone is a mandated reporter.
Yes, I think that needs to be looked into!
That would surprise me. However, I’ve been surprised by a lot of things in the past several years that would never, ever have occurred to me.
Was this pastor willing to get non-nouthetic counseling for the child and her family? Somehow I doubt it.
I didn’t mean to imply that you were. I just don’t buy his sad little tale. It would be helpful if we could actually read the arrest affidavit and court documents for ourselves, but I doubt the media is getting those documents “all wrong.”
From the Fox article,
How do people get their priorities so backwards? I cannot get my mind around this, yet I have read it so many times I can’t even count them. They are concerned with what will happen to a lying pedophile child predator. Concerned. They had no concern with the impact of the crime on the child. How does this happen to people? How is this so common in churches? Do these people have the Holy Spirit? Does he not lead them into all truth?
None of their recommended authors and speakers led them any further into truth, either. They were altogether useless.
I’d love to know more about the whistleblower. One person! Out of a church of how many?
The father made it clear he is not willing to get any help for his daughter other than “biblical (nouthetic) counseling.” He is probably a paranoid wacko who is afraid of secular counseling. I do not think he is going to get any real help for the girl. The authorities need to look into him very thoroughly.
Yes, the word “counseling” can have very different meanings!
When this “came out in counseling” why didn’t HE counsel the man to go to the authorities and turn himself in?
They are unless “the reasonable cause is acquired through a privileged communication.”
That’ why Ferguson claims he didn’t really need to report it. (Though their child abuse policy says nothing about this caveat.)
Both the pervert, which is what he is when a “pastor” has sex with a 12 year old, and the lead pastor need to spend lots of time in prison thinking about there actions…
There is something deeply sick about a grown man having sex with a 12 year old, let alone a pastor doing it!!! Why on earth would anyone want to cover that up?? I would want the pervert out of leadership ASAP, and the pervert having to face his crimes in court….. he ruined his life by having sex with a 12 year old… period… why is it so hard for “Christain” leadership to get it that is VERY deviant for adults to sexual desire children???
Why would you want to “protect” the reputation of someone like that?? What am I missing here?
Opening dealing with it through the authorities IS THE WAY to protect the church!
P.s. We need to be able to edit our posts!! There is minor grammar issues again.
Yup, they’re mandatory reporters under Section 19-3-304 of the Colorado Revised Statues (C.R.S.). See this list put out by the Colorado Child Welfare Training System and take note of (aa).
It doesn’t get any more controlling over the lives of church members than for church leaders to convince the parents of an abused child to allow the church to handle things “Biblically”, rather than report the crime to proper authorities! Forget protecting leaders … forget failed parents … Good Lord, what about the child?!! To report the sexual abuse of children by anyone at your church, Call 911, not the pastor!! The “whistleblower” did the right thing … blow your whistle, folks!!
Is that anything like merchandising the gospel?
No surprises here. Change the scenario just a bit and you could be reporting the same incidents that happen again and again. Different names, different churches.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, enabling factors:
– Closed hierarchical community
– An bronze/iron age interpretation of “scripture” where women & children are worth nothing
– Psychopathy – both in the leadership, and in those the leadership attracts
The fact that the leadership didn’t think was worth reporting says it all. I’ll bet the elders met about this situation and convinced themselves they could keep it under the covers. Worse – convinced themselves (in their skewed version of christianity) that they were right not to report it.
Classic “smartest man in the room” syndrome, worthy of an Enron board meeting.
I agree… especially when the CRIME is statutory rape of a 12 year old!
I live in Colorado and am a survivor of child sex abuse as well as having had specialized concealing (as an adult). And this is flat out NOT true. Councelors, therapusts, and clergy are required to report things that are crimes in progress or where someone’s life or safety are at stake.
In my own experience (going back over 50 years), this is nothing new. Concern over the reputation of the church and “how God is ‘perceived'” is placed over the physical and mental well-being of teenaged, and even 2 year old girls. This concept that women and children are not as important as men and institutions is very old….and I have yet to be involved with a church that at least some of the people did not have this attitude.
Yes. Child Endangerment and other crimes.
Accessory After The Fact…many of these people in this scenario, etc.
I have posted a new update on the open discussion thread. Thank you.
I just read a book by Danielle Steel today called “Blue”. It dealt with this same thing, except within the catholic church. It was a great book. I’ve see the movie that is out about all of this (forgot the name). This book is kind of a takeoff of the same thing, with a good outcome. But it’s sad that a top writer in our country even had to write a book that contained sexual abuse by a priest. But it could be a minister or anyone. That a church feels like it doesn’t have to report sexual abuse of any kind is mind blowing. I believe that God will have a special punishment in store for those that abuse and for those that covered up for the abusers crimes and sided with the abusers rather than the victim. But he apologized to the church the pastor said. How many times have we heard the very same thing here. Time and time again. I know the Bible says to forgive 70 x 70. I agree on that. But if you do the crime, you have to pay. No ifs and or buts about it. Is there any wander that people don’t let their children go to children’s church any more or take part in youth activities. If my children were young, I would seriously have to consider it.
Just for the sake of my own understanding, if the assistant pastor had confessed to burglarizing homes or stealing cars, would they have dealt with it in the same way? Or is sex abuse special? Where do they draw the line on crimes that are okay to handle through “biblical counseling”?
I do not know about this instance. But I do know that spiritual “leaders” who have properly conditioned their people can exert enormous power over those Apeople. Spiritual blackmail is a thing which I have personally experienced. “That would be so divisive if you say anything.” And that was merely for questioning “Complementarian” dogma.
People steeped in the nouthetic counseling cult (I am not disparaging the necessity to face sin in our lives) might very well think it is better for the church to handle a matter like this. People in cults do things that defy understanding. And that’s a good reason to be very concerned about this push for a priestly caste among the Gospel Glitterati and their lieutenants. They will not be questioned and they demand loyalty that is effectively unconditional. Or else you hate Christ’s body or God’s authority structures. Or something else pious but ridiculous.
Todd Wilhelm wrote:
This is true especially when Harris only gives 1/2 apologies.
This is awful, but I can kind of see the crazy making logic of the damage is already done to the child, but prison will damage the adult? There are a huge number of holes in it, including of course the fact that people like this will just go after someone else. And the fact that putting a predator away and making it known to the child that they are believed and taken care of is an important part of healing.
I think the real reason, though, is that the adult is valued above the child. As men in so many of these churches are valued above women who are being abused. As Pastors are valued above the congregation. We see this repeated too often for it to be otherwise.
And I should say that to me this emphasis on authority is directly tied to value. So whoever they say should be in ‘authority’? Those are the ones who are valued. This too is a pattern. And they refuse to see it or to stop it. This is why no one believes any of these authoritarian men who claim to be against abuse.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately that many of these churches have a utilitarian sort of ethical system, in which they believe that protecting the ‘church’ or ‘pastor’ is somehow going to bring more souls to the lord, which makes it ok ethically. Which is backwards. Obviously. And not christian at all.
I think that the adopted child should be removed from the home. If the couple has any children that we actually born to,them, those children should also be removed.
Non-Nouthetic counseling would most likel be effective and helpful, and not heap guilt and shame on the victim, and not have her obsess over whatever personal sin of hers supposedly played a role in her abuse, so probably not, no.
These guys at this church are warped.
Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
When we had a 23 year old bible college educated “preacher boy” pervert mess with twin sisters for OVER A YEAR without either of them knowing about the other, starting right before their 13th birthday and being discovered right around their 14th birthday, he was reported and is serving a 7 year sentence but a lot of people in my (now former) church kept saying it wasn’t as bad since the age gap was wasn’t as large as if he’d have been a “dirty old man.” *eye roll*
Jeannette Altes wrote:
The thing is to a lot of outsiders, especially Non Christians, they are sending the exact opposite message.
When Non-Christians see how churches protect the perverts but give victims the shaft, they tend to view this is another reason to believe that there is no God, or if there is one, he’s a big meanie, etc.
Maybe this is why Jesus got into that teaching in the Bible about “they will know you follow me if you love one another.”
I guess it’s kind of hard for atheists or agnostics to believe in a God when people who claim to believe in Him don’t treat people right. This has been one of my several issues with doubting the faith the last few years.
I see so many claiming the name of Christ* but they don’t bother to attempt living out the teachings of Christ – they don’t even show the most primary care and concern for abuse victims.
*(Christ who said, “why do you call me “Lord, Lord” but not do as I teach”?)
Over and over in the NT, Jesus teaches his followers they are not to seek to lord authority over each other.
They are not to be consumed with power, control, hierarchy, and that whoever wants to be first must be last.
Today’s churches and many preachers ignore all this, or they do the exact opposite of what Christ taught.
The Christianese evangelical version of this silliness?
“I thank you, gentlemen. The year has been a good one for the Society… This year our members have put more things on top of other things than ever before. But, I should warn you, this is no time for complacency. No, there are still many things, and I cannot emphasize this too strongly, not on top of other things.”
— Monty Python, “The Royal Society for Putting Things On Top Of Other Things”
Another Anonymous wrote:
A former member of Agape, blogging about his experiences under abusive leadership. Why am I not surprised?
@ Another Anonymous:
From the blog you linked to, “Those in attendance there now, are under a rogue Pastor, who simply refused to submit to a restoration process …”
Doesn’t that sound familiar. Mark Driscoll, anyone?
I agree with you 100%.
It’s part (a big part) of why I’m a done.
Did you read the documents, like the Statement of Faith, at my ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley? It’s chilling as people here have noted. It actually states that the elders are “mandated” by God to be in charge.
They are some kinda delusional at GBFSV.
Yes. Often, that is the first thing Child Protective Services will do pending a thorough investigation of what occurred. And yes, the siblings are also usually removed for their protection also.
@ Jeannette Altes:
Thay should say “specialized COUNSELING.” The church specializes in ‘concealing.’
Souls(TM) are just the currency of Heaven, and Money Talks.
“How many Souls Have YOU Saved? HUH? HUH? HUH?”
Three words: BY DIVINE RIGHT.
On their Resources/Forms page is an “Accountability form for Women”. At the bottom is a section for the husband to fill in two questions:
“Regarding my wife’s respectful, supportive submission to my spiritual leadership:” (Disappointed) (Concerned) (Content)
“Regarding my wife’s partnership with me as helper in my calling:”
This is not a church, it is a cult of male dominance with a pastor at the top.
Another Anonymous wrote:
According to this man’s account, and he seems honest and above board to me, the pastor has been a deceptive person, so that puts his claims of not thinking he was a mandated reporter and so on in the doubtful category.
Don’t know if it’s related, but I remember a lot of Christianese types ALWAYS using the term “The LORD” instead of “God” or “Jesus” or “Christ”. Sometimes even pronouncing it with all caps and two “O”s. Like every other word in Christianese was “The LORD”, “The LOORD”, “The LOOORD”.
Bill M wrote:
This is appalling! Good grief. I hope the women who have put up with this will come to their senses!
Have the Godly(TM) reprisals begun against the Whistleblower?
@ Jeannette Altes:
Oh, that makes more sense!
Bill M wrote:
Funny, that word translated “helper” or “help meet” is the Hebrew “ezer”, which is used twice to describe woman’s relationship to man and 16 times to describe God’s relationship to us. It has warrior and strength connotations in the Biblical narrative.
The problem with these people is they are ignorant, and frankly, I see no indication they wish to be enlightened to the truth, as that would most certainly explode the notion that their little fraternity party has anything to do with the Lord’s will.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Ha! This fits so well it’s uncanny!
But of course the pastor is a deceptive person, the whole system he presides over is deceptive, a vicious lie.
It get progressively worse. Under their leadership qualifications survey for men was this gem:
“it is the practice of Agape Church to appoint women as Deaconesses, as long as they do not violate the prohibitions against teaching or having authority over men. And while their input is considered in the decision making process of the church, the actual decisions are made by the men.”
The last sentence is a throw away, with their level of intimidation there is little chance a women would take the risk of giving input.
The survey for Women had the following sections:
“In the area of reverence”
“In the area of hospitality”
“In the area of freedom from bondage”
“In the area of teaching what is good”
“In the area of being busy at home”
“In the area of loving my husband”
“In the area of loving children”
Any question on how far a woman can develop her capabilities at Agape? In the “teaching” section was the statement “This means every Godly woman is called to train another”, i.e. another woman, not a man.
I do find it remarkable they put it on their web page so you can see the treatment you will get before having to go there and experience it.
Bill M wrote:
Men are definitely making the decisions over women there, and this has apparently resulted in an assistant pastor molesting a child, reprehensible parents throwing said child under the bus in favor of the church’s reputation, and perhaps an even more reprehensible head pastor covering all of the same up, in clear violation of Colorado Stat. 19-3-304.
Mr. Ferguson broke the mandatory reporting law, and I sincerely hope that he goes, along with his asst pastor Mr. Wyatt, straight to prison where he belongs.
Their church’s reputation is now destroyed because they sought to sacrifice a child on the altar of its reputation. Thank goodness.
In their Leadership Interview Questions is a fairly lengthy document that contains a number of scary elements, below is just one.
“and submit to their authority. lit to them
Why? Because like them or not, they are over you in the LORD (1 Thes.5:13). You must submit to them not in proportion to how much you think they deserve it, but in proportion to how much Christ deserves to be obeyed (this is God’s command).
Wherever you are, you should let the pastors know that as long as he is faithful to the Word, you will be a follower of them.”
A follower of them? I guess that encapsulates the error.
“I’d love to know more about the whistleblower. One person! Out of a church of how many?”
it’s sick. it does not surprise me.
i’ve never been in a church where anything like this has happened, however in every single one church members all become extremely passive towards the pastor(s). the few who do not end up leaving and everyone looks down on them as betrayers, quitters, as character-poor 2nd class citizens of God’s kingdom.
Maybe the reason for the TGC types to focus on keeping their women subservient is because the chimo problem is so widespread. But if the women became leaders all their secrets would get exposed. I always think that those who cover up are hiding something they themselves or a good friend of their’s has done. I don’t trust any of them.
I my experience, there is a lot of truth to this.
Exactly Serving Kids In Japan this is the best example of some of these alphabet / acronym organizations that are the harbingers of God’s truth. They are standing against the mythical tide of their own making while Rome burns and the titanic sinks. I love Monty Python here is the clip
https://youtu.be/qRNP-BoaGo8 There is a longer version but I thought it might be a bit inappropriate for the board. This is the funny part.
Speaking of things that church never helped me with, at all. I went through about 100 videos about parents / care providers who were working with teens and adults with Autism and other developmental disabilities. It would be hard to post them because of the violent nature even though the interventions the parents are using seem very well thought out and compassionate. This young man uses a communication system to explain why he became violent to his mother and to himself. The folks I worked with were far stronger and far far more violent, they would hit, bite, kick, throw things like chairs, doors, plates, each other etc. at you.
When I was in my faith community I, and this is to my shame or at least that is what was made very clear, would ask for help, prayer, support and other things true followers are not ever supposed to need. Or should I say the pew sitters, the leadership could always ask for this. I was one of the folks that developed some of the communication systems some of these folks used, the ones I built had to be able to take a hit or tossed in the toilet smacked on the floor etc. We also had no budget so everything was scraps and scavenged parts. It was also the mid 80’s so the tech was not near as fancy.
When I would express some of my concerns about how these folks might come to know God, I E be able to understand every aspect of the faith define the atonement, the working of the spirit, the inner working of the Trinity, eschatology, ecclesiology, soteriology and all the other ologies one has to understand to maybe be saved. The basic answer is well they aren’t saved because the bible says people who are truly saved do not continue to sin ie cussing, hitting, being violent, self-stim (in a certain way trying to be tactful), etc. So they were children of Satan. When I would beg or continue to bring it up it just ticked people off because I wanted attention, I was feeling sorry for myself, I was trying to look good, I was bragging, I was manipulating, I was a disrupter of the brethren, I just wanted to continue to sin, I was fill in the blank. I cant tell you how this scared me deeper than almost anything. It is a central theological tape that keeps playing in my head.
Here is the video. https://youtu.be/z5YAfFBGxJA
In my old job the being hit at times so hard, it would knock the wind out of you was an almost daily event. I am paying a very dear price physically for that aspect of the work. I just wanted to bring this up, to this day it is one of the hardest aspects and that does not even deal with the self-injurious behaviors folks had, I can’t say much due to decorum but it was mind numbing. To be honest working with those folks was one of the highest honors I have ever had in my life. The folks I work with now are not near as aggressive and are really great folks as well. It been 36 years now since I first started. I wanted so bad to share this aspect of what I saw God doing in this line of work but in most faith communities I have been a part of, honestly, it just ticked people off after a while. I mean is it wrong or evil to want just a little validation for what one does from one’s faith family?
Thank you for letting me share I have gotten such great validation here etc I am referring to those I was involved in in the real world so many moons ago. If that makes sense.
I don’t know what is so wrong with so many people in churches. Apathy. Self-centeredness. A social club. I just don’t know. But many churches are isolating experiences, lacking in support.
The first woman I saw get excommunicated and shunned from my church, I called her “Colleen” on my new blog https://gbfsvchurchabuse.org/2016/08/25/first-blog-post/ had a special ministry carrying The Gospel to mentally ill adults in group homes and
to the elderly in convalescent hospitals. I admired her greatly. She was truly doing God’s work.
But for being a Berean, for having critical thinking skills, for not liking the abuses going on at the church, and for leaving for a saner church…the pastors/elders destroyed her reputation before hundreds of church members. They said they had “worked with her for a long time ” to no avail. That means she as a grown adult wouldn’t bow and scrape to their whims.
She was a lovely Christian, better than the pastors/elders or most church members. I always prayed for her sacrificial ministries.
So many church goers are stingy with love and praise.
Bereans are not welcome in these “churches”. I am so sorry this happened to ‘Colleen.” I am confident there are many “Colleen’s. The men that do this are pure evil IMO.
These little boys have to be in charge. They are like the Pharisees–they would crucify Jesus–because they do not like his ways as they are not their ways IMO.
Bill M wrote:
A frightening display of patriarchy at its worse! The unhealthy oppression of women comes through loud and clear. It is bondage, it is cultish, it is un-Christian.
I don’t think much of men who would put their families through this mess; they certainly aren’t spiritual men with the right understanding of marriage in the sight of God, nor a proper appreciation of women believers as one in Christ with them.
Women ensnared in such religion systems are used and abused – abuse takes various forms. I’ve witnessed the oppression on the countenance of young women in YRR church plants in my area. Whether a hand has been laid on them or not, they are abused – abused by aberrant teaching that places them as lesser citizens of the Kingdom. They certainly don’t exhibit freedom in Christ as it is intended to be for ALL believers.
They are clueless as to how Jesus treated women.
Yes. And I don’t think His disciples, nor the early church structure threw them to the curb either. In Christ, they were one!
I see the stubborn militant arm of the complementarian movement as persecutors of the church, not leaders of the church. I see them as children of the flesh, not God, not changed, as I have always speculated that Adam stood by and waited to see what would happen to Eve. I don’t think he wanted to share dominion over the earth with her. God made her for him out of him, like God “made” Jesus out of Himself, the Word, for mankind-namely His own people first at that time, but the stubbornness of keeping an illusion that they themselves were in charge of God and those they deemed peons, persecuted even Christ Jesus. They wouldn’t even listen to Stephen when he said “Behold, I see Jesus.” Than is what is happening still today.
Todd Wilhelm wrote:
The mom stood up against the elders and her husband to get the word out. She needs your prayers.
I agree totally with you Patti. These guys are imposters.
So very true, MOT.
Thank you for always been a source of encouragement here and pointing us to Jesus.
Ever since it was pointed out to me that Adam seems to have been standing right there, which is definitely not the impression I got as a child, I have thought so as well. Which tells you a lot about Adam. Also his imendiate blaming of eve. How do men get the idea that they are meant to be leaders from this? Adam doesn’t really come off as a proactive guy! He’s hanging back. He’s moving second. Maybe women are programmed to be proactive, if we are going to take all traits from Genesis and apply them to everyone! (Which I obviously think is dumb).
Well, I guess that “policy” is just for show, then. Which makes them no better than Chisso Corporation.
For those who don’t know, it’s thanks to the Chisso Corp in Japan that mercury poisoning is now known as “Minamata Disease”. When this strange, debilitating condition started to be traced back to Chisso’s water pollution, the company apparently made a big show of installing a “Cyclator”, which they claimed would treat its wastewater and protect the townspeople from any further contamination. In fact, the Cyclator did absolutely nothing — it was pure decoration, installed as “a social solution”. And because doctors and authorities were successfully duped, people in Minamata continued to suffer for decades to come.
That’s what Agape’s child protection policy sounds like to me: A PR exercise, tricking parishioners into believing they’re safe. And once again, a church mimics the methods — and callousness and greed — of corporations.
From Agape’s “Distinctives” Page:
“Past character is not an indication of present character (a man is what he is, not what he was). We do not believe there is any sin that leaves a stain after repentance or that causes automatic, lifetime disqualification from fellowship, ministry, or leadership.”
Well, there you have it. It’s right there. As long Wyatt the pervert repents, he’s free to keep pastoring there as long as his little heart desires. Nothing but nothing — not even rape and molestation — can disqualify him from leadership.
God have mercy.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
So so dumb.
Also, not at all biblical btw since someone is supposed to be thought of well in the community.
It is hard to pick things out to relay the sense I got reading their documents, it found it oppressive, about authority and submission. That a 12 year old girl was molested and nothing done fits right in with the spirit of their “church”. That it is named “Agape” also fits the pattern I first saw identified by HUG, they emphasize what they don’t have – People’s Republic Bible Church.
I hope the parents come to their senses and value their child more than some miserable pastor and my hat is off to the person who blew the whistle.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Beg to differ with Agape’s “leadership.” Past character is very often a predictor of future behavior. That’s why it is called…character. It is why Driscoll’s meltdown in Seattle *and* his re-incarnation in Scottsdale, for example, were both utterly predictable. The brightest minds, supposedly, among the Gospel Glitterati made fools of themselves by attesting to Driscoll’s changed Character.
Thing is, any male who professes a change in character is deemed worthy of leadership. More worthy than the godliest female who has demonstrated by her life that her character mirrors Jesus’ character and that she is gifted to teach and lead. That is the sad truth in every single one of the Female Subordinationist churches.
This kind of reminds me of WC Fields saying, “Go away kid, ya bother me!” You were pointing out a fallacy in their belief system without even meaning to, they couldn’t explain it, they didn’t know the answer or understand it themselves, so please just go away and stop talking about it! You are poking our bubble!
Thank you for all of the work you have done for those less fortunate, Brian. I have great respect for you. You went through tremendous hardship in a place where there are no accolades to care for the least of these, and not only that, you did it while being discouraged by those who ought to have been a support system for you.
I wonder if there are any men in leadership in the comp camp who are beginning to question some of the fruit of their teachings? It just seems like men who are truly following Christ and trying to live out his priorities of loving and serving people would have to begin asking questions. The number of cases of abuse that we’re hearing about in comp-aligned churches is shocking, and it is probably only the tip of the iceberg. It seems like at some point comp leaders (and men in the churches) would begin to make the connection between giving all of the power, control and authority to one group (men) and the abuse of other groups (women and children). You can say “men and women are of equal value to God” from now until the cows come home, but when you give every bit of power, money, control, authority and leadership to men and only men, that soundbite begins to ring pretty hollow.
I would wager that these terrible cases of abuse of women and children and ongoing cover-ups are unlikely to happen in my church (and thousands of churches like it), for at least 3 reasons – 1) women have a voice in the church and serve in church leadership, 2) the church is part of a denomination that has clear rules about protection of children and about clergy behavior and takes quick action when violations are reported, and 3) the church is governed in such a way that the pastor works for the church; the church does not work for the pastor. These 3 things combined make it significantly reduce the likelihood that a case of sexual abuse of a child or pastoral abuse of a female member would occur and/or be covered up. (Please note I’m not saying that no one in these churches would ever commit a heinous crime against a child or no pastor would have an affair with a member. I’m saying that we have safeguards in place to make it more difficult for those things to occur, as well as members who are free to speak out and who simply wouldn’t tolerate it.)
I have been in a church where this happened but I didn’t even know about it until later, someone in the inner circle broke the “no gossip” rule long enough to tell me about it! I knew there was some kind of controversy with the youth group but I didn’t have kids in it at the time and people were so protective of the church, they kept their lips zipped tightly! The pedophile youth director was quietly sent away to some unsuspecting other church, the girl who told was ostracized, and life went on.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Before I left my last church, they had just hired a pastor who talked normally, except for John Piper’s “GOO-WAD” pronunciation of God.
If you want to make special pronunciations of the holy names part of your gimmick, why not go all the way like Kerney Thomas?
From what I can see from people like Pruitt, they haven’t made the connection. They do seem to have started to realize that maybe some people are misusing the comp teachings…but they haven’t gotten to a cause and effect place. At least that’s how it seems to me.
Sidenote: My church prays for domestic violence victims in the service and has women at all levels, so I feel like it’s as safe as a church can get on this stuff. No where is going to be perfect, though.
I think there are two distinct types of Complementarians (or more.) The first is the confessional ones who base their Comp on the plain reading of a few verses and w ho limit submission to a submissive spirit by wives toward their husbands and church members toward the ordained clergy who must be male. So people like Aimee Byrd or Wendy Alsup or Rachel Miller or Carl Trueman or Todd Pruitt would probably be in that group. That group would also include traditional Southern Baptists before BFM2K.
The second group is the CBMW crew who base their version of Comp on the same few clobber verses but who also emphasize 1 Corinthians 11 and the parallel kephale structure which they interpret as a hierarchical description. This version emphasizes *subordination* of females. They maintain that females are subordinate by nature before the Fall. So, their emphasis is on *status* rather than on
*attitudes and behavior*.
The difference between attitudes and status is a huge one, IMO. The Comps who have come out against the CBMW version rightly see the problems with subordination within the Trinity, but I do not think they have fully grasped the issue of subordination within humanity. That is due, IMO, to the power of tradition and the confessions which have codified traditional gender roles.
There will need to be an examination of assumptions about the clobber verses before that changes, I think. Many people like me avoided looking at the clobber verses for fear of getting on the slippery slope to liberalism or were repelled by things like abortion on demand and man-blaming among some feminists. Or, speaking for myself, what surely seemed like man-blaming. However, when confronted with the CBMW subordination which was identical to Patriarchy among the weirder Reformed, I was sufficiently repelled by that to make me open to studying the clobber verses more closely.
I think a new generation of women is rising who have studied theology and the Biblical languages and are ready to go to the next level of testing assumptions. They are the generation which will have experienced the application of these toxic doctrines. For some, I believe it will take seeing their daughters abused. The thinking is that ingrained.
I hope so but I am not sure how aware many of them even are? The impression I’ve gotten is that when an abuse is brought up, they go to great lengths not to learn about it and not to have to form an opinion on it, like Anyabwile’s twitter go-round about CJ Mahaney. ( http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2016/03/thabiti-anyabwile-and-cj-mahaney.html )
Usually, people who try to ask them about these things just get blocked. I doubt they are searching the news for examples or seeking out information about what’s going on, so how aware are they of how often their system fails?
The response of some churches now is making a show of putting child protection safeguards into place while still denying the egregious problems they have had. And like this current church, all the words about child safety are meaningless if they aren’t followed. Since the mindset of protecting children is opposite to the mindset of patriarchalism, I wonder how well it will work out.
You never know where child predators are going to show up, I think they are likely to show up anywhere. The question is, will the church make it comfortable for them to remain or will it put a quick end to their crime and hand them over to the authorities. It sounds like your church is set up to do the right thing, that is great to hear!
Well reasoned Gram. At some point the moderates will need to differentiate themselves from the oppressive wing of comp or they will need to examine the few verses they hang their doctrine on and toss it on the burn pile. I hope for the latter. In the meantime these continuing stories of oppression and abuse from groups like Agape will only continue and I would think it will make a moderate comp position more untenable.
They are more likely to show up where they expect to find easy access to children. The easier, the better–although they will also devise elaborate schemes for access when it is difficult.
this is a great link, siteseer, thank you
‘willful blindness’ is not unconnected to the concept of ignoring ‘inconvenient truth’
case-in-point: Oklahoma’s earthquake problem and its cause … no one wants to acknowledge the cause because the gas profits are so needed …. question is: the trade-off when they can’t control when or how or who gets hurt by tampering with the earth so destructively? And then there is the greed of the profiteers and their ‘friends’ who will not acknowledge the science, but that is nothing new in parts of the country where ‘harvesting’ fossil fuel sources means jobs and paychecks and a strange ‘security’ of sorts that says, ‘the earthquakes may happen to others, but I need my money and I will not speak against water injection fracking.’ And someday it happens and children perish?
When is ‘looking away’ and ‘willful blindness’ and tacit approval of the harm of the ‘others’ going to be called SIN? Or will we continue in certain circles to label those who seek the common good of all people as ‘liberal commies and socialists’?
Great link. It tells it like it is.
The answer is no and in no uncertain terms…… from the church’s website – the counseling personal data form:
” Our counseling is based solely on scriptural principles. We reject the teachings and methods of modern psychology or psychiatry, whether expressly secular of an attempted integration with biblical principles. Agape counselors are not professional, and under Colorado law no such licensing is required. They do not follow the methods of psychotherapy, and our policy is to not make referrals to psychologists or psychiatrists.
@ Serving Kids In Japan:
” And once again, a church mimics the methods — and callousness and greed — of corporations.”
that’s awful, about Chisso Corporation. I know i’ve observed similar things, just not so deadly as what you describe.
seems to me churches happily describe themselves as businesses, conducting themselves according to ‘business models’. this gives them freedom of conscience to handle money (other people’s money) in for-profit ways (which ultimately profit the leaders). Among other rationalized perks (out-of proportion vacations, paid meals, padded ‘mission trips’, retirement, severance…)
And I would imagine in some cases this fortuitous business model can also be a vehicle for christian leaders’ freedom of conscience to invent and construct a ruse to pacify the masses.
And gifts. Lots of gifts.
IPADS from the congregatin for the entire pastoral staff, etc. Lots of perks.
Oh yes, these issues have been used by comps of any variety to manipulate people into assuming that anything other than comp-ism/conservatism is not theologically correct. I saw through that when I realized that the conservative church is just as messed up as the liberal church. You’re right that there are different types of comps, but call me a grump, but I’ve lost patience with all of them. Comp-ism is just not a valid issue in true Christianity. They’ve taken verses out of the context of the book, failed to see what Paul is referring to, and failed to reconcile verses back to Christ’s teachings, and therefore, they’ve become Pharisees and have burdened the church with a belief that isn’t valid. They’ve isolated women and have set men up to fail. They’ve become millstones around people’s necks. Okay, I’ll hop off my French-milled soap box. Got a crafts fair to go to.
The question isn’t “Why?” but “So what else is new?”
And if you’re Christian(TM), ‘Christ is Coming Soon and It’s All Gonna Burn anyway!’
Predators always go for the easiest prey.
And where there’s lots of easy prey, the predators will swarm.
When they’re the ones who personally benefit from it all?
“I Got Mine,
I Got Mine,
I don’t want a thing to change
Now that I Got Mine…”
— Glenn Frye, “I Got Mine”
“ONE OF US!
ONE OF US!
ONE OF US!”
— Todd Browning, Freaks
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
sounds like a worshipful follower of Scofield, the god of the end times, whose footnotes in his ‘bible’ fueled fundamentalism’s strange array of Last Days theories
I actually think that having seen people trip all over themselves embracing Scofield’s footnotes, the neo-Cals are VERY confident that their own loyal followers will fall in line and swallow their new ‘bible’ even though it’s man-made changes are ‘carved in stone’ and therefore indigestible to anyone with discernment.
You guys might find this article interesting in light of the present topic. Here is a snippet:
“Moreover, does denying the concept of libertarian free will affect one’s treatment of others? There are secular studies which indicate that affirming free will does have a positive effect on how we respond to other people.
“In 2008, researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of British Columbia conducted experiments highlighting the relationship between a belief in determinism and immoral behavior. They found students who were exposed to deterministic literature prior to taking a test were more likely to cheat on the test than students who were not exposed to literature advocating determinism. The researchers concluded those who deny free will are more inclined to believe their efforts to act morally are futile and are, therefore, less likely to do so.
In addition, a study conducted by researchers from Florida State University and the University of Kentucky found participants who were exposed to deterministic literature were more likely to act aggressively and less likely to be helpful toward others.” Even determinist Michael Gazzaniga conceded: “It seems that not only do we believe we control our actions, but it is good for everyone to believe it.”” The existence of free will is a common characteristic of our experience, and when we deny we have this sort of free agency, there are detrimental consequences. ”
http://www.soteriology101.com (Article: Why Servetus is a valid argument against Calvinism)
Dr. Flowers is a former Calvinist.
thanks for that link
I am enjoying reading ‘Five Points That Led Me Out of Calvinism’ ….. clear, thoughtful writing from the perspective of a person with a knowledgeable background, and it doesn’t get much better than that
Interesting that near the beginning he states “Proof that John Calvin treated dissenters in a sinful manner does not prove that Calvinism’s soteriology is wrong.” He then spends the rest article detailing how Calvin’s sin is related to his soteriology. Thus for me, Dr Flowers appears to have debunked part of his premise.
Exactly. Yet they feel righteous enough about defending against “feminism” that they can offset ignoring abuse, or at least that is how I see it. I truly struggle with understanding how these men rationalize what they choose to ignore. And I am talking about some whom I respect.
I think many people are afraid of this. I finally stopped caring and joined a full on liberal church.
@ Bill M:
I am confused by the concept that going against God’s precepts is not against God’s will because God wants us to exercise that free will freely.
I would challenge him on this. The granting of ‘choice’ comes with it a proviso that ‘choosing life’ means if we choose to obey what God has written on our hearts, we will live;
and if choose to turn away from God, we will not live.
That implies to me that God wills only GOOD for us, but that He has given us the DIGNITY to be able to choose that good for ourselves. He calls heaven and earth to witness that He has placed these choices before us, but with a caveat (warning): “19”I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
I’m probably confused. I know that. And I may have missed something in reading from the link, so please share your thoughts if you see something else and thanks.
@ Another anonymous 2 on Sat Sep 24, 2016 at 12:07 PM
Good to know. Praying now. Lots of diligent pray – ers here.
If appropriate, please tell the daughter that everyone here knows without a doubt that what happened was not her fault. This man WRONGED her terribly. He is completely responsible for what he did. God does not blame her. God is absolutely against this man’s treatment of her. God does not agree with anyone who blames her.
I can’t deal with this kind of stupidity.
I agree. This is idiocy.
Another anonymous 2 wrote:
God bless her. I will be praying for her. I wish there was more I could do, I can imagine this may be a watershed moment for her.
“I truly struggle with understanding how these men rationalize what they choose to ignore. And I am talking about some whom I respect.”
yes… i truly respect and love the pastor at our most recent church. but blimey, how can he be so blind to the logic problems and ethical problems with female subordination/submission?
he thinks john piper is ‘just an all-round really great guy’. he tried to encourage me once with one of john piper’s thoughts, something about how we can wrestle with the text, the bible, but at some point you do have to take it on faith. kind of an innocuous statement, considering christianity is based on faith = the evidence of things not seen.
however, seems to me that that notion makes it very easy to embrace whatever dogma the evangelical machine is promoting, and to short-circuit the powers of observation, intuition, logic, scrutiny, etc.
i think that’s how our previous pastor gets around the logic and ethical problems of his belief in the rightness & god-ness of gender roles.
but really, i think i’d call this magic, from the magic book of magic. (i think that’s how he sees the bible like that, although he’d protest that with a big fuss)
I don’t know why it took me so long to realize there are much worse things than liberalism to fear.
Bill M wrote:
He just started with the commercial, that’s all.
Like Chinese scientific papers in the late Mao era; the first page was Praise upon Praise of Chairman Mao and Karl Marx, all Ideologically Pure Newspeak, then on the second page they’d get down to business. The scientific community called the first page “sitting through the commercial”.
@ Bill M:
Oh, I agree. I think people feel the need to throw bones to their detractors so they are not accused of being mean or hateful. Especially when they were part of that world. He does the same with Piper stuff. Seeking approval of groups or individuals keeps a lot of important points very confusing and full of cognitive dissonance. That is the result of so much political correctness in our time and casting disagreement as “hatred”.
But buried within his posts are some good points. I thought the secular research on determinism was interesting so I shared.
My first thought was what made Calvin’s soteriology wrong is that he “practiced” it. :o)
I’m a survivor of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay. Back when the Bible only had 3 1/2 books: Daniel, Revelation, the “nuclear war chapter” of Ezekiel (the 1/2), and Late Great Planet Earth. Back when “End Time Prophecies are Being Fulfilled Even As We Speak!!! We Might Not Have a 1978!!!!! Or Even a 1977!!!!!!!”. It is now 2016.
You should fear having to prove to the IRS you have health insurance. Most are not connecting those “authoritarian” dots, sadly.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
As in, we want them to read it so we start with the opposite?
“You can say “men and women are of equal value to God” from now until the cows come home, but when you give every bit of power, money, control, authority and leadership to men and only men, that soundbite begins to ring pretty hollow.”
it’s magic… pure magic. aside from being so stupid and utterly impractical.
“Evidence from countries as varied as Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and the United Kingdom shows that when women control more household income—either through their own earnings or through cash transfers—children benefit as a result of more spending on food and education (World Bank, 2011).”
Another anonymous 2 wrote:
I imagine she’s catching a lot of flak from the “headship.” We support her.
Authoritarians are equal opportunity, all they need is for people to think they are immune and then wham, they get blindsided. I live in a university town and campus is one of the most ideologically stifled places in the community, they may call themselves liberal but they are as nasty as the most strident conservative church in town.
How many times is the whistle blower in these church situations a Woman? I shudder for what these evil men will try and do to her, may God protect her.
well, thankfully, journalists and others (like TWW) are watching.
If I knew what city/state she was in, I’d show up to her church discipline hearing with her.
I was more referring to how liberal is defined in the faith. How one defines it exactly is another thing open to wide differences of opinion. But usually it seems to mean stepping back from the “literal” interpretation of the Bible which is supposed to lead to all sorts of terrible things, including losing one’s faith altogether. Once I examined it critically, I realized no one really can interpret the Bible strictly literally (as my husband pointed out the other day, should we be praying for Paul, Silvanus and Timothy? 1 Thessalonians 5:25). We all have to use common sense reading comprehension. I still tend to see the Bible as much more literal than possibly many here, but the way that I see it is that the epistles were written to specific persons at specific times and in specific circumstances and while we see that they wrote to them about literal things, it requires using one’s mind to see the principles we can draw from them that apply to us today. And I think that everyone actually does this, it’s just that the more conservative believers try to take as much of the text as possible as though it was written directly to them in their situation, and to use their own reason the least amount possible.
So am I….. i am still not happy about how i was sucked into it all…. and if you question “them”, you were verging on losing your salvation… and of course, other used it “grow” there “ministries”… what i do not understand, shouldn’t those people be embarrassed with hyping it all so much?
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Another anonymous 2 wrote:
“To every thing there is a season … a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7)
The mother is doing the right thing. A church and its leaders should not have control over anyone’s life in this manner.
That’s one sorry husband and father to not stand with his family. These “elders” are exhibiting illegitimate authority.
It is time for the Church of the Living God to start speaking rebuke and correction into these ministries. Thank you TWW for doing your part.
IMO, the mom needs to pin the husband’s ears back and take a few chunks out of his sorry hide!
Another anonymous 2 wrote:
Good for her.
We actually talked about this in SS one week, how we are constantly interpreting things through a filter if you really think about. These guys filter out all the stuff they don’t want to mess with that’s cultural, they just like some pieces so they hold on to them. They filter out the stuff about not lording it over others because they don’t like that part so much. And so on and so forth.
And when conservatives do this, they are violating conservative principles of interpretation. One of those is to consider the audience to whom the text was written. And that is why these folks are not conservatives at all. They are ideologues who cannot examine their assumptions or apply a consistent hermeneutic. The clobber verses for various topics are examples of hermeneutical special pleading. Cults of all kinds have their own clobber verses which the “conservatives” have no trouble recognizing. But when it comes to the sacred cows of dogma, consistency and logic go under the bus.
Bill M wrote:
I’ve seen this too Bill amongst my liberal brethren (means sisters too) and fellow socialists.
They get their boxers and their panties in a real dither when they find out I’m not in lockstep with everything they promulgate.
An interesting insight ….. and so these more extreme ‘conservative’ folk would walk away from their God-given gift of reason????? How could they possibly make moral decisions without a common-sense use of that reason to examine a situation thoroughly that calls for making a decision and taking action?????
If God is the God of Reason, Who brought order out of chaos, and can be ‘found’ by those good souls who would examine the magnificence of His creation; if THIS God is ‘dismissed’, no wonder the extreme ‘conservatives’ are getting into trouble. And taking others into trouble with them on the way?
The ability to use our reasoning is a key factor in being morally responsible for our actions. And for some of us in Christianity, it is also thought that using our reason to avoid doing what is right and just is an insult to the very God Who blessed us with that reason, and so it must be used responsibly, but not mis-used for ill.
Muff Potter wrote:
Somewhere along the line they forget what the word means and end up adhering to a different dogma and will defend it as stridently as any conservative. Yesterday’s liberal is tomorrow’s conservative? Those who define themselves as liberal or conservative, whether doctrinal or political, most still have their sacred cows and I don’t feel safe with either. That was why I chimed in.
I have yet to be convinced whether TGC with their heavy emphasis on authority and male hierarchy breed abusers but it does seem apparent they attract them, have created a system that fosters their misdeeds, and then tries to cover it up.
Bill M wrote:
Sacrificing truth on the altar of ____________ …
The mother went to the police, resigned from the church and got an order of protection for her daughter. She is living in a hell we can only imagine; where her husband and the victim are persecuting her for doing the right thing. Yes, I said the victim is persecuting her mom for working with the police. Why?
The Dad and Darrell have this precious 14 year old girl brainwashed into believing that “she knew what she was doing” and that she would be responsible if anything happened to the perp if he went to jail. That is why it has taken so long for an arrest to be made. The victim didn’t want to give a statement because she had been made to believe that she is responsible for her abuse. It is sickening!!! This cannot stand and I do not believe that God is going to allow this abuse of power to continue any longer. The trail of heart break and scandal surrounding Darrell Fergusons “ministry” is monumental! He must be stopped!
Muff Potter wrote:
Party First, Comrades.
Party Line Loyalty, Comrades.
There is only One True Way, One Perfect Ideology.
(Sounds a lot like the Neo-Cals…)
Another Anonymous wrote:
The comments include two lengthy firsthand accounts of his previous churches and efforts to “restore” him. One by his brother-in-law is heartbreaking. The other includes a second-hand allegation of his response when seen kissing an inappropriate relationship, saying it was a “holy kiss”.
Reminds me of a “church” I knew of where they “danced to the lOrd” in the services romantically with partners not their spouses.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
“The enemy—the indispensible devil of every mass movement—is omnipresent. He plots both outside and inside the ranks of the faithful. It is his voice that speaks through the mouth of the dissenter, and the deviationists are his stooges. If anything goes wrong within the movement, it is his doing. It is the sacred duty of the true believer to be suspicious. He must be constantly on the lookout for saboteurs, spies and traitors.”
(Eric Hoffer, author of ‘The True Believer’)
Oh yes, they called it “spiritual connections”.
For some reason ;( the “church” experienced some difficulties with lawsuits stemming from unbiblical knowing and other sexual mistakes and weaknesses of the leaders.
Another Anonymous wrote:
This sets a dangerous precedent, that could be exploited by shallow individuals who won’t take important things seriously.
Another Nick Bulbeck
To add to this, it very well may be that this 12 yr. old girl is not Robert Wyatt’s first victim. I won’t call him pastor. A better word would be *pervert.*
Some basic principles to remember for interpretation are:
What is the occasion
Who is speaking
Who is the audience.
Bill M wrote:
Just look at the *Accountability Form* for the husband where the wife gets to fill in questions about how her husband is performing his roles. I get the impression that these forms are filled out on a regular basis. Just looking at the areas that the members are supposed to be accountable for (to the elders I’m assuming) crosses personal boundaries. Why would they want to know about such private matters in member’s lives? And then to have it recorded in writing where multiple people can possibly read about it. This is creepy. I’ll just come out and say it. This “church” is a mind controlling cult.
Thanks for the explanation. I was thinking of the liberal churches I tried. They are worse about telling me what I should think when it comes to policies that micromanage my life as if the pew sitters are children and need governmental “authority”.
At the very least, I have a choice in whether I give money to a church and participate.
And the fact this whistleblower is a woman, fuhgeddaboudit! She will be raked over the coals as an uppity female. I hope she has walked out the door already.
These churches are not safe places at all for a woman and particularly where she is bold enough to speak up.
What I see with mine so far is that I have to eyeroll away a political comment soemtimes (so sort of like college) but not usually in the sermons but they do put a bit more emphasis on local mission stuff (soup kitchen/domestic violence shelter etc) and I think that’s good. The Sunday school tends to have professors with a good knowledge of history and the importance in understanding text.
Right now they feel safe on the stuff I consider to be essentials and reading this site makes me think more in safe/unsafe then correct/incorrect.
Incredible… they expect the pew sitters to fill in the details while the leaders cover for one of their own that has sex with a 12 year old girl!!!
Yup, that is real spiritual leadership! If you step back, and look at the whole picture, it is one messed up place!
Maybe they need to have forms for leadership that ask:
As a fifty year old man, do you have any unnatural desires for 12 year old girls?
Although as someone here noted a few months ago (was it Law Prof?) that a liberal church let him and his family and other conservatives meet for Bible Study and were very respectful, never interfered, let them do their own thing. Conservative churches take the opposite tact with most Christians, demanding reports, control of the Bible Study, and can be pretty insufferable.
The congregation did not know what happened until after the arrest. When the congregants started seeing their Elder and church on tv is when they knew what was up. Then Darrell called a congregational meeting to try to control the media back-lash. The whistle blower was a friend of the family. I believe the victim had confided in her. It took weeks for them to build a case and then arrest Robert. MANY in the congregation would have gone to the police had they known what was going on.
Evidently, the “elect” don’t have a choice! How else could you explain the robotic support of such churches?! Red flags are being raised over the New Calvinist landscape; don’t the followers see them?! These leaders would have no stage if they didn’t have a paying audience to keep them there.
“Touch not my anointed” only applies to the anointed.
This is common in cults. Followers stick by their leaders until the potato becomes too hot to handle. Other commenters on this thread have noted the obvious signs of a ministry gone amiss for some time, including an ungodly control of female members via church belief and practice. That environment almost always leads to eventual abuse of one form or another. The red flags were already there. It was just a matter of time before church leaders appeared on TV and the church became a byword and reproach in the community.
The “whistleblower” is a watchman on the wall. God placed her there for such a time as this.
Thank you for sharing this. When brought to the attention of CPS and/or the police, these investigations are often done behind the scenes as to not tip off the perpetrator. It is not uncommon for parents to be in the dark about the abuse until the police or CPS come to them. The child often shares information with a close friend or relative first. Often times the perpetrator has threatened the child to harm them or their parents if they tell them about the abuse, or “their little secret.” Once parents know, they can seek help for their child but they are often asked to let the police continue the case without alerting a lot of people. It is not surprising that people in the church did not know until the arrest.
Unfortunately, most people in high control churches go first to their pastor for help. When the alleged perpetrator is also in the church, pastors seem to handle the situation very poorly in their fear for the reputation of the church/themselves.
It is better for everyone involved to always seek help outside the environment where the abuse occurred. It is unfortunate that Christians do not know this and/or believe that this is a better option for the abused person.
This is absolutely ridiculous, and heartbreaking. Yet, somehow I’m not really surprised. One of the main points of “biblical counseling” is victim blaming – “What sin did you commit to cause this to happen?”
I hope the girl gets appropriate counseling. She is innocent. Typical 12-13 year old kids are impressionable mush minds – especially those who are in very controlling atmospheres.
The friend who reported the abuse deserves a medal, and congrats to the mom for finally stepping up to the plate. I hope she has the courage to continue to fight for the best interests of the girl.
The perp deserves to go to jail! He is a criminal!
If the dad doesn’t grow a brain soon, the mom should “resign” from the marriage, too!!!
This is common in cults. Followers stick by their leaders until the potato becomes too hot to handle. Other commenters on this thread have noted the obvious signs of a ministry gone amiss for some time, including an ungodly control of female members via church belief and practice. That environment almost always leads to eventual abuse of one form or another. The red flags were already there. It was just a matter of time before church leaders appeared on TV and the church became a byword and reproach in the community.
One who has ever been involved in a “cult” can normally only see the truth once they are no longer part of the cult. Outsiders look at the big picture once stories of abuse break and can see the obvious errors. On the inside it is much different. There are many complexities. The most interesting being that the cult leader does not realize he is a cult leader. He thinks he is expounding the Word of God. He does not realize that his little pet lie has set him on a path that is slowly leading him away from the truth of the Word. He is deceived himself. If any of the outsiders were to listen to Darrell’s sermons I have no doubt, if they love the Word, that they would think he is an amazing preacher. You do not begin to see the error until you’ve been there for some time.
In the case of Agape you will hear this story over and over again. He has a radio ministry so new people will always be coming in and financially supporting them. Believe me when I say they have no idea why this happens; why people do not stay. Whether it is a self deception or a blindness of Satan I cannot say. I only know this time he has gone too far. His cover up of this sin goes against his own preaching and rules of church government. I pray everyone that is a part of Agape will now see the truth and that this cult can be exposed for what it is. People, run from this legalistic oppressive church into the freedom of God’s grace.
And in this milieu, there’s also the threat of Eternal Hell, The Great White Throne (cue Jack Chick), Christ Shall Spew Thee Out Of His Mouth, Touch Not Mine Anointed, etc.
Because if word leaks out, the perp will run or groom an airtight alibi.
So you don’t want to tip your hand.
And that’s assuming the perp isn’t already Pastor’s Speshul Pet.
Nothing is as insufferable as the Utterly Righteous.
Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
Privilege of Pastoral Rank.
I suspect that a lot of these pedo-protecting Pastors are closet pedos themselves but are too Respectable(TM) to actually indulge those Urrrges in their Aaareas themselves. So like the therapist in that one South Park episode, they indulge those Urrrges by handling it in-house (instead of going to the Heathen), Biblically Counseling(TM) their pet pedos for all the JUICY JUICY JUICY details.
Anyone remember the WW2-era stories about the Hitler Youths who informed on their parents? And the early Cold War stories about Stalin-era Russian children who became Heroes of The Party by informing on their families?
What’s the average size of the trail of prior victims when a pedo actually gets caught?
These days in these churches, Is There A Difference?
Coddling or protecting the church leader or pastor? Is this a byproduct of the leaders’ special “privilege” of “sucking on the tit”* of the institutional church?
*”A term used to describe when a friend, family(sibling, etc.), or person is living off for free of the parent, or being treated with childlike care. It doesn’t have to be in terms of money, it can also be on a emotional scale, or what have you. Hence, ‘sucking on the tit’.”
Is this what things have come to? The so-called macho men of the Biblical Men and Women group are really just a bunch of little boys out preying on girls and playing with guns, and then being protected by the church community when they are lawfully held accountable for their acts as monster men?
The Devil, Trotsky, Goldstein, The Dark Forces, The Jew…
And not only a Devil, but the Devil’s WITCHES hiding among us who Must Be Smelled Out.
P.S. In the above excerpt, “Faithful” and “True Believer” really should be capitalized.
I believe one of the fundamental issues continues to be that rape in TGC and CBMW culture is not understood as an act of power and control. Rape is regarded as sex with an inconvenient partner. Since the victim is 12, I would also hazard a guess that there is a fair amount of she seduced me or she wanted me to mixed in.
It never ceases to amaze me how often in church a system of absolute control coexists with a complete lack of accountability and responsibility.
Sorry I haven’t commented a lot lately. My church is going through the crazies complete with the pastor having someone who refused to say I’m wrong, you’re right and kiss the ring escourted by police from the premises while make coffee for Sunday a.m. fellowship. Awesome.
@ Bill M:
“I have yet to be convinced whether TGC with their heavy emphasis on authority and male hierarchy breed abusers but it does seem apparent they attract them, have created a system that fosters their misdeeds, and then tries to cover it up.”
is there any material difference?
@ Kimberly Rock-Shelton:
“My church is going through the crazies complete with the pastor having someone who refused to say I’m wrong, you’re right and kiss the ring escourted by police from the premises while make coffee for Sunday a.m. fellowship.”
police? sorry for what??
I completely agree with your assessment. A12 year girl is not responsible; especially when the pervert is 50!! Case closed, period.
Kimberly Rock-Shelton wrote:
Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
I’m wondering how this “assistant pastor” manage to get the “alone time” with the girl that he needed to commit statutory rape repeatedly over a period of two years?
Thankfully it was someone outside the cult, otherwise they would have reported it to the pastors instead of the police and the victim would be chastised for gossiping.
What, you are questioning the integrity of the leaders by not allowing them to alone with kids?? How dare a pew peon like you think such things of your G&d chooses leaders??
Kimberly Rock-Shelton wrote:
Sounds like my ex-church, Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley.
And Christians wonder why the church has such a bad reputation in the community, and with unbelievers, when they can’t be civil to each other and bully people with the police.
Amen, marquis! I’m only an auntie, but I’d like, as they used to say back in the day, “beat the living tar” out of that so-called father. What an utter failure he is! It’s despicable that he wouldn’t stand up in righteous indignation to protect his daughter. Sickening!
This is just heartbreaking.
Amen to that!
They have been trained to be followers and that others know best for them in matters of personal choice. If they don’t agree they are haters. Our entire society is more and more like that now. Slowly boiling the frogs.
I fear a cage wrote:
Vile, just vile! This whole church-authority thing has cause Christians over the years to turn off their brains. Maybe I should be grateful for my faith crisis of 25 years because it made me challenge beliefs I was taught.
Debi Calvet wrote:
I have a daughter, two nieces by blood, and 4 nieces by marriage. I have a female cousin who is adopted, as well as two male cousins who are adopted.
1.). Those adopted cousins are just as much family as my kin by blood. This adopted daughter IS the daughter of that sorry excuse for a father.
2.). If my daughter (her father died in an auto accident when she was 6, my husband is her step-father) or my nieces were treated the way this girl was treated by the fathers/step-fathers, this momma tiger would be in their faces with fangs bared and claws extended! I’m glad the mother did step up for the girl. But, the mother should have taken action immediately!
It burns me up to know that so called “men of God” both teach and view women and children as worthless beings who don’t matter.
When a church slaughters the lambs to protect the institution, it is not a church!
Are you an “insider” in some way, close to the family or church, etc? How to you obtain the info you have on the family and church?
I’m nosy. If you tell me that it is none of my business, I understand – no hard feelings.
She should divorce him now!! He is an absolute danger to any child or woman as he evidently has very low concern for their well-being.
Bill M wrote:
Bill M wrote:
Exactly! We should be followers only of Jesus Christ, not human “leaders.”
Exactly what I was thinking!
Nope, not at all.
My husband and I went to Agape for about 3 years. We left around 5 years ago due to a lack of love, peace and joy. We knew about the sins of Darrell but not the cover-ups. We were led to believe he was repentant for his sins and had been restored. We are still friends with people that have chosen to remain, including the family involved. Until this last scandal we had never felt the partitioners were in danger. We just figured they would figure out it was not a good place in time, just like us. I honestly had never wished for Agape to fall until now. I did not know that Darrell was so evil. I can see no other word for it. We just thought he was a man, just like us, with sin issues to work through. We had no idea he could possibly cover up something like this in the name of God. We are so angry. There is a very large group of former Agape attendees. Many of us are still very close friends and are absolutely heart broken over this latest, and prayerfully, LAST scandal. @ Nancy2:
Please remember the Mom had fought tooth and nail as soon as she found out. She went to the cops, resigned from the church and got a order of protection for her daughter. The problem was they could not get the victim to make a statement because she was brainwashed by the parent and pastor to believe she “knew what she was doing” and would be responsible if anything happened to the perp when he was jailed. One parent is unfit, for sure. The other is just trying to keep her family together and is suffering greatly for it. Please see my prior post for more details. I want the truth to be known as to shine a light into this great darkness. @ zooey111:
That is so sad! God bless the mom both for having sense and not allowing herself to be bullied into not doing the right thing. Poor girl.
Thank you for your heartfelt comments. We are grateful these sins are finally being exposed. Praying for the young lady who was hurt.
Yes, because Proverbs 3:5- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.” When your gut instinct says “this can’t be right” the man in the pulpit pulls out this verse. But I don’t think “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding,” means “check your brains at the door.”
No, she was part of the cult but not anymore. @ Bill M:
I just want to DO something! I feel so helpless! How do we stop this kind of thing from happening in the future? I pray God will show me what to do going forward. I will picket, I will go church to church and plead with people to stop hiding sin, I would do anything. I just do not know what to do. @ Deb:
If you are in a position to do so, please let the mother and daughter know that they have support and prayers from friends that they will most likely never meet, and the daughter is not responsible, in any way shape or form!
She was misled and abused by a dirty old man who deserves to go to jail!
I’m heartbroken to hear this. It is not altogether surprising, though. It can take years for a victim to really understand and realize what happened to them.
Are they involved with any kind of group that can offer help and counsel? SNAP maybe?
Thank you so much, Nancy. I will let her know. She feels so helpless and hopeless and is just broken-hearted for her daughter. She knows what they have forced her daughter to believe is absolute hogwash. Please also pray her husbands eyes will be opened QUICKLY! He is absolutely blinded; by what, we do not know. His own sin? His commitment to the church? It just doesn’t make sense. Again, thank you for the prayers. We also ask for prayer that if there are any further cover-ups that involve the perp or the church they will be exposed as part of this latest scandal. @ Nancy2:
No, they are in survival mode right now. I will pass on the information for SNAP. Thank you. @ siteseer:
But the money maked things worse. I was just thinking maybe if no clergy were paid, it’d cut the clergy sex abuse in half, since they’d no longer have all that spare time on their hands.
Sadly, there probably are more victims. Perpetrators don’t do this just once or with just one victim.
Unfortunately, many women are so used to the controlling aspect that they don’t see it as wrong or as a warning sign.
Dave A A wrote:
Sorry for preaching to the choir, but so many other similarities between this Ferguson fellow and Don Barrett, from 20 to 50 years back. Here’s a highlight from Barrett’s Agape cult (how they love to ruin good Xian terms). http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=141&Itemid=8
He founded his Agape AFTER he’d been disciplined defrocked and dismembered by his previous cult, just like Ferguson. Prior cult featured in Enroth’s Churches That Abuse.http://www.ccel.us/churches.ch2.html
Conservative = good and liberal = bad really is false, which is mind-blowing for many of us from the evangelical church. There is good, sound teaching in both types and false teachings in both, they just tend to be in different areas, on different topics.
I think this is really going to cause the mother to think through a lot about her marriage. I think all of us on here would take a step back and really consider our marriage and our partner. I mean, this reveals a lot about the father’s character.
Only the MenaGAWD matter.
But the Pastor and Elders get to feast on fresh mutton until they burst.
Debi Calvet wrote:
Not his DNA as well as no Y Chromosome.
When a lion takes over a pride, his first instinct is to kill all the existing cubs (not his DNA) and get to work with the females replacing them. Male bears are the same; kill the cubs (not his DNA), female goes into rut (Oooo My Soulmate), and he passes his DNA to the new set of cubs (after destroying the previous male’s line).
“I just want to DO something! I feel so helpless! How do we stop this kind of thing from happening in the future?”
now that this tragedy is in the news, perhaps the spotlight of journalism can shine on authoritative, patriarchal church environments.
Agape Bible Church is both a TGC and a 9Marks church. Seems to me that whatever abuse potential (& passivity potential) was contained in the individuals at issue was activated by
*church institution with a God-complex, an inflated sense of its own importance, entitlement
*pastoral control & authority
*male headship and control
*female subordination and passivity
*an environment that looks down on dissent and rewards passivity
All of these things are part and parcel of TGC and 9Marks.
Perhaps these organizations deny some of these things, perhaps they pretend that these things are not destructive, perhaps they use language that is christian-y, flowery, sweet and love-y to whitewash it all — remove all the varnish and these things are what they promote.
it is not hard to find many stories of crimes of abuse committed in TGC and 9Marks environments, of lives totally messed up by these things.
It is time for journalists to be told of these connections. In fact, TWW has stories and documentation all ready to go.
I’ll pray for that and for some right thinking people to have an intervention with him.
A good reminder.
Nancy2, my thoughts are the same. How did this pervert have access to the 12 yr. old girl? I can think of a few scenarios. She was receiving “biblical” counseling whereby she would be alone with the perp. The pervert has children near her age and she was friends with them, i.e. – in his house so he would have easy access that way. Maybe it was at a youth group function. One’s mind has to go to some disgusting levels to imagine how this could happen. This sick man needs to be thrown in jail with the hardcore criminals who will deal with him. Then, and only then, will he know what it’s like to be trapped without anywhere to turn for safety. Just like his victim experienced.
Debi Calvet wrote:
I agree, Debi. My cult experience has caused me to be very cautious and skeptical of those who claim to be leaders in the church. I immediately see Red Flags when certain language and practices are utilized.
A lot of us who comment here have been through abusive experiences with churches- one result of being through it is you are quick to recognize it and respond when you see something happening again. But I do remember how long it took to come to grips with it the first time! Many of us tend to hope and believe and try to make it all work for way too long.
Once you’ve been through it, you come to realize how staying and hoping are a pure waste of time. Other peoples’ experiences are written about all over the internet and when you read of the same things happening over and over, you realize the same thing happens to people all over the place, almost like there’s a playbook that churches go by. But it can be awfully hard to come to your senses the first time.
It’s a logical outcome, IMO.
Yes. That’s where I’m falling out too. But I’m old enough and secure enough that it doesn’t bother me to filter out things I don’t agree with. I know when I was baptist I just waved away the dancing drinking etc prohibitions and now I do the same with anything I don’t agree with here. I think what matters to me now is how people are treated. Throw out doctrine, just love each other and have some common sense for goodness sakes when you start talking about things like abuse!
What that “pastor” and “father” did is wicked…perverse! They both need to be charged with being complicit in this pervert’s crime and trying to suppress evidence. I can’t use the words I’d like to in this forum to describe these people. That poor 12 yr. old girl needs to be in a safe environment and a restraining order issued against all three men, i.e. – the pervert pedo, Darrell the sick pastor, and the negligent father. This is just plain ugly and despicable. This so-called “church” needs to shut down immediately. I bet more stories will be coming out about the abuse/s that occurred at this Neo-Cal complex as ex-members tell their stories. Hooray for the Internet. Wolves and false shepherds are finding it harder to hide their wicked deeds.
Someonewhocares: Are you able to get a crew together of former members of Agape to demonstrate outside the church property? There is a lady here at TWW, Mirele, who pickets outside Driscoll’s church. I once belonged to a Christian cult and a number of ex-members would go back to the property when meetings were in session. We would speak out against the spiritual abuses. It eventually had a good effect because members started leaving. Sound the trumpet against this evil so-called church, which is really a den of iniquity.
A 12 year old probably knows how easily they could manipulate a 2 year old into doing something but may not realize how far beyond them a manipulative adult can be. She may have been groomed to think she was in control of her decisions all along.
Debi Calvet wrote:
when a ‘believer’ is convinced that he is ‘saved’ from all eternity because he is ‘elected’,
and that his sin is already forgiven before he even commits it, where is the internal control inside such a person to keep them from doing what they desire to do, even at the expense of the well-being of another????
In his ‘The Last Battle’, C.S. Lewis wrote something that gives insight into this question:
I said, “Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.”
He answered, “Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.”
Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, “Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one?”
The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, “It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.”
( from ‘The Last Battle’)
Oh, dear God, this is horrific. That father himself is an abuser.
Amen, Nancy2! This poor girl needs to get SECULAR counseling and understand that she played absolutely NO PART in her abuse whatsoever. She is has ZERO responsibility in what happened to her. And she needs to be in a safe environment away from Darrell the “pastor” and her negligent father. Girls and women in these Complementarian/Patriarchal environments are told to obey and submit to men. Male hierarchy is drilled into their heads so much and so often that they don’t know how to discern what their God-given conscience is telling them. Natalie Rose Greenfield understands this pattern of male supremacist rule and its abuses well. She suffered shaming and ostracism from church members at Doug Wilson’s church in Moscow, Idaho, after she had been groomed and sexually abused at the age of 13-14, by a man who was a student at Greyfriars (Doug Wilson’s seminary) studying to be a pastor. These oppressive, harmful environments of abuse need to be exposed for what they are.
I agree. Especially when one considers the age of Robert Wyatt. If I had attended Agape, I’d be looking into the background of this pervert. Where has he worked and volunteered in the past? Were there other churches that covered up his sexual abuse of minors? Start digging and the truth will come out.
Oh my, I missed the ‘Distinctive’s’ page. Of course, this isn’t surprising considering that “Pastor” Darrell has a past history of adultery. When you think about it, this is looser standards than what many secular institutions have. In the Christian faith it’s called CHEAP GRACE. It’s one thing to be repentant and seek forgiveness for serious sins and crimes. It’s quite another to be placed in positions of authority after committing the same. It is akin to setting up a person for failure, to re-commit the same sins/crimes.
I think this “church” needs a picket worse than Driscoll’s outfit. Checking flights…
In the end, dividing labels like ‘liberal’, ‘conservative’, all lose meaning when the gospel is illuminated by the Holy Spirit through the living out of that gospel in the lives of Christian people
labels distract and therefore get in the way of the work of the gospel in the lives of believers
And this is why the sick pastor and the pervert were able to manipulate the victim of sexual abuse that she somehow was partly responsible for her abuse. Because nouthetic, “biblical” counseling stresses facing your sin as the reason for whatever situation you may find yourself in. There is little to no compassion shown towards victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, spouses who are unfaithful, PTSD, spiritual abuse, etc. And churches that believe in nouthetic counseling make it easy for spousal abusers, pedophiles, adulterers, etc. to commit their sins/crimes.
I did a check of The “Gospel” Coalition’s website and Agape Bible Church is still listed. *rolls eyes*
And going to Colorado is doable, but I would hate to interfere in something the locals may be brewing up. Seriously, all you need this time of year are signs (posterboard and Marks-A-Lot at Staples or Office Max), hats, good shoes, sunscreen and water. (Clothes, obviously!) I’d park in a nearby public lot and walk over. *Don’t park in the church’s lot, that’s a sure way to get the cops out there!* The Thornton site looks to have sidewalks and a good curb cut leading into its gravel lot. If it were me, I’d station myself just south of the curb cut so people would see my sign as they turn in.
Keep your message short and truthful, stay on the sidewalk, don’t go in the street, don’t block the sidewalk or the curb cut and be friendly. If you have a small flyer you can hand out to people (I’d suggest a brief paragraph describing the news story and websites where they can find out more), that is helpful. Doubtful you’d need more than 10, but some people just function better with a piece of paper in hand.
Here’s another good one “Rick Boyer Sr. and Sexual Boundary Crossing: My Story” http://www.ashleyeaster.com/blog/rick-boyer-sr-and-sexual-boundary-crossing
Many dynamics are similar from one case to another…
Here’s another good article that the mother and her supporters may be well advised to read-
“Never Go to a Meeting When the Purpose is Unknown to You”
Hooray! Mirele, if you could find a way to contact exmembers of this outfit called a “church” and meet together to protest the sexual abuse of a minor, that would have such an effect upon the community and show support for the victim.
This is so important for people to understand. I spent my entire childhood and into my late 40s believing I was equally (or more) to blame for what was done to me as a child (2 yo, 7-12 yo). I sometimes still fight feeling I need to take responsibility….
One of the most profound moments early in my healing process was when a secular counselor looked me in the eye and told me it was not my fault. That began the road to truth and freedom.
My deepest prayer is for this young lady to get removed from the brainwashing (a crime in progress) and in the gentle loving hands of a trained professional who specializes in this. Amen.
An Agape sermon on husbands and wives: Wives can only be unsubmissive when the husband is leading her into something that is obviously a sin:
So, even by the Ferguson doctrine, the mother of the girl who was assaulted is in the right by fighting for the child and not the male hierarchy, including the cover-up attempt suported by her husband!
I really shouldn’t be surprised, but it still amazes me that so many have taken just a few words, and from someone who was not even Christ, and have made that the central belief of their church. Of course, they’ll deny it, but by their actions, this really is what they revolve around.
To add to this, to submit children to uneducated nouthetic counselors is absurd. It is bad enough for adults, but it is even worse for children who are so much more vulnerable to what adult counselors say to them, about them. Not to mention that secular psychologist, psychiatrists, and doctors are mandatory reporters – something we do not see with biblical counselors.
I think in so many churches Jesus has been replaced by Paul. They are not the same at all.
From that sermon, emphasis mine:
“…. God the Father says to the Son, “I am going to honor You by giving you a people who will all follow You by their own free will. They will do it, not because I force them, but because they love You – every last one of them.” That is the way the saints submit to their Lord – voluntarily, gladly, eagerly, out of a sense of deep respect and honor. And that is why there is such a thing as a wife – to illustrate that. ….”
from the ashley easter website:
“In my sexual naïveté and culturally-ingrained unquestioning submission to male spiritual leaders, I kept trying to convince myself that Mr. Boyer had accidentally crossed a boundary but hadn’t intended it to be inappropriate.
I then even started doubting that it was inappropriate. Perhaps he hadn’t even crossed a boundary and I was just overreacting! How could a man who had dedicated his life to helping Christians raise godly families ever do anything intentionally inappropriate?
These confused feelings, combined with the fact that my parents had spoken to him about his behavior, convinced me that it would be safe for us to continue our mentor type relationship, that had made me feel so good about myself.”
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
I never knew that about the Mao era. Thanks HUG! 😉
Wives are persons used as illustrations of abstractions. Perfect. 🙁
These guys are weirdly obsessed with modeling and roles. I don’t think they understand that a metaphor is not meant to be an exact picture…
Also, that sermon is gross.
In all my days, I never thought of ‘love’ as being ‘submission’. ‘Bending the knee’ to the Lord of the Cosmos is certainly not the same kind of thing as a wife having to silently put up with her husband’s abuse and disrespect. How on Earth did all this concept of ‘sub’ come about as regards PEOPLE????? And how is it that MEN came to see themselves as ‘above’ anyone in Christendom????? The model Our Lord presents to us is that of a shepherd who comes to find a lost lamb, a servant who kneels to wash the feet of those who would ‘follow’ Him, and one who dies for the sake of others out of love.
Neo-cal males who see themselves having ‘head-ship’ are not following any Christian model that I recognize. They have the power to injure and abuse, but not the power to heal; they have the right to speak, but not the wisdom of the One Who comes to us in silence; they have a self-appointed ‘authority’ to make Church decisions, but their churches harbor predators with their knowledge; they preach the light of Christ, but they practice the darkness of cover-up; they proclaim the love of God, but they shame their victims without mercy.
Who ARE these ‘men’? And on WHOSE ‘authority’ do they bring so much harm to others?
That’s exactly right, and people need to call them on it.
Exactly. And, it’s not just refusing to submit to abuse and disrespect. Sometimes we need to take a stand counter to the wishes of someone we love just to keep them from doing something stupid, or doing something that might be harmful. Oftentimes, we refuse to submit, out of love.
I’m not quite sure they even consider us to be “persons”.
There is no way these sorry men think of women as “persons.” They need to be spend way more time with Jesus instead of Paul.
The people that place Paul above Christ seem to be doing something strange: they would have Our Lord answering to Paul in the way that they would interpret Our Lord’s words according to something Paul had written …… they get the priority backwards, as Christ is God and Paul is not God. Christ’s words are spoken in the Very Person of God. If that doesn’t sink in, then I wonder what their Christology is after all.
Gram, that statement from the sermon is an excellent example of objectification of women. But I doubt that men like “Pastor” Darrell even know what that means.
Rather than interpreting Paul’s letters in light of Christ and the gospels, they interpret the gospels in light of Paul, making Paul the Foundation, not Jesus Christ.
So many people have been removed from their positions in the SBC simply because they want to treat women like Jesus treated women. They were accused of being liberal. No, they were trying to be Christ like, The bullying that has been done to these people is unreal.
oh it was real all right, one woman professor of Hebrew was let go (because she was a woman) and in the interim time before she was re-employed elsewhere, sold her own blood to help pay her husband’s medical bills.
(he was VERY, very ill during that terrible time).
Bullying doesn’t get more real that that. But there are limits to what decent people can imagine being done to others, yes. Sadly, some bullies come up with new torments beyond what decent folks can envision.
No, I don’t think they do, as a practical matter. as this quote captures. Once again, they accidentally tell the truth.
Ah….but Nancy2, you’re forgetting who gets to decide what sin is. That’s why I think this Comp. teaching that says wives don’t have to submit if hubby is leading them into sin is a smoke screen and a red herring. Think of it this way. If the general rule of Complementarianism is that the husband is always supposed to lead, and the wife is always supposed to submit, then how in the world does the wife ever gain the experience to take a stand when she has been eschewing her discernment in order that her husband lead her? And what, if by chance, she just happens to deem something as sin that he does not? What if he wants to make a foolish financial decision that will risk the family going into serious debt? Elizabeth Elliot to the rescue! Wifey remains quiet (because it isn’t godly to be a bossy woman) and when hubby fails, that will be God disciplining him. Or what about if the wife thinks that the husband is wrong by spanking their 1 yr. old into submission? Well, Comp. teaching says Daddy should be the disciplinarian. How can the wife have a difference of opinion with regard to disciplining their children when Comp. teaching leaves these decisions to the husband?
There are a myriad of examples that could be given where this ridiculous teaching can be challenged, because bottom line: Hubby gets the final decision on all matters, and in essence, hubby decides what is sin and what isn’t. Yeah, I know. Someone could bring up murder or robbing a bank as the exception. But in the everyday lives of Complementarian marriages, how often will a husband ask a wife to join him in murder or robbing a bank? Let’s get real. It’s the everyday common occurrences in marriage and family that are at stake here. And it’s here where the rubber meets the road. So, realistically, a man in a Comp marriage can have the final say in everything, from how often the house should be cleaned, the laundry done, what the family should eat for dinner, how his wife should dress, all financial decisions, where to go on vacation, what friends the wife can and cannot have, if the wife can work outside the home, if the family can have a pet, if the wife’s family can come for a visit, what the wife’s computer and phone privileges are…etc., etc., etc. As I said, the everyday occurrences in marriage and family life. Complementarianism boiled down in a nutshell is subjugation of the wife.
As you like to say, Gram3, in their eyes women are a derivative of God.
Their doctrine usually includes fine print informing us the pastor’s proclamations trump all other rules. The print is so small you can’t read it but everyone in their “church” knows it is there.
OK. Someone asked.
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Now back to the regular discussion.
Agape did not have services this weekend. I went to the Google site and it says that Agape is closed permanently. I will keep a close eye on this. I am contacting my friends who used to go Agape to see if they will be willing to picket if they re-open. There is a very strong possibility Agape will not survive this scandal. There have been at least 4 church splits in the 8 years I have known them. I appreciate your response and will keep you all in the loop as to what is happening. @ mirele:
I expect, as a going-concern, the pastor/elders of the church probably feared retribution, maybe in the form of a civil lawsuit if nothing more.
This is my first time posting. I am a “done” who has read here for years and am a big fan of your work. I just want to say that while I know it isn’t intentional, every time someone refers to what happened as this monster “having sex” with a 12 year old, the phrase minimizes what actually happened: rape. “Having sex” carries a connotation of consent, and despite what this girl has been taught, she isn’t an equal partner in responsibility to what occurred. She didn’t have sex- she was raped. This man isn’t just a creep- he’s a rapist. In order for everyone to grasp the gravity of this situation, vocabulary matters. We see this on the news all the time: a hot teacher had sex with a 13 year old! How racy! No. A teacher raped a child. How revolting.
No, just penis homes.
They are the Predestined Elect, God’s Speshul Pets.
No wonder many Comp guys can’t (nor should they) get a date! Like Daisy has told us time and time again (and she’s socially and politically conservative, raised in a Comp home and church, and she rejected it) that the dating profiles of these guys are just nuts online.
Sad news via Twitter. Khaled, the man in the documentary “White Helmets” who rescued the baby in Aleppo, Syria, in the film, was killed today in Aleppo.
I had not heard, but I feared for him and all those brave young men. In my Church, I am allowed to pray with and for Muslims, and also for the dead, and I shall pray for God’s mercy on this dear young man’s soul. I trust in the great mercy of God, and that He sees into the hearts of men, and if they have listened to Him in their own consciences and tried to live according to His voice directing them to do good, then I trust in God’s great mercy for that humble man. And I pray for his family also. Velour, I don’t understand why so much suffering, but I do know that we can trust God to bring good out of it if that is possible. I don’t think this man’s death will be in vain. We are not the only one’s mourning his loss, no. Yes, I will pray vigil tonight for the soul of that brave and good young man, in the way of faith. Thanks for letting me know.
Jesus Christ, I trust in You.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.
Thank you, my friend Christiane.
Your prayers and mine to God.
In memory of Khaled of the White Helmets of Aleppo, Syria:
Thank you, Christiane.
If the man wants the woman to submit to him in the same way as he submits to God, or as Jesus submits to God… isn’t this just another way of saying “I will be as the Most High”? No one is worthy of that sort of deference but God alone. He is coveting something from his wife that she owes to God alone.
I object when people put words in God’s mouth like this. God did not say this. God has never said this is the way it is or this is the way he looks at it. No one has the right to say it for him. No one has the right to paraphrase God’s thoughts.
Thanks, friend. Yes. Tears.
A message for the young girl:
It was not your fault. Not in a million years will it be your fault. The perpetrator wants you to think it is your fault so that you keep quiet and do not turn him in. He alone is responsible for his actions, not you. He is a coward to blame you. Molestors are sneaky, they groom you into trusting them, and getting those around you, like your parents, to trust them, too, so no-one would believe that they could do such a terrible thing. They start off with something that in itself is innocent, like an arm around the shoulders, they make you feel special. You don’t object because if you did, you would be accused of having a dirty mind or believing the worst about him and you most likely have been brought up not to make a scene. Gradually, it escalates.
I know. It happened to me thirty years ago and has taken me this long to come to terms with what happened. I understand you have your Mother and friends who believe you and will stand with you. You are not alone.
May God bless you and keep you and give you His Peace.
Bless you. I think it will take her a while to get deprogrammed and she needs real counseling, not whatever they would give her at that church.
BTW, just peeking at twitter and Julie Anne shared a quote from the Nouthetic Counseling site. Are they wanting people to be Puritans? Where did that come from? (witch hangings up next!)
“It is not enough to have Puritan Theology; you need to have the Puritan devotion too.
– Paul Washer”
I’ll even give frogs more credit than that! They surely would have bailed out of this pot before they got cooked! Indoctrination into aberrant belief and practice can be a progressive release of poison, but in this case, like many more across the New Calvinist landscape, it is an obvious in-your-face deviation from what is right. It’s amazing that folks are so easily ensnared by it!
I hope the church leaders do not survive the scandal to lead again. I hope the congregation finds healthy believers to fellowship with. It sounds like this church has been a mess for some time; four splits in eight years tells me there have been serious issues in this church.
This is what happens when you follow Theology instead of Christ.
Wow, that was quick, but don’t be surprised if they pop up again elsewhere. In fact, I think you can count on it. The Food For Your Soul website has posted items as recently as last Friday (September 23).
It is just killing me to think there’s a 14 YO girl out there who has been brainwashed to think this is all her fault. It makes e want ro knock some heads, or at the very least state how completely awful nouthetic “counseling” is.
In churches and denominations that adhere to Complementarianism:
*** Hierarchy within the church. Hierarchy within marriage: Wife submits to husband, especially when the husband is wrong. Husband makes all decisions ……….
Even in churches that support or stress being Bereans, wives/mothers cannot be Bereans. They must be “lead” by their husbands and not the Holy Spirit. ***
Where does this leave victims who are abused by the churches or by members of the churches when the males decide to protect the church and the leaders at all cost? Either the abuse continues and the victims are destroyed, or women with moral compasses must revolt. Which is more Christ-like? IMO, the answer is obvious.
I completely agree with you about nouthetic ‘counseling’ and hope someone steers this poor girl to real counseling. I think making children think they are at fault/participating actively is part of grooming process and a real counselor will hopefully help her make sense of this. (Even as an adult, I find it hard not to blame myself when I’ve been taken in by someone, thinking I should have known better. I can’t imagine what that would be like as a child.)
I do have an off topic question. I saw on twitter the Real Marriage pages about Driscol’s wife and someone said they thought they were talking about an assault…I was going to ask where that came from and then started googling and found it online. Unreal!
Hmmmm. Accuse people who do not fit into their perfect, man-made ideal of witchcraft and execute them. Hang people of other faiths who dare venture into their territory. And yet, Washer insists on being Puritan. ….. Makes me wonder, is this a neo-Calvinist movement or a neo-Cotton Mather movement?
you are right, NANCY TWO, there is no other option that is Christ-like except for the women of the Church to respond to their consciences in order that right should be done and the abused child protected from further harm by the perpetrator/’leadership’. The women must save these men from further sin by saying ‘enough’, ‘you are in the wrong’, and ‘we will no longer be silent and watch a child be sacrificed to male idolatry’
There comes a point when there are no choices left but to stand for what is right as God gives us the light to see it.
That male-headship ‘church’ died a long time ago. If there was ever a truly Christian presence in that place, it was in the hearts of the women who acted to save that child from further torment.
You nailed it!
Let me tell you, from a child’s perspective it is soul killing. Add in a bunch of other Reformed doctrines espoused by Piper and his ilk and you create a human who believes God hates them; they are unlovable and loathesome. It is a god they want nothing to do with.
What ever “neo” it belongs to, it’s awful.
Ugh. I have not read the entire book (don’t have the stomach for it) but every time I’ve read excerpts of it, I come away disgusted and angry.
I do disagree with this blog writer in one sense; I am sure their relationship was riddled with problems in the beginning as well, because MD is an a$$ and has always been one. How or why his wife puts up with him, I do not know.
Driscoll seems stalker-ish. He talked about driving to where Grace was going to college and staking his claim to her before all of the other young men. He told them that she was his.
Oh puhhhlllsssseeee. That’s just bizarre. He was that insecure he goes…and threatens other men?
Saw that happen all the time in high school. Alpha Male (usually football jock) picks out a female 2-3 years behind him, stakes his claim, and threatens all the Beta-to-Omega males to drive them off. They usually married when she graduated (he’d have graduated a couple years previous).
It appears that Agape has not disbanded at this point. There is a special report being worked on that will come out this week. We believe Ferguson may be arrested for covering up the rape/abuse and also for some past cover-ups.
I am sending an email to my friends that have left Agape to see who is willing to picket. I do not know if there will be anything to picket by this weekend. We shall see.
I appreciate your prayers and may be coming here for further direction. I have never done anything like this before…sweet little “submitter-to-authority” that I am. God has lit a fire in my belly for this righteous cause. May no other children suffer at the hands of this “church.”
A Cosmic Monster whose only reason for existence is hating and punishing YOU.
And the Supreme Theocrat (God’s Shadow Upon Earth) wipes his mouth and says “What’s Wrong? The System Works Just Fine (for ME)”.
Doesn’t eh Book of Revelation (and by extension the entire Christian Bible) end by pronouncing a Curse upon “those who would add to the words of this Book”?
Which is why they push Christian Courtship(TM) — i.e. Patriarch/Pastor-Arranged Marriage where the penis home has NO choice in the matter.
May that fire spread and consume all that is not holy at Agape Bible Church! It has proven not to be “Agape”-loving, “Bible”-based, nor a “Church” of the Living God.
Thank you “Someone” for caring enough to stand.
It strikes me as highly unlikely that someone well balanced would coverup the molestation of a child, thus the errors are likely deep and wide. If you continued digging you can anticipate finding many such examples of twisted values and a distorted view of God.
This is an excellent description of what happens, in my experience. And if you substitute “Abusers” for “Molesters” it is an excellent description of the abuse dynamic, whether that is child abuse or spiritual abuse or other kinds of abusive relationships. Even professionals are fooled by abusers, and I learned that fun fact from a licensed psychologist who had been temporarily fooled by an abuser with a Plausible and Good Narrative. Abusers are just that good at what they do, and they are good at it because abusing others is necessary and justifiable for them in their twisted way of thinking. Abusers are experts at recruiting allies to their cause and also at portraying themselves as the True Victim. What chance would a child have against that kind of diabolical manipulation?
I hope these things with you. And pray, as Rod Meckna asks fervent prayers for Joyce and himself and others as they step “back into the battle once again”. https://rodmeckna.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/please-pray-for-us/#comments
According to Rod this church was a mess before it ever began. But the great thing for a man who chooses the “church leader” career is the opportunity to survive almost any scandal. After a few months, or when he gets out jail, Ferguson can move to Phoenix and plant a new church with the blessing of Robert Morris– just so long as he’s a good speech maker.
I’ve had some experience with organizations that stress one thing only to do the opposite, classic misdirection. Everyone will go around saying “we’re Bereans” and check off the Berean box, and then they go along content that they are questioning but never do. For the leaders it is like selling fake insurance, they sell you on the idea the church is full of Bereans, they are actually selling trust so that you won’t feel the risk and start checking up on them.
In similar fashion the new narcissist pastor will preach on humility, the slothful pastor on hard work, the philanderer preaches on purity, I imagine the list can be long.
He deserves to be arrested, and the details should be made public!
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice” ~ Bob Marley. Glad you have realized that you are too strong to “submit” to child-abusing church leaders! Even if you can only do something that seems small to you, it will matter! Gotta a feelin’ that whatever you do isn’t going to be small, though!
Thank you for your comment and I completely agree! I hope this little girl gets the counseling she needs.
I was watching a ted talk the other day on liars and she said even trained people are fooled by many of them. Maybe good teaching for all these pastors and churches who think they can make these judgments accurately.
I really find the concept that often victims are ‘imperfect’ helpful in understanding why so many err here. By contrast, the evil person is calm and rational. Of course they are! Nothing bad happened to them. (the other reason is that often women or children are not believed in these sorts of churches and this compounds the error)
Bill M wrote:
Whenever people at your workplace start telling you no one is getting laid off you know it’s time to start looking for another job. It’s kind of like that, I think.
I don’t know if I should post here or in open discussion, but I have a slightly off topic comment. When I attended CLC, they suddenly, under Grant Layman’s direction, changed the high school ministry so that parents came to meetings. This morning while driving to work, I suddenly had a panicked moment where I wondered if the reason for this was that Grant knew about the Nate Morales abuses and either he or other pastors directed him to do this. I don’t know why I suddenly thought of it and it brought terror to my heart, but it did. Funny how you can think you’re healed spiritually and suddenly a thought like that can come out of the blue with way over the top emotions.
As I read through your posts I am struck by the collateral damage that has been done to many of you by people in power, wielding the Word of God as a weapon against your precious lives. I am so sorry for this injustice and pain. I pray God will be your comfort and shelter. I know He will bind up your wounds and heal you as you walk with Him.
Thank you for facing those wounds and giving life to this site. Thank you for hosting this site, being compassionate and understanding to my ignorance in such a situation and for your prayers for Rod, Joyce (his wife), me and all those who will stand with the abused against this great darkness. I am sending an email asking all the former Agape congregants to search their hearts and see if they are called “for such a time as this.” Please pray for soft and humble hearts with the strength and courage of Esther.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Or worse …. a ‘god’ so evil that he PRE-DESTINED some humans for hell before he even created them …. WHY? …. in neo Cal terms, for his good pleasure/for his ‘glory’
sounds more like satan to me
I don’t get it. How a person can read the Holy Gospels of Our Lord and come out of reading those with such a hateful vision of the character of God. Especially after reading the glorious Gospel of St.John which has brought so many to faith in Jesus Christ????? What am I missing here? Are people reading the holy words having already formed some kind of pre-conception of an evil god? And where did this evil pre-conception come from?
I just tracked the delivery of my t-shirt – “CALVINSIM #SOMELIVESMATTER” and it should be arriving in 2-days. I will wear it with pride after being subjected to the insufferable NeoCalvinist doctrines/heresies. Because, yes, according to them ONLY some lives matter.
Only “some” are The Elect. Everyone else is going to Hell.
Bill M wrote:
This reminds me of a similar, but more ‘unconscious’ psychological activity: projecting of one’s negative characteristics on to another person …. I’ve always seen this as something even deeper, where the person actually can’t own that flaw in themselves (or can’t recognize/see it) but finds the need to point the finger to another as reflecting the flaw. It shows up in some creepy statements to the victims of this projection activity of the ‘I know all about you’ kind of thing.
It comes from reading Romans 9 without following the argument all the way through to its conclusion in Rom 11, for starters.
What kind of religion is that? It is one I am not interested in.
That was the very problem I had with such a hateful, insufferable doctrine. The smugness. The arrogance. The pride. They have no shame. The whole thing was so hateful to me. And it was embarrassing to be around people who thought/talked the way my ex-pastors/elders did at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (and others did).
Abi Miah wrote:
Yes, I see. The division of sacred Scripture into the artificial ‘verses’ and ‘chapters’ . . . . sometimes the ‘thought unit’ gets broken up and part of what makes the whole is not considered as it should be . . . . in traditional biblical study among the rabbis, there are ‘thought units’ called ‘inyans’ which are not marked by punctuation, but by the way the whole only makes sense when all of the parts of it are taken as a ‘unit’
so the fundamentalist use of isolated ‘clobber’ verses robs them of the wholeness they were meant to see by the Holy Spirit who inspired those Scriptures
it seems the Book of Romans exposes more about a reader than it reveals to the reader who is lacking in the patience to read the ‘whole’ in search of full meaning; and so there is some truth in the saying that ‘the Bible reads us’ 🙂
Thanks, Abi Miah, for that example. It works for me. 🙂
Todd Wilhelm wrote:
Well then I take back anything I said generally about how bad “her parents” were, evidently it wasn’t both and the mother was extraordinarily brave, cannot imagine the pressure on her.
it appears to be a kind of religion that celebrates the ‘self’ as saved while pointing to ‘the other’ who is not saved; but we are told in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican that it was NOT the gloating smug Pharisee that God accepted that day, but the humble and contrite Publican who prayed for mercy
better to find a Church that sees God as One Who wants what is good for human kind and is on their side . . . . there is only ONE enemy, and Our God is not him
What would happen if you follow the instructions and ingredient list in a cake recipe the same way these people follow the bible?
Much love to you, too.
Thank you for standing up and speaking up. There will come a time in the future when this girl will recognize the truth and the fact that you stood for her will be of invaluable comfort and help.
It was the typical thing. Pastor doesn’t want any accountability. The person had information he was going to disseminate to the congregation about several issues the congregation has been kept in the dark about. So, what do you do, have the police there to escort the guy off the premises.
Someonewhocares: Good for you! I am so glad that you have become zealous for a righteous cause.
And churches are their most likely target, because even if they get caught they can always “repent” and convince the unsuspecting sheep that they are sincere.
Thank you so much.
You’re amazing! May God truly strengthen you and all who go with you.
God bless you! I feel his Holy Spirit in your words.
I love this!
The cake would come out burnt, flat, and tasteless – only good for tossing in the garbage.
I have checked out their website — there is no sign of them being permanently closed?
I did not see your post of yesterday about this, sorry.
Debi Calvet wrote:
They’ve extended the t-shirt campaign for the Calvinism t-shirt to another 5-days, it’s been a popular item. Anybody who wants to order one should do so very soon:
Exactly. A friend of mine sought Biblical Counseling after being sexually abused, and it was all about forgiving the abuser, and how that forgiveness would set her free.
Exactly. I tell people, “If this person had knocked out all the windows in the church, wouldn’t you have to file a police report, just to get an insurance claim?”
Very good article by Roger Olson on T.A.C.O. churches (abusive churches)
‘a term coined by some sociologist of religion: “T.A.C.O.”–“Totalistic, Aberrational, Christian Organization.’
“So here are my suggestions for behaviors that should cause people to RUN from a congregation EVEN IF it is perfectly orthodox doctrinally and even though its reputation is evangelical:
1) Condoning (including covering up) sexual abuse or sexual immorality of leaders within itself.
2) Silencing honest and constructive dissent.
3) Treating leaders as above normal ethical standards, above questioning.
4) Implying that “true Christianity” belongs to it alone or churches in its network.
5) Using intense methods of “discipleship training” that involve abuse of persons–including, but not limited to, teaching them they must absolutely lose their own individuality and sense of personal identity in order to become part of an “army” (or whatever) of Christ and using methods of sensory deprivation, brainwashing and/or abject obedience to human authority.
6) Teaching (often by strong implication) that without the church, especially without the leaders, members lose their spiritual connection to God. (This happens in many, often subtle, ways. For example a church may claim that its “vision” of the kingdom of God is unique and to depart from it is to depart from God’s kingdom, etc.)
7) Simply closing itself off from all outside criticism or accountability by implying to its members that the “whole world” outside the church is evil.
8) Falling into magical, superstitious beliefs and practices such as “spiritual warfare” with an emphasis on destroying all of a certain kind of object because objects “shaped like that” are often inhabited by demons. (A few years ago some churches were teaching people that if they were having marital problems it was probably because they had owl-shaped objects in their homes. I was told by members of a church that having books about world religions or cults in my library would corrupt my spiritual life. A church held bonfires to burn records and books considered unholy. Etc., etc., etc.)
9) The pastor literally owning the church lock, stock and barrel.”
this is a great article and Roger Olson affirms that the aberrant behaviors are sufficient reason to get out of an entity even if it ‘preaches’ ‘correct doctrine’.
Goodness, it seems that a great part of the neo-Cal efforts recently have been to attempt to be accepted as fully ‘evangelical’, even in the midst of abuse scandals, ESS attacks on orthodox Trinitarian and Christological doctrines, and the bold ‘changes’ made to the ESV which pander to the neo-Cal agenda.
There’s a saying by the poet Maya Angelou, “if someone shows you who they are, believe them”,
so if an organization is engaged in abusive behaviors, controlling mechanisms and intimidation, shaming people, and harassment of members;
that IS ‘who they are’,
not their ‘doctrinal correctness’ on the side.
My wife and I attended their briefly, but I attended Darrell’s previous church where he committed adultery with a counselee, lied about it, hid it, was fired for it – then put on church discipline for continuing to lie, manipulate, deceive etc. so he could be restored to the pulpit. We were also talking about picketing this church. Let me know if it happens. You have 2-4 more people willing to join you.
I like how the Denver media is covering this story. Often, the media doesn’t get involved in church issues. (Did they ever pick up on the Boles story?) And boy, Ferguson sure put his foot in it in this one.
More victims coming forward at Agape Bible Church. Apparently the pastor’s son has problems as well.
Firstly, I am so very sorry for what happened to your son. I was a victim at the age of 4 and I can say first hand that sexual abuse messes you up. I applaud your parenting of your child, I’m sure your kindness toward him has done wonders. More than you will ever know.
Secondly, I appreciate your diplomacy in approaching Darrell and trying to reason with him. As a former member of his church I feel compelled to explain the nature of his character. He is not a reasonable man. According to the news he DID know about the abuse and failed to report it. This is not new for him. He has spent many years covering up his own sexual scandals (with adults, so not a crime, but still abusive). As well as covering up his son’s sex scandals with the girls in the youth group. Darrell has to be thoroughly documented in what he says or he will twist it and turn it and use it to frustrate the truth. He is not a man who is capable of being reasoned with.
I am also a former member of Agape Bible Church. I know the author of the post you’re referring to and can give witness that what he says is accurate.
I’m amazed that the media has not picked up on the KRKS radio connection. Darrell Ferguson has been featured on KRKS radio for years dating back to his dismissal at Creekside Church. Numerous Creekside members contacted the KRKS radio station manager to have Darrell taken off the air due to his disqualifying sin at Creekside. There was no action taken on the part of the KRKS.
Again in 2014 after Darell’s son’s sex scandal in the youth group, station manager Brian Taylor was made aware of the crimes and the cover up. Brian would not even show the common courtesy of responding to phone calls or e-mails from church members. Tom Moller of KRKS is an Elder at Agape. Tom even moderated a meeting in Feb. of 2015 at which Darrell was confronted about his cover up of his son’s crimes. At that meeting, Darrell admitted to destroying his son’s phone and even would go on to say that the police detective investigating the case instructed him to do so. An absolute lie!
Brian Taylor and Tom Moller should both be fired for knowingly allowing Darrell Ferguson to use KRKS programming to lure families into this very dangerous environment.
Darrell has resigned, but is completely unrepentant. It is clear he is once again going to lay low, until he feels he can get away with going out and being a pastor again. It is important that every pastor, and any church that coddles the wolve be called out and publicly shamed. That begins with Tom Moller ftom KRKS.
@ A Former Member of Agape:
I am interested in following up on this story if you would like to help us find out more information.
What sort of information are you looking for? I can certainly tell you what I know, or point you in the right direction.